Susie Darlin'

Album: Susie Darlin' (1958)
Charted: 23 5
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Songfacts®:

  • The Los Angeles born singer-songwriter Robin Luke has a sister named Susie who is 11 years younger, but this song is not about her. In 2010, he explained to Forgotten Hits: "I simply put her name on it to keep me out of trouble with the other girls at Punahou School (my high school and where President Obama graduated exactly 20 years after me in 1978). There have been many chat groups that say that I wrote this song upon her death, illness, and other gruesome such stories. Susie is alive and well and living in Columbia Missouri!"
  • This song has been described as a "bedroom recording," as it was literally recorded in a bedroom. Luke explained: "The bedroom was a bedroom (not a studio) and we used a primitive Ampex portable tape recorded with 'sound on sound' and one microphone. I would lay down a track and then put on earphones and sing over the original track(s) to put another one on. This went well until a mistake was made, and then we would HAVE TO START ALL OVER! It took about one month to get it right with seven tracks. That is why Susie Darlin' sounds so 'mushy'... because each time a track was laid down on top of the others it took a great deal of high fidelity away."
  • Bob Bertram, who was head of the small record company that first released this song, played the percussion, which consisted of a tapping pen and sticks. Clearing up the story that Bertram didn't like this song and thought it was a B-side, Luke told Forgotten Hits: "Bertram always thought Susie Darlin' was the A-side. In fact, to make sure, he actually slowed down the song until it sounded like a death dirge. A little bit more up-tempo and it is a terrific blues song, and I am asked often to sing it when appearing in oldies shows."
  • Robin Luke had a bit of success with his songs "My Girl" and "Make Me a Dreamer," and quit music in the mid-'60s to study at the University of Missouri, where he received an MBA and Ph.D. in Business Administration. He became a professor and administrator at the university until retiring in 2011. From time to time, he would perform at nostalgia shows.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 16th 1962, Tommy Roe performed his covered version of "Susie Darlin'" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    At the time the song was at #46 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; the week before it had peaked at #35 {for 1 week} and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    The record was one of his eight charted records to contain the name of a girl*; he had total of twenty-two Top 100 records...
    1. Sheila {#1 in 1962}
    2. This one
    3. "Carol" {#61 in 1964}
    4. "Hooray for Hazel" {#6 in 1966}
    5. "Heather Honey" {#29 1969}
    6. "Jack and Jill" {#53 in 1969}
    7. "Pearl"
    8. "Mean Little Woman, Rosalie" {#92 in 1972}
    * And he had three more records referring to girls; "Sweet Pea" {#8 in 1966}, "Little Miss Sunshine" {#99 in 1967}, and "Dizzy" {#1 in 1969}.
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