Sugar Shack

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"Sugar Shack"
Single by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
from the album Sugar Shack
B-side "My Heart Is Free"
Released 1963
Format 7" single
Recorded 1963, Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, N.M.
Genre garage rock, rock and roll
Label Dot

"Sugar Shack" is a song written in 1962 by Keith McCormack and Jimmy Torres. Torres gave his song rights to his aunt, Fay Voss, as a birthday present. The song was recorded in 1963 by Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, New Mexico.[1] The unusual and distinctive organ part was played on a Hammond Solovox, Model J.[2]

"Sugar Shack" hit number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 (where it spent five weeks from October 12 to November 9, 1963)[1] and Cashbox singles charts (where it spent three weeks from October 19 to November 2, 1963[3]). Its run on the Billboard R&B chart was cut short because Billboard ceased publishing an R&B chart from November 30, 1963 to January 23, 1965. "Sugar Shack" has the distinction of being the last single to make it to number one on the Billboard R&B chart because Billboard did not publish an R&B chart for fourteen months.[4] In Canada the song was #1, also for five weeks, from October 14 to November 11. [5] On November 29, 1963, the song received RIAA certification for selling over a million copies, earning gold record status, and was the number-one single of the year according to Billboard.[6] Billboard also ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1963.[7] "Sugar Shack" also hit the UK at #45 on the Record Retailer chart

Songwriter Keith McCormack stated in an interview that one night he wrote most of the song 'Sugar Shack' but asked his aunt (Faye Voss) what black skin-tight pants were called. She said 'Leotards' and so they finished the song together.[8]

The song is also featured in the films Mermaids, Dogfight, Forrest Gump, Congo, Stealing Sinatra and the television show Supernatural.


  1. ^ a b Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits. New York: Billboard Books. p. 138. ISBN 0823076776. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Strange sounds: offbeat instruments and sonic experiments in pop, by Mark Brend. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Cash Box Top Singles – 1963". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 803. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1963". Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  7. ^ Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1963
  8. ^ Plainview Daily Herald, June 25, 1995 issue, page 3A)
Preceded by
"Blue Velvet" by Bobby Vinton
Billboard Hot 100 number-one single
October 12, 1963 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Deep Purple" by Nino Tempo and April Stevens
Preceded by
"It's All Right" by The Impressions
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
November 23, 1963 (one week)
Succeeded by
Chart not published from November 30, 1963 through January 23, 1965