Album: Linda (1946)
Charted: 1

Songfacts®:

  • "Linda" is Linda Eastman, a celebrity photographer who was married to Paul McCartney from 1969 until her death from breast cancer in 1998. The song was written by Jack Lawrence, who went on to write many classics, including "All Or Nothing At All" and "Tenderly."

    Lawrence was serving in the US Maritime Service in Brooklyn in 1942 when he wrote this song. On his website, he tells the story: "My attorney at the time was also a close friend whom I visited often and got to watch his children growing up. One day he said to me: 'Jack, do me a big favor. You know my wife Louise has a name song - that one popularized by Chevalier, and my daughter Laura is proud of that beautiful Mercer-Raskin song, and my son Johnny has lots of name songs he can claim. But my daughter Linda feels left out. How about writing a song especially for her?' Being a good friend, I obliged and wrote a song for five-year-old Linda."
  • The song didn't make an impact until it was recorded by The Ray Noble Orchestra in 1946. Says Lawrence: "Somehow, Ray Noble got an advance copy of the song, fell in love with it, dreamed up a charming arrangement and recorded it with Buddy Clark singing the vocal. After all those years of going nowhere, 'Linda' was an overnight sensation. I can't recall how many weeks it was number one on the Hit Parade."
  • The song exploded in 1947 with three Top 10 versions: #1 for Buddy Clark with Ray Noble's Orchestra; #5 for Charlie Spivak; and #8 for Paul Weston.
  • Jan & Dean had a hit with this song in 1963, taking it to #28 in the US a few months before they hit the top spot with "Surf City." When they recorded their version, Linda Eastman was 21 years old.
  • This was the first Jan & Dean single to abandon the heavy echo that was prevalent on their earlier work (most notably "Baby Talk") and have a Beach Boys-style production. The followup was a #1 record composed by head Beach Boy Brian Wilson: "Surf City."

Comments: 11

  • Linda Mullin from Utica. NyMy mom named me after this song. I was born in 1962. My mom was born in 1940. I love it and it reminders me of her
  • Bob Malone from Franklin, VaThis song was popular in March 1963 when I was 8 years old. I had a huge crush on my 11 year old babysitter Linda Bridges. I haven't seen her since 1966 but this song always reminds me of her.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 29th 1963, Jan and Dean performed "Linda" on ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #47 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; thirty-one days later on April 29th, 1963 it would peak at #28 {for 1 week} and spent 13 weeks on the Top 100...
    Between 1959 and 1966 the duo had twenty-four songs make Top 100 chart; five made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Surf City" for two weeks on July 14th, 1963...
    They just missed having a sixth Top 10 record when "Honolulu Lulu" peaked at #11 in 1963 {and two just made the #10 when both "Baby Talk" and "Drag City" both peaked at #10}...
    Sadly, William 'Jan' Berry passed away on March 26th, 2004 at the young age of 62 and 'Dean' Ormsby Torrence celebrated his 75th birthday nineteen days ago on March 10th {2015}.
  • Andy from Birmingham, AlUsually I've only heard Jan-&-Dean share one sound blueprint with the Beach Boys, Ronny (with the Daytonas), and the Rip Chords. They all sound so identical. But "Linda" rings out a highly Token motif, just like the Tokens ring out an unusually Beach-Boy/Jan-&-Dean motif a year later in "My Friend's Car." Just by listening, without reading any CD's, I would have easily assumed "Linda" was by the Tokens and that "My Friend's Car" was by Jan & Dean, Beach-Boys, etc. I wonder, has anyone else noticed that?
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaHey, I enjoy Jan's baritone voice on the Luh luh luh's
  • Brady from Niagara Falls, NyThis is the first song I can ever remember.
    Not Jan and Deans but back in 1947, I sang this song to a girl named Linda on a porch on Vermont Street in Buffalo, N.Y. I was........SIX YEARS OLD!!! Thank You.
  • Michael from Munich, GermanyThis song was NOT written by Jack Lawrence, it was written by Ann Ronell for the film score "The Story of G.I. Joe" (1945), and it was nominated for an Oscar. The song by Lawrence is an entirely different one. (editor's note: we checked with ASCAP, and Jack Lawrence is the credited songwriter on the Jan & Dean version)
  • Bill from La Crosse, WiI thought that this song was originally written for, and recorded by, Jan and Dean. I knew my mother (now 82 years of age) had been a singer on a locally-produced live-music radio program back in the '40s, but imagine my surprise when she pulled out an old metal 78-rpm disc, cut (literally!) in 1947, of HER singing the song!!!

    The 'la-la-la-la-Linda' apparently was original with Jan & Dean; it didn't appear anywhere on Mom's version. They also increased the tempo.

    BTW -- we have since taken that disc of my Mom's singing (and others -- she had around a dozen of them) and had them professionally burned onto a CD.
  • Linda from Hudsonville, MiMy Name is Linda and when I was little my dad used to sing this song to me and it would make me smile. My dad has long passed away but whenever I hear this song I think of him.
  • Linda from Smalltown, ArI didn't know until recently the story behind my name. Wynda.. aka.. Linda
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnWhat a great touch for Jan and Dean's version of this standard, using the line "La la la la la la la la la Linda" Sometimes I'll sing that to women I meet named Linda. They get a kick out of it.
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