Rubber Ball

Album: Absolutely The Best (1960)
Charted: 4 6


  • Gene Pitney wrote this with Musicor Records boss Aaron Schroeder. For some unknown reason the otherwise unknown "Ann Orlowski," rather than Gene Pitney, was given the official co-composer credit. Schroeder also co-wrote several of Elvis' hits including "I Got Stung," "A Big Hunk O' Love," "Stuck on You," and "It's Now or Never."
  • Bobby Vee was originally with the Shadows (not the Shadows who were Cliff Richard's backing group). Their big break came in tragic circumstances: they filled in at Fargo for Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens the night after the fatal plane crash. Later, Bobby Vee went solo and this was his 4th single. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for above 2

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyFrom the "For What It's Worth" department, the week "Rubber Ball" peaked at #6 the Billboard's Top 10 was:
    At #1. "Wonderland By Night" by Bert Kaempfert
    #2. "Are You Lonesome To-Night" by Elvis Presley
    #3. "Exodus" by Ferrante and Teicher
    #4. "Last Date" by Floyd Cramer
    #5. "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by Shirelles
    #6. the above "Rubber Ball"
    #7. "Angel Baby" by Rosie and the Originals
    #8. "North To Alaska" by Johnny Horton
    #9. "Corinna, Corinna" by Ray Peterson
    #10. "You're Sixteen" by Johnny Burnette
  • David Roadman from Hyannis MaPlease donate to the Alzheimer's Association in memory of bobby vee who passed away 2016 of Alzheimer's!
  • Tony from Sydney, Australia"Rubber Ball" was originally titled "Rubber Band" and initially offered to Jimmy Jones' management to record as a follow-up to his "Good Timin". After they rejected the song, it was reworked by Pitney and picked up by Snuff Garrett for Bobby Vee to record at Liberty Records. The recording took place at a four song, 3 hour session at United Recording Studios in LA on August 12, 1960. The other songs recorded that evening were " Wishing" (originally unissued), "Poetry In Motion" and "Foolish Tears", both of which appeared on Vee's second LP. "Rubber Ball" marked the first use of overdubbing of Vee's vocal on one of his recordings and it became the song which made him an international star. The song made #6 in both the US and UK, whereas in Australia, it made it all the way to the #1 spot. Pitney had to use his mother's maiden name Orlowski on the song as he was a writer for BMI, whereas "Rubber Ball" was a song registered by Aaron Schroeder with the rival ASCAP organisation. Gene once claimed that after the song started to sell big time, he had to quickly fly home and teach his mother the lyrics just in case she was ever questioned about it!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 28, 1960, Bobby Vee performed "Rubber Ball" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV weekday-afternoon program, 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time "Rubber Ball" was in it's first week on Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #67, six weeks later it would peak at #6 {for 1 week} and it spent fourteen weeks on the Top 100...
    "Rubber Ball" was his second straight record to peak at #6, was preceded by "Devil or Angel"...
    Between 1959 and 1970 he had thirty-eight Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Take Good Care of My Baby", for 3 weeks on September 18th, 1961...
    Besides the above three, his three other Top 10 records were "Run To Him" {#2 in 1961}, "The Night Has A Thousand Eyes" {#3 in 1963}, and "Come Back When You Grow Up" {#3 in 1967}...
    Bobby Vee, born Robert Thomas Velline, passed away at the age of 73 on October 24th, 2016...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 15th 1959, Bobby Vee, with the Shadows, performed on the tragic 'Winter Dance Party' tour for the first time...
    Six months later on August 25th, 1959 he would entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart for the first time; "Suzie Baby" would stayed on the chart for four weeks, peaking at #77...
    "Rubber Ball" would peak at #6 on January 9th, 1961...
    Between 1959 and 1970 he had thirty-eight Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Take Good Care of My Baby" for three weeks in 1961...
    He just missed having a second #1 record when "Run to Him" peaked at #2* {for 1 week} in 1961...
    Bobby Vee, born Robert Thomas Velline, will celebrate his 72nd birthday in two months on April 30th {2015}...
    * The week "Run to Him" peaked at #2, the #1 record for that week was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" by the Tokens.
  • Less from Accrington, EnglandCovered in 1961 by The Avons
  • Tony from Devon, EnglandAnne Orlowski was evidently Pitney's mother's maiden name and he used that as a pseudonym for copyright reasons.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"

Dave Alvin - "4th Of July"They're Playing My Song

When Dave recorded the first version of the song with his group the Blasters, producer Nick Lowe gave him some life-changing advice.

Keith Reid of Procol Harum

Keith Reid of Procol HarumSongwriter Interviews

As Procol Harum's lyricist, Keith wrote the words to "A Whiter Shade Of Pale." We delve into that song and find out how you can form a band when you don't sing or play an instrument.

The Punk Photography of Chris Stein

The Punk Photography of Chris SteinSong Writing

Chris Stein of Blondie shares photos and stories from his book about the New York City punk scene.

Gene Simmons of Kiss

Gene Simmons of KissSongwriter Interviews

The Kiss rocker covers a lot of ground in this interview, including why there are no Kiss collaborations, and why the Rock Hall has "become a sham."

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-Outs

Goodbye, Hello: Ten Farewell Tour Fake-OutsSong Writing

The 10 biggest "retirement tours" that didn't take.

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New York

Barney Hoskyns Explores The Forgotten History Of Woodstock, New YorkSong Writing

Our chat with Barney Hoskyns, who covers the wild years of Woodstock - the town, not the festival - in his book Small Town Talk.