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Bobby Helms Biography

Bobby Helms Biography

Bobby Helms (born Robert Lee Helms, 15 August 1933 – 19 June 1997) was an American singer who enjoyed his peak success in 1957. Born in Bloomington, Indiana into a musical family, he began performing as a duo with his brother, Freddie, before going on to a successful solo career in country music. In 1956, Helms made his way to Nashville, Tennessee where he signed a recording contract with Decca Records. The following year would be filled with astonishing successes. Helms' first single in 1957 titled "Fräulein" went to No. 1 on the country music chart and made it into the Top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Later that same year he released "My Special Angel" that also went to No. 1 on the country charts and entered the Top 10 on Billboard's pop music chart, peaking at No. 7. Released just a few days before Christmas of 1957, his song "Jingle Bell Rock", was a big hit. Uniquely, it also re-emerged four out of the next five years, and sold so well that it repeated each time as a top hit, and became a Christmas classic still played to this day. Stories that Helms wrote and recorded the song "Jingle Bell Rock" with legendary guitar player Hank Garland seem to be apocryphal. ASCAP and the All Music Guide list the writers of the song as Joseph Beal, Joseph Carlton, James Ross and James Boothe. Helms continued touring and recording for the next three decades. His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. Helms spent most of his later years living just outside of Martinsville, Indiana, until the time of his death from emphysema and asthma, at the age of 63 in 1997. He was portrayed by the actor Brad Hawkins, in the 2006 film, Crazy.

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