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Mr. Lonely

“Mr. Lonely” is a song co-written and recorded by Bobby Vinton. The song was first released on Vinton’s 1962 album Roses Are Red.

Vinton began writing the song while serving in the Army.[1] The song describes a soldier who is sent overseas and has no communication with his home. The singer laments his condition and wishes for someone to talk with.[2] The single of Vinton’s recording was released just as the Vietnam War was escalating and many soldiers were experiencing a similar situation.[3] Vinton and Gene Allan later re-teamed to compose “Coming Home Soldier”, which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1967.[4]

Vinton’s recording was included on his Greatest Hits album during autumn of 1964 and was concurrently issued as a single.

Ringo (song)

“Ringo” was a hit single for the Canadian-born actor, Lorne Greene, in 1964.

The song’s actual sung lyrics are limited to the title word alone, performed by an unidentified male chorus, presumably The Jordanaires or the Mello Men. Throughout the rest of the performance, Greene talks about the legendary gunfighter. His words tell the story, in a first-person account, of a Western lawman and his relationship with a notorious gunfighter, Ringo.

It has been pointed out that the song does not fit the known historical facts of the life of western outlaw Johnny Ringo[by whom?]. However, this did not damage the song’s popularity. In one of the first instances recorded of a country song hitting the top of the pop charts before charting country, it shot to #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts on December 5, 1964 as well as garnering the same spot on the “Easy Listening” chart, where it retained the position for six weeks.[1] Due in part to its pop and easy-listening chart placement, the single also peaked at number twenty-one on the Hot Country Singles chart.[2] In Canada, it hit #1 on the RPM top singles chart on December 7. The song was written by Don Robertson and Hal Blair.

The ‘B’ side of the disc contained a vocal version of the theme song of Greene’s TV show Bonanza, with lyrics that were never used on TV (See Bonanza article for more on that song).

Canadian born Lorne Greene, recorded a French language version of “Ringo” with “Du Sable” (“Sand”) on the flip side of the 45, released on the RCA Victor Canada International label # 57-5623. French is the official second language of Canada along with English.

A German-language cover by Ferdy changes the meaning somewhat and alters the ending, but is otherwise fairly close to the English version. Like Greene’s French-language edition, the single is also backed with a German version of Sand.

Like “Bonanza”, “Ringo” began as a track on Greene’s WELCOME TO THE PONDEROSA RCA Victor LP in late 1963. On the album, each track was supplemented with an introduction to each song, separately tracked. By October 1964, Ringo Starr’s popularity in the Beatles prompted “Ringo” to be released as a single, even though it was never about him[citation needed]. The album’s introductions were left off of the single release. “Ringo” debuted in Billboard in October 1964. By the same time, a special promotional recording by Greene (possibly Canadian only) was sent to radio stations to promote the album, where he speaks about seven of the album’s tracks. “Ringo” was the lead track. On it, he talks about the probable confusion between his song character and the Beatles and the “wonderful drummer of theirs”, assuring the listener that it is not about him. About this time, the album had been upgraded to include a notation on the front jacket, FEATURING THE BIG HIT “RINGO”. In 1965, Lorne Greene recorded a French version of “Ringo” as well.

A completely sung version of the song was recorded by Riders in the Sky.[3] Their version is a re-make of the version done years earlier by the Sons of the Pioneers in which member Tommy Doss sang the lead.

In December 1964, the first parody of the song was issued; “Gringo”, written by Marty Cooper and H.B. Barnum. Cooper, himself, would record it under the name of El Clod, a name he had used in 1962 to record a parody on the Challenge label for the song “Wolverton Mountain”, which was called “Tiajuana Border”. This “Ringo” parody would be issued on the Vee Jay label.

Other parodies soon followed, including two by Frank Gallop with his 1966 hit single, “The Ballad of Irving” on the Kapp label, which was quickly chased with a sequel, “The Son Of Irving” on the Musicor label (also in 1966). Another happened in the 1980s by Dutch comedian Andre van Duin (as “Bingo”); and then by Country Yossi and the Shteeble Hoppers (as “Shlomo”).

The 2005 short film “Ringo”, which used the song along with public domain footage of John Wayne and Roy Rogers, won the Short Film Award for animated film at the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival.[4]

Leader of the Pack

“Leader of the Pack” is a song written by George “Shadow” Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich. It was a number one pop hit in 1964 for the American girl group The Shangri-Las. The single is one of the group’s best known songs as well as a popular cultural example of a ‘teenage tragedy song’. The song was covered in 1985 by the heavy metal band Twisted Sister who had a moderate hit with their version.

The tune of “Leader of the Pack” is credited to pop impresario George “Shadow” Morton together with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. According to Morton,[1] he wrote the song for the Goodies (also known as the Bunnies[2]), but instead it was needed as a follow-up to the Shangri-Las hit “Remember (Walking in the Sand)”. He said he did not know that he was supposed to have a second idea ready to follow up “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” until Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (Red Bird Records co-owners with George Goldner) asked him, “Hey, what do you want to do for the second record?” Morton said he “got a bottle of champagne, two cigars” and “went into the shower, sat down, drank the champagne, smoked the cigars, and wrote the song on a shirt cardboard with my kids crayons.” Morton claimed he credited Barry and Greenwich as co-writers for business reasons;[citation needed] however his recollection has been questioned by Ellie Greenwich.

Baby Love

“Baby Love” is a 1964 song recorded by American music group the Supremes for the Motown label.[1]

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland (H–D–H), the song topped the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States from October 25, 1964 through November 21, 1964,[3][4][5][6] and in the United Kingdom pop singles chart concurrently. Considered one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century, “Baby Love” was ranked #324 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[7]

Do Wah Diddy Diddy

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is a song written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and originally recorded in 1963, as “Do-Wah-Diddy”, by the American vocal group the Exciters.

It was soon covered by British R&B, Beat and pop band Manfred Mann.[2] Manfred Mann’s version, which was more commercially successful, was recorded on 11 June 1964,[citation needed] released on 10 July,[3] and spent two weeks No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in August,[4] and two weeks at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in October.[5]

It was also used as the theme song for Ang TV, a famous youth-oriented variety show in the Philippines from 1992-1997.

Oh, Pretty Woman

“Oh, Pretty Woman” is a song recorded by Roy Orbison, written by Orbison and Bill Dees.[1] It was released as a single in August 1964 on Monument Records and spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 26, 1964 – the second single by Orbison to top the US charts.[2] It was also Orbison’s third single to top the UK Singles Chart (for a total of three weeks).[3] The record ultimately sold seven million copies and marked the high point in Orbison’s career.[4] Within months of its release, in October 1964, the single was certified gold by the RIAA.[5] At the year’s end, Billboard ranked it the number four song of 1964.[6][better source needed]

The lyrics tell the story of a man who sees a pretty woman walking by. He yearns for her and wonders if, as beautiful as she is, she might be lonely like he is. At the last minute, she turns back and joins him. The title was inspired by Orbison’s wife, Claudette, interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out. When Orbison asked if she had enough cash, his co-writer Bill Dees interjected, “A pretty woman never needs any money.”[7] Orbison’s recording of the song, which used four guitars,[citation needed] was produced by Fred Foster.[1]

Orbison posthumously won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his live recording of “Pretty Woman” on his HBO television special Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night. In 1999, the song was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was named one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #222 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” On May 14, 2008, The Library of Congress selected the song for preservation in the National Recording Registry and in 2012, Texas Music magazine ranked the song No. 7 on its list of “The Top 50 Classic Texas Songs”.[citation needed]

The House of the Rising Sun

“The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song, sometimes called “Rising Sun Blues”. It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the British rock group the Animals, was a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and also in the United States and Canada. The song has been described as the “first folk-rock hit”.

Where Did Our Love Go

“Where Did Our Love Go” is a 1964 song recorded by American music group the Supremes for the Motown label.

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, “Where Did Our Love Go” was the first single by the Supremes to go to the number-one position[1] on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the United States, a position it held for two weeks, from August 16 to August 29, 1964.[2][3] It was also the first of five Supremes songs in a row to reach number one (the others being “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, and “Back in My Arms Again”). The song also reached number one on the Cash Box R&B singles chart.[4]

The Supremes’ version is ranked #475 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2016 due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”[5][6]

Everybody Loves Somebody

“Everybody Loves Somebody” is a song written in 1947 by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor and pianist Ken Lane.

Although written almost twenty years earlier, by 1964 the song had already been recorded by several artists – including Frank Sinatra – but without much success. Lane was playing piano for Dean Martin on his Dream with Dean LP sessions, and with an hour or so of studio time left and one song short, Lane suggested that Martin take a run at his tune. Dean was agreeable, and the small combo of piano, guitar, drums and bass performed a relatively quiet, laid back version of the song. (Coincidentally, Martin had sung it almost 20 years earlier on Bob Hope’s radio show in 1948.)

Almost immediately Martin re-recorded the song for his next album, this time with a full orchestra and chorus. His label, Reprise Records, was so enthusiastic about the hit potential of this version they even titled the LP Everybody Loves Somebody to capitalize on it.

Although still a major recording artist, Martin had not had a Top 40 hit since 1958. With the British Invasion ruling the U.S. charts, few had hopes that an Italian crooner who had been singing mainly standards for almost 20 years would sway many teenagers. Martin resented rock n’ roll, and his attitude created conflict at home with his 14-year-old son Dean Paul Martin, who like many teenagers at the time worshipped pop groups like The Beatles. He told his son, “I’m gonna’ knock your pallies off the charts,”[1] and in August 15, 1964 he did just that: Everybody Loves Somebody knocked the Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” off the number one slot on Billboard, going straight up to the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and the “Easy Listening” chart, the latter for eight weeks.[2]

It ultimately replaced “That’s Amore” as Martin’s signature song, and he sang it as the theme of his weekly television variety show from 1965 until 1974. The song has become so identified with Martin that later versions are invariably compared to his take.

As an apt description of the power of the song in Martin’s life, the words “Everybody Loves Somebody” appear on his grave marker in Los Angeles.[3]

A Hard Day’s Night (song)

“A Hard Day’s Night” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon,[2] and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was released on the movie soundtrack of the same name in 1964. It was later released in the UK as a single, with “Things We Said Today” as its B-side.

The song featured prominently on the soundtrack to the Beatles’ first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night, and was on their album of the same name. The song topped the charts in both the United Kingdom and United States when it was released as a single. The American and British singles of “A Hard Day’s Night” as well as both the American and British albums of the same title all held the top position in their respective charts for a couple of weeks in August 1964, the first time any artist had accomplished this feat.[3]

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