Blueberry Hill

If you’ve ever seen Happy Days, you’ll probably remember Richie Cunningham singing “I found my thrill….”

These are the opening lines to the 1940 hit Blueberry Hill.Blueberry Hill

The tune to Blueberry Hill was written by Vincent Rose.  Rose, who was born in Italy, was a musician and band leader.  He conducted the Montmartre Orchestra in the 1920s, where he gained considerable popularity.  After living in California for a while, he settled in New York.  He published over 200 songs, including Whispering and Avalon.  He died in 1944 New York.

The lyrics were written by Al Lewis and Larry Stock.

Lewis is best known as a Tin Pan Alley lyricist, but worked into the 1950s.

Stock was accepted into what is now Julliard School at the age of 12.  In addition to Blueberry Hill, he wrote the lyrics to You Won’t Be Satisfied {Until You Break My Heart} and You’re Nobody till Somebody Loves You. 

                Larry Stock recalled that “One important publisher turned down Blueberry Hill, because, he claimed, blueberries don’t grow on hills. I assured him I had picked them on hills as a boy, but nothing doing. So Chappell And Company bought the song and another hit was born.”

      the singing hill          Blueberry Hill was originally released by Gene Autry in 1940.  He introduced the song in the 1941 Western movie, The Singing Hill.

Before 1940 ended, Blueberry Hill had been recorded at least six times.  The most popular of these releases were by The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Louis Armstrong released a version of the song, with altered lyrics, in 1949.

The most popular version is released in 1956 by Fats Domino.  He made the song a rock n’ roll standard and gained an international following with the song.  He decided to record the song when he ran out of material for to record.  His producer was vehemently against his recording the song, but his insistence prevailed.  The recording session was not very smooth, because he kept forgetting the lyrics and the final version was pieced together from many fragmented takes.  Regardless of how it came to be, the song became his greatest hit and is still associated with him.  Rolling Stone ranked this version #82 of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The song has been recorded by numerous other performers including Elvis Presley, Andy Williams, Conway Twitty, The Everly Brothers, Loretta Lynn, The Beach Boys, Brenda Lee and Elton John to name a few.

So the next time Richie Cunningham has a date on Happy Days and begins to sing “I found my thrill…” you say, “hey, I know that song.”

What gives you a thrill?

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