A White Sport Coat

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"A White Sport Coat"
Single by Marty Robbins
B-side "Grown-Up Tears"
Released April 20, 1957
Format 7" (45 rpm)
Genre Country, pop
Label Columbia 40864
Songwriter(s) Marty Robbins
Producer(s) Mitch Miller

"A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)" is a 1957 rock and roll song with words and music both written by Marty Robbins. It was recorded January 25, 1957, and released on the Columbia Records label March 4, 1957,[1] the arranger and recording session conductor was Ray Conniff, an in-house conductor/arranger at Columbia. Robbins had demanded to have Conniff in charge of the song after his earlier hit, 'Singing the Blues', had been quickly eclipsed by the Guy Mitchell version scored & conducted by Conniff in October, 1956.

Robbins recalled writing the song in about 20 minutes while being driven in a car,[2] he is said to have had the inspiration for the song while driving from a motel to a venue in Ohio where he was due to perform that evening. During the course of the journey, he passed a high school, where the students were dressed ready for their prom.[citation needed]

The song reached number one on the U.S. country chart becoming Marty Robbins' third number one,[3] the song reached number two on the Billboard pop chart in the U.S.[4] and #1 in the Australian music charts in 1957. A version by Johnny Desmond got some play also, peaking at #62 on the US pop charts.

In UK the song was a notable hit for the English Rock'n'Roll singer Terry Dene, and also for The King Brothers, the Terry Dene version reached #18 in the UK Charts, while The King Brothers' recording peaked at #6, both in early summer 1957.

American singer Jimmy Buffett released an album in 1973 that was a play on the title of this song: "A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean" which included hits such as 'He Went To Paris', 'Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit', and 'Why Don't We Get Drunk'. The album was Buffett's third release and first major-label release, it tracked to #43 on the Billboard Top Country Album chart but did not enter the more general Billboard 200 chart.


  1. ^ Thoenicke, Manfred. The Ray Conniff Recordings: The Columbia Years, Part 1: The Backings and New York* Recordings. p. 18. 
  2. ^ Marty Robbins interviewed on the Pop Chronicles (1969)
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 293. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 8th Edition (Billboard Publications), page 532.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Gone" by Ferlin Husky
Billboard C&W Best Sellers in Stores number-one single
May 20, 1957 (5 weeks)
Succeeded by
"Bye Bye Love" by The Everly Brothers