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Channel wrote this around 1959 with his friend Margaret Cobb. He had already been performing the tune for a couple of years before recording it amidst a series of demos for Fort Worth producer Major Bill Smith. First released locally on Smith's label, it was picked up for national distribution by Smash.
Delbert McClinton played the harmonica part. At one Channel's shows, he was supported by a then-unknown Liverpool group, the Beatles. John Lennon was so impressed with the harmonica intro that he asked McClinton how to play it. A year later a similar harmonica passage showed up on The Beatles "Love Me Do
In 2001, 20-year-old Austrian producer/DJ Gerry Friedle, who performed under the name of DJ Otzi, recorded a Euro Dance version of this with added "ooh aahs." When he was a DJ he was always doing "ooh aahs" and he found the audience loved it. His version reached #1 in the UK, rising from #45 to replace Bob The Builder at the top, the highest ever leap to #1 in the UK. Otzi's initial goal in life was to be a farmer; a plan he was forced to abandon due to a fear of cows. He turned to music during chemotherapy for testicular cancer. He had 2 more UK top 10 hits, following up with his version of Manfred Mann's "Do Wah Diddy"(#9) and the following year a #10 hit with a remixed version of this to coincide with the 2002 soccer World Cup. By this time "Hey Baby" had become a song football supporters sang at matches. (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England)
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