Friday, December 18, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 19 December 2009

and missed from last week ...
Thank You Very Much
, NZ#1(1), 29 February 1968, UK#4, 8 weeks in Top 20 from 9 December 1967. Monster Hit in N.Z.

Emile Ford with the Checkmates
UK#1(6) from 18 December 1959 and Au#1(2) from 12 March 1960 MONSTER HIT in N.Z. Emile Ford (born Emile Sweetman, 16 October 1937, Castries, Saint Lucia, West Indies) is a musician and singer, who was popular in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Ford was the son of a government official and an opera-singing mother, and he moved to Britain with his family at an early age.

He was educated at the Paddington Technical College in London.[2] It was during this time that Ford taught himself to play a number of musical instruments. These included the guitar, piano, violin, bass guitar and drums. His innate interest in music was fostered by his mother, and perhaps derived in part — according to annotator Roger Dopson and journalist Norman Jopling — in his synesthesia: he perceived sound as colours and patterns.

He teamed up with George Ford, Ken Street and John Cuffley as Emile Ford and the Checkmates, and their first self-produced recording "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?" went to number one in the UK Singles Chart at the end of 1959 and stayed there for six weeks. The track remains as having the longest question ever asked by a chart topping disc in the UK.[3] Ford was also the first black British artist to sell one million copies of a 7" single.

Brenda Lee
*SWEET NOTHIN'S (Monster Hit) 2nd million-seller for Brenda Lee Tarpley or 'Little Miss Dynamite'. Lithonia, Georgia born in December 1944, Brenda won a talent contest at age 6. In 1956 at age 11 she was heard by Red Foley, who arranged for her to make her TV debut on the country-and-western 'Ozark Jubilee' show. This led to further TV appearances and a recording contract in May 1956. Her first record release being 'Jambalaya', then a year later her first chart at #43, 'One Step At A Time'. 'Sweet Nothin's' was her 3rd chart (and 1st Top 10), 24 weeks on from 21 December 1959

Harry Simeone Chorale
Initially released on the 1958 album "Sing We Now Of Christmas" which was renamed "The Little Drummer Boy" in 1963. The song made the US Pop charts every December (except 1962) from 1958 (posn. 22) through to 1963, when the single made US#1. Co-written by Harry Simeone in 1958 who took the tune from the Spanish song 'Tabolilleros' and tells the story of a poor boy who has no great gift to offer the Nativity but his playing the drum. Big Hit in N.Z.
Music buff Alex, tells me the song was originally called Carol Of The Drum by the Trapp Family Singers from 1952. The Originals Project says; ""Carol Of The Drum" was written, arranged from a Czech carol, in 1941 by Katherine Davis (aka C.R.W. Robinson). No one seems to have recorded it until some eleven years later.

The Trapp Family Singers' recording was done in Germany for Deutsche Grammophon. In the US, Decca issued it in various forms, including an album, the six-45 record set shown and a single 45 (Decca 30997, 1959)."

*The Chipmunks - The Chipmunk Song, US#1(4) from 22 December 1958 and NZ#1 almost a year later in November 1959

Billy Vaughn and his orchestra
*SAIL ALONG SILV'RY MOON Dot [USA]. Billy Vaughn's second million-seller for this most consistent hit-producing studio orchestra leader in the disc business. This disc sold a reputed four and a half million globally, for which he received a special platinum disc award. Apart from selling over a million in the USA, it also sold over a million in Germany where his discs have a big following and consistent sales (see 1955). The song is an oldie of 1937 by Harry Tobias (words) and Percy Wenrich (music) and had been a hit for Bing Crosby that year. US#5 in 1958, 26 weeks in Top 100 from 23 December 1957 and a HUGE HIT in N.Z. PROBABLY THE BIGGEST SELLING SINGLE OF THE LATE 50’S.

Bobby Helms
*JINGLE BELL ROCK a perennial seasonal favourite; Pop #6 first up from 23 December 1957, then on pop charts in December 1958, 1960 to 1963 and top of the special US Christmas chart in 1963 and appearing each year through to 1970, again 1972 and 1973, and 1983 to 1985, a million-seller after 5 years (his 2nd) J.S.Pierpont's 1857 'Jingle Bells' updated by Joe Beal and Jim Boothe exactly a century later and Big Hit in NZ.

Conway Twitty
(Moderate Hit) his 2nd million-seller charted from 28 December 1959 and had originally been recorded (unreleased) by Elvis Presley as "Danny" for the movie 'King Creole'

Andy Williams
*HAWAIIAN WEDDING SONG backed with HOUSE OF BAMBOO Andy's 2nd million-seller, 'Hawaiian Wedding Song' ('Ke Kali nei ou') was written in 1926 (by Charles King) with English lyrics being provided in 1958 (by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning). Recorded 3 November and charting for Andy from 29 December 1958 with a US#11 peak in 1959. BIG HIT

Cliff Richard
I Love You
, UK#1(2) from 29 December 1960. For the first time Cliff took over from Elvis at #1 (It's Now Or Never) - a feat repeated exactly 3 years later when "The Next Time/Bachelor Boy" displaced "Return To Sender"

LaVern Baker
JIM DANDY Her 2nd million-seller, a US#17, 19 weeks in from 29 December 1956 and written by Lincoln Chase. Born Delores Williams in Chicago 11 November 1928. Recorded as 'Little Miss Sharecropper' and 'Bea Baker'. After working with the Todd Rhodes Orchestra 1952-53 then toured Europe solo. Returned to work for Atlantic Records and became one of the most popular female R&B singers in the early rock era. Her first million-seller, “Tweedle Dee” was a R&B#4 in 1955 was not released in N.Z. RELEASED HERE BUT NOT A HIT.

Ray Price Not a big seller and quite hard to get. Possibly a little too country for the mainstream at the time.
CRAZY ARMS - N/A Rated the top Country-and-Western record for the year and the 1st million-seller for Ray Price. Made the Honor Roll Of Hits, at #27, 1 week - 29 December 1956

Ricky Nelson
MODERATE HIT in N.Z. backed with
WAITIN' IN SCHOOL Imperial. This third million-seller for Ricky Nelson enjoyed popularity on both sides. 'Stood Up' was written by Dub Dickerson and Erma Herrold; 'Waitin' in School' by Johnny and Dorsey Burnette. 'Stood Up' was US#2(3) in early 1958, 18 weeks in Top 100 from 30 December 1957. Ricky changed his name to Rick after “Travellin’ Man”/”Hello Mary Lou” from April / May 1961

Featured Songs for Saturday 12 December 2009

*Benny Hill – Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West). UK#1(4) from 11 December 1971

Bill Haley
Joey's Song
Au#1(4) from 12 December 1959, an instrumental that peaked at US#46 as Haley's moment of fame was waning (12 wks in Top 100 from 5 October 1959). But not in Australia, with a tune named for it's composer, arranger/conductor, Joe Reisman. (Not to be confused with Lou Reisman!) MONSTER HIT in N.Z. – in Bits

Pat Boone
Dot [USA] US#1(6) from 16 December 1957, 26 weeks in Top 100 from 28 October, NZ#1, January 1958 and UK#7in 1957, 18 weeks in Top 20 from 20 December (23 wks in Top 30) HUGE HIT in N.Z. – By 1958 April Love became Pat’s 9th million seller, a reworked title song from the movie starring Pat Boone and Shirley Jones. Written by Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) and Sammy Fain (music) from Pat’s first musical film.

Eddie Fisher
, US#7, 19 weeks in Top 100 from 17 December 1955. Initially the flip-side, a Rodgers and Hammerstein ballad, "Everybody's Got A Home But Me" attracted the interest before the focus shifted to this number which had more appeal as Rock 'n' Roll started to take off. Monster Hit. – in Bits

Barry Gordon with Art Mooney & Orchestra
NUTTIN' FOR CHRISTMAS, Another youngster in the Jimmy Boyd tradition of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa", Barry Gordon was Massachusetts born 21 December 1948, so this song came out just before Barry's 7th birthay. 4 weeks in Top 100 from 17 December 1955 with a peak of US#6.
Barry also made many TV appearances and had one other chart, in 1958, with "Rock Around Mother Goose" - again with the Art Mooney Orchestra. Art Mooney features again later with "Honey-Babe" Not Released In NZ.

Teresa Brewer
, (with The Lancers) US#6 in 1955, 12 weeks in Top 100 from 18 December 1954, UK#9 from February 1955 and her 5th million-seller. Also a million-seller for Joan Weber in 1954, written by Jenny Lou Carson in 1953 with revised lyrics by Al Hill in 1954. Big Hit in N.Z.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Featured Songs for Saturday 5 December 2009

The Teddy Bears
Los Angeles trio comprising Phil Spector, Carol Connors & Marshall Leib. US#1(3) from 1 December 1958 and a MONSTER HIT in N.Z.

Frankie Laine
Columbia [USA]
The 9th million-seller for Frankie Laine was written in 1956 by Bob Hilliard (words) and Philip Springer (music). It was No 3 in the US Top 100 with 22 weeks in from 1 December 1956 and No. 13 with 12 weeks in the UK Top 30 from December 1956, plus NZ#1 in March 1957 and 7 weeks in the Top 20. HUGE HIT in N. Z. With Ray Conniff & Orchestra - see following song ...

Don Cherry
, US#4, 22 weeks in Top 100 from 3 December 1955, UK#6 from February 1956. Said to have been the first arrangement by Ray Conniff for the Columbia label. Dallas, Texas born in January 1924, Don Cherry studied voice after military service in the mid forties. Vocalist with the Jan Barber band in the late forties before becoming a professional golfer for a while before getting back into singing in the early fifties.
Big Hit in N.Z.

Adam Faith
UK#1(3) from 4 December 1959 Blond moody Adam Faith, from BBC TV's 'Drumbeat' was born Terence Nelhams in June 1940. Taken into the Parlophone studios and (despite an uninspiring track record to date) produced one of the pop classics of the pre-Beatles era. The last line of this song also gave him the catch phrase "Wish you wanted my love, bay-bee" MONSTER HIT in N.Z.

LaVern Baker
Her biggest hit in N.Z., but only sold moderately. US#6 in early 1959, 21 weeks in US Top 100 from 8 December 1958.