It’s May, 1953

It’s a glorious sunny weekend here in London, 2021 – but alas the Scovells are all three laid low with a nursery cold, so we’ve mostly enjoyed it from a distance. This also means we’ll keep the writeup of our musical trip back to May, 1953 short this week – so enjoy the songs!

The songs of May, 1953

Because of the way we aggregate weekly charts in a single monthly chart, sometimes there are four weeks and sometimes five worth of songs. This is a five week month and we’ve got plenty of new songs (11) to tune in to:

May, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“Almost Always” – Joni James
“Anna” – Sylvano Mangano
“April In Portugal” – Freddy Martin
“April In Portugal” – Les Baxter
“April In Portugal” – Richard Hayman
“Can’t I” – Nat King Cole
“Caravan” – Ralph Marterie
“Crazy Man Crazy” – Bill Haley And His Comets
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“I Believe” – Jane Froman
“I’m Walking Behond You” – Eddie Fisher
“Is It Any Wonder” – Joni James
“Moulin Rouge” – Mantovani
“Pretend” – Nat King Cole
“Ruby” – Les Baxter
“Ruby” – Richard Hayman
“Say You’re Mine Again” – Perry Como
“Seven Lonely Days” – Georgia Gibbs
“Somebody Stole My Gal” – Johnnie Ray
“Song From Moulin Rouge” – Percy Faith / Felicia Sanders
“Strange Things Are Happening” – Red Buttons
“Tell Me A Story” – Frankie Laine / Jimmy Boyd
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“Terry’s Theme” – Frank Chacksfield
“The Ho Ho Song” – Red Buttons
“Till I Waltz Again With You” – Teresa Brewer
“Wild Horses” – Perry Como
“Your Cheating Heart” – Joni James

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

This month in history

At 11:30 a.m. on May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay, a Sherpa of Nepal, become the first explorers to reach the summit of Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet above sea level. This is a thing you are told many times growing up in New Zealand. If you’re less familiar with this and/or want to see some footage from back in ’53 then the video below might be just what you need:

What’d Sadie think?

“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” holds onto the number one spot for two weeks of May before “Song From Moulin Rouge” takes it for the following three.

The charts open with a new tune – “Almost Always” by Joni James which is only notable because it has what sounds like a Glockenspiel in it, which is the first instrument that Sadie has played. (thanks Auntie JoJo).

Two new versions of “April In Portugal” hit the charts and we went with the Freddy Martin instrumental which isn’t bad at all.

And then we have “Crazy Man Crazy” by Bill Haley And His Comets, sometimes referred to as the “first rock’n’roll record” or at least “the first rock and roll song to be a hit on the [mainstream] pop charts”. Compared with some of the proto-Rock we’ve heard on the R&B charts the past couple of years its a little bit basic but is obviously notable and signs that the tempo is stepping up in our charts from here on in.

And rather awesomely you can see them perform it on TV from 1953:

The tempo is still a little reserved on the new Eddie Fisher, “I’m Walking Behind You” which dragged a little for us. As did the other Joni James song charting this month, “Is It Any Wonder”.

“Moulin Rouge” by Mantovani was apparently the most popular cover of “Where Is Your Heart” / ” It’s April Again” In the United Kingdom, which first charted last month in a version by Percy Faith. It’s alright.

Cover on cover…”Ruby” by Les Baxter is a cover of the film theme that Richard Hayman brought to the charts last month as well. Again, it’s alright.

“Strange Things Are Happening” by Red Buttons is a comedy song but is quite catchy if not laugh-out-loud funny.

“Terry’s Theme” by Frank Chacksfield is the best instrumental on the charts this week, and its from a 1952 Charlie Chaplin movie that you can watch the trailer for below:

Now go enjoy the full playlist on Youtube via this link.