Joe Dowell

I will talk about an artist that I never bought and was not a big fan of. The song, Wooden Heart, I had by Elvis, so I never went any further.

Joe Dowell

Joe Dowell

Wooden Heart/Smash 1708/7/17/61/ # 1 on Billboard
Little Red rented Rowboat/Smash 1759/7/28/62/ # 23 on Billboard

Joe Dowell (born January 23, 1940, Bloomington, Indiana) was an American pop singer. He first performed at a ninth-grade talent show, and later attended the University of Illinois. At his first recording session (backed by organist Ray Stevens), he sang the tune “Wooden Heart”, which had been a hit for Elvis Presley in Europe, but which was never released as a single stateside. “Wooden Heart”, the first single released on Smash Records, shot to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961.

Wooden Heart


In the wake of his success, Dowell wanted to become a songwriter in his own right, but due to contractual obligations, he was required to sing music owned by Smash’s parent company, Mercury Records. He had two further hits, “The Bridge of Love” (US #50) and “Little Red Rented Rowboat” (US #23), but after struggles with his management he was dropped from the label.

Little Red Rented Rowboat

Dowell went on to work in radio advertising, and became a spokesman for banks. Bear Family Records began releasing Dowell’s old material in the 2000’s. (Last fm)

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