The original version featured schools in his native Virginia & was an instant local success. The big-time Atlantic label in New York quickly licensed the tune & took Facenda back into a studio where a new rendition was cut. But Atlantic had even grander ideas for marketing the tune: they had poor Facenda record at least 28 different versions, each with customized references to specific schools in these different areas: New York City, North & South Carolina, Washington D.C.- Baltimore, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Florida, Newark, Boston, Cleveland, Buffalo, Hartford, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, New Orleans, St. Louis - Kansas City, Georgia - Alabama, Cincinnati, Memphis, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Seattle - Portland, Denver, & Oklahoma.
Billboard magazine decided to treat all 28 versions as one release for the purposes of tracking the song(s) on their pop chart & by combining the overall action, "High School U.S.A." reached #28 nationally. Typical for that time, the Pacific Northwest seemed so remote to the New Yorkers that they couldn't even get all the school names down right. Thus the "Seattle - Portland" version highlighted these schools: Ballard, Cleveland, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Washington, West Seattle, Sunnyside, North-Central, Lincoln, Stadium, Grant, Blanchard, Franklin, Madison, David Douglas, Bremerton, Rogers, Benson, Queen Anne, Garfield, Highline, Wilson, Longview, Shelton, & Pendleton – some of which are even in the towns of Seattle & Portland (& far-flung places like Sunnyside & Tacoma & Bremerton & Longview & Shelton & Pendleton). Geographic inexactitude aside, the 45 became a Top-10 radio hit that autumn in Seattle & Portland – and maybe beyond.