Lucky Lips is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. It was originally recorded by Ruth Brown in 1956 and was successfully covered by Cliff Richard in 1963.

"Lucky Lips"
Single by Ruth Brown
B-side"My Heart Is Breaking Over You"
Format7" single
RecordedSeptember 25, 1956
New York City
GenreR&B, pop
LabelAtlantic 1125
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Ruth Brown singles chronology
"I Still Love You"
"Lucky Lips"
"One More Time"

Ruth Brown and early cover versionsEdit

The song was first recorded by the R&B singer Ruth Brown for Atlantic Records in New York in September 1956,[1] and was released as a single in early 1957. It was her second hit on the US pop chart, after "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean" in 1953, reaching number 25 on the pop chart and number 6 on the Billboard R&B chart.[2]

The song was covered by the white singer Gale Storm, as the B-side of her single "On Treasure Island", for Dot Records. Storm's recording reached number 77 on the Billboard pop chart.[3] The song was also covered by Dottie Evans for Bell Records.[4] In Britain, it was recorded by Alma Cogan as the B-side of "Whatever Lola Wants", which reached number 26 on the UK singles chart, also in 1957.[5][6]

Cliff Richard versionEdit

"Lucky Lips"
Single by Cliff Richard and The Shadows
B-side"I Wonder"
ReleasedMay 1963 (UK)
Format7" single
Recorded8 March 1963, EMI Studios, London[7]
GenrePop music
LabelColumbia (EMI)
Songwriter(s)Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard and The Shadows singles chronology
"Summer Holiday"
"Lucky Lips"
"It's All in the Game"
"Rote Lippen soll man küssen"
Single by Cliff Richard and The Shadows
B-side"Let's Make A Memory"
ReleasedSeptember 1963 (Germany)
Format7" single
Recorded11 August 1963, Abbey Road, London; Vocals dubbed onto original Lucky Lips backing track.[7]
GenrePop music
LabelColumbia (EMI)
Songwriter(s)de:Hans Bradtke, Mike Stoller
Producer(s)Norrie Paramor
Cliff Richard and The Shadows singles chronology
"It's All in the Game"
"Rote Lippen soll man küssen"
"Don't Talk to Him"
(German chronology)[8]

In 1963 the song was recorded by Cliff Richard, whose version went to number 4 in the UK. It was more successful internationally, reaching number 1 in Belgium, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, South Africa and Sweden. His version with German lyrics reached number 1 in West Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Richard was presented with a Gold disc by EMI Records for one million worldwide sales of "Lucky Lips".

Richard's German version, titled "Rote Lippen soll man küssen", with lyrics by Hans Bradtke, stayed at number 1 in West Germany for seven weeks and had sold half a million by the end of 1963.[9][10] The English version also charted in West Germany in its own right before the German version was released.

Chart performanceEdit

"Lucky Lips" (English version)

Chart (1963) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[11] 4
Australia (Kent Music Report)[12] 4
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[13] 1
Canada (CHUM)[14] 8
Denmark (Tracklisten)[15][16] 1
Finland (IFPI Finland)[17] 2
France (SNEP)[18] 7
Germany (Official German Charts)[19] 1
Hong Kong[20] 1
Ireland (IRMA)[21] 1
Israel[20] 1
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[22] 1
Norway (VG-lista)[23] 1
South Africa (SARMD)[24][25] 1
Spain (Promusicae)[26] 10
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[27] 1
US (Billboard Hot 100)[28] 62

"Rote Lippen soll man küssen" (German version)

Chart (1963-64) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[29] 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[30] 1
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 1

Other cover versionsEdit

With lyrics in Swedish by Christer Jonasson as "Slit och släng", Siw Malmkvist scored a 9 week long Svensktoppen hit with the song from November 5, 1966 – January 14, 1967, peaking at #2. These lyrics reflects the society of Swedish in the 1950s and 60s.[32] Siw Malmkvist also made a version in Danish, "Slid og slæb".

In 1969, a Catalan version, "Llavis de mel" (Honey lips), was included in "Tots Som Pops", the first LP recorded by the Catalan group La Trinca. The lyrics were translated and adapted by the writer Jaume Picas (1921–1976).

Estonian singer Ivo Linna and his band Rock Hotell recorded an Estonian language version titled Kikilips (Bowtie) about the article of clothing in 1980. His version has become a very well-known song in Estonia.

In 2003, Florian Ast released a Bernese German version titled "Schöni Meitschi" (Beautiful Girls). The song reached #7 in Schweizer Hitparade.[33]


  1. ^ Atlantic Records Discography, 1956. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  2. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 54.
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2003). Top Pop Singles 1955–2002 (1st ed.). Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 683. ISBN 0-89820-155-1.
  4. ^ Dottie Evans, "Lucky Lips".
  5. ^ Betts, Graham (2004). Complete UK Hit Singles 1952–2004 (1st ed.). London: Collins. p. 161. ISBN 0-00-717931-6.
  6. ^ "Whatever Lola Wants". Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  7. ^ a b Lewry, Peter; Goodall, Nigel (1991). Cliff Richard The Complete Recording Sessions 1958-1990. London: Blandford. pp. 52, 55. ISBN 0-7137-2242-8.
  8. ^ "Cliff Richard international single releases - Germany". Retrieved 2014-04-28. External link in |publisher= (help)
  9. ^ Ehnert, Günter (1999). HIT BILANZ Deutsche Chart Singles 1956-1980 (doc)|format= requires |url= (help). Taurus Press. ISBN 3-922542-24-7.
  10. ^ Nielsen Business Media, Inc. (1 February 1964). "Billboard, see article "Electrola gets imperial label in Germany"". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc.: 4. ISSN 0006-2510.
  11. ^ "Cliff Richard: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company.
  12. ^ Kent, David (2005). Australian Chart Book 1940–1969. Turramurra, New South Wales: Australian Chart Book Pty. ISBN 0-646-44439-5.
  13. ^ " – Cliff Richard & the Shadows – Lucky Lips" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  14. ^ "CHUM Chart". Archived from the original on 2017-02-02.
  15. ^ "Denmark Singles Chart – Lucky Lips". Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  16. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 13 July 1963. p. 30. ISSN 0006-2510.
  17. ^ Lassila, Juha (1990). Mitä Suomi soittaa?: Hittilistat 1954–87 (in Finnish). Jyväskylän yliopisto. ISBN 95-168-0321-0.
  18. ^ "France Singles Positions". Dominic Durand / Infodisc. Retrieved 2014-04-27.
  19. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Lucky Lips". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  20. ^ a b Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Israel chart courtesy Kol Israel Broadcasting. 10 August 1963. p. 34. ISSN 0006-2510.
  21. ^ The Official Charts in Ireland began on October 4, 1962. Chart positions before that are taken from the "Evening Herald Chart", a Top Ten singles chart published by the Irish daily newspaper the Evening Herald between February 1959 and December 1962. "Ireland singles charts". Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  22. ^ " – Cliff Richard & the Shadows – Lucky Lips" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  23. ^ " – Cliff Richard & the Shadows – Lucky Lips". VG-lista.
  24. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Courtesy South African Record Manufacturers and Distributors Association. 27 July 1963. p. 42. ISSN 0006-2510.
  25. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 14 September 1963. p. 24. ISSN 0006-2510.
  26. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 1979). Sólo éxitos: Año a año, 1959–2002. Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 978-84-8048-639-2.
  27. ^ Johansson, Carl-Owe (1980). Rock Around the Clock: Saturday Night Fever 1955–1978. Vara, Sweden: Dominique Muzic-Club.
  28. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "Cliff Richard | Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-04-26.
  29. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 18 January 1964. p. 61. ISSN 0006-2510.
  30. ^ " – Cliff Richard – Rote Lippen soll man küssen". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  31. ^ Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. 29 February 1964. pp. 1–. ISSN 0006-2510.
  32. ^ Bosse Ströberg (25 June 2009). "Slit och släng, dagens nya refräng" (in Swedish). Smålandsposten. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011.
  33. ^ Schweizer Hitparade, Retrieved 5 August 2010.

External linksEdit