1. Archive

Hugh Downs developed a lisp for the little blue man

Question: In the late '50s or early '60s there was a song by a female singer about a little blue man that followed her everywhere. While trailing her, he kept saying I wuv you, I wuv you.

What is the title? Who is the singer? Without your help, this mystery will haunt us the rest of our days. _ Dorothy Ramsey, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Dear Dorothy: It was bad enough hearing of that poor little girl being haunted by an enamored, blue alien, but the thought of an otherwise happy Hawkeye clan being haunted by the song is unacceptable to this writer.

The Little Blue Man (Atlantic 1169), by Betty Johnson, became a Top 20 hit in early 1958. Now you know the singer and correct title.

You also may recall how the song ended. Betty got so fed up with the little blue man that she pushed him from the roof of one of the city's taller buildings. Fortunately he survived the fall, escaping with only minor bruises.

Interpreting the push as an expression of indifference on her part, the song ends with the little (black and) blue man telling Betty: "I don't wuv you anymore."

Let me conclude with one amusing piece of trivia that may make you the hit of your next family reunion.

Question: Name the well-known TV personality who is the voice of the little blue extraterrestrial on this record? Answer: The I wuv you lines were voiced by Hugh Downs, perennial television star and current host of ABC-TV's 20/20. Now that's a story Barbara Walters ought to do.

Question: Which record held on to the No. 1 spot on the national hit parade longer _ Tennessee Waltz, by Patti Page, or Goodnight Irene, by the Weavers? (My name will tell you why I'm curious.) _ Irene Palmerie, Lisbon, Ohio

Dear Irene: As far as time spent at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts, it's a tie _ both records tallied 13 weeks in 1950.

Coincidentally, both records also remained on the charts for 25 weeks, another tie.

If it's any consolation, your namesake song, Goodnight Irene, remained No. 1 longer than any other song with a girl's name in the title.

Question: I have a question about one of those tunes you hear that stays embedded in your memory.

It is the instrumental featuring a steel guitar that has recently been the background music for the Mazda Miata television commercials.

This song was also used in the film, La Bamba _ The Ritchie Valens Story, which leads me to believe it is a Ritchie Valens song. _ C. Greene, Mount Vernon, Ind.

Dear C.: It's been a few months since I saw the Mazda Miata commercial, but I am sure they used Sleep Walk for background music.

Sleep Walk, recorded by Santo and Johnny, became a No. 1 hit when first issued in 1959 (Canadian American 103).

You'll find Sleep Walk easily available on any of several compact discs, cassettes and reissue singles. For more information, check the Phonolog directory at your local music store.

Copyright 1992 World Features Syndicate, Inc.