Pledging My Love

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"Pledging My Love"
Single by Johnny Ace
B-side "No Money"
Released 1955
Genre R&B
Length 2:35
Label Duke
Writer(s) Ferdinand Washington, Don Robey
Producer(s) Johnny Otis
Johnny Ace singles chronology
"Never Let Me Go"
(1954)
"Pledging My Love"
(1955)
"Anymore"
(1955)

"Pledging My Love" is a blues ballad. It was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey and published in 1954.

The song's theme is captured in the title and the opening lines:

Forever my darling, my love will be true,
Always and forever, I'll love just you,[1]

Johnny Ace[edit]

The most popular recording of the song was done by Johnny Ace.[1] It was released by Duke Records as catalog number 136 in 1955 soon after Ace's death by an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ace's version peaked on the Billboard chart at #17 and spent ten weeks at #1 on the R&B chart.[2]

The recording was produced by Johnny Otis, who also played the vibraphone on the track and featured the Johnny Otis band.

Ace's "Pledging My Love" was used multiple times in the 1983 film Christine directed by John Carpenter and written by Stephen King about a 17-year old boy in love with a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury. It is briefly heard in Back to the Future (1985) when Lorraine Baines is in the car with her future son Marty McFly. The song is also played during the movie Bad Lieutenant and another Harvey Keitel movie, Mean Streets.

Paul Simon wrote a song called "The Late Great Johnny Ace" and released it on his Hearts and Bones album. In the early 2000s, Simon sang "Pledging my Love" live in concert, telling the audience that this record was the first one he ever bought.

Other versions[edit]

It was covered by Teresa Brewer (Coral Records, catalog number 61362) and The Four Lads (Columbia Records, catalog number 40436). Brewer's version also charted at #17 on the pop chart in 1955.[3] On Cash Box magazine's Best-Selling Record charts, where all versions are combined, the song peaked at #11.

Later versions also making the charts were recorded by Roy Hamilton (released by Epic Records as catalog number 9294, #45 on Billboard and #51 on Cash Box in 1958) and Johnny Tillotson (released by Cadence Records as catalog number 1377, #63 on Billboard and #73 on Cash Box in 1960).

Percy Sledge put out a single of Pledging My Love in 1967 in Germany and the UK.

Jay and the Americans released a cover version of the song on their 1969 album, Sands of Time.

In 1972, by Jerry Lee Lewis on a double LP Live in London

In 1971, Kitty Wells released a single of "Pledging My Love" and used it as the title song of an album. Her version topped out at #49 on the US country charts, but reached #19 in Canada.

In 1973, a cover version by Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye appeared on the album Diana & Marvin.

In 1976, Delbert McClinton includes a cover version on his album Genuine Cowhide. Roy Orbison covers it too in I'm Still in Love with You album.

The song was recorded by Elvis Presley late in his career and appears on his 1977 album Moody Blue, the last album released before Presley's death in 1977.

David Allan Coe also recorded a cover of the song.

In 1983, Emmylou Harris released a version of this song on her album White Shoes, released as a single, it reached #9 on the country charts.

In 1986, Aaron Neville released a version of this song on his Orchids In The Storm EP.

In 1993, Solomon Burke released a version of this song on his album, Soul Of the Blues.

In 1994, blues singer Little Milton covered this song on his album, I'm A Gambler.

In 2008, the band Flat Duo Jets released their previously recorded live album, Two Headed Cow, which features the song "Golden Strings"; it's clearly inspired by "Pledging My Love", containing the lyrics: "I'll forever love you, For the rest of my days, I'll never part from you, Or your loving ways".

Preceded by
"Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)" by The Penguins
Billboard R&B Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
February 12, 1955 - April 16, 1955
Succeeded by
"My Babe" by Little Walter and His Jukes

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 4 - The Tribal Drum: The rise of rhythm and blues. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. Digital.library.unt.edu. 
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 22. 
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research. 

External links[edit]