|Released October 1956|
Producer(s) Mitch Miller
|Genre Rock and roll|
Writer(s) Melvin Endsley
|"Ninety Nine Years" (1956) "Singing the Blues" (1956)|
"Singing the Blues" is a popular song written by Melvin Endsley and published in 1956. The song was first recorded and released by Marty Robbins in 1956. (It is not related to the 1920 jazz song "Singin' the Blues" recorded by Frank Trumbauer and Bix Beiderbecke in 1927.)
The best-known recording was released in October 1956 by Guy Mitchell and spent ten weeks at number 1 on the U.S. Billboard chart from December 8, 1956, to February 2, 1957. An example of the U.S. recording is on Columbia #40769, dated 1956, with the Ray Conniff Orchestra. Mitchell's version was also number 1 in the UK Singles Chart for three (non-consecutive) weeks in early 1957, one of only four singles to return to number 1 on three separate occasions, with the other three being "I Believe" by Frankie Laine, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams and "What Do You Mean?" by Justin Bieber.
Marty Robbins and Tommy Steele versions
Two other charting versions of the song were released almost simultaneously with Mitchell's, one by the English singer Tommy Steele (with the Steelmen) and the other (recorded before Mitchell covered it) by US country singer Marty Robbins.
Tommy Steele's version of "Singing the Blues" made number 1 in the UK Singles Chart for one week on 11 January 1957, sandwiched by two of the weeks that Guy Mitchell's version of the same song topped the charts. Steele's recording of the song was not a chart success in the US.
The Marty Robbins version made it to number one on the Billboard C&W Best Sellers chart for 13 weeks in late 1956 and early 1957 and peaked at number seventeen on the US pop chart. In 1983, Gail Davies recorded a cover version, taking her version into the top 20 of the Hot Country Singles chart in the spring of 1983.
Other cover versions
The song is often revived, and on three occasions new recordings of "Singing the Blues" have become UK Top 40 hits. These latter-day hit versions were by Dave Edmunds (1980), Gail Davies (1983), Daniel O'Donnell (1994), and Cliff Richard & the Shadows (2009).
More cover versions
Trumpeter Bob Scobey and banjoist/vocalist Clancy Hayes recorded a trad jazz version in 1958 for the LP "Scobey and Clancy raid the Jukebox" on the Good Time Jazz label. Other notable cover versions include a 1960 recording by Bill Haley & his Comets, a 1963 version by Dean Martin, and a 1971 version by Black Oak Arkansas. It was recorded by Marie Osmond for her 1975 album In My Little Corner of the World, by Gene Summers on his 1981 French album Gene Summers in Nashville, and by The Kentucky Headhunters for their album Stompin' Grounds (1997). A version by Bert Jansch appears on his 2000 release Crimson Moon.
"Singing the Blues" was performed live by Paul McCartney on the MTV show Unplugged in 1991 and included on the subsequent soundtrack, Unplugged (The Official Bootleg).
The great Hank Snow did it on his 1969 album on RCA "I Went To Your Wedding".
The song was also performed by Albert Lee.
The tune was also sung by Vivian Vance and William Frawley (Ethel and Fred of I Love Lucy fame) for a Ford Motor Company television commercial promoting the Edsel.
The Californian pop punk band Groovie Ghoulies covered the song on their third album World Contact Day in 1996.
The first line of this song is famously the last line of "London Calling" by the Clash, cut short and echoed in the final mix of the song ("I never felt so much a-like, a-like, a-like...").
Birmingham City-supporting radio presenters Tom Ross and Ian Danter released a version to celebrate Birmingham's promotion to the Premier League, and has been sung since at least the 1969 season by fans of the Midlands club.
Blackburn Rovers fans have been known to sing a version of the song: "Never felt more like singing the blues, the Rovers win and Burnley lose, oh Rovers, you've got me singing the blues."
Everton fans sing a version of this song; "I've never felt more like singing the blues, when Everton win and Liverpool lose, oh Everton you've got me singing the blues."
Also this song is commonly used at Manchester City F.C. football matches, where the fans sing: "Never felt more like singing the blues, City win, United lose."
This song has also been used by Sheffield Wednesday fans. Their lyrics are: "Never felt more like singing the blues, When Wednesday win, United lose."
Former Wednesday player Terry Curran recorded a version of the song that is still used at Hillsborough to this day.
Hugues Aufray and his Skiffle Group recorded a French version of the song, "Tout le long du chemin", in 1964.