definition of Wikipedia
|Single by Chuck Berry|
|from the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions|
|Format||7" 45 rpm|
|Recorded||February 3, 1972 at the Lanchester Arts Festival in Coventry, England|
|Genre||Pop rock, novelty song|
|Chuck Berry singles chronology|
"My Ding-a-Ling" is the title of a novelty song recorded in 1972 by Chuck Berry, his only U.S. number-one single on the pop charts. Later that year, in a longer unedited form, it was included on the album The London Chuck Berry Sessions. Two members of the Average White Band, guitarist Onnie McIntyre and drummer Robbie McIntosh, played on the single.
'My Ding-a-Ling' was originally recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1952 for King Records. When Bartholomew moved to Imperial Records, he re-recorded the song under the new title, 'Little Girl Sing Ding-a-Ling'. In 1954, The Bees on Imperial released a version entitled "Toy Bell." Berry recorded a version called "My Tambourine" in 1968, but the version which topped the charts was recorded live during the Lanchester Arts Festival at the Locarno ballroom in Coventry, England, on 3 February 1972, where Berry – backed by The Roy Young Band – topped a bill that also included Slade and Billy Preston. Boston radio station WMEX disc jockey Jim Connors was credited with a gold record for discovering the song and pushing it to #1 over the airwaves and amongst his peers in the United States.
The song tells of how the singer received a toy consisting of "silver bells hanging on a string" from his grandmother, who calls them his ding-a-ling. According to the song, he plays with it in school, and holds on to it in dangerous situations like falling after climbing the garden wall, and swimming across a creek infested with snapping turtles. The lyrics consistently exercise the double entendre with ding-a-ling standing in for the penis. During the live version, Berry calls on the audience to join in the chorus, and in the final verse, he admonishes "those of you who will not sing" that they "must be playing with [their] own ding-a-ling".
||This article or section reads like an editorial or opinion piece and may require cleanup. Please improve this article by rewriting this article or section in an encyclopedic style to make it neutral in tone. Please see WP:No original research and WP:NOTOPINION for further details. (October 2011)|
The lyrics with their sly tone and innuendo (and the enthusiasm of Berry and the audience) caused many radio stations to refuse to play it, and British morality campaigner Mary Whitehouse tried unsuccessfully to get the song banned. Moreover, pop critics[who?] generally dislike the song (especially the fact that it was Berry's sole #1 single in his career) and say that it is unworthy for someone who was so important in early rock 'n' roll (Alan Freeman once introduced the song by saying "oh Chuck baby, how could you!?!"). In Icons of Rock, Scott Schinder calls the song "a sophomoric, double-entendre-laden ode to masturbation." Nevertheless, Berry still likes it and on the recording calls it "our Alma Mater".
For a re-run of American Top 40, some stations, such as WOGL in Philadelphia, replaced the song with an optional extra when it aired a rerun of a November 18, 1972 broadcast of AT40 (where it ranked at #14) on December 6, 2008. Among other stations, most Clear Channel-owned radio stations to whom the AT40 '70s rebroadcasts were contracted did not air the rebroadcast that same weekend, although it was because they were playing Christmas music and not because of the controversy. Even back in 1972, some stations would refuse to play the song on AT40, even when it reached number one.
This controversy was lampooned in The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Pony", in which a Springfield Elementary School student attempted to sing the song during the school's talent show. He barely finished the first line of the refrain before an irate Principal Skinner rushed him off the stage.
|Canadian Top Singles (RPM)||1|
|Germany (Media Control AG)||40|
|Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)||29|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||1|
|US Billboard Hot 100||1|
|US R&B Singles (Billboard)||42|
"Ben" by Michael Jackson
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
October 21, 1972 (two weeks)
"I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash
"Black and White" by Three Dog Night
|RPM number one single (Canada)
October 21, 1972 (three weeks)
"Nights in White Satin" by The Moody Blues
"Clair" by Gilbert O'Sullivan
|UK Singles Chart number one single
November 25, 1972 (four weeks)
"Long Haired Lover from Liverpool" by Little Jimmy Osmond
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