1-Hit – Bruce Channel, Hey! Baby

This is song is one of my favourites!

Bruce Channel

Bruce Channel

Hey! Baby/Smash 1731/2/10/62/# 1 on Billboard for 3 weeks

Bruce Channel (born as Bruce McMeans, on November 28, 1940, in Jacksonville, Texas) was a one-hit wonder known for his 1962 number one hit, “Hey! Baby”.

Channel originally performed on the Louisiana Hayride radio show, and then joined up with harmonica-player Delbert McClinton singing country music. Bruce wrote “Hey! Baby” in 1959, together with Margaret Cobb, and had been performing it for two years before recording it for Fort Worth record producer Bill Smith. It was originally released on Bill Smith’s label, but as it started to sell well, it was distributed by Smash. Besides topping the U.S. pop charts, it became No. 2 in the UK in 1962 as well.

Channel toured Europe and was supported at one gig by The Beatles, who were then still unknown. John Lennon who had “Hey! Baby” on his jukebox, was fascinated by McClinton’s harmonica and asked McClinton to teach him to play. The harmonica break in “Hey! Baby” not only inspired Lennon’s harmonica playing on The Beatles’ 1962 first single “Love Me Do” and later records, but the harmonica break on Frank Ifield’s “I Remember You” in 1962.

The key to the appeal of “Hey! Baby” is the sustained first note, with a rhythmic shuffle in the background. This had previously occurred on a recent hit “Sherry” (1962) by The Four Seasons, and was later to recur on a Beatles song, “I Should Have Known Better” (on A Hard Day’s Night – 1964).

Delbert McClinton went on to write songs that were recorded by Waylon Jennings and Emmylou Harris.


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