#761: I Got Burned by Ral Donner
Peak Month: March 1963
9 weeks on Vancouver’s CFUN chart
Peak Position #6
Peak Position on Billboard Hot 100 ~ did not chart
YouTube.com link: “I Got Burned”
Ralph Stuart Emanuel Donner was born in Chicago in 1943. As early as age three young Ralph was performing Al Jolson songs in blackface. When he was three it was 1946, and The Jolson Story was a box office smash. At the age of eight, young Donner appeared before a Youth For Christ rally in Chicago in 1951 at Orchestra Hall. He sang a song on the radio that year by the Ink Spots titled “It’s No Secret (What God Can Do)”. When he was eleven years old he sang “The Old Rugged Cross” on WGN radio in Chicago. In his teens he entered a number of talent shows. In the fall of 1957, he formed a band called the Rockin’ Five. The group played with Sammy Davis Jr. on one occasion on a local TV station. At the age of 15, Donner was a guest at popular rock ‘n roll DJ Alan Freed’s Big Beat Rock N’ Roll Show. The show was held at the Civic Opera House in Chicago on April 26, 1958. Others on stage were Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Diamonds, Frankie Lymon, Danny & The Juniors and Chuck Berry. Prior to that concert, Ralph Donner appeared on “Time For Teens” on March 9th. He was mobbed by fans and had to be rescued by the police.