Slow Poke

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For other uses, see Slowpoke.

"Slow Poke" is a popular song. It is credited to three writers: Pee Wee King, Redd Stewart, and Chilton Price. Actually Price wrote the song in 1951, as she thought the song described her friend, King, very well. King recorded the song and Stewart did the vocal. Price gave rights to the other two in exchange for publicity, as she felt she knew nothing about the music distribution business. The song did so well commercially that when Price wrote the song "You Belong to Me" the next year, she felt she could do better by ceding partial credit for authorship to King and Stewart than trying to publicize the song herself, so that song as well was credited to King, Stewart, and Price, though Price was the sole author.[1]

The recording by Pee Wee King was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 21-0489 (78rpm) and 48-0489 (45 rpm). It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on October 21, 1951 and lasted 22 weeks on the chart, peaking at #3.[2] It was his only crossover from the country genre to score on the pop chart. It first reached the country charts on September 21, 1951 and lasted 31 weeks, peaking at #1 and remaining there for 15 weeks.[3]

The next-best-known version was the recording by Arthur Godfrey, which was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 39632. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on December 28, 1951 and lasted 11 weeks on the chart, peaking at #12. This song was one side of a two-sided hit; the flip side, "Dance Me Loose," also reached #12.[2]

The version by Hawkshaw Hawkins, which was released by King Records (USA) as catalog number 998, reached #7 on the country charts, having first charted on December 8, 1951. It lasted 4 weeks on the charts.[3]

The recording by Helen O'Connell was released by Capitol Records as catalog number 1837. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on December 7, 1951 and lasted 11 weeks on the chart, peaking at #16.[2]

The recording by Roberta Lee was released by Decca Records as catalog number 27792. It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on December 7, 1951 and lasted 4 weeks on the chart, peaking at #28.[2]

The recording by Ralph Flanagan was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-4373 (78rpm) and 47-4373 (45 rpm). It first reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on January 18, 1952 and lasted 2 weeks on the chart, peaking at #29.[2]

The recording by Tiny Hill was released by Mercury Records as catalog number 5740. It reached the Billboard magazine Best Seller chart on January 4, 1952 at #30, in its only week on the chart.[2]

In the United Kingdom the song was called "Slow Coach." The lyric was changed to fit the British title, wherever the title occurs in the lyric. Pee Wee King also recorded a version with that title, with the major British versions being by Johnny Brandon and the Ray Ellington Quartet.

Yet another recording made by Pee Wee King used the title "Slow Bloke" (and appropriate lyric changes). This would seem to have been made for the British market ("bloke" being a British word) but since all other British versions (and the previously-mentioned King recording) use the title "Slow Coach" the actual reason for this recording is unclear. Is it possible this may have been intended for the Australian market where bloke is a most common appellation?

This song was sampled for the song "Punk" by British singer Red Face in 2007.

Recorded versions[edit]

Preceded by
(It's No) Sin
Cash Box magazine best selling record chart
#1 record

January 12, 1952–January 26, 1952
Succeeded by
Cry
Preceded by
"Always Late (With Your Kisses)" by Lefty Frizzell
Best Selling Retail Folk (Country & Western) Records
number one single by Pee Wee King and His Golden West Cowboys

November 3, 1951
February 18, 1952
Succeeded by
"Let Old Mother Nature Have Her Way" by Carl Smith
"(When You Feel Like You're in Love) Don't Just Stand There" by Carl Smith

Tribute site to Redd Stewart: http://www.reddstewart.com Redd Stewart's son, Billy: http://www.billystewart.com

References[edit]

  1. ^ Clooney, Nick (2002-09-27). "To Chilton goes all the credit". The Cincinnati Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2005-08-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research. 
  3. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (1989). Top Country Singles 1944-1988. Record Research.