Hello Mary Lou

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12 hours ago
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Albert Flores

"Hello Mary Lou" is a song written by American singer Gene Pitney first recorded by Johnny Duncan in 1960 and in the following year by Ricky Nelson. The song was recorded by Ricky Nelson at the famous United Western Recorders Studios on 22th March, 1961.

Nelson's version, issued as a double A-side with his No. 1 hit "Travelin' Man", (Imperial 5741), reached No. +more 9 on the Billboard music charts on May 28, 1961. In the United Kingdom it reached No. 2. It was also a hit in much of Europe, particularly Norway, where it spent 14 weeks at No. 1 and in Sweden, where it spent five months in the best selling chart (July-December) and peaked at #2 during eight weeks. In New Zealand, the song reached No. 4.

A 1991 reissue following the song's use in a TV advert gave the song a second chart run, peaking at No. 45 in the UK Singles Chart.

The song features an influential guitar solo by James Burton, often cited by later guitarists such as Brian May. Piano is by Ray Johnson, who had succeeded Gene Garf as Nelson's regular session pianist in November 1959. +more Other musicians on the record include Joe Osborn on bass and Ritchie Frost on drums.

The song appears on Nelson's sixth album Rick Is 21 (1961).

Plagiarism settlement

"Hello Mary Lou" is similar to an earlier song, "Merry, Merry Lou", written by Cayet Mangiaracina and recorded by his band, the Sparks, in 1957 on a single released by Decca Records. It was covered by Bill Haley & His Comets as "Mary, Mary Lou" and released as a single later in 1957, also by Decca, and by Sam Cooke in 1958 for the Keen Records label. +more Mangiaracina would later become ordained as a Catholic priest. When "Hello Mary Lou" was released, the publisher of "Merry, Merry Lou", Champion Music (an arm of Decca Records), sued for plagiarism and a settlement was reached. Mangiaracina was given co-writing credit for "Hello Mary Lou" and a share of the song's royalties, while Champion received a share of the publishing.

Cover versions

Gene Pitney, for his debut 1962 album The Many Sides of Gene Pitney. * Siw Malmkvist, who recorded a Swedish version "För sent skall syndarn vakna" (Too late the sinner will wake up) 1964. +more * Bobby Lewis, in 1970. This version reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart. * Led Zeppelin, in 1972, as part of their "Whole Lotta Love" medley, released in 2003 on How the West Was Won. It was removed from the 2018 remaster. * The Statler Brothers, in 1985. This take hit No. 3 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart that summer. * Creedence Clearwater Revival, on their 1972 album Mardi Gras. * Queen, in 1986, during the Magic Tour as part of a medley, released on Live at Wembley '86 and Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest.

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