Runaround Sue
by Dion

Album: Runaround Sue (1961)
Charted: 11 1

Songfacts®:

  • In the liner notes of Dion's box set King Of The New York Streets, he wrote: "It came about by partying in a schoolyard. We were jamming, hitting tops of boxes. I gave everyone parts like the horn parts we'd hear in the Apollo Theater and it became a jam that we kept up for 45 minutes. I came up with all kinds of stuff. But when I actually wrote the song and brought it into the studio to record it, well, her name wasn't actually Sue. It was about, you know, some girl who loved to be worshiped but as soon as you want a commitment and express your love for her, she's gone. So the song was a reaction to that kind of woman."
  • No Belmonts here - The Del Satins ("In the Still of the Nite," "To the Aisle") backed up Dion instead. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL
  • Two years after this song was released, Dion married a woman named Sue. In a 2009 interview with Blueswax, Dion revealed that his wife tells people this song is about her, even though she knows it isn't. Said Dion: "She goes around telling everybody, 'Yeah, I'm Runaround Sue.' I said, 'Why do you tell people that?' She says, 'They remember me.' She said, 'If I don't tell them that, they won't remember me.'"
  • Leif Garrett, who was a teen idol in the '70s, recorded a version that went to #13 in the US. British pop group Racey reached #13 in the UK with their cover in 1980.

Comments: 16

  • Arthur from New JerseyLinda Laurie and the Del-Satins recorded the answer song, "Stay at Home Sue."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyCongratulations to Dion and Sue {Butterfield} DiMucci, celebrating their 54th wedding anniversary today (March 23rd, 1963)...
    On the day of his wedding Dion had two records on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; "Ruby Baby" was at #12 {it peaked at #2 for 3 weeks on Feb. 17th} and "Sandy" was at #43, it reached #21 {for 1 week} on Apr. 14th.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: http://www.oldiesmusic.com/news.htm
    Songwriter and performer Ernie Maresca passed away Saturday (July 11th, 2015) at the age of 76 at his home in South Florida...
    The Bronx native started out singing baritone in the Regents (before they recorded "Barbara Ann") and came to the attention of Dion DiMucci, who recorded his composition, "No One Knows" (#19-1958) with the Belmonts...
    Dion had heard Ernie's demo of the tune on a local pool room jukebox...
    Ernie continued to write for Dion's solo career, including such hits as "Runaround Sue" (#1-1961-- composed with Dion), "The Wanderer" (#2-1961 though Ernie's original lyrics read "with my two fists of iron and my bottle of beer"), "Lovers Who Wander" (#3-1962) and "Donna The Prima Donna" (#6-1963)... In 1962, Ernie himself was signed to Seville Records, where his composition, "Shout! Shout! (Knock Yourself Out)" reached #6-- his only appearance as a performer on the charts...
    He also composed Bernadette Carroll's "Party Girl" (#47-1964) and Reparata & the Delron's "Whenever A Teenager Cries" (#60-1965). He later handled publishing for Laurie Records and eventually negotiated the sale of the company to Capitol Records...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 1st 1977, Leif Garrett performed "Runaround Sue" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One month and five days later on November 6th, 1977 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #79; and on January 15th, 1978 it peaked at #13 {for 1 week} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    And exactly sixteen years earlier on October 1st, 1961 Dion's original version was at #42 on the Top 100; it was also its 1st week on the chart and just four weeks later on October 23rd it would peak at #1 {for 2 weeks}...
    {See next post below concerning Dion's appearance on 'Bandstand'}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn September 26th 1961, Dion performed "Runaround Sue" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One day earlier on September 25th, 1961 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #42; and on October 23rd, 1961 it peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #4 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1960 and 1989 Dion, as a solo artist, had twenty-four Top 100 records; nine made the Top 10 with "Runaround Sue" being his biggest hit, but he just missed having three #1 records when "The Wanderer" and "Ruby Baby" both peaked at #2...
    The two weeks "Runaround Sue" was at #1 it prevented "Bristol Stomp" by the Dovells from reaching #1, it was at #2 for both weeks and never occupied the top spot...
    Dion Francis DiMucci celebrated his 75th birthday two months ago on July 18th {2014}.
  • Laura from El Paso, TxI love the old doo-wop songs from the 60's but I can't help feeling offended by the fact that a similar song was written about a "runaround dude" - "The Wanderer" during that time period. Funny how this kind of behavior from a woman is considered slutty and trashy, but from a man it is considered studly. Some things have never changed!
  • Dan from Brisbane, AustraliaStatus Quo do a rockin' cover on Famous In The Last Century. Well worth a listen.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiOne of my favorite oldies! I love Runaround Sue, A QVC guy sung it on Kareoke and he was great!
  • David from Inverness, United KingdomAnd the great Mr Dimucci is still out there doing original stuff in 2008 . He visited his Blues roots with "Son of Skip James" last year but has returned to Rock n Roll with "Rock N Roll Guitar Heros " (inc Cliff Gallup James Burton etc )
    If you cats dont know who Cliff Gallup is buy Gene Vincent,s first two LPs and Listen... as Dion says these guys are held in reverence in Europe by not USA
  • Jakob from Watauga Texas, Txdion and the belmonts paved the road in the late 50's and early 60's for the doo-wop era. even though dion was 19 years old at the time they sky rocketed..the early years of beating on trash can lids paid off. "the wanderer" is still to this day one of the most respected songs in doo-wop.
  • Patience from Jamaica , NyActually, the Del-Satins (like Dion and the Belmonts, the Regents, the Chiffons, the Chantels) hail from the Bronx. Not Long Island.
  • Michael from Chicago, IlThis came out when I was in High School - and went to the prom with a girl named Sue. However - back then - it was a well-kept secret - but - Dion did have a heroin problem. This was kept from the public then as it would have been anethema at that time - now - nobody cares that much.
  • Pierre from Chelsea, Quebec, CanadaGreat song, but I prefer Dion's THE WANDERER", written by Ernie Maresca.
  • Vishal from Delhi, India, IndiaThis was used in Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers song "Thats what I like" in 1989 and topped the UK charts (www.Everyhit.com)
  • Frank from Westminster, ScThe lyrics are great, but the doo-wop stuff in the background is what makes this music. With his latalatalata whoa-ohs soaring over the hape, hape, hum de hatey hatey hapes...nobody was cooler than Dion.
  • Jeff from Boston, MaThe Del-Satins are NOT The Five Satins who recorded "In The Still Of The Night" and "To The Isle". The Del-Satins were a quartet from Long Island, N.Y., who later hooked up with Johnny Maestro and other musicians to from The Brooklyn Bridge (they recorded "The Worst That Could Happen" in 1968).
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