It’s December, 1952

Merry Xmas from 1952! Yes, a third year of our sped up journey through time is coming to a close. Let’s see what the silly season has for us.

The songs of December, 1952

Looks like everyone has the Christmas classics from previous years in their record collection so only one holiday themed tune on the charts this month, though its a future classic:

December, 1952 Top 20 Hits

“Because You’re Mine” – Mario Lanza
“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” – Karen Chandler
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Jimmy Boyd
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Spike Jones

“I Went To Your Wedding” – Patti Page
“It’s In The Book” – Johnny Standley
“Jambalaya” – Jo Stafford
“Keep It A Secret” – Jo Stafford
“Lady Of Spain” – Eddie Fisher
“Lady Of Spain” – Les Paul
“My Baby’s Coming Home” – Les Paul & Mary Ford
“Oh Happy Day” – Don Howard
“Outside Of Heaven” – Eddie Fisher
“Takes Two To Tango” – Pearl Bailey
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“The Glow-Worm” – Mills Brothers
“Till I Waltz Again With You” – Teresa Brewer
“Trying” – Hilltoppers
“Why Don’t You Believe Me” – Joni James
“Why Don’t You Believe Me” – Patti Page
“Wish You Were Here” – Eddie Fisher
“You Belong To Me” – Jo Stafford
“You Belong To Me” – Patti Page
“Yours” – Vera Lynn

As well as the US pop charts we’re adding in a top 10 country & western chart for the month:

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

This month in history

Flicking through the pages of Billboard for December 1952 I found an advert for the opening of The Sands hotel – which famously became the haunt of the Rat Pack and made modern Las Vegas what it was.

Demolished in 1996, you can see a short film about the making of a virtual reality experience of The Sands below (sadly the VR experience has disappeared offline):

For another look at Xmas in 1952, here’s a film about “Xmas in the CanalZone” from the British Film Institute:

What’d Sadie think?

“Why Don’t You Believe Me” by Joni James was number 1 for the first 3 weeks of the month before being toppled by the brand new Xmas hit, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by Jimmy Boyd.

I actually included the Spike Jonze version on the playlist as I, wrongly, assumed that was the original but it wasn’t and only made it to number 7. In his version the vocal is by George Rock using the little boy voice used in Spike’s hit “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth”.

The original was actually sung by a real 13 year old boy, Jimmy (music and lyrics by British songwriter Tommie Connor). Apparently Boyd’s record was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church in Boston when it was released on the grounds that it mixed kissing with Christmas. After meeting them to “explain” the song, the ban was lifted. His original below:

“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” by Perry Como is exactly the kind of song one would expect to hear at the Copa room at The Sands hotel. The two country versions, by Ray Price and Slim Willet…not so much so.

“My Baby’s Coming Home” by Les Paul & Mary Ford was nice – though it did have us wondering what their baby was coming home, summer camp, Korea?

“Oh Happy Day” by Don Howard – did not sound happy, but was a nice tune.

“Till I Waltz Again With You”, by familiar face Teresa Brewer is a more grown-up sound from her (she’s 21 at this point) and is a nice song, but a shuffle not a waltz just to confuse things.

“Trying” by the Hilltoppers has some nice harmonies and is so 50’s all american. Apparently they took their name from the nickname of the Western Kentucky athletic teams and sport big W sweaters in most press shots I can find.

Jambalaya works better as a country song than as a pop song, but its far from my favourite Hank Williams tune even if it beats Jo Stafford’s version on the main charts.

Song of the country charts though has to be the other Hank’s (Snow), “The Girl Who Invented Kissing” which alas I can find nothing about online or even the lyrics – which need to be heard to be believed. So check out the full playlist on Youtube via this link and hear it for yourself.

And to round out the year, here’s the list of the top 30 tunes of 1952 from Billboard magazine, all of which have graced our charts over the past twelve weeks: