Pop Archives

Johnny O’Keefe - She Wears My Ring (1964)

(Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)
Australia Australia
#3 Sydney #2 Melbourne #10 Brisbane #7 Adelaide #20 Perth

Single on Leedon label.

Double-sided hit in Sydney and Adelaide with Let's Love Tonight.

Johnny O'Keefe (1935-1978), known in Australia as "The Wild One", "The King of Rock'n'Roll" or just "J. O'K.", was a pioneer Australian rocker, a chart topping artist in his home country. The TV mini-series Shout! The Story of Johnny O'Keefe (1985) was adapted as a stage musical in 2001. The definitive biography is Damian Johnstone's The Wild One (2001).

Also recorded in Australia by Bill McCormack (Melbourne, 1965), single on Astor label; and by Robert Gennari (Sydney, 1968), single on RCA label, B-side of When The Sun Will Shine Again.

Solomon King - She Wears My Ring (1968)

(Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)
Later version
#27 Sydney #31 Melbourne #11 Brisbane

Solomon King, born Allen Levy in 1931, died in Oklahoma in January 2005, aged 73.

At that time, Eddie Smit posted the following to Spectropop: King was born in Lexington, KY. He moved to the UK in 1960 after marrying Canadian journalist Henny Lowy. He moved back to the States after divorcing her in 1980.
(See the Independent's obituary.)

Levi Jackson? The idea that Solomon King also recorded under the name Levi Jackson may be mistaken. See posts to Spectropop, January 2005, by Simon White and others. On the other hand, by the end of the month the plot was thickening, with one post drawing attention to the fact that Solomon King's real name was Allen Levy.

Jimmy Bell - She Wears My Ring (1960)

(Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)
Original version with these lyrics

Single on Hickory label. Jimmy Bell also released this under his real name, Jimmy Sweeney (see above).

On CD: Night Train to Nashville Vol. 2 (Disc 1 Track 19) at Amazon.com.

This an English version of La Golondrina (aka The Mexican ‘Home Sweet Home’). It appears to be the earliest released version of this composition as She Wears My Ring.

Released in Canada on Reo label, it was the #10 bestseller for 1961 on Radio CHUM, Toronto.

Also recorded, for example, by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Ray Price, among others. See David Neale’s history of She Wears My Ring and La Golondrina at Elvis Presley: The Originals.

[composition] - La Golondrina (1883)

(Narciso Serradel Sevilla)
Mexico Mexico
Original melody

Song also known as 'The Mexican 'Home Sweet Home'.

Serradel: Mexican composer (1843-1910) born in Veracruz. His name appears variously as 'Narciso Serradell', 'Narciso Serradel' or 'Narciso Serradel Sevilla', the form used, for example, at the Veracruz page at Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México.

The Spanish lyrics of La Golondrina (The Swallow) use the image of a migrating swallow to evoke sentiments of longing for one's homeland.

The song has been recorded by numerous artists over the years, either as an instrumental or with various lyrics.

For one modern recording of La Golondrina, try
Seville to Sante Fe: A Spanish Guitar Anthology at Amazon.com
(here entitled Las Golondrinas).

Thank you to David Neale for his advice and contributions.

Senor Francisco - La Golondrina (1906)

(Narciso Serradel Sevilla)

Mexican artist Carlos Francisco. 78 rpm record on the Victor label. 

This is one of the earliest recordings of La Golondrina.

References: Research by David Neale at Elvis Presley: The Originals. List of versions at The Originals. Numerical Listing of Victor 16000 78rpm Records page at Ty Settlemier’s Online Discographical Project.

Jimmy Sweeney - She Wears My Ring (1962)

(Felice & Boudleaux Bryant)

Single on Buckley label, #1101.

This is Jimmy Bell’s original recording, re-released under his real name of Jimmy Sweeney, after the master was purchased by Buckley.

Thanks to Craig Coyle.

Gilmore’s Band - La Golondrina (1901)

(Narciso Serradel Sevilla)

Columbia cylinder #31696. This appears to be the earliest known recording of La Golondrina.

References: Research by David Neale at Elvis Presley: The Originals. List of versions at The Originals. Discography: see, for example Mainspring Press’s discography of Columbia cylinders [pdf file].