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Lollipop (1958 song)

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"Lollipop"
Single by Ronald & Ruby
B-side"Fickle Baby"
ReleasedFebruary 1958
Recorded1957
GenrePop rock, doo wop
Length2:14
LabelRCA
Songwriter(s)Beverly Ross, Julius Dixson
Producer(s)Julius Dixson
Ronald & Ruby singles chronology
"Lollipop"
(1958)
"Lohr Byron Birds"
(1959)

"Lollipop" is a pop song written by Julius Dixson[1] and Beverly Ross in 1958. It was first recorded by the duo Ronald & Ruby, with Ross performing as "Ruby." It was covered more successfully by The Chordettes whose version reached No. 2 in the US, and The Mudlarks in the UK.

Origins[edit]

The song originated when Julius Dixson was late for a songwriting session with Beverly Ross. He explained that his daughter had gotten a lollipop stuck in her hair, and that had caused him to be late. Ross was so inspired by the word "lollipop" that she sat down at the piano and produced a version of the song on the spot. Beverly Ross recorded a demo with Ronald Gumm (or Gumps), a 13-year-old neighbor of Dixson, under the name Ronald & Ruby. Ross's mother insisted that she use a pseudonym for safety reasons, because they were an interracial duo.[2]

RCA got hold of it and Dixson, who owned the master and had produced the demo, agreed to let them release it. Ronald and Ruby's version rose up the chart, reaching No. 20.[1]

The Chordettes version[edit]

"Lollipop"
Single by The Chordettes
B-side"Baby Come-A Back-A"
ReleasedFebruary 1958
Recorded1958
GenrePop, doo wop
Length2:09
LabelCadence
Songwriter(s)Beverly Ross, Julius Dixson
Producer(s)Archie Bleyer
The Chordettes singles chronology
"Photographs"
(1957)
"Lollipop"
(1958)
"Zorro"
(1958)

"Lollipop" was then covered in the United States by female vocal quartet The Chordettes. The Chordettes' version featured the sounds of rhythmic hand claps heard at the beginning, and a distinctive popping sound created by one of the Chordettes putting her finger into the mouth and flicked out.[3] Their version featured also a male chorus singing the "Boom Booms", following the isolated popping sounds. The Chordettes version reached No. 2 and No. 3 on the Billboard pop and R&B charts, respectively.[4] The song became a worldwide hit. The Chordettes' version reached No. 6 in the UK, which is their highest charting song in the UK.[5]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1958) Peak
position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[6] 18
Canada (CHUM Hit Parade)[7] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[8] 14
UK Singles (OCC)[5] 6
US Top 100 Sides (Billboard)[9] 2
US R&B Best Sellers in Stores (Billboard)[10] 3

Other versions[edit]

  • A cover version by The Mudlarks was released in the UK and it reached No. 2 on the UK chart.[11] The Mudlarks version also features an isolated mouth popping sound.
  • Another version of the song was recorded by Bobby Vee in 1961 and included on his, Bobby Vee: Sings Hits of the Rockin' '50's.[12]
  • A cover of the song was recorded for a Dell advert in 2009.[13] A download of the cover was originally provided on Dell's website but has since become unavailable. The full version can be heard on YouTube.
  • The song has been recorded by many other musicians.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Sisario, Ben (March 4, 2004). "Julius Dixon, 90, Songwriter Known for the 1958 Hit 'Lollipop'". The New York Times. p. 16.
  2. ^ Beverly Ross (13 January 2012), "Lollipop" story behind the song, archived from the original on 6 May 2012, retrieved 23 April 2012
  3. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock and Roll: Gold Rush. Algora Pub. p. 140. ISBN 9780875862279.
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 119.
  5. ^ a b "The Chordettes: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  6. ^ "The Chordettes – Lollipop" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "CHUM Hit Parade, week of March 31, 1958". Chumtribute.com.
  8. ^ "The Chordettes – Lollipop" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  9. ^ "Best Sellers in Stores". Billboard. March 31, 1958. p. 38.
  10. ^ "R&B Best Sellers in Store". Billboard. April 7, 1958. p. 53.
  11. ^ "Mudlarks". The Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ "Sings Hits of the Rockin' '50's : Bobby Vee". AllMusic. Retrieved January 23, 2023.
  13. ^ "DELL - Lollipop "Treats" commercial HQ". Retrieved 2023-05-27 – via YouTube.
  14. ^ "Lollipop", SecondhandSongs. Retrieved 21 February 2019