Billboard #1 Hits: #48: “Blue Moon”- The Marcels. April 3, 1961- #1 for 3 weeks. Released on Colpix Records. Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. Genre: Doo Wop, R&B. Time: 2:15. B-side: “Goodbye To Love.” Grade: A+
“Blue Moon” was written back in 1934 by the great songwriting team of Rodgers and Hart. It was a hit twice with Billy Eckstine #21 in 1947 and Mel Torme #20 in 1949. Two other legendary performers- Billie Holiday and Elvis Presley also recorded it in the 1950’s- but the most successful version was by The Marcels a Doo-wop group from Pittsburgh which went to #1 in both the Billboard Hot 100 in the US and on the UK Singles chart. The Marcels would have another Top 40 hit in 1961- “Heartaches” #7 and that was it. Even with the success of “Blue Moon”- The Marcels a multi-racial band had problems when touring the south in the summer of 1961 which led to the two white members leaving the group in the summer of 1961. But “Blue Moon” left its mark- the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has it listed as one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.