Sheila (Tommy Roe song)

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Single by Tommy Roe
from the album Sheila
B-side "Save Your Kisses"
Released 1962
Format 7"
Recorded 1962 (re-recording)
Genre Pop, rockabilly, Lubbock sound
Length 2:03
Label ABC-Paramount
Songwriter(s) Tommy Roe
Tommy Roe singles chronology
"I Got a Girl"
"Susie Darlin'"

"I Got a Girl"
"Susie Darlin'"

"Sheila" is a song written and recorded by Tommy Roe. The single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on September 1, 1962, remaining in the top position for two weeks and peaking at number six on the US Billboard R&B chart.[1]


Roe originally conceived the song as "Frita", based on a girl from Roe's high school. The song was auditioned to a record producer from Judd Records, and while response was enthusiastic, it was suggested that the name be changed. By coincidence, Roe's Aunt Sheila was visiting, which inspired the final title of "Sheila."[2] The original version of the song was recorded by Roe for Judd in 1960 (misspelled as "Shelia") and backed by another original song, "Pretty Girl". The songs were recorded with his then backing group the Satins and the female vocal group, the Flamingos. The record failed to make an impact on the charts. The song was later featured on the compilation album Whirling with Tommy Roe in 1961, featuring tracks from Al Tornello. It was also included on the compilation, The Young Lovers in 1962.

The ABC recording of the song is done in the style of the Lubbock sound, made popular by Buddy Holly and the Crickets in the late 1950s; the strumming pattern, tempo, and chords (both songs are in the key of A) bear particularly strong resemblance to the Crickets' “Peggy Sue"; Roe's vocals are similar to Holly's. The song became the title track of Tommy Roe's debut studio album, Sheila in 1962.

In 1969, Roe was presented by the Recording Industry Association of America with a gold record for accumulated sales of over one million copies.[3]

Chart positions[edit]

Year Title / Songwriter(s) UK[4] AUS[5] CAN[6] U.S. GER[5] RIAA Certification[7]
1962 "Sheila" (Tommy Roe) 3 1 1 1 9 Gold

Cover versions[edit]

The Beatles covered the song on stage in 1962. A live recording for the BBC was recorded on 25 October 1962 for the radio programme Here We Go to be broadcast the next day. The song was never aired and the recording is lost.[8] An amateur taping was made at the Star Club in Hamburg in December of that same year. This version was ultimately published in 1977 on the bootleg recording Live! at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962.

French female singer Annie Chancel recorded the song in 1962, and since then used Sheila as her professional alias.

English band Status Quo covered this song on the U.K. version of their 1968 album Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo, and also in the 2003 and 2009 remasterings of the same title.

Leif Garrett released a version of the song as a single in Australia in 1979 which reached #63. It was featured on his album, Feel the Need.

The song was also covered by the Greg Kihn Band on their 1981 album RocKihnRoll.


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 498.
  2. ^ "Tommy Roe(Live)- "Come On" & "Sheila"". YouTube. 2016-09-04. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  3. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 151. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 467. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ a b "Song artist 372 - Tommy Roe". Retrieved 2016-09-26.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2008-12-12.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2012-08-11.
  8. ^ "The Beatles' BBC radio recordings". 12 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2018.

External links[edit]