Come Softly To Me

Album: Fleetwoods' Greatest Hits (1959)
Charted: 6 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Originally "Come Softly," the title of this song was changed because Dolphin (later Dolton) Records owner Bob Reisdorff feared that AM radio DJs would think it to be too suggestive. He was being extra-cautious, Dolphin Records was formed by the Seattle DJ for the sole purpose of distributing Fleetwoods records.
  • This song started when Fleetwoods members Gary Troxel and Gretchen Christopher were waiting for a lift home from high school by her mother. Troxel started humming "Dum dum, domby doo wha..." and Gretchen noticed that it was the same chord progression that she used in a song that she had just finished writing, "Come Softly." She asked him to slow his tempo, then sang her song atop Troxel's humming. They took it to Gretchen's singing partner Barbara Ellis, who liked it, and the trio formed Two Girls and a Guy.
  • Two Girls and a Guy performed this live twice - at a senior class assembly and at a post-football game dance. Classmates wanted copies of the song so they could learn it.
  • It took six months for the trio to record it. Ultimately, they sang it a capella, then instrumentation was overdubbed (a reversal of the usual production technique of overdubbing vocal atop an instrumental bed).
  • There are no drums in the recording -- the only percussion was that of Troxel shaking his car keys in his closed hands.
  • Originally Troxel's part didn't have any lyrics -- they were written in the studio.
  • Bob Reisdorff suggested that the trio change their name to a more "commercial" one. Since all three of the teenagers had the same telephone exchange -- FLeetwood -- they accepted Reisdorff's idea of calling themselves the Fleetwoods. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Brad Wind - Miami, FL, for all above

Comments: 11

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 12, 1977, Benton Wood performed his covered version of "Come Softly To Me" on the Dick Clark ABC-TV Saturday-afternoon program 'American Bandstand'...
    It would peak at #92 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart...
    Three other versions of the song made Billboard's Top 100 chart; the original version by the Fleetwoods peaked at #1 {for 4 weeks} in 1959, and also in 1959 Ronnie Height took his covered version to #45, then in 1973 the New Seekers reached #95 with it.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 5th 1959, the Fleetwoods performed "Come Softly To Me" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    At the time the song was at #2 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eight days later on April 13th it would peak at #1 for three weeks...
    The week that the Fleetwoods' peaked at #1, Ronnie Height's covered version of the song was at #62, the week before it had peaked at #45.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn April 24th 1959, the NBC-TV weekly musical show 'Your Hit Parade' ended its nine year run on TV, the show started as a weekly radio program in 1935...
    The final #1 song on its last episode was "Come Softly To Me"; at the time the Fleetwood's original version was in its 3rd of 4 weeks at #1 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    Between 1959 and 1963 the Fleetwoods had eleven Top 100 records; with three making the Top 10 and two reaching #1 (their other #1 record was "Mr. Blue", for 1 week and also in 1959).
  • Matthew from Toronto, OnOne of the slightest songs imaginable. Surprising it was such an instant success. True, it tends to get stuck in your head, and it's so easy to sing: ba-doo-de-doo, dum, dum; dum, da, dum, ba-doo-de-doo.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyAlso in 1959 an artist by the name of Ronnie Height released this song, it peaked at No. 45. In 1973 The New Seekers covered the song and it peaked at No. 95...
  • Rick from Wheaton, IlI remember this playing on the radio at recess at school and the teacher saying, "Turn that trash off!" alluding to the lyrics being suggestive. My, have times changed.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Cathere's something strange, yet marvelous about this"empty sound" of the Fleetwoods...it's dynamic!
  • Kimberly from Walla Walla, WaIt is my understanding that Bob Reisdorff was not a DJ but a record promotion man for C&C Distributing before starting Dolphin Records to record and distribute The Fleetwoods' "Come Softly To Me".
  • Kimberly from Walla Walla, WaA good website for accurate facts on The Fleetwoods, "Come Softly To Me", etc. is www.TheFleetwoods.com
  • Michael from Chicago, IlThe producer induced Gary Troxel to sing Mr Blue by offering Gary the Corvette to drive around for a while. From the money Gary made from Mr Blue - Gary Troxel bought his own Corvette. Since he was in the Navy - he had to record during shore leave. Occasionally - Vic Dana would fill in for Gary during tours when Gary was out at sea.
  • Ken from Oakland, Ca, United StatesIt is interesting that The Fleetwoods only other #1 single was also in 1959, Mr. Blue. A good website for the The Fleetwoods is Gary Troxel's. Lots of publicity stills. It can be found at www.thefleetwoods.us
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