#458: Puppy Love by Barbara Lewis
Barbara Ann Lewis was born in 1943 in Salem, Michigan, 31 miles west of Detroit. She began to write songs at the age of nine. As well she had learned to play harmonica, piano and guitar. Her bandleader father played the trumpet and her mother played the saxophone. And her cousin, Shelton Brooks, had written “Some Of These Days”, a hit for Sophie Tucker in 1911. Brooks also composed the “Darktown Strutters’ Ball” for The Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917. Despite the musical focus of her extended family, young Barbara Lewis only thought about nursing as a future career. However, in her teens she began to collaborate with Ann Arbor DJ Ollie McLaughlin. The DJ had “discovered” her after McLaughlin asked her father to have Barbara audition for him. Ollie McLaughlin had a radio show on WHRV in Ann Arbor called Ollie’s Caravan. It had a fan base of over 10,000. He also had a small record label called Karen, named after one of his daughters. Her first single on Karen was one she wrote titled “My Heart Went Do Dat Da”. It was recorded at the Chess Record studio in Chicago. It became a break-out hit in the Detroit area, and was picked up for national distribution on Atlantic. The song made the Top 20 subsequently in Colorado Springs (CO).
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