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Vintage Video #1's: Jimmy Gilmer Has Top Single of 1963 With "Sugar Shack"

by VVN Music

On this day 54 years ago (November 12, 1963), Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs took "Sugar Shack" to the top of the Billboard Hot 100.

Gilmer joined the Fireballs in August of 1961, after they had already charted nationally with "Torquay" (1959 / #39), "Bulldog" (1959 / #24) and "Quite a Party" (1961 / #27 U.S. / #29 U.K.).

One of the first tracks they cut was a song by Keith McCormick, a member of the String-a-Longs, Jimmy Torres and Fay Voss, "Sugar Shack". Recorded at Norman Petty's Clovis, NM studio, the song spent five weeks at number 1 in the U.S. and also hit the top of the R&B and Canadian Singles charts. When all was said and done, Billboard named it the top selling single of the year.

The Fireballs had one more hit, "Daisy Petal Pickin'" (1963 / #15) before the British Invasion knocked them off the charts.  They returned in 1967 with their second biggest hit, a cover of Tom Paxton's "Bottle of Wine" (1967 / #9).

The top five records in the U.S. on October 12, 1963:
  1. Sugar Shack - Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
  2. Be My Baby - Ronettes
  3. Blue Velvet - Bobby Vinton
  4. Cry Baby - Garnet Mimms & the Enchanters
  5. Sally, Go 'Round the Roses - Jaynetts