Ingemar Johansson

Album: From the Vaults: The Coed Records Lost Master Tapes, Vol. 1 (1959)

Songfacts®:

  • This could be classed as either a tribute song or a novelty song; its slightly strained lyrics are due to the fact that like Saxon's "Red Alert" it is more of a news report set to music than a song.

    Ingemar Johansson was the first and probably the last ever native-born Swede to win the heavyweight championship of the world. He won the silver medal in the heavyweight class at the 1952 Olympics at Helsinki, then turned pro with a fourth round knockout of Robert Masson. By 1959 he had amassed a record of 21 wins from 21 fights which earned him a shot at the world championship. In spite of this fine record he was the 5-1 underdog against defending champion Floyd Patterson, as the song points out. His stunning 3rd round knock out of Patterson took place at Yankee Stadium on June 20, 1959, and "Ingemar Johansson" was released the following month. Which is just as well for posterity - his, not Patterson's - because the American won both the 1960 rematch and the 1961 decider the following year. Johansson fought another four times, winning all four fights, but in 1962 Patterson lost his title by a brutal first round knockout to Sonny Liston, and the rematch in the same fashion the following year ending his professional career in 1972 with a 7 round knockout loss to the immortal Muhammad Ali to finish with a total of 55 wins, 8 losses and 1 draw from 64 fights.
  • "Ingemar Johansson" runs to 2 minutes 38 seconds and was written by Bert Caroll and Russell Moody. This team - Carroll is actually spelt thus - also wrote the B-side, "Haunted Heart," and "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck" for Elvis Presley.
  • The song was rereleased on a compilation by Beach Road Recording, January 31, 2011 wherein it runs to 2 minutes 39 seconds. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

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