|Birth name||Geraldine Ann Pasquale|
February 17, 1946 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Genres||Traditional pop music, Rock and roll|
|Labels||Crysalette, Dot, London|
|Website||Dodie Stevens website|
Stevens was born in Chicago, Illinois. She and her family moved to the San Gabriel Valley in California when she was three. She soon started taking singing and dancing lessons. In 1954, at the age of eight, she recorded her first song, "Merry-Go Merry-Go Round." The song was performed on the Art Linkletter's House Party TV show and issued on Gold Star Records under the name Geri Pace.
"Pink Shoe Laces" and early career
The president of Crystalette Records, Carl Burns, happened to see her in a local show called "Strickly Informal." He gave her the name Dodie Stevens and the song "Pink Shoe Laces". Although Stevens did not initially like her new name or the song, she recorded "Pink Shoe Laces" in 1959 for the Crystalette label (which was picked up by Dot for National distribution). The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Following the song’s success, Dot Records signed her to a recording contract. Her first Dot recording was "Mairzy Doats" (Dot 16002) in 1959. In the early 1960s, she had several minor hit singles on Dot including "No" (Dot 16103) and "Yes I'm Lonesome Tonight" (Dot 16167), as well as "Merry, Merry Christmas Baby" (M. Sylvia / G. Lopez) (Dot 16166), which continues to enjoy airplay during the Christmas season. Dot also released Dodie's cover of the Patsy Cline hit "I Fall to Pieces" (Dot 16200) in 1961, and a remake of "Pink Shoe Laces" (Dot 16389) in 1962. She also recorded three non-charting albums for the label:
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- Dodie Stevens (1959)
- Over the Rainbow (1960)
- Pink Shoe Laces (1963)
- Hound-Dog Man (1959) as Nita Stringer
- Alakazam the Great aka Saiyu-Ki (1961) as DeeDee the Monkey
- Convicts Four (1962) as Resko’s sister
Later career and legacy
Stevens married at the age of sixteen and moved to Missouri and lived on a farm. A few years later, she had a daughter, Stephanie. Soon thereafter, in 1966, she ended her marriage and resumed her singing career. In 1969, she once again appeared in the Billboard charts, peaking at #117 pop, #57 country, with "Billy, I've Got to Go to Town" (an answer record to "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town"), recorded under the name Geraldine Stevens. She took additional vocal lessons and in 1972 began appearing and recording with Sérgio Mendes and Brasil '77. In the ensuing years she toured as a backup singer with such recording artists as Loretta Lynn, Frankie Avalon, and Boz Scaggs, and for twelve years with Mac Davis. In the 1990s, as Geri Stevens, she toured with Fabian and her own company "Dodie Stevens and The Pink Shoe Laces Review." Recently, she has performed with her daughter Stephanie and appeared at oldies concerts across the country. She also teaches singing and stage performance out of her studio in San Diego County.
The "Pink Shoe Laces" song has appeared in the game LittleBigPlanet 3.
- Pink Shoe Laces (US #3; US R&B #5)
- Yes-Sir-Ee (US #79)
- Five Pennies (US #89)
- Miss Lonely Hearts (US #111)
- No (US #73)
- Yes, I’m Lonesome Tonight (US #60)