"Some folks are gonna succeed in spite of themselves," is an old Southern expression that I've heard since I was a kid.
And that expression applies to a few country songs that made the grade to become a hit, in spite of al the obstacles that should have prevented it.
One such song that made that climb against all odds is "Walk On By," Leroy Van Dykes 1961 hit record.
Every songwriter has a song he can't sell and Kendall Hayes couldn't get anyone interested in recording "Walk On By."
Everyone agreed that the idea was marketable but something about the song just wasn't right. Even though he had done well with other songs, "Walk On By" seemed destined to die on the shelf!
Then all at once, publisher Gary Walker, came up with the line, "Wait on the corner." Walker was convinced that the line would mean the difference between success and failure for "Walk On By."
Hayes agreed to the change and rewrote the song to accomodate the new line.
After the rewrite, a new demo was recorded and played for Shelby Singleton, Mercury Records A & R man. Singleton, in turn, played the tune for Leroy Van Dyke.
"Walk On By" was a song searching for a singer and Van Dyke was a singer searching for a song. He and Singleton agreed to record the tune but they weren't convinced that it was a hit song. So they decided to use the song as the "B" side of Leroy's next record.
As soon as the record was released, Walker and the publishing company went to work plugging "Walk On By," even though Mercury Records was promoting the flip side of the record!
"Walk On By" slowly began to take off---all the way to number one, where it hung on for 19 weeks!
The record also scored a # 5 on the pop music charts, while it wound up hanging on the country charts for 37 weeks.
Leroy Van Dyke went from being a singer desperately needing a song---to being one of the hottest acts in country music and "Walk On By" went from being a song dying on the shelf to one of country music's all time top ten records!
Used by permission of Country Music Classic's
Contact : Doug Davis firstname.lastname@example.org