Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Two For Tuesday: Shelley Fabares and Paul Petersen

One of my Monday’s Music Moves Me friends featured Shelley Fabares’ “Johnny Angel” as part of yesterday’s post, and it gave me an idea for today’s Two for Tuesday. In case you were wondering how I came up with the idea.

Remember The Donna Reed Show? It ran from 1958 to 1966 and starred Donna Reed, Carl Betz, Shelley Fabares, and Paul Petersen as the Stone family. It was really popular – I mean, we used to watch it – and was the typical Fifties family sitcom, made in the days before TV dads were idiots.

Paul Petersen was a singer of some talent, and recorded a number of songs in the early and mid Sixties, including “My Dad,” which he sang for his TV dad on an episode of the show. It’s a beautiful song, and Paul’s TV family seemed to be highly moved by it, especially his TV dad. Remember, these were the days when men didn’t show much emotion, which makes Mr. Betz’s reaction to the song so beautiful, wanting to cry, but not allowing himself to. This made its debut on the show in 1962, and was released as a single later that year, and it reached #6 on the Hot 100.

Naturally, the producers wanted to capitalize on the show’s popularity, and knowing that Paul’s records were going over big, soon turned their attention to their other teenaged star. She didn’t consider herself a singer and balked at the idea, but eventually recorded “Johnny Angel.” It also debuted on the show and was released as a single in 1962, and the non-singer, who it turned out had a rather good voice, reached #1 on the Hot 100. Take that, TV little brother!

The show can still be seen in reruns. Most recently, I saw a marathon of the episodes on the Decades channel a couple of months ago. I happened to turn it on at about 11:00 Sunday night, and before I knew it it was almnost two. Okay, the show was corny, but I liked it.

Anyway, that’s your Two for Tuesday, May 24, 2016, and I’m off for my date with the physical therapist.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing


  1. I remember Donna Reed from Dallas! She played Miss Ellie, right? I remember hearing over and over that she'd had her own show years before.

  2. That's right, she played Miss Ellie for one season when Barbara Bel Geddes was ill. As I recall, she was not well-liked by the fans, and they fired her when Bel Geddes came back. She died the next year. Donna was also in "It's a Wonderful Life" and "From Here To Eternity," among other films, but she was best known for her eponymous TV show.