Bobby Helms

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Bobby Helms
Bobby Helms.png
Bobby Helms in 1968
Background information
Birth name Robert Lee Helms
Born (1933-08-15)August 15, 1933
Origin Bloomington, Indiana, U.S.
Died June 19, 1997(1997-06-19) (aged 63)
Genres country
Occupation(s) singer
Instruments guitar
Years active 1-BC–1997
Labels Decca, Columbia, Vocalion

Robert Lee Helms (August 15, 1933 – June 19, 1997), known professionally as Bobby Helms, was an American country music singer who enjoyed his peak success in 1957 with the seasonal hit "Jingle Bell Rock". His other hits include "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel".

Biography[edit]

Born in Bloomington, Indiana[1] into a musical family, Helms began performing as a duo with his brother, Freddie, before going on to a successful solo career in country music. In 1956, Helms made his way to Nashville, Tennessee, where he signed a recording contract with Decca Records. The following year was filled with successes. Helms' first single in 1957, titled "Fraulein", went to No. 1 on the country music chart and made it into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Later that same year, he released "My Special Angel", which also hit No. 1 on the country charts and entered the Top 10 on Billboard's pop music chart, peaking at No. 7.

Released just a few days before Christmas 1957, his song "Jingle Bell Rock" was a big hit. It also re-emerged in four out of the next five years, and sold so well that it repeated each time as a top hit, and became a Christmas classic still played to this day. It took five years for the song to become a second million-seller for Helms.[2] It reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 21 weeks in the chart.[2] The record gained gold disc status.[2] Accounts that Helms wrote and recorded the song with Hank Garland seem to be apocryphalASCAP and Allmusic list the writers of the song as Joseph Beal, Joseph Carlton, James Ross and James Boothe.[3]

Helms continued touring and recording for the next three decades. His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Helms spent most of his later years living just outside of Martinsville, Indiana, until his death from emphysema and asthma at the age of 63 in 1997.[4]

He was portrayed by actor Brad Hawkins in the 2007 film Crazy.

Another record by Helms was "Schoolboy Crush", which was a hit in the UK. It was released in the USA on June 23, 1958 on Decca. The same song was then covered by UK teen star Cliff Richard about the same time as the UK release.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US Country US US AC UK[5]
1955 "Yesterday's Lovin'" non-album track
"Freedom Lovin' Guy"
1956 "Tennessee Rock and Roll"
1957 "Fraulein" 1 36
"My Special Angel" 1 7 22 My Special Angel
"Jingle Bell Rock" 13 6 single only
1958 "Just a Little Lonesome" 10 My Special Angel
"Jacqueline" 5 63 20 non-album track
"Borrowed Dreams" 60
"Jingle Bell Rock" 6
1959 "The Fool and the Angel" 75
"New River Train" 26
"I Guess I'll Miss the Prom"
"No Other Baby" 30
"Hurry Baby"
1960 "Someone Was Already There"
"I Want to Be with You"
"Lonely River Rhine" 16
"Jingle Bell Rock" (re-entry) 36
1961 "Sad Eyed Baby"
"How Can You Divide a Little Child"
"Jingle Bell Rock" (re-entry) 41
1962 "One Deep Love"
"Then Came You"
"Jingle Bell Rock" (re-entry) 56
1964 "It's a Girl"
1967 "He Thought He'd Die Laughing" 46 All New Just for You
1968 "The Day You Stop Loving Me" 60
"I Feel You, I Love You" 53 single only
"Touch My Heart" All New Just for You
1969 "My Special Angel" Before Your Heartaches Begin
"So Long" 43
"Echoes and Shadows"
1970 "Mary Goes 'Round" 41 Greatest Performance
"Magnificent Sanctuary Band" non-album track
"Just Hold My Hand and Sing"
1971 "He Gives Us His Love"
"Hand in Hand with Love"
1972 "It's the Little Things"
"It's Starting to Rain Again"
1974 "That Heart Belongs to Me"
"Work Things Out with Annie"
1975 "Baby If I Could Make It Better"
1976 "Every Man Must Have a Dream"
"You"
1977 "Before My Heartaches Came"
1978 "I'm Gonna Love the Devil Out of You"
"I'm Not Sorry"
1979 "One More Dollar for the Band"
1983 "Tears Ago"
"I'm Drinking It Over (With My Friend Jim Beam)"
1984 "It's Raining Boners"
1985 "I Wish I Could Say I Find"
1986 "I'm the Man"
1987 "Dance with Me" Country
"Somebody Wrong Is Lookin' Right"
1996 "Jingle Bell Rock" (re-release) 60 18 Jingle All the Way (soundtrack)

Selected album discography[edit]

  • Jingle Bell Rock - (1957) - Pilz
  • To My Special Angel - (1957) - Decca
  • I'm the Man - (1966) - Kapp
  • Sorry My Name Isn't Fred - (1966) - Kapp
  • All New Just for You - (1968) - Little Darlin'
  • Pop-a-Billy - (1983) - MCA

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bush, John. "Bobby Helms Artist Biography". allmusic.com. Retrieved 15 August 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 102. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  3. ^ Allmusic.com[dead link]
  4. ^ The Dead Rock Stars Club 1996 - 1997
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 250. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]