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Ricky Nelson first to promote his records on the shows
The trend started in 1957 when Ricky Nelson became the first teen idol to utilize television shows to promote hit records when he sang “I’m Walkin’ ” on “The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet.”
OLD ROCKER: Send in questions for future columns
If you have a favorite Doo-Wop trivia question, please email it to me along with your name and telephone number so that I can use in a future column.
THE OLD ROCKER: For wild band names, few outdo The Trashmen
A rock-garage band, The Trashmen had one major hit “Surfin’ Bird” which reached No. 4 in 1964. The song was a combination of two 1962 songs by the Doo-Wop group The Rivingtons – “Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow” and “The Bird’s the Word.”
THE OLD ROCKER: Singer was weary of time on the road
Jim Croce joined a list of singers killed in aircraft accidents, including Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper in 1959; Patsy Cline in 1963; Jim Reeves in 1964, and Dawson’s Otis Redding in 1967.
THE OLD ROCKER: Gracie says financial dispute led to his being blackballed
During his more than six-decade career as a rock ‘n’ roll performer, the guitar-strumming Charlie Gracie probably has done everything in the industry but drive the tour bus.
THE OLD ROCKER: Williams ranked No. 1 among piano recording artists
Renowned pianist Roger Williams earned that honor. He recorded an instrumental version of “Autumn Leaves” in 1955. The song climbed to No. 1 in October of that year to become the first instrumental in the rock era to top the Billboard magazine charts.
OLD ROCKERS: Elvis and the Fab Four are getting some company
The current records are inundated with female superstars during the past 25 years, including Mariah Carey, Madonna, Rihanna, Whitney Houston and Katy Perry.
OLD ROCKER: Where were you when Elvis died 38 years ago?
Elvis Presley recorded approximately 700 songs on 45s and albums and had a then-record 18 No. 1 hits. He also appeared in 33 movies. The Beatles hold the record with 20 No. 1 hits, two more than Presley and Mariah Carey.
THE OLD ROCKER: Diamonds' version of 'The Stroll' a No. 1 hit
Nicknamed Diamond Dave, Dave Somerville performed with a variety of acts and had a full schedule until his death.
OLD ROCKER: Mammals, bird, reptiles, insects have their day on charts
Of all the words in the titles of rock ‘n’ roll songs during the modern era’s first decade, most were focused on love and relationships and good times. On the opposite end, few titles referred to mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.