This is the first time that a male/female duo was followed by another male/female duo at the number one position. Will it happen again? I guess we’ll have to wait and see. Unlike Nino and April in the previous article, Dale and Grace were not related, not married, not dating and, in fact, didn’t even know each other until a record promoter put them together for the song.
“I’m Leaving It Up to You” was another remake, originally done in 1957 by Don Harris and Dewey Terry. They recorded it under the name Don and Dewey, but it didn’t go anywhere.
Dale was Robert Dale Houston, born in 1940 in a little town called Seminary, Mississippi. He started taking piano lessons when he was six, but the family couldn’t afford them, so after a few months, he quit and was self taught from then on. He liked to write songs and became noticed around his hometown for his music. He was performing in a bar in Baton Rouge, Louisiana when he was noticed by Sam Montel who owned several record labels. Montel asked Dale to meet Grace Broussard and thought they would make a cute couple.
Grace Broussard was born in 1939 in Prairieville, Louisiana. At the time she met Dale, she had been singing in bistros all over Louisiana. Montel had them come to his house and try out a few numbers. At some point, Dale started to play “I’m Leavin’ It Up To You,” Montel jumped up and shouted, “Play it again. That’s a hit!” That last statement is unverified. It comes from an article in the London Times from 2007 and may or may not be true. At any rate, they recorded the song and it went to number one immediately in Houston, Texas. Now Montel had pressed the song on a small local label and needed to distribute it across the entire country. So, he moved the song to another label, the Montel label and it went national.
Dale and Grace were on tour with Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars in Dallas, Texas when the single hit the number one spot. It was the last week of November, 1963. Now, everyone should know what happened in late November of 1963. President John Kennedy visited Dallas and was winding his way through town in a motorcade. Dale and Grace and others from the rock and roll show (Bobby Rydell, Jimmy Clanton and Brian Hyland) all stood outside their hotel as Kennedy’s motorcade passed by. They waved at the President and then went inside, not knowing that just three blocks later, tragedy would occur and we would lose the President of the United States. In fact, they didn’t even hear about it until hours later.
“I’m Leaving It Up to You” was Dale and Grace’s only number one. They followed it up with “Stop and Think It Over” (#8,) but then Grace got homesick and left the band and Dale and Grace were no more.
“I’m Leaving It Up to You” debuted on the pop charts on October 26, 1963, hit number one on November 23 and stayed there for two weeks.