On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.

My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.

I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.

So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…

 

The Jaynetts – Sally Go ‘Round the Roses (1963)

We’re still in the US and we seem to be focusing on heartbreak quite a bit at the moment. I’m not sure how much more of these morose melodies I can take. Seriously, can we have something more upbeat? Today, we are back to the Bronx and in the company of another girl group, this one by the name of The Jaynetts. They are notable as a one hit wonder and the amount of singers in there for today’s number is numerous while the recording took place. Written by Lona Stevens and Zell Sanders, Sally Go ‘Round the Roses relied heavily on Stevens’ husband, music producer Phil Spector, who saw potential with the song and put it in the hands of The Jaynetts. The result? A big hit and sadly the only hit of significance for The Jaynetts. A place on this 1001 Songs list as well so not all bad. 

Sally Go ‘Round the Roses sees The Jaynetts singing a warning of sorts to the Sally of the title. They beseech her to go round the roses and not to go into the centre of town. It’s not a good idea to go there today for heartbreak awaits. Her lover is with another girl and if Sally sees this she will be pretty upset. The Jaynetts go on by telling Sally to seek solace with the roses, to be there amongst them, alone, and to let her tears flow. She can cry in this place and not have to worry about anyone but the roses. The good news is the roses won’t reveal the secret of her pain, they’ll keep it to themselves, so Sally can just let it all out. 

I wasn’t familiar with The Jaynetts or Sally Go ‘Round the Roses until today. The song reached the no.2 slot on the Billboard 100 in the US but further success for The Jaynetts would prove elusive and this is the only song they are remembered for which is a shame. The group sing it well, a pleasant blend of vocalists on offer though how many are actually singing at one time is difficult to discern. The song is a bit repetitive in places but that’s probably a harsh criticism born out of listening to the varied In Dreams by Roy Orbison yesterday.

 

Favourite songs so far:

Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)

Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)

Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)

Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)

Peggy Lee – Fever (1958)

The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)

The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)

Edith Piaf – Non, je ne regrette rien (1960)

Ben E. King – Stand By Me (1961)

Roy Orbison – In Dreams (1963)

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