Friday, June 04, 2010

Merry Merry Lou

A quick one for you. Last week, I featured Hello Mary Lou, written by Gene Pitney. I also mentioned that the co-writing credit given to Cayet Mangiaracina has its own story...

In short, Mangiaracina (now Father Mangiaracina, a Dominican priest), was in a New Orleans rock band out of high school called The Sparks that had a local hit with Mangiaracina's Merry Merry Lou, written in 1954. A few years later after he had left the band to study for priesthood, The Sparks won a talent competition and got to record with Decca Records in New York, the result being a Merry Merry Lou/Ol' Man River 45 record in 1957. Ricky Nelson's recording of Hello Mary Lou was released in 1961, Decca quickly sued, Mangiaracina was given a co-writing credit, and he still receives royalties to this day.

It didn't take long for the first cover to surface, recorded and released by fellow Decca artist Bill Haley in the same year under the name Mary Mary Lou. Sam Cooke also had his own version on his Encore album in 1958.

The Sparks - Merry Merry Lou

Bill Haley and His Comets - Mary, Mary Lou [originally by The Sparks]

Sam Cooke - Mary, Mary Lou [originally by The Sparks]

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