Song: “Hey! Baby” by Bruce Channel
Reached #1: March 10, 1962 (his first, 3 weeks)
There are a lot of artists who can say that the Beatles opened for them, in the years before Beatlemania struck.
There are probably some artists who can say they influenced the Beatles in some way.
As far as I know, there’s only one who taught John Lennon how to play the harmonica.
Bruce Channel rode the popularity of “Hey! Baby” to a tour of the UK in the summer of 1962. The promoters booked a young Liverpool band who’d made a bit of a name for themselves in Germany as the opening act for one night… that night, Lennon spent some time with Channel’s sideman, Delbert McClinton, to get some training on the finer points of harmonica play. It’s said that this led to Lennon’s harmonica solo on “Love Me Do”.
“Hey! Baby” would turn out to be Channel’s only top 10 hit – he had a couple of other minor hits – so he eventually settled into a songwriting and producing career.
And, of course, for many, their first exposure to “Hey! Baby” was its appearance in Dirty Dancing.
Channel’s friend and harmonica player, McClinton, has had an eclectic career of his own. Currently, he tours regularly while promoting an annual Sandy Beaches Cruise to showcase his brand of Texas blues.
Tomorrow, the artist who became the first British singer to hit #1 after Elton John’s reworked “Candle In The Wind” did – and did so almost 9 years later.
Other songs to hit #1 on March 10:
1979 – “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor (her first, 3 weeks)
2007 – “This Is Why I’m Hot” by Mims (his first, 2 weeks)