Steve Lawrence’s ‘Go Away Little Girl’: A Timeless No. 1 Hit

Steve Lawrence

Steve Lawrence

Fred Hermansky/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal by means of Getty Image

Forever No. 1 is a Billboard collection that pays unique homage to the lately deceased musicians that accomplished the greatest honor our graphes need to provide — a Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 solitary — by taking an extensive recall at the chart-topping tracks that made them component of this unique club. Here, we recognize the late Steve Lawrence by taking a look at his single No. 1 hit, the highly melodious yet lyrically troublesome “Go Away Little Girl.”

Steve Lawrence’s “Go Away Little Girl” covered the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks in January 1963 — ending up being the largest pinch hit the smooth, enchanting vocalist, that passed away on Thursday (March 7) at age 88 after a lengthy fight with Alzheimer’s.

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It was the 4th No. 1 in simply under 2 years for fabulous songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King, complying with The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” Bobby Vee’s “Take Good Care of My Baby” and Little Eva’s “The Loco-Motion.”

“Go Away Little Girl” is quickly the least “rock and roll” of the Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ battery of 4 No. 1’s. The track displays King’s melodious toughness, though Goffin’s verse has not aged well. The verse includes a boy informing a girl to keep away from him, so he won’t be attracted to betray his consistent partner by kissing her. (He calls her a “little girl,” which doubtless discovers as even more buying from — or even worse — today than it did at the time.)

The most appealing facets of the recording are the loping stride, which recommends a steed running around a track; the double-tracked lead vocal; and the inflection on the bridge: “When you’re near me like this/ You’re much too hard to resist.”

Vee, that had actually taken “Take Good Care of My Baby” to No. 1 in September 1961, was the very first to document “Go Away Little Girl” (in March 1962). His variation was not launched as a solitary and the track landed with Lawrence, that was a 10-year professional then. Lawrence had actually landed his very first hit in 1952 with a cover variation of Bing Crosby’s 1944 hit “Poinciana.”

Lawrence was 26 when “Go Away Little Girl” was a hit. But “Go Away Little Girl” isn’t truly a grown-up track. It is, instead, a track regarding “young love and first crushes,” as Lawrence’s child David Lawrence claimed in the PBS docudrama Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gormé: Memories of My Mom & Dad.

In that exact same doc, which premiered on Dec. 2, 2023, David Lawrence kept in mind that his dad might sing light pop tracks like “Pretty Blue Eyes” (a top 10 hit in January 1960) and “Go Away Little Girl,” and additionally sing extra advanced, jazz-accented price like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” “He could sort of position his voice in more of a pop arena and then turn around and swing like nobody’s business,” David remembered. “That’s that I find most impressive – he’s so versatile.”

If “Go Away Little Girl” was light-weight product for a vocalist of Lawrence’s age and singing capacities, why was it such a success? It’s a quite track, with a charming tune and a cozy vocal — and in very early 1963, a year prior to The Beatles amazed the songs organization, that was frequently sufficient to obtain you to No. 1.

Lawrence had actually had a string of 3 successive leading 10 appeal the Hot 100 in 1960-61 (“Pretty Blue Eyes,” “Footsteps” and “Portrait of My Love,” the last very first videotaped by British vocalist Matt Monro), yet his recording job had actually cooled down in 1962. He launched 3 tracks that didn’t make the leading 40, complied with by 2 that didn’t also make the Hot 100.

Lawrence authorized with Columbia Records in 1962 after jobs on King, Coral, ABC-Paramount and United Artists. His very first launch for Columbia wasn’t much of a hit: “The Lady Wants to Twist,” a fashionable twist/swing number created by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “bubbled under” the Hot 100 at No. 120.

So, it wasn’t truly a shock when “Go Away Little Girl” got in the Hot 100 in the bottommost supplanted the week finishing Nov. 10, 1962. But the track promptly offseted that slow-moving beginning: It risen from No. 41 to No. 20 in the week finishing Dec. 8, after that made the leading 10 the complying with week. In the week finishing Jan. 12, 1963, it got to No. 1, displacing the Tornadoes’ crucial hit “Telstar,” a three-week leader. “Go Away Little Girl” continued to be on the top for 2 weeks prior to being displaced by the Rooftop Singers’ folk ballad “Walk Right In.”

Steve Lawrence, hot 100


Goffin and King additionally composed a number of follow-up songs for Lawrence, consisting of “Poor Little Rich Girl,” “Walking Proud,” “I Want to Stay Here” and “I Can’t Stop Talking About You” (the last 2 were attributed to Steve & Eydie).

Lawrence had 5 even more leading 40 appeal the Hot 100 after “Go Away Little Girl,” though he never ever went back to the leading 20. His last Hot 100 hit was “We Can Make It Together” in 1972, a collab with his other half and The Osmonds. 

A 1966 remake of “Go Away Little Girl” by The Happenings, launched as the follow-up to their hit “See You in September,” got to No. 12 on the Hot 100. The vivacious document mirrors the hit audio of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons.

In September 1971, much less than 9 years after Lawrence’s solitary covered the Hot 100, a remake of the track by Donny Osmond additionally got to No. 1 on the Hot 100, making it the very first track to leading Billboard’s front runner tracks graph by 2 various musicians. Just 8 various other tracks have actually consequently equated to that accomplishment – and nothing else set of tracks has actually gotten to No. 1 in such fast sequence.

Osmond was 13 when “Go Away Little Girl” was a hit, making the track extra age-appropriate for him than it had actually been for Lawrence. Osmond modified the verse from “I belong to someone else and I must be true” to “I’m dating somebody else – I must be true.” Apparently, 13 was regarded also young by some in Osmond’s camp to “belong to someone else.”

While “Go Away Little Girl” was Lawrence’s largest hit solitary, it wasn’t his most enduring claim-to-fame. He is better-known and recalled for his function in promoting such requirements as “More” and “I’ve Gotta Be Me” and for his decades-long collaboration with his other half, Eydie Gormé. The pair did several of their ideal work with a string of stylish television specials in the 1970s commemorating the songs of George & Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. They won a Primetime Emmy in 1979 for Steve & Eydie Celebrate Irving Berlin, which included Carol Burnett, Sammy Davis Jr. and jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.




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