Hello Mary Lou
|"Hello Mary Lou"|
|Single by Ricky Nelson|
|Label||Imperial Records #5741|
|Songwriter(s)||Gene Pitney, Cayet Mangiaracina|
|Ricky Nelson singles chronology|
Nelson's version, issued as the B-side of his No. 1 hit "Travelin' Man", (Imperial 5741), reached No. 9 on the Billboard music charts on May 28, 1961. In the United Kingdom, where it was released as an A-side (with "Travelin' Man" as the B-side), it reached No. 2. It was also a hit in much of Europe, particularly Norway, where it spent 14 weeks at No. 1. In New Zealand, the song reached No. 4.
A 1991 reissue following the song's use in a TV advert gave the song a second chart run, peaking at No. 45 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song features an influential guitar solo by James Burton, often cited by later guitarists such as Brian May. Piano is by Ray Johnson, who had succeeded Gene Garf as Nelson's regular session pianist in November 1959. Other musicians on the record include Joe Osborn on bass and Ritchie Frost on drums.
The song appears on Nelson's sixth album Rick Is 21.
"Hello Mary Lou" is similar to an earlier song, "Merry, Merry Lou", written by Cayet Mangiaracina and recorded by his band, The Sparks, in 1957 on a single released by Decca Records. It was covered by Bill Haley & His Comets as "Mary, Mary Lou" and released as a single later in 1957, also by Decca. Mangiaracina would later become ordained as a Catholic priest. When "Hello Mary Lou" was released, the publisher of "Merry, Merry Lou", Champion Music (an arm of Decca Records), sued for plagiarism and a settlement was reached. Mangiaracina was given co-writing credit for "Hello Mary Lou" and a share of the song's royalties, while Champion received a share of the publishing.
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- Gene Pitney recorded it himself for his debut 1962 album The Many Sides of Gene Pitney.
- The Seekers on their 1968 live album Live at the Talk of the Town
- Brownsville Station on their debut album No BS (1970)
- Led Zeppelin frequently covered the song as part of their "Whole Lotta Love" medley from 1970 until 1972. One notable example of this is on their How the West Was Won live triple album (recorded 1972, released 2003)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival's last album Mardi Gras (1972)
- Fumble on their first album Fumble (1972)
- New Riders of the Purple Sage on their second album Powerglide (1972)
- The Seldom Scene on their second album Act Two (The Seldom Scene album) (1973)
- The Statler Brothers on their album Pardners in Rhyme (1985)
- Queen played the song on their 1986 Magic Tour and can be heard on the live album Queen: Live at Wembley as a tribute to Ricky Nelson (1986)
- Bobby Lewis recorded the song in 1970, reaching No. 14 on the US Country Top 15.
- Stig Anderson, as Stig Rossner, wrote the Swedish lyrics for "Hallå Mary Lou", recorded by Sten & Stanley. Siw Malmkvist made another Swedish version titled "Lyckans ost" (1964).
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- Lee Jensen (19 Oct 2011). "Rock and Roll Heaven: How a Priest Helped Write "Hello, Mary Lou"". Yahoo Inc. Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
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- "flavour of new zealand - Lever hit parades". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- "Ray Johnson". Rockabilly.nl. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
- "Rick Is 21 : Rick Nelson Records". Rickynelson.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- "Original versions of Merry, Merry Lou written by Cayet Mangiaracina - SecondHandSongs". secondhandsongs.com. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
- "Allmusic - The Many Sides of Gene Pitney".
- "Bobby Lewis - Chart history - Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 26 January 2017.