Thursday, February 17, 2005

Further Depressing Signs of My Old Age

Every day I look at the little box in the newspaper where the celebrity birthdays are recorded. Here are a few I saw today:

Bobby Lewis is 72. He was a two-hit wonder back around 1961, but "Tossin' and Turnin'" was his biggest. I can never see his name without hearing his voice and that great opening line: "I couldn't sleep at all last night!" And right now in my mind's eye I can see Joe Carr, who could do a great imitation of it. That was more than 40 years ago.

Johnny Bush is 70. He did the definitive version of "Whiskey River." Early '70s. Thirty or more years ago. I can hear it right now, clear as ever it was on the AM radio in my 1967 Plymouth.

And Gene Pitney is 64. He wrote some great songs for other people ("Rubber Ball" for Bobby Vee, "Hello, Mary Lou" for Ricky Nelson), but I remember that first great single of his, "I Wann Love my Life Away." Early '60s again, maybe spring of 1960. Definitely a springtime song. And now Gene's 64, as I'll be in a few months. Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm 64?

2 comments:

  1. Johnny Bush also did a version of the Marty Robbins classic You Gave Me a Mountain--and actually took it to the Top Ten. Yet for some reason it's Marty's version that gets all the airplay.

    My favorite Gene Pitney tune? It Hurts to Be in Love. I don't know who the drummer was on that song, but he does one hell of a job.

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  2. I can honestly say I've never heard Ricky Nelson's version of "Hello Mary Lou." I always think of the Statler Brothers with that one, or maybe Creedence Clearwater Revival. But Ricky is just too far removed from my experience. You know, just to make you feel that much older, Bill. :-)

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