Good Luck Charm By Elvis Presley

August 6, 2014

 

When Elvis Presley’s “Good Luck Charm” reached number one on the Billboard Magazine pop Singles Chart, it was the seventh consecutive year he had a single reach the top of the charts, which was a record at the time. The Beatles would equal it, 1964-1970.

By 1962, Elvis had reached a transition point in his career. His military service was in the past and now he was concentrating on films. His music was moving from rock ‘n’ roll to more of a pop sound that would increasingly appear on his movie soundtracks.

Elvis entered the RCA Nashville recording studio, October 15-16, under the direction of co-producers Steve Sholes and Chet Atkins. Some of the musicians present were guitarists Jerry Kennedy & Scotty Moore, bassist Bob Moore, pianist Floyd Cramer, drummer D.J. Fontana, and sax player Boots Randolph.

“Good Luck Charm” was a mix of rock and pop that, despite all the backing musicians, kept the main focus upon Elvis’ voice. It was a simple story type song that dominated the pre-Beatles era. It was a mid-tempo tune that bubbled along and was perfect for radio play at the time as it just stayed in your mind. Background vocals were by the Jordanaires and female singer Millie Kirkham. Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires provided the duet vocals.

The song Elvis replaced was “Johnny Angel” by Shelley Fabares of the Donna Reed Show fame. She would later co-star in three movies with him. The song would also signal a downturn in Elvis’ career. While he would continue to have hit songs, he would not have another chart topper for seven years when “Suspicious Minds” reached number one during 1969.

“Good Luck Charm” may not be Elvis’ most memorable or best single release but it was very good in its own right. Over one million Elvis fans thought it good enough to purchase the seven inch 45 back in 1962, which enabled it to become the number one song in the United States on April 21, 1962 for two weeks.


Why by Frankie Avalon

May 4, 2014

 

The last number one single of the 1950’s also had the shortest title of the decade when “Why” by Frankie Avalon topped the BILLBOARD Hot 100 for the week of December 28th.

It was Avalon’s second number one hit of the year following “Venus.” While he would continue to have releases make the charts in the early 1960’s, he would never again reach the top 20.

He would begin to branch out into films. While he would appear in such movies as The Alamo, Guns Of The Timberland, The Carpetbaggers, and Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea; it was his series of Beach Party films with Annette Funicello that brought him fame.

Frankie Avalon ended the 1950’s in style. He  had seven top ten hits during the 1950’s and is still on the road performing over 50 years later.


Poor Little Fool by Ricky Nelson

December 23, 2013

 

Ricky Nelson placed 54 songs on the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Singles Charts but only two made it to number one. The first of the two became the first single to top the newly created BILLBOARD Hot 100 Chart.

Billboard had just discontinued their Most Played By DJ’s Chart leaving only their Top 100 and Best Sellers In Stores Chart. The Top 100 became the Hot 100, which would be their major pop singles chart for decades. “Poor Little Fool” became the initial number one song on the Hot 100, August 4, 1958, and it remained in that position for two weeks. It also topped the Best Sellers In Stores Chart for the same two weeks.

Ricky Nelson had a big advantage over most other recording artists of the 1950s as he was able to sing his songs at the end of the popular OZZIE AND HARRIET television, which had made him a star and one of the original teen idols. He came into millions of homes via television each week, which enabled him to sell tens of millions of albums and singles during the late 1950s and early 1960s.