NORMIE ROWE
Ya Ya
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Australia 1966
#8 Sydney #1 Brisbane #9 Adelaide

Double-charted with the A-side The Breaking Point.

Melbourne singer Normie Rowe became Australia's top teen idol of the late 60s and the star of Ivan Dayman's Sunshine label. He had a string of hits in Australia from 1965, recorded four singles in London, toured Britain and America, and even inspired a tribute song, Norman-Normie. After he was conscripted to serve in Vietnam he never regained his earlier 'King of Pop' status, but he re-established himself as a respected performer, especially on stage, starring in such productions as Les Miserables and Annie.

Further reading: 1. Normie Rowe biography at Milesago. 2. Official site at NormieRowe.com

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.

TRINI LOPEZ
Ya Ya
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
USA 1964

Single on Reprise #0276. Charted at WTRY in New York, at least.
TONY SHERIDAN & THE BEAT BROTHERS
Ya Ya, Part 1 & 2
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
Germany 1962

Tony Sheridan - Ya Ya On German Polydor EP Ya Ya. Although this has connections with early Beatles memorabilia, Ya Ya does not feature any Beatles behind Sheridan.

Thanks to Dave Overett.

Further reading: for personnel on this track see, for example, listing at Discogs.com.

 
JOEY DEE & THE STARLITERS
Ya Ya
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
USA 1961

On the album Doin' The Twist At The Peppermint Lounge, December 1961, Roulette #RS 25166. Also on an EP of that name and on a Roulette single #4525.

The Joey Dee track entitled Ya Ya Twist appears to be a later release of this track with an altered name.

PETULA CLARK
Ya Ya Twist
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey - Georges Aber)
France 1961
Original version with these lyrics
#1 France #14 UK #9 Italy #18 Flemish Belgium #7 French-speaking Belgium

English singer Petula Clark, a resident of France from the early 60s, built her French career with songs like this that placed her nicely in the yé yé pop movement.

This is Lee Dorsey's Ya Ya with French lyrics written by frequent Petula Clark collaborator Georges Aber (see also, for example, Voila le temps des vacances (It's Party Time), Heart and You're The One).

Recorded in 1961, this entered the French charts in March 1962 and peaked at #1. The UK charting single was the same recording, in French.

References: 1. PetulaClark.net, pages linked in above paragraph.
2. Petula Clark - Biographie sur les années 60: Petula Clark in the 60s from a French perspective at Teppaz and Co.

LEE DORSEY
Ya Ya
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
USA 1961
Original version
#7 USA #26 Sydney

Single on Fury by Lee Dorsey (1924-1986), produced by the major New Orleans R&B figure Allan Toussaint. Bobby Robinson, credited as co-writer, was the owner of Fury, the New Orleans label that signed Dorsey in 1961.

Lee Dorsey's career came in three phases which he alternated with running an auto repair business: his initial success in 1961 with his #7 Billboard hit Ya Ya, also a #1 on the R&B charts; his return to prominence with Ride Your Pony (1965, #28) and Working In A Coalmine (1966, #8), again with the participation of Toussaint; and his final career revival supporting major acts from the late 70s.

Other versions: This is a much-recorded song, and the databases are littered with red herrings. For some other notable versions not listed on this page, see the Ya Ya page at The Originals by Arnold Rypens.

References: 1. Lee Dorsey and 2. Allen Toussaint: bios by Steve Huey at AMG.

JOHNNY RESTIVO
Ya Ya
(Hyman)
USA 1959
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as 'Ya Ya' by Normie Rowe.

B-side of The Shape I'm In, a song that didn't make the Top 40 in its country of origin but was familiar to Australians (#7 Sydney #8 Melbourne #14 Brisbane #10 Adelaide).

Further reading: Johnny Restivo biography at Black Cat Rockabilly.

Later versions:

JOHN LENNON WITH JULIAN LENNON
Ya Ya
(Bobby Robinson - Clarence Lewis - Lee Dorsey)
UK 1974
Later version

Final, short (1:06) track on ex-Beatle John Lennon's album Walls And Bridges with his 11-year-old son Julian on drums.

John Lennon also released a version of Ya Ya on his album Rock 'n' Roll (1975).

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.