#1171: Blonde Hair Blue Eyes by Ray Smith

Peak Month: December 1960
7 weeks on CFUN chart
Peak Position #14
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart

Ray Smith was born in 1934 in the hamlet of Melber, Kentucky, thirteen miles from the town of Paducah where the Ohio River and the Tennessee River meet. Smith was the seventh son of a sharecropper who, in turn, was also the seventh son in Smith’s grandfather’s family. His dad later worked at the atomic bomb plant in Paducah. Smith left his home at the age of twelve. He worked as a gopher on a Coca-Cola Truck and then operated an oven at Kirchoff’s Bread plant in Paducah. As he grew up Ray Smith worked as a curb hop at Price’s Barbecue at 34th and Broadway where he would serve U.S. (KY) Senator Alben W. Barkley, who later became President Harry Truman’s Vice-President. Next he worked as a sole back tacker and tack machine operator at the International Shoe Company.

Smith was in basic training in 1952 after joining the US Air Force at Sampson Air Force Base in Syracuse, New York. He sang the Hank Williams song “Lovesick Blues,” at his sergeant’s command, while in his shorts and shower clogs. His rendition got him entered in the army base’s talent show where he won first prize. From that day on he took an interest in music. He taught himself to play harmonica, guitar and piano.

Smith was transferred to George Air Force Base in Victorville, California. In the nearby town of Barstow he I got his my first paying gig on Friday and Saturday nights at a performer at Nora’s Desert Inn. He was paid $12.50 a night. In 1956 Smith formed Ray Smith and the Rock and Roll Boys with Smith playing bass and rhythm guitar. They did one night concerts and travelled across the lower 48 states. Ray Smith also got a TV show for two and one half years on

WPSD, channel six, in Paducah, KY. It was called “The Ray Smith Show.” The sponsor of the show was Beardsley Chevrolet based in Bardwell, Kentucky, thirty miles southwest of Paducah.

As a result of this exposure, before Smith turned 20 years old, he recorded his first single in 1958 on Sun Record. The single was called “So Young.” With its release Ray Smith appeared on the Dick Clark Show at the Little Theatre in New York City. His appearance resulted in offers to guest star on other TV shows including American Bandstand. Smith also got signed to a month-long contract with Channel seven in Evansville, Indiana, to host his own show on Saturday afternoons for one month. Smith also got radio appearances with DJs in Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Peterborough, Ontario. His debut single charted in Vancouver peaking at #5. His second single on Sun Records, “Rockin Bandit” didn’t chart.

Smith’s third single ended up being a double-sided hit in Vancouver on the Judd label. The A-side was “That’s All Right” that peaked at #4 on CFUN. As the single started to descend down the record survey the B-side, “Rockin’ Little Angel” took off on the C-FUN Hi-Fi 40 peaking at #15. “Put Your Arms Around Me Honey” was Smiths fourth 45 Rpm disc release and fourth charted song on the Vancouver pop charts. In each of these songs Ray Smith’s vocals had a strong resemblance to the cadence and inflection of Elvis Presley.
Blonde Hair Blue Eyes by Ray Smith
(Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin,
pretty little dimple in her chin, pretty little dimple)
Blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimples on her chin.
Took one look and I was hooked,
threw my heart in a spin.
Guess I’ll stop my running around,
guess it’s time I settled down with
blonde hair and blue eyes, 
pretty little dimple in her chin.
(Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin,
pretty little dimple in her chin, pretty little dimple)

Well, I rambled all over this wide, wide world,
I’ve known lots of girls.
Every port I stopped to court,
left a lot of hearts in a whirl.
I looked all around but I’d never found,
one who could claim my love.
Until I found in my hometown,
the girl I’ve been dreaming of.

And she has, blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimples on her chin.
Took one look and I was hooked,
threw my heart in a spin.
Guess I’ll stop my running around,
guess it’s time I settled down with
blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin.
(Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin,
pretty little dimple).

Blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimples on her chin.
Took one look and I was hooked,
threw my heart in a spin.
Guess I’ll stop my running around,
guess it’s time I settled down with
blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin.
(pretty little dimple)
blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin.
(pretty little dimple)
blonde hair and blue eyes,
pretty little dimple in her chin.
(pretty little dimple) (fade)

If there is such a thing as going gaga over someone, Ray Smith’s “Blonde Hair, Blue Eyes” takes its cue from the experience of many people who’ve experienced “love at first sight.”  Smith sings, “took one look and I was hooked, threw my heart in a spin./Guess I’ll stop my running around, guess it’s time I settled down with blonde hair and blue eyes, pretty little dimple in her chin.” The excessive infatuation and excitement felt in seeing a girl with blonde hair, blue eyes and a pretty little dimple on her chin is good enough for the guy to decide right then and there to settle down with her for the rest of his life. He’ll find out her name later. This catchy tune with an ear-worm chorus spent a couple of months on the CFUN chart in Vancouver, peaking at #14, a feat it also achieved on KLIF AM in Dallas. It got into the Top 20 in Duluth, Michigan, and the Top 30 on KJR in Seattle, but that was pretty much it. The tune missed the Billboard Hot 100.

Smith was not the only person singing about a strong physical-sexual attraction that was a game changer. A few years back, Peggy Lee and Little Willie John sang about someone who gave them “Fever.” And Nat King cole in “Orange Colored Sky” sang “one look and I yelled timber, watch out for flying glass./ ‘Cause the ceiling fell in and the bottom fell out./I went into a spin and I started to shout, I’ve been hit/This is it, this is it, I’ve been hit./ I was walking along minding my business, when love came and hit me in the eye./Flash, bam, alakazam,
out of an orange colored sky.”

After recording with the Sun and Judd labels, Smith went on to record for a string of record companies between 1962 and 1966: Infinity, Vee Jay, Warner Brothers, Smash, Tollie, Celebrity Circle, Diamond. He continued to tour and recorded songs like the boogie-woogie tune “Room Full of Roses” in 1978 that became a hit in Europe. By the 70s Ray Smith had moved from the USA to Ontario, Canada. When he practiced at home he was playing a piano he won from Ronnie Hawkins on a coin toss for free. Smith was as good on the piano as Jerry Lee Lewis and seemed to be in line for solid touring with a revival of interest in late 50s and early 60s rock ‘n roll. Sadly Ray Smith died by suicide in November 1979.

For more song reviews visit the Countdown.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter