A MONTH-BY-MONTH LOOK AT THE MUSIC SCENE IN 1950


CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER


JANUARY 1950

Top of the US Pops -  The month's most popular singles were 'I Can Dream Can't I' by The Andrews Sisters, 'Mule Train' from Frankie Laine and 'Slipping Around' by Margaret Whiting and Jimmy Wakely. Margaret (whose dad was noted composer Richard Whiting) not only had a major hit with western movie star Jimmy Wakely but the aptly titled follow-up, 'I'll Never Slip Around Again', was also climbing fast.

 Among America's biggest selling Yule songs was Yogi Yorgesson's (real name Harry Stewart) 'I Yust Go Nuts At Christmas' which was yoined on the Top 10 by its yolly b-side 'Yingle Bells'. At the same time Bing Crosby's evergreen, 'White Christmas', reached the Top 10 for the eighth successive year. Also in this season of good will President Truman gave the go-ahead for the production of the H-Bomb.

 Boogie Down! - As the decade dawned, Roy Brown's 'Boogie At Midnight' was slipping down the R&B chart. It was a good example of the music that would later be tagged rock'n'roll, and followed Roy's similar sounding 'Rockin' At Midnight', which was successfully revived in 1985 by Led Zeppelin spin-off group The Honeydrippers.

 

  Fats Domino released his first single 'Detroit City Blues' on Imperial. It soon became obvious that the supposed b-side 'The Fat Man' was going to be the track that launched one of the most successful recording careers of all time. It was clearly based on Champion Jack Dupree's 1941 recording 'Junker Blues', a song that Fats sang in his act in the 1940s. Domino's recording climbed to No.2 on the US R&B chart. If you don't know Dupree's song, the chorus goes "They call me a junko, 'cause I'm loaded all the time", whereas Fats' sings "They call me the fat man, 'cause I weigh 200 pounds". Domino's disc is often referred to as "The turning point in R&B".

 Top selling R&B artists were New Orleans-based Larry Darnell and singer/pianist Ivory Joe Hunter. The latter had four separate singles in the Top 20, whilst 'For You, My Love' and 'I'll Get Along Somehow' (an ancient ancestor of rap music) both carried soulful ballad singer Larry into the Top 3.

Billy Williams left the Charioteers after fronting the vocal group for 20 years. He later became the first act to be seen on Dick Clark's Bandstand TV show when it went national, and scored a million seller in 1958 with a revival of 'I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Right Myself A Letter'.

 The legendary Hank Williams was scoring in the C&W market with his version of the 1922 song 'Lovesick Blues', as well as with the up tempo 'My Bucket's Got A Hole in It' - which Ricky Nelson took into the US Top 10 in 1958.

 Snow In Nashville: Canadian country & western singer Hank Snow joined the cast of the prestigious Nashville based radio show Grand Ole Opry He was currently enjoying his first major hit with 'Marriage Vow' - his next hit 'I'm Moving On' spend a record breaking 21 weeks at the top of the C&W chart. 

 Newcomer Don Gibson and his group The Sons of Soil were first heard on their WOHS radio station in his home town Shelby, North Carolina. Don went on to become one of the most successful singer/songwriters in Country music with hits like 'I Can't Stop Loving You' (a million seller for him in 1958 and a No.1 for Ray Charles) and 'Oh Lonesome Me'.

 The most successful vocal group of the 1940s, The Ink Spots, topped the unofficial UK chart as the year opened with their distinctive interpretation of 'You're Breaking My Heart'. The song, which was based on the Italian composition 'La Mattinata', was a bigger hit in the group's homeland by Vic Damone and Buddy Clark (who died in a plane crash as the record climbed the US Top 20). The song returned to the UK Top 20 in 1965 by Keely Smith.

 Top of the UK Pops - No.1 sheet music hits this month were 'You're Breaking My Heart', 'The Hop Scotch Polka' and 'The Harry Lime Theme'. Hottest new singles in the UK included 'Mule Train' by both Tennessee Ernie Ford and Vaughn Monroe (which topped the unofficial UK record chart), 'Dear Hearts And Gentle People' from Bing Crosby and 'Jealous Heart' by Al Morgan. Chicago singer and pianist Morgan's US Top 5 entry was even more successful in Britain where it was the top song of 1950. Al, who was known as "Mr. Flying Fingers" hosted his own half hour US TV show (broadcast on the old DuMont TV network) between September 1949 to August 1951. Incidentally, despite recording several other "heart" songs for various labels, Morgan never had another chart attack.

 

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR JANUARY 1950                                    

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MNTH MNTH              TITLE - ARTIST -  LABEL     

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 - 1 I CAN DREAM, CAN'T I? - ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 - 2 MULE TRAIN - FRANKIE LAINE & THE MULESKINNERS - MERCURY

 - 3 SLIPPIN' AROUND - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 - 4 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 - 5 A DREAMER'S HOLIDAY - PERRY COMO - RCA

 - 6 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - DINAH SHORE - COLUMBIA

 - 7 THERE'S NO TOMORROW - TONY MARTIN - RCA

 - 8 THE OLD MASTER PAINTER - DICK HAYMES - DECCA

 - 9 THE OLD MASTER PAINTER - RICHARD HAYES - MERCURY

 - 10 MULE TRAIN - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 - 11 DON'T CRY JOE (LET HER GO, LET HER GO, LET HER GO) - GORDON JENKINS - DECCA

 - 12 JOHNSON RAG - JACK TETER TRIO - LONDON

 - 13 I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS - FREDDY MARTIN - RCA

 - 14 RAG MOP - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 - 15 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER - GENE AUTRY & THE PINAFORES - COLUMBIA

 - 16 I YUST GO NUTS AT CHRISTMAS - YOGI YORGESSON - CAPITOL

 - 17 WHISPERING HOPE - JO STAFFORD & GORDON MACRAE - CAPITOL

 - 18 WHITE CHRISTMAS - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 - 19 MULE TRAIN - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

 - 20 YINGLE BELLS - YOGI YORGESSON - CAPITOL


 

R&B TOP 10 JANUARY 1950

 1 FOR YOU MY LOVE - LARRY DARNELL -                         

2 SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY (PARTS 1 & 11) - LOUIS JORDAN - DECCA                   

3 I'LL GET ALONG SOMEHOW (1 & 2) - LARRY DARNELL - REGAL                    

4 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

5 BOOGIE AT MIDNIGHT - ROY BROWN - DELUXE                  

6 NUMBERS BOOGIE - SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON - CAPITOL                 

7 BIG FINE GIRL - JIMMY WITHERSPOON - MODERN                  

8 NO ROLLIN' BLUES - JIMMY WITHERSPOON - MODERN                  

9 LET'S MAKE CHRISTMAS MERRY, BABY - AMOS MILBURN - ALADDIN                 

10 SNEAKIN' AROUND - RUDY RENDER - LONDON                  

     

C&W TOP 10 JANUARY 1950

 1 SLIPPING AROUND - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 2 BLUES STAY AWAY FROM ME - DELMORE BROTHERS - KING

 3 TENNESSEE BORDER NO. 2 - RED FOLEY & ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 4 MULE TRAIN - TENNESSEE ERNIE - CAPITOL

 5 MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 6 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 7 TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS AND HOLD ME - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 8 ANTICIPATION BLUES - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

 9 BLUE CHRISTMAS - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

10 MAMA AND DADDY BROKE MY HEART - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 

FEBRUARY 1950

 

Top of the US pops - The month's big three were 'Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy' by Red Foley, 'Rag Mop' from The Ames Brothers and 'There's No Tomorrow' by Tony Martin, which he performed in the film Two Tickets To Broadway. The latter song was a English lyric version of the old Italian ode 'O Sole Mio' . Both Martin and the song were big favourites of Elvis, who made a home demo of the song, whilst stationed with the Army in Germany in 1959. On his return to the US in 1960, he recorded the same tune with a new English lyric, 'It's Now Or Never'.  

 C&W performer Red Foley's 'Chattanoogie Shoe-Shine Boy' easily out-shone versions by pop superstars Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. Red's recording featured noted Nashville session guitarist Grady Martin. Red not only had the No. 1 C&W hit but was also at No. 2 with 'Tennessee Border No. 2', a duet with Ernest Tubb. Incidentally, the wife of David 'Bunny' Briggs was paid $7,500 as it was felt that this chart topper, whose composers were listed as two executives at the top C&W radio station, WSM,  infringed his earlier minstrel music copyright 'Shoe Shine Boogie'.

 Versions of western swinger Johnnie Lee Wills' hit 'Rag Mop' by Sammy Kaye's one tiem arranger Ralph Flanagan & His Orchestra, Lionel Hampton (which featured up-and-coming guitarist Wes Montgomery) and Wills himself reached the US pop Top 20, although the Boston-based Ames Brothers really cleaned up with this their debut Top 20 hit. It was the first major hit for the family foursome who had at least one chart entry every year of the decade. On the R&B chart Hampton, Joe Liggins and Doc Sausage (born Lucious Tyson) & His Mad Lads were cooking with this country song. Jazz trumpeter Henry 'Red' Allen won a case against Wills when it was shown that his 1945 work 'Get The Mop' was almost identical.

 Trad Jazz revival - Traditional New Orleans style jazz was heard on several early 1950s hits including Teresa Brewer and the Dixieland All Stars' fast moving 'Music! Music! Music!' and the Jack Teter Trio's revival of the 1940 composition 'Johnson Rag', which the burgeoning London label had picked up from Sharp Records. Airplay in the UK, may have been affected by the lyric, which acclaimed the rag as "The latest shag".

 R&B piano pounders Fats Domino and Ivory Joe Hunter were in the news. Fats made his R&B chart debut with the aptly titled 'The Fat Man' and Joe's original version of 'I Almost Lost My Mind' topped the R&B listing - in 1956 the song also topped the US pop chart by Pat Boone. Also riding on the R&B chart, in the month that his daughter Natalie was born, was Nat 'King' Cole's cover of Larry Darnell's 'For You My Love'.

 

 

Double debut - 'Double Crossing Blues' not only introduced Johnny Otis to the R&B chart but was also the debut hit for 14 year old vocalist Little Esther who later found transatlantic fame as Esther Phillips with hits like 'Release Me' and 'What A Diff'rence A Day Makes'.  Savoy Records' act The Johnny Otis Show (which included Esther, Mel Williams and The Robins - who sang backing vocals on this hit) starred in the "Savoy Barrelhouse Caravan" tour which hit the road this month. Other interesting R&B releases included 'Don't Have To Ride No More' by The Ravens, 'I'm So Worried' by Rufus Thomas (on Star Talent), 'Country Boy' by Dave Bartholomew, 'Huckle Up Baby' by John Lee Hooker and two Chess Records' cuts 'Screaming & Crying' by Muddy Waters, 'Trouble In My Home' by the Blues Rockers. Almost all R&B releases were still on 78s as there was little call for 45s at this time.

 Other rock-related releases included 'Rock The House' by noted bop merchant Tiny Grimes, 'I'm Gonna Rock' by Connie Jordan, 'Rock And Roll' by Laverne Roy and 'Rockin' The Blues' by Pee Wee Crayton from Rockdale, Texas. There was also more than a dash of rock in Hank Penny's original C&W version of the oft-recorded 'Bloodshot Eyes', which was rolling chartwards.  

Blind C&W singer/songwriter Leon Payne had the only major hit of his career with his own composition, 'I Love You Because'. The song became a pop standard and was very successful in the 1960s for Jim Reeves in the UK and Al Martino in America.

 Top of the UK Pops - Two songs took it in turn to top the sheet music charts in the month that Clement Attlee formed new Labour government, 'The Harry Lime Theme' and 'Dear Hearts And Gentle People'. A British chart battle ensued between top American entertainer Danny Kaye and London-born band leader Billy Cotton over the cockney novelty song 'I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts' - with honours ending up about even. Other news from the UK included Lita Roza's first gig with the Ted Heath Band. She went on to become the most popular female band singer of the 1950s.

 

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR FEBRUARY 1950                                     

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

 - 1 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

14 2 RAG MOP - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 7 3 THERE'S NO TOMORROW - TONY MARTIN - RCA

 1 4 I CAN DREAM, CAN'T I? - ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 - 5 MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! - TERESA BREWER - LONDON

 4 6 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 - 7 I SAID MY PAJAMAS (AND PUT ON MY PRAY'RS) - TONY MARTIN & FRAN WARREN - RCA

12 8  JOHNSON RAG - JACK TETER TRIO - LONDON

 6 9 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - DINAH SHORE - COLUMBIA

 - 10 IT ISN'T FAIR - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 - 11 THE CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE - FRANKIE LAINE - MERCURY

 8 12 THE OLD MASTER PAINTER - DICK HAYMES - DECCA

 - 13 RAG MOP - LIONEL HAMPTON - DECCA

 3 14 SLIPPIN' AROUND - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 - 15 JOHNSON RAG - JIMMY DORSEY & HIS ORIGINAL "DORSEYLAND" JAZZ - COLUMBIA

 - 16 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE SHINE BOY - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 5 17 A DREAMER'S HOLIDAY - PERRY COMO - RCA

 - 18 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - DICK TODD - RAINBOW

 - 19 WITH MY EYES WIDE OPEN I'M DREAMING - PATTI PAGE QUARTET - MERCURY

 9 20 THE OLD MASTER PAINTER - RICHARD HAYES - MERCURY

 

R&B TOP 10 FEBRUARY 1950

  1 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 2 FOR YOU MY LOVE - LARRY DARNELL -                         

 3 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE The Robins and Little Esther - SAVOY                   

 4 SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY (PARTS 1 & 11) - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                   

 5 RAG MOP - DOC SAUSAGE & HIS MAD LADS - REGAL                   

 6 BIG FINE GIRL - JIMMY WITHERSPOON - MODERN                  

 7 RAG MOP - LIONEL HAMPTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA                   

 8 I QUIT MY PRETTY MAMA - IVORY JOE HUNTER - KING                    

 9 I'LL GET ALONG SOMEHOW (1 & 2) - LARRY DARNELL - REGAL                   

10 NO ROLLIN' BLUES - JIMMY WITHERSPOON - MODERN                  

 

 

C&W TOP 10 FEB 1950

  1 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 2 TENNESSEE BORDER NO. 2 - RED FOLEY & ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 3 SLIPPING AROUND - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 4 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - LEON PAYNE - CAPITOL

 5 RAG MOP - JOHNNIE LEE WILLS - BULLET

 6 BLUES STAY AWAY FROM ME - DELMORE BROTHERS - KING

 7 ANTICIPATION BLUES - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

 8 MAMA AND DADDY BROKE MY HEART - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 9 MY BUCKET'S GOT A HOLE IN IT - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 10 I JUST DON'T LIKE THIS KIND OF LIVIN' - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 

 

MARCH 1950

 Top of the US pops - The big three for the month were Teresa Brewer's catchy 'Music! Music! Music" Red Foley's 'Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy' and 'There's No Tomorrow' by Tony Martin.

 'Music! Music! Music!' was the fourth release on the London label for petite Ohio born ex-child protégé Teresa Brewer, and the first one to grace the charts for the singer named Top New Artist of the Year. Not surprisingly this ode to a nickelodeon was also the most played juke box record in the USA. In 1976 she re-recorded the song with a rock feel, and later even cut it as a disco song. It was penned by Bernie Baum who later composed 'Devil In Disguise' and 'Ask Me' for Elvis Presley.

 After they both took their 'Mule Train' into the chart, Frankie Laine and Tennessee Ernie Ford were again flying high with the same song - 'The Cry Of The Wild Goose'. Laine's recording featured overdubbed vocals which were very unusual at the time, and cleverly combined French horns and actual goose cries. This western opus was penned by singer/songwriter Terry Gilkyson, who also composed the memorable 1956 chart topper, 'Memories Are Made Of This'. The song was also the basis of Max Bygraves' 1952 UK novelty hit 'Cowpuncher's Cantata'.

 The 33rpm album had been introduced in 1948 by Columbia and in the last 18 months total sales by the label were reported to be over 5.5 million. This month the label's main rival RCA began pressing 33rpm albums. The top seller in March 1950 was Columbia's Original Cast recording of 'South Pacific', which in total was top for 69 weeks and spent 400 weeks on the chart.

 Hit ingredients - Arguably, the 1950s most successful composer Bob Merrill made his chart debut with 'If I Knew You Were Comin' (I'd've Baked A Cake)' (ON JUKE BOX) which clicked by 20 year old newcomer Eileen Barton and cover queen Georgia Gibbs. Barton, who had been a child protégé was the daughter of one time vaudeville artist Ben Barton, who was now Frank Sinatra's agent. Simultaneously, Merrill scored with the similarly titled 'Candy And Cake' by 22-year old New Yorker Mindy Carson, who had sung with Paul Whiteman's band in the 1940s.

 R&B-sides - Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, whom Frankie Laine had recorded his first single, released 'Rock With It' and Wynonie Harris, who had rocked the R&B chart with 'Good Rockin' Tonight' and 'All She Want To Do is Rock (Rock & Roll All Night)' in the late 1940s, was courting controversy with the double-entendre disc, 'I Like My Baby's Pudding'. Other interesting new R&B releases, in the month that the USSR announced they now had the Atom Bomb, included '3X7 = 21' by Jewel King, 'Bon Ton Roula' by Clarence Garlow', 'Rocking Jenny Jones' by Big John Greer, 'Block Buster Boogie' from Cecil Payne' and 'Raining In My Heart' by Peppermint Harris. In addition there was 'Adam Bit The Apple' by Joe Turner,  'Rockin' Rocker' by Gene Ammons, 'Hop 'n' Twist' by Frank 'Floorshow' Culley and 'Hard Lovin' Mama' by Chubby Newsome. 

 Hard Rockers - Moon Mullican, known as 'The King Of The Hillbilly Piano Players', was enjoying the biggest hit of his career, 'I'll Sail My Ship Alone'. The song was later steered into the charts by Jerry Lee Lewis , who names Mullican as one of his major inspirations. Fellow rockabilly pioneer Hardrock Gunter, from Birmingham, Alabama, scored his most successful single with his jumping boogie composition 'Birmingham Bounce'. When Gunter's label Bama turned down Decca's offer to lease the record, the major label got chart topper Red Foley to record a cover version , which later topped the country chart and took most of the sales. Hardrock penned the song "In a real rush" and it was the last of four songs recorded on a session .Gunter was a pioneer of the rockabilly sound: this song's lyrics include the line "everybody starts rocking", while his follow-up, 'We're Gonna Dance' includes the prophetic line "We're gonna rock'n'roll".

 Top of the UK Pops - 'Music! Music! Music!' and 'Dear Hearts & Gentle People' headed the sheet music charts, with Teresa Brewer's rendition of the former heading the unofficial UK record chart. The hottest new hits included 'Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy' and the beautiful British ballad ' My Thanks To You' which was popular in recordings by Vera Lynn, Billy Cotton and the under-rated Steve Conway, who died after an operation in spring 1952 at the age of 31. Also selling well, were two versions of 'Come Hither With Your Zither' by top British entertainers George Formby and Max Miller and 'The Zither Song' by both Donald Peers and Reggie Goff (both songs being inspired by the success of zither player Anton Karas)

 

 

ON JUKE BOX BELOW*

TOP 20 US SINGLES MARCH 50                                          

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MNTH MNTH TITLE    ARTIST      LABEL     

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 5 1 MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! - TERESA BREWER - LONDON

 1 2 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 3 3 THERE'S NO TOMORROW - TONY MARTIN - RCA

11 4 THE CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE - FRANKIE LAINE - MERCURY

 2 5 RAG MOP - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 7 6 I SAID MY PAJAMAS (AND PUT ON MY PRAY'RS) - TONY MARTIN & FRAN WARREN - RCA

10 7 IT ISN'T FAIR - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 - 8 QUICKSILVER - BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 - 9 IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMIN' I'D'VE BAKED A CAKE - EILEEN BARTON - NATIONAL

16 10 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE SHINE BOY - BING CROSBY - DECCA

 - 11 RAG MOP - RALPH FLANAGAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA - RCA

 6 12 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - BING CROSBY - DECCA

13 13 RAG MOP - LIONEL HAMPTON - DECCA

 - 14 ENJOY YOURSELF (IT'S LATER THAN YOU THINK) - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

18 15 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - DICK TODD - RAINBOW

 - 16 SENTIMENTAL ME - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 - 17 THE THIRD MAN THEME - ANTON KARAS - LONDON

 - 18 RAG MOP - JOHNNIE LEE WILLS AND HIS BOYS - BULLET

 9 19 DEAR HEARTS AND GENTLE PEOPLE - DINAH SHORE - COLUMBIA

 - 20 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - MILLS BROTHERS - DECCA

 

R&B TOP 10 MARCH 1950

1 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE The Robins and Little Esther - SAVOY                   

 2 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 3 FOR YOU MY LOVE - LARRY DARNELL -                         

 4 WHY DO THINGS HAPPEN TO ME - ROY HAWKINS - MODERN                  

 5 RAG MOP - LIONEL HAMPTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA                   

 6 RAG MOP - DOC SAUSAGE & HIS MAD LADS - REGAL                   

 7 RAG MOP - JOE LIGGINS and his "Honeydrippers" - SPECIALTY               

 8 SATURDAY NIGHT FISH FRY (PARTS 1 & 11) - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                   

 9 I ONLY KNOW - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

10 INFORMATION BLUES - ROY MILTON - SPECIALTY               

 

C&W TOP 10 MARCH 1950

 1 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 2 THE CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

 3 RAG MOP - JOHNNIE LEE WILLS - BULLET

 4 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - LEON PAYNE - CAPITOL

 5 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 6 THE GODS WERE ANGRY WITH ME - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 7 LETTERS HAVE NO ARMS - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 8 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

 9 SLIPPING AROUND - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 10 I JUST DON'T LIKE THIS KIND OF LIVIN' - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM  

 

 

 

APRIL 1950

 

Top of the US Pops - The big three for April were 'Music! Music! Music!' by Teresa Brewer, 'Third Man Theme'' by Anton Karas and 'If I Knew You Were Comin' (I'd've Baked A Cake)' from Eileen Barton. Photogenic ex-child protégé Eileen, the daughter of Frank Sinatra's agent, saw her record become a transatlantic smash. Nonetheless, she never again found the right recipe for a hit.

 

Zither playing Austrian Anton Karas now took his UK smash 'The Harry Lime Theme' up the US charts until the revised title 'The Third Man Theme'. Unusually, both Lawrence Welk and Owen Bradley (the later noted Nashville producer) not only covered Karas' a-side composition, they also covered his coupling 'The Café Mozart Waltz'.  In the UK, it was the biggest selling single of all time with sales of over 900,000.

 

Sleeper hits? - While 'I Said My Pajamas (And Put On My Prayers)' was happening on both sides of the Atlantic for Tony Martin (with Fran Warren) and for Doris Day's cover version, and another Tony, Bennett, launched his recording career with 'Boulevard Of Broken Dreams'.

 

Noted German composer Kurt Weill died. His biggest success was to come later in the decade when Louis Armstrong and Bobby Darin's cut his composition 'Mack The Knife' topped the transatlantic charts. Weil, who had married Lotte Lenya (who you may recall is mentioned in 'Mack The Knife'), studied under the original Engelbert Humperdinck in Germany before he left that country in 1933. It is also said by some that The James Bond theme owes more than a little to Weill's work 'Lonely House'.

 

Rhythm & News - A sign that the music was gaining popularity was the launch of an R&B column in 'Billboard' in the month that Johnny Otis' 'Mistrustin' Blues' replaced his 'Double Crossing Blues' at the summit of an R&B Top 10 that included Dinah Washington's 'It Isn't Fair' and 'I Only Knew'. Intersting R&B releases included 'Hard Luck Blues' by Roy Brown, 'I'll Never Be Free' from Paul Gayten (with vocals by Annie Laurie), 'Rockin' With Coop' by Freddie Mitchell and 'At Night' by The Orioles, who hit the road on a southern tour of one-nighters this month with Amos Milburn.

 

Other happenings - R&B star Ivory Joe Hunter successfully sued the 99 Café who refused to serve him coffee because of his colour - he was awarded $200…. An advertisement for the film 'Wabash Avenue' described its star Betty Grable as "The first lady of rock & roll"!....Columbia Records challenged RCA's 45rpm single with the launch of their own 33rpm single….. Count Basie, Billie Holiday & The Will Mastin trio (which featured 24 year old Sammy Davis Jr.) appeared together at the Strand Theatre on Broadway… Meanwhile back in Britain, the first National Jazz Band Contest took place at the 10,000 seater Empress Hall in London's Earls Court.

 

After three months at the top of the Country & Western chart Red Foley's 'Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy' was replaced by Hank Williams' classic 'Long Gone Lonesome Blues'. It was the first self-composed No. 1 by C&W's premiere songsmith. Incidentally, Hank's wife Audrey released her first single this month, 'Who Put The Pop In Grandma'. Other Top 10 C&W hits included Elton Britt's 'Quicksilver' and 'Hillbilly Fever' by Little Jimmy Dickens. There were also two versions of the children's Easter novelty number 'Peter Cottontail', both of which were also in the Pop Top 20. The most successful rendition was by ex-celluloid cowboy celebrity, Gene Autry - it was his follow up to the chart topping 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer'. Autry, a very shrewd businessman went on to become one of the richest men in America and owner of Challenge Records whose major acts were Jerry Wallace and The Champs (named after Gene's celebrated horse Champion). The other version was by Murv Shiner and when his version hoped off the chart he kept the rabbit habit and released 'Sonny The Bunny'.

Top of the UK pops - After just one weeks at the top of the UK sheet music charts, 'If I Knew You Were Comin' (I'd've Baked a Cake)' was dethroned by the oft-recorded title song from the Susan Hayward movie My Foolish Heart, which fought off all comers for 10 weeks - with the interpretation by Steve Conway and US song stylist Billy Eckstine (which earned him his sixth American gold record) outselling the others. For the record, apart from Elieen Barton's US hit version British record buyers could purchase the former hit by such notables as Gracie Fields, Donald Peers, Joe Loss, Rita Williams, Marie Benson (from The Stargazers) and Eve Young, the latter one time Benny Goodman vocalist's version heading the unofficial UK record sales chart. Other popular songs of the time include Danny Kaye's hit 'C'est Si Bon'  and 'Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think)' , which sold well by Jack Smith, Doris Day and Guy Lombardo  - the latter "have fun before you get old" ditty must have made a bit of an impression on eight year old Paul McCartney, since he later brought the publishing rights.

    

 

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR APRIL 1950   

                             

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

 

9 1 IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMIN' I'D'VE BAKED A CAKE - EILEEN BARTON - NATIONAL

 1 2 MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! - TERESA BREWER - LONDON

17 3 THE THIRD MAN THEME - ANTON KARAS - LONDON

 7 4 IT ISN'T FAIR - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 2 5 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 3 6 THERE'S NO TOMORROW - TONY MARTIN - RCA

16 7 SENTIMENTAL ME - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 - 8 THE THIRD MAN THEME - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

 - 9 PETER COTTONTAIL - GENE AUTRY - COLUMBIA

 - 10 PETER COTTONTAIL - MERVIN SHINER - DECCA

20 11 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - MILLS BROTHERS - DECCA

 - 12 GO TO SLEEP, GO TO SLEEP, GO TO SLEEP - MARY MARTIN AND ARTHUR GODFREY - DECCA

 - 13 MY FOOLISH HEART - GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 6 14 I SAID MY PAJAMAS (AND PUT ON MY PRAY'RS) - TONY MARTIN & FRAN WARREN - RCA

 8 15 QUICKSILVER - BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 - 16 BEWITCHED - BILL SNYDER & HIS ORCHESTRA - TOWER

 4 17 THE CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE - FRANKIE LAINE - MERCURY

15 18 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - DICK TODD - RAINBOW

 5 19 RAG MOP - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

14 20 ENJOY YOURSELF (IT'S LATER THAN YOU THINK) - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

 

R&B TOP 10 APRIL 1950

 

1 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE The Robins and Little Esther - SAVOY                   

 2 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 3 WHY DO THINGS HAPPEN TO ME - ROY HAWKINS - MODERN                  

4 MISTRUSTIN' BLUES - LITTLE ESHER WITH MEL WALKER AND THE JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

 5 INFORMATION BLUES - ROY MILTON - SPECIALTY               

 6 IT ISN'T FAIR - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

 7 I ONLY KNOW - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

 8 FOR YOU MY LOVE - LARRY DARNELL -                         

 9 CRY, CRY BABY - ED WILEY - SITTIN'                 

10 THE FAT MAN - FATS DOMINO - IMPERIAL                

 

C&W TOP 10 APRIL 1950

 1 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 2 LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 3 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

 4 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 5 PETER COTTONTAIL - GENE AUTRY - COLUMBIA

 6 LITTLE ANGEL WITH THE DIRTY FACE - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 7 LETTERS HAVE NO ARMS - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 8 THE GODS WERE ANGRY WITH ME - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 9 THE CRY OF THE WILD GOOSE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

 10 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - LEON PAYNE - CAPITOL

 

 

MAY 1950

 

Top of the US Pops - heading the Hit Parade were two versions of 'The Third Man Theme' and the Sammy Kaye Orchestra's rendition of 'It Isn't Fair'. For seven successive weeks Austrian zither player Anton Karas' original recording of 'The Third Man Theme' held the top spot while a cover by Guy Lombardo & His Orchestra stood in the runner-up spot. It was the sole hit for the victorious Karas, however, Lombardo, sold over 100 million records in his career and visited the US charts over 200 times between 1927-1954!  

 

Veteran Sammy Kaye's aforementioned hit, which featured vocals by later solo chart topper Don Cornell who had been with Kaye since 1942. It was a cover of a version by the song's composer Richard Himber whose own recording sold relatively few - you might say 'It Isn't Fair". Sammy, who had kept America "Swinging & Swaying" since the late 1930s, was simultaneously scoring with his own composition 'Wonderin' (with vocals this time by Tony Alamo). This song's melody was taken from the same old folk ditty as Tom Jones' later million seller 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again'. Just to complete the picture, Tom's tune was penned by Lonnie Donegan, who reportedly knew the tune from his skiffle rivals, The Vipers, version of 'Wonderin''.

 

Well Hoop-de-doo! - Perry Como hated the song 'Hoop-de-Hoo' and told his label RCA he would only sing it the one time in the studio, and therefore that the musicians and backing vocalists Bea, Geri and Marge (The Fontane Sisters) better get it right. They all did a great job - but Perry (perhaps purposely?) insisted on singing 'Hoop-De-Doo' instead of 'Hoop-De-Hoo'. Nevertheless, the novelty polka record went on to top the US Airplay chart and outsold all other versions of this Frank 'My Fair Lady' Loesser composition.  The Fontane Sisters later had a string of hits in their own right including the chart topping 'Hearts Of Stone' five years later.

 

The movie soundtrack to the film Young Man With A Horn, which featured Doris Day and Harry James, was the month's top selling album, in fact it remained in pole position for three months.

 

MGM's month - Despite spending the almost unprecedented amount of $4, 700 on an act's debut recording sessions (which included 22 string players!) newcomer Joan Shaw's R&B cut 'Deceiving Myself" sold few for the movie companies label. However, Blue Barron's revival of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', complete with a moving monologue (later copied by Elvis) by John McCormick gave MGM another hit.

 

A survey showed that there were 17 million phonographs (record players) in the USA but that only 3.5 million of these were used regularly. In the hope of increasing the public's interest in records, MGM became the third major US label to release 45 rpm singles. Decca were seriously considering issuing them, RCA (who invented them) were now re-issuing successful old 78s in the new format but their main rival, Columbia, still "saw no need for them".

 

The Johnny Otis Show continued to be the hottest act in the R&B field with the month's two most successful singles, 'Mistrustin' Blues' and 'Double Crossing Blues'. Interesting new R&B releases included 'Sausage Rock' by Doc Sausage, 'I Feel That Young Man's Rhythm' by Roy Brown, 'Rock Bottom' from Wild Bill Moore, 'Come On Let's Boogie' by Goree Carter (who possibly influenced Chuck Berry) and The Ravens' revival of 'Count Every Star'. On the R&B News front, the top R&B artist of the 1940s, Louis Jordan, returned to work after a five month lay off for health reasons and Frankie Barber - the original Frankie of 'Frankie & Johnny' fame - was committed to a mental home. The 76 year old lady being considered "dangerous to other people".

 

Hank Williams' first self-composed No. 1 'Long Gone Lonesome Blues' held top spot for three of the month's four weeks before being replaced by one of Red Foley's four No.1s of the year, 'Birmingham Bounce'. Pop idol of the future, Tommy Sands, or as he was known in 1950 Little Tommy Sands (then age 12) was touring as a C&W artist on a show headed by Leon 'I Love You Because' Payne.

 

Top of the UK Pops - 'My Foolish Heart' remained at the top of the Sheet Music chart, which this month added future Top 10 hits 'Quicksilver' (a best seller for both Doris Day and Bing Crosby) fame, 'Dearie', 'Oh, You Sweet One' and 'Let's Do It Again' as well as the popular children's song 'Choo'n Gum, with its unforgettable "Chew, chew, chew, choo'n gum, how I love Choo'n Gum" refrain. Heading the month's unofficial UK sales chart was another catchy cake hit, 'Sunshine Cake' by Bing Crosby and Carole Richards.

 

 

 

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR MAY 1950

                                 

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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 3 1 THE THIRD MAN THEME - ANTON KARAS - LONDON

 8 2 THE THIRD MAN THEME - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

 4 3 IT ISN'T FAIR - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 1 4 IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMIN' I'D'VE BAKED A CAKE - EILEEN BARTON - NATIONAL

16 5 BEWITCHED - BILL SNYDER & HIS ORCHESTRA - TOWER

13 6 MY FOOLISH HEART - GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 7 7 SENTIMENTAL ME - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 - 8 MY FOOLISH HEART - BILLY ECKSTINE - MGM

- 9 HOOP-DE-HOO - PERRY COMO - RCA

11 10 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - MILLS BROTHERS - DECCA

 2 11 MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC! - TERESA BREWER - LONDON

 - 12 BEWITCHED - GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 - 13 SENTIMENTAL ME - RUSS MORGAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 - 14 DEARIE - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

 - 15 WANDERIN' - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 - 16 DEARIE - JO STAFFORD & GORDON MACRAE - CAPITOL

 - 17 I WANNA BE LOVED - ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 - 18  MY FOOLISH HEART - MINDY CARSON - RCA

 - 19 ROSES - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

12 20 GO TO SLEEP, GO TO SLEEP, GO TO SLEEP - MARY MARTIN AND ARTHUR GODFREY - DECCA

 

R&B TOP 10 MAY 1950

1 MISTRUSTIN' BLUES - LITTLE ESHER WITH MEL WALKER AND THE JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

 2 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE, THE ROBINS AND LITTLE ESTHER - SAVOY                   

 3 I NEED YOU SO - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 4 WHY DO THINGS HAPPEN TO ME - ROY HAWKINS - MODERN                  

 5 PINK CHAMPAGNE - JOE LIGGINS AND HIS HONEYDRIPPERS - SPECIALTY               

 6 I ALMOST LOST MY MIND - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 7 CRY, CRY BABY - ED WILEY - SITTIN'                 

 8 IT ISN'T FAIR - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

 9 MY BABY'S GONE - CHARLES BROWN - ALADDIN                 

10 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

 

 

C&W TOP 10 MAY 1950

 1 LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 2 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

 3 LET'S GO TO CHURCH (NEXT SUNDAY MORNING) - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 4 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 5 LITTLE ANGEL WITH THE DIRTY FACE - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 6 BIRMINGHAM BOUNCE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 7 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 8 HILLBILLY FEVER - LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS - COLUMBIA

 9 WHY SHOULD I CRY? - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 10 PETER COTTONTAIL - GENE AUTRY - COLUMBIA

 

 

JUNE 1950

 

For the second successive month the top two singles in the USA were versions of the theme from the Orson Welles movie 'The Third Man' by its Austrian composer and zither player Anton Karas and "champagne music" superstar, accordion player Lawrence Welk and his Orchestra - although his version spotlights guitarist Don Rodney.  It is claimed that the combined sales of every version of this tune, which was based loosely on a practice piece in a zither tutor book, are close to 40 million. With the money that transatlantic chart topper Anton amassed from this hit, amongst other things, he opened his own café/wine bar in Vienna aptly named 'The Third Man'. In third position for June was another one-hit wonder artist Bill Snyder a pianist from Chicago with his magic keyboard interpretation of 'Bewitched' . Seven versions of the song from Rodgers & Hart's 1941 musical Pal Joey charted in the USA in 1950 (oddly no versions reached the Top 20 when it was first around) including vocal versions by Doris Day, Mel Torme and the Gordon Jenkins Orchestra's rendition which featured singer Mary Lou Williams. The songs popularity was one of the reasons that the musical returned to Broadway for a successful run in 1952.

 

In the month that the Korean War started (it did not end until July 1953, by which time over two million people had died) , other hot hits in the USA included two versions of 'Sentimental Me' by The Ames Brothers and trombonist/pianist and Orchestra leader Russ Morgan. It was the last of 28 Top 10 hits for Morgan, who had first scored in 1935. Incidentally, the Ames Brothers first tasted chart success as vocalists on Russ Morgan's 1948 hit 'I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover'.

 

Not only was Doris Day "bewitched, bothered and bewildered" in 1950, she was also busy. She filmed four movies and had six hits including her rendition of the oft-charted polka 'Hoop-De-Hoo', which joined Perry Como and Kay Starr's versions in the Top 20,and of course 'Bewitched', the lyrics of which had been homogenised somewhat from the Broadway original show version.

 

R&B news - As if to celebrate the birth of Stevie Wonder, 'Pink Champagne', popped to the top of the R&B chart by Joe Liggins (a place it held for 13 weeks). Singer and guitarist Archibald (born Leon Gross) hit the R&B Top 10 with 'Stack-A-Lee', which told the tale of a gun-happy gambler and had a beat and sound reminiscent of later West Indian Ska/Blue Beat. The song became a transatlantic Top 10 hit for fellow New Orleans R&B star Lloyd Price in 1959 under the name 'Stagger Lee' . Chess Records issued their first singles, one of which was 'Rollin' Stone' by Muddy Waters - a song which a later British group named themselves after . Among the new releases was the interestingly named Erline 'Rock And Roll' Harris with 'Jump & Shout'. Also selling well was the original hit version of the much recorded R&B standard, 'Everyday I Have The Blues', by Liggins' fellow Oklahoma native, Lowell Fulson and his eight man band, which according to a review that month "featured blind piano sensation Ray Charles".

 

Country chatter. Red Foley's re-working of Hardrock Gunter's hep 'Birmingham Bounce' (with its many allusions to rockin') topped the C&W chart. His recording of 'M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I' was also red hot (amongst the pop cover versions was surprisingly one by Ella Fitzgerald) and Foley's tasty 'Choc'late Ice Cream Cone' was far from cold. Also clicking with a cowboy jive jumper was Little Jimmy Dickens with 'Hillbilly Fever'. Columbia Records were exited about their new signing Carl Smith who this month joined the Grand Ole Opry - he went on to be one of the top acts of the decade and the first husband of June Carter (Cash).

 

UK Happenings - Launch parties for new acts were very rare and so EMI must have thought a lot of new signing Frankie Vaughan.. The three time chart topping song 'You'll Never Walk Alone' surfaced for the first time, and never even made the bottom of the sheet music chart…One of the most successful radio shows of the early 1950s, Educating Archie, was first heard. Providing the musical background for Peter Brough and Archie Andrews' show were the Hedley Ward Trio. Interestingly, Hedley himself never performed in the act. It was also the month when the first albums were released in Britain by Decca Records and when glam rockers Noddy Holder and Suzi Quatro were born.

 

Top of the UK Pops - Yet again 'My Foolish Heart' topped the sheet music best sellers chart for the whole month, while newcomers to the Top 10 of that chart were 'I Remember The Cornfields', the Billy Cotton favourite 'Two On A Tandem', the touching 'Daddy's Little Girl' which was the song that launched Frankie Vaughan's career and the haunting American hit 'Bewitched'.

 

 


TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR JUNE 1950                                         

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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 1 1 THE THIRD MAN THEME - ANTON KARAS - LONDON

 2 2 THE THIRD MAN THEME - GUY LOMBARDO AND HIS ROYAL CANADIANS - DECCA

 5 3 BEWITCHED - BILL SNYDER & HIS ORCHESTRA - TOWER

 7 4 SENTIMENTAL ME - AMES BROTHERS - CORAL

 9 5 HOOP-DE-HOO - PERRY COMO - RCA

 6 6 MY FOOLISH HEART - GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

17 7 I WANNA BE LOVED - ANDREWS SISTERS - DECCA

 8 8 MY FOOLISH HEART - BILLY ECKSTINE - MGM

12 9 BEWITCHED - GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 3 10 IT ISN'T FAIR - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 - 11 BEWITCHED - DORIS DAY - COLUMBIA

13 12 SENTIMENTAL ME - RUSS MORGAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA - DECCA

 - 13 MONA LISA - NAT 'KING' COLE - CAPITOL

 - 14 COUNT EVERY STAR - HUGO WINTERHALTER AND HIS ORCHESTRA AND CHORU - RCA

18 15 MY FOOLISH HEART - MINDY CARSON - RCA

19 16 ROSES - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

 - 17 HOOP-DEE-HOO - KAY STARR - CAPITOL

 4 18 IF I KNEW YOU WERE COMIN' I'D'VE BAKED A CAKE - EILEEN BARTON - NATIONAL

15 19 WANDERIN' - SAMMY KAYE (SWING AND SWAY WITH) - RCA

10 20 DADDY'S LITTLE GIRL - MILLS BROTHERS - DECCA

 

R&B TOP 10 JUNE 1950

  1 PINK CHAMPAGNE - Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers - SPECIALTY               

 2 I NEED YOU SO - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

 3 WELL, OH WELL - TINY BRADSHAW - KING                    

 4 MISTRUSTIN' BLUES - LITTLE ESHER WITH MEL WALKER AND THE JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

 5 CUPID'S BOOGIE - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

 6 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

 7 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE The Robins and Little Esther - SAVOY                   

 8 WHY DO THINGS HAPPEN TO ME - ROY HAWKINS - MODERN                  

 9 CRY, CRY BABY - ED WILEY - SITTIN'                  

10 MY BABY'S GONE - CHARLES BROWN - ALADDIN                 

 

 

C& W TOP 10 JUNE 1950

 1 BIRMINGHAM BOUNCE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 2 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

 3 LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 4 WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 5 M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 6 LET'S GO TO CHURCH (NEXT SUNDAY MORNING) - MARGARET WHITING & JIMMY WAKELY - CAPITOL

 7 WHY SHOULD I CRY? - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 8 HILLBILLY FEVER - LITTLE JIMMY DICKENS - COLUMBIA

 9 I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 10 CHATTANOOGIE SHOE-SHINE BOY - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 

 

JULY 50

For a third successive month Austrian zither player Anton Karas headed the US best sellers. After a two year absence from the top end of the US chart, 'Mona Lisa' put a smile back on the face of Nat 'King' Cole. The Oscar winning Jay Livingston & Ray Evans ballad came from the Alan Ladd film Captain Carey, USA, and when it hit No.1 Nat was headlining at the London Palladium. Seven versions charted in the US with only the one by Victor Young's Orchestra (with vocals by Don Cherry) also making the Top 10. You may recall that Conway Twitty returned to the Top 10 with a hard rocking rendition of the song in 1958. The last post sounded for Patty, Maxine and Laverne, The Andrews Sisters, whose many hits included 'Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy'. One of the century's best loved girl groups scored their final Top 10 hit with 'I Wanna Be Loved' (which featured Patty Andrews). The song, which came from a 1934 revue called Casino De Paris, was also in the Top 10 by Billy Eckstine.

 

At times this month, orchestra leader Gordon Jenkins had three singles in the Top 10 and four in the 20. Two of these were with folk music pioneers The Weavers who had the fastest moving single of the time with the double sided smash 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena' . Incidentally, The Weavers also released a second version of the latter song sung in Hebrew and recorded without Jenkins' orchestra. Other notable records entering the month's US Top 20 were Kay Starr's treatment of Pee Wee King's knee slapping country composition 'Bonaparte's Retreat', and the double sided hit, ''Sam's Song'/''Play A Simple Melody' from the "young groaner", Gary Crosby. Gary was joined on the record by a "friend" who sounded just like his dad, Bing.  They were accompanied on both tracks by Matty Matlock's Dixieland Band. Among the artists releasing their first singles this month was Tony Bennett, whose 'The Boulevard Of Broken Dreams' narrowly missed the chart. On the album front the Ralph Flanagan Orchestra moved to the top with their 'Plays Rogers & Hammerstein II For Dancing' LP.

 

On the R&B scene, the fastest moving single was the Dinah Washington version of The Andrews Sisters' pop hit 'I Wanna Be Loved'. Rock related R&B releases included 'Rock Me Baby' by Great Gates', 'Rockin' Rhythm' by Pee Wee Barnum and 'We're Gonna Rock (We're Gonna Roll') by Nashville's Cecil Gant, whose biggest success 'I Wonder' was recorded in 1967 by Aretha Franklin. At the same time, veteran band leader Tiny Bradshaw's wild blues jumper, 'Well, Oh Well', was selling by the bucket load. The first annual R&B Jubilee was held at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. with headliners including Jimmy Witherspoon, Roy Milton, Helen Humes, Roy Hawkins and Joe Lutcher. Other news included Ruth Brown re-signing with Atlantic, Louis Armstrong celebrating his 50th birthday and The Orioles receiving a 1950 Cadillac from their label along with $50,000 in royalties.

 

One of Hank Williams' all time greats, 'Long Gone Lonesome Blues' (, made its Top 10 debut as did Liverpool (Canada) born Hank Snow, who was enjoying the first of his 42 C&W hits in the decade, 'I'm Movin' On'. This foot tapper, later revived by Ray Charles and Steppenwolf's John Kay, was the top country record of the 1950s holding the No. 1 position for a staggering 21 weeks. Its success persuaded Snow to settle in Nashville. Eddy Arnold, whose 'Make The World Go Away' was a transatlantic million seller in 1965, had four singles in this month's C&W Top 20 and three in the Top 10 (including the month's highest jumper 'Cuddle Buggin' Baby'). Incidentally, both Arnold and Hank Snow were managed by Colonel Tom Parker, who later handled Elvis' business affairs. Other C&W news included Hank Thompson signing to Capitol, while future song writing superstar Boudleaux Bryant (all those Everly Brothers' hits) joined the Georgia based Peanut Faircloth Band, and future singing sensation Johnny Cash joined the air force.

 

UK news this month included the formation of the first Chris Barber Band, the birth of Richard Branson and the launch of Andy Pandy on TV. Topping the UK sheet music chart was 'Bewitched' which had picked up local cover versions from headliners like Eve Boswell, harmonica player Ronald Chesney (of 'Educating Archie' fame) and Victor Silvester. Debuting on the Sheet Music chart were such favourites as 'Silver Dollar', 'Candy & Cake', ''If I Were A Bluebird' (made famous by whistling wonder Ronny Ronalde) and 'If I Loved You'. The unofficial record sales chart showed three No.1s this month: Nat Cole's 'Mona Lisa', Les Campagnons De Chanson's rendition of 'The Three Bells' (a 1959 gold record for The Browns) and pianist Joe 'Fingers' Carr's take on 'Sam's Song'.

 

 


TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR JULY 1950                                        

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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 1 1 THE THIRD MAN THEME - Anton Karas - LONDON

13 2 MONA LISA - Nat 'king' Cole - CAPITOL

 7 3 I WANNA BE LOVED - Andrews Sisters - DECCA

 2 4 THE THIRD MAN THEME - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 9 5 BEWITCHED - Gordon Jenkins And His Orchestra - DECCA

 4 6 SENTIMENTAL ME - Ames Brothers - CORAL

 5 7 HOOP-DE-HOO - Perry Como - RCA

 - 8 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 3 9 BEWITCHED - Bill Snyder & His Orchestra - TOWER

 - 10 I WANNA BE LOVED - Billy Eckstine - MGM

 6 11 MY FOOLISH HEART - Gordon Jenkins And His Orchestra - DECCA

11 12 BEWITCHED - Doris Day - COLUMBIA

14 13 COUNT EVERY STAR - Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra And Choru - RCA

 - 14 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 8 15 MY FOOLISH HEART - Billy Eckstine - MGM

12 16 SENTIMENTAL ME - Russ Morgan And His Orchestra - DECCA

- 17 BONAPARTE'S RETREAT - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

 - 18 NOLA - Les Paul - CAPITOL

 - 19 PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 - 20 SAM'S SONG - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 

 

R&B TOP 10 JULY 1950

1  1 PINK CHAMPAGNE - Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers - SPECIALTY               

 5 2 CUPID'S BOOGIE - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                    

3  3 WELL, OH WELL - TINY BRADSHAW - KING  

- 4 HARD LUCK BLUES - ROY BROWN - DELUXE                 

2  5 I NEED YOU SO - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                     

-  6 I WANNA BE LOVED - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                  

4  7 MISTRUSTIN' BLUES - LITTLE ESHER WITH MEL WALKER AND THE JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

6  9 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

 - 9 MONA LISA - NAT 'KING' COLE - CAPITOL                  

7  10 DOUBLE CROSSING BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS QUINTETTE The Robins and Little Esther - SAVOY                   

 

 

 

C&W TOP 10 JULY 1950

 4  1 WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 2  2 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

5   3 M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I - RED FOLEY - DECCA

-   4 CUDDLE BUGGIN' BABY - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

1   5 BIRMINGHAM BOUNCE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

-   6 LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

-   7 THROW YOUR LOVE MY WAY - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

-   8 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

7   9 WHY SHOULD I CRY? - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

-  10 LITTLE ANGEL WITH THE DIRTY FACE - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 


AUGUST 50

 

Many people thought Gordon Jenkins was a potential basket-case when he told them that folk group The Weavers would be commercially successful. However, Jenkins was proved spectacularly right, and the group that included noted singer/composers Pete Seeger and Lee Hayes, saw both sides of their debut disc, 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena' crash into the Top 5 and sell over two million copies in the US alone. Nat 'King' Cole's biggest selling single 'Mona Lisa' was still well placed in the chart gallery, and Gary and Bing's rendition of "that happy tune you loved to croon " 'Sam's Song', which earned Bing his 21st gold disc,  completed the Top 3.

 

'Sam's Song' was also in the US Top 20 this month by Joe 'Fingers' Carr. Honky tonk pianist Carr was better know as Lou Busch whose orchestra had backed such noted recording acts as Kay Starr and (his future wife) Margaret Whiting. After Columbia's A&R head Mitch Miller had tried and failed to sign up The Weavers, his orchestra charted with a cover of their hit rendition of the fast paced Israeli folk song 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena', as did an earlier Miller protégé Vic Damone, who had been voted Most Promising Male Vocalist by US radio DJs.  It seemed everyone wanted to say 'Goodnight' to 'Irene'. Frank Sinatra was wishing her pleasant dreams, as were country stars Red Foley & Ernest Tubb , and R&B band leader Paul Gayten (with help from the Coleman Brothers) also serenaded her . For the record, the oft-recorded opus started life as a blues song written and performed by the legendary Huddie 'Leadbelly' Ledbetter - whose catalogue of songs was regularly raided by British skiffle groups later in the 1950s. Sadly, Leadbelly died penniless just months before this hit. Few people noticed that folk-flavoured Harlem based vocalist Harry Belafonte, moved from Capitol to Jubilee Records - it would take a move to RCA in 1956 to bring him to the public's attention. 45 rpm singles, which had been launched by RCA were now challenging 78s in the USA with 55 labels now releasing singles in that format, and special 45 rpm juke boxes were starting to appear. RCA's major rivals Decca and Columbia were also finally joining the bandwagon and Decca were even manufacturing a special 45rpm record player. Over on the album chart it was the Soundtrack to the Betty Hutton and Howard Keel film Annie Get Your Gun that shot to the top.

 

Hank held off Hank at the top of the C&W chart for the month, but Mr. Snow would soon replace Mr. Williams at the top, and his 'I'm Moving On' would go on to become the longest running country chart topper of all time and one of the many singles tagged "The first rock'n'roll hit". Interestingly, Snow's label RCA initially did not think the track had much potential and so it started life as a b-side! Pat Boone's famous father-in-law Red Foley had three tracks in the month's Top 10, with the aforementioned duet with Ernest Tubb, 'Goodnight Irene' , being the highest new entry. Among the month's interesting new C&W releases was pioneering rockabilly act Moon Mullican's rendering of the pop smash 'Mona Lisa'.

 

R&B from R.B.'s - Roy Brown, who penned the r'n'r standard 'Good Rockin' Tonight' in 1948, scored the month's No.1 R&B chart with the morbid 'Hard Luck Blues' , on which he was backed by the Griffin Brothers Orchestra. It was the last chart topper for the man who greatly influenced James Brown and many other later performers. Also heading for the No.1 slot for the last time, was the No.1 R&B artist of the 1940s, Louis Jordan, with the jumping 'Blue Light Boogie', penned by L.A. school teacher Jesse Mae Robinson (who went on to be one of the most successful R&B/pop composers of the decade).  Standing at No. 11 for the month was saxophonist Lynn Hope's take on 'Tenderly' which helped lay the foundations for blue beat and ska. New Orleans legend, Roy Byrd (better known as Professor Longhair), the singer/pianist who Fats Domino owes a nod to, had his biggest hit with 'Bald Head' (originally entitled 'She Ain't Got No Hair'). Among the most interesting new releases were Little Richard's mentor, Billy Wright, with 'Man's Brand Boogie' and Wild Bill Moore with 'Hey Spo-Dee-O-Dee'.

 

Top of the UK pops - 'Bewitched" continued to keep the UK sheet music buyers in a spell and stayed at the top throughout August. Over on the unofficial singles chart Bill Snyder's version of that haunting song replaced 'Sam's Song' by Joe 'Fingers' Carr at No. 1. and kept Frank Sinatra's 1945 recording of 'If I Loved You', from the musical Carousel, off the top. Among the songs entering the month's best selling sheet music lists were 'Once In A While', 'Have I Told You Lately That I Love You' and ' Sentimental Me'.

 


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TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR AUGUST 1950                                        

 

PREV THIS                                 

MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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14 1 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weavers - DECCA

 2 2 MONA LISA - Nat 'king' Cole - CAPITOL

20 3 SAM'S SONG - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

19 4 PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 8 5 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weavers - DECCA

 3 6 I WANNA BE LOVED - Andrews Sisters - DECCA

17 7 BONAPARTE'S RETREAT - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

 1 8 THE THIRD MAN THEME - Anton Karas - LONDON

 5 9 BEWITCHED - Gordon Jenkins And His Orchestra - DECCA

18 10 NOLA - Les Paul - CAPITOL

 - 11 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Vic Damone - MERCURY

 4 12 THE THIRD MAN THEME - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 - 13 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Mitch Miller And His Orchestra & Chorus - COLUMBIA

13 14 COUNT EVERY STAR - Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra And Chorus - RCA

 - 15 CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN? (NO, NO, NO!) - Ames Brothers - CORAL

 - 16 SAM'S SONG - Joe 'Fingers' Carr - CAPITOL

 - 17 LA VIE EN ROSE - Tony Martin - RCA

10 18 I WANNA BE LOVED - Billy Eckstine - MGM

 - 19 MONA LISA - Victor Young And His Orchestra & Chorus And Don Cherry - DECCA

6 20 SENTIMENTAL ME - Ames Brothers - CORAL

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R&B TOP 10 AUGUST 1950

4 1 HARD LUCK BLUES - ROY BROWN - DELUXE 

1  2 PINK CHAMPAGNE - Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers - SPECIALTY               

2  3 CUPID'S BOOGIE - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

3  4 WELL, OH WELL - TINY BRADSHAW - KING                    

8  5 MONA LISA - NAT 'KING' COLE - CAPITOL                 

-  6 BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE - ParTS 1 & 2 - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                   

-  7 I LOVE MY BABY - LARRY DARNELL - REGAL                   

4  8 I NEED YOU SO - IVORY JOE HUNTER - MGM                      

7  9 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

5  10 I WANNA BE LOVED - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

               

 

C&W TOP 10 AUGUST 1950

 1   1 WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

8   2 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

2   3 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

4   4 CUDDLE BUGGIN' BABY - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 3  5 M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 7  6 THROW YOUR LOVE MY WAY - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

-   7 GOODNIGHT, IRENE - RED FOLEY & ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

 -  8 ENCLOSED ONE BROKEN HEART - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

6   9 LONG GONE LONESOME BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

5  10 BIRMINGHAM BOUNCE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

 

SEPT 50

 The top three acts remained the same in the US this month with the odes to Irene and Mona Lisa hanging on to the top two slots and Gary & Bing Crosby's rendering of the Irving Berlin World War I favourite 'Play A Simple Melody' replacing their 'Sam's Song' at No. 3. Incidentally, Nat Cole was not initially keen to cut 'Mona Lisa', the song that sold three million copies by him, as he thought the title was not very commercial!

 

Newcomers to the US Top 20 included Frank Sinatra's treatment of 'Goodnight Irene' and Frankie Laine's revival of Tommy Dorsey's 1938 chart topper 'Music, Maestro Please' and the beautiful ballad 'No Other Love' by ex Tommy Dorsey Orchestra vocalist Jo Stafford. The latter was based on Chopin's 'Etude In E Major' and had lyrics by Stafford's husband, musical director Paul Weston. The chart also welcomed 'Our Lady Of Fatima', which mixed religion and patriotism, by Richard Hayes & Kitty Kallen. When rock'n'roll helped bring an early end to balladeer Hayes' career (he was voted second Most Promising Male Vocalist of 1950 by US DJs) he became a DJ, and even replaced Alan Freed as the host of The Big Beat in 1959! There was also room for another duet on the chart, Kay Starr & Tennessee Ernie's pop/country crossover hit  'I'll Never Be Free' - which, although not free, cost only $215 to record. Incidentally, Tennessee Ernie did not add the surname Ford to his recordings until 1954. Also, in the month that soap rationing ended in the UK, the British war-time song 'Harbor Lights' started to clean up in the US by Sammy Kaye. It was the last big hit for the band leader who had kept America 'Swinging & Swaying' since the late 1930s. Kaye was no stranger to sea-slanted songs having hit with 'All Ashore', 'White Sails', 'Harbor Of Dreams' ,'The White Cliffs Of Dover' and the unforgettable 'Remember Pearl Harbor'. Incidentally, 'Harbor Lights' lit up the American hit parade ten years later, thanks to The Platters.

 

The battle between 45rpm vs 33rpm singles and albums (or should we say RCA vs Columbia) still raged, with Columbia claiming one million 33rpm album sales in the month - although quietly they were increasing he number of 45rpm singles they released. New to the top of the US album chart this month was the Soundtrack album from the Fred Astaire and Red Skelton starrer Three Little Words, which included Gloria DeHaven singing 'Who's Sorry Now', a song that Connie Francis took to the top in 1958.

 

Louis Jordan, who more than any other 1940s performer is credited with laying the foundation stone for rock'n'roll, had his last R&B No. 1 with 'Blue Light Boogie'. Jordan, whose music greatly influenced Bill Haley and Chuck Berry, was, of course. the subject of the hit 1990s musical, Five Guys Named Moe. You couldn't say it was a colourless R&B Top 10 with 3 Blues Titles 2 Blue and a Pink - with the month's highest new entry being 'Blue Shadows' which gave legendary blues man Lowell Fulson his biggest hit. R&B news included The Ravens being sued by Savoy Records after joining Columbia for a noteworthy $15000, while still signed to Savoy. Screaming female fans were reported at shows by rival vocal group The Orioles, whose new release was 'I'd Rather Have You Under The Moon'. Other interesting releases included 'I Was Under The Impression' by the youthful Little Sylvia Vanderpool (later known for her records in Mickey & Sylvia and as Sylvia on Sugarhill), 'Crazy Bout My Honey Dip' by The Cap-Tans, 'No Home Blues' by Doc Pomus (who later wrote a string of rock and pop hits with Mort Shuman) and Amos Milburn introduced us to a new dance The Scrunch in 'Sax Shack Boogie'. There was also the tale of the waitress from Old Joe's Lunch Room, 'Dirt Dishing Daisy', by Steve Gibson & The Red Caps and a smooth jazz styled revival of the standard 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' by newcomer Harry Belafonte. Other new items included Miles Davis getting arrest on drug charges - a story that was front page news in the Melody Maker - and singer/songwriter and pianist Nellie 'Hurry On Down' Lutcher setting off on a two month tour, which would include two weeks at the London Palladium.

 

If Nat Cole though that 'Mona Lisa' was an unlikely hit title, how about the most talked about new country song of the month, 'Cincinnati Dancing Pig'? Red Foley's label Decca really thought that they had another 'Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy' on their hands, and planned cover versions by several of their top Pop acts. Other labels and artist also thought the song would bring home the bacon, but the ode to the barnyard Mr. Big was only a small hit. Singer/songwriter Stuart Hamblen was selling a lot of records in country areas with his composition '(Remember Me) I'm The One Who Loves You', which Dean Martin turned to gold in 1965. It was Hamblem who wrote and originally recorded the oft-recorded chart topper 'This Ole House'. Interesting new patriotic country releases included 'Let's Keep The Communists Out' by Terry Preston and 'Korea, Here We Come' by Harry Choates.

 

Top of the UK pops - moving to the top of the sheet music lists was the much-recorded catchy 'Silver Dollar' which sold well by American Eve Young & The Homesteaders and was arguably most heard on UK radio by Marie Benson & The Stargazers. Also selling a lot of music were the big US hits 'Mona Lisa', 'Goodnight Irene' and 'Tzena, Tzena, Tzena', with Mitch Miller's version of the latter heading the unofficial record sales chart. 

 

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TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR SEPTEMBER 1950                                        

 

PREV THIS                                  

MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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 1 1 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 2 2 MONA LISA - Nat 'king' Cole - CAPITOL

 4 3 PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 3 4 SAM'S SONG - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 5 5 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 7 6 BONAPARTE'S RETREAT - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

15 7  CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN? (NO, NO, NO!) - Ames Brothers - CORAL

10 8 NOLA - Les Paul - CAPITOL

 - 9 NO OTHER LOVE - Jo Stafford - CAPITOL

 - 10 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - Kay Starr And Tennessee Ernie - CAPITOL

 - 11 OUR LADY OF FATIMA - Richard Hayes & Kitty Kallen - MERCURY

19 12 MONA LISA - Victor Young And His Orchestra & Chorus And D - DECCA

 - 13 ALL MY LOVE (BOLERO) - Patti Page - MERCURY

14 14 COUNT EVERY STAR - Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra And Choru - RCA

 6 15 I WANNA BE LOVED - Andrews Sisters - DECCA

 - 16 HARBOR LIGHTS - Sammy Kaye (swing And Sway With) - COLUMBIA

11 17 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Vic Damone - MERCURY

17 18 LA VIE EN ROSE - Tony Martin - RCA

 - 19 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Frank Sinatra - COLUMBIA

 - 20 MUSIC, MAESTRO, PLEASE - Frankie Laine - MERCURY

=====================================================================

 

 

 

R&B TOP 10 SEPTEMBER 1950

 

1    1 HARD LUCK BLUES - ROY BROWN - DELUXE

6   2 BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE - ParTS 1 & 2 - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                    

2 3 PINK CHAMPAGNE - Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers - SPECIALTY               

-  4 BLUE SHADOWS - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

5  5 MONA LISA - NAT 'KING' COLE - CAPITOL                 

3  6 CUPID'S BOOGIE - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

-  7 DECEIVIN' BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

4  8 WELL, OH WELL - TINY BRADSHAW - KING                    

 9 9 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME                

7  10   I LOVE MY BABY - LARRY DARNELL - REGAL                   

 

C& W TOP 10 SEPTEMBER 1950

2    1 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

7   2 GOODNIGHT, IRENE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

1   3 WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

3   4 I'LL SAIL MY SHIP ALONE - MOON MULLICAN - KING

4  5 CUDDLE BUGGIN' BABY - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

-   6 CINCINNATI DANCING PIG - RED FOLEY - DECCA

6   7 THROW YOUR LOVE MY WAY - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

-   8 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - STUART HAMBLEN - COLUMBIA

8   9 ENCLOSED ONE BROKEN HEART - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

-  10 I'LL NEVER BE FREE -  KAY STARR & TENNESSEE ERNIE - CAPITOL

 

OCTOBER 1950

 

For the third month in a row the top three acts on the US singles chart remained the same, the only difference being that Gary & Bing Crosby's 'Sam's Song' pushed its b-side, 'Play A Simple Melody', into the No. 4 position. Chart toppers, The Weavers, who helped inspire both the UK skiffle craze and US folk boom of the late 1950s and early 1960s, were politically blacklisted shortly afterwards for alleged communist sympathies. This did not do any lasting harm to group leader Pete Seeger, who was still playing to appreciative audiences in the 21st century.

 

Completing the Top 5 was 'I'll Never be Free', which was penned by George David Weiss (writer of the 1993 transatlantic chart topper for UB40, 'Can't Help Falling In Love'). It was Tennessee Ernie (Ford)'s first Top 5 pop entry, and singing partner Kay Starr's only country charter. The month's highest new entry was the debut hit by singer/actor Dean Martin with 'I'll Always Love You' , from the very popular Martin & Lewis movie My Friend Irma Goes West - which it later transpired was not about his screen partner of the time, Jerry Lewis. Also debuting in the US Top 20 was Perry Como's paean to the colleen 'Patricia' - the song coming from the pen of Benny Davis whose better known compositions include 'Baby Face', 'Carolina Moon' and 'With These Hands'.

 

Songs for the whole family - In the month that the star of the first 'talkie', Al Jolson, died,  one of his greatest admirers, Eddie Fisher, was voted Most Promising Male Singer in an American DJ poll. Jolson, often called the best entertainer of the 20th century, is best remembered for hits like 'My Mammy' and 'Sonny Boy' and Fisher is perhaps best known for his 1954 hit 'Oh! My Pa-Pa'. Russian born Jolson, died in San Fransisco where he had gone to make an appearance on Bing Crosby's TV show. He died from malaria, which he had picked up when entertaining the troops in Africa. He left a reported $4.5 million in his will.

 

The popular radio show 'Your Hit Parade' was seen for the first time on US TV - where it ran successfully until spring 1959. One of the most performed songs in its early TV years was 'Harbor Lights' (a hit at the time for both Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo) which was featured 29 times. A little less fanfare was given to the launch of a new 15 minute radio show, 'Red, Hot & Blue', which was hosted by Dewey Phillips on WHBQ in Memphis, Tennessee. The early rock'n'roll show by the DJ known as "Daddy-O" pre-dated Alan Freed's similar programme. Dewey is best known as the first DJ in the world to play an Elvis Presley track (That's All Right').

 

 

Pioneering R&B legend Louis Jordan moved to the top spot with his 'Blue Light Boogie Pts 1 & 2' in which he extolled the virtues of boogying "real slow with the blue lights way down low". The highest new entry of the month came from Joe Morris' Orchestra with their slow groover 'Anytime, Any Place, Anywhere' which featured the vocals of (Little) Laurie Tate, who could be called Atlantic Records' answer to Little Esther (Phillips).  Tate's debut disc was so popular that it became the first Atlantic single to be released on both 78 and 45 rpm records. Unlike Esther though, Laurie could not take the pace of life on the road, and after just two years she quit the music business. Other newcomers to the month's R&B Top 10 were Roy Brown's 'Love Don't Love Nobody' (which James Brown later revived) and Dinah Washington's distinctive rendering of the pop hit song 'I'll Never Be Free'. Interesting new R&B releases included 'It's A Sin' by Ivory Joe Hunter (later cloned by Elvis), 'Street Walking Daddy' from Margie Day and The Orioles gave their unique treatment to 'Goodnight Irene'. There were also the pioneering 'I'm Gonna Have Myself A Ball' by Tiny Bradshaw, 'Rock Mr. Blues' by Wynonie Harris and Roy Brown told us about his baby who liked a ride in the rockin' 'Cadillac Baby' - if these ain't rock'n'roll……

 

Hank Snow had no intention of moving on from the top spot on a country Top 10 which welcomed its highest new entry, 'Love Bug Itch" at No.2. The latter song, which told us about the skin complaint that "made the poor feel rich" was Eddy Arnold's third entry in the Top 10. Country news included the fact that Cousin Ike Everly & Family (which included his 13 and 11 year old sons Don & Phil) had a live show on KMA radio in Shenandoah and Don Gibson recorded his first tracks for RCA.   

 

Top of the UK Pops  -  as the month drew to a close 'Silver Dollar' was replaced at the top of the UK sheet music chart by 'Goodnight Irene' - two numbers that certainly would have been huge karaoke favourites at the time, had there been such a thing! Entering the sheet music lists on it's way to No.1 was a new novelty Christmas song that had topped the US lists a year earlier, 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' alongside 'Home Cookin' (made popular by Bob Hope) and the Disney song ' Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo' from Cinderella. Heading the unofficial record sales chart as the month closed were The Weavers and Gordon Jenkins' version of 'Goodnight Irene' with Nat 'King' Cole's 'Mona Lisa' in runner-up slot. News items from the UK included the appearance of newcomer David Whitfield on the new Radio Luxembourg show 'A Date With Steve Race' and the arrival in the UK of the Deep River Boys for a 10 week run at the London Palladium - a record for a US act.  

 

 

 

 

 

 


====================================================================

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR OCTOBER 1950                                         

 

PREV THIS                                 

MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 1 1 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 2 2 MONA LISA - Nat 'king' Cole - CAPITOL

 4 3 SAM'S SONG - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 3 4 PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

10 5 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - Kay Starr And Tennessee Ernie - CAPITOL

16 6 HARBOR LIGHTS - Sammy Kaye (swing And Sway With) - COLUMBIA

 6 7 BONAPARTE'S RETREAT - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

13 8 ALL MY LOVE (BOLERO) - Patti Page - MERCURY

 7 9 CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN? (NO, NO, NO!) - Ames Brothers - CORAL

11 10 OUR LADY OF FATIMA - Richard Hayes & Kitty Kallen - MERCURY

 - 11 I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU - Dean Martin - CAPITOL

 9 12 NO OTHER LOVE - Jo Stafford - CAPITOL

18 13 LA VIE EN ROSE - Tony Martin - RCA

 - 14 THINKING OF YOU - Don Cherry - DECCA

 5 15 TZENA, TZENA, TZENA - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

20 16 MUSIC, MAESTRO, PLEASE - Frankie Laine - MERCURY

 - 17 HARBOR LIGHTS - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 - 18 ALL MY LOVE ("BOLERO") - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 - 19 PATRICIA - Perry Como - RCA

 - 20 ORANGE COLORED SKY - Nat 'king' Cole And Stan Kenton - CAPITOL

=====================================================================

 

 

R&B TOP 10 OCTOBER 1950

2  1 BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE - ParTS 1 & 2 - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                   

4  2 BLUE SHADOWS - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

1   3 HARD LUCK BLUES - ROY BROWN -DELUXE

- 4 ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE - Joe Morris And His Orchestra featuring Laurie Tate - ATLANTIC                

-  5 LOVE DON'T LOVE NOBODY - ROY BROWN - DELUXE                  

7  6 DECEIVIN' BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

3  7 PINK CHAMPAGNE - Joe Liggins And His Honeydrippers - SPECIALTY               

8  8 WELL, OH WELL - TINY BRADSHAW - KING                    

-  9 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - DINAH WASHINGTON - MERCURY                 

9  10 EVERYDAY I HAVE THE BLUES - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

 

C&W TOP 10 OCTOBER 1950

 1  1 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

-   2  LOVEBUG ITCH - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

6   3 CINCINNATI DANCING PIG - RED FOLEY - DECCA

2   4 GOODNIGHT, IRENE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

8   5 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - STUART HAMBLEN - COLUMBIA

10   6 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

5   7 CUDDLE BUGGIN' BABY - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

3   8 WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

-   9 MONA LISA - MOON MULLICAN - KING

9  10 ENCLOSED ONE BROKEN HEART - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

 

 

NOVEMBER 1950

 

"Irene" finally said goodbye to the No.1 place in the US, and steaming into the top berth was 'Harbor Lights' by Sammy Kaye. The song was composed by Austrian born William Grosz and Irishman Peter Kennedy, who also penned the similarly successful sea shanty "Red Sails In The Sunset". Sammy's orchestra was not the only one to be riding the crest of a wave with this song, as Guy Lombardo's version was also in the Top 5 sellers of the month. For the record, Tony Alamo handled vocal chores on Sammy's single while Kenny Gardner sang on Guy's hit. Patti Page, one of the most successful female singers of the decade, stood at No. 3 this month with the first chart topper of her career, 'All My Love', penned by Mitchell Parish, the composer of the then most recorded song of all time, 'Star Dust'. Patti's rendering of a song that started life in France under the title 'Bolero', easily outsold versions by such notables as Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Percy Faith and the aforementioned Guy Lombardo. The hit, which headed the Airplay chart for five weeks, helped Patti pick up the award for Most Promising Female Vocalist of the Year.

 

Climbing the chart were two versions of a Nat Skilkret hit from 1928, 'Thinking Of You', which was originally featured in the musical The Five O'Clock Girl. The song, which had previously been adopted as the theme song for the very popular Kay Kyser Orchestra, was now heard in the Bert Kalmar & Harry Ruby biopic, Three Little Words. It gave early 50s heartthrob Eddie Fisher his first solo hit with his fifth RCA release, although his recording was outpaced by the Don Cherry rendition. Incidentally Fisher, who had more US Top 10 hits in the 1950s than any other RCA act (and that includes Elvis and Perry Como), later married Debbie Reynolds, one of the stars of Three Little Words.

 

New US Top 20 entries included Perry Como & Betty Hutton's take on 'A Bushel And A Peck' from the popular musical Guys And Dolls, a catchy song which would not make its mark in the UK until 1953 when the show opened there. Also scoring was musical director Paul Weston, with an unnamed mixed vocal group, with his waxing of another popular song from Three Little Words, the 1931 success 'Nevertheless (I'm In Love With You)', and bandleader-cum-film star and Radio/TV personality Phil Harris whose novelty hit 'The Thing' became one of the year's biggest sellers. Most of the biggest hits were now available on both 78rpm and 45rpm discs in the USA, and this month Seeburg launched their first 45rpm juke box, while an industry survey showed that 78rpm records now only accounted for only 60% of US sales.

 

A glance at the R&B chart showed that there was a new chart topper, 'Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere' by Joe Morris (featuring Little Laurie Tate). It was not only the first No.1 for the bandleader from Montgomery, Alabama, it was also the first for Atlantic Records. There were also six new entries in the R&B Top 10 that month led by Percy Mayfield's moving 'Please Send Me Someone To Love'. Percy penned the song for hot bluesman Jimmy Witherspoon, but when he did not show up at the session, Mayfield recorded it himself. Percy later worked a lot with Ray Charles and wrote his chart topping 'Hit The Road Jack'.

 

Atlantic's second No.1 came very shortly afterwards with 'Teardrops From My Eyes' by the label's most successful singer of the decade, Ruth Brown, which held off all competition for 11 weeks. The song was covered by such diverse artists as cowboy movie actor Rex Allen, jazz man Louis Prima, actress June Hutton and relative newcomer Bill Haley. Making its debut this month was one of chart fixture Amos Milburn's biggest sellers 'Bad Bad Whiskey', which reportedly went on to sell over 500,000 copies.

 

R&B news included the death of Orioles vocalist Tommy Gaither in a car crash in Baltimore, when two other members of the group were injured. The Orioles played a benefit show for Gaither's family, and were quickly back on the road with Ralph Williams replacing him. The group's current release was the ironically titled 'Can't Seem To Laugh Anymore'. A battle of the bands at the noted Avalon Ballroom in L.A. pitted Bullmoose Jackson against Lowell Fulson. Hot new releases included Louis Jordan & Ella Fitzgerald's late cover of 'I'll Never Be Free', The Johnny Otis show record 'Rocking Blues' (which had more blues than rock input) and The Ray-O-Vacs' double sided hit 'You Got To Love Me Baby Too'/'Besame Mucho'  which, like a lot of their releases, seemed to only feature lead vocalist Lester Harris - who died in early 1953, when aged just 33.

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Texan Lefty Frizzell, one of the most distinctive and influential C&W singers of all time, had the highest new entry in the C&W Top 10 with his self-penned debut hit, 'If You've Got The Money I've Got The Time', which has since became a country standard. Other interesting new entries included Ernest Tubb's cover of the Stuart Hamblen hit '(Remember Me) I'm The One Who Loves You' - a song later turned to gold by Dean Martin - and Red Foley's rendering of Richard Hayes & Kitty Kallen's religious pop hit 'Our Lady Of Fatima', which came complete with a moving monologue. One of the most interesting country releases of the month was Arkie Shibley original recording of 'Hot Rod Race' (he released five different sequels to it!), which no doubt influenced Chuck Berry's first hit 'Maybellene'.

 

Top of the UK pops - replacing 'Irene' at the summit of the UK Sheet Music chart was last year's big US Christmas hit 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer'. Western movie hero Gene Autry's original recording not only pranced up the British chart, but also returned Gene to the US charts this year and again in 1951,1952 and 1953 earning him a very shiny disc. The song was recorded by over 60 artists in its first six years with total sales of 18 million copies (8 million of these by Gene), putting it alongside Bing's 'White Christmas' as the biggest seller of the pre rock'n'roll years. Newcomers to the Sheet Music Top 10 included 'Autumn Leaves', 'Orange Coloured Sky' and 'Christmas In Killarney', the latter being a best seller by the Four Ramblers, and was the first record to feature their new vocalist, Val Doonican. New on the radio this month was the family sitcom 'Life With The Lyons' (it ran for 10 years and had 309 shows), which included future hitmaker Barbara Lyons, while on TV, teenager Petula Clark introduced us to Pet's Parlour. Soon afterwards Pet was named Female TV Personality of the Year in the Daily Mail poll (which was regarded as the official national poll at the time).

 

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TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR NOVEMBER 1950                                        

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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 6 1 HARBOR LIGHTS - Sammy Kaye (swing And Sway With) - COLUMBIA

 1 2 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

 8 3 ALL MY LOVE (BOLERO) - Patti Page - MERCURY

 5 4 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - Kay Starr And Tennessee Ernie - CAPITOL

17 5 HARBOR LIGHTS - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 2 6 MONA LISA - Nat 'king' Cole - CAPITOL

14 7 THINKING OF YOU - Don Cherry - DECCA

 3 8 SAM'S SONG - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

 4 9 PLAY A SIMPLE MELODY - Gary Crosby & Friend - DECCA

20 10 ORANGE COLORED SKY - Nat 'king' Cole And Stan Kenton - CAPITOL

 - 11 NEVERTHELESS (I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) - Paul Weston - COLUMBIA

 9 12 CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN? (NO, NO, NO!) - Ames Brothers - CORAL

 7 13 BONAPARTE'S RETREAT - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

19 14 PATRICIA - Perry Como - RCA

 - 15 A BUSHEL AND A PECK - Perry Como And Betty Hutton - RCA

 - 16 THINKING OF YOU - Eddie Fisher - RCA

11 17 I'LL ALWAYS LOVE YOU - Dean Martin - CAPITOL

10 18 OUR LADY OF FATIMA - Richard Hayes & Kitty Kallen - MERCURY

18 19 ALL MY LOVE ("BOLERO") - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 - 20 THE THING - Phil Harris - RCA

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R&B TOP 10  NOVEMBER 1950

 

4  1 ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE - Joe Morris And His Orchestra featuring Laurie Tate - ATLANTIC                

-  2 PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE TO LOVE - PERCY MAYFIELD - SPECIALTY               

2  3 BLUE SHADOWS - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

-  4 TEARDROPS FROM MY EYES - RUTH BROWN - ATLANTIC                

5  5 LOVE DON'T LOVE NOBODY - ROY BROWN - DELUXE                  

1  6 BLUE LIGHT BOOGIE - ParTS 1 & 2 - LOUIS JORDAN AND HIS TYMPANY FIVE - DECCA                   

-  7 BAD, BAD WHISKEY - AMOS MILBURN - ALADDIN                 

-  8 WEDDING BOOGIE - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA - SAVOY                   

-  9 MILLION DOLLAR SECRET - HELEN HUMES - MODERN                  

- 10 SHOTGUN BLUES - LIGHTNIN' HOPKINS - ALADDIN                 

 

C&W TOP 10 NOVEMBER 1950

 

1   1 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

2   2 LOVEBUG ITCH - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

5   3 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - STUART HAMBLEN - COLUMBIA

6   4 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

-   5 IF YOU'VE GOT THE MONEY I'VE GOT THE TIME - LEFTY FRIZZELL - COLUMBIA

3   6 CINCINNATI DANCING PIG - RED FOLEY - DECCA

4   7 GOODNIGHT, IRENE - RED FOLEY - DECCA

-   8 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

-   9 OUR LADY OF FATIMA - RED FOLEY - DECCA

-  10 MOANIN' THE BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM 

 

 

DECEMBER 1950

 

"Get outta here with that boom, boom, boom" were the words everybody seemed to be singing in the weeks around Christmas 1950, and it was the multi-talented Phil Harris' personality packed rendition of 'The Thing', the song the line came from, that topped the US chart, leaving versions by such notables as Danny Kaye, Teresa Brewer and The Ames Brothers in its wake. Everyone wondered what 'The Thing' that caused some much uproar actually was - on his later record 'Oh, What A Face', Phil told us, it seems it was a photo of an ugly woman that caused such mayhem! Younger readers may remember Phil better as the voice of Baloo the bear in Disney's Jungle Book movie. Entering the month's Top 20 at No. 2 was Patti Page's double-tracked revival of country bandleader/composer Pee Wee King's 1948 C&W best seller 'Tennessee Waltz' - which is said to be the biggest selling single ever by a female solo artist, with total sales in excess of 10 million. Not bad for a track that stated out as the b-side to her cover of Mabel Scott's R&B song 'Boogie Woogie Santa Claus'. Like Bing Crosby's 'White Christmas', chances are that the version of 'Tennessee Waltz' that you know is not the original hit rendering but a later re-recording.

 

The next two places were taken by the versions of 'Harbor Lights' from Sammy Kaye and Guy Lombardo - which, at times, docked in the No. 1 & 2 chart slots. The song was now also available by the aforementioned Bing, whose version has a definite Hawaiian feel thanks to the addition of Lyn Murray's Orchestra . Bing had a handful of singles on the market this month including Patti Page's hit 'All My Love'', the re-recorded 'White Christmas', 'A Crosby Christmas' (with his four sons) and his rendition of 'Rudolph The Red- Nosed Reindeer" - which Gene Autry returned to the Top 10. Bing was also topping the album chart with his seasonal favourite 'Merry Christmas' - the sixth successive year it had headed the charts. Making his chart debut was one of the decade's most successful recording artists, Guy Mitchell, who opened his chart account with the of-recorded tear-jerker 'My Heart Cries For You'  which outsold versions by such chart regulars as Dinah Shore, Vic Damone, Victor Young, Jimmy Wakely, Al Morgan and Red Foley. The story goes that the song was intended to be cut by Frank Sinatra, but he refused to "cut that crap". The melody of the song originated In France, and it thought by some to have been co-written by Marie Antoinette! Veteran hitmakers the Mills Brothers' interpretation of 'Nevertheless' joined the Paul Weston version on the chart. Co-incidentally, the song had first surfaced in 1931, the same year that the Brothers had their first hit with 'Tiger Rag' topped the best sellers. Another much recorded number at the time was the jumping Louis Prima composition 'Oh, Babe', which entered the pop lists first by Kay Starr.

 

The price of singles went up from 75 cents to 85 cents and a survey showed that US singles sales in 1950 were the highest since 1947. RCA records stopped making 45 rpm albums and joined Columbia and others by producing 33rpm LPs, and King Records became the last of the major indie labels to start producing 45rpm singles.

 

Over on the R&B chart, two versions of 'Oh, Babe' surfaced in the Top 10 by Larry Darnell and Jimmy Preston. The song, which included the ahead of its time line, "you knock it and you rock it",  also attracted R&B recordings by Wynonie Harris, Roy Milton, Lucky Millinder and the Ravens lead vocalist Jimmy Ricks. The most rocking rendition was the one by Preston, who in 1949 had first recorded 'Rock The Joint' which Bill Haley later had success with. Topping the R&B Top 10 for the month was 'Teardrops From My Eyes' performed by a singer who was still playing to full houses in the 1990s, Ruth Brown.  Specialty Records (later the home of Little Richard) had their biggest seller to date with Percy Mayfield's 'Please Send Me Someone To Love' - it was reported that the label were so pleased with Mayfield's 200,000 sales, that they tore up his contract and gave him a new one with double the royalty! The other new R&B hits were Fats Domino's slow pounder 'Every Night About This Time', The Ray-O-Vacs' smoochy update of 'Besame Mucho' and Little Esther's Christmas message to her soldier boy in Korea 'Far Away Blues' - released, as ever, under the Johnny Otis Show banner. Among the noteworthy new releases were the Four Tunes up-tempo take on the C&W classic 'Cool Water', The Cap-Tans' rockin' 'Chief, Turn The Hose On Me' and Piano Red's (Willie Perryman) 'Rockin' With Red' (later recorded by Little Richard as 'She Knows How To Rock Me'). The latter record, which was not released in the UK until 1952, was advertised as "The rocky record you can roll to". You may know Piano Red better as Dr. Feelgood - the name he recorded under during the 1960s. Out in the West Indies it was reported that DJ Machuk in Kingston Jamaica was talking over records he was playing, which helped give birth to "toasting", an essential part of the later blue beat and ska scenes.

 

The latest single from Hank William's, the up tempo 'Moanin' The Blues' which perhaps owed a little to his earlier 'Lovesick Blues', almost made Hank Snow move on from the top of the C&W chart. New on the C&W Top 10 were Mr. Snow's fast moving train song 'The Golden Rocket', the ground breaking rockabilly-styled 'Shotgun Boogie' from Tennessee Ernie and, after introducing 'Rudolph' to us the previous year, Gene Autry was hot with a new Christmas chum, 'Frosty The Snowman'. Among the interesting new C&W singles that month was 21 year old June Carter's version of the pop No. 1 'The Thing'.

 

In the UK, 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' arrived a year after he had in the USA and topped the Best Selling Sheet Music chart over the festive period. The song was based on the children's story character, which was first introduced in 1939 by author Robert L. May, and Gene's version was later inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame. Entrants in the UK sheet music charts included US hits 'The Thing' and 'All My Love' as well as 'The Petite Waltz', 'Sleigh Ride' and '(Down At) The Ferry Boat Inn', the latter being made popular by UK acts The Tanner Sisters (who later toured the UK with Buddy Holly) and the Beverly Sisters. The unofficial UK record chart for December showed Bing's rendition of 'Rudolph' replacing Mel Blanc's cartoon inspired novelty 'I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat' at the top, with Bing's 'White Christmas' and Nat 'King Cole's 'Frosty The Snowman' not far behind. Incidentally, Nat was joined on his version by The Singing Pussycats (a group that could have inspired David Seville to form The Chipmunks).

 

 

TOP 20 US SINGLES FOR DECEMBER 1950                                        

 

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MNTH MNTH TITLE     ARTIST (FROM) LABEL     

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20 1 THE THING - Phil Harris - RCA

 - 2 THE TENNESSEE WALTZ - Patti Page - MERCURY

 1 3 HARBOR LIGHTS - Sammy Kaye (swing And Sway With) - COLUMBIA

 5 4 HARBOR LIGHTS - Guy Lombardo And His Royal Canadians - DECCA

 7 5 THINKING OF YOU - Don Cherry - DECCA

15 6 A BUSHEL AND A PECK - Perry Como And Betty Hutton - RCA

 3 7 ALL MY LOVE (BOLERO) - Patti Page - MERCURY

 - 8 RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER - Gene Autry - COLUMBIA

11 9 NEVERTHELESS (I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) - Paul Weston - COLUMBIA

 - 10 NEVERTHELESS (I'M IN LOVE WITH YOU) - Mills Brothers - DECCA

16 11 THINKING OF YOU - Eddie Fisher - RCA

- 12 MY HEART CRIES FOR YOU - Guy Mitchell - COLUMBIA

 4 13 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - Kay Starr And Tennessee Ernie - CAPITOL

 - 14 OH, BABE - Kay Starr - CAPITOL

 2 15 GOODNIGHT IRENE - Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra And The Weaver - DECCA

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R&B TOP 10 DECEMBER 1950

 

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4    1 TEARDROPS FROM MY EYES - RUTH BROWN - ATLANTIC                

1    2 ANYTIME, ANYPLACE, ANYWHERE - Joe Morris And His Orchestra featuring Laurie Tate - ATLANTIC                

2  3 PLEASE SEND ME SOMEONE TO LOVE - PERCY MAYFIELD - SPECIALTY               

7  4 Bad, Bad Whiskey - AMOS MILBURN - ALADDIN                  

-  5 Oh Babe! - LARRY DARNELL - REGAL                   

3  6 BLUE SHADOWS - LOWELL FULSON - SWINGTIME               

-  7 OH BABE - JIMMY PRESTON - DERBY                   

-  8 EVERY NIGHT ABOUT THIS TIME - FATS DOMINO - IMPERIAL                

-  9 FAR AWAY BLUES - JOHNNY OTIS ORCHESTRA WITH LITTLE ESTHER & MEL WAL - SAVOY                   

- 10 BESAME MUCHO (KISS ME MUCH) - RAY-O-VACS - DECCA                   

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C&W TOP 10 DECEMBER 1950

 

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1   1 I'M MOVING ON - HANK SNOW - RCA

10   2 MOANIN' THE BLUES - HANK WILLIAMS - MGM

 5  3 IF YOU'VE GOT THE MONEY I'VE GOT THE TIME - LEFTY FRIZZELL - COLUMBIA

-   4 THE GOLDEN ROCKET - HANK SNOW - RCA

2   5 LOVEBUG ITCH - EDDY ARNOLD - RCA

3   6 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - STUART HAMBLEN - COLUMBIA

8   7 (REMEMBER ME) I'M THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU - ERNEST TUBB - DECCA

4   8 I'LL NEVER BE FREE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

-   9 THE SHOT GUN BOOGIE - TENNESSEE ERNIE FORD - CAPITOL

*-  10 FROSTY THE SNOWMAN - GENE AUTRY - COLUMBIA

 

1951 - MONTH BY MONTH - WILL GO UP SHORTLY