Wednesday, August 3, 2011
A Musical Golden Anniversary: "Transistor Sister" by Freddy Cannon
After a hot 1959 -- two top ten singles, "Tallahassie Lassie", his debut, and "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans -- Freddy Cannon, nee Frederick Picariello, spent the next two years waiting for gold to strike again. (It did, in the late spring of 1962, thanks to Chuck Barris.)
"Transistor Sister" provided Freddy with some summertime 1961 radio airplay. It quietly debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at #95, but its battery lost most of its power when it reached #35 in its 6th week.
Here's the song's weekly progress: 95, 94, 61, 53, 46, 35, 44, 67. (8 weeks)
During a July 1963 visit with family in Chicago, my cousin Roland informed me that a local radio station was using "Transistor Sister" for a station identification jingle. The lyric "playing her radio" was changed to "WYNR radio". (As in "winner".)
The transistor radio pictured below looks very similar to the one I purchased during the summer of 1962 with earnings from my newspaper route.