Wake Up Little Susie (CADENCE 1337)
Writers: Felice Bryant/Boudleaux Bryant
Producer: Archie Bleyer
Was Number One on Octuber 14th, 1957 for one week.
Wake Up Little Susie was a cross-over hit back in 1957, reaching Number one on the Pop, R&B and Country Charts in October of that year. The Everly Brothers emerged out of proto-Nashville via Cadence Records, the New York City based record label of song publisher Wesley Rose, the scion of Acuff Rose Music, founded by his Dad and Roy Acuff.
The most distinctive musical aspect of Wake Up Little Susie is the vocal harmonies of the two brothers. Although they gained their success in the midst of the rock era, their singing style was firmly rooted in the "Family" style Country bands of the early and mid 1950s. Wake Up Little Susie is a classic example of a rocknroll era indie sales success. The Everly Brothers were initially signed by Columbia but dropped after one non-charting single, literally one year later they had a number one record.
Wake Up Little Susie actually offers a still viable formula for an Artist today: partner a non-label music industry insider with a band that has been close to the flame. Wake Up Little Susie is essentially a number one released by a music publisher, and while Cadence itself didn't survive the British invasion, (WIKI) they had a string of charting singles in the novelty and country fields prior to Wake Up Little Susie. Cadence Records had an earlier (country) number one in 1957 with Andy Williams cover version of Butterfly. It must have been nice to get a number one record on the Country chart with a cover.
Wake Up Little Susie only lasted a week at number one, but it was preceded by That'll Be The Day by The Crickets and followed by Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice (Double A Side) by Elvis Presley. Elvis followed Jailhouse Rock with Love Me Tender- in 1957. By comparison, 1958 was a relatively "slow" year for Rock songs on the Pop Chart and by 1959 rocknroll was basically over as a sales phenomenon on the pop chart.
You certainly wouldn't say that Acuff Rose Music "failed" just because Cadence stopped having hits in the mid 1960s. Acuff Rose Music was a founding partner of BMI, and BMI was started by Radio Broadcasters to basically end the ASCAP collecting monopoly and open those opportunities to Country and "R&B" Artists.