Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A double shot of blues

They never felt more like singing the blues than at this time in 1957.  Not one, but two versions of the Melvin Endsley song "Singing the Blues" were ruling the respective pop and country charts on this date.

Although Marty Robbins was first to record the song on Nov. 3, 1955, his recording wasn't released until the following August.  By then Guy Mitchell had laid down a track that would become the first song of the rock era to spend nine weeks at No. 1 on the pop chart.  Here was the Billboard Top 5 on Dec. 8, 1956:

1. Singing the Blues, Guy Mitchell
2. Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley
3. Green Door, Jim Lowe
4. Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino
5. Just Walking in the Rain, Johnnie Ray

Robbins' song, a favorite among the hundreds of versions that have been recorded, was No. 1 for 13 of the 30 weeks it spent on the country chart. It was his second chart-topper after "I'll Go On Alone" in 1952, and would be followed a few months later by one of his biggest hits, "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)".

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