National Obituary Review

Dead Person of the Day February 29 – Wes Farrell

0 Comments 29 February 2012

Happy Leap Day!

Part of me thinks Leap Day is a great product of the ingenuity of the human race. But another part of me makes me shake my head, contemplate eternity and think of the complicated futility of ignorance.

Onward to the DPD.

Farrell was one of the most prolific and influential songwriters, producers, publishers, and music executives of the 1960s and 70s. His hit “Boys” appeared on the B-side of the Shirelles’ #1 1960 hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and was subsequently covered by The Beatles for their debut album Please Please Me.

But the story gets oh so much more intriguing.

Farrell’s biggest chart hit was  the 1965 US #1 single “Hang on Sloopy”. For some weird unknown reason “Hang on Sloopy” also became the Official Rock Song of Ohio (whatever the hell that means), and gained unprecedented notoriety and popularity.

Evidently the song gained such strong associations with the school after its marching band began playing it at football games; it first played it October 9, 1965 after a band member, John Tatgenhorst, begged the director to try playing it.

The obsession with this song is really ridiculous. Ohio State’s athletic department’s website is For real!

So if you needed another reason to think OSU is ridiculous….there you go.

OBITUARY : Wes Farrell

by: Pierre Perrone

At a time when the charts are dominated by Beatles re-releases, Beatles sound-alikes, disco acts and prefabricated teen stars like Take That, the death of Wes Farrell, the American songwriter and music entrepreneur, helps us put these trends into perspective.

Farrell was part of the legendary Brill Building school of songwriting, and while working there, he co-wrote the song “Boys”, with Luther Dixon. In 1961, it was recorded by the Shirelles and appeared on the B-side of their world-wide hit “Will You Love Me Tomorrow”. “Boys” quickly became a staple of the Beatles’ repertoire, giving Ringo Starr a rare opportunity to shine vocally. The Fab Four’s infectious early sound was heavily influenced by American girl groups of the time (they also adapted the Shirelles’ “Baby It’s You”) and “Boys” was duly included on their first album, Please Please Me, and also features on the recent Anthology I. Continue 

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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