Singing the Blues

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For the B.B. King album, see Singin' the Blues.
"Singing the Blues"
Single by Guy Mitchell
Released 1956
Genre Rock and Roll
Length 2:31
Writer(s) Melvin Endsley
Producer(s) Mitch Miller
Guy Mitchell singles chronology
"Ninety Nine Years"
(1956)
"Singing the Blues"
(1956)
"Crazy with Love"
(1956)

"Singing the Blues" is a popular song written by Melvin Endsley and published in 1956. (It is not related to the 1920 jazz song "Singin' the Blues" recorded by Frank Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke in 1927.)

Guy Mitchell[edit]

The best-known recording was released in October 1956 by Guy Mitchell and spent ten weeks at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart from December 8, 1956, to February 2, 1957. An example of the U.S. recording is on Columbia #40769, dated 1956, with the Ray Conniff Orchestra. Mitchell's version was also number 1 in the UK Singles Chart for three (non-consecutive) weeks in early 1957,[1][2] one of only three singles to return to number 1 twice.[3]

Tommy Steele and Marty Robbins versions[edit]

Two other charting versions of the song were released almost simultaneously with Mitchell's, one by the English singer Tommy Steele (with the Steelmen) and the other (recorded before Mitchell covered it)[4] by US country singer Marty Robbins.[5]

Tommy Steele's version of "Singing the Blues" made number 1 in the UK Singles Chart for one week on 11 January 1957, sandwiched by two of the weeks that Guy Mitchell's version of the same song topped the charts.[6] Steele's recording of the song was not a chart success in the US.

The Marty Robbins version made it to number one on the Billboard C&W Best Sellers chart for 13 weeks in late 1956 and early 1957[7] and peaked at number seventeen on the US pop chart.[8] In 1983, Gail Davies recorded a cover version, taking her version into the top 20 of the Hot Country Singles chart in the spring of 1983.

Other cover versions[edit]

The song is often revived, and on three occasions new recordings of "Singing the Blues" have become UK Top 40 hits. These latter-day hit versions were by Dave Edmunds (1980), Gail Davies (1983), Daniel O'Donnell (1994), and Cliff Richard & the Shadows (2009).

Charting versions[edit]

Release date Performer Chart Positions Notes
UK[1] U.S. U.S. C&W CAN Country
1956 Marty Robbins 17 1
1956 Guy Mitchell 1 1 Reached number 1 in the UK in early 1957
1956 Tommy Steele & the Steelmen 1 Reached number 1 in the UK in early 1957
1980 Dave Edmunds 28
1983 Gail Davies 17 19
1994 Daniel O'Donnell 23
1997 The Kentucky Headhunters 70
2009 Cliff Richard & the Shadows 40

More cover versions[edit]

Trumpeter Bob Scobey and banjoist/vocalist Clancy Hayes recorded a trad jazz version in 1958 for the LP "Scobey and Clancy raid the Jukebox" on the Good Time Jazz label. Other notable cover versions include a 1960 recording by Bill Haley & his Comets, a 1963 version by Dean Martin, and a 1971 version by Black Oak Arkansas. It was recorded by Marie Osmond for her 1975 album In My Little Corner of the World, by Gene Summers on his 1981 French album Gene Summers in Nashville, and by The Kentucky Headhunters for their album Stompin' Grounds (1997). A version by Bert Jansch appears on his 2000 release Crimson Moon.

"Singing the Blues" was performed live by Paul McCartney on the MTV show Unplugged in 1991 and included on the subsequent soundtrack, Unplugged (The Official Bootleg).

The song was also performed by Albert Lee.[9]

The tune was also sung by Vivian Vance and William Frawley (Ethel and Fred of I Love Lucy fame) for a Ford Motor Company television commercial promoting the Edsel.

The Californian pop punk band Groovie Ghoulies covered the song on their third album World Contact Day in 1996.

The first line of this song is famously the last line of "London Calling" by the Clash, cut short and echoed in the final mix of the song ("I never felt so much a-like, a-like, a-like...").

Birmingham City-supporting radio presenters Tom Ross and Ian Danter released a version to celebrate Birmingham's promotion to the Premier League, and has been sung since at least the 1969 season by fans of the Midlands club.

Blackburn Rovers fans have been known to sing a version of the song: "Never felt more like singing the blues, the Rovers win and Burnley lose, oh Rovers, you've got me singing the blues."

Everton fans sing a version of this song; "I've never felt more like singing the blues, when Everton win and Liverpool lose, oh Everton you've got me singing the blues."

Also this song is commonly used at Manchester City F.C. football matches, where the fans sing: "Never felt more like singing the blues, City win, United lose."

This song has also been used by Sheffield Wednesday fans. Their lyrics are:

Never felt more like singing the blues,

When Wednesday win and United lose!

Oh Wednesday, you got me singing the blues. Boxing Day! Boxing Day! Boxing Day!

"Boxing Day" is added onto the end in reference to the 'Boxing Day Massacre', on 26 December 1979, where the Owls beat their fierce rivals, Sheffield United, 4-0. One of the Wednesday scorers on that day, Terry Curran, even recorded a version of the song and it is still used at Hillsborough to this day.

Hugues Aufray and his Skiffle Group recorded a French version of the song, "Tout le long du chemin", in 1964.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. pp. 67–8. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 28. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  3. ^ Myers, Justin (2 March 2014). "Unstoppable Pharrell scores chart record hat-trick as Happy smashes a". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  4. ^ The Billboard Book of Number One Hits - Fred Bronson - Google Books. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03. 
  5. ^ Marty Robbins interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  6. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. pp. 28–9. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 293. 
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits: Eighth Edition. Record Research. p. 532. 
  9. ^ Video on YouTube
  10. ^ "Tout le long du chemin" at Discogs.
Preceded by
"Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley
Billboard Top 100 number one single
(Guy Mitchell version)

December 8, 1956 (9 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Don't Forbid Me" by Pat Boone
Preceded by
"Love Me Tender" by Elvis Presley
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record
(Guy Mitchell version)

December 1, 1956–January 26, 1957
Succeeded by
"Young Love" by Tab Hunter
Preceded by
"Don't Be Cruel"/ "Hound Dog" by Elvis Presley
C&W Best Sellers in Stores
number one single
(Marty Robbins version)

November 10, 1956 - January 27, 1957
(thirteen weeks)
Succeeded by
"Young Love" by Sonny James
Preceded by
"Just Walkin' in the Rain" by Johnnie Ray
UK number one single
(Guy Mitchell, Tommy Steele version)

4 January 1957 (one week, Guy Mitchell version)
11 January 1957 (one week, Tommy Steele version)
18 January 1957 (one week, Guy Mitchell version)
Succeeded by
"The Garden of Eden" by Frankie Vaughan
Preceded by
"The Garden of Eden" by Frankie Vaughan
UK number one single
(Guy Mitchell version)

1 February 1957 (one week)
Succeeded by
"The Garden of Eden" by Frankie Vaughan