This is the second number one this year by the Fleetwoods and it would be their last. The Fleetwoods were composed of Gary Troxel, Gretchen Christopher, and Barbara Ellis. The best they would do after “Mr Blue” would be number ten with “Tragedy” in 1961. The group was just coming off of the high that was the success of “Come Softly to Me” when they were approached by a songwriter named DeWayne Blackwell. He had written a song for The Platters, but could never get a chance to pitch it to them, so he thought he would try the Fleetwoods.
When Gary Troxel heard the song, he wasn’t impressed. But their producer Bob Reisdorff, liked it a lot and told them it would sell a million copies. Reisdorff made Gary a bet. If the song reached number one, Gary could drive his corvette for a week. You wouldn’t be reading this if it hadn’t reached number one and Gary got the use of the car. He liked it so much that he went out and bought himself a corvette. When you have a couple number one songs, you can certainly afford a corvette.
The Fleetwoods were supposed to go on tour after the success of their records, but Gary had signed up for the Naval Reserve in high school (long before they were famous) and he was called up to serve, so the tour was called off. During his time in the service, all they could do was record occasionally, when he was on leave and on weekends, and once in awhile, a concert. This probably had a lot to do with the groups drop in popularity over the next couple years. If they had been able to tour and record more frequently, they might have stayed at the forefront of the public’s attention, but as it was, they slowly faded out.
The Fleetwoods disbanded in 1967 after having just nine Top 40 songs. The reunited in 1971 for a few oldie concerts and sang together occasionally after that. Gretchen Christopher has stayed in the music business most of her life, becoming a solo singer in her own right and has received several awards for her work. Barbara Ellis is retired and not in the business anymore. Gary Troxel did many things over the years. He was a longshoreman. By the late Seventies, he was working in a plywood plant in Washington State. He has toured with other singers, calling themselves The Fleetwoods, but in 1983, he officially resigned from the Fleetwoods and Gretchen took over the name of the group.
“Mr Blue” debuted on the pop chart on September 14, 1959 and spent one week at number one.