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Joe Dowell

Bloomington, Indiana-born pop singer Joe Dowell had, what he calls, his "fourteen-and-a-half-minutes of fame," when his first recording session yielded a number one hit, "Wooden Heart", in 1961. Elvis Presley had included the song, a centuries old German folk tune, on the soundtrack of his film, GI Blues, and it had become a big hit in Europe, but, RCA Victor had failed to release it as a single in the United States. Recorded at the suggestion of country producer Shelby Singleton, Dowell's version, featuring Ray Stevens on organ, became a phenomenal success. The first single to be released on Mercury's Smash subsidiary, "Wooden Heart" reached the top slot on the Billboard charts within ninety days. Although he had a second hit, "Little Red Rented Rowboat", which reached the twenty-third chart position, during the summer of 1963, Dowell was a victim of the music industry's darker side. Although he prided himself on being a "singer-songwriter", he was forced to record inferior material owned by Mercury. Thus, his debut album, Wooden Heart, was a disappointing showcase of forgettable cover tunes. When he rebelled against the practice, Dowell's recording contract was dropped. Playing the guitar and writing songs from the age of thirteen, Dowell made his debut in an amateur talent show in the ninth grade. He was a senior at the University of Illinois when "Wooden Heart" topped the charts. The popularity of Dowell's version of "Wooden Heart" allowed him to remain active as an entertainer. Launching a radio commercial production company, he built an extremely successful career as spokesperson for banks and financial institutions across the United States. Dowell's future plans include re-recording, "Wooden Heart", with an all-star group of guest musicians. German record collector label, Bear Family, is scheduled to release a compilation of all of Dowell's recordings. ~ Craig Harris
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: '50s & '60s Lost & Found Records Vol. 3

Disc 1

1. Plaything

2. The Big Heavy

3. Swinging Sweethearts

4. Starry Eyed

5. Journey To Love

6. Mister Fire Eyes

8. Roberta

9. Kookie Little Paradise

11. Someone Loves You, Joe

15. How Will It End?

16. Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)

17. The Teacher

18. Bridge Of Love

22. The Girl On The Billboard

23. Dedicated (To The Songs I Love)

25. (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me

28. Roses Are Red My Love

30. Hot Pepper

31. Bonnie Do

34. Just For Tonight

36. Cowboy Boots

37. Stand By Me

39. I Want My Baby Back

40. Band Of Gold

Disc 2

1. Kerry Pipers Rock

3. Enamorado

7. Young Abe Lincoln

10. Little Eeefin Annie

11. Drums

12. For You Alone

13. My Baby's Just Crazy 'bout Elvis

14. Don't Wanna Think About Paula

15. In The Mood

16. Don't Go

18. If You Can't Rock Me

21. The Fortune Teller

22. Hootenanny Granny

23. Blue Guitar

27. Little Miss U.S.A.

28. Everlovin'

29. Gallant Men

30. Billy

31. I Looked At Heaven

32. In The Midnight Hour

33. Cry On My Shoulder

34. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp)

36. Big Bruce

37. Words

38. Happy

x

Track List: Hard-To-Find 45s On Cd (Volume II) 1961-64

1. Wooden Heart

2. I Really Love You

4. Lover Please

5. Dear One

6. I Wish That We Were Married

7. Theme From Dr. Kildare (3 Stars Will Shine Tonight)

8. Little Red Rented Rowboat

9. Patches

10. Bobby's Girl

11. I Saw Linda Yesterday

12. I Will Follow Him (Chariot)

13. Young Lovers

14. Sugar Shack

15. You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry

16. Dominique

17. Popsicles And Icicles

18. Navy Blue

19. Diane

20. Little Honda

21. The Wedding

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