1959 Bobby Darin – Plain Jane
John Hodges wrote and published the song Lubly Fan in 1844. He performed a minstrel act in blackface as Cool White. The song became popular with minstrels performing it replacing the words “Lubly Fan” with a local reference such as “Boston gals” or “New York gals.” The most popular version became Buffalo Gals, which is the version Jimmy Steward and Donna Reed sang in the film It’s A Wonderful Life.
A reworking of Buffalo Gals by the songwriting team of Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman became Plain Jane. Since any copyright protection had long since run out, they were the only writers credited for the song.
Bobby Darin recorded Plain Jane and ATCO Records released it as his first single in 1959.
Bobby even performed the song on American Bandstand, but even that didn’t help his record reach any higher than #38 on the Hot 100.
While that might have been disappointing, Bobby’s next two singles in 1959 did much, much better: Dream Lover went to #2 and Mack the Knife topped the Hot 100 for nine weeks.
Doc and Mort continued churning out hit records through the early sixties including nine top ten records, two of which reached #1 (Save The Last Dance For Me by the Drifters and Surrender by Elvis).
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