Two of Novi’s grads have impressed me with their knowledge of 50′s music. We have started quizzing each other under the Reunion posting. With this new post, I am switching the great conversations to the category Paul Anka and Other Great Music. So Doug and Margaret, here we go!
You both got the Paris Sisters, but Doug got it first by a little over half an hour. Here is my question, did he get it without looking it up? I sometimes know it right off the bat and other times, like Margaret, I head for Google or one of my book sources.
The Paris Sisters were indeed sisters. Pricilla sang lead with Albeth and Sherrell as back up. They grew up in San Francisco. They were 9, 13 & 11 when they began performing at an U.S.O. show. Lester Sill of Gregmark records caught their act and signed them to a contract. Be My Boy hit the Hot 100 on 4/30/61 but only made it to #56 (what a shame because that is a great song). On 9/10/61, the Barry Mann written song, I Love How You Love Me charted and went to #5. In 1962 they had 2 tries with He Knows I love Him Too Much (#34) and Let Me Be the One (#87). Then 2 years later they charted with their last song, Dream Lover which came out on MGM records.
As for the first country artist to switch to pop, I go with Eddy Arnold like Margaret said. He clearly was before Jim Reeves. Eddy, aka the Tennessee Plowboy, signed with RCA in 1945. His manager was none other than Col. Tom Parker. His first charted country song was One Kiss Too Many in May, 1949. Between 1949 and 1955 he had such country hits as Bouquet of Roses and Anytime. In 1955 his country hits, The Cattle Call and The Richest Man, also charted on the pop 100 at #69 and #99 respectively.
It was not until 1964, when he met his new manager Jerry Pursell, that Eddy’s career matched what it had been earlier. In 1965 Eddy suggested to Pursell he record a Timi Yuro song, Make the World Go Away. It hit the pop Hot 100 on 10/16/65 and peaked at #6. Of course, on the Country charts it hit #1 for 3 weeks, the first of 7 #1′s on the country charts over the next 3 years.
Jim Reeves attended the University of Texas where he earned his tuition by playing the guitar. His major ambition was to be a professional baseball player. He played with the St. Louis Cardinals organization until a leg injury ended his career. He began playing guitar again, became a DJ before joining the Louisiana Hayride.
Jim was a much bigger country star than Eddy Arnold. Mexican Joe was #1 on the country charts for 9 weeks in 1953. So Eddy started many years before Jim but Jim out sold Eddy. He followed up Mexican Joe with another #1, Bimbo. He went on to have 10 #1′s on the country charts. His first cross over was Four Walls in 1957. It hit #12 on pop and was #1 on country for 8 weeks. His biggest pop hit was He’ll Have to Go, which peaked at #2… (which song kept him from #1?) On the country side, He’ll Have to Go was #1 14 weeks.
So Doug, I hope it is Eddy Arnold but if not, you know more about him and Jim Reeves now…..lol.