1. Pink Shoe Laces/ Crystalette 724/ March 1959/ #3
Dodie Stevens (born Geraldine Ann Pasquale, Chicago, Illinois) is an American pop singer. She is best known for her 1959 song “Pink Shoe Laces“, which made her a star when she was only 13 years old.
Stevens and her family moved to the San Gabriel Valley in California when she was three. She soon started taking singing and dancing lessons. In 1954, at the age of eight, she recorded her first song, “Merry-Go Merry-Go Round.” The song was performed on the Art Linkletter’s House Party TV show and issued on Gold Star Records under the name Geri Pace.
“Pink Shoe Laces” and early career
The president of Crystalette Records, Carl Burns, happened to see her in a local show called “Strictly Informal.” Mr. Burns gave her the name Dodie Stevens and the song “Pink Shoe Laces.”
Although Stevens did not initially like her new name or the song, she recorded “Pink Shoe Laces” in 1959 for the Crystalette label. The song reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. She became the youngest female ever to sell a million copies of a single. Following the song success, Dot Records signed her to a recording contract.
In the early 1960s, she had several minor hit singles on Dot including “No” (Dot 16103) and “Yes I’m Lonesome Tonight” (Dot 16167), as well as “Merry, Merry Christmas Baby” (M. Sylvia / G. Lopez) (Dot 16166), which continues to enjoy considerable airplay during the Christmas season.
Adult career and legacy
Stevens married at the age of sixteen and moved to Missouri and lived on a farm. A few years later, she had a daughter, Stephanie.
Soon thereafter, in 1966, she ended her marriage and resumed her singing career. She took additional vocal lessons and in 1972 began appearing and recording with Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’77.
In the ensuing years she toured as a backup singer with such recording artists as Loretta Lynn, Frankie Avalon, and Boz Scaggs, and for twelve years with Mac Davis.
In the 1990s, as Geri Stevens, she toured with Fabian and her own company “Dodie Stevens and The Pink Shoe Laces Review.”
Recently, she has performed with her daughter Stephanie and appeared at oldies concerts across the country. She also teaches singing and stage performance out of her studio in San Diego County.
Although Ms. Stevens is a trained vocalist possessing considerable vocal range and dynamics, she gained fame and will likely always be best remembered for “Pink Shoe Laces,” which is essentially a novelty song with the verses spoken in hiphop-like staccato fashion.