Kim Carnes BDE.jpg

Billboard #1 Hits: #504: ‘ Bette Davis Eyes’- Kim Carnes. May 16, 1981. #1 for 9 weeks in Billboard Hot 100.

  • Single: ‘ Bette Davis Eyes’- Kim Carnes
  • Record Company EMI America
  • Genre: New Wave- Soft Rock
  • Written by Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon
  • Time: 3:48
  • B-side:’Miss You Tonite’
  • Album- Mistaken Identity
  • Grade: A+
  • Peaked at #1 9 weeks in Billboard Hot 100. #10 in UK Singles Chart, #1 in Australia, Canada, Italy, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland.

1981 had 16 #1 hits- but three of those #1 hits totaled up 29 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Bette Davis Eyes’ was the first of the three big hits with 9 weeks at #1, in late summer- this is a stumper the rather pedestrian ‘Endless Love’- Diana Ross and Lionel Richie -9 weeks at #1 and at the end of the year Olivia Newton- John got “Physical’ for 10 weeks.

“Bette Davis Eyes’ would win both Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year at the Grammy Awards. The original recording of the song- back in 1974 by Jackie DeShannon sounds like a totally different song and was not a commercial success. How did Bette Davis feel about the song? She wrote letters to the songwriters-Weiss and DeShannon and to Kim Carnes thanking them for making her ‘a part of modern times’- after the Grammy wins she sent them roses as well.

4 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #504:’ BETTE DAVIS EYES’- KIM CARNES -MAY 16, 1981

  1. Betty Davis was a class act and one of the original ‘broads.’ James Elroy wrote her into his 1940s crime noir novel, ‘Perfidia.’ I wondered at the time, did Kim Carnes talk like she sang? Now that was a three-pack of ciggies and a gallon of bourbon a day type of voice.

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