Tuesday, April 14, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Robin Luke

Artist:Robin Luke
Song:Susie Darlin'
Album:Alley-Oop: 30 One Hit Wonders: US Pop!

You might think that I would run out of one hit wonders. But here is a song that was a top five hit in 1958 and it's the only song to ever chart for Robin Luke. At least he wrote it so he can make a buck off it. He was born Mar. 19, 1942 in Los Angeles. His father worked for Douglas Aircraft so the family moved around quite a bit. Luke spent his teen years in Hawaii. He wrote Susie Darlin' for his little sister. He was performing on a school music program when he was spotted by legendary manager Kimo Wilder McVay. This is the guy who discovered Don Ho. McVay thought this fresh faced teen could be a star so he brought him to producer Bob Bertram who normally produced country artists like Eddie Dean and Joe Maphis. That's why Susie Darlin' has a rockabilly vibe because Bertram would produce it like a country record. Susie Darlin' became a hit in Hawaii and then was picked up for national distribution by Dot Records. It reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. Luke appeared on American Bandstand and toured with The Kalin Twins, Buddy Holly and Ricky Nelson. Dot bought Luke's contract from McVay but subsequent singles didn't chart and he returned to school. The German label Bear Family has released a Robin Luke CD. But it's expensive and I think most would only be interested in Susie Darlin'. You can get it on this one hit wonder comp from the British reissue label Jasmine Records. Robin Luke still tours the oldies circuit. But in real life, he has a Ph.D. in Marketing and he is a professor at Southwest Missouri State University. Robin Luke is in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Here's a video of Susie Darlin' by Robin Luke.

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