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

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