Song: “The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant
Reached #1: June 16, 1956 (her first, 9 weeks, Best Sellers chart)
In 1956, “The Wayward Wind” seemed to be the “it” song – no less than four different versions were released. Tex Ritter, Jimmy Young, and Shirley Bassey all covered the song – but it was the relatively lesser-known Gogi Grant who scored the Billboard #1 hit with it.
Grant had been singing from her teen years, but didn’t start pursuing it professionally until her late 20s. Her first two singles were hits – “Suddenly There’s A Valley” first, then “Wind”. After that… not much. She did a couple of musical soundtracks, but was basically done with the music business by 1967 – except for one appearance on the PBS pledge-drive show Magic Moments. In 2004. At age 80.
Since then, she’s done some work with the Fabulous Palm Spring Follies (as recently as 2010).
Her unusual stage name was taken from a restaurant that a record label rep patronized, “Gogi’s LaRue”, and her own choice of last name. They say a rose would smell as sweet by any other name, but would anyone have bought a record by Myrtle Arinsberg in 1956?
Tomorrow, an artist we lost far too soon, in a totally preventable accident.
Other songs that reached #1 on June 16:
1990 – “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette (their third, 2 weeks)