Top Ten Tuesday: WAAF (950 AM, Chicago), 10/13/56

I had an interesting experience when I went out to the ARSA site: I found several surveys for today in 1956 from stations in the Chicago area. The bad news was that there was only a top 5 for each of them. I’ll go with the most interesting one.

WAAF was one of the very early radio stations, getting its start in April 1922. It held a number of positions on the AM dial, but by 1956 had settled at 950. They were owned by The Chicago Daily Drover’s Journal with offices and studios at the Union Stockyards on the South Side (not far from where Mary grew up and where we lived after we got married). The fire at the Stockyards in 1934 destroyed the station, but they were soon back on the air, broadcasting from the Palmer House Hotel in the downtown area. In 1948, they moved to the LaSalle-Wacker Building in the downtown area close to the Chicago River, and they adopted a jazz format in 1956. Here’s their Top 5 from October 13, 1956.

# Song/Artist Comments
5 Soft Summer Breeze
Eddie Heywood
Eddie Heywood was from Atlanta, the son of Eddie Heywood, Sr., who was also a jazz pianist. “Soft Summer Breeze” peaked at #11 on the Hot 100; he would have better luck with “Canadian Sunset,” also one of his compositions.
4 Song For A Summer Night
Mitch Miller
Mitch was one of the key figures in music in the ’50’s and ’60’s. In addition to being a performer and orchestra leader, he was the head of A&R at Columbia Records. “Song for a Summer Night” peaked at #8 on the Hot 100.
3 Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love)
Pat Boone
I said about this last week, “Pat was incredibly successful in the ’50’s and early ’60’s. I think he still holds the record for most consecutive weeks with a record on the Hot 100. This was the theme song for the 1956 movie of the same name that starred Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire and Anthony Perkins, and Pat’s version reached #5 nationally.”
2 Namely You
Geordie Hormel and Rosalie
A popular song from the 1956 play Li’l Abner. I found lots of covers of this song, but not the one by Geordie Hormel and Rosalie, so I’ve substituted the one from the 1959 movie, sung by Peter Palmer as Abner and Leslie Parrish (dubbed).
1 Miracle of Love
Ginny Gibson
Ginny Gibson, a/k/a Virginia Nelso, a/k/a “Ginny Blue,” was a prolific singer. That’s really all I can say.

And that’s our abbreviated Top Ten Tuesday for October 13, 2020.

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