Two For Tuesday: The Chordettes (Baby Boom Years)

My Uncle Jack commented yesterday that he remembered all the songs from yesterday and especially liked “Mister Sandman.” That had me searching for more songs by the group, and finally I decided, if I was going to do that much work, I’d go ahead and feature them today.

From Sheboygan, Wisconsin, The Chordettes were inspired to do close harmony by member Jinny Osborn’s father, O. H. “King” Cole, who was the president of SPEBSQSA (Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America), now known as The Barbershop Harmony Society. As we talked about yesterday, they had a huge hit in 1954 with “Mister Sandman,” which topped the charts in the US that year (as well as #11 in the UK). In all, the had nine Top 40 hits, including four Top Ten singles, between 1954 and 1963.

Their next Top Ten hit was 1956’s “Born To Be With You,” which reached #5 in the US and #8 in the UK.

Their second-biggest hit was 1958’s “Lollipop.” It reached #2 nationally, #3 on the R&B chart, and #6 in the UK. This is a karaoke version that was based on a TV appearance; Andy Williams provides the “pop”s.

The Chordettes appeared on the first national showing of American Bandstand on August 5, 1957. Their last Top 40 hit was 1961’s “Never On Sunday,” from the movie of the same name. Here’s a list of all their singles, most of which are available on YouTube.

The Chordettes, your Two For Tuesday, October 17, 2017.

8 thoughts on “Two For Tuesday: The Chordettes (Baby Boom Years)

  1. I know them! Well, I know the songs but I never knew their name so this was fun to listen to. The video with the gals shows some poor lip syncing which is interesting since I thought this seemed to be the thing 8n thelate ā€˜60s and ā€˜70s.

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    1. I think someone might have redubbed the singing and not quite gotten everything lined up, but even so, there are a couple of flubs here. The video was from 1958, I think, so TV was just starting to do lip-syncing. By the late ’60’s bands had pretty well gotten it down to a science. Of course, you could tell their instruments weren’t plugged in and that guitar players were really just going through the motions and not really playing what you were hearing…

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  2. I remember this stuff, because my mother and her cousins all played it. I loved it! That is until my babysitters got me listening to The Stones and other rock, as well as folk-rock. Thanks, John!

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