Singer Marcy Jo, born Marcy Rae Sockel, grew up in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. Every Saturday for four years she traveled downtown to the Carlton House Hotel to take singing lessons from Lennie Martin, one of the owners of Robbee Records. At age 17 Marcy Jo wrote a song about her boyfriend Howard that she titled “Ronnie. Lennie Martin wrote an arrangement and produced a recording session of the song using the Robbee artists Lugee & the Lions as back up singers. Lugee was Lou Sacco (later known as Lou Christie), Amy Sacco (Lou’s older sister), Kay Chick and Bill Fabec. Released on the Robbee label in March of 1961 the song quickly became a Pittsburgh hit, reaching #7 on the National Record Mart sales rankings. Liberty records then gave it national distribution. By the end of May 1961 “Ronnie” reached number 81 on Billboard's Hot 100, #64 on the Cash Box charts, and #27 in Variety. Allmusic.com calls “Ronnie” a girl group classic.
After graduating from high school in the Sping of 1961 Marcy Jo toured the East with Del Shannon and Johnny and The Hurricanes. Robbee released Marcy Jo’s second single 'Since Gary Went In The Navy' in 1961 / 'Jumping Jack' in September 1961. Gary was Gary Troxel of the chart-topping group Fleetwoods, who had be drafted into the Navy. The song received airplay in Pittsburgh but did not break nationally.
Swan song at Swan Records
After Robbee Records went out of business Marcy Jo signed with Swan Records in 1962. Swan released the singles "I'm A Dreamer, Aren't We All" and "How Softly A Heart Breaks." Teaming with singer Eddie Rambeau Marcy released the duets "Those Golden Oldies" and Lover's Medley" in 1963. Lennie Martin remained her business manager until he passed away in 1963. Marcy released "The Next Time" on Swan in 1963, was dropped from Swan, married her sweetheart Howard aka “Ronnie” and never recorded again.
Marcy Jo Music