It’s August, 1952

It’s a busy weekend here in 2021 London so we’ll keep it snappy in this week’s dive back to August, 1952.

The songs of August, 1952

A few new tunes hit the charts this month which might raise an eyebrow back in 2021, but let’s have a look at the list before we get into that:

August, 1952 Top 20 Hits

“Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” – Eddy Howard
“Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” – Vera Lynn
“Blue Tango” – Leroy Anderson
“Botch-A-Me” – Rosemary Clooney
“Delicado” – Percy Faith
“Half As Much” – Rosemary Clooney
“Here In My Heart” – Al Martino
“High Noon” – Frankie Laine
“I Went To Your Wedding” – Patti Page
“I’m Yours” – Eddie Fisher
“Indian Love Call” – Slim Whitman
“Jambalaya” – Jo Stafford
“Kiss Of Fire” – Georgia Gibbs
“Kiss Of Fire” – Tony Martin
“Lover” – Peggy Lee
“Maybe” – Perry Como / Eddie Fisher
“Rock Of Gibraltar” – Frankie Laine
“Should I” – Four Aces
“Somewhere Along The Way” – Nat King Cole
“Sugarbush” – Doris Day And Frankie Laine
“Vanessa” – Hugo Winterhalter
“Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” – Johnnie Ray
“Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” – Nat King Cole
“Wish You Were Here” – Eddie Fisher
“You Belong To Me” – Jo Stafford
“You Belong To Me” – Patti Page

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

This month in history

As I’m saving my words this month, you might find the time to read an excellent article from the August, 1952 issue of The Atlantic – News and the Whole Truth.

Too much of our news is one-dimensional, when truth has three dimensions (or maybe more); we still have inadequate defenses against men who try to load the news with propaganda

Definitely a case of “there’s nothing new under the sun” here as the author explores the commercial and political influences on the role of journalists. It’s written in the era of McCarthyism which makes for an interesting historical comparison to more recent presidencies.

But this is only one of McCarthy’s many self-contradictions; who can keep track of them all? I have a stack of his speeches two feet thick on my office shelf; but when he says something that stirs a vague recollection that he once said something very different, I seldom have time to run through his speeches.

What’d Sadie think?

Vera Lynn’s “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” continues its run at the top, staying number 1 for all of August. Still not particularly sold on it but clearly the USA was in 1952.

Sadie was particularly into the music this week. She started dancing along on the sofa to “High Noon” by Frankie Laine. She’s definitely heard a lot of Frankie by now and like me has acquired a taste for his tunes.

She kept it up when a new Patti Page song dropped next, the excellent “I Went To Your Wedding”.

“Indian Love Call” by Slim Whitman is a tad problematic but has an interesting history when you dig into it. Originally a popular song from “Rose-Marie”, a 1924 operetta-style Broadway musical by Oscar Hammerstein that was the longest running that decade. It was turned into a number of films in the subsequent decades with various cover versions of “Indian Love Call” , which was key to the plot.

Slim Whitman’s version crossed over from the country charts to the pop charts in 1952 and grew him a mainstream audience as a result.

Speaking of cross overs, “Jambalaya” was originally a Hank Williams song that Jo Stafford brings to the pop charts. It’s pretty catchy but obviously a tad appropriative – the tune and title being based on a Cajun song “Grand Texas”.

“Wish You Were Here” by Eddie Fisher has definitely grown on us. But it’s Nat King Cole’s “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” that has wormed its way into our ears this weeken

Check it out along with the rest of the hits of August, 1952 via this link.