Saturday 9: Bobby’s Girl

Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here. 

1) In this song, Marcie Blane confesses she sits at home, hoping Bobby will call her. Do you owe anyone a phone call or email? No, but I owe a few thank-you notes–aunts and uncles of both my husband and I bought our son some Christmas gifts, which was very sweet and unexpected, and especially since we don’t see any of them often, I feel like popping a card in the mail is the least we can do.

2) We know Marcie wants to be Bobby’s Girl. Let’s play the Google Game and find out what you want. Go to your favorite search engine, keystroke your name and “wants,” and then search. (For example: “Samantha wants” led us to a math problem that begins: “Samantha wants to purchase a new dress … ” Crazy Sam was tempted to read on because her wardrobe could use sprucing up.) What does Google tell us you want? “Janelle wants to keep track.” Of what? Who knows.

3) This hit record was an accident. Marcie Blaine had just graduated from high school and had a few days before she had to take off for her summer job as a camp counselor. A friend asked her to record a couple songs he’d written, just so he could play them for record labels and song publishers. Her friend was hoping somehow an established star would hear the songs, record them and make one of them a hit. Instead, a producer at Seville Records said he wanted not just the songs but especially the unknown girl who was singing them, and Marcie became a recording artist. Tell us about a favor you’re very glad you did for a friend. I mean, I certainly don’t have an outcome as notable as this one! I’m just happy to help out, honestly.

4) By the time summer was over, and Marcie’s gig as a counselor was done, she was #3 on the charts. Her record stayed in the “Hot 100” for 19 weeks and, for the second half of 1962, she was the top-selling female singer in the US. What female singer do you listen to most often? Ooh, I’m not sure. My highest iTunes play count is Lady Gaga, which surprised me, as I’ve been very critical of her–or more accurately, her fanbase and the immense praise she gets. Spotify tools tell me my tops there are Taylor Swift, more Gaga, Nicki Minaj, Billie Eilish, Bat for Lashes, Lizzo, and Beyoncé, but I’ll also note that I use Spotify for discovery as opposed to, like, seeking out what I’m in the mood for or something.

5) After “Bobby’s Girl” took off, she recorded it in German for the European market. Only she didn’t speak German, so she sang it phonetically. Can you sing any songs in a language other than English? Eh, I know snippets of some, I think, and the occasional foreign lyric that pops up in mostly English songs.

6) Seville rushed Marcie into the studio to make more records. None of them charted higher than #68, and Marcie wasn’t having fun. After a year of being a rock ‘n roller, she enrolled at Queens College in New York City. What’s the most recent class you took? Probably whatever my last class in college was. Unless marriage prep counts. I was supposed to take classes when I was pregnant on things like birth and baby first aid, and then COVID happened and they were all canceled. They e-mailed a link to a database of videos, and I did watch them all, but I didn’t feel like I learned a damn thing the way I probably would have with an in-person class.

7) In 1962, when this song was popular, the most popular baby names were Michael and Lisa. Are there any Michaels or Lisas in your life? One of my brothers-in-law is a Michael, and my mom’s best friend is a Lisa.

8) Also in 1962, Marlene White, the first African American flight attendant for a major US airline, appeared on the cover of Jet magazine. What’s the last magazine you flipped through? Was it in print or online? It was probably a print issue of Rolling Stone. I have a subscription.

9) Random Question: After enjoying a long, relaxing weekend, do you find yourself more or less productive on Monday morning? Much more easily distracted, but here’s what this means for me–I have an 18-month-old son, coming up on 19 months here soon. Most of our weekends are spent visiting with his grandparents, especially since we’re keeping our circle small because of COVID and it’s winter, so things like the park are out and I’m mostly not comfortable with taking him to indoor play places, and we know of a few, or to museums or anything kid-oriented indoors. I’ve joked on Twitter more than once that the kid tests my willingness to be a working parent, because I always thought I would prefer being a working mom and turns out I’d quit this second if I could. So for me, and I think even him, too, what happens is we get a lot more quality time together over the weekend, and then it’s back to being apart for the bulk of the work week. I work from home, but I’m at my desk almost that entire time. Being able to pop out and say hi and spend a few minutes with him here and there is better than being in a totally different location the whole day, but it’s still not the same. I realized pretty early on that at least for me, being with him is more important to me than my job, but we’re not in a position (yet?!) where I can quit.

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