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Sally Go Round The Roses by The Jaynetts

Album: Sally Go Round The RosesReleased: 1963Charted:
2
  • The Jaynettes were a combination of singers from The Clickettes and The Hearts. Producer Abner Spector put the group into the recording studio for a week. The melody was an adaptation of an old English nursery rhyme. The unique arrangement was the brainchild of Artie Butler, who says though he never got paid for his work, the record gave him his very first credit as an arranger. He played and separately recorded all the instrumental tracks himself except for the guitar, adding a different kind of reverb for each instrument. The B-side consisted of just the band tracks without vocals. (thanks, Keely - Bronx, NY)
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Comments: 17

MusicMama, my mother was Mary Sue Wells. She is in the top left corner of the cover pic. Sadly she passed away about 4 years ago. I asked her about the lesbian aspect of "Sally" and she said that the song was never about lesbians but a song about boyfriend cheating on girlfriend. really a innocent song that people tried to over analysis. I believe she was around 17 when she started singing with the Jaynetts. I loved hearing about the touring and shows when I was growing up. I will always miss her but I will always have "Sally" when I want to hear her singing again.Sheila - Batesville, Ar
51 years later and we are still speculating about the meanings of the lyrics to this strange wonderful song. But I agree with those who say it's about a boyfriend-girlfriend breakup.70s Flashback - Staten Island, Ny, Ny
Like many others I was a teenager in high school when the Sally Go Round The Roses was on the Hit Parade. I was probably around 15 or 16 at the time and was taking organ lessons after school. Although the entire song is exceptionally well done I was always listening for the few and far between organ riffs. The song was remixed at a later date and the new mix was much cleaner sounding and in stereo however the organ was missing. Here we are now some 50 years later and I finally have an mp3 file of this version which I can edit and play around with. So here's the deal. I have taken the liberty of adding the organ to the remix. The organ has the original settings to achieve exactly the same sound as on the original version. Also the Riffs have been precisely edited to fit into the tracks at exactly the right time. I would be happy to share this with anyone who would care to listen however I need to be able to upload it to a site that can redistribute it. Any suggestions?Dieter - Toronto, On
Actually, about the only song with even a roughly similar feel to it, from that era, that comes to mind, is the flip side of Jonathan King's single, Everyone's Gone to the Moon -- a song titled, "Summer's Coming." And maybe a song on S&G first album, Wednesday Morning 3am, titled, "The Sun Is Burning."Fred - Laurel, Md
When I entered college, I started listening to pop/rock music on the top-40 stations on a regular basis for the first time. This is one of a few songs that absolutely captivated me at first hearing -- I guess it must have been 2 or 3 years old at that time, if it debuted in '63. In a musical environment consisting of bright songs (Beatles/Beach Boys/Simon and Garfunkel/Sonny & Cher/Monkees), and purposely dark or malevolent songs (Rolling Stones/Iron Butterfly/Steppenwolf/Vanilla Fudge), and soulful songs (pretty much all of Motown, plus Young Rascals, The Animals, etc.) this one was a real stunner, but quietly -- lilting and dark. It sort of sneaks up on you, and is the very image of haunting. After 45 years, I still haven't got it out of my head, and am delighted to find it again, here.Fred - Laurel, Md
Lesbian affair gone bad, you say? Well, why not let everyone see things their own way or interpret a song in accordance to their own sexual preferences ... But I fail to understand why "secret" should necessarily involve homosexuality! This song was aimed at the teenage market, so Sally was a teenager and her boyfriend just dated another girl, that's all there is to it! Why "secret", then? Well, don't you folks remember that when you're a teenager - male or female - and you've been dropped by your loved one like an old shoe, it bloody well hurts and you don't want your parents or friends to know! Didn't you ever lock yourself in your room or go and hide in the garden so that no one could see you cry? But if you still want to see a couple of girls in that, why not! After all, a heartache is a heartache... I still have the original single. Never lent it to anyone. Too precious! "They" were not enlightened enough anyway! Even sounds 1000 times better now, on cd with a good stereo!Gerard - Toulouse, France
One of the all-time greats. Artie Butler arrangement; played most of the instruments as well ... Carl Lynch & Al Gorgoni on guitar ... could be Buddy Miles on drums, as per:
Tuff 369 - Sally, Go 'Round The Roses* / (Instrumental) - 1963 (drummer on this 45 was Buddy Miles) *also recorded in 1966 by The Ikettes on Modern 1015.
The Jaynettes version is still the best, however Tim Buckley's take is equally mesmerizing.
Joe De Lede - Tweed Heads, Australia
If Louise Murray, Lezli Valentine or Marie Hood could answer this question that I'm trying to find out:
There is a promo photo of:
Carolyn And the Jaynetts
Personal Manager Gene May
QBC Exclusive Booking
1650 Broadway Suite 1410
New York, New York

There isn't any information on a Carolyn with The Jaynetts that I can find... can you help or remember?
Alan - Waterloo, On
I was eight years old when I heard that tune & was played around September, 1963 & gave me chills and werid visions & one time I would hear the song & to the music part with the organ playing would see a 1958 Cadillac Eldoardo & look at the wheel cover and the center of it would open up like a camera retina & this eye would look at me and wink at me. This song also reminds me of the terrible event in Birmingham, Ala - Sunday, September 15, 1963 and when the song was playing the news interrupped the song and told about a bombed out church and 4 school girls were killed in the event & then went back to the song. The following night i heard the song playing in my head & there was a chase down a part of Columbus, Ohio where I was being chased by 6 car loads of black militants and 9 flying monkeys from "The Wizard of Oz" and they managed to get me in the end when a black woman in a white outfit shot me in the head with a sawed-off shotgun & the car rolled over & blew up with me inside & I woke up with my room on fire & managed to get the fire out. That song associates me with "Birmingham Sunday" and the terrible nightmare I had. By the way there are 4 versions of this classic one-hit wonder & I got them all. There has been covered versions but The Jaynettes will always be a great girl group that did this song. Marcus BrainardMarcus - Columbus, Oh
i am louise murray one of the original girls in the Hearts and Jaynetts.I am still performing. The original girls are Lezli Valentine and Marie. we recorded Sally and Dear Abbie. i am the original girl in the Hearts,I Did the talking part in Lonely Nights. {you great big lump of sugar}.the group members names were Joyce West, Florestine Barnes Hazel Crutchfield and myself Louise Murray, We were the first young girls group in 1954.Louise - New York City, Ny
Hello MusicMama-- My name is lezli valentine, one of the original song leaders/writers of "Sally" . . . I never worked for the US Postal Service. I worked for the State as a stenographer (now retired) and recorded a few singles under my name. I have written a new release entitled My Myra. (recorded by J.J. Simmons --released in the UK)I am in touch with Louise from time to time, and talked with Baby Washington and Rosemarie McCoy (writer of Work Out Fine. So you see, MusicMama I read your post and am doing fine. Until next time, be encouraged with love! Have a terrific Summer!Lezli Anetta ValentineLezli A. Valentine - Columbus, Oh
Hello MusicMama-- My name is lezli valentine, one of the original song leaders/writers of "Sally" . . . I never worked for the US Postal Service. I worked for the State as a stenographer (now retired) and recorded a few singles under my name. I have written a new release entitled My Myra. (recorded by J.J. Simmons --released in the UK)I am in touch with Louise from time to time, and talked with Baby Washington and Rosemarie McCoy (writer of Work Out Fine. So you see, MusicMama I read your post and am doing fine. Until next time, be encouraged with love! Have a terrific Summer!Lezli Anetta ValentineLezli A. Valentine - Columbus, Oh
im one of the original jaynetts/hearts marie hood, lezli valentine are no longer singing, i am with the hearts, also the super girls. we are working all over the states.look up my email at louisethehearts@aol.comLouise - New York City, Ny
From what I understand, Marie Hood and Lezli Valentine worked for the U.S. Postal Service for years and another member, Marlene Mack, brief recorded with Herb Fame (of Peaches & Herb) during his live concerts.

One of my all-time favorite songs, a true one-hit wonder with an unbelievably hypnotic score and lyrics. Peaked at No. 2 but should have gone all the way to the top.

The homosexual aspect of the tune has never been proven, however, and is one of those constant urban legends that will not go away. Unfortunately, the writers of the song, Zell Sanders and Lona Stevens (Spector), have never commented one way or the other.
Greg - Price, Ut
MusicMama, were we married in a previous life? I seem to keep finding your comments on some of the coolest songs! I can't add too much other than when I started to hear this regularly (only a few months ago) it sounded to me like it could have come out of San Francisco during the summer of love - 1967, and after reading your comment, it ties in with the homosexual theme... Hmmm, verrry innnteresting! Whatever though, I LOVE this song! My daughter and I heard it a few days ago on the radio and she was singing it loudly in the back seat while I was insidiously jamming to it in the front seat! We BOTH LOVE IT! Entrancing indeed.Jesse - Madison, Wi
neat sound...this record...strange and hypnotic!Steve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
This is my favorite "girl group" song.




It seems innocuous at first ("Sally go round the roses"), but becomes, by degrees, more obsessive with each stanza. And the musical arrangement, though it doesn't actually change tempo, seems to "get under your skin" (in a good way) as it progresses.





I've heard that this song was about a broken lesbian love affair. That makes sense to me, especially in verses like "They won't tell your secret," and "You can sit and cry, not a soul will know." At the time (early '60's)the Jaynetts recorded this, not very many lesbians were "out," and there was a much more virulent stigma attached to homosexuality than there is now, so someone who just lost--and yearns to regain--a love that "dare not speak its name" would want to keep her secret.






The obsessiveness of this song reminds me in some odd way of Sylvia Plath's poem "Daddy," even though it's about an entirely different topic and situation.







I'd love to know where the Jaynetts are now.
Musicmama - New York, Ny