When I think of “A song you like with a person’s name in the title,” female names first came to mind for me. Last week, I linked to Levon, so I know there are male names. Oh, I have all of these songs in physical form.
Denise – Randy & the Rainbows, #10 pop, #18 RB in 1963. This was covered, as Denis, by Blondie in 1978.
Eleanore – the Turtles. #10 pop in 1968. Their record company wanted another “Happy Together”, so the group gave them one. It has the same minor to major transition, and very similar – though lovely – harmonies. I LOVE “you’re my pride and joy, et cetera,” a throwaway line if ever I heard one. (It rhymes with “better” or more correctly, “betta”.)
Lady Jane – Rolling Stones, #24 pop in 1966. It was released as a double-A side single with Mother’s Little Helper (#8). It was on the album Aftermath, which I thought was the band’s first very good album, rather than some hits plus cover song filler.
Layla – Derek and the Dominoes, #10 pop in 1972. When I lived in Colonial Arms in New Paltz, NY in the early ’70s with the Okie, our neighbors Howie and Debi had named their cat Layla. My wife prefers the unplugged Clapton iteration. (1992).
C’mon Marianne – Four Seasons, #9 pop in 1967. Another Jersey Boys hit, right after the “solo” Frankie Valli hit Can’t Take My Eyes Off You “The song sported a riff which The Doors also appropriated in their 1968 single Touch Me.”
Peg – Steely Dan, #11 pop in 1978. “The song’s guitar solo was attempted by seven top studio session guitarists‒including Robben Ford and recurring guitarist Larry Carlton‒before Jay Graydon’s version became the ‘keeper’.” The backing vocals of Michael McDonald are clearly identifiable.
Veronica– Elvis Costello, #19 in 1989. It is from my favorite Costello album Spike. The song was co-written by Costello with Paul McCartney and features Macca on the Höfner bass. “In 2004, Entertainment Weekly voted it one of Costello’s top ten greatest tunes.”