Johnny Angel (song)

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"Johnny Angel"
Single by Shelley Fabares
from the album Shelley!
B-side "Where's It Gonna Get Me"
Released February 1962
Format 7" single
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Length 2:19
Label Colpix
Writer(s) Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss
Producer(s) Stu Phillips
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Shelley Fabares singles chronology
"Johnny Angel"
(1962)
"What Did They Do Before Rock 'n' Roll"
(1962)

"Johnny Angel" is the debut pop single by Shelley Fabares. It was released in 1962 on the Colpix label.[1] The track was the first single taken from Fabares' debut solo album Shelley!, which was produced and arranged by Stu Phillips. "Johnny Angel" was written by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss.

Background[edit]

The single premiered on an episode of Fabares' sitcom, The Donna Reed Show, during the fourth season.[2] It also has a sequel song entitled "Johnny Loves Me", which tells the story of how the girl won Johnny's heart. The tune had previously been recorded by Georgia Lee on the Decca label.

Darlene Love and her group, the Blossoms, sang backup vocals on the track.[3] 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.[4] The song also featured an echo chamber, where the intro of the repeated title words: "Johnny Angel, Johnny Angel" was used by Fabares and the backup singers.

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 would rather concentrate on the boy she loves.

Although Fabares' career as an actress stayed strong for three decades, her career as a singer came to an end within a few years of "Johnny Angel" when she was unable to come up with another Top 20 hit. However, 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.

Reception[edit]

"Johnny Angel" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 7, 1962, during a 15-week run on the chart.[5] It was a number one hit on the Top 100 Best Sellers chart in April 1962 as published by Cashbox. It charted at #1 in both Canada and in New Zealand. "Johnny Angel" also peaked at #41 on the UK Singles chart.[6] It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a gold disc.[7]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Johnny Angel" - 2:19
  2. "Where's It Gonna Get Me" - 2:08

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 1[5]
UK Singles Chart 41[6]
Canadian Singles Chart 1[8]
New Zealand Singles Chart 1[8]
U.S. Cashbox Top 100 1

In the media[edit]

Patti Lynn cover version[edit]

"Johnny Angel"
Single by Patti Lynn
B-side "Tonight You Belong To Me"
Released March 1962
Format 7" single
Recorded 1962
Genre Pop
Length 2:16
Label Fontana
Writer(s) Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss
Producer(s) Harry Robinson
Patti Lynn singles chronology
"Johnny Angel"
(1962)
"Tell Me, Telstar"
(1962)

British singer Patti Lynn released a cover version of "Johnny Angel" for the Fontana Records label in March 1962. It was produced by Harry Robinson.[9] Her version of the song charted on the UK Singles Chart at #37 in May 1962.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Johnny Angel" - 2:16
  2. "Tonight You Belong To Me" - 2:12

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1962) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 37[10]

The Carpenters cover version[edit]

"Johnny Angel"
Song by The Carpenters from the album Now & Then
Released May 16, 1973
Recorded 1973
Genre Pop
Length 1:30
Label A&M
Writer Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss
Producer Richard and Karen Carpenter

The Carpenters included "Johnny Angel" on their fifth studio album Now & Then in May 1973. The song was produced by Richard and Karen and was issued on the A&M record label. The song was included on Side "B" of the album as part of an oldies medley.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 212. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6. 
  2. ^ Brooks, Tim (1999). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present (7th ed.). New York: Ballantine Books. p. 275. ISBN 0-345-42923-0. 
  3. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard's Hot 100 from 1955 to the Present (5 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 107. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6. 
  4. ^ Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits: The Inside Story Behind Every Number One Single on Billboard's Hot 100 from 1955 to the Present (5 ed.). Billboard Books. p. 107. ISBN 0-8230-7677-6. 
  5. ^ a b Shelley Fabares | AllMusic
  6. ^ a b Chart Stats - Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel
  7. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  8. ^ a b Songs from the Year 1962
  9. ^ Patti Lynn - Johnny Angel (Vinyl) at Discogs
  10. ^ Chart Stats - Patti Lynn - Johnny Angel

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" by Connie Francis
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
April 7, 1962 (two weeks)
Succeeded by
"Good Luck Charm" by Elvis Presley