High School U.S.A.

Album: High School U.S.A. (1959)
Charted: 28

Songfacts®:

  • This was written by a Norfolk, Virginia record store owner named Frank Guida.
  • The original song mentioned high schools in Virginia. To give the song local appeal, Atlantic Records released at least 28 other versions that were customized to various cities, so a radio station in California could play a version with California schools mentioned in the lyrics, and a station in Florida could play a version with Florida schools. Huey Lewis & the News did something similar with their song "The Heart Of Rock And Roll." Also, "Drive-In Romance," written and recorded by Jimmie R. Vestal, has 65 versions, each mentioning the name of a different Drive-In Theater. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Jimmie - Pinellas Park, FL, for above 2

Comments: 2

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 12, 1959, Tommy Facenda performed "High School U.S.A."* on the ABC-TV musical variety program, the 'Dick Clark Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show'...
    At the time the song was at #54 on Billboard's Top 100 chart, three weeks earlier it had peaked at #28 {for 1 week} and it spent thirteen weeks on the Top 100...
    It was Tommy Facenda's only Top 100 record...
    Tommy Facenda celebrated his 78th birthday last month on November 10th {2017}...
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, in 1959 there were two other Top 100 records with 'U.S.A.' in their titles, "Philadelphia, U.S.A." by the Nu-Tornadoes {#28 on January 5th} and "Back In The U.S.A." by Chuck Berry {peaked at #37 on July 7th}.
  • Susan from Portsmouth, VaHow can we hear the version he wrote for the Hampton Roads area Schools....Maury, Granby Newports News, Oscar Smith etc. my Mom had this but I can't find this version anywhere...would love to post it on an alumni page of a local high school. Thanks
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Chris Isaak

Chris IsaakSongwriter Interviews

Chris tells the story of "Wicked Game," talks milkshakes and moonpies at Sun Records, and explains why women always get their way.

Joe Elliott of Def Leppard

Joe Elliott of Def LeppardSongwriter Interviews

The Def Leppard frontman talks about their "lamentable" hit he never thought of as a single, and why he's juiced by his Mott The Hoople cover band.

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And Scandals

Top American Idol Moments: Songs And ScandalsSong Writing

Surprise exits, a catfight and some very memorable performances make our list of the most memorable Idol moments.

Martin Page

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Ramones

RamonesFact or Fiction

A band so baffling, even their names were contrived. Check your score in the Ramones version of Fact or Fiction.