As I’ve said many times before, the things you learn in this job. The list I built early on when I started this series came up with the name Sammy Kaye, who I had never heard of. It might have something to do with his not having a hit record after 1952, or it might be because his heyday came much earlier, before World War II. I had heard the tagline “Swing And Sway With Sammy Kaye” before, though.
According to The Blogger’s Best Friend, Sammy Kaye’s orchestra was one of the “sweet” bands of the Big Band Era, and I think you’ll understand what that means after you hear today’s songs. He was a hit at the record store and on the radio, and hosted several TV shows in that medium’s early days, on three of the four networks (DuMont was the odd one out). Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, he and Don Reid wrote “Remember Pearl Harbor”, which he recorded and released on December 17, 1941, which rose to #3 in 1942. The tune was actually lifted from Ohio University’s alma mater.
One of his first #1 singles in the Baby Boom era was 1946’s “The Old Lamp-Lighter.” Billy Williams (not the Chicago Cubs’ outfielder during the 1960’s) did the vocal.
Sammy’s signature tune was “Harbor Lights,” which he released as a single in 1950. It topped the chart that year.
Shortly before his death in 1987, Sammy turned the reins of the orchestra over to Roger Thorpe, his longtime friend and music professor at SUNY New Paltz. Roger continues to lead the orchestra, according to their website.
Sammy Kaye, your Two For Tuesday, December 5, 2017.