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.

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

16 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: Top Ten Hits From 1954”

  1. I’m surprised that I actually know two of the songs in your list: Hernanado’s Hideaway & Three Coins In The Fountain. 50s music is not my cup of tea, but sometimes I seem to know things that I don’t even know I know. ‘Ya know?

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    1. Surprised me, too. I heard Hernando’s Hideaway and recognized it immediately. One of those “So THAT’S what it is!” moments. My folks used to listen to that kind of music all the time and I think that’s where I picked it up.

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  2. I had to listen to a few of these to make sure I knew them–the KItty Kallen song was new to me, but the others I remembered. I can recall my parents taking my sister and I to see the film Three Coins in a Fountain. Most of these songs received frequent play in our house either on the radio or on a record.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  3. I remember all of these songs very vividly. This was the year your mother and father were married and the year I went into the Army. “Hey There” and “Secret Love” we’re probably my favorites. “Sh-Boom” was a lot of fun.

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