Johnny Angel (song)
|Single by Shelley Fabares|
|from the album Shelley!|
|B-side||"Where's It Gonna Get Me"|
|Writer(s)||Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss|
|Shelley Fabares singles chronology|
"Johnny Angel" is the debut pop single by Shelley Fabares. It was released in 1962 on the Colpix label. 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. The Carpenters covered "Johnny Angel" in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album Now & Then.
Shelley Fabares version
The single premiered on an episode, "Donna's Prima Donna" of Fabares' sitcom, The Donna Reed Show, during the fourth season (episode 20). 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. 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, but was expected to sing on the show anyway.  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.
"Johnny Angel" hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 7, 1962, during a 15-week run on the chart. It was a number one hit on the Top 100 Best Sellers chart in April 1962 as published by Cashbox. It charted at number one in both Canada and in New Zealand. "Johnny Angel" also peaked at number 41 on the UK Singles chart. It sold over one-million copies and was awarded a gold disc.
- "Johnny Angel" - 2:19
- "Where's It Gonna Get Me" - 2:08
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||1|
|UK Singles Chart||41|
|Canadian Singles Chart||1|
|New Zealand Singles Chart||1|
|U.S. Cashbox Top 100||1|
In the media
- The song was featured in the 1990 film Mermaids, the film Andre and the episode "Halloween" in the TV-series My So-Called Life.
- The song was also featured in a 1976 episode of Saturday Night Live hosted by Dyan Cannon, where Johnny Angel turns out to be three Hells Angels all named Johnny.
Patti Lynn version
|Single by Patti Lynn|
|B-side||"Tonight You Belong To Me"|
|Writer(s)||Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss|
|Patti Lynn singles chronology|
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. Her version of the song charted on the UK Singles Chart at #37 in May 1962.
- "Johnny Angel" - 2:16
- "Tonight You Belong To Me" - 2:12
|UK Singles Chart||37|
The Carpenters version
|Song by The Carpenters from the album Now & Then|
|Released||May 16, 1973|
|Writer||Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss|
|Producer||Richard and Karen Carpenter|
The Carpenters covered "Johnny Angel" and included it on their fifth studio album Now & Then in May 1973. The song was produced by Richard Carpenter and his sister 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.
- Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (6th ed.). New York: Watson-Guptill Publications. p. 212. ISBN 0-8230-7632-6.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shelley Fabares | AllMusic
- Chart Stats - Shelley Fabares - Johnny Angel
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 145. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Songs from the Year 1962
- Patti Lynn - Johnny Angel (Vinyl) at Discogs
- Chart Stats - Patti Lynn - Johnny Angel
"Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" by Connie Francis
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
April 7, 1962 (two weeks)
"Good Luck Charm" by Elvis Presley