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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.

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.

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.


It’s March, 1953

The sun’s out in London, 2021 as we travel back in time to March, 1953 to hear what it sounded like.

The songs of March, 1953

8 new tracks make it into the top 20s of the month:

March, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“A Fool Such As I” – Jo Stafford
“Anywhere I Wander” – Julius Larosa
“Caravan” – Ralph Marterie
“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Downhearted” – Eddie Fisher
“Have You Heard” – Joni James
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” – Karen Chandler
“Hot Toddy” – Ralph Flanagan
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Peggy Lee
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“I’m Sitting On Top Of The World” – Les Paul & Mary Ford
“Keep It A Secret” – Jo Stafford
“No Help Wanted” – Rusty Draper
“Oh Happy Day” – Don Howard
“Oh Happy Day” – Four Knights
“Oh Happy Day” – Lawrence Welk
“Pretend” – Eileen Barton
“Pretend” – Nat King Cole
“Seven Lonely Days” – Georgia Gibbs
“Side By Side” – Kay Starr
“Tell Me A Story” – Frankie Laine / Jimmy Boyd
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“Till I Waltz Again With You” – Teresa Brewer
“Why Don’t You Believe Me” – Joni James
“Wild Horses” – Perry Como

And we’ll add on a top 10 R&B chart from the end of the month:

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

This month in history

In March, 1953 the 25th Academy Awards ceremony is held – the first to be broadcast on television – taking place simultaneously at the RKO Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, and the NBC International Theatre in New York City.

By all accounts a major upset occurred when the heavily favoured “High Noon” lost Best Picture to Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Greatest Show on Earth”, eventually considered among the worst films to have won the Academy Award. You can see the trailer for the former film, below:

“High Noon” still won four awards, though winner of the biggest clutch, of five, was “The Bad and the Beautiful” which you can see a trailer for below:

What’d Sadie think?

Number 1 for the month was split between “Till I Waltz Again With You” by Teresa Brewer for two weeks and then Patti Page’s, “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” for the remaining two.

The month is off to a great start with “A Fool Such As I”, a new one by Jo Stafford whose tunes we seem to always be fond of. Apparently its a cross-over from the Country charts where Hank Snow had a hit with it.

Another newbie is the instrumental “Caravan” by Ralph Marterie which had Sadie, and the rest of the family, dancing along.

Not exactly original thematically but “Downhearted” by Eddie Fisher is a nice 50’s sadboy tune.

And it doesn’t seem necessary, but Peggy Lee’s version of “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” puts a slight American twist on the lyrics of Patti Page’s original.

Not new, but we’re obviously in a Jo Stafford mood because “Keep It A Secret” stuck out on the playlist list week. Likewise Rusty Draper’s “No Help Wanted” has grown on us and is an excuse to snap our fingers, which seems to entrance Sadie.

With 3 versions on the charts now, and after a few weeks, “Oh Happy Days” is a favourite to sing along to, particularly the Lawrence Welk version on this week’s playlist.

Eileen Barton’s version of “Pretend” is no Nat King Cole version but is decent enough. The same can be said for “Seven Lonely Days” by Georgia Gibbs.

“Tell Me A Story” by Frankie Laine and Jimmy Boyd on the other hand is… just plain annoying. This seems to be by design, Jimmy is the young man who sung “I saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus” and this seems to be some attempt by Laine to cash in on that by having Jimmy act an annoying kid asking for a song which Laine begrudgingly obliges.

Meanwhile the R&B charts open with a good ‘un with “He treats your daughter mean” by Ruth Brown. Before taking it up a notch further with “Let me go home whisky” by Amos Milburn.

Why oh why does whiskey
Make me lose my head
Got me sitting at a bar
When I should be home in bed
Let me go home whiskey, let me walk out that door

“Let me go home whisky” by Amos Milburne

According to Wikipedia it was one of several drinking songs Milburn was known for but, “there is no evidence that he had an alcohol problem”.

The charts don’t stop giving there, as if in response to Milburn’s tale of a man who was dragged down by drink, along come Big Mama Thornton’s classic, “Hound dog” about kicking just such a slacker to the curb. The story behind the song is fascinating but lengthy so I’ll leave it to wikipedia. I feel like it’ll be a year or so before the most famous cover of this song hits us.

The charts end on a lighter, but still excellent note with “My kind of woman” by Emitt Slay Trio. Now you can go listen to the full playlist on Youtube via this link.

It’s February, 1953

I was 24 years away from being born in February, 1953 which is the year in which we find ourselves on our tour through musical history this month. Let’s see what I missed out on…

The songs of February, 1953

A few few nice new tunes entering the US charts this week,

February, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“Anywhere I Wander” – Julius Larosa
“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Even Now” – Eddie Fisher
“Glow Worm” – Mills Brothers
“Have You Heard” – Joni James
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” – Karen Chandler
“Hot Toddy” – Ralph Flanagan
“How Much Is That Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“I Believe” – Frankie Laine
“It’s In The Book” – Johnny Standley
“Keep It A Secret” – Jo Stafford
“Mister Tap-Toe” – Doris Day
“My Baby’s Coming Home” – Les Paul And Mary Ford
“No Help Wanted” – Rusty Draper
“Oh Happy Day” – Don Howard
“Oh Happy Day” – Four Knights
“Oh Happy Day” – Lawrence Welk
“Pretend” – Nat King Cole
“Pretend” – Ralph Marterie
“Say It With Your Heart” – Bob Carroll

“Side By Side” – Kay Starr
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“Till I Waltz Again With You” – Teresa Brewer
“Why Don’t You Believe Me” – Joni James
“Wild Horses” – Perry Como
“Your Cheating Heart” – Joni James

But now that we have the UK charts at our disposal lets add a top 10 from February, 1953 from across the atlantic,

“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como And The Ramblers
“Outside Of Heaven” – Eddie Fisher
“Because You’re Mine” – Mario Lanza
“Comes A-long A-love” – Kay Starr
“She Wears Red Feathers” – Guy Mitchell
“Now” – Al Martino
“Broken Wings” – Art And Dotty Todd
“Here In My Heart” – Al Martino
“You Belong To Me” – Jo Stafford
“Takes Two To Tango” – Louis Armstrong

A few of those we’ve had in previous US charts but the bolded ones aren’t in the charts currently so they’re on this weeks playlist.

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

This month in history

Good news for the sweet toothed – a good 7 years after World War II ended sweet rationing ended in the UK on February 4, 1953. Since the war’s end Brits had been limited to 12 oz (340g) per month. Which, to be honest, sounds like a lot to me, but then I’ve never had much of a taste for sweets. We’ll have to see if Sadie does.

The next day Disney’s classic Peter Pan debuted. You can view the trailer below.

And towards the end of the month James Watson and Francis Crick of the University of Cambridge announce their discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule. As we learnt many years later their work was built on the back of other researchers including Rosalind Franklin,

Franklin died of ovarian cancer in 1958, four years before the Nobel prize was awarded to Watson, Crick and Wilkins for their work on DNA structure. She never learned the full extent to which Watson and Crick had relied on her data to make their model

And there’s a nice squiggly lined from there to the mRNA vaccines currently being jabbed in our arms to put this Covid business to bed finally (we hope.). So thanks Rosalind, James, Francis et al.

What’d Sadie think?

Perry Como’s “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” held on to number 1 for one more week into February. Before Teresa Brewer shot to the top with “Till I Waltz Again With You” for the rest of the month.

We’re off to a boisterous start with Julius Larosa‘s “Anywhere I Wander”. Which was from the 1952 musical film, “Hans Christian Andersen”. Which sounds curious enough to watch, “not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about this great spinner of fairy tales.”

I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows
I believe for everyone who goes astray
Someone will come to show the way
I believe, I believe

“I Believe” – Frankie Laine

Frankie Laine’s “I Believe” is the song of hope we all need for a lockdown free summer in London. And is up to his usual high croning standards.

Rusty Draper was a country cross over artist named for his red hair. Which I always find amusing in an era of primarily black and white photography and Television. “No Help Wanted” was an alright song.

But, and we find ourselves saying this a lot in the last couple of virtual years, it as no Nat King Cole – who has another fine hit with, “Pretend”.

“Say It With Your Heart”
by Bob Carroll is quite dismissible, sorry Bob! And Perry Como doesn’t have his finest moment with “Wild Horses”.

But the US charts end on a nice note with Joni James“Your Cheating Heart”.

“Outside Of Heaven” was Eddie Fisher’s first UK number 1 and a great song it is.

Perhaps more odd than it is great, though catchy at that, is Guy Mitchell’s “She Wears Red Feathers” – both Mitchell and the composer are american which doesn’t explain the lyrics,

I work in a London bank, respectable position
From nine to three they serve you tea
But ruin your disposition
Each night of music calls, rather lost I seem
And once a pearl of a native girl came smilin’ right at me

“She Wears Red Feathers”Guy Mitchell

You’ll have to listen to get the full story…

Art And Dotty Todd, a husband and wife duo, haven’t popped up in the charts in the USA where they’re from for us yet but here they are on the UK charts with “Broken Wings”. Which is saccharine sweet but not bad at all for the style.

But song of the week goes to Jo Stafford’s “You Belong To Me” which fans in both the USA and UK agree is a lovely tune. And today its lyrics definitely incite the wanderlust.

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


It’s January, 1953

And here we are, beginning year 4 of our sped-up journey through musical history. Come the end of the first year of the project we’ll be done with 1953 even. Time passes!

The songs of January, 1953

A bunch of new songs on the US pop charts to kick off the year so let’s hear what it sounds like:

January, 1953 Top 20 Hits

“Because You’re Mine” – Mario Lanza
“Bye Bye Blues” – Les Paul And Mary Ford
“Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” – Perry Como
“Why Don’t You Believe Me” – Patti Page
“Even Now” – Eddie Fisher
“Glow Worm” – Mills Brothers
“Have You Heard” – Joni James
“Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” – Karen Chandler
“Hot Toddy” – Ralph Flanagan

“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Jimmy Boyd
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” – Spike Jones
“I Went To Your Wedding” – Patti Page
“I Went To Your Wedding” – Spike Jones
“It’s In The Book” – Johnny Standley
“Jambalaya” – Jo Stafford
“Keep It A Secret” – Jo Stafford
“Lady Of Spain” – Eddie Fisher
“Mister Tap-Toe” – Doris Day
“My Baby’s Coming Home” – Les Paul And Mary Ford
“Oh Happy Day” – Don Howard
“Oh Happy Day” – Four Knights
“Oh Happy Day” – Lawrence Welk / Larry Hooper

“Side By Side” – Kay Starr
“Takes Two To Tango” – Pearl Bailey
“Tell Me You’re Mine” – Gaylords
“The Doggie In The Window” – Patti Page
“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
“Wishing Ring” – Joni James
“You Belong To Me” – Jo Stafford

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

This month in history

The year starts with the sad news that Hank Williams passed away on New Year’s day while travelling to a concert in Charleston.

.

Here’s a live performance of one of his recent chart hits, “Cold Cold Heart”,

It was a great month for theatre however with Samuel Beckett’s play “Waiting for Godot” premiering in Paris. And Arthur Millers, “The Crucible” opening on Broadway.

Fear doesn’t travel well; just as it can warp judgment, its absence can diminish memory’s truth.

– Arthur Miller (1996)

An excellent piece in the NewYorker by Arthur Miller looks back at the era of McCarthyism that led him to write the play and is a great commentary on the passing of time and the perspective it brings.

What’d Sadie think?

Jimmy Boyd’s “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” held on to its number 1 spot through the first week of January so we’ve included that version, not the Spike Jones one, this week. It was then overtaken by Perry Como’s “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes” for the rest of the month which is a good ‘un.

Speaking of Spike Jones, he does a comedy of Pati Pages’s “I Went To Your Wedding” which just seems to be him laughing hysterically between singing the lyrics poorly. Terrible.

Two new versions of “Oh Happy Day” this month. When I think about it, the ability to record, press and distribute a new version of a popular song in the ’50s was quite impressive – its not as simple as it is in these digital days. Neither of these versions sound much happier than the original but the Four Knights has a great bass solo that makes it our favourite version.

Doris Day’s “Mister Tap-Toe” is a fun tune for the new year. And Karen Chandler’s “Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me” is a lovely song but wouldn’t become a classic till it was covered decades later.

“Side By Side” by Kay Starr is our song of the month. Interestingly it was composed by Harry Woods who composed a number of hits including “Try a Little Tenderness” and composed his songs on piano, despite the fact that he was born without fingers on his left hand.

Speaking of classics, January 1953 saw the original version of “The Doggie In The Window” by Patti Page. Apparently her label, Mercury, had poor distribution in the United Kingdom so a recording of the song by Lita Roza was the one most widely heard in the UK, reaching No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart in 1953. Making Roza the first British woman to have a number-one hit in the UK chart.

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