Wednesday, October 20, 2021

"Hands on the Radio" by Henry Lee Summer

Song#:  3649
Date:  09/17/1988
Debut:  85
Peak:  85
Weeks:  3
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This Indiana rocker's self-titled major label debut album performed fairly well (#56) thanks to the #1 Rock/#20 Pop hit "I Wish I Had a Girl." A follow-up single, "Darlin' Danielle Don't," would be another winner at Rock getting to #9, but it failed to reach the top half of the Pop chart (#57). Still, that result was good enough for his label to push out this third single. It would stall at #28 at Rock while making very little impact at Pop. The single would close out promotion of the album. Despite the lack of a second mainstream hit, the label seemed pleased with the results and ordered up a second disc from Summer that would come out in the summer of '89.

ReduxReview:  I think folks missed out on both "Darlin' Danielle Don't" and this song. While neither were as immediately catchy as "I Wish I Had a Girl," both had solid Top 40 potential and I'm not exactly sure why the tunes didn't catch on in a bigger way. Heartland rock wasn't all that in fashion at the time unless you were John Mellenamp, so there may have just been a limited audience for Summer's style of rock. That was too bad as Summer had a knack for writing catchy heartland rock tunes and he sold them well with his soaring, slightly gravely voice. The LP had other good highlights including the yearning "Just Another Day." It is worth checking out.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Summer (real name Henry Lee Swartz) was born in the small town of Brazil, Indiana. It is located just outside the city of Terre Haute at the junction of state highways 59 and 40. The farm town is the county seat of Clay County and has a population of around 8,000. A 2018 study declared that Brazil was the poorest town in Indiana with nearly 32% of the residents living under the poverty line. Yet despite that, the small town has had its share of celebrity residents besides Summer. Infamous union leader Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil. He left the town when he was eleven as his family made the move to Detroit. Later on, Hoffa would become president of the Teamsters. His legendary disappearance in 1975 has been the subject of books, TV shows, and films. Orville Redenbacher was born in Brazil and grew up on his family's farm where he occasionally sold popcorn out of the back of his car. The agriculture scientist and businessman would go on to form his own popcorn brand that became wildly successful. Redenbacher became a celebrity of sorts in his own right when he appeared in commercials for his own product.


No comments:

Post a Comment