We’re halfway through 1953 in our sped-up musical journey through time, let’s see what it sounds like…
The songs of July, 1953
7 new tunes hit the the mainstream top 20 pop charts this month:
July, 1953 Top 20 Hits
“Allez-Vous-En” – Kay Starr
“Anna” – Sylvano Mangano
“April In Portugal” – Les Baxter
“April In Portugal” – Richard Hayman
“C’est Si Bon” – Eartha Kitt
“Crazy Man Crazy” – Bill Haley And His Comets
“Crying In The Chapel” – Darrell Glenn
“Crying In The Chapel” – June Valli
“Gambler’s Guitar” – Rusty Draper
“Half A Photograph” – Kay Starr
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“I’d Rather Die Young” – Hilltoppers
“I’m Walking Behind You” – Eddie Fisher
“No Other Love” – Perry Como
“Oh” – Pee Wee Hunt
“P.S. I Love You” – Hilltoppers
“Ruby” – Les Baxter
“Ruby” – Richard Hayman
“Say You’re Mine Again” – Perry Como
“Song From Moulin Rouge” – Percy Faith / Felicia Sanders
“Theme From Limelight” – Frank Chacksfield
“Vaya Con Dios” – Les Paul And Mary Ford
“With These Hands” – Eddie Fisher
“You You You” – Ames Brothers
We’ll supplement the US pop chart with a Top 10 R&B chart:
You can listen to the full playlist on Youtube via this link or embedded below:
This month in history
As the Covid vaccine rollout continues in 2021 we can look back to 1953 and see successful trials of the Polio vaccine were announced this month.
And the same month, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, a musical comedy film based on the 1949 stage musical of the same name, is released. I’m sure it needs no introduction so here’s Marilyn singing the title song in the film:
And in more global good news the Korean Armistice Agreement is signed on 27 July, 1953 bringing to an end the first big post WWII conflict.
What’d Sadie think?
“Song From Moulin Rouge” by Percy Faith continues its run with 3 weeks at number 1, with Eddie Fisher’s “I’m Walking Behind You” taking the top spot for the last two weeks.
A duo of french language songs hit the charts. “Allez-Vous-En” by Kay Starr is a great Cole Porter song from the musical “Can-Can”. And “C’est Si Bon” by Eartha Kitt is likewise a stellar tune, which would feature in the 1954 film “New Faces”. (Spoiler alert for next year!)
“Crying In The Chapel” appears in two guises. The first is by Darrell Glenn and was written for him to sing by his father Artie. Of course I only find out these factoids after I make the list up, so it was the belting June Valli cover version I included.
Rusty Draper’s “Gambler’s Guitar” is a cross-over country hit, and proves the point that its rarely the best songs that cross over from other charts… not great.
Also weak is “Oh” by Pee Wee Hunt, a American jazz trombonist.
“With These Hands” by Eddie Fisher isn’t bad. And it was only this week that I discovered he divorced his first wife, actress Debbie .Reynolds, to marry Reynolds’ best friend, Elizabeth Taylor… A storied life indeed.
On the R&B charts we have “Clock” by Johnny Ace which is like watching the clock waiting for home time… slow and dull.
“Please Love Me” is a solid B.B. King tune and “Help Me Somebody” by the 5 Royales is good.
Two songs by Harlem doo-wop group, The Du Droppers are on the charts, “I Found Out” and “I Wanna Know”. The latter is grand. While “Wild Wild Young Man” by Ruth Brown is an upbeat number with a great sax part.
“Mercy Mr. Percy” is a great number by Varetta Dillard and was apparently her biggest hit. She spent much of her early childhood in hospital due to a congenital bone condition. But by her mid-teens, her condition had stabilised, though she remained unable to walk without crutches or other assistance. Certainly didn’t effect those vocal cords!
Eddie Boyd’s “Third Degree” is that kind of blues number you need to be in a mood for, and we weren’t.
“Going to the River” by Fats Domino is alright. He crossed-over big time later in the decade, between 1955 and 1960, he had eleven Top 10 US pop hits – but this isn’t up there. (Sorry, second spoiler of the post…)
I went down a rabbit hole trying to find out the meaning behind “Dominos” in the name of ‘Billy Ward and his Dominoes’ whose track “These Foolish Things” is a good closer to the charts. I was thinking it might be the same reason Fats was named that, but Domino is his actual last name and nothing else was forthcoming. Answers on a post card please.
Now go listen to the full playlist on Youtube via this link.