Showing posts with label Barbara Lewis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Barbara Lewis. Show all posts

Barbara Lewis - Hello Stranger - On Rhino Hi-Five: Barbara Lewis Album (1963)

Barbara Lewis - Hello Stranger - On Rhino Hi-Five: Barbara Lewis Album (1963)
Biggest Hits Of The 60s




"Hello Stranger" was a 1963 hit single by Barbara Lewis, which spent two weeks at number one on the R&B singles chart in Billboard, crossing over to #3 Pop.

"Hello Stranger" was written by Barbara Lewis herself, who was originally inspired to write a song with that title while working gigs in Detroit with her musician father: “I would make the circuit with my dad and people would yell out: ‘Hey stranger, hello stranger, it’s been a long time’". The song is notable because its title comprises the first two words of the lyrics but is never at any point repeated throughout the rest of the song.

Lewis recorded "Hello Stranger" at Chess Studios in Chicago in January 1963. The track's producer Ollie McLaughlin recruited the Dells to provide the background vocals. The arrangement by Riley Hampton - then working with Etta James - featured a signature organ riff provided by keyboardist John Young. The track was completed after thirteen takes. Lewis would recall that, on hearing the playback of the finished track, Dells member Chuck Barksdale "kept jumping up and down and saying, ‘It’s a hit, it’s a hit.’...I didn’t really know. It was all new to me.

Manny Freiser would recall: "Mercury released "Hello Stranger" as a single against our wishes. It became a legitimate hit at easy listening radio...Mercury then tried to cross it over to Top-40 radio...We started picking up major markets, mostly in the southeast...The single precariously "bubbled under the Hot 100" on Billboard's charts in spring '73: #106 one week, #105 the next, and so on" entering the Billboard Hot 100 that June at #100 where it remained for three weeks and then dropped off the charts. Freiser - "Although it had sold 70,000+ copies, 'Hello Stranger' had basically been a 'turntable hit' at Top 40 radio -- one that got played a lot, but didn't break. It thus became Billboard Magazine's lowest-ranked Hot 100 single of 1973, ranking #573 out of 573 singles that made the Hot 100."

In October 1976 studio group New York Rubber Rock Band recorded a dance version of "Hello Stranger" for the Brooklyn-based Henry Street Records; Colleen Heather was the vocalist on this version which reached #31 on the Dance charts.
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