April 18, 2008

"Johnny Angel"

From the Wikipedia entry:

"Johnny Angel" is a song written by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss and recorded by Shelley Fabares. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 7, 1962, during a 15-week run on the chart. The song is an expression of a teenage girl's romantic longing for a boy who doesn't know she exists, to the point where she declines other boys' propositions for dates because she'd rather concentrate on the boy she loves. The song premiered on an episode of Fabares' sitcom, The Donna Reed Show, and was released on Columbia's Colpix Records label. The song also has a sequel song entitled "Johnny Loves Me" (which tells the story of how the girl won Johnny's heart). The song had previously been recorded by Georgia Lee on the Decca label.

Darlene Love and her group, the Blossoms, sang backup vocals on the track. Fabares is quoted in The Billboard Book of Number One Singles by Fred Bronson as saying she was intimidated by Love's group and their "beautiful" voices and was terrified at the prospect of becoming a recording artist, as she did not consider herself a singer.

Although Fabares' career as a singer came to an end (though her career as an actress stayed strong for three decades) within a few years of "Johnny Angel" after she was unable to come up with another Top 20 hit, the song has become an oldies radio airplay favorite. The Carpenters covered "Johnny Angel" in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album Now and Then.

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