It’s April, 1953

We’re well into 1953 in our journey through music history as those of us in London are on tenterhooks waiting to here if we’re relieved of lockdown life in June, 2021.

The songs of April, 1953

9 new tunes hit the top 20 of the USA pop charts this month:

April, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“Anywhere I Wander” – Julius Larosa
“Anna” – Sylvano Mangano
“April In Portugal” – Les Baxter
“Can’t I” – Nat King Cole
“Caravan” – Ralph Marterie
“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Have You Heard” – Joni James
“Hot Toddy” – Ralph Flanagan
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“I Believe” – Jane Froman
“I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” – Les Paul & Mary Ford
“No Help Wanted” – Rusty Draper
“Pretend” – Nat King Cole
“Ruby” – Richard Hayman
“Say You’re Mine Again” – Perry Como
“Seven Lonely Days” – Georgia Gibbs
“Side By Side” – Kay Starr
“Somebody Stole My Gal” – Johnnie Ray
“Song From Moulin Rouge” – Percy Faith / Felicia Sanders
“Spinning A Web” – Gaylords
“Tell Me A Story” – Frankie Laine / Jimmy Boyd
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“Till I Waltz Again With You” – Teresa Brewer
“Wild Horses” – Perry Como
“Your Cheating Heart” – Joni James

And we add in a top 10 from the Country & Western charts to round it out:

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

This month in history

A big month for the 3rd dimension back in 1953 but also for pulp fiction with Ian Fleming publishing his first James Bond novel, Casino Royale, on April 13th.

A few days earlier on the 10th, “House of Wax” the world’s first colour 3-D movie, premiered in New York. You can see the trailer, albeit in 2-D below:

Only a few weeks later on April 29 the first experimental 3D-TV broadcast showed an episode of Space Patrol on Los Angeles ABC affiliate KECA-TV. While you can see that show in B&W on youtube, there’s no sign of that episode – which apparently just looked like a blurry mess to most people who didn’t have the blue&red lens glasses needed to watch it.

On the same day the 6th Cannes Film Festival awarded “The Wages of Fear” directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot the Grand Prix.

What’d Sadie think?

Peggy Lee’s “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” has disappeared off the charts entirely after trying to challenge Patti Page’s original last month. She probably became a cat person after Page did a victory lap by occupying the top spot with her version for all of April.

There’s a reason why its a children’s classic and Sadie really gets into it. I’ve also seen the song “blamed” for the rise of Rock ‘n’ Roll later in the ’50s as the epitomy of all that was saccharine about bubblegum pop. Which seems a little harsh…

“Anna” by Sylvano Mangano is from a 1951 Italian film. It’s rare we have footage of someone singing their hit from this time so here’s a chance not to be missed:

Jane Froman has a new version of “I believe” that was debuted by Frankie Laine last month and is a decent tune.

“No Help Wanted” by Rusty Draper wins the award for “grown on us the most” of the month, with Sadie clapping along to it this week.

“Can’t I” is a new Nat King Cole but not really up to the standards of “Pretend” which is still charting.

Richard Hayman’s “Ruby” is obviously a film theme within the first bars. Apparently its considered a Jazz standard now but wasn’t familiar. There’s also a non-instrumental version later down the track but this version is pretty sweet and makes me think the film could be worth a watch.

“Say You’re Mine Again” is classic Perry Como and a good sing-a-long as is “Somebody Stole My Gal” by Johnnie Ray.

It’s a month for songs from films as another newbie is “Song From Moulin Rouge” (also known as “It’s April Again” and “Where Is Your Heart”) by Percy Faith & Felicia Sanders. Which is not the bawdy number I suspect but is quite sweet.

“Spinning A Web” by The Gaylords would be a great song to fall asleep to. I’ll leave you to decide whether that’s good or bad.

It’s lucky we said we liked “No Help Wanted” as the C&W chart has no less than 3 versions on it! The Carlisles version we included isn’t as good as Rusty Draper’s version. But then we also included Red Foley’s “version” as it’s called “No Help Wanted no. 2” and appears to be a…sequel, about a different situation. And it’s a foot-tapping good time.

The Carlisles don’t really redeem themselves with their other song on the C&W chart, “Knothole”.

Hank William’s “Your cheatin’ Heart” is much preferable to the Joni James version in the pop charts, being the original and much loved.

The other Hank (Snow) also delivers with “Fool Such as I” but its Texas Taylor’s, “Bumming Around” that feels just right for this lazy sunday afternoon in summer-ish London.

Now go listen to the full playlist on Youtube via this link.