Joe Rock, a young record promoter, was bit out of sorts. His girlfriend, a secretary at a radio station that Joe was promoting, had just dumped him.

A few nights later, Joe got into his car to take a ride, but he couldn’t get the girl out of his mind. Every time he got caught at a stoplight, he’d jot down a song lyric on a notepad he kept in the car.

It was 1958, and Rock had just formed the Skyliners, a doo wop group out of Pittsburgh, whose lead singer was an 18-year-old Jimmy Beaumont. Rock, who managed the group, took the lyrics to the song he wrote in the car to Beaumont, who then wrote the music for it the next night.

When it came time to record the song, an a cappella demo of it was done on a tape recorder. Thinking that the tape recorder … Read more