Saturday, June 17, 2006

Shakira and Wyclef Jean hit #1 with “Hips Don’t Lie”

Hips Don’t Lie

Shakira with Wyclef Jean

Writer(s): Wyclef Jean, Shakira, Jerry “Wonder” Duplessis, Omar Alfanno, LaTavia Parker, Vinay Rao (see lyrics here)

Released: February 28, 2006

First Charted: March 3, 2006

Peak: 12 US, 17 RR, 24 AC, 18 A40, 15 UK, 2 CN, 19 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 3.99 US, 1.2 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 0.4 radio, 618.91 video, 884.11 streaming


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About the Song:

“Hips Don’t Lie” was a truly international effort. Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, known originally for his work with the Fugees, wrote and recorded a song with U.S. singer Claudette Ortiz called “Dance Like This” which was used for the Dirty Dancing (Havana Nights) 2004 soundtrack. SF Part of the instrumentation came from Puerto Rican salsa singer Jerry Rivera’s “Amores Como El Nuestro” while some of the lyrics were taken from a meringue song, “Carnaval (Baila en la Calle),” by Luis “Terror” Diaz, a Dominican composer. The latter was the unofficial theme song of the Dominican Republic’s Carnival.

The song was a late edition to Shakira’s Oral Fixation Vol. 2. That 2005 album was released as a sort of partnering album with her FijaciĆ³n Oral Vol. 1. The latter was released six months earlier. Despite being a Spanish-language album, it outsold its English counterpart. WK The record company, Epic, approached Jean to do a remake of the album’s single, “La Tortura,” but he suggested a reworking of “Dance Like This.” SF

The song celebrated a woman’s power to seduce through dance. The title was inspired Shakira’s in-studio mantra about how to tell if a song was working or not. As she’d tell her band members, “Listen, hips don’t lie. If they’re not moving, this isn’t working.” SF

After it was reworked for Columbian singer Shakira’s second English-language album, it became a massive global success, topping the charts in 25 countries and becoming the most successful worldwide single of 2006 WK and the top-selling single in the world for the 2000-2009 decade. SF In the United States it made history for racking up more plays on the radio in a single week – 9,637 times for the week ending June 2, 2006 – than any other song. SF It also reached the one-million download mark faster than any prior song in history. WK


Last updated 11/6/2021.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

50 years ago: Gene Vincent “Be-Bop-A-Lula”


Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps

Writer(s): Gene Vincent, Donald Graves Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis (see lyrics here)

First Charted: June 15, 1956

Peak: 7 US, 5 CB, 6 HR, 7 CW, 8 RB, 16 UK, 2 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 8.36 video, 31.75 streaming


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About the Song:

Singer and guitarist Gene Vincent was born in 1935 in Norfolk, Virginia. He was considered one of rock and roll’s pioneering artists. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. His biggest hit, “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” drew comparisons to Elvis Presley.

Different stories have circulated about how the song originated. Supposedly Vincent wrote the music for the song while recuperating from a motorcycle accident at the US Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia. However, the words have also been credited to Donald Graves, who may or may not have met Vincent in the hospital. Then Vincent’s manager, Bill “Sheriff Tex” Davis, allegedly bought the rights to the song for, according to different reports, as little as $25 SF to $50. WK Davis then claimed he and Vincent wrote the song after listening to “Don’t Bring Lulu.” WK Vincent claimed the lyrics were inspired by the comic strip “Little Lulu.” WK

The title is similar to the 1945 #3 hit “Be-Baba-Leba” for Helen Humes. Lionel Hampton re-recorded the song as “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop.” The phrase was widely used in the 1940s in jazz circles, lending its name to the bebop style. It supposedly was derived from the shout by Latin American bandleaders of “Arriba! Arriba!” WK

Vincent first performed “Be-Bop-A-Lula” on a radio show in Norfolk, Virginia, in early 1956. A demo was given to Capitol Records, who wanted a young singer to rival Elvis Presley and Vincent had “the rebel image and swagger they were looking for.” SF The record company invited Vincent to Nashville, Tennessee, where he recorded the song in Owen Bradley’s studio on May 4, 1956. WK It was released as the B-side to “Woman Love.” The BBC banned it and radio stations in the U.S. weren’t interested, but Capitol Records then made “Be-Bop-A-Lula” the A-side and it became a significant crossover hit reaching the top 10 on the pop, country, and R&B charts.


First posted 10/23/2022.

Monday, June 5, 2006

50 years ago: Elvis Presley performed "Hound Dog" on Milton Berle

Hound Dog

Elvis Presley

Writer(s): Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller (see lyrics here)

Released: July 13, 1956

First Charted: July 27, 1956

Peak: 111 US, 4 HP, 14 CB, 2 HR, 16 RB, 2 UK, 17 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 0.2 UK, 10.0 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 68.68 video, 143.63 streaming


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About the Song:

Elvis Presley’s first series of shows in Las Vegas ran from April 23 to May 6, 1956. During his less than successful stint at the Venus Room of the new Frontier Hotel, he took in Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. One of the songs they performed was a cover of “Hound Dog,” a #1 R&B song first recorded by Big Mama Thornton in 1952. Elvis loved Bell’s version and asked about working it into his own act.

Presley first performed the song for a national television audience on June 5, 1956, when he appeared on The Milton Berle Show. 40 million people saw Elvis’ take on “Hound Dog,” complete with controversial gyrations. Critics mocked him, calling him “Elvis the Pelvis.” They savaged him as an “influence on juvenile delinquency” WK and said the song was a showcase for his “caterwauling voice and nonsense lyrics”. WK

With all the attention, he was tapped to perform on The Steve Allen Show for July 1. Allen wasn’t a great fan of rock ‘n’ roll and demanded that Elvis wear a tuxedo. Elvis also had to sing to a top-hat-wearing basset hound. Allen claimed that he wasn’t out to halt Elvis’ presentation style, but the combination of formal wear and singing to a dog reigned in his performance. However, it made for one of The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s most memorable appearances, even if it wasn’t his best.

The following day, Elvis entered the RCA studios in New York City to record the song. “Hound Dog” was originally intended as the B-side for “Don’t Be Cruel,” another song from the session. After the single’s release, it became clear that RCA had two hits on their hands and it became billed as a double A-sided single. The pair of songs became Elvis’ best-selling single and the first single in history to top Billboard magazine’s pop, country, and R&B charts. WK The pair of songs jointly spent 11 weeks atop the pop chart, making it the longest-reigning #1 of the rock era until 1992’s “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men spent 13 weeks at the pinnacle.

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First posted 7/1/2011; last updated 10/4/2021.