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By: Ricky Nelson (born Eric Hilliard Nelson May 8, 1940, died in a plane crash December 31, 1985).
Ricky Nelson was one of America's first "teen idols". He was the youngest son of Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard Nelson. With brother David Nelson, the family starred in the long-running radio and TV series The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet for a combined 22 years on the air (though on the first five years of the radio show, the sons were played by actors.)
From 1957 to 1962, Ricky had 30 top 40 hits, more than any other artist at the time, save Elvis Presley (53) and Pat Boone (38).
In 1987 Ricky Nelson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The guitar solo was performed by James Burton (born August 21, 1939 in Minden, Louisiana.)
At 14 years old, James Burton was hired as part the staff band for the Louisiana Hayride radio show in Shreveport. Burton later joined Ricky Nelson and played lead guitar for most of his major hits between 1958 and 1965.
In 1965 Bob Dylan wanted to hire Burton for his first "electric" touring band, but Burton was under contract to the television program Shindig!.
Chart position: #9 (US), #2 (UK).
It spent 14 weeks at #1 in Norway.
The Top Ten Songs: May 22, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
- "Mother-in-Law" (Ernie K-Doe)
- "Runaway" (Del Shannon)
- "Daddy's Home" (Shep and the Limelites)
- "One Hundred Pounds of Clay" (Gene McDaniels)
- "Travelin' Man" (Ricky Nelson)
- "Mama Said" (Shirelles)
- "Running Scared" (Roy Orbison)
- "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart" (Connie Francis)
- "Hello Mary Lou" (Ricky Nelson)
- "I've Told Every Little Star" (Linda Scott)
Written by: Gene Pitney (born February 17, 1940, died April 5, 2006) and Cayet Mangiaracina.
Gene Pitney charted more than 20 Top 40 singles in the 1960s. In 2002, Pitney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Pitney also wrote such songs as "Today's Teardrops", "Town Without Pity", "He's A Rebel", and "Rubber Ball".
"Hello Mary Lou" was very similar to a song written in 1954 by Cayet Mangiaracina titled "Merry, Merry Lou" for New Orleans-based group the Sparks.
A few years later Cayet left New Orleans to study for the Dominican priesthood. The Sparks won a battle-of-the-bands contest in New Orleans and won a recording session in New York City with Decca Records. One of the songs they recorded was "Merry, Merry Lou", which was released in 1957.
Artists such as Bill Haley and the Comets and Sam Cooke recorded their own versions (as "Mary, Mary Lou".) Then in 1961, Ricky Nelson released "Hello Mary Lou", written by Gene Pitney.
Because the song was so similar to "Merry, Merry Lou", Decca Records filed suit and won, and Father Mangiaracina was given co-authorship. Royalties from the song went to his mother until her death in 1988. They are now forwarded to the Dominicans' Southern province.
Also by: Creedence Clearwater Revival, released in 1972 on their final album Mardi Gras.
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