Ricky Nelson’s ‘Poor Little Fool’ is first number 1 ever on ‘Billboard Hot 100’

On August 4th, 1958, Billboard magazine introduced ‘The Hot 100 Singles Chart.’ For the very first chart-topper, Billboard named Ricky Nelson number 1 with ‘Poor Little Fool.’ Were you a fan of Ricky Nelson?

In the performance videos for ‘Poor Little Fool,’ Ricky Nelson is at his charismatic best. Ricky sings the lyrics, ‘I used to play around with hearts that hastened at my call. But when I met that little girl, I knew that I would fall. Poor little fool, oh yeah. I was a fool, uh-huh.

‘Poor Little Fool’ was written by Sharon Sheeley and first recorded by Ricky Nelson in 1958. Sharon had written the song when she was 15 years old after meeting Elvis because he encouraged her to write it.

Sharon tracked down Ricky Nelson to record the tune. She drove to his house and pretended her car broke down. When he came to her aid, she started singing the song to him. The recorded version spent two weeks at number 1 on the newly-introduced ‘Hot 100’ chart.

Billboard magazine based the new chart on popularity, airplay, and sales. The chart became a barometer of potential hits in American music. The ‘Hot 100’ grew from several other charts from the 40s and 50s, including ‘Best Sellers in Stores,’ ‘Most Played by Jocks,’ and ‘Most Played on Jukeboxes.’

Eric Hilliard ‘Ricky’ Nelson was a star at age eight, performing alongside his family in the radio and TV series ‘The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.’ Ricky Nelson was the first artist to be referred to as a ‘Teen Idol.’

Ricky landed 53 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 after being the debut number 1 with ‘Poor Little Fool.’ His chart success included 19 Top Ten hits, and he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Ricky Nelson was one of the biggest stars in American music history.

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Ricky Nelson’s ‘Poor Little Fool’ is first number 1 ever on ‘Billboard Hot 100’