What’s Stuck In My Head – 12 November

So sometime around 3 AM this morning this popped into my head and woke me up.  Not sure why, maybe it’s that stupid tropical storm that’s been threatening us on and off for the last few days.  Maybe it’s the constant back pain, or more likely the meds I’m taking for the pain that keeps me up. 

But maybe, just maybe it’s kismet that the song came to me the way the title came to Tommy James;

The title, “Crimson and Clover”, was decided before a song had been written for it. The combination of unknown meaning came to James as he was waking up, comprising his favorite color – crimson – and his favorite flower – clover.


In any case, this has always been one of favorite songs.  As a youngster the effects are what caught my attention.  But as I grew older (I still refuse to grow up) how those effects were accomplished is what kept me listening to the track.

I will admit that all I know of Tommy James and the Shondells are their singles.  I didn’t know that the album version of tis track is two minutes longer.  I’m not surprised, it never occurred to me that there would be an album as well.  Ah, the obliviousness of youth!

This track has been covered by Prince and more famously by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.  The original reached number one on 1 February 1969, Joan’s cover made it to number 7 in 1982.  Other songs that the group gave us that made it big are “I Think We’re Alone Now” covered by Tiffany and “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol.  Both of which hit number one in November of 1987.  “Crystal Blue Persuasion” is another track I always enjoyed.  I do have a bit of a psychedelia streak in me (see here, here, here, and here). 

“Crimson and Clover” entered the U.S. charts on December 14, where it stayed for 16 weeks on Billboard Hot 100 and 15 weeks on Cash Box Top 100. Following a performance of the song on The Ed Sullivan Show on January 26, it became number one on February 1, 1969, a position held for one week on Cash Box Top 100 and two weeks on both Billboard Hot 100 and Record World 100 Top Pops. Internationally, the song reached number one in Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, and Switzerland. It also charted in Austria, Brazil, France, Holland, Italy, Israel, Malaysia, Mexico, Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Despite this, the song did not chart in the United Kingdom.


And to even out the music spectrum, they also gave us the bubblegum “Hanky Panky”.  Mother nature may abhor a straight line, but she does enjoy balance.



P.S. I’ve got a new genealogy blog now.  The link is down below!

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