It’s June, 1951

It’s the holiday break here in London town and we’re hoping a bleak 2020 turns to a bright 2021. We also hope you all saw in the new year in a suitable, if probably different, fashion. But let’s jump back to June, 1951 and see what it sounds like there.

The songs of June, 1951

We’ll keep it compact on account of the holiday so here’s the top twenty songs across the weeks that made up June, 1951:

June, 1951 Top 20 Hits

“Be My Love” – Mario Lanza
“Because Of You” – Tony Bennett
“Come On-A My House” – Rosemary Clooney
“How High The Moon” – Les Paul & Mary Ford
“I Apologize” – Billy Eckstine
“I Get Ideas” – Tony Martin
“I Like The Wide Open Spaces” – Arthur Godfrey / Laurie Anders
“I’M In Love Again” – Henri Rene / April Stevens
“Jezebel” – Frankie Laine
“Josephine” – Les Paul
“Mister And Mississippi” – Dennis Day
“Mister And Mississippi” – Patti Page
“Mockin’ Bird Hill” – Les Paul & Mary Ford
“Mockin’ Bird Hill” – Patti Page
“My Truly Truly Fair” – Guy Mitchell
“My Truly Truly Fair” – Vic Damone
“Old Soldiers Never Die” – Vaughn Monroe
“On Top Of Old Smokey” – Burl Ives
“On Top Of Old Smokey” – Vaughn Monroe
“On Top Of Old Smokey” – Weavers / Terry Gilkyson
“Rose Rose I Love You” – Frankie Laine
“Sound Off” – Vaughn Monroe
“Sweet Violets” – Dinah Shore
“The Loveliest Night Of The Year” – Mario Lanza
“The Syncopated Clock” – Leroy Anderson
“Too Young” – Nat King Cole
“Unless” – Eddie Fisher
“Unless” – Guy Mitchell
“When You And I Were Young Maggie Blues” – Bing & Gary Crosby

You can listen to the full playlist on Youtube via this link or embedded below:

This month in history

Reading the pages of Billboard this month the hot topic was the first commercial TV broadcasts in colour. They trialled a range of shows and you really need to read the “reviews” to understand just how revolutionary colour was, yet how mundane the problems and technicalities were.

I’ve included the full review of the cooking show (right hand column in the first image and then subsequent) so you can enjoy such comments as, “the fried chicken certainly was lent enchantment”.

Billboard review of Colour TV broadcast from June 1951.

And if anything else was happening in June 1951 apart from the realisation that red nail polish was distracting during cooking shows… I don’t know about it!

What’d Sadie think?

Two number ones this month, Les Paul & Mary Ford hang on for two more weeks with “How High the Moon” after dominating May and then the much better “Too Young” by Nat King Cole hits the top spot for two.

“Jezebel” by Frankie Laine is the song that’s grown on me the most after a few weeks in the charts. And “Because Of You” by Tony Bennett is my fave new piece of schmaltz.

But its “Come On-A My House” by Rosemary Clooney that has the interesting back story this month.

It was written by Ross Bagdasarian and his cousin, Armenian-American Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan in summer 1939 but wasn’t performed publicly till it was incorporated into an off-Broadway musical, “The Son”. The melody is based on an Armenian folk song and references Armenian hospitality customs.

Bagdasarian wasn’t a name I recognised but apparently he is the creator of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” who we’ll come across in a few years. Clooney, who made the song popular with her 1951 cover, admitted she hated the song despite the number of records it sold. In fact she only sung it under duress, threatened with being fired, and claims she could hear the anger in her voice from being forced to sing it in the final recording. Personally I can’t, but it definitely does grate a little…

I also noted in Billboard that Vic Damone, who has been in our charts a number of times over the past year, has made the cross-over to the big screen in “Rich, Young and Pretty”. His song charting this month, “My Truly Truly Fair” wasn’t bad, but what is really fun is this song and dance number from the film, “How D’Ya Like Your Eggs in the Morning”.

You can find all of the song & dance numbers from the film on Youtube if you enjoyed that as much as us. In the meanwhile, Happy New Year and enjoy the hits of June, 1951!