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Smiley Lewis


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Smiley Lewis (5 July 1913 – 7 October 1966) was a New Orleans rhythm and blues musician.

Lewis was born in DeQuincy, Louisiana, U.S., with the given name of Overton Amos Lemons.

He began to play music in New Orleans, in his mid-teens. Lewis had hit songs in 1952 with “The Bells Are Ringing”, and in 1955 with the original recorded version of “I Hear You Knocking” (written by Dave Bartholomew and Pearl King).

Lewis’ own song “Blue Monday” was covered by Fats Domino. Whilst Elvis Presley’s cover of the Lewis song “One Night” (altering one risque lyric) was #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, and #1 on UK Singles Chart.

Dave Edmunds’ cover of “I Hear You Knocking” also reached number one in the UK. His version of the song lyric actually name checks Lewis (alongside Chuck Berry and Huey Smith).

Lewis’ track “Shame, Shame, Shame” appeared on the soundtrack of the film, Baby Doll in 1956, but failed to find entry to the R&B chart.

Lewis died in the autumn of 1966 from stomach cancer. He was all but forgotten outside of his New Orleans home base.


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  • Gabriela-Maciel

    Your musics touch my heart <3

    23 Jan 2014 Reply
  • little_buddha39

    Great singer.

    16 Oct 2012 Reply
  • Lowbacca

    so on saturdays he's got money and his honey, and still he's complaining about a blue monday? geez. terrific musician, though.

    17 Nov 2010 Reply
  • kiddio

    I think Fats n Elvis (and all the New Orleans rockers) owe a lot to Smiley. Pity he never really got the regognition he deserved. Still sounds great

    15 Nov 2008 Reply
  • SillyMusicLover

    I dig Elvis' "One Night" (and one "Of Sin" too). But Smiley's version beats them completely. Just perfect.

    20 Sep 2008 Reply
  • rossfletcher58

    some great songs that sound good no matter who covers them

    26 Aug 2008 Reply
  • crandall87

    I think i'm gonna add a few more listens to one night. Brilliant song.

    31 Aug 2007 Reply

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