Today In Pop Music History (11-11-2015)

TOMMY FACENDA TURNS 76


To this day, it’s the Top 40 hit with the most different vocals versions…28 of them. Ironically, it reached #28. Here’s the Cleveland area version…
 
 
Tommy Facenda turns 76 Tuesday. “High School USA” from 1959 was his only chart single.
 
The reason for the many versions of “High School USA” was simple. Tommy and his producer, Frank Guida, decided it would be neat for the song to include a couple of verses with high schools named…so the record became a regional hit in 28 different regions of the United States. All 28 versions were combined into one point total for the sake of the record’s chart success.
 
The song was played on the second of the two Disappearing Act versions for “American Top 40” in April, 1975.  Casey Kasem played the Detroit version of the song that includes his high school (Northwestern) in the lyrics. The Cleveland version’s lyrics includes the high school that my parents graduated from (Cleveland Heights, which you can hear at the 0:50 second mark).
 
If you look long and hard enough, you can obtain a CD that includes all 28 versions of “High School USA” plus two extra versions. That CD’s cover is the above far right photo.
 
For more on Tommy Facenda…
 
 
TOMORROW: A SALUTE TO THE WORLD’S GREATEST MOM

 

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