The Friday 5×2: Top 10 From 2SM, 5/17/63

Last week, I had so much fun with the survey from Los Angeles, I decided to go a little further south and west. Almost 7500 miles south and west, to Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. I found a survey for radio station 2SM from May 17, 1963, 55 years and one day ago, on a site that’s bound to become one of my favorites, ARSA – The Airheads Radio Survey Archive. Their survey includes a few American songs, but mostly songs from Australia and Great Britain. Hope you like it.

  1. Rob E. G., “Jezebel” Robie Porter, who had been recording under the stage name Rob E. G. since 1959, specialized in instrumental hits played on the lap steel guitar. A year after this was recorded, Brian Epstein convinced Rob to move to England. More recently, he has produced albums for a number of British and Australian artists, including Tommy Emmanuel.
  2. Gene Pitney, “Mecca” Speaking of Gene Pitney, which we were earlier this week, he had a hit in Sydney with this record. It climbed to #7 on the Australian chart and was a #12 in the US.
  3. Jay Justin, “Proud Of You” Jay Justin was a “shoe salesman-cum-pop singer,” according to the site Rate Your Music, who first hit the Australian charts with “Why Don’t You Try” in 1961. “Proud Of You” was his biggest hit, going all the way to #1 in Australia. It was released in the US, but didn’t get much airplay here (remember, those were the payola days here).
  4. Mel Tormé, “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” The Velvet Fog wraps his vocal folds around a Vince Guaraldi song that didn’t have lyrics until Carel Werber wrote them.
  5. The Chantays, “Pipeline” Surfing is hot around Sydney, from what I remember, so it stands to reason that surf music would be popular as well. This was The Chantays’ only hit anywhere, but it’s considered one of the great surf records.
  6. Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “Summer Holiday” Sir Cliff and Hank Marvin and crew had a #1 hit in the UK with this, and it reached #3 in Australia as well. Naturally, it failed to chart in the US.
  7. Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff, The Magic Dragon” I remember hearing my brother Jim singing this in his sleep when we were on vacation in 1963. That’s how big a hit this was. It was #2 in the US; while I don’t have any information on its chart performance in Australia, we can assume that it was as big there. Leonard Lipton, who wrote the original poem, and Peter Yarrow, who set it to music, pinky-swear this has nothing to do with dope. Uh huh…
  8. Peggy March, “I Will Follow Him” The song was originally recorded by Franck Pourcel as the instrumental “Chariot,” which he and Paul Mauriat wrote. Norman Gimbel wrote the English lyrics to it, and Little Peggy March had a #1 hit with it in both the US and Australia. The movie Sister Act imparted a whole new meaning to it.
  9. The Shadows, “Foot Tapper” Hank Marvin & The Shadows are another of those bands that’s enormously popular in the UK and practically unheard of in the US (unless you’re a fan of instrumental rock played on Fender Stratocasters). This was a #1 in the UK and #2 in Australia.
  10. Bill Justis, “Tamouré” Bill was best known for his song “Raunchy”. “Tamouré” was his biggest hit in Australia, but didn’t chart in the US, except in Chicago, where it reached #7 on WLS’s Silver Dollar Survey.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for May 18, 2017.

The Friday 5×2: Top Ten Hits From 1954

You’re probably wondering “how the H-E-double hockey sticks did John come up with this one?”

Normally, when I do one of these survey posts, I either look at Oldiesloon or The Blogger’s Best Friend to find the survey and then run out to YouTube and build the playlist. This time, I went to Pinterest, where I find a lot of surveys from different cities, and saw there were several that shared the Top 10 from 1954. It was as though Pinterest was speaking to me. Then I remembered that my parents were married in 1954, and that settled it.

All of the songs in today’s playlist come courtesy of YouTube user MusicProf78, who has loaded a fantastic amount of music from 1929 through 1964 out there. His work will come in handy with my next series on Two For Tuesday. If you like this kind of music, why not subscribe to his channel?

#10: Archie Bleyer, “Hernando’s Hideaway” The song was written by Jerry Ross and Richard Adler for the Broadway musical The Pajama Game. Bleyer’s was the most successful recording of the song, reaching #2 on the Billboard chart in 1954. I’d like to think it’s because of the maracas…
#9: Doris Day, “Secret Love” The song is from the 1953 film Calamity Jane, where it was introduced by the lovely Miss Day. It was written by Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster. The song was released in October 1953, reached the Top 20 in January 1954, and reached #1 in February. The song was nominated for and won an Academy Award that year.
#8: The Four Aces, “Three Coins In The Fountain” Written by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn for the 1954 film of the same name starring Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, and Louis Jourdan. Frank Sinatra’s recording reached #1 in the UK, while The Four Aces’ record reached #1 in the US. They were backed by the Jack Pleis Orchestra.
#7: The Four Knights, “I Get So Lonely (Oh Baby Mine)” Written in 1953 by Pat Ballard, The Four Knights’ record was the most successful, reaching #3 in the US and #4 in the UK.
#6: Eddie Fisher, “O My Papa” A German Song (“O, Mein Papa”) written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard in 1939 for the musical Der Schwarze Hecht (The Black Pike). Eddie’s recording, backed by the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra, reached #1 in the US and made the Top 10 in the UK, while trumpeter Eddie Calvert’s reached #1 in the UK and the Top 10 in the US. Calvert’s was the first #1 recorded at Abbey Road Studios, while Fisher married Debbie Reynolds the following year.
#5: Jo Stafford, “Make Love To Me” This song was written by Bill Norvas, Alan Copeland, and the New Orleans Rhythm Kings (Leon Rappalo, Ben Pollack, George Brunies, Mel Stitzel, and Walter Melrose). It was based on the 1923 song “Tin Roof Blues” by the aforementioned New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Miss Stafford’s version was released in late 1953 and the #1 spot on the chart alternated between it and Doris Day’s “Secret Love,” above.
#4: The Crew-Cuts, “Sh-Boom” Sometimes called “Life Could Be A Dream,” this was written by James Keyes, Claude Feaster, Carl Feaster, Floyd F. McRae, and James Edwards of the R&B group The Chords, who also recorded it and saw it reach #1 in 1954. The Crew-Cuts were a Canadian quartet, and judging by their picture on Wikipedia, none of them actually had a crew cut.
#3: Rosemary Clooney, “Hey There” The second song from The Pajama Game to make 1954’s Top 10, which should tell you something. It was introduced by John Raitt (Bonnie’s dad) in the show. Sammy Davis Jr. had a recording around the same time that reached #16, but Miss Clooney’s was the one to reach #1. Son Miguel was born early in 1955, in case you were wondering…
#2: Perry Como, “Wanted” Written by Jack Fulton and Lois Steele, Perry recorded this in late 1953, accompanied by Hugo Winterhalter’s Orchestra (again), and it reached #1 in April and spent eight weeks there.
#1: Kitty Kallen, “Little Things Mean A Lot” Written in 1953 by Edith Lindeman and Carl Stutz, Miss Kallen had a #1 in the US (on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts) for nine weeks starting in June 1954, and also reached #1 in the UK.

Hope you enjoyed this flashback to 1954. That’s The Friday 5×2 for August 25, 2017.