How popular is the baby name Johnny in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Johnny and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Johnny.
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The rare name Lillette appeared in the U.S. baby name data for four sequential years from the late ’40s to the early ’50s:
1951: 5 baby girls named Lillette
1950: 9 baby girls named Lillette
1949: 9 baby girls named Lillette
1948: 8 baby girls named Lillette
Where did the name come from?
A song called “Lillette,” written and composed by Jack Gold in 1948. The same year, it was recorded and released by various vocalists: Nat King Cole, Vic Damone, Bill Lawrence, Jean Sablon, Johnny Desmond, and others.
Billboard preferred the King Cole Trio version:
Cole’s tasty rhythm treatment of the appealing rhythm ballad looks like a good bet for the jukes, the jocks, and the over-the-counter sales. Standout among some half-dozen waxings of the tune, the impeccable Cole treatment brings out the best in the lyric and melody. Worthy of attention, too, is Vic Damone’s Mercury platter of the ditty.
Here’s Nat King Cole’s version of “Lillette”:
I’m not sure where Jack Gold found the name Lillette, but one possibility is jazz vocalist/pianist Lillette Thomas, who was putting out singles on Sterling Records in the mid-1940s.
Do you like the name Lillette?
Source: “Record Possibilities.” Billboard 9 Oct. 1948: 39.
Berry’s semi-autobiographical “Johnny B. Goode” was released on March 31, 1958 — sixty years ago tomorrow, coincidentally — and was the very first “rock song about the glory of being a rock star.”
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play the guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.
Here’s Chuck playing the song live:
In 1977, the song was considered culturally significant enough to be included on Voyager spacecraft’s golden phonograph record. A few years later, it was featured in a key scene in the film Back to the Future (1985).
So how did the character in the song come to have the name Johnny B. Goode?
The first name came from pianist and longtime Berry collaborator Johnnie Johnson (“one of the unsung heroes of rock and roll”). The surname came from Chuck Berry’s childhood address (2520 Goode Avenue in St. Louis).
The song “Johnny B. Goode” didn’t have an effect on the baby name Johnny, but then again it didn’t need to — the name was within the top 100 all the way from the early 1930s until the late 1970s.
So thank you to everyone who participated in the name-song tournament this year! If anyone has any fun ideas for a future name-related tournament (cartoon characters, weird place-names, etc.) please let me know.
Elvis has left the building! The one Elvis song in this tournament — “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” — didn’t not survive the Sweet 16 round. But a couple of lesser known songs have made it to the Elite 8: “Eddie My Love” by one-hit wonders The Teen Queens and “Ride on Josephine” by Bo Diddley. Will they be able to hang on?
Over the next three days, we’ll narrow it down to the 4 top contenders. Here are the match-ups: