In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every solitary #1 single in the background of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my method up into the present.
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“Sugar Shack” more than likely didn’t feel favor an ending, however it was one. The biggest-selling solitary of 1963 wasn’t really exceptional in any type of way. It’s pretty usual of the pop songs the its era: Short, sentimental, innocent, infernally catchy in a method that can be deeply irritating, barely 2 minutes long. There were hundreds of songs the were basically just like it, and it’s tough to say why this one struggle the way it did. It probably seemed like songs choose that could keep comes out and also keep offering millions forever. But shortly ~ the song finished its long run at #1, president Kennedy to be shot dead in Dallas. And just a few weeks ~ that, the Beatles confirmed up in America and also put bands favor the Fireballs more or much less out that business. So probably it’s best to think the “Sugar Shack” as an oblivious death-rattle the a proudly goofy era.
The Fireballs came together in the late ’50s in new Mexico, scoring a couple of minor hits as an instrumental group. In 1960, the Chicago-born and also Texas-raised singer Jimmy Gilmer join up and also became the de facto frontman. “Sugar Shack,” your one truly huge hit, is all about a man who flirts with, and eventually, marries a girl he meets when she’s functioning at a coffeehouse. Songwriter Keith McCormack come up v the lyrics over breakfast one morning, tossing lines earlier and forth through his aunt Fay Voss, who also got a songwriting credit. It’s all pretty relentlessly happy and also pleasant.
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Gilmer’s delivery on the track is probably the worst thing around it. It’s a corny, wide-grinning simper-croon, a teenager-in-a-sitcom kind of thing. (“Espresso coffee tastes mighty good.”) The bloopy Hammond Solovox riff, play by producer Norman Petty, sounds like Gilmer whistling come himself, and it’s just as oppressively clear as Gilmer’s voice. However there’s a nice stomp to what the rhythm ar are doing; it’s what keeps the song from dissolving right into treacle completely.
BONUS BEATS: Here, indigenous the 1993 album Muppet coast Party, is Gonzo and also Rizzo covering “Sugar Shack,” turning it right into a song about a chicken: