21) The Fleetwoods – “Mr. Blue”

Our first repeat offenders on No Hard Chords don’t have the record to match pop chart recidivists like Elvis Presley, Paul Anka or Bobby Darin.  As I wrote in the review of “Come Softly To Me,” The Fleetwoods were a high school vocal trio who managed to concoct an amateurish yet endearing pop sketch, charming record buyers enough to snag a spot at the top of the charts for a week.  Somehow lightning struck twice for The Fleetwoods, at least commercially.  Their next release also managed to top the Hot 100, interrupting the nine-week run of Bobby Darin’s “Mack the Knife” for a single week.  “Mr. Blue” sounds more polished than “Come Softly to Me,” but suffers for it.  They still have more personality than, say, The Browns, but the professional songwriting and production muffles their awkward charm.  Still, the song has a pleasant tune, if a little slight, and lead singer Gary Troxel’s sweet but not schmaltzy voice adds the right note of melancholy without going into Ankaland.  But perhaps the most memorable element is Si Zentner’s trombone, wandering lonely as a cloud. 6

Hit #1 on November 16, 1959; total of 1 week at #1
21 of 963 #1’s reviewed; 2.18% through the Hot 100


Filed under 06, 1959

3 responses to “21) The Fleetwoods – “Mr. Blue”

  1. RaiulBaztepo

    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  2. bob stanley

    “Wandering lonely as a cloud”. Perfect. The trombone makes the record, doesn’t it? You can somehow imagine Brian Wilson playing it.

  3. GeorgeL

    Sorry but this song never did much for me. I think the guy singing lead sounds really wimpy! The Fleetwoods were capable of much better.

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