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Linda by Ray Noble Orchestra

Album: LindaReleased: 1946Charted:
1
  • "Linda" is Linda Eastman, a celebrity photographer who was married to Paul McCartney from 1969 until her death from breast cancer in 1998. The song was written by Jack Lawrence, who went on to write many classics, including "All Or Nothing At All" and "Tenderly."

    Lawrence was serving in the US Maritime Service in Brooklyn in 1942 when he wrote this song. On his website, he tells the story: "My attorney at the time was also a close friend whom I visited often and got to watch his children growing up. One day he said to me: 'Jack, do me a big favor. You know my wife Louise has a name song - that one popularized by Chevalier, and my daughter Laura is proud of that beautiful Mercer-Raskin song, and my son Johnny has lots of name songs he can claim. But my daughter Linda feels left out. How about writing a song especially for her?' Being a good friend, I obliged and wrote a song for five-year-old Linda."
  • The song didn't make an impact until it was recorded by The Ray Noble Orchestra in 1946. Says Lawrence: "Somehow, Ray Noble got an advance copy of the song, fell in love with it, dreamed up a charming arrangement and recorded it with Buddy Clark singing the vocal. After all those years of going nowhere, 'Linda' was an overnight sensation. I can't recall how many weeks it was number one on the Hit Parade."
  • The song exploded in 1947 with three Top 10 versions: #1 for Buddy Clark with Ray Noble's Orchestra; #5 for Charlie Spivak; and #8 for Paul Weston.
  • Jan & Dean had a hit with this song in 1963, taking it to #28 in the US a few months before they hit the top spot with "Surf City." When they recorded their version, Linda Eastman was 21 years old.
  • This was the first Jan & Dean single to abandon the heavy echo that was prevalent on their earlier work (most notably "Baby Talk") and have a Beach Boys-style production. The followup was a #1 record composed by head Beach Boy Brian Wilson: "Surf City."
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Comments: 8

Usually I've only heard Jan-&-Dean share one sound blueprint with the Beach Boys, Ronny (with the Daytonas), and the Rip Chords. They all sound so identical. But "Linda" rings out a highly Token motif, just like the Tokens ring out an unusually Beach-Boy/Jan-&-Dean motif a year later in "My Friend's Car." Just by listening, without reading any CD's, I would have easily assumed "Linda" was by the Tokens and that "My Friend's Car" was by Jan & Dean, Beach-Boys, etc. I wonder, has anyone else noticed that?Andy - Birmingham, Al
Hey, I enjoy Jan's baritone voice on the Luh luh luh'sSteve Dotstar - Los Angeles, Ca
This is the first song I can ever remember.
Not Jan and Deans but back in 1947, I sang this song to a girl named Linda on a porch on Vermont Street in Buffalo, N.Y. I was........SIX YEARS OLD!!! Thank You.
Brady - Niagara Falls, Ny
This song was NOT written by Jack Lawrence, it was written by Ann Ronell for the film score "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945), and it was nominated for an Oscar. The song by Lawrence is an entirely different one. (editor's note: we checked with ASCAP, and Jack Lawrence is the credited songwriter on the Jan & Dean version)Michael - Munich, Germany
I thought that this song was originally written for, and recorded by, Jan and Dean. I knew my mother (now 82 years of age) had been a singer on a locally-produced live-music radio program back in the '40s, but imagine my surprise when she pulled out an old metal 78-rpm disc, cut (literally!) in 1947, of HER singing the song!!!

The 'la-la-la-la-Linda' apparently was original with Jan & Dean; it didn't appear anywhere on Mom's version. They also increased the tempo.

BTW -- we have since taken that disc of my Mom's singing (and others -- she had around a dozen of them) and had them professionally burned onto a CD.
Bill - La Crosse, Wi
My Name is Linda and when I was little my dad used to sing this song to me and it would make me smile. My dad has long passed away but whenever I hear this song I think of him.Linda - Hudsonville, Mi
I didn't know until recently the story behind my name. Wynda.. aka.. LindaLinda - Smalltown, Ar
What a great touch for Jan and Dean's version of this standard, using the line "La la la la la la la la la Linda" Sometimes I'll sing that to women I meet named Linda. They get a kick out of it.Howard - St. Louis Park, Mn