April 5 – Fleetwoods ‘Come Softly’, Chapman ‘Fast Car’

1959


Was any #1 group ever so young? Was teen love ever so innocent?

Olympia, WA vocal trio The Fleetwoods(*) bring their fine US#1 doo-wop song Come Softly to Me to The Ed Sullivan Show.
▷Songfacts▹

In one of the happier turns in regional pop, Seattle record promoter Bob Reisdorf started Dolphin Records(*) to record the trio and release the song. It’s the first of 11 hits for the group. In September they’d have their 2nd and last US#1 hit with Mr. Blue.

The following year Reisdorf helps launch the success of Seattle’s The Ventures (*) when Dolton releases their rockin’ cover of Walk, Don’t Run, written in 1955 by jazz guitarist Johnny Smith. It makes US#2, one of the first surfing songs to reach the top of the charts.

 ( Gretchen’s site  ( Gary’s site ( Ventures site
YT:Fleetwoods  ▷Color Radio’s oldies site▹  ~ Pacific Northwest bands 

1988

Cleveland-born busker and coffeehouse singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman releases an astonishing eponymous debut album featuring the riveting, beautiful track Fast Car.

To the world’s credit, the album becomes an international #1; ‘Car’ rises to US#6, UK#5, CA#1 and earns Chapman the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Rolling Stone names it #165 of their top 500 songs.

In 2011, a cover by Michael Collings on Britain’s Got Talent causes the single to rise again to UK#4.

 ( Chapman site  ( Collings site