Bobby Lewis was raised in an orphanage, where he learned to play the piano at 5 years old. He was adopted when he was 12, and moved to Detroit, Michigan. Lewis began performing in the 1950s and appeared at the Apollo Theatre in New York City in 1960.
After a series of unsuccessful auditions, Bobby Lewis visited Beltone Records in Manhattan. Ritchie Adams, lead singer of the Fireflies, was working there as a songwriter, and recognized Lewis from the Apollo Theatre, as Adams had performed there the very same night Lewis had. He suggested Lewis record "Tossin' And Turnin'," a song he had written with Malou Rene.
On the original hit single version, the track begins with Lewis singing "I couldn't sleep at all last night," and it appears this way on most oldies compilations. However, on some releases the song has a prelude, where Lewis sings "Baby...Baby...you did something to me," followed by a musical cue into the first verse.
Chart position: #1 (US).
It sold over 3 million copies, and was Billboard's Hot 100 #1 single of the year.
It was #1 in the US for 7 weeks in July and August 1961. It was preceded by "Quarter to Three" (Gary U.S. Bonds) and succeeded by "Wooden Heart" (Joe Dowell).
It was #1 on the R&B chart for 10 weeks in a row.
The Top Ten Songs: July 31, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
- "Tossin' And Turnin'" (Bobby Lewis)
- "I Like It Like That" (Chris Kenner)
- "Boll Weevil Song" (Brook Benton)
- "Dum Dum" (Brenda Lee)
- "Hats Off To Larry" (Del Shannon)
- "Quarter To Three" (Gary U.S. Bonds)
- "Last Night" (Mar-Keys)
- "Together" (Connie Francis)
- "Let's Twist Again" (Chubby Checker)
- "Yellow Bird" (Arthur Lyman)
Written by: Ritchie Adams and Malou Rene.
Ritchie Adams is credited as co-writer of the theme for the 1960s television show The Banana Splits ("The Tra-La-La Song".)
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