Oh! Carol

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"Oh! Carol"
Neil Sedaka Oh Carol & One-Way Ticket.JPG
Single by Neil Sedaka
from the album Neil Sedaka Sings Little Devil and His Other Hits
B-side"One Way Ticket (To the Blues)"
Released1959
Recorded1959
GenrePop
Length2:12
LabelRCA Victor
Songwriter(s)Neil Sedaka, Howard Greenfield
Neil Sedaka singles chronology
"Crying My Heart Out for You"
(1959)
"Oh! Carol"
(1959)
"Stairway to Heaven"
(1960)

"Oh! Carol" is an international hit written by Neil Sedaka in 1958. Co-written with Howard Greenfield, the song is noted for Sedaka's spoken recitation of the verse, the second time around.

The song spent 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, reaching No. 9 on December 6, 1959,[1] while reaching No. 3 on the UK's New Musical Express chart.[2] It also earned Sedaka his first No. 1 ranking when it went to No. 1 in the Netherlands, Wallonia, and Italy.[3] [4] After its release as a single, it was included in the album Neil Sedaka Sings Little Devil and His Other Hits.

At the time Sedaka produced the record, his second and third singles, "I Go Ape!" and "Crying My Heart Out For You" had fared poorly on the charts, and RCA Victor was ready to drop him from their label, but producer Al Nevins persuaded the RCA executives to give Sedaka one last chance. Determined to create a hit song, Sedaka purchased the three top singles of the day and listened to them repeatedly, studying their melody, chord progression, and lyrical styles; and he found that they were very similar in structure. He then used this knowledge to create the song, "Oh! Carol".[citation needed]

Sedaka had dated Carole King when he was still at high school, and she was still called Carol Klein, so he used her name; Gerry Goffin – King's husband – took the tune, and wrote the playful response "Oh! Neil", which King recorded and released as an unsuccessful single the same year (1958).[5][6][7][8]

Sedaka also recorded a Hebrew-language version of "Oh! Carol"' which was written by Chaim Kaynan. It has been covered by other artists in other languages as well.

The B-side song, "One Way Ticket", also earned Sedaka a #1 ranking in Japan for several months in 1960, where it was affectionately known as "The Choo-Choo Train Song".

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1959-1960) Peak
position
Flanders[3] 2
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[9] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[3] 9
UK (New Musical Express) 3
US Billboard Hot 100 9
US Billboard Hot R&B Sides[10] 27
Wallonia[3] 1
West Germany[3] 25

Other recorded versions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oh! Carol Chart History: Hot 100, Billboard.com. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  2. ^ Neil Sedaka - Full Official Chart History, Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Neil Sedaka - Oh! Carol, norwegiancharts.com. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  4. ^ https://www.hitparadeitalia.it/hp_weeks/index.html
  5. ^ Curt Schleier (7 June 2012). "Q&A: Neil Sedaka on Adele and Carole King – The Arty Semite – Forward.com". The Forward. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  6. ^ "Carole King – Oh, Neil / A Very Special Boy (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  7. ^ James E. Perone (2006). The words and music of Carole King. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-275-99027-5.
  8. ^ Michael Billig (1 June 2001). Rock 'n' Roll Jews. Syracuse University Press. p. 95. ISBN 9780815607052. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Neil Sedaka – Oh! Carol" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
  10. ^ Oh! Carol Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Billboard.com. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  11. ^ Official Charts: on songs by Don Campbell