Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In A Daze: Guy Mitchell: "Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie"

And now a pause: a near six-month pause has happened between these first two number two hits. Winter has come and gone, spring is here, and again Guy Mitchell has cause to rejoice. His joys are many - biscuits soaked in gravy, rainy walks in April, sweet potatoes...but none outdoes his girl, the girl so fine his rambling days (and Mitchell sings as if he most definitely had them, in a joyous, playful way, the way one's rambling days should be) are over - the girl he calls "Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie."

He loves everything, in an uncomplicated and downright humble way - but he is most proud and happy to haveher in his life. Thus the music is almost childlike in its tone - as giddy as lambs inspring, the sun shining and a warm sun gilding everything with a dazed light. This is definitely a song I can imagine cheery postmen and kindly washerwomen whistling as they worked; the lyrics are definitely Southern, but the music is English in its exacting and brisk manner.

It should be noted that this is the first of several number two hits which may or may not have (had things been different) gotten to number one. The utterly anthemic "I Believe" by Frankie Laine caused more than a few songs to stop at number two, as it was massively popular and remained so for months. (This will happen again, but never for so long.) "I Believe" is powerful, soulful and profound; the number twos in its wake will show (starting here) the many facets within it.

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