Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"I Wish I Had a Girl" by Henry Lee Summer

Song#:  3408
Date:  02/13/1988
Debut:  90
Peak:  20
Weeks:  18
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Henry Lee Summer (nĂ© Swartz), grew up in Brazil, Indiana, a small town located between Indianapolis and Terre Haute. A self-taught musician, Summer knew in high school that he wanted to pursue a career in music. He developed his performing and songwriting skills over the years and began to gain a following. He would record a few songs along the way, but it wasn't until 1984 that he put out a solo debut album. Issued on the Majestic label, Stay with Me sold well for an indie release and it was followed up the next year with Time for Big Fun. The pair of discs finally got the attention of a major label, CBS, and Summer was signed to the CBS Associated imprint. He recorded a self-titled debut album and this track was issued out as its first single. The track became a major hit at Rock getting to #1 on that chart. While it was making strides on rock radio, the song got on the Pop chart and it ended up cracking the Top 20. In turn, the album sold a few copies and got to #56.

ReduxReview:  Summer had a bit of a heartland/Southern rock thing going on that was perfect for the time it was released. It also helped that he had a fun little video to go with the song that showed off his glorious mullet. The track was hooky and had beefy production, which played well on the radio. It was definite rock ear candy with Summer's gravelly voice selling every second of the tune.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  While this song was new to a nationwide audience, it wasn't new to Summer and his pre-fame fans. Since his first two albums were small, indie releases, when it came time for his major label debut, it was decided that a few of the tracks from his first two albums would be good candidates for the new LP. They were re-recorded and combined with some new songs Summer had written to create his debut disc. One of the re-recorded tracks was "I Wish I Had a Girl," which first appeared on Summer's 1985 album Time for Big Fun. Either Summer or the record label heard a hit with the track and it got a second lease on life. Indeed they were right with the song doing well on the Rock and Pop charts.


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