April 10

Staying On Chart for 52 Weeks, “Fraulein” by Bobby Helms

Far across the blue waters
Lives an old German’s daughter
By the banks of the old river Rhine
Where I loved her and left her
But I can’t forget her
‘Cause I miss my pretty Fraulein

This is one of my favorite songs that I ain’t get tired of listening to whenever it plays on the radio. The sweet, mellow voice of Bobby Helms is just as soothing and relaxing as a bird singing in the forest. “Fraulein” is just another song that’s on point and melodic. Obviously a love song, “Fraulein” would definitely be one of my choices if I had to choose a love song for a girl.

Fraulein“: A Chart-topper for a Year

Released in February 1957, “Fraulein” is a single written by Lawton Williams and recorded by Bobby Helms. “Fraulein” was Helms’s debut single on the U.S. country chart.

Reaching no. 1 for four weeks and staying on the chart for 52 weeks, it is the sixth longest song in country music history to spend over 50 weeks on the country singles chart.

In addition, the song’s popularity crossed over to the pop chart where “Fraulein” peaked at no. 36.

Staying On Chart for 52 Weeks, "Fraulein" by Bobby Helms 1
Bobby Helms/bobbyhelms.com

Behind “Fraulein,” Bobby Helms

Though his name is unfamiliar to most, Bobby Helms rules the airwaves with his well-known hit, “Fraulein.”

Born on August 15, 1933, in Bloomington, IN, Helms first performed on his father Fred’s Monroe County Jamboree, singing while brother Freddie played guitar. The Helms Brothers, as they were billed, became a regional attraction. Bobby later cut a single called “Tennessee Rock and Roll,” but then returned to Bloomington to appear on the Hayloft Frolic television show.

While on the program, he was encouraged to go to Nashville to sing background Vocals on an Ernest Tubb session. Tubb recommended him to Decca Records, and the label signed him in 1956.

His debut single, “Fraulein,” initially flopped in January 1957 but then hit number one on the country chart in April. The song also hit the pop Top 40 in July of 1957. In October, Helms released another number one, “My Special Angel,” which stayed four weeks at the top and crossed over to number seven pop. 

Moreover, his single “Jingle Bell Rock” first became a hit in 1957. It reappeared on the charts four of the following five years to become an all-time Christmas classic. Before he was pigeonholed, though, Helms had a successful country career with two number one hits to his credit.

Watch Bobby Helms perform “Fraulein” on the first video, and listen to a clearer recording of the song on the second video.

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Bobby Helms, Fraulein

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