Hello Mary Lou

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For the horror film, see Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.
"Hello Mary Lou"
Single by Ricky Nelson
A-side "Travelin' Man"
Released 1961
Length 2:17
Label Imperial Records #5741
Writer(s) Gene Pitney
Ricky Nelson singles chronology
"You Are the Only One"
"Hello Mary Lou"
"A Wonder Like You"/"Everlovin'"

"Hello Mary Lou" is a song written by U.S. singer Gene Pitney and Father Cayet Mangiaracina,[1][2] first performed by Johnny Duncan in 1960,[3] and later by Ricky Nelson in 1961.[4]

Nelson's version, issued as the B-side of his No. 1 hit "Travelin' Man", (Imperial 5741), reached No. 9 on the Billboard music charts on May 28, 1961. In the United Kingdom, where it was released as an A-side (with Dorsey Burnette's "It's Late" as the B-side), it reached No. 2. In was also a hit in much of Europe, particularly Norway, where it spent 14 weeks at No. 1.

The song features an influential guitar solo by James Burton, often cited by later guitarists such as Brian May. Piano was by Ray Johnson, who had succeeded Gene Garf as Nelson's regular session pianist in November 1959.[5] other musicians on the record included Joe Osborne on bass and Ritchie Frost on drums.[6]

The song appears on Nelson's sixth album Rick Is 21.


It has also been recorded in French by Petula Clark (as "Bye Bye Mon Amour") and it was also covered by LMP on their album A Century of Song as their selection for 1961.


  1. ^ Lee Jensen (19 Oct 2011). "Rock and Roll Heaven: How a Priest Helped Write "Hello, Mary Lou"". Yahoo Inc. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  2. ^ Don Ellzey (2013). "Ponchatoula priest shares special part in Rock 'n Roll history". actionnews17.com/. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Second Hand Songs
  4. ^ "Hello Mary Lou Goodbye Heart (Legal Title)". Repertoire.bmi.com. Retrieved 2012-08-05. 
  5. ^ "Ray Johnson". rockabilly.nl. Retrieved 2 March 2013. 
  6. ^ [1]

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