Monday, December 3, 2007

She Shot A Hole In My Soul

For years, a controversy has raged over who recorded the 1967 hit song, “She Shot A Hole In My Soul.” Over the years, most people in Virginia assumed that Bob Marshall & The Crystals originally recorded the song. In a recent article written about Norfolk radio station WGH that appeared in the Downtowner newspaper, Clifford Curry was mentioned as having recorded the song. This led to many people telling Jack Armistead, editor of the Downtowner, that he erred because most people in the Hampton Roads area sincerely believe Bob Marshall recorded the song.

On May 9, I called Clifford Curry to get to the bottom of this 40 year controversy. Curry, who lives in Nashville, was more than happy to set the record straight.
In 1966, Curry, who was living in Knoxville, went to Nashville with his friend Rob Galbrith, a student at the University of Tennessee, and disc jockey at WNOX to shop some of his songs. During their visit they met Buzz Cason, a sound engineer, who had just returned from Los Angeles after working for Snuff Garrett.

Garrett was an A&R director for Liberty Records from 1958 to 1966. He produced several rock artists including Bobby Vee and Johnny Burnette. Garrett’s crowning achievement was producing seven Top 10 hits from 1965 to 1966 for Gary Lewis & the Playboys.
Curry said, “Cason listened to my songs, but wasn’t interested. He said he liked my voice and said when he got situated he’d give me a call.”

Weeks later Cason called Galbrith at the radio station to get in touch with Curry. Cason had several songs for Curry to record. Curry said, “I ended up recording ‘She Shot A Hole In My Soul,’ ‘Good Humor Man,’ and ’We’re Gonna Hate Ourselves In The Morning.’” The first two songs were written by Nashville songwriters Chuck Neese and Mac Gayden. The third song was written by Arthur Alexander, who had a hit in the early 60’s titled “Anna.”
At the time Curry recorded those songs, a friend of his, Robert Knight, also recorded a Neese/Gayden composition titled “Everlasting Love.”

In May 1967, Curry’s debut single, “She Shot A Hole In My Soul,” entered Billboard’s pop and R&B singles charts. Curry said, “The first I heard that “She Shot A Hole In My Soul” was credited to another group was when I was performing in Roanoke, Va. People were saying that I was performing the Bob Marshall song.”

Shortly after Curry released “She Shot A Hole In My Soul,” Bob Marshall recorded his version, which became a regional hit in Virginia. Curry said, “I don’t blame Bob Marshall for recording a version of my song. In fact, I’m flattered that he was impressed enough to cover it.” Curry blames Bell Records for Bob Marshall’s success with “She Shot A Hole In My Soul.”
Curry said, “Had my record been promoted properly this never would have happened.” Curry’s song was released on Carson’s independent Elf records, and leased to Bell Records for national distribution.

Since then it’s been unclear as to who originally recorded this song. Fortunately, on the back of Bob Marshall and the Crystals album “Tuff Ten + 2,” it reads “Because he (Bob Marshall) does many current favorites so well, we decided to come out with a whole LP stereo album – “ten ‘tuff’ ones, plus two of Bob’s own originals.” Marshall’s two compositions were “Gimme Your Love,” and “Never Seen A Girl Like You.”

In 1994, Huey Lewis recorded a version of “She Shot A Hole In My Soul,” for his CD “Four Chords and Several Years ago.” In 2005, Curry’s version was included in the compilation “Night Train To Nashville,” which received a Grammy award for “Best Historical” CD. Forty years after the release of Curry’s signature song it’s still played regularly on beach music stations from Richmond to Savannah.

We now know that Bob Marshall did a great cover version of “She Shot A Hole In My Soul” but Curry’s version was the original. In 2002, Curry released a follow up single to “She Shot A Hole In My Soul” titled “She Shot A Hole In My Soul Again.”


J9 said...

I had never heard of any of these songs or the artists, thanks for providing the additional links. It helped give me a little more background on the subject. When did you first hear "She Shot a Hole in my Soul?"

Lady said...

I too had never heard of any of the artists listed, or songs, so I found the links to be very helpful. You did a good job of providing information from outside sources to get the truth behind who recorded “She Shot A Hole In My Soul.” Because of which, you came off as a credible source to receive information from.

Jonny Rocket said...

This blog is not only informative, it gives information that most people would never have been able to access. These songs have been talked about with question marks for years, and you successfully cleared these issues up. Well written.

Health E said...

I'm impressed with the fact that you were able to call him up and he was ready to "set the record straight" and give you the information. I can tell you have a great interest in vintage music and that you most definitely do your "homework". Where can we here the song? Is there an online sample?

Corazón de una mujer said...

I really like the title ‘She shot a hole in my soul.” It made me want to read your blog and find out the reason for the “hole.” I did get a little lost reading your article due to the number of song titles and artists mentioned, yet it is obvious that you have an extensive background in the music industry, and it looks as though you really did your homework on the topic.

Tim Williams said...

I heard a rumor their was a Bob Marshall and the Crystals CD

Sean Francis said...

Many years ago Ripete Records released a "Best Of" Bob Marshall & The Crystals CD. The only place I knew in Tidewater that carried it was Birdland Music in Va. Beach.