Discussion:
The Number Ones: Ricky Nelson’s “Poor Little Fool”
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Bob Roman
2018-10-31 15:42:21 UTC
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We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.

Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks

Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.

“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.

The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.

GRADE: 3/10
Jim Colegrove
2018-10-31 17:50:00 UTC
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 08:42:21 -0700 (PDT), Bob Roman
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
GRADE: 3/10
As to his comment "The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than
rockabillly":

The chord changes in the song are far closer to doo-wop than polka (as
he notices in his final statement; "who lend doo-wop buoyancy). And I
guess that he never heard "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache" since
it is widely considered rockabilly and uses the very same chord
progression, at least the verses (no middle 8 in PLF). Bob Luman did a
version of "Red Cadillac...." Bob's former band members were later
hired by and recorded with Nelson. Maybe he never heard that either?
RWC
2018-11-04 03:12:27 UTC
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As to {TomBreihan's} comment "The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than
The chord changes in the song are far closer to doo-wop than polka (as
he notices in his final statement; "who lend doo-wop buoyancy). And I
guess that he never heard "Red Cadillac and a Black Moustache" since
it is widely considered rockabilly and uses the very same chord
progression, at least the verses (no middle 8 in PLF). Bob Luman did a
version of "Red Cadillac...." Bob's former band members were later
hired by and recorded with Nelson. Maybe he never heard that either?
In 1990-1991, Guitar Player magazine selected tracks, for a series of albums on
Rhino, that featured outstanding guitar playing.

one of these albums has Ricky Nelson's
"Waitin' In School" featuring Joe Maphis
"Believe What You Say" featuring James Burton

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Rock-The-50s-Vol-2/release/3312401
01 - Ricky Nelson - Waitin' In School (Joe Maphis) - 1957.mp3
02 - Billy Riley & His Little Green Men - Flying Saucers Rock & Roll (Roland
Janes) - 1957.mp3
03 - Icky Renrut - Prancing (Ike Turner) - 1959.mp3
04 - Mickey & Sylvia - Love Is Strange (Mickey Baker) - 1956.mp3
05 - Buddy Holly - Blue Days, Black Nights (Sonny Curtis) - 1956.mp3
06 - Scotty Moore Trio - Have Guitar Will Travel - 1958.mp3
07 - Rene Hall Orchestra Feat. Willie Joe - Twitchy (Willie Joe Duncan) -
1957.mp3
08 - Johnny Burnette Trio - The Train Kept A-Rollin' (Paul Burlison) - 1956.mp3
09 - Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps - Cruisin' (Cliff Gallup) - 1957.mp3
10 - Santo & Johnny - Sleep Walk (Santo & Johnny Farina) - 1959.mp3
11 - Bill Haley & The Comets - Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie (Frannie Beecher) -
1955.mp3
12 - Eddie Cochran - Am I Blue - 1957.mp3
13 - Chuck Berry - Carol - 1958.mp3
14 - Duane Eddy - Three-30-Blues - 1958.mp3
15 - Fireballs, The - Fireball (George Tomsco & Dan Trammell) - 1958.mp3
16 - Ricky Nelson - Believe What You Say (James Burton) - 1958.mp3
17 - The Collins Kids - Just Because (Larry Collins) - 1958.mp3
18 - Ritchie Valens - Fast Freight - 1959.mp3

FYI other albums in the Legends Of Guitar series (the first two are samplers):

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Magazine-Presents-The-Legends-Of-Guitar-Vol-1-Sampler-1/release/4810183

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Magazine-Presents-The-Legends-Of-Guitar-Sampler-No-2/release/2458862

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Rock-The-50s-Vol-One/release/862519

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Rock-The-60s-Vol-One/release/6411766

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Rock-The-60s-Vol-2/release/8705309

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-The-70s-Vol-1/release/3312444
no Vol 2

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Surf-Vol-1/release/655763
no vol 2

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Country-Vol-1/release/8187427

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Country-Vol-2/release/1095500

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Electric-Blues-Vol-1/release/843979

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Electric-Blues-Vol-2/release/8705287

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Jazz-Vol1/release/2511975

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Guitar-Player-Presents-Legends-Of-Guitar-Jazz-Vol-2/release/11956816

https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Legends-Of-Guitar-Classical/release/9085194


Geoff
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-10-31 16:53:04 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
GRADE: 3/10
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."

Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?

Ray Arthur
Jim Colegrove
2018-10-31 23:39:54 UTC
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Post by t***@iwvisp.com
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
GRADE: 3/10
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."
Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
A good observation, Ray. I don't know what is considered his best but
I always liked the ones with a hot guitar solo best. In 1958 I was
playing guitar in my first band. PLF was quite popular and we leaned
to do it as best we could. But the flip side had the best guitar solo
on it and it was acoustic. "Don't Leave Me This Way" was amazing to a
raw kid of 17 that thought it was impossible to play that good.
Iain Wilkie Logan
2018-11-03 16:32:45 UTC
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[snip]
Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."
Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome
Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
A good observation, Ray. I don't know what is considered his best but
I always liked the ones with a hot guitar solo best. In 1958 I was
playing guitar in my first band. PLF was quite popular and we leaned
to do it as best we could. But the flip side had the best guitar solo
on it and it was acoustic. "Don't Leave Me This Way" was amazing to a
raw kid of 17 that thought it was impossible to play that good.
(Jim Colegrove)
That was the amazing James Burton, who turned up on a rebroadcast of
'Rock'n'Roll America' recently, 27th October, on BBC4!

All the best,

Iain

(I'm a regular lurker here tho' I don't often post. I remember the summer of
'58 as a ten-year old - we were in Ada, Minn. and PLF and 'Little Star' were
played to death over the PA at the local swimming pool)

Best wishes to y'all!
--
Iain Logan, Langholm, Dumfriesshire
Main Email : <***@logan.co.uk>
Mobile Email: <***@gmail.com>
Jim Colegrove
2018-11-05 20:27:50 UTC
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On Sat, 3 Nov 2018 16:32:45 +0000, Iain Wilkie Logan
Post by Iain Wilkie Logan
[snip]
Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."
Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome
Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
A good observation, Ray. I don't know what is considered his best but
I always liked the ones with a hot guitar solo best. In 1958 I was
playing guitar in my first band. PLF was quite popular and we leaned
to do it as best we could. But the flip side had the best guitar solo
on it and it was acoustic. "Don't Leave Me This Way" was amazing to a
raw kid of 17 that thought it was impossible to play that good.
(Jim Colegrove)
That was the amazing James Burton, who turned up on a rebroadcast of
'Rock'n'Roll America' recently, 27th October, on BBC4!
All the best,
Iain
(I'm a regular lurker here tho' I don't often post. I remember the summer of
'58 as a ten-year old - we were in Ada, Minn. and PLF and 'Little Star' were
played to death over the PA at the local swimming pool)
Best wishes to y'all!
While I didn't mention his name (most of the veterans here know that
it was James Burton), I did mention the Bob Luman band that he played
with along with James Kirkland and Butch White. Before Luman he was in
Tommy Cassel's band when he was only 15. Tommy's big record was "Go
Ahead On." I met him when he came out to the Zoo Bar in Lincoln,
Nebraska when my band was playing there in September 1987. He came out
after his gig at Farm Aid in the Hot Band with Emmy Lou Harris and
hung out with us backstage all night.
Roger Ford
2018-11-06 08:57:49 UTC
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On Sat, 3 Nov 2018 16:32:45 +0000, Iain Wilkie Logan
Post by Iain Wilkie Logan
[snip]
Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."
Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome
Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
A good observation, Ray. I don't know what is considered his best but
I always liked the ones with a hot guitar solo best. In 1958 I was
playing guitar in my first band. PLF was quite popular and we leaned
to do it as best we could. But the flip side had the best guitar solo
on it and it was acoustic. "Don't Leave Me This Way" was amazing to a
raw kid of 17 that thought it was impossible to play that good.
(Jim Colegrove)
That was the amazing James Burton, who turned up on a rebroadcast of
'Rock'n'Roll America' recently, 27th October, on BBC4!
Yeah, I saw that too. Pretty good series. It's archived on this BBC
site but I'm not sure our colonial friends across the pond will be
able to access them

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02vxctk

Good to see you back Iain!

Had much snow up where you are yet? :)

ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
Will Dockery
2018-11-07 18:17:42 UTC
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[snip]
Post by Jim Colegrove
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"...even though selling heartbreak was one of the things at which Nelson was great."
Interesting read. Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome
Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
A good observation, Ray. I don't know what is considered his best but
I always liked the ones with a hot guitar solo best. In 1958 I was
playing guitar in my first band. PLF was quite popular and we leaned
to do it as best we could. But the flip side had the best guitar solo
on it and it was acoustic. "Don't Leave Me This Way" was amazing to a
raw kid of 17 that thought it was impossible to play that good.
(Jim Colegrove)
That was the amazing James Burton, who turned up on a rebroadcast of
'Rock'n'Roll America' recently, 27th October, on BBC4!

All the best,

Iain

(I'm a regular lurker here tho' I don't often post. I remember the summer of
'58 as a ten-year old - we were in Ada, Minn. and PLF and 'Little Star' were
played to death over the PA at the local swimming pool)

Best wishes to y'all!
--
Iain Logan, Langholm, Dumfriesshire
Main Email : <***@logan.co.uk>
Mobile Email: <***@gmail.com>

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Completely different era, of course, but yesterday I came across and bought
the "Garden Party" and "Windfall" CDs, great stuff from latter day Nelson.
SavoyBG
2018-10-31 23:52:22 UTC
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Post by t***@iwvisp.com
Sounds like he really wanted to write about "Lonesome Town." Is that generally considered Nelson's best?
Ray Arthur
Maybe by this asshole. It is in no way his most "iconic song" as this idiot says.
Steve Mc
2018-10-31 17:24:42 UTC
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Permalink
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
GRADE: 3/10
Good idea.

I've always kinda liked Poor Little Fool. I would pout it in the
pleasant category.


But perhaps my favorite Ricky's are:






--
Steve Mc

DNA to SBC to respond
Mark Dintenfass
2018-10-31 18:31:55 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles
from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in
order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot
younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought
that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson ­ ³Poor Little Fool²
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would¹ve been a teen idol even if rock Œn¹ roll had never
happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his
real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom
radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his
own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the
right place at the right time to catch in on the rock Œn¹ roll explosion,
something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few
great singles.
³Poor Little Fool,² which happened to be the biggest song in the country when
Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn¹t one
of those singles. It wasn¹t Nelson¹s best or most iconic song; that would be
the timeless pocket melodrama ³Lonesome Town.² But the fascinating and
frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only
rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson¹s first #1 ‹ and Billboard¹s ‹ was
this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a
heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley
wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers,
and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming
that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less
interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid
plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson¹s voice, usually so
empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his
own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson
was great at. (Seriously: ³Lonesome Town.²) The song¹s saving grace is its
backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at
Nelson and his situation.
If you start criticizing 50s hits on the grounds that they are not
emotionally devastating (or "emo" as they say nowadays), you can find
hundreds of examples. PLF is a good song that sounded perfectly fine on
50s radio, and a whole lot better than most of the "teen idol"
competition because Nelson had much better help in the studio and
actually could sing. Far from his best, of course, but then so is
"Lonesome Town." I don't have a real favorite Nelson recording, but he
had a nice run of B-plusses.
--
--md
_________
Remove xx's from address to reply
Roger Ford
2018-10-31 19:11:13 UTC
Reply
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On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 13:31:55 -0500, Mark Dintenfass
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles
from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in
order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot
younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought
that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson ­ ³Poor Little Fool²
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would¹ve been a teen idol even if rock Œn¹ roll had never
happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his
real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom
radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his
own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the
right place at the right time to catch in on the rock Œn¹ roll explosion,
something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few
great singles.
³Poor Little Fool,² which happened to be the biggest song in the country when
Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn¹t one
of those singles. It wasn¹t Nelson¹s best or most iconic song; that would be
the timeless pocket melodrama ³Lonesome Town.² But the fascinating and
frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only
rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson¹s first #1 ‹ and Billboard¹s ‹ was
this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a
heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley
wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers,
and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming
that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less
interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid
plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson¹s voice, usually so
empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his
own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson
was great at. (Seriously: ³Lonesome Town.²) The song¹s saving grace is its
backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at
Nelson and his situation.
If you start criticizing 50s hits on the grounds that they are not
emotionally devastating (or "emo" as they say nowadays), you can find
hundreds of examples. PLF is a good song that sounded perfectly fine on
50s radio, and a whole lot better than most of the "teen idol"
competition because Nelson had much better help in the studio and
actually could sing. Far from his best, of course, but then so is
"Lonesome Town." I don't have a real favorite Nelson recording, but he
had a nice run of B-plusses.
I pretty much agree with Mark here. "Poor Little Fool" whilst not his
best still rates a 6 for me. My favorite single by him from the 50's
would be the rockin' "Believe What You Say" with "Shirley Lee" up
there as his best 50's LP track (definitely on a par with the Bobby
Lee Trammell original).

In the 60's he has the excellent Gene Pitney-penned "Hello Mary Lou"
(the MUCH better flip of the trite US #1 "Travelin' Man) and in the
70's one of the best things he ever did was the semi-biographical
"Garden Party" that returned him to the charts on both sides of the
pond



ROGER FORD
-----------------------

"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
an extra "m" in my e-mail address (***@mmail.com).
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
t***@iwvisp.com
2018-10-31 21:00:07 UTC
Reply
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Post by Roger Ford
On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 13:31:55 -0500, Mark Dintenfass
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles
from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in
order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot
younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought
that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson ­ łPoor Little Fool˛
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson wouldąve been a teen idol even if rock Śną roll had never
happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his
real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom
radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his
own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the
right place at the right time to catch in on the rock Śną roll explosion,
something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few
great singles.
łPoor Little Fool,˛ which happened to be the biggest song in the country when
Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasnąt one
of those singles. It wasnąt Nelsonąs best or most iconic song; that would be
the timeless pocket melodrama łLonesome Town.˛ But the fascinating and
frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only
rarely reach those heights. And so Nelsonąs first #1 ‹ and Billboardąs ‹ was
this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a
heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley
wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers,
and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming
that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less
interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid
plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelsonąs voice, usually so
empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his
own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson
was great at. (Seriously: łLonesome Town.˛) The songąs saving grace is its
backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at
Nelson and his situation.
If you start criticizing 50s hits on the grounds that they are not
emotionally devastating (or "emo" as they say nowadays), you can find
hundreds of examples. PLF is a good song that sounded perfectly fine on
50s radio, and a whole lot better than most of the "teen idol"
competition because Nelson had much better help in the studio and
actually could sing. Far from his best, of course, but then so is
"Lonesome Town." I don't have a real favorite Nelson recording, but he
had a nice run of B-plusses.
I pretty much agree with Mark here. "Poor Little Fool" whilst not his
best still rates a 6 for me. My favorite single by him from the 50's
would be the rockin' "Believe What You Say" with "Shirley Lee" up
there as his best 50's LP track (definitely on a par with the Bobby
Lee Trammell original).
In the 60's he has the excellent Gene Pitney-penned "Hello Mary Lou"
(the MUCH better flip of the trite US #1 "Travelin' Man) and in the
70's one of the best things he ever did was the semi-biographical
"Garden Party" that returned him to the charts on both sides of the
pond
ROGER FORD
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly Brothers without having to send them a check!

Ray
Mr. M
2018-10-31 22:11:13 UTC
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Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly Brothers without having to send them a check!
Ray
He did a great version of She Belongs To Me in 1970

Mr. M
SavoyBG
2018-10-31 23:51:10 UTC
Reply
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Post by Mr. M
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly Brothers without having to send them a check!
Ray
He did a great version of She Belongs To Me in 1970
Mr. M
Figures you come up with a dumb comment about a song from outside of our era. And you can't even get the year right, it's 1969.
Mark Dintenfass
2018-10-31 23:55:15 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Mr. M
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly
Brothers without having to send them a check!
Ray
He did a great version of She Belongs To Me in 1970
Mr. M
Figures you come up with a dumb comment about a song from outside of our era.
And you can't even get the year right, it's 1969.
Roger mentioned "Garden Party" (a song I also think it one of Nelson's
very best) and you gave him a pass. Or did you think the lyric
somehow made it relevant to the 50s? Oh, wait, you don't listen to
lyrics. :)
--
--md
_________
Remove xx's from address to reply
SavoyBG
2018-10-31 23:59:28 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Mr. M
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly
Brothers without having to send them a check!
Ray
He did a great version of She Belongs To Me in 1970
Mr. M
Figures you come up with a dumb comment about a song from outside of our era.
And you can't even get the year right, it's 1969.
Roger mentioned "Garden Party" (a song I also think it one of Nelson's
very best) and you gave him a pass. Or did you think the lyric
somehow made it relevant to the 50s? Oh, wait, you don't listen to
lyrics. :)
I stopped reading Roger's post before I got there, but he WOULD get a pass anyway. He's the best contributor here ever. Mr. M has never once made a post of interest in this group or any other group.
Mr. M
2018-11-01 00:59:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 18:55:15 -0500, Mark Dintenfass
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by SavoyBG
Post by Mr. M
Post by t***@iwvisp.com
"Hello Mary Lou" is great and about as close as you can get to the Everly
Brothers without having to send them a check!
Ray
He did a great version of She Belongs To Me in 1970
Mr. M
Figures you come up with a dumb comment about a song from outside of our era.
And you can't even get the year right, it's 1969.
Roger mentioned "Garden Party" (a song I also think it one of Nelson's
very best) and you gave him a pass. Or did you think the lyric
somehow made it relevant to the 50s? Oh, wait, you don't listen to
lyrics. :)
it's a waste of time to read some people's responese. I usually don't
even bother.

Mr. M
SavoyBG
2018-10-31 23:56:09 UTC
Reply
Permalink
My favorite single by him from the 50's would be the rockin' "Believe What You Say"
I prefer the LP version with the Jordanaires.
KS Ulrich
2018-11-02 16:10:57 UTC
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Permalink
I love Summertime from Ricky Nelson, it's a wonderful rockbeat song :-)

Karl
Post by Roger Ford
On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 13:31:55 -0500, Mark Dintenfass
Post by Mark Dintenfass
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles
from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in
order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot
younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought
that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson ­ ³Poor Little Fool²
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would¹ve been a teen idol even if rock On¹ roll had never
happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his
real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom
radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his
own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the
right place at the right time to catch in on the rock On¹ roll explosion,
something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few
great singles.
³Poor Little Fool,² which happened to be the biggest song in the country when
Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn¹t one
of those singles. It wasn¹t Nelson¹s best or most iconic song; that would be
the timeless pocket melodrama ³Lonesome Town.² But the fascinating and
frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only
rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson¹s first #1 < and Billboard¹s < was
this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a
heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley
wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers,
and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming
that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less
interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid
plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson¹s voice, usually so
empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his
own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson
was great at. (Seriously: ³Lonesome Town.²) The song¹s saving grace is its
backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at
Nelson and his situation.
If you start criticizing 50s hits on the grounds that they are not
emotionally devastating (or "emo" as they say nowadays), you can find
hundreds of examples. PLF is a good song that sounded perfectly fine on
50s radio, and a whole lot better than most of the "teen idol"
competition because Nelson had much better help in the studio and
actually could sing. Far from his best, of course, but then so is
"Lonesome Town." I don't have a real favorite Nelson recording, but he
had a nice run of B-plusses.
I pretty much agree with Mark here. "Poor Little Fool" whilst not his
best still rates a 6 for me. My favorite single by him from the 50's
would be the rockin' "Believe What You Say" with "Shirley Lee" up
there as his best 50's LP track (definitely on a par with the Bobby
Lee Trammell original).
In the 60's he has the excellent Gene Pitney-penned "Hello Mary Lou"
(the MUCH better flip of the trite US #1 "Travelin' Man) and in the
70's one of the best things he ever did was the semi-biographical
"Garden Party" that returned him to the charts on both sides of the
pond
ROGER FORD
-----------------------
"Spam Free Zone" - to combat unwanted automatic spamming I have added
Please delete same before responding.Thank you!
SavoyBG
2018-10-31 23:55:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Post by Bob Roman
We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service of a few great singles.
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’s — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers, and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
GRADE: 3/10
Anybody who gives this a 3 is a total asshole.

My top songs by Ricky:

1. Poor Little Fool
2. Be-Bop Baby
3. Stood Up
4. It's Late
5. Believe What You Say (LP Version)
6. Lonesome Town
7. Travelin' Man
8. I'm Walkin'
9. Hello Mary Lou
10. Never Be Anyone Else But You
11. Waitin' In School
12. I'm In Love Again
13. My Rifle, My Pony And Me (Dean Martin)
14. A Long Vacation
15. Garden Party
16. If You Can't Rock Me
17. You Tear Me Up
18. Just A Little Too Much
19. I Got A Feeling
20. Shirley Lee
21. My Bucket's Got A Hole In It
22. Boppin' The Blues
23. Summertime
24. Baby, You Don't Know
25. Young World
Dean F.
2018-11-01 01:20:12 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson
Nelson was born in 1940, not 1936.
Ken Whiton
2018-11-01 07:29:47 UTC
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*-* On Wed, 31 Oct 2018, at 18:20:12 -0700 (PDT),
*-* In Article <81738f8f-f4ba-4673-bd8f-***@googlegroups.com>,
*-* Dean F. wrote
*-* About Re: The Number Ones: Ricky Nelson’s "Poor Little Fool"
Post by Dean F.
Post by Bob Roman
In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson
Nelson was born in 1940, not 1936.
Ricky's brother David was born in 1936, however, so it appears
that either the writer Bob was quoting or that writer's source(s) got
the two brothers mixed up. Sloppy research.

Ken Whiton
--
FIDO: 1:132/152
InterNet: ***@surfglobal.net.INVAL (remove the obvious to reply)
RWC
2018-11-03 01:34:23 UTC
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Post by Bob Roman
I thought I would post articles from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan.
He has been reviewing, in order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100.
I thought that they might be good conversation starters.
Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened.
As it happened, he was in exactly the right place at the right time to catch in on
the rock ‘n’ roll explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness
in service of a few great singles.
Agree
Post by Bob Roman
“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country when Billboard
consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t one of those singles.
Disagree
Post by Bob Roman
It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that would be the timeless pocket melodrama
“Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the
best, most iconic songs only rarely reach those heights
And so Nelson’s first #1 - and Billboard’s - was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree
devil eyes and a heart full of lies.
How can a classic 50s rock ballad, #1 on BB, be "negligible"?
Post by Bob Roman
The rhythm is a staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice,
usually so empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine.
All wrong, in my opinion; the reviewer lacks empathy with the feelings that come
across to many folk I'm sure from the performance.
Post by Bob Roman
He never bothers to sell his own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak
was one of the things Nelson was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”)
The song’s saving grace is its backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy
I hear light harmony, rather than doo-wop; the latter is usually more
'extravagant' in nature. All components of this record work nicely to together
to create a consistent, unified, pleasant, and suitably moody enough,
atmosphere. In other words, imo, it has a very competent, inspired even,
arrangement.
Post by Bob Roman
and seem to politely laugh at Nelson and his situation.
An overly imaginative and misleading interpretation, imo.

Anyway, I enjoy the following lesser known recording, also from 1958, nearly as
much as “Poor Little Fool”. I mention it here because the vocalist is, like
Ricky, a fresh voiced white male born in 1940 (March 21, in New York) - James
'Wes'ley Voight (aka Chip Taylor, son of a golf pro, and brother of actor Jon
Voight)
http://www.rockabilly.nl/references/messages/wes_voight_chip_taylor.htm

www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Wes_Voight_Town_Three%Midnight_Blues
http://www.45cat.com/record/6176 [De Luxe 6176] Oct 1958

and here's another '58 mid-tempo rockin' ballad from Wes
www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Wes_Voight%I_Want_A_Lover
http://www.45cat.com/record/456180 [De Luxe 6180] Dec 1958


Geoff
d***@gmail.com
2018-11-08 17:25:49 UTC
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Permalink
Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never happened.

Afraid not. Without rock and roll,Nelson like most all child "tv stars," would have faded away into obscurity.
Will Dockery
2018-11-09 04:27:41 UTC
Reply
Permalink
"Bob Roman" wrote in message news:ae15195f-5a52-4780-8adb-***@googlegroups.com...

We seem pretty desperate for conversation so I thought I would post articles
from this series, by a writer named Tom Breihan. He has been reviewing, in
order, every song to hit #1 in the Billboard Hot 100. He seems to be a lot
younger than any of us, so he will have a different perspective. I thought
that they might be good conversation starters. I'll stop if no one responds.

Ricky Nelson – “Poor Little Fool”
HIT #1: August 4, 1958
STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks

Ricky Nelson would’ve been a teen idol even if rock ‘n’ roll had never
happened. In 1944, an eight-year-old Nelson started starring alongside his
real-life parents on The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, the proto-sitcom
radio show. When the show made the leap to TV, so did Nelson, and it was his
own good luck that he was a looker. And as it happened, he was in exactly
the right place at the right time to catch in on the rock ‘n’ roll
explosion, something he did by putting his puppy-dog soulfulness in service
of a few great singles.

“Poor Little Fool,” which happened to be the biggest song in the country
when Billboard consolidated its singles lists into the Hot 100 format, wasn’t
one of those singles. It wasn’t Nelson’s best or most iconic song; that
would be the timeless pocket melodrama “Lonesome Town.” But the fascinating
and frustrating thing about the #1 spot is that the best, most iconic songs
only rarely reach those heights. And so Nelson’s first #1 — and Billboard’ — was this negligible midtempo bopper about a girl with carefree devil eyes and a heart full of lies.

The song has a fun backstory. Legend has it that 15-year-old Sharon Sheeley
wrote the song after reeling from a breakup with one of the Everly Brothers,
and she convinced Nelson to record it after driving to his house and
claiming that her car was broken down. But the song itself is a whole lot
less interesting than the drama that led to its creation. The rhythm is a
staid plonk, closer to polka than rockabilly, and Nelson’s voice, usually so
empathetic, is more of an ingratiating whine. He never bothers to sell his
own heartbreak, even though selling heartbreak was one of the things Nelson
was great at. (Seriously: “Lonesome Town.”) The song’s saving grace is its
backing singers, who lend doo-wop buoyancy and seem to politely laugh at
Nelson and his situation.

GRADE: 3/10

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Cool back story, I saw the Everly Brothers live in concert at a small town
county fair back around 1969.

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