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On this day in music history: May 11, 1959 - "The Happy Organ" by Dave "Baby" Cortez hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. Written by Cortez and Ken Wood, it is the biggest hit for the songwriter and musician from Detroit. Born Dave Cortez Clowney, he will begin playing piano as a child with aspirations to become a professional musician after seeing Duke Ellington & His Orchestra in concert. Cortez will relocate to New York when he joins a group call The Pearls as a keyboard player. Eventually he will strike out on his own, working as a studio musician, when he is signed to independent label Clock Records (distributed by Ember Records). He and fellow songwriter Ken Wood write a song initially titled "The Dog And The Cat" that also features lyrics. When Cortez finds that the song doesn't work in its original form, he will make it over as an instrumental, recording it with a Hammond Organ instead of a piano. Clock will release the song as a single just as Cortez leaves town to go on tour with Little Anthony & The Imperials. Entering the Hot 100 at #68 on March 16, 1959, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. Cortez will follow the song with the similiar "The Whistling Organ," which peaks at #61 in July of 1959. Clock Records will soon fold in 1961 and Cortez will sign a deal with Chess Records, scoring another major hit with the single "Rinky Dink" (#10 Pop, #9 R&B). Cortez will chart several more singles on the chart through 1966, then makes his last chart entry with "Someone Has Taken Your Place" (#45 R&B) on All Platinum Records in 1973. "The Happy Organ" will also be featured in theatrical trailers for the film Tommy Boy in 1995. Dave "Baby" Cortez will record a new album in 2011 with Lonnie Youngblood and His Bloodhounds, his first new release in 39 years.