Friday, September 7, 2012

Joe Dowell--Wooden Heart (1961)

    Joe Dowell was from Indiana then moved with his family to Illinois where he went to college. During a semester break he drove to Nashville to look for a record company to record him. On his last day in the city, he was signed to Smash records not only because of his voice, and his clean cut look. After school was out in May of 1961 he went to record four songs.
     The night before the recording session, producer Shelby Singleton was at the movies watching "G.I. Blues" which was Elvis' latest movie. He was attracted again to a song in the movie called, "Wooden Heart" which was sung partly in German. A version was already going up the charts IN Germany, and with another Elvis song climbing up the charts at the time in the US, it was thought that Presley would not be releasing the song anytime soon, so it was presented to Dowell as one of the four songs to be recorded.
     Dowell took about three hours to learn the song phonetically that next day. It was released in June and a couple of months later it reached number 1. Presley himself had it issued as a single in the UK where it went to number 1, but never released it in the states. Joe had a couple more songs reach the charts, but was dropped by Smash after a contract dispute in late 1962. He spent the rest of his career in radio advertising.


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