Billboard #1 Hits: #102: “Dominique”- The Singing Nun. December 7, 1963. #1 for 4 weeks.

  • Single: “Dominique”- The Singing Nun
  • Record Company- Phillips
  • Genre: Folk
  • Written by Jeanine Deckers
  • Time: 2:53
  • B-side: “Entre Les Etoiles”
  • Album- The Singing Nun
  • Grade: C
  • Peaked at #1 for 4 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. #7 on the UK Singles Chart. Went to #1 in Australia, Argentina, Canada, New Zealand and Venezuela.

This French language song sung by a Belgian singing nun Jeanine Deckers- best known as The Singing Nun- won the Grammy for Best Gospel or Other Religious Recording in 1964- and was nominated for Record of the Year and Best Female Vocal Performance.

This was the final #1 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 for 1963- which was a pretty dreadful year musically and in other ways. I can’t help but think that in 1963 America was still stuck musically in the 50’s. I forget who said it but years ago I heard it said that the 1960’s began in America with the JFK assassination and ended with Milhous Nixon’s resignation. I think the 60’s began with two events- the JFK assassination and then the arrival of The Beatles in the winter of 1964. Musically America surely did need an infusion.  Thankfully there was no Singing Nun Mania. Sister Luc-Gabrielle was an actual nun and a one -hit wonder. She died in 1985 at the age of 51- suicide. She had quit the order but remained a Catholic. She and her friend Annie Pecher committed suicide together by taking barbiturates and alcohol. She cited financial difficulties in a note she left. She owed $63,000 in taxes from “Dominique” royalties.

8 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #102: “DOMINIQUE”- THE SINGING NUN- DECEMBER 7, 1963

    • I never knew what happened to her- of if I did I had forgotten it. Very sad. She had donated her profits from the song to the church- hadn’t thought about taxes.

  1. Though the first four years of the 1960s saw some really great music, a lot of it was mediocre insipid drivel. Bands liike the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, etc., along with the increasing output of Motown, were such a tremendous seismic shift in music that younger people today cannot fully grasp.

  2. We had the album in our house and saw her on Ed Sullivan. This past summer I found the album in good shape in a second-hand store. Once I get my stereo set up in the new house, it will get played.

    • I have always thought that the JFK assassination- certainly had something to do with the sudden changes with The Beatles and the British Invasion in 1964. I always think of it this way – the world was black and white until The Beatles came to America- and all the sudden it went to color.

  3. I though the UK charts had some eclectic number ones, but following this it looks like the US was way more varied. An actual singing nun…! (Probably still preferable to Cliff Richard…)

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