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Sally Go Round the Roses by The Jaynetts

"Sally Go Round the Roses" by The Jaynetts

R&B

The story behind this golden oldie has a somewhat convoluted history. “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” was written by Lona Stevens, who was the wife of Abner Spector an A&R man and producer for Chess Records, and Zelma “Zell” Sanders, a Bronx native who owned the J&S record label. J&S recorded doo wop, R&B, and rock and roll. The Jaynetts were a combination of singers mostly from The Hearts, a group Sanders had recorded, and The Clickettes plus a few others. The song was based (loosely) on the “Ring Around the Rosie” nursery rhyme. There were five credited members of The Jaynetts who recorded the song: Yvonne Bushnell, Ethel Davis, Ada Ray Kelly, Johnnie Louise Richardson, and Mary Sue Wells. Other singers have been identified as being on the track: Selena Healey, Marie Hood, Marlene Jenkins, Louise Harry Murray, Lezli Valentine, and Iggy Williams. The story goes that up to 20 singers originally used on the recording. It was a very expensive week-long recording session, coming in at $60,000. Artie Butler, who went on to a long career as an arranger/songwriter/pianist with 60 gold and platinum albums to his credit, did the arrangement for “Sally Go Round the Roses.” He played and recorded all the instrumental tracks himself, except for Al Gorgoni and Carl Lynch on guitars — and possibly Buddy Miles on the drums. After all of that, Abner did not like the song. Butler played it for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who offered to buy it. That spurred Abner into releasing it. The B-Side had just the band tracks minus the vocals. In 1963, the song went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, #1 in the Cash Box Top 100, #7 in France, and #2 in New Zealand.

Here are the lyrics to “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” by The Jaynettes:

“Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the roses)
Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)

Roses they can’t hurt you
(Roses they can’t hurt you)

Roses they can’t hurt you
(Well, the roses they can’t hurt you)

Sally don’t you go, don’t you go downtown
Sally don’t you go, don’t you go downtown
Saddest thing in the whole wide world
Is see your baby with another girl
Sally go round, oh sally, don’t you go
Sally, don’t you go, don’t you go downtown
Oh, don’t you go downtown
Saddest thing in the whole wide world
See your baby with another girl

Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the roses)
Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)

They won’t tell your secret
(They won’t tell your secret)
They won’t tell your secret
Oh no, they won’t tell your secret

Sally baby cry, let your hair hang down
Sally baby cry, let your hair hang down
Sit and cry with the doors closed
Sit and cry so no one knows

Sally baby cry, let your hair hang down
Sally baby cry, let your hair hang down
Saddest thing in the whole wide world
See your baby with another girl

Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the roses)
Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)
Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)

Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)

Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)

Sally go ’round the roses
(Sally go ’round the pretty roses)”

For More Golden Oldies Music

The Daily Doo Wop Rec Room has daily featured doo wop, rock and roll, R&B, or rockabilly songs that were hits during the first era of rock and roll (that is, from about 1952 until the British invasion in 1964). After a song is featured, it then goes into the juke box. You are welcome to listen to any of the 40+ selections there. Every weekend, there is a Golden Oldies Juke Box Saturday Night, and the juke box is full of song requests from the 1950s and 1960s.

Please click here for our Youtube channel, to which you can subscribe. Thank you for stopping by The Daily Doo Wop. Hope you enjoyed “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” by The Jaynettes.

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