Do you know if Blueberry Hill exists? If so, where is it?
Yes, Harry, there is a Blueberry Hill. It's not the kind of hill you can climb by strapping on a new pair of Nikes, but as long as there is one scratchy old record that spins under the weight of a phonograph needle, or if you have a dollar for a music download, there will always be a Blueberry Hill.
Though there are blueberries in Louisiana — Mansfield has a Blueberry Festival each June — there are no significant hills in the area named after the popular berry.
The song "Blueberry Hill" is a standard co-written in 1940 by Al Lewis and Larry Stock, with music by Vincent Rose. It was recorded a number of times by various artists, the first being Gene Autry in 1941, before Fats Domino put it on vinyl. In fact, Domino himself recorded three versions of it, despite objections from musical director Dave Bartholomew, who said it had been done "a million times before." Two versions recorded locally at Cosimo Matassa's studio were lost when the audiotape was damaged. The version that everyone has heard was recorded in Los Angeles, and in September 1956, it reached No. 4 on Billboard's chart. Though Domino had a few hits before "Blueberry Hill," it was this tune that guaranteed him a place in rock 'n' roll history.
Today there are lots of Blueberry Hills — an inn in Vermont, a Chuck Berry-owned restaurant in St. Louis, a family of eateries in Las Vegas, a community in Virginia — but they were not the inspiration for the song. Some reports say the song was named after a make-out spot in Taos, N.M., but Old Blake has not found definitive evidence of this. I posit that Blueberry Hill is a state of mind, as portrayed by Richie Cunningham, the star character in Happy Days, when he would quote the first line, "I found my thrill ... on Blueberry Hill," in reference to girls he liked.