Hello Stranger

Album: Hello Stranger (1963)
Charted: 3

Songfacts®:

  • This was Lewis' first hit single and biggest hit. Along with this song, she wrote all the material for her debut album of the same name; during the early sixties, it was somewhat rare for a female singer to write her own material, especially for an entire album.
  • The backup vocals were provided by the Chicago-based R&B male group The Dells.
  • In 1977, a version by Yvonne Elliman reached US #15 and UK #26. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jerro - New Alexandria, PA, for all above
  • The song was covered by Julia Holter on her 2013 album Loud City Song, which borrows from the 1958 musical film Gigi. She explained to Fact Magazine: "There's a scene in Gigi where the creepy old guy played by Maurice Chevalier, who sings the famous paedophilic line 'thank heaven for little girls' is singing with Gigi's grandmother about a brief fling they had together decades before. In it, they can't agree on any of the actual details of their dates, highlighting the vagueness of memory. This kind of nostalgic haze of a past romance made me think that my cover of Barbara Lewis' 'Hello Stranger' would fit nicely onto this record."

    "Lewis' song captures the vagueness of long-lost love so well," Holter added. There aren't really any details given about the relationship, just the conflicting feelings of loss and hope that come from a past lover's visit."

Comments: 9

  • D from DetroitOnly someone with a gutter mind would think: "Thank heaven for little girls" was filthy. I know you're too young to know that the phrase... "Let's make gay love tonight" was not about two women or two men but about a man & a woman. We humans have taken twhat word & rippeed it from all human kinds lexicon. We do that ya know. Your ignorance of the song, gays taking the word gay for themselves.... must like it. Better than saying I'm HATE vs I'm gay & gay. If it was the first everyone & I mean everyone, gay, straight or bi would be confused. Are you saying you're hate(ful), full of hate, hate this that & anything? Gay your sexual preference, gay.... I'm happy happy happy. Remember or get to know there are differences in defination. Between people, countries & cultures. Not to mention time.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 21st 1977, Yvonne Elliman performed "Hello Stranger" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was in its first of two weeks at #15 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, and that was also its peak position on the chart...
    And on April 24th, 1977 it reached #1 {for 4 weeks} on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    Between 1971 and 1979 the Hawaiian songster had seven Top 100 records; with one making the Top 10 and it reached #1*, "If I Can't Have You" for one week on May 7th, 1978...
    Yvonne Marianne Elliman will celebrate her 64th birthday this coming December 29th {2015}...
    * "If I Can't Have You" prevented "The Closer I Get to You" by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway from reaching #1, the duo peaked at #2.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 28th 1963, "Hello Stranger" by Barbara Lewis entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #80; and on June 16th, 1963 it peaked at #3 (for 2 weeks) and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on June 30th it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    The two weeks the song was at #3; the #1 record was "Sukiyaki" by Kyu Sakamoto and #2 was "It's My Party" by Lesley Gore...
    "Hello Stranger" was her only Top 10 hit; but she came close with two other records, "Baby, I'm Yours" (peaked at #11 in 1965) and "Make Me Your Baby" (also reached #11 and also in 1965)...
    Ms. Lewis celebrated her 71st birthday two months ago on February 9th, 2014...
    (Personally, hands down, "Hello Stranger" is my favorite female record of the 1960s)
  • Robert from Hagerstown, MdI was only 16 when this came out but I thought it was the greatest song I ever heard. Barbara Mason became an instant fan.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhWow, I was only five years old when this song came out. But I so remember it. Hearing it puts me back in time, probably listened to it countless times on the car radio, sitting in the back seat while my parents drove us kids around here or there. This is such a fabulous song. The voice of Barbara Lewis has that perfect purity, longing, and pleading to it that makes the tune a hit.
  • John from Avon, InBarbara has mentioned that 'Hello Stranger' just sat on the shelf for a year as nobody thought it would sell...easy listening style of music. However after the mega hit 'Our Day Will Come'..by Ruby and The Romantics ,,Hello Stranger recieved the attention it deserved
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI didn't know the Dells sang back-up on this. Those vocals are very distinctive.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyI goofed!!! Fire and Rain's version stayed in the Top 100 for three weeks, but never rose above No. 100!!!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAn act by the name of 'Fire and Rain' charted with this song in 1973, their version peaked at No. 100 and stayed in the top 100 for one week!!! {Note: it was their only record to ever have charted}
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