Hello Mary Lou
|"Hello Mary Lou"|
|Single by Ricky Nelson|
|from the album Rick Is 21|
|Label||Imperial Records #5741|
|Songwriter(s)||Gene Pitney, Cayet Mangiaracina|
|Ricky Nelson singles chronology|
Nelson's version, issued as a double A-side with his No. 1 hit "Travelin' Man", (Imperial 5741), reached No. 9 on the Billboard music charts on May 28, 1961. In the United Kingdom 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, and by Sam Cooke in 1958 for the Keen Records label. 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.
- Gene Pitney, for his debut 1962 album The Many Sides of Gene Pitney.
- Bobby Lewis, in 1970. This version reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart.
- The Statler Brothers, in 1985. This take hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that summer.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival, on their 1972 album Mardi Gras.
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