Although it might be a little tough to define the requirements for our Saluting Silly Songs feature, I know a good candidate when I see and hear one, and it starts with the title. I’m sure most of us remember “Da Doo Ron Ron” by the Crystals, but what you might not know is that even though it’s considered a classic, it didn’t actually reach #1 on the charts. But that’s okay, because a later version by a teen idol did make it to the top spot, and the song has had a lot of other high-profile appearances too.
It was one of the many hit records produced under the guidance of Phil Spector, who teamed up with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich this time around, and it was recorded by the Crystals in 1963. As it turned out, the record was very popular and had a lot of staying power, but didn’t quite reach the top position on the charts.
Other versions, some with slightly different lyrics to change it to a boy-to-girl song, came along through the years, including one by the British group the Searchers, but the song had its biggest seller in 1977. That’s when it helped launch the singing career of teen idol Shaun Cassidy, who took it to #1 — the first of three in a row for him — and it stayed on the charts for 22 weeks.
Through the years the song has been recorded by everybody from the Beach Boys to French pop star Johnny Hallyday, but the best of all might have been when it became part of a political parody. It was in the early 1980s when Spitting Image, the British TV program that used ingenious puppets to perform satire, featured Ronald Reagan (always one of their best characters) being urged by everybody to run for a 2nd term in spite of his advanced age.