FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – This week’s One Hit Wonder is a cool yet strange song for its day: “Sally, Go’ Round The Roses.”
The song was based off of one that young girls used to sing when they jumped rope. With additional lyrics written by Zell Sanders and Lona Stevens, record producer Abner Spector gathered a lineup of singers to record the song. Called the Jaynetts from The Bronx in New York, the song had five credited singers: Ethel Davis, May Sue Wells, Yvonne Bushnell, Ada Ray Kelly and Johnnie Louise Richardson.
There were reports that as many as 20 additional voices were on this song. However, for publicity purposes to radio stations and record stores, the record jacket only featured three of them. There has also been reports that Spector spent $60,000 to record this song but many historians discount that. In addition, Spector sequestered the girls in the studio for a week until the recording was finished.
What made this song a hit wasn’t the lyrics but the music and instruments used, including an organ, a wall of voices and a funky but mysterious beat. The first part of the lyrics go like this:
Sally go round the roses (sally go round the roses)
Sally go round the roses (sally go round the pretty roses)
Hope this place can’t hurt you (hope this place can’t hurt you)
Roses they can’t hurt you (roses they can’t hurt you)
Sally don’t you go, don’t you go downtown
Sally don’t you go-o, don’t you go downtown
Saddest thing in the whole wide world
Is see your baby with another girl
Recorded and released in 1963 on the Tuff Records label, it hit #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. But that would be it for The Jaynetts. There were several subsequent songs released but none were successful.
And now, from 1963, The Jaynetts with… “Sally, Go’ Round The Roses!”