Two For Tuesday: Bing Crosby (The Baby Boom Years)

Bing Crosby was already an established artist when the Baby Boom Years began in 1946, and had at least 35 hits on the Billboard and Cash Box charts over the period. Surprisingly, he had just two #1 songs over that period (and one was the perennial “White Christmas,” first released in 1942), but was a regular in the Top Ten over those years.

“Now Is The Hour (Maori Farewell Song)” was Bing’s other #1 song. It reached #1 in January 1948 and remained there for 23 weeks.

Bing’s last Top Ten hit was 1956’s “True Love,” which he sang with Grace Kelly. From the film High Society, it was written by Cole Porter and became a hit in September, approximately five months after Ms. Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco. It rose to #3 on the charts and was nominated for an Academy Award, losing to “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera).”

Bing started focusing his efforts on TV in the early Fifties, and his production company (Bing Crosby Productions), affiliated first with Desilu then with CBS Television Studios, produced a few shows, including Ben Casey and Hogan’s Heroes. His last popular song was the famous 1977 duet with David Bowie, “The Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth,” which was released as a single in 1982 and became a #3 hit in the UK that year.

Bing Crosby, your Two For Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

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Two For Tuesday: Perry Como (Baby Boom Years)

Joanna, over at Christmas TV History, shared some pictures last Saturday of her trip to Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, which as we all know was the home town of two great singers who both fit into this theme, Perry Como and Bobby Vinton. I’ve profiled both of them before here on Two For Tuesday, but that was several years ago. So, let’s do them again.

Perry Como recorded 150 singles and 38 albums from 1943 to 1987, won five Emmys, a Christoper Award and a Peabody Award (shared with Jackie Gleason), and has three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his contributions to music, radio and TV. Not bad for a barber from a small town.

Perry recorded “If (They Made Me A King)” in 1951, and it reached #1 on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts and spent six weeks there, earning him a gold record.

He had a hit with “Wanted” in 1954. It reached #1 on both the Billboard and Cash Box charts and spent 8 weeks there, earning another gold record.

It’s difficult to pick just two songs from a catalog as extensive as Perry Como’s, and I suspect that will be a common problem throughout this series. MusicProf78 has posted many more on YouTube. Enjoy!

Perry Como, your Two for Tuesday, September 12, 2017.

Two For Tuesday: Doris Day (The Baby Boom Years)

Today we start a new series here on Two for Tuesday: The Baby Boom Years, 1946-1964. Like I did with the music from my high school years, I’ll be looking at the charts for those years and determining who had the most hits on the yearly Top 100 and reporting on them. In order to come up with my working lists, I’ll be relying on the research of TSort.info, a site created by Steve Hawtin and others which might be the most comprehensive list I’ve found of music charts (and he and crew have done yeoman service gathering and sorting the data and coming up with a worldwide Top 100 for every year since 1900). Steve says that, if I find the site helpful, I can show my appreciation by making a contribution to my local cerebral palsy organization. If you enjoy this series, why not do the same?

I’m going to have to wing it for a couple of weeks while I gather the data and analyze it, but let’s start with someone I should have mentioned while we were discussing Chanteuses, but didn’t: Doris Day. Ms. Day is still with us, having turned 95 last April 3, but retired from acting in 1973 after the cancellation of The Doris Day Show after five years. Her last single was “Sorry” in 1967, and her last album, My Heart was released in 2011. The preceding album, The Love Album, was recorded in 1967 but wasn’t released until 1994.

Her first #1 hit during this period was the standard “Love Somebody,” which she recorded in 1947 with Buddy Clark. It had been written earlier that year by Joan Whitney and Alex Kramer. It reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart in 1948, stayed there for five weeks, and went gold.

One of Ms. Day’s most famous songs, 1956’s “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be),” only reached #2 in the US but reached #1 in the UK. It was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans that year and it was featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much, which starred Ms. Day and James Stewart; it won the Academy Award for Best Song (as “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)”) that year. It was the theme song for her 1968-1973 sitcom and became her signature song.

Doris Day appeared in 39 feature films from 1948 to 1968, with her first role being the lead in 1948’s Romance On The High Seas, where she replaced Betty Hutton. She was in three films with Rock Hudson, 1959’s Pillow Talk, 1962’s Lover Come Back, and 1963’s Send Me No Flowers. Maybe my favorite of her films was 1960’s Please Don’t Eat The Daisies with David Niven.

She was married four times and had one son, Terry, with her first husband Al Jorden. Terry was adopted by her third husband, Richard Melcher, to whom she was married from 1951 until his death in 1968. Terry died from melanoma in 2004. (Wear sunscreen!)

She’s an animal lover who has started several animal-rights organizations, including Actors and Others For Animals (1971), The Doris Day Pet Foundation (now the Doris Day Animal Foundation) (1978) and the companion Doris Day Animal League (1987), which merged into the Humane Society of the United States in 2006. Most recently, she started the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center in Texas in 2011 to help abused and neglected horses. Obviously, one key to her longevity is staying busy.

Doris Day, your Two for Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

Two For Tuesday: #1 – The Carpenters (High School Days)

During my high school days (June 1970-September 1974), Karen and Richard Carpenter dominated the airwaves, and spent a whopping 71 weeks in the Top Ten. They were one of the early Two For Tuesdays, and as I said then, “A lot of times you don’t realize how much you like a group’s music until many years later.”

Ten of their songs reached the Top Ten over the period, but oddly only two of them peaked at #1. The first was “(They Long To Be) Close To You,” a song written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Released in May 1970, it reached the Top Ten on July 11 and was the #1 song in the country two weeks later. It spent a total of eleven weeks in the Top Ten.

Their other #1 was “Top Of The World,” a country-pop song written by Richard Carpenter and John Bettis. From their 1972 album A Song For You, they hadn’t intended on releasing it as a single until Lynn Anderson recorded the song in June 1973 and it rose to #2 on the Billboard Country Singles chart. They released their version on September 19, it entered the Top Ten on November 10 and reached #1 on December 1, spending two weeks there. It spent eight weeks in the Top Ten.

The Carpenters, your Two For Tuesday, August 29, 2017. And, that’s a wrap on the “High School Days” theme. Next week, we start a new series, “The Baby Boom Years: 1946-1964.”

Two For Tuesday: #2 (tie) – Three Dog Night (High School Days)

I’ve written about Three Dog Night a lot here. They were the subject of a whole series here, them and the songwriters that wrote their biggest hits, last summer. They had eight top ten songs, including three #1’s, and spent a total of 47 weeks in the top ten, tying them with Elton John for #2 on the list.

Two of their three hits were featured in my earlier post; the third was “Joy To The World,” which spent eleven weeks in the top ten and reached #1 in April 1971.

“Shambala” was released in 1973. It entered the top ten on June 30 and spent six weeks there, peaking at #3 on July 28.

Three Dog Night, your Two for Tuesday, August 22, 2017.