Five For Friday: Random Instrumentals From The ’50’s

Simple one today: five instrumentals from the ’50’s, including a couple of novelty tunes.

  1. The Boston Pops, "Look Sharp, Be Sharp": A song used in many Gillette commercials and sports broadcasts well into the ’60’s. From 1954.

  2. Leroy Anderson, "The Typewriter": Leroy Anderson was known for his light orchestral compositions, most famously "Sleigh Ride." This is probably his second most popular compositions. The Boston Pops did a lot of his songs and were probably the orchestra here. From 1958.

  3. The Nairobi Trio, "Solfeggio": This was a feature of The Ernie Kovacs Show in the ’50’s, where three members of the cast (Ernie, his wife Edie Adams, and usually the guest of the week) would do this sketch. The song "Solfeggio" was written by Robert Maxwell, and in this case is another example of an instrumental with human voices. In this case, they’re singing the sol-fa syllables (i.e. do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti).

  4. Dicky Do & The Don’ts, "Nee Nee Na Na Na Na Nu Nu": A rockin’ instrumental from 1958, where the title is recited several times during the song.

  5. Dick Hyman Trio, "Hi-LiLi, Hi-Yo": From 1956, from the movie Lili starring Leslie Caron.

And that’s Five For Friday for June 18, 2021.

10 thoughts on “Five For Friday: Random Instrumentals From The ’50’s

  1. Hi John – I’ve not heard these … but so much fun – thanks for letting us know about them. Cheers Hilary


      1. Instrumentals are made for that big band approach…more than rock I would say. You can go more places anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. The public TV station in Chicago got hold of the kinescopes from the old series and was running them back in the ’70’s. Kovacs was way ahead of his time. Sid Caesar and Jackie Gleason were a couple more.


  2. Oh, I don’t recall the first one but enjoyed it. I always had a soft spot for the typewriter song and wonder how many kids know what that sound is. Love Ernie Kovacs, who died too young and had such a tough time to see his kids. His comedy is what one may call zany and I love it. The next one made me laugh and I had a fun time taking it in. I know the last one well but this version is done more like one is at the circus which fits.

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    1. You can still get typewriters, believe it or not, although I think they’re just keeping them around for the oldtimers. Kovacs, Sid Caesar, and Jackie Gleason all got into that zany comedy, as did Lucy. I think we need more of it, except I’m sure someone would be offended…


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