Saturday, April 11, 2009
Yahoo LAUNCHCAST Song Of The Day-Lorne Greene
Album:Nipper's Greatest Hits: The 60s Vol. 2
OK so it's not a musical masterpiece. But Ringo was a fun song and it reached #1 on the pop singles chart in the middle of Beatlemania in 1964. It just goes to show one never knows what kind of songs will catch on with fans. Of course the song depended on the popularity of Lorne Greene as Ben Cartwright on the TV show Bonanza. I'm not sure if today anyone comprehends how popular Bonanza was at the time. And Greene was even Canadian. He was born Feb. 12, 1915 in Ottawa. He trained in acting at Queen's University in Kingston but made his name as a broadcaster for the CBC. by 1957, he had moved to Hollywood and was in the 1957 film Peyton Place. And then came Bonanza. To take advantage of the show's popularity, NBC decided to record a Bonanza album. Greene didn't actually sing so he narrated the song. It helps that he delivers the song very seriously. Radio personality Frank Gallup even recorded a parody called The Ballad Of Irving in 1966. Ringo was written by veteran Nashville songwriters Don Robertson & Hal Blair. Joe Reisman produced the song with the Anita Kerr Singers on backup vocals. The 1965 album Welcome To The Ponderosa reached #35 on the album charts and Ringo reached #1 on the singles charts. Greene's follow up recordings didn't do anywhere near as well and he went back to acting by 1967. This Nipper's Greatest Hits various artists comp is part of a series from RCA. This one has some interesting stuff including one hit wonders by Gale Garnett, Sgt. Barry Sadler & Zager & Evans so it might be a good way to get this song. Of course this was just a diversion for Greene and he continued to star in Bonanza and then Battlestar Galactica until his death on Sept. 11, 1987 at age 72. Here's a video for Ringo by Lorne Greene.