Some classic rock hits come right out of the blue

The Old Rocker

Antoine "Fats" Domino was one of the most successful rock ‘n’ rollers from the early years.

The 85-year-old New Orleans native wrote many of his songs with his ideas coming from everyday expressions such as “Ain’t It a Shame” and “Poor Me” in 1955, “I’m in Love Again” in 1956, “Whole Lotta Lovin’ “ in 1958, “Be My Guest” in 1959 and “Let the Four Winds Blow” in 1961.


Klaus Hiltscher

Antione “Fats” Domino made rocks hits out of everyday expressions. He was also part of a “blue” trend in song titles.

Two of his biggest hits had the word blue in the title — “Blueberry Hill” reached No. 2 in 1956 and “Blue Monday” No. 5 in 1957. Domino, interestingly, had 38 Top 40 hits, but none reached No. 1.

Domino was not the only performer to have “blue” or a derivative of the word in the title.

Here’s a list of some of the other Top 40 hits through the years to have “Blue” in the title. See how many of these “Blasts from the Past” that you can remember.

“Blue Suede Shoes” by Carl Perkins and also by Elvis Presley and “Singin’ the Blues” by Guy Mitchell and also Marty Robbins in 1956, “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley in 1957, “Blue, Blue Day” by Don Gibson, “Bluebirds over the Mountain” by Ersel Hickey and “Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran in 1958, “Blue Hawaii” by Billy Vaughn, “Lavender Blue” by Sammy Turner and “Mr. Blue” by the Fleetwoods in 1959.

Also, “Blue Angel” by Roy Orbison, “Blue Tango” by Bill Black’s Combo “Lonely Blue Boy” by Conway Twitty and “Mule Skinner Blues” by the Fenderman in 1960, “Blue Moon” by the Marcels and “Blue on Blue” by Bobby Vinton in 1961, “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton and “Blue Bayou” by Roy Orbison in 1963, “Devil in a Blue Dress” by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels in 1966, and “Crystal Blue Persuasion” by Tommy James and the Shondells and “Wedding Bell Blues” by the Fifth Dimension in 1969.

The “Blue” trend continued during the 1970s — and beyond.

“Song Sung Blue” by Neil Diamond, “Behind Blue Eyes” by The Who and “Inner City Blues” by Marvin Gaye in 1971, “Blue Eyes Cryin’ in the Rain” by Willie Nelson in 1975, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue” by Crystal Gayle in 1977, “Blue Collar Man” by Styx and “Bluer than Blue” by Michael Johnson in 1978, Forever in Blue Jeans” by Neil Diamond and “Blue Morning, Blue Day” by Foreigner in 1979, “Blue Eyes” by Elton John in 1982, “Blue Jean” by David Bowie in 1984 and “Blue” by LeAnn Rimes in 1996,

Of the “blue” songs, “Blue Christmas” was the only one that was not a Top 40 hit. However, no list of “blue” songs would be complete without the Christmastime classic.

Of the “blue” performers, the Fendermen were one of the more interesting artists. “Mule Skinner Blues,” which reached No. 5 in 1960, was the duo’s first — and only — hit. The group got its name because they all played Fender guitars.


The Five Satins were one of the early Doo-Wop groups with a unique history.


Special photo

Freddy Parris formed the Five Satins in 1956, creating the unforgettable classic “In the Still of the Night.”

Freddy Parris was the lead singer of the Scarlets in 1954 and he liked a group called the Velvets. It was a short hop for Parris to go from velvet to satin when he formed a new group in 1956 called the Five Satins.

Called into the Army that year, he was on guard duty at 3 a.m. one day when he was inspired by the absolute silence. This motivated Parris to write “In the Still of the Night,” which was recorded in the basement of St. Bernadette’s Church in New Haven, Conn.

The song is the classic story of a boy and a girl out together on a warm night in May, under the stars, hugging and hoping that the evening never will end.

The Five Satins’ Top 25 hit became a rock ‘n’ roll classic and is considered the ultimate Doo-Wop song.

During the early 1960s, the Five Satins stopped recording and touring and returned to their hometown of New Haven.

The members reunited in 1969 to perform at Richard Nader’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Revival at Madison Square Garden. They received such a tremendous ovation from the crowd that they decided to return to touring.

They still are making occasional appearances even though Parris is nearly 80 years old.

Barry Levine is a news copy editor at The Albany Herald and can be reached at barry.levine@albanyherald.com.