Blue Moon (1961)

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The Marcels.

The Marcels were formed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania by Richard F. Knauss, Fred Johnson, Gene J. Bricker, Ron Mundy, and lead vocalist Cornelius Harp. They named themselves after the hairstyle then worn by Harp.

The group recorded several covers for demo tapes in New York, a last minute addition being "Blue Moon." They took the doo-wop arrangement (including the opening bass singing) from "Zoom" by The Cadillacs. It was recorded in two takes.

Many purists were shocked, including composer Richard Rogers, who hated it so much that he submitted full-page advertisements urging people not to buy it.

The Marcels' "Blue Moon" is featured in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Chart position: #1 (US), #1 (US R&B), #1 (UK).

It was #1 in the US for three weeks in April 1961. It was preceded at #1 by "Surrender" (Elvis Presley) and succeeded by "Runaway" (Del Shannon).

The Top Ten Songs: April 17, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Blue Moon" (Marcels)
  2. "Runaway" (Del Shannon)
  3. "Mother-In-Law" (Ernie K. Doe)
  4. "On The Rebound" (Floyd Cramer)
  5. "But I Do" (Clarence "Frogman" Henry)
  6. "Apache" (Jorgen Ingmann)
  7. "Dedicated To The One I Love" (Shirelles)
  8. "Asia Minor" (Kokomo)
  9. "One Hundred Pounds Of Clay" (Gene McDaniels)
  10. "Surrender" (Elvis Presley)

Written by:
Richard Rodgers (born June 28, 1902, died December 30, 1979) and lyricist Lorenz Hart (born May 2, 1895, died November 22, 1943.)

Rodgers and Hart also wrote such songs as "Isn't It Romantic?," "My Romance", "My Funny Valentine", "The Lady Is A Tramp", "With a Song in My Heart", "Bewitched, Bothered And Bewildered", and "I Could Write A Book".

Rodgers and Hart originally wrote the song as "Prayer (Oh Lord, Make Me a Movie Star)" for actress Jean Harlow to sing in the 1934 MGM film Hollywood Party, but it was never used.

Hart kept revising the tune with new lyrics, such as "It's Just That Kind Of Play" and "The Bad In Every Man", but neither became hits.

Jack Robbins, the head of MGM's publishing company, told Hart that the song needed a punchier title and more romantic lyrics. Hart was at first reluctant to write yet another lyric, but the ultimate result was: "Blue moon/you saw me standing alone/without a dream in my heart/without a love of my own."

It was based on the idiom "once in a blue moon," which refers to something that almost never happens.

Also by: Too many to mention! A small selection of artists includes Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, and Django Reinhardt.

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