What was the number one song in the UK on 26th September 1958?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

Connie is back again and she was number one for 6 weeks with the double A side Carolina Moon and Stupid Cupid.

Carolina Moon: Connie’s vocals sound lovely and smooth in this track. They slide from note to note perfectly, which gives the song a lullaby quality. The harmonica and rhythmic melody of Carolina Moon provides the image that Connie is singing this while trekking on a horse through the wild west. I like this one.

Stupid Cupid: This track is in complete contrast to Carolina Moon. It’s a hand clapping, foot tapping, party tune. Question is, why is she singing about carrying his school books and kissing his lips of wine? School children shouldn’t be drinking wine, people. Also, she was 20 years old when she released this song, so she was a 20 year old singing about falling in love with a school boy while possibly plying him with wine… so many questions. Anyway, despite the possibly dodgy context of the lyrics, I love this song. It’s got me swinging my hips and singing along.

Wikipedia

“Carolina Moon” is a popular song, written by Joe Burke and Benny Davis. Written in 1924, the song was first recorded in 1928 by American crooner Gene Austin whose version charted for 14 weeks, seven of them at #1.

A version of “Carolina Moon” was recorded by Connie Francis in June 1958: as with her breakthrough hit “Who’s Sorry Now?”, “Carolina Moon” was recommended to Francis by her father. The B-side of Francis’s international hit “Stupid Cupid” “Carolina Moon” became a double A-side hit with “Stupid Cupid” which began a six-week tenure at #1 on the UK Singles Chart dated September 27 1958. Benny Davis would later write several songs for Connie Francis including the 1962 #1 hit “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” (Joe Burke had died in 1950).

“Stupid Cupid” is a song written by Howard Greenfield and Neil Sedaka which became a hit for Connie Francis in 1958. After almost three years of failure, Connie Francis finally had a hit in the spring of 1958 with a rock ballad version of the standard “Who’s Sorry Now?” Unfortunately, her next pair of singles were less successful. I’m Sorry I Made You Cry only reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Heartaches failed to chart at all. Francis recalls: “I knew I had to come up with a hit on the third record. It was crucial. I listened to every publisher’s song in New York, but nothing was hitting me.”Eventually Don Kirshner of Aldon Music had Greenfield and Sedaka, who were staff writers for Aldon, visit Francis at her home to pitch their songs, but she and close friend Bobby Darin argued that the slow, dense ballads they were offering didn’t appeal to the teenager market. Francis asked if they had something faster and bouncier. Greenfield asked Sedaka to play “Stupid Cupid”, an uptempo number intended for the Shepherd Sisters. Sedaka objected that Francis, a “classy lady,” would be insulted to be pitched such a puerile song; but Greenfield dismissed Sedaka’s objection, saying, “What have we got to lose, she hates everything we wrote, doesn’t she? Play it already!” After hearing only a few lines Francis recalls: “I started jumping up and down and I said, ‘That’s it! You guys got my next record!'”

Francis cut “Stupid Cupid” on 18 June 1958 at Metropolitan Studio (NYC); LeRoy Holmes conducted the orchestra while Morty Kraft produced the session. Noteworthy in the recording is the uncredited bass guitar work; a complex and energetic riff that has survived the decades and has proven to be one of early rock and roll’s best recorded bass guitar sessions. A version of “Carolina Moon” recorded at Metropolitan Studio that 9 June with Kraft producing and Joe Lipman conducting was utilized as the B-side. “Stupid Cupid” provided a reasonably strong comeback vehicle for Francis reaching the Top 15 that August with a Billboard Hot 100 peak of #14. Francis would have to wait until 1959 to make her return to the Top 10 with “My Happiness”.

In the UK Singles Chart Francis had made more chart impact than in the US with both “Who’s Sorry Now?” (No. 1) and “I’m Sorry I Made You Cry” (No. 11). This trend continued with “Stupid Cupid” which, as a double sided hit with “Carolina Moon”, spent six weeks at No. 1. Francis would remain a potent UK chart force for the next four years with fifteen Top Twenty singles, eight of them Top Ten, but she would never again reach the top of the UK Singles Chart despite topping the US charts three times in the early 1960s.

Neil Sedaka, one of the song’s co-writers, recorded his own version in 1959, and it saw a single release in Italy on the RCA Italiana label.

Lyrics

Carolina Moon:

“Carolina moon keep shining
Shining on the one who waits for me
Carolina moon I’m pining
Pining for the place I long to be
How I’m hoping tonight you’ll go
Go to the right window
Scatter your light, say I’m alright
Please do
Tell her that I’m blue and lonely
Dreamy Carolina moon
Keep shining on the one who waits for me
I’m pining for the place I long to be
How I’m hoping tonight you’ll go
Go to the right window
Scatter your light, say I’m alright
Please do
Tell her that I’m blue and lonely
Dreamy Carolina moon”
Stupid Cupid:
“Stupid Cupid you’re a real mean guy
I’d like to clip your wings so you can’t fly
I’m in love and it’s a crying shame
And I know that you’re the one to blame
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid stop picking on me
I can’t do my homework and I can’t think straight
I meet him every morning ’bout half past eight
I’m acting like a lovesick fool
You’ve even got me carrying his books to school
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid stop picking on me
You mixed me up for good right from the very start
Hey now, go play Robin Hood with somebody else’s heart
You got me jumping like a crazy clown
And I don’t feature what you’re putting down
Well since I kissed his loving lips of wine
The thing that bothers me is that I like it fine
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid stop picking on me
You got me jumping like a crazy clown
And I don’t feature what you’re putting down
Well since I kissed his loving lips of wine
The thing that bothers me is that I like it fine
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid stop picking on me
Hey hey, set me free
Stupid Cupid stop picking on me”

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Every UK Number One Song

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