#1126: I Cry and Cry by Bobby Curtola
Peak Month: September 1962
7 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #13
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
Bobby Curtola was born in Port Arthur, Ontario, in 1943. (The town would become amalgamated into the city of Thunder Bay in 1970). In the fall of 1959, sixteen-year-old high school student Bobby Curtola went from pumping gas at his father’s garage in Thunder Bay, Ontario, to the life of a teen idol. Within a year he went from playing in his basement band “Bobby and the Bobcats” to recording his first hit single in 1960, “Hand In Hand With You”, which charted in Ontario, but not in Vancouver. After performing on the Bob Hope Show in 1960, the charismatic teenager, with his handsome boy-next-door looks was quickly finding himself within a whirlwind called “Curtolamania.”
Bobby set out on his first Western Canadian Tour in the fall of 1960. From there Curtola went on to become a trailblazer. He toured the first coast to coast tour circuit in Canada. In 1961 he went to Nashville to record with Bill Porter for RCA Studios. That relationship continued for decades.
The hit “Fortune Teller” was released in 1962 and went Gold in Canada. The now Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame DJ, Red Robinson, was key in the success of “Fortune Teller”. Seeing its potential internationally, Robinson sent it to Disc Jockey’s in Seattle at KJR and Hawaii’s KPOI in Honolulu. A major US record deal was signed and “Fortune Teller” went on to sell two and a half million copies. Bobby Curtola was invited to tour with Dick Clark and his Cavalcade of Stars. While on tour in England that same year, Bobby met The Beatles and appeared on the famous British TV variety show Thank Your Lucky Stars.
Bobby Curtola, had his seventh chart hit in Vancouver with “I Cry and Cry.” It was the fifth of seven top thirty hits for Curtola on the Vancouver pop charts in 1962. Other hits included “Aladin” and “Fortune Teller”. “I Cry and Cry” was the followup hit to “Fortune Teller” and it’s b-side, “Johnny Take Your Time” which had a separate chart run beginning with the final chart week for “Fortune Teller”.
“I Cry and Cry” concerns a man who made wedding vows but after his marriage concedes “I forgot the words I said.” His wife has left him. He cries and pleads in his loneliness for her to “please come back home.” He confesses “now I know that I was wrong.” Curtola’s question: “my darling can’t you change your heart?” caught the attention of some of his fans who pushed the song into the Top 20 for four weeks, peaking at #13.
But in 1962 the prospect of separation or divorce in a marriage was a bit of a scandal. It was not until 1968 that Canada’s first unified divorce law was passed. In fact, before 1986 if a couple wanted to divorce based on marital breakdown, they had to live three years apart before they could obtain a divorce. In 1960 only 1.8% of married women in 1000 got a divorce, or less than two marriages in one hundred ended in divorce. Singing about one’s marriage partner moving out of a couples home due to marital difficulties was actually a quite edgy for its time in 1962, though it sounds extremely tame to 21st Century ears.
October 28, 2017
Bobby Curtola biography, Bobby Curtola.com
Janet French, Canadian Singer Bobby Curtola Dies During Edmonton Visit, Edmonton Journal, Edmonton, Alberta, June 6, 2016.
Bobby Curtola, Canadian Bands.com
Things Go Better with Coke, Coca-cola Commercial, 1964.
Bobby Curtola Coca Cola Interview with John Pozer, Ottawa, Ontario, 1964.
Constance Sorrentino, The Changing Family in International Perspective, (Marriage and Divorce Rates in 10 Countries, Selected Years, 1960-1986), Bureau of Labor Statistics, Washington D.C., 1990.
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