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Friday, 19 July 2013

Sue Thompson born 19 July 1925

Sue Thompson (born Eva Sue McKee July 19, 1925 in Nevada, Missouri) is an American Pop and Country music singer who was best known for her lighthearted Pop singles of the 1960s.

She was born as Eva Sue McKee in 1925 in Missouri. At the age of seven, she was already singing and playing the guitar on stage. When she and her family moved out west to San Jose, she appeared on the Hometown Hayride TV program. During World War II, she
worked at a defense plant and married when she was 20, and had a daughter. Her marriage however, wasn't as successful as planned and she and her husband split up after three years. To keep supporting herself after her divorce, she returned to the nightclub scene in California. In San Jose, Thompson, entered a talent show contest and won. This caught the attention of bandleader and radio/TV host Dude Martin. Martin invited Thompson to sing with his band. This eventually led to marriage between Thompson and Martin. Thompson and Martin were both musically-inclined, they recorded some duets together, like "If You Want Some Lovin'". This was able to help her get her very own solo contract from Mercury Records in 1950.

Within only a year, Sue had divorced Dude Martin to marry Hank Penny, a comedian and singer. Penny and Thompson hosted a TV show in Los Angles together before eventually moving to Las Vegas. Thompson recorded separately and also with her husband for Decca Records. However, none of their songs ever gained any real success. 

In 1960, Thompson signed on with Hickory Records. She recorded her first singles, like "Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)". By 1961, "Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)" became a Top Five hit on the Pop charts, making Thompson a household name in music. Thompson followed the hit up successfully with the song "Norman", which was another Top Five Pop hit. Both of these hit singles were written by songwriter John D. Loudermilk. Other songs that were hits for Thompson were written by Loudermilk, like "Paper Tiger". Another song "James (Hold the Ladder Steady)", was also written by Loudermilk and brought her another hit.

In 1962, "Have a Good Time" was a Top 40 hit for Thompson. In 1963, she released "Willie Can" which was a minor hit on the Pop charts. Because of Thompson's lighthearted and breathy voice, Thompson became a favorite among the teenage crowd of the time, even though she was towards 40 years old.

In 1965, Sue had her last big pop hit with "Paper Tiger" which was
a Top 30 hit on the Pop charts. After this, her singles started to show up in the lower regions of the Pop charts. Even though Thompson never had any more big successes on the pop charts, she continued to record throughout the 60s. Starting in the late 60s, she went back to country music and released a country album This Is Sue Thompson Country in 1969. 

In 1971 she worked with Country music singer Don Gibson on some albums. Some of the songs these two recorded, became respectable hits, like "I Think They Call It Love", "Good Old Fashioned Country Love" and "Oh, How Love Changes". She recorded further solo singles for the Country charts, like "Big Mable Murphy" which made the Top 50 in 1975 and "Never Naughty Rosie", her last chart single in 1976. She also performed mainly at the Las Vegas casinos and at club's in Hollywood, like the Palomino Club.

In the 1990s she settled in Las Vegas, and still continues to perform from time to time and is writing an autobiography. She plans to donate the profits to help homeless animals. (info mainly from Wikipedia)

Here's a clip of Sue singing Paper Tiger from Hollywood A Go Go


boppinbob said...

For Sue Thompson : The Hickory Anthology 1961 - 1965 go here:

1.Angel, Angel
2.Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)
4.Tonight (Could Be The Night)
5.Never Love Again
6.Love Me To Pieces
7.('Til) I Kissed You
8.Oh, Lonesome Me
9.Have A Good Time
10.James (Hold The Ladder Steady)
11.If The Boy Only Knew
12.Bonaparte's Retreat
13.Two Of A Kind
14.Sob Sister
16.What's Wrong, Bill?
17.True Confession
18.I Like Your Kind Of Love
19.It's Twelve Thirty Five
20.Big Daddy
21.Looking For A Good Boy
22.Bad Boy
23.Sweet Hunk Of Misery
24.Walkin' My Baby
25.It's Break Up Time
26.Paper Tiger

stonefish55 said...

Howdy BB.

Well, until I read this, I hadn't thought about Sue Thompson in forever, but it was god to sit back and read someone else's research. Interesting story too.

Now I think I'd better download the album and have a better listen to her music. I only had the two singles in my collection, but she had a good pop voice and I think it might make a good listen.

Thanks for this one.