Pop Archives

Normie Rowe - Ya Ya (1966)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Australia Australia
#8 Sydney #1 Brisbane #9 Adelaide

Double-charted with the A-side The Breaking Point.

Melbourne singer Normie Rowe became Australia's top teen idol of the late 60s and the star of Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label. He had a string of hits in Australia from 1965, recorded four singles in London, toured Britain and America, and even inspired a tribute song, Norman-Normie. After he was conscripted to serve in Vietnam he never regained his earlier 'King of Pop' status, but he re-established himself as a respected performer, especially on stage, starring in such productions as Les Miserables and Annie.

Further reading: 1. Normie Rowe biography at Milesago. 2. Official site at NormieRowe.com

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

Trini Lopez - Ya Ya (1964)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)

B-side on Reprise April 1964.

Tony Sheridan & The Beat Brothers - Ya Ya, Part 1 & 2 (1962)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Germany Germany

Tony Sheridan - Ya Ya On German Polydor EP Ya Ya. Although this has connections with early Beatles memorabilia, Ya Ya does not feature any Beatles behind Sheridan.

Thanks to Dave Overett.

Further reading: for personnel on this track see, for example, listing at Discogs.com.


Petula Clark - Ya Ya Twist (1962)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey - Georges Aber)
France France
Original version with these lyrics
#1 France #14 UK #9 Italy #18 Flemish Belgium #7 French-speaking Belgium

Single on Vogue (France) February 1962, then on Pye (UK) June 1962. The UK charting single was the same recording, in French.

English singer Petula Clark, a resident of France from the early 60s, built her French career with songs like this that placed her nicely in the yé yé pop movement.

This is Lee Dorsey’s Ya Ya with French lyrics written by frequent Petula Clark collaborator Georges Aber (see also, for example, Voila le temps des vacances (It’s Party Time), Heart and You’re The One).

Joey Dee & The Starliters - Ya Ya (1961)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)

On the album Doin’ The Twist At The Peppermint Lounge, December 1961, Roulette #RS 25166. Also on an EP of that name and on a Roulette single #4525.

The Joey Dee track entitled Ya Ya Twist appears to be a later release of this track with an altered name.

Lee Dorsey - Ya Ya (1961)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Original version
#7 USA #26 Sydney

Single on Fury by Lee Dorsey (1924-1986), produced by the major New Orleans R&B figure Allan Toussaint. Bobby Robinson, credited as co-writer, was the owner of Fury, the New Orleans label that signed Dorsey in 1961.

Lee Dorsey’s career came in three phases which he alternated with running an auto repair business: his initial success in 1961 with his #7 Billboard hit Ya Ya, also a #1 on the R&B charts; his return to prominence with Ride Your Pony (1965, #28) and Working In A Coalmine (1966, #8), again with the participation of Toussaint; and his final career revival supporting major acts from the late 70s.

Other versions: This is a much-recorded song, and the databases are littered with red herrings. For some other notable versions not listed on this page, see the Ya Ya page at The Originals by Arnold Rypens.

References: 1. Lee Dorsey and 2. Allen Toussaint: bios by Steve Huey at AMG.

John Lennon With Julian Lennon - Ya Ya (1974)

(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Later version

Final, short (1:06) track on ex-Beatle John Lennon’s album Walls And Bridges with his 11-year-old son Julian on drums.

John Lennon also released a version of Ya Ya on his album Rock ‘n’ Roll (1975).

Johnny Restivo - Ya Ya (1959)

Red herring

Same title but not the same song as ‘Ya Ya’ by Normie Rowe.

B-side of The Shape I’m In, a song that didn’t make the Top 40 in its country of origin but was familiar to Australians (#7 Sydney #8 Melbourne #14 Brisbane #10 Adelaide).

Further reading: Johnny Restivo biography at Black Cat Rockabilly.