Lollipop

Album: Greatest Hits (1958)
Charted: 6 2

Songfacts®:

  • The Chordettes were a female vocal group from Sheboygan, Wisconsin who formed in 1946 by Jinny Lockard and three of her college friends. They became regulars on Arthur Godfrey's television show for 4 years in 1949, singing a cappella in the barbershop style. They first established themselves with "Mr. Sandman" in 1954 which stayed at #1 for 7 weeks. By this time the quartet was made up of Janet Ertel (bass), who married Archie Bleyer, the owner of Cadence Records, who they now were recording for, as well as Janet Ertel's sister-in-law Carol Buschman (baritone), Lynn Evans (lead singer) and Margie Needham (tenor), who had replaced Jinny Lockard in 1953.
  • This teen novelty song was originally recorded by Ronald And Ruby and got to #20 in the US. The Chordettes recorded it as a full round-like arrangement, complete with popping sounds.
  • Ronald and Ruby (real names Beverly Ross and Lee Morris) were a racially mixed duo, an unusual sight in the 50's. "Lollipop" was their only hit as a duo.
  • In the UK, this was the Chordettes biggest ever hit. A rival version by the UK vocal group The Mudlarks did better - peaking at #2.
  • This was featured in the 1986 film Stand By Me.
  • This was written by Beverly Ross and Julius Dixon. Ross had already been writing for artists like Bill Haley And The Comets ("Dim, Dim the Lights (I Want Some Atmosphere)"), and she was carving out a successful songwriting career for herself. She has 186 songs registered with Broadcast Music Incorporated including "Candy Man," by Roy Orbison, "Judy's Turn To Cry," by Lesley Gore, and "Remember When" by the Earls. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above
  • This song was sung in a 2009 advert for Dell computers.
  • There is an interesting story behind this song. Julius Dixson (who also used the spelling Dixon) and Beverly Ross had an important meeting with a music publisher. Ross arrived on time but Dixson was late and he gave the excuse that his daughter had got a lollipop stuck in her hair. As his wife was having trouble removing it from the screaming child, Dixson felt that he needed to stay home until the crisis had calmed down. On hearing this story, Beverly Ross sat down at the piano and immediately penned this song.

Comments: 7

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyLynn Evans Mand, the lead singer of the vocal harmony group the Chordettes, passed away on February 6th, 2020 at the age of 95...
    She joined the group in 1952 when their lead singer could not make a show in Mand’s hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. She was asked to step in and was invited to join the group. After the Chordettes disbanded in the 1960s, Mand moved to Long Island and became a special education teacher...
    Between 1954 and 1961 the quartet had thirteen records on the Top 100 chart, four made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Mr. Sandman", for 2 weeks on Billboard's Best Sellers in Stores, Most Played by Jockeys, and Most Played on Juke Boxes charts...
    Besides "Mr. Sandman", their three other Top 10 records were "Born to Be With You" {#5 in 1956}, "Just Between You and Me" {#8 in 1957}, and "Lollipop"* {#2 for 1 week in 1958}...
    May Ms. Mand R.I.P.
    * The week "Lollipop" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Tequila" by the Champs...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 7th 1908, the Bradley Smith Co., a confectionary company in New Haven, Connecticut, started to market boiled sweets mounted on wooden sticks; twenty-three years later in 1931 the company's owner, George Smith, trademarked the term 'lollipop', he had borrowed the name from a famous race horse named Lolly Pop...
    Fifty years later in 1958 the Chordettes' "Lollipop" entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #56 {See next post below}...
    Other 'lollipop' songs; "Lollipops & Roses", with two versions in 1962 by Jack Jones & Paul Petersen, "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small in 1964, "On the Good Ship Lollipop"* by the Wonder Who in 1964, "Sunshine, Lollipops, & Rainbows" by Lesley Gore in 1965, "Lollipop" by Mika in 2007, and "Lollipop" by Lil Wayne in 2008...
    * The original version of "On the Good Ship Lollipop" was performed by Shirley Temple in the 1934 movie 'Bright Eyes'.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn May 4th 1958, the Chordettes performed "Lollipop" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    Exactly two months earlier on March 4th, 1958 it entered Billboard's Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #2 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    The song was first recorded by the duo of Ronald & Ruby; their version entered the Top 100 on March 11th, a week after the Chordettes' version and, as already stated, reached #20...
    The comedy duo of Wayne & Shuster made their 1st appearance on the same 'Sullivan' show; they went on to appear 66 more times on the show...
    Nine months earlier on August 5th, 1957 the Chordettes appeared on the first nationally broadcasted episode of "American Bandstand' on the ABC-TV network (they performed "Just Between You and Me"; it peaked at #8 on the Top 100).
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaHey, This little tune sounded as if it was recorded very quickly, as a lark....I know it was on Archie Bleyers label...Who I feel was a total genius!etc...but to me just sounds as if it was recorded as a one off....however, it was catchy, and went to the top!
  • Ivy from Springfield, NeThis song is so pretty. Is one of the women really a bass? That is crazee. I could NOT do that.
  • Mike from Franklin County, PaThe song was used in the movie "Stand By Me" ; where Corey Feldman and another boy were walking , skipping and making popping sounds with their fingers to their mouths .
  • Julius from New York City, NyRonald and Ruby consisted of Ronald Gumps and Beverly Ross, Lollipop's co-writer. Lollipop was only meant to be a demo but RCA had gotten a copy of the demo and in a hasty deal Dixson, who owned the master as the song's producer, agreed to let RCA release the demo as a single. So imagine what happened when Lollipop flew up the charts and folks found out that Ruby was white?

    Ross' successful song credits in the 50's is a result of her affliation with Dixson. She co-writes the historically significant Dim Dim The Lights by Bill Haley with Dixson. Furthermore, her opportunity to collaborate as a writer on the Elvis' Jail House Rock album came about because Dixson quit the project and offered it her.

    By the 60's her 50's successes certainly anabled her to go out on her own and be readily received.
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