It’s June, 1953

It’s one of those weeks when the current month matches the month from the past we’re exploring musically, in this case June of 1953.

The songs of June, 1953

We’ve got a few new tracks this week in the mainstream USA charts:

June, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“Anna” – Sylvano Mangano
“April In Portugal” – Les Baxter
“April In Portugal” – Richard Hayman
“April In Portugal” – Vic Damone
“Crazy Man Crazy” – Bill Haley & Comets
“Half A Photograph” – Kay Starr
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“I Believe” – Jane Froman
“I’d Rather Die Young” – Hilltoppers
“I’m Walking Behind You” – Eddie Fisher
“Moulin Rouge” – Mantovani
“No Other Love” – Perry Como
“Pretend” – Nat King Cole
“Ps I Love You” – Hilltoppers
“Ruby” – Les Baxter
“Ruby” – Richard Hayman
“Ruby” – Victor Young
“Say You’re Mine Again” – Perry Como
“Seven Lonely Days” – Georgia Gibbs
“Song From Moulin Rouge” – Percy Faith / Felicia Sanders
“The Ho Ho Song” – Red Buttons
“Theme From Limelight” – Frank Chacksfield
“Vaya Con Dios” – Les Paul And Mary Ford
“You You You” – Ames Brothers

And we’ll supplement that with a UK top ten from a week in June:

“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“Terry’s Theme From ‘limelight’” – Frank Chacksfield
“Downhearted” – Eddie Fisher
“In A Golden Coach (There’s A Heart Of Gold)” – Billy Cotton And His Band
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” – Muriel Smith
“Pretend” – Nat ‘king’ Cole
“Coronation Rag” – Winifred Atwell
“I’m Walking Behind You” – Eddie Fisher With Sally Sweetland
“In A Golden Coach (There’s A Heart Of Gold)” – Dickie Valentine
“The Song From The Moulin Rouge” – Mantovani
“Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie” – Guy Mitchell
“Terry’s Theme From ‘limelight”’ – Ron Goodwin

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

This month in history

One big event this month in history, on June 2nd Queen Elizabeth II was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Which is very familiar to everyone who sat glued to The Crown during Covid-times, so we’ll just leave it to this footage from the event:

And a shorter clip in colour:

What’d Sadie think?

“Song From Moulin Rouge” holds the number 1 spot for the entire month in the USA. And then we have 7 new tracks for the month. Starting with a new one by Kay Starr, “Half A Photograph” – not loving it as much as some of her previous tunes but it feels like a grower.

“I’d Rather Die Young” by the Hilltoppers sounds a little more dramatic than it is when the parenthetical “(than be without you)” is added. It’s catchy if a melancholy song can be catchy.

Perry Como’s “No Other Love” is kind of forgettable to be honest. Sorry Perry, but you get enough swings at bat to have hits and misses galore.

“Ps I Love You”, their second song on the charts, shows the Hilltoppers know the art of a good song title and the song itself isn’t bad enough.

Victor Young’s version of “Ruby” is the 3rd version of the tune to hit the charts and the harmonica part is well worth tuning in for.

“Vaya Con Dios” means “May God Be With You” and is one of Les Paul And Mary Ford’s better tunes so far this decade!

Last new tune on the US chart is “You You You” by the Ames Brothers which is alright but had us hoping there was something more upbeat on the UK charts.

Half of the tracks in the UK top 12 (it’s the “top 10” but the UK charts have equal positions on their charts) are unique to that side of the Atlantic.

“Downhearted” by Eddie Fisher is a better tune than his track on the US charts, “I’m Walking Behind You” but the chap really needs to cheer up. “Pretty Little Black Eyed Susie” by Guy Mitchell is cheesy but the perfect cheery antidote.

“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” is Muriel Smith’s version of the song that Karen Chandler previously charted with in the USA and we rather like this version.

“Coronation Rag” by Winifred Atwell appears to be a very timely way of cashing in on QEII’s coronation but at the same time is also very anachronistic as its a very retro tune for one released in England of the 1950s’

For if there’s one thing Winifred’s remembered for it’s for starting the strange craze for honky tonk piano which took place in the ‘50s in Britain. Coming to these shores from Trinidad she’d learned to play in a ragtime style for American servicemen stationed at a base in Piarco.

Apparently, Winifred was hugely successful by the time ‘Coronation Rag’ hit #5 in the charts. She’d been the first black woman to have a number one in the UK and the first black person to sell a million records – at the height of her success she sold over 30,000 records a week.

But this wasn’t the only tune to cash in on coronation fever, “In A Golden Coach (There’s A Heart Of Gold)” by Dickie Valentine, and a version by Billy Cotton And His Band, did too.

In a golden coach, there’s a heart of gold
Driving through old London town
With the sweetest Queen the world’s ever seen
Wearing her golden crown.
As she drives in state through the palace gate
Her beauty the whole world will see
In a golden coach there’s a heart of gold
That belongs to you and me.

“In A Golden Coach (There’s A Heart Of Gold)” by Dickie Valentine

It’s unclear who wrote the original version of the song, but you can’t go past the sound effects of the golden coach going by… inspired!

In the UK the number one spot goes to Frankie Laine’s “I Believe”. Apparently in 1954 he did a Royal Command Performance for the new Queen, which came up as album art for that track this week:

A Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II | just for the records  ~another 365 project

So we’ll leave you with that image and a link to the full playlist.