1957 Charlie Gracie – Fabulous
Less than a year after graduating from high school, Charlie Gracie recorded his first single. Charlie wrote the A-side, Boogie Woogie Blues. The B-side was with I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter. Charlie even appeared on American Bandstand with his single four years before Dick Clark took over the show.
In early 1957, Charlie and Andy Williams almost simultaneously released singles of the song Butterfly. A month later, Billy Williams released Pied Piper, a single that had his cover of Butterfly on the flip side. The versions of Butterfly by Charlie and Andy both topped the charts, while Billy’s single peaked at #50. A few months later Billy released his cover version of I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter and that single got up to #3.
Charlie’s follow-up single was Fabulous. The record got up to #16 in the US in 1957 and was a top ten single in the UK. When Charlie toured the UK as a headliner in 1957 and 1958, future British stars such as Graham Nash and the Beatles attended his concerts. He must have made quite an impression: in 1999, Paul McCartney recorded his own version of Fabulous and played it in concert at the Caverns.
Charlie’s last single in 1957 was I Love You So Much It Hurts. The record got close to the top 70 in the US, but reached #6 in the UK.
In 1961, he recorded Cool Baby and made an incredible video for the song. It also didn’t go far in the US but still made it up to #26 in the UK.
That was the end of Charlie’s chart career with singles, but he continued cutting albums as recently as 2015.