Saturday, July 19, 2008

HIGH NOON (Do Not Forsake Me)
Tex Ritter Recorded the song for the movie soundtrack and Capitol initially released a version without the drums (thinking Country fans didn’t like drums). US#12, 8 weeks in the Top 30 from 20 September 1952. Stanley Kramer had completed a new western movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly; it was titled ‘High Noon’. After screening it, Kramer decided that it was going to be a box office disaster unless something was done to kill the silence and repetitious boredom of Cooper’s long walks in the film. He asked Tiomkin to write a melody that could be used to salvage the film. Tiomkin suggested that they used one and repeat it during the troubled scenes. After working on a melody for a few days, he called lyricist Ned Washington and asked him to write lyrics for his tune. These men blended lyrics and melody into the song, High Noon, and needed a cowboy singer to record it. Tiomkin said that Tex Ritter should be used and called him.

Tex took Merle Travis and a few other musicians to the studio to pre-record the soundtrack. After they recorded the soundtrack and even though the preview audience gave the film a poor rating. Tiomkin suggested that Tex record it for Capitol. The producer for Capitol, Ken Nelson, was cool to the idea so Tiomkin took the song to Columbia Records, and Frankie Laine and Mitch Miller were scheduled to record it. When Nelson at Capitol heard that Laine were going to record it, they changed their minds and rushed Tex into the studio. On 14 May 1952, Tex recorded “High Noon” (master number 10102), Capitol F 2120. Capitol released it on 21 June 1952, one week before the Laine recording was issued. (Frankie Laine’s recording was made 15 May 1952).

They soon realised that they had made a mistake. Country musicians and their fans did not like drums, so the heavy drum beat that makes the song memorable was not on the Tex Ritter record. However, the drum beat was prominent on the Frankie Laine recording. Ken Nelson had the drum overdubbed on the music track and released it with the master number 10485, retaining the Capitol release number F2120.

In Britain, Decca Records was Capitol’s United Kingdom license and their producer Dick Rowe, saw ‘High Noon’ and was captivated by the song and its effective use in the film. They had already released the original recording (no drums) in England. Since the song’s haunting effect was not on the record, Rowe opted not to promote it; instead, he decided to record it again. Tex was on tour in Britain, so Rowe arranged a recording session in Decca Studios. This recording comes closer in arrangement and sound to the soundtrack than any of the other recording, and is the best recording of “High Noon” made by Tex. The master number is MSC 126, and the release number is CL 13778. Tex’s first performance of the song before a live audience was in London, England during this tour.
Featured – Mon 14 July, 2008

Bill Haley & His Comets
by Little Richard was a US#17 in 1956, 18 weeks in Top 100 from 7 July and R&B#1 (2 weeks)
Mark Matheson said, “Long Tall Sally was a moderate hit probably only by default. It was the B-side to Tutti Frutti here (released in 1957) and Tutti Frutti was the hit. Rip It Up was not a big seller. It was overshadowed by the Bill Haley version over here. “
Featured – Tue 15 July, 2008

The Shirelles
The 1st million-seller for the quartet of Addie Harris, Shirley Owens, Doris Kenner and Beverley Lee who began performing together in high school in New Jersey. A talent show success in 1957 brought them a recording contract with Decca with their first release, "I Met Him On A Sunday" making the charts in April 1958. Their 2nd chart first appeared for 4 weeks in 1959 from 13 July - peak #83. Then charted again (after the success of their #1 hit "Will You Love Me Tomorrow") for 16 weeks on the Top 100 from 23 January 1961with a peak of #3
Featured – Wed 16 July, 2008

Tommy James & The Shondells
, US#1(2) from 16 July 1966
Written by the husband and wife team of Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, the song didn't sell when first issued in 1963 on the Snap label. It was through the attention of a DJ going through a job lot of 45 rpm records and giving the song air-play that the record got attention, and a scramble to obtain the master tape ended with rights going to Roulette Records and with their promotion, the song shot to #1 for 2 weeks. All the other members of The Shondells come from Greensboro, Pittsburg. Big Hit in N.Z.
Featured – Thu 17 July, 2008

The Animals
UK#1, 9 July, Au#1(2) from 19 August and US#1(3) from 5 September 1964, (11 weeks in Top 100 from 8 August 1964). The America version was edited down to 2:58. The Animals 1st million-seller with a traditional negro song, that had been a success for folk singer Josh White. Alan Price of the Animals, toned down the rather bawdy lyrics for their version. They made a tour of Britain with Chuck Berry in 1964 and also toured the States that year. A Gold Disc was presented to the group by MGM Records of the USA in September 1964, before they returned to England. This their 2nd single, went on to sell over 5 million. MONSTER HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Fri 18 July, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ray's Song Pick of the Day from 7 July

David Rose

THE STRIPPER US#1, 7 July 1962 (17 wks in Top 100)
The 3rd million seller for David Rose was his own compositon. conductor / composer / arranger for numerous movies and scored many TV series. Married to Martha Raye (1938-41) & Judy Garland (1941-43). Died 23 August 1990 of heart disease. HUGE HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Mon 7 July, 2008

The Kinks
Sunny Afternoon
, UK#1(2) from 7 July 1966, US#14, 11 wks in Top 100 from 6 August and NZ#2, 7 wks in Top 20 from 18 August 1966, Monster Hit in N.Z. The third and final UK#1 in the summer of 1966 for the Davies brothers and their two co-Kinks. The three single releases immediately following “Sunny Afternoon” went into the UK Top 10 (Dead End Street, Waterloo Sunset and Autumn Alamac). “Lola” went on to become a NZ#1, but only UK#2 and US#9 in 1970.
Featured – Tue 8 July, 2008

Ferrante & Teicher
US#10 in 1960, 20 weeks in Top 100 from 25 July. (Monster Hit in N.Z.) the 1st million-seller for the piano duo who had studied together at New York's Juilliard School of Music. Both graduated as piano majors and a brief period of concert work they returned to Juilliard as faculty members, combining teaching with a limited concert schedule. Their increasing popularity forced them to concentrate on performing and they gradually drifted into popular music and devised a series of gadgets, including strips of sandpaper and cardboard wedges etc to extend the range of their pianos. They began their string of film theme hits after they had signed to United Artists in 1960, including the film ‘Exodus’ that received 5 Academy Awards.
Featured – Wed 9 July, 2008

Frank Sinatra
, US#1(2) from 9 July 1955 Frank's 2nd million-seller for the year (Love And Marriage) and had a sale 900,000 in the US with sales elswhere taking the total over a million. UK#2(6) Monster Hit in N.Z.
Featured – Thu 10 July, 2008

Frankie Laine
US#5 in 1952, 19 weeks in Top 30 from 12 July and UK#7, with 7 weeks in the Top 12 from November 1952. The 9th million seller for Frankie Laine was the theme to the movie starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Tex Ritter’s version also made the US Top 30 (from 20 September) but Frankie Laine’s version was different in using drums (country music people were reluctant to use drums at the time *check details) and Laine’s version outsold Tex Ritter (US#12, 8wks). (Ritter sang "High Noon" at the first Academy Awards ceremony to be televised in 1953. The song, written by Ned Washington (lyrics) and Dmitri Tiomkin (music), received an Oscar for the Best Film Song of 1952.
Featured – Fri 11 July, 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

Ray's Song Pick of the Day from 30 June

Mike Sarne with Wendy Richard
UK#1(2) from 28 June 1962. This was the only second comedy record (after Lonnie Donegan’s My Old Man’s A Dustman) to make UK#1. Mike Sarne was born Michael Scheur in 1939 of German extraction. Wendy Richard was just beginning as an actress specializing in the not-so-dumb blonde roles that were still coming her way 20 years later - she played Miss Brahms in the TV series 'Are You Being Served' and later appeared in 'Eastenders' as Pauline Fowler. Wendy Richard even re-recorded ‘Come Outside’ with a replacement for Mike Sarne, but it went nowhere. Mike Sarne followed this hit with "Will I What?" (with Billie Davis) and "other less original variations on the theme." HUGE HIT in N.Z.
Featured – Mon 30 June, 2008

David Whitfield with Mantovani & Orchestra
UK#1(10) from 2 July and US#10, charting from 14 August 1954. The first British male singer to have a million sale in the US, it achieved its magic figure by 1956. This was Whitfield’s second UK#1 and was one of the biggest-selling records of the pre-rock era. It sold well over a million copies and Whitfield joined Vera Lynn in the ranks of British stars who made the US Top 10. In Britain, the 10 week run at the top was then the longest ever run of consecutive weeks at No. 1 and, nearly 700 hits later, Whitfield still takes equal third place, after Slim Whitman (Rose Marie) and Bryan Adams (Everything I Do, I Do For You)
The writers of ‘Cara Mia’, Lee Lange and Tulio Trapani, were actually David Whitfield’s producer, Bunny Lewis, and his arranger, Mantovani. On this record Mantovani’s orchestra is given full label credit and as the Guiness Book Of British No Ones said, “There is no doubt that the lush strings of the Mantovani sound were a major contribution to the phenomenal success of this record.
Featured – Tue 1 July, 2008

Pat Boone, Mark Matheson said, “Extremely popular artist in the late fifties here. All three (I’ll Be Home, Friendly Persuasion and Remember You’re Mine) were huge hits and Pat would have sold in similar quantity in this country to Presley.”
I ALMOST LOST MY MIND US#1(4) from 28 July 1956. Pat had four million-sellers in 1956 and this was his 3rd such gold disc. The song was also a second time million-seller for the writer Ivory Joe Hunter who wrote and recorded his song in 1950. An example of a black artist's rhythm & blues track getting greater chart action from white audiences through having its rough edges being smoothed somewhat.
Featured – Wed 2 July, 2008

The Essex
US#1(2) from 6 July 1963, 13 wks in Top 100
Deciding to do the rounds of the record companies while on short leave from Camp Lejeune, their first and only stop was Roulette Records and their first release was an immediate hit. The quintet started with four Marines who worked at perfecting their sound, but not until they had heard Anita Humes singing at an NCO club and asked her to join them, were they satisfied with their group.
Featured – Thu 3 July, 2008

Everly Brothers
written by Roy Orbison for his wife. Flip side to #1 hit "All I Have To Do Is Dream", their 3rd million-seller and in the UK considered a double sided hit UK#1(7) from 4 July 1958. Monster Hit in N.Z.
Featured – Fri 4 July, 2008