Ricky Nelson, 'Lonesome Town'
Ricky Nelson was still a teenage heartthrob when his wistful, wondrous hit "Lonesome Town" made it to Number Seven on the Hot 100 in 1958, but the track wasn't always so intimate. Songwriter Baker Knight initially wrote it with Eddie Cochran's voice in mind as a calypso number with pianos and a conga-driven rhythm, until a member of the vocal quartet the Jordanaires, who backed Nelson on the track, suggested it would work better as a guitar song.
Knight, who would later be diagnosed with agoraphobia, said the song was personal to him and that the "Lonesome Town" in question was the city where he resided. "It was Hollywood," he said. "I was sitting in the middle of this whole thing. I was broke, didn't know what I was going to do. My manager was giving me a few bucks, keeping me going, paying my rent." Coincidentally, in Pulp Fiction, the song plays when "a few bucks" are in question, as Mia Wallace offers a five-dollar shake and expects Vincent Vega to pay the exorbitant price.