One of the most eerie songs to top the the charts
Joe Meek’s production “Johnny Remember Me” by actor John Leyton was No. 1 in 1961
Joe Meek, the famous British producer that made several hit songs during the 1960’s including the instrumental classic “Telstar” by The Tornadoes, was not just famous because of his production skills, but also by the uniqueness of it. In 1961 Geoff Goddard songwriter, singer and instrumentalist that worked with Meek, composed “Johnny Remember Me”. Recounting the haunting, real or imagined, of a young man by his dead lover, the song is one of the most noted of the ‘death ditties’ that populated the transatlantic pop charts in the early to mid-1960’s. It is distinguished in particular by its eerie, echoing sound, a hallmark of the Joe Meek production style, and by the ghostly, foreboding female wails that form its backing vocal by Lissa Gray. The song was banned by the BBC, along with many other ‘death discs’, which were popular at the time, but despite that, reached No.1 on September 24th, 1961 in the U.K charts. The creation and success of the song plays a significant role in the 2009 biopic “Telstar: The Joe Meek Story”
Watch John Leyton performing “Johnny Remember Me” in 1961
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