OH ME OH MY (I’m a Fool for You Baby)

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Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby) – 2008

“Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool for You Baby)” is the title of a Top 30 hit single for Lulu which was recorded in September 1969 in the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio sessions for Lulu’s Atco Records album debut New Routes. The song has been most notably remade by Aretha Franklin and Tina Arena.

Lulu version

Lulu would later opine of the producers of her album New Routes: Atlantic Record honchos Jerry Wexler, Tom Dowd and Arif Mardin: “I don’t think they knew what to do with me, and the only big hit I got off the album was a song that I [brought in with me” – referring to “Oh Me Oh My…” which had been written by Jim Doris who – as Jimmy Doris – had been vocalist-guitarist for the Stoics, a band which formed in Lulu’s native Glasgow in the late 1960s and whose membership had included Frankie Miller. (Doris contributed another song to New Routes: “After All (I Live My Life)”, and his composition “Take Good Care of Yourself” was featured on the follow-up album Melody Fair. Reportedly Doris subsequently went into A&R work before being sidelined by mental instability which factored into his being killed when run over by a bus in London in the late 1980s or early 1990s.)

In Australia the Go-Set Top 40 chart ranked “Oh Me Oh My…” with a #33 peak in January 1970. The RPM 100 chart for Canada ranked “Oh Me Oh My…” as high as #16 in March 1970.; that same month the New Zealand Listener Pop-o-meter chart ranked “Oh Me Oh My…” as high as #12.1

Aretha Franklin version

Aretha Franklin cut a version of “Oh Me Oh My (I’m a Fool For You Baby)” for her 1972 Young, Gifted and Black album which like Lulu’s New Routes was produced by Arif Mardin, Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd. Franklin’s first studio album of new material since Spirit in the Dark in 1970, Young, Gifted and Black demonstrated Franklin’s increasing penchant for covering pop songs and besides Lulu’s “Oh Me Oh My…” Franklin gave R&B readings to songs made famous by Dusty Springfield and Dionne Warwick, specifically “A Brand New Me” and “April Fools”. “Oh Me Oh My…” was used as the B-side for the album’s lead single “Rock Steady”, eventually receiving enough focus to reach #9 on the R&B charts crossing over to #73 Pop.

Tina Arena version

“Oh Me, Oh My” was remade in 2008 by Tina Arena for her Songs of Love & Loss 2 album recorded at AIR Lyndhurst Hall in London accompanied by conductor Simon Hale and the London Studio Orchestra in July 2008. Arena’s version – entitled “Oh Me, Oh My” without the subtitle in parentheses – was issued as the album’s single in digital format on November 8, 2008 by EMI Australia.