Discussion:
The Number Ones: Bobby Lewis's "Tossin' and Turnin'"
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Bob Roman
2018-12-23 19:29:06 UTC
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Bobby Lewis – “Tossin’ And Turnin'”
HIT #1: July 10, 1961
STAYED AT #1: 7 weeks

The biggest hit of 1961 is about being in a state of such romantic desperation that you can’t even sleep: “I kicked the blankets on the floor / Turned my pillow upside-down.” But “Tossin’ And Turnin'” doesn’t sound stressed or sad or sleep-deprived. Instead, it’s jubilant: a frantic and half-drunk hard-R&B pound with one of the most deliriously fun saxophone solos of an era that wasn’t exactly short on deliriously fun saxophone solos.

Bobby Lewis, an R&B singer with roots in both Indianapolis and Detroit, didn’t become a star on the back of “Tossin’ And Turnin’,” a song that Fireflies frontman Ritchie Adams wrote with Jackie Wilson in mind. Lewis only had one more hit after “Tossin’ And Turnin’,” which is a hell of a statement about the mercilessness of the music business. But with “Tossin’ And Turnin’,” Lewis left a mark, gifting the world with history’s greatest insomnia-themed party anthem.

GRADE: 7/10
Roger Ford
2018-12-23 20:55:16 UTC
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On Sun, 23 Dec 2018 11:29:06 -0800 (PST), Bob Roman
Bobby Lewis =E2=80=93 =E2=80=9CTossin=E2=80=99 And Turnin'=E2=80=9D
HIT #1: July 10, 1961
STAYED AT #1: 7 weeks
The biggest hit of 1961 is about being in a state of such romantic desperat=
ion that you can=E2=80=99t even sleep: =E2=80=9CI kicked the blankets on th=
e floor / Turned my pillow upside-down.=E2=80=9D But =E2=80=9CTossin=E2=80=
=99 And Turnin'=E2=80=9D doesn=E2=80=99t sound stressed or sad or sleep-dep=
rived. Instead, it=E2=80=99s jubilant: a frantic and half-drunk hard-R&B po=
und with one of the most deliriously fun saxophone solos of an era that was=
n=E2=80=99t exactly short on deliriously fun saxophone solos.
Bobby Lewis, an R&B singer with roots in both Indianapolis and Detroit, did=
n=E2=80=99t become a star on the back of =E2=80=9CTossin=E2=80=99 And Turni=
n=E2=80=99,=E2=80=9D a song that Fireflies frontman Ritchie Adams wrote wit=
h Jackie Wilson in mind.
Not a word about Bobby's recording career BEFORE "Tossin' And Turnin"
that began with the fine "Mumbles Blues" on Chess in 1952 (don't think
this was actually recorded for Chess though it appeared on the label.
It was recorded in NYC and if anyone knows who Lewis recorded this
with I'd appreciate knowing!). Bobby revisited "Mumbles Blues" in a
re-recording for Spotlight in 1956 (subsequently leased to Mercury).
There was another Mercury record ("Yay! Yay! I Feel So Gay") then a
solitary effort for Roulette in 1959 before his huge 1961 #1 for
Beltone in NYC.
Lewis only had one more hit after =E2=80=9CTossin=E2=80=99 And Turnin=
E2=80=99,=E2=80=9D which is a hell of a statement about the mercilessness
of the music business.
Not so,his followup "One Track Mind" was a #9 hit but he also had
minor BB Hot Hundred hits with "What A Walk" and "I'm Tossin' And
Turnin' Again"
But with =E2=80=9CTossin=E2=80=
=99 And Turnin=E2=80=99,=E2=80=9D Lewis left a mark, gifting the world with=
history=E2=80=99s greatest insomnia-themed party anthem.
Breihan is right about this being the BIGGEST US #1 hit of 1961 on the
Billboard Chart which incredibly failed to chart at all over on these
shores (where it appeared on the pre-Beatles Parlophone label)
GRADE: 7/10
I rate it an 8

Here's how it did in the 1961 Singles Battle

R1
9 Jerry Butler - Find Another Girl - Vee Jay 375
18 Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin' - Beltone 1002
R2
5 The Marcels - Goodbye To Love - Colpix 186
24 Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin' - Beltone 1002
R3
15 Howlin' Wolf - The Red Rooster - Chess 1804
15 Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin' - Beltone 1002
Here's that other draw....Wolf's previous tally was 22 (#1)
and 16 (#2) = 38. But Lewis racked up 18 (#1) and 24 (#2)
= 42.
WINNER : LEWIS
R4
16 The Drifters - Please Stay - Atlantic 2105
15 Bobby Lewis - Tossin' And Turnin' - Beltone 1002
ROGER FORD
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Roger Ford
2018-12-23 21:08:00 UTC
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OMG the next in this series is the VERY worst #1 of 1961

Muss I denn krank sein!!!

ROGER FORD
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t***@iwvisp.com
2018-12-23 21:55:19 UTC
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And, at 85...

Has Bobby Lewis been working on a new album? While representatives are keeping tight-lipped, reports have been circulating on the Internet. There have been strong rumors that the singer is finally returning to the recording studio working on a what might be a back-to-roots album.

According to a source, rumors of Bobby Lewis working in recording studio are true, with as many as eight songs having been put to tape. “It’s still in the early stages,” “He’s got security on the doors to ensure no-one hears a whisper,” a source said.

Bobby Lewis is rumoured to be planning a worldwide tour at the end of 2019. When contacted, a representative had no information on a new album, or any of the singer’s future plans. This isn’t the first time in recent memory reports have surfaced about Bobby Lewis recording sessions. Fans will be anxiously awaiting...

RayArthur
Dean F.
2018-12-24 08:53:27 UTC
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In this case, I really can't disagree with anything Breihan wrote--except that, like Roger, I'd give it an 8 rather than a 7.
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