1950

Number Ones:
The Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page [Mercury 5534-X45] (Russell, Stewart) Made the country charts in 1948 for its writer, Pee Wee King [RCA Victor 20-2680], as well as Cowboy Copas [King 696] and Roy Acuff [Columbia 20551]. Page’s version is based on the arrangement by Erskine Hawkins [‘50, Coral 60313]. Other charting versions in 1951 were by Guy Lombardo, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Jo Stafford, the Fontane Sisters, Anita O’Day and Spike Jones, and R&B Stick McGhee
Goodnight Irene - Gordon Jenkins & the Weavers [Decca 9-27077] (Ledbetter, Lomax) 517 518 519 521 529 530 531 532 One of the songs (‘Irene’) recorded by Leadbelly for the Library of Congress at the State Prison Farm at Angola, LA, by Alan and John Lomax [July ‘33]. It was recorded again for LOC in 1934 and 1935. There are 1941-42 WNYC radio recordings available by Leadbelly. It was recorded by him for the 1943 album Songs by Lead Belly [Asch 343, on disc 343-2; different take on Melodisc 1151], and in 1947 [Folkways LP 4, reissued as 2004 and 31019]. Other charting versions were by Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford, Dennis Day, the Alexander Brothers, R&B Paul Gayten and country Red Foley & Ernest Tubb, Moon Mullican.
‘The Third Man’ Theme - Anton Karas [London 45-30005] (Karas) Title theme to film starring Orson Welles. Other charted versions by Guy Lombardo, Freddy Martin, Hugo Winterhalter, Victor Young & Don Cherry, Owen Bradley.
If I Knew You Were Comin’ (I’d’ve Baked a Cake) Eileen Barton [National 9103] (Hoffman, Werrill, Watts) Co-writer (as Watts) Al Trace & his Orchestra recorded it for Columbia. Other charted versions by Georgia Gibbs, Benny Strong, Ethel Merman & Ray Bolger, Art Mooney.
Mona Lisa - Nat ‘King’ Cole [Capital F1010] (Evans, Livingston) Introduced as ‘Prima Donna’ in Italian by accordeon player in Alan Ladd film Captain Carey U.S.A. Other charted versions by Victor Young & Don Cherry, Harry James, Art Lund, Ralph Flanagan, Charlie Spivak, Dennis Day, and country Moon Mullican, Jimmy Wakely.
Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy - Red Foley [Decca 46205] (Stapp, Stone) Also charted for Bing Crosby, Phil Harris, Frank Sinatra, Bradford & Romano, Bill Darnel.
I Can Dream, Can’t I? - Andrews Sisters [Decca 24705] (Fain, Kahal) Sung by Tamara (Drason) in 1938 revue Right This Way, with recordings by Tommy Dorsey, featuring Jack Leonard [Victor 25741] and Glen Gray, featuring Kenny Sargent [Decca 1607; also 1949 Coral 60106]. Also charted in 1950 for Toni Arden [Columbia 39612] and Tex Beneke, featuring Glenn Douglas [RCA Victor 20-3553].
All My Love (Bolero) - Patti Page [Mercury 5455-X45] (Contet, Durand, Parish) 1948 French song ‘Boléro’ by Georges Guétary. Also charted for Percy Faith, Guy Lombardo, Bing Crosby, Dennis Day.
The Thing - Phil Harris [RCA Victor 47-3968] (Charles Grean) Uses melody from traditional ‘The Tailor’s Boy’, also charted for Arthur Godfrey, the Ames Brothers.
Harbor Lights - Sammy Kaye (featuring Tony Alamo) [Columbia 4-38963] (Grosz, Kennedy) Originally from England. Popular in 1937 by Frances Langford [Decca 1441], Claude Thornhill, featuring Jimmy Farrell [Vocalion 3595], Rudy Vallee [Bluebird 7067]. Other 1950 versions by Guy Lombardo, Ray Anthony, Ralph Flanagan, Bing Crosby, Ken Griffin, Jerry Byrd & Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats, and R&B Dinah Washington.
Music! Music! Music! - Teresa Brewer [London 30023] (Baum, Weiss) Other versions by Carmen Cavallaro, Freddy Martin, the Ames Brothers, Hugo Winterhalter & the Five Gems, Mickey Katz.
I Wanna Be Loved - Andrews Sisters [Decca 9-27007] (Green, Heyman, Rose). Other vesions by Billy Eckstine, the Fontane Sisters with Hugo Winterhalter, Dinah Washington, Dottie O’Brien & Jan Garber.
Rag Mop - Ames Brothers [Coral 60140] (Deacon Anderson, Johnnie Lee Wills) Originally ‘Get the Mop’, written and performed by jazz trumpeter Henry ‘Red’ Allen [‘44, Brunswick 80110]. Country hit by its writer Johnnie Lee Wills [‘50, Bullet 696]; R&B hits by Lionel Hampton, Joe Liggins, Doc Sausage; other pop versions by Ralph Flanagan, the Starlighters, Jimmy Dorsey, Eddy Howard.
The Cry of the Wild Goose - Frankie Laine [Mercury 5363-X45] (Terry Gilkyson) Terry Gilkyson [‘49, Decca - maybe on Folk Songs by the Solitary Singer Decca 5263]. Also charted for Tennessee Ernie Ford.
Hoop-De-Doo - Perry Como [RCA Victor 47-3747] (DeLugg, Loesser) Also charted for Kay Starr, Russ Morgan, Doris Day.
Sentimental Me - Ames Brothers [Coral 60173] (Cassin, Moorehead) Also charted for Ray Anthony, Russ Morgan.
Number Twos:
It Isn’t Fair - Sammy Kaye, feat. Don Cornell [RCA Victor 47-3115] (Himber, Sprogato, Warshauer). Also Benny Goodman, Bill Farrell, Les Brown, R&B Dinah Washington
Dear Hearts and Gentle People - Bing Crosby [Decca 24798] (Fain, Hilliard) Also Dinah Shore, Dennis Day, Gordon MacRae, Benny Strong, Ralph Flanagan
Play a Simple Melody - Gary Crosby & Friend (Bing Crosby) [Decca 9-27112] (Berlin) As ‘Simple Melody’ in 1914 Broadway show Watch Your Step featuring Irene and Vernon Castle, sung in the show by Charles King & Sallie Fisher, with popular recordings by Mary Carson & Walter Van Brunt [‘15, Edison Amberol 2607] and Billy Murray & Edna Brown (Elsie Baker) [’16, Victor 18051]. Other 1950 versions are by Jo Stafford, Georgia Gibbs & Bob Crosby, Phil Harris
There’s No Tomorrow - Tony Martin [RCA Victor 47-3115] (Carr, Corday, Hoffman) A version of the Italian song ‘O Sole Mio’ popular in 1916 for Enrico Caruso [Victor 87243], which later also became Elvis’ ‘It’s Now or Never’.
Tzena Tzena Tzena - Gordon Jenkins & the Weavers [Decca 9-27077] (Jenkins, Ross) Israeli song, written in 1942 by Issachar Miron, with a 1946 addition by Julius Grossman. There were also versions by Mitch Miller, Vic Damone, Ralph Flanagan.
Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) - Paul Weston, with the Norman Luboff Choir [Columbia 4-38982] (Kalmar, Ruby) ‘31 song sung on stage and radio by Rudy Vallee and Bing Crosby, recorded by Jack Denny, feat. Rob May [Brunswick 6114] and Johnny Hampton [Victor 22722]. It became popular gain when featured in the 1950 Fred Astaire movie Three Little Words, a biopic of the songs writers. Also charted for the Mills Brothers, Ray Anthony, Ralph Flanagan, Frankie Laine, Frank Sinatra.
The Old Master Painter - Richard Hayes [Mercury 5342] (Gillespie, Smith) Also Dick Haymes, Peggy Lee & Mel Tormé, Phil Harris, Snooky Lanson, Frank Sinatra & the Modernaires
Top Fives
Sam’s Song (The Happy Tune) - Gary Crosby & Friend (Bing Crosby) [Decca 9-27112] (Elliott, Quadling) Also Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr
A Bushel and a Peck - Perry Como & Betty Hutton [RCA Victor 47-3930] (Loesser) Sung by Vivian Blaine in the Broadway musical Guys and Dolls (replaced in the fim version by ’Pet Me Poppa’). Also by Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely, Doris Day, Johnny Desmond, the Andrews Sisters.
Bewitched - Bill Snyder [Tower 45-1473] (Hart, Rodgers) Sing by Vivienne Segal in the 1940 musical Pal Joey (and on the studio cast album made in 1950 after the song became popular). There were 1941 recordings by Leo Reisman, featuring Anita Boyer [Victor 27344] and Benny Goodman, featuring Helen Forrest [Columbia 35944]. Other 1950 versions were by Gordon Jenkins, Jan August & Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats, Mel Tormé, Doris Day, Larry Green, Mindy Carson, David Rose, Roy Ross
I’ll Never Be Free - Kay Starr & Tennessee Ernie Ford [Capitol F1124] (Benjamin, Weiss) The earliest version may be by Patti Page [Mercury - although it is on compilations, I can‘t find any single release information]. Also R&B Dinah Washington, Annie Laurie & Paul Gayten, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Lucky Millinder, Savannah Churchill.
A Dreamer’s Holiday - Perry Como, with the Fontane Sisters [RCA Victor 47-3036] (Gannon, Wayne) Also Buddy Clark, Ray Anthony, Eileen Wilson & Gordon Jenkins
My Foolish Heart - Gordon Jenkins, featuring Sandy Evans [Decca 9-24830] (Washington, Young) Movie title song was sung by Susan Heyward, with Victor Young as composer. Also Mindy Carson, Billy Eckstine, Margaret Whiting, Richard Hayes, Hugo Winterhalter, R&B Gene Ammons
I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Pray’rs) - Tony Martin & Fran Warren [RCA Victor 47-3119] (Pola, Wyle) Also Ethel Merman & Ray Bolger, Doris Day, Margaret Whiting & Frank DeVol.
Bonaparte’s Retreat - Kay Starr [Capitol F936] (Pee Wee King) A fiddle tune with British origins (Irish air ’The Eagle’s Whistle’) recorded by A.A. Gray [’24, Okeh 40110], Crockett’s Kentucky Mountaineers [’29, Brunswick 353], Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers [’30, Columbia 15485], and the Arthur Smith Trio [‘36, Bluebird B6387]. According to Rypens, a 1937 version by William H. Stepp formed the basis of the ‘Rodeo’ section of Aaron Copeland’s Hoedown suite. Pee Wee King’s vocal version charted country [‘50, RCA Victor 48-0114]. Also charted pop by Gene Krupa in 1950.
Count Every Star - Ray Anthony, featuring Dick Noel [Capitol F979] (Coquatrix, Gallop) Also Dick Haymes & Artie Shaw, Hugo Winter halter [the earliest recording - RCA Victor 47-3221]. It was also recorded by the R&B group the Ravens [National 9111].
Thinking Of You - Don Cherry [Decca 9-27128] (Kalmar, Ruby) From the ‘28 Broadway musical The Five O’Clock Girl, with popular recordings by Nat Shilkret, featuring Lewis James [Victor 20996], Ben Selvin as the Broadway Nitelites [Columbia 1164], Harry Archer, featuring Franklyn Baur [’28, Brunswick 3704]. Revived in the 1950 Fred Astaire movie Three Little Words. Also Eddie Fisher, Sarah Vaughan
Bamboo - Vaughn Monroe [RCA Victor 47-3143] (Bernier, Simon)
Can Anyone Explain? (No, No, No) - Ames Brothers [Coral 9-60253] (Benjamin, Weiss) Also Ray Anthony, Dick Haymes, Vic Damone, Larry Green, Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong
Dearie - Guy Lombardo, featuring Kenny Gardner [Decca 24899] (Hilliard, Mann) Stage production The Copacabana Show of 1950 Also Jo Stafford & Gordon Macrae, Ray Bolger & Ethel Merman, Lisa Kirk & Fran Warren
Daddy’s Little Girl - Mills Brothers [Decca 9-24872] (Burke, Gerlach) Also Dick Todd
Orange Colored Sky - Nat ‘King’ Cole & Stan Kenton [Capitol F-1184] (DeLugg, Stein) Also Betty Hutton, Jerry Lester
Roses - Sammy Kaye, with the Kaydets [RCA Victor 47-3754] (Spencer, Spencer) Also Ray Anthony, Dick Haymes
Peter Cottontail - Gene Autry [Columbia 38750] (Nelson, Rollins) Also Merv Shiner, Fran Allison (of television’s Kookla, Fran and Ollie), Jimmy Wakely
Top Tens
Quicksilver
Johnson Rag
Cincinnati Dancing Pig
Patricia
Oh, Babe
Frosty the Snow Man
No Other Love
I Don’t Care If the Sun Don’t Shine
Go To Sleep, Go To Sleep, Go To Sleep
Nola
To Think You’ve Chosen Me
La Vie en Rose
Mr. Touchdown, U.S.A.
One Finger Melody
Our Lady of Fatima
I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles
I Love the Guy (Girl)
Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)
Christmas in Killarney