Friday, June 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge - Day 16

Day 16 - An Oldie But a Goodie

"Johnny Angel" - Shelley Fabares, Shelley! (1962)

First, a definition: An Oldie is a song released after 1955 (the dawn of rock 'n' roll) but before 1972 (the release of Don McLean's epic "American Pie"). These are not "official" dates, but "American Pie" was the newest song my Oldies station ever played. Plus, it's about the death of Buddy Holly, et al., so it's kind of pertinent.

I listened to Oldies and nothing but Oldies until I was about 13. One of my perennial favorites has always been the one hit wonder “Johnny Angel”. It’s the story of unrequited love for a boy named Johnny, who doesn't notice the singer's very existence. And instead of doing the healthy thing and attempting to move on, she rejects dates from other guys just so she can concentrate more on Johnny. The song, performed by actress Shelley Fabares, premiered on The Donna Reed Show. The character was performing in a talent show or something. I don't know. But the song had a huge response and went all the way to Number 1.

"Johnny Angel" is your standard, dreamy, girl group-esque melody. It's pretty, damn it. And I've always related to the subject matter. It turns out, ignoring all the other guys works for Shelley, because in the sequel song "Johnny Loves Me", Johnny loves her. Although how it comes to happen is still a mystery...

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