Sixteen Reasons

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"Sixteen Reasons
(Why I Love You)"
Single by Connie Stevens
from the album As Cricket in "Hawaiian Eye"
B-side "Little Sister"
Released December 1959
Format 7" single
Recorded 1959
Genre Traditional pop
Length 1:57
Label Warner Bros. Records 5137
Writer(s) Bill Post and Doree Post
Connie Stevens singles chronology
Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)
(1959)
"Sixteen Reasons"
(1960)
Too Young to Go Steady
(1960)[1]

"Sixteen Reasons (Why I Love You)" is a list song written by Bill and Doree Post which in 1960 reached #3 via a recording by Connie Stevens.[2]

The composers: Bill and Doree Post, were a husband-and-wife team from Kansas who had several single releases on Crest Records but their own version of "Sixteen Reasons" was not released until 1963: Doree Post was then deceased having been claimed by stomach cancer on 24 July 1961.[3]

Stevens' single - arrangement and accompaniment by Don Ralke[4] - was issued in December 1959 with the Robert Allen composition "Little Sister" being the intended A-side - another version of the last-named song by Cathy Carr was issued as a single at the same time[5] - but it was as "Sixteen Reasons" that Stevens' single debuted at #89 on the Billboard Hot 100 dated 1 February 1960,[6] to reach #3 on the chart dated 9 May 1960.[7]

"Sixteen Reasons" also afforded Stevens' a hit in the UK over the spring and summer of 1960 despite at least three cover versions by British singers, specifically Sheila Buxton, Shani Wallis and Marion Ryan.[8][9][10] After reaching #9 - its overall UK peak - in May 1960,[11] Stevens' single re-entered the top 20 at #17 that June,[12] spending 12 weeks on the chart in all.[11] Total sales for Connie Stevens' "Sixteen Reasons" single are estimated at two million units. The sheet music for the song was also a bestseller in both the US and the UK.[13][14] "Sixteen Reasons" was a popular song on the American Forces Network in Germany that summer.[15]

A recounting of sixteen reasons for being in love, beginning "The way you hold my hand", "Sixteen Reasons" was Stevens' second Top 40 hit, the precedent being a duet with Edd Byrnes: "Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb", a novelty spoken word number which reached #4.[11][16] Stevens' had her success with "Sixteen Reasons" despite her label Warner Bros. handicapping her promotion of the single: as the song was not published by MPHC the label refused to allow Stevens to perform the song on Hawaiian Eye and also prevented her from singing it on The Ed Sullivan Show.[17] Although Stevens' would continue to record for Warner Bros until 1972 - with a brief tenure at MGM Records in 1968 - none of her singles subsequent to "Sixteen Reasons" would reach the Top 40; her last appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 would be in 1965. Professionally Stevens has downplayed her identity as the singer of a "golden oldie", stating in 2005: "I never did 'Sixteen Reasons' in my stage act. It was really a kids' song aimed at 12-year-old girls. It would be a little silly for me to do it now."[18]

In 1960 Italian singer Angelina Monti rendered "Sixteen Reasons" in German asSechzehn Gründe [19] and that same year Auckland-singer Esme Stephens and The Silhouettes With The Peter Posa Combo released "Sixteen Reasons" in New Zealand on Zodiac Records; coupled with a cover of Anita Bryant's "Paper Roses" the single reached #5 on the Lever Hit Parade.[20][21] The Lettermen, who Stevens had played with as The Foremost,[22] recorded a version of the track for their 1962 album, Once Upon a Time.[23] Lawrence Welk featured the song on his 1964 album, The Golden Millions.[24] A comedy version was released as a double A-side on the Laverne & Shirley single Chapel of Love in 1976,[25] and Lisa Mychols remade "Sixteen Reasons" for her 1991 Lost Winter's Dream album.

"Sixteen Reasons" is prominently showcased in David Lynch's 2001 film Mulholland Drive with actress Elizabeth Lackey shown supposedly recording the song in a studio (Lackey actually lip-syncs to the Connie Stevens track).[26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Brenda Leads". Billboard. 4 July 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  2. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The book of golden discs. Barrie & Jenkins. ISBN 0-214-20480-4. 
  3. ^ "Music As Written". Billboard. 7 August 1961. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ James, Gary. "Dick St. John Interview". Famous Interviews. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  5. ^ "Reviews of this week's singles". Billboard. 28 December 1959. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  6. ^ "Hot 100 Adds Fifteen". Billboard. 1 February 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  7. ^ "Honor Roll of Hits". Billboard. 9 May 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  8. ^ "Pop singles". The Gramophone. 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  9. ^ "Discographies - Artists 'S'". 45-rpm.org.uk. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  10. ^ "WB-British Decca May Tie". Billboard. 4 July 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c Neil Warwick, Jon Kutner, Tony Brown, ed. (2004). The complete book of the British charts: singles & albums. Omnibus Press. p. 1050. ISBN 1-84449-058-0. 
  12. ^ "British Newsnotes". Billboard. 6 June 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  13. ^ "Best Selling Sheet Music in Britain". Billboard. 13 June 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  14. ^ "Best Selling Sheet Music in the U.S.". Billboard. 16 May 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  15. ^ Keeb, Brigitte (18 July 1960). "German Newsnotes". Billboard. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  16. ^ "Connie Stevens Scores With 'Sixteen Reasons'". Billboard. 15 February 1960. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  17. ^ Fred Goodman, The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerce (Jonathon Cape, London, 1997, ISBN 0-224-05062-1), p.46
  18. ^ Sheffield, Skip (17 February 2005). "Connie Stevens brings her Las Vegas act to Boca Raton". Boca Raton News. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  19. ^ "Sechzehn Gründe". Coverinfo.de. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  20. ^ "Sixteen reasons". Sound Archives\Ngā Taonga Kōrero. New Zealand. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  21. ^ Grigg, Simon. "Zodiac 45s". simongrigg.info. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  22. ^ "Blonde ambition". Los Angeles Magazine. March 2000. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  23. ^ "The Lettermen". Singers.com. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  24. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard. 12 December 1964. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  25. ^ "First Time Around". Billboard. 13 November 1976. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  26. ^ Beck, Jay; Grajeda, Tony (2008). Lowering the boom: critical studies in film sound. University of Illinois Press. p. 237. ISBN 0-252-07532-3.