1962 Shelley Fabares – Johnny Loves Me
Michele Ann Marie Fabares grew up in California and began acting at the age of three using the name Shelley Fabares. She worked regularly on television shows in the fifties, acting on shows as diverse as The Twilight Zone, Captain Midnight, and a serial on The Mickey Mouse Club.
In 1958, Shelley won the role of Mary Stone on a new television show, The Donna Reed Show. She appeared weekly on the show through 1964, after which they wrote her character out of the show by sending her off to college.
Mary’s dating and love life were often the subject of episodes. Colpix Records signed her to a recording contract and she began recording songs in 1961 that were used in the 1961-1962 season of the show.
In one episode they showed her pining for a boy named Johnny. Lee Pockriss co-wrote the 1958 chart-topping Catch A Falling Star with Paul Vance and he co-wrote Johnny Angel with Lyn Duddy.
Shelley sang the song in the episode, and the single reached the top of the Hot 100 in the Spring of 1962.
Shelley was surprised at the success of the record since she did not consider herself to be much of a singer. Darlene Love and the Blossoms, who contributed background vocals on the record, enhanced the record’s vocals. Several members of the Wrecking Crew played on the record as well, including Hal Blaine on drums, Glen Campbell on guitar, and Carol Kaye on bass.
Co-star Paul Petersen had his own hit record a month later, after which Colpix Records released a song by the pair that failed to even chart.
In another episode of the show a few months later, her character finally attracted some attention from Johnny, and she sang Johnny Loves Me on the show. Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann wrote the song, but the single did not fare as well as her first, and stalled at #21.
Mary recorded enough songs for two full albums and had at least eight more singles released between 1962 and 1966 that did not reach the top forty.
Colpix also had her record songs with James Darren and Paul Petersen for an album of songs from the show Bye-Bye Birdie and another album that featured songs from each of the performers.
Shelley continued acting on television and in films through 1998, including co-starring in three films with Elvis and eight years on the television show Coach. She did voice overs for several cartoon series between 1996 and 2006.
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