Pledging My Love

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"Pledging My Love"
Single by Johnny Ace
B-side"No Money"
ReleasedDecember 1954
Format7", 10"
GenreR&B, ballad
Length2:35
LabelDuke
Songwriter(s)Ferdinand Washington, Don Robey
Producer(s)Johnny Otis
Johnny Ace singles chronology
"Never Let Me Go"
(1954)
"Pledging My Love"
(1954)
"Anymore"
(1955)

"Pledging My Love" is a blues ballad. It was written by Ferdinand Washington and Don Robey and published in 1954.

The song's theme is captured in the title and the opening lines:

Forever my darling, my love will be true,
Always and forever, I'll love just you,[1]

Johnny Ace[edit]

The most popular recording of the song was done by Johnny Ace.[1] It was released by Duke Records as catalog number 136 in December 1954, soon after Ace's death by an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound. Ace's version peaked on the Billboard chart at #17 and spent 10 weeks at #1 on the R&B chart.[2]

The recording was produced by Johnny Otis, who also played the vibraphone on the track and featured the Johnny Otis band.

In 1958 it was reissued with additional background vocals, using the same label number. This issue was backed by his Anymore, modified similarly.

Ace's "Pledging My Love" was used twice in the 1983 film Christine directed by John Carpenter and based on the novel by Stephen King about a 17-year-old high schooler who falls in love with his first car, a sentient 1958 Plymouth Fury. It is briefly heard in Back to the Future (1985) when Lorraine Baines is in the car with her future son Marty McFly. The song is also played during the movie Bad Lieutenant and another Harvey Keitel movie, Mean Streets.

Paul Simon wrote a song called "The Late Great Johnny Ace" and released it on his Hearts and Bones album. In the early 2000s, Simon sang "Pledging my Love" live in concert, telling the audience that this record was the first one he ever bought.

Other versions[edit]

It was covered by Teresa Brewer (Coral Records, catalog number 61362) and The Four Lads (Columbia Records, catalog number 40436). Brewer's version also charted at #17 on the pop chart in 1955.[3] On Cash Box magazine's Best-Selling Record charts, where all versions are combined, the song peaked at #11.

Bing Crosby recorded the song in 1955[4] for use on his radio show and it was subsequently issued on the CD So Rare: Treasures from the Crosby Archive, Vol. One (2010).[5]

Later versions also making the charts were recorded by Roy Hamilton (released by Epic Records as catalog number 9294, #45 on Billboard and #51 on Cash Box in 1958) and Johnny Tillotson (released by Cadence Records as catalog number 1377, #63 on Billboard and #73 on Cash Box in 1960).

Joe Hinton covered it as a b-side in 1965.

Percy Sledge put out a single of Pledging My Love in 1967 in Germany and the UK.

Jay and the Americans released a cover version of the song on their 1969 album, Sands of Time.

LaVern Baker included in her 1970 Let Me Belong to You album.

In 1971, Kitty Wells released a single of "Pledging My Love" and used it as the title song of an album. Her version topped out at #49 on the US country charts, but reached #19 in Canada.

In 1972, by Jerry Lee Lewis on a double LP Live in London

In 1973, a cover version by Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye appeared on the album Diana & Marvin. It reached #18 in South Africa.[6]

Tom Jones covered the song in 1975. It charted only in Canada, where it reached #93 on the Pop chart and #24 Adult Contemporary.[7][8]

In 1975, Billy Thunderkloud & the Chieftones released a single of "Pledging My Love" that reached #37 on the Billboard country charts.

In 1976, Delbert McClinton includes a cover version on his album Genuine Cowhide. Roy Orbison covers it too in I'm Still in Love with You album.

The song was recorded by Elvis Presley late in his career and appears on his 1977 album Moody Blue, the last album released before Presley's death in 1977.

David Allan Coe also recorded a cover of the song.

In 1983, Emmylou Harris released a version of this song on her album White Shoes, released as a single, it reached #9 on the country charts.

In 1986, Aaron Neville released a version of this song on his Orchids In The Storm EP.

In 1993, Solomon Burke released a version of this song on his album, Soul Of the Blues.

In 1994, blues singer Little Milton covered this song on his album, I'm A Gambler.

In 2008, the band Flat Duo Jets released their previously recorded live album, Two Headed Cow, which features the song "Golden Strings"; it's clearly inspired by "Pledging My Love", containing the lyrics: "I'll forever love you, For the rest of my days, I'll never part from you, Or your loving ways".

In 2012, Ash included a version on their Little Infinity EP.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 4 - The Tribal Drum: The rise of rhythm and blues. [Part 2]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 22.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1973). Top Pop Records 1940-1955. Record Research.
  4. ^ "A Bing Crosby Discography". BING magazine. International Club Crosby. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "allmusic.com". allmusic.com. Retrieved December 8, 2017.
  6. ^ http://www.rock.co.za/files/springbok_top_20_(G).html
  7. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 19XX-XX-XX. Retrieved 2018-10-10. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. 1975-03-08. Retrieved 2018-12-03.

External links[edit]