1955

Number Ones:
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado [RCA Victor 5965] (Mack David, Louigay) - from the film Underwater. A French song from 1950, ‘Cerisier rose et pommier blanc’ by André Claveau. Vocal version by Alan Dale [Coral 61373].
Rock Around the Clock - Bill Haley & the Comets [Decca 29124] (Freedman, DeKnight) was by the New Jersey band Sonny Dae and the Knights [’54, Arcade 123]; released in 1954, it became popular a year later when featured in the film Blackboard Jungle. The guitar solo is identical to the one from Haley’s ‘Rock the Joint’ [‘52, Essex 303].
Sincerely - McGuire Sisters [Coral 61323] (Fuqua, Freed) is a cover of a big R&B hit by the Moonglows [Chess 1581], which made the Top 30.
Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller [Columbia 40540] (Don George). A Civil War campfire song (Whitburn), published in 1858. Recorded versions include Sam Long [‘26, ‘Echoes of the Ozarks’, Gennett 3284], Da Costa Woltz’s Southern Broadcasters [‘27, Gennett 6143], North Carolina Cooper Boys [‘27, ‘Red Rose of Texas’, Okeh 45174], Renfro Valley Boys (Karl & Harty) [‘32, Paramount 3316], Gene Autry [‘33, Victor 23792], Gene Autry & Jimmy Long [Banner 32771], Milton Brown [‘36, Decca 5273], and Bill Boyd [Bluebird B7088]. Also by Johnny Desmond [Coral 61476], with a parody by Stan Freberg [Capitol 3249].
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing - Four Aces [Decca 29625] (Webster, Fain) Movie title song, also charting for Don Cornell [Coral 61467].
Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford [Capitol 3262] (Travis) From the 1947 78 album set Folk Songs from the Hills by Merle Travis [Capitol BD-50].
Ballad of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes [Cadence 1256] (Blackburn, Bruns) Cover of the theme song from the three Davy Crockett episodes from the Disneyland series in 1955, sung by its star Fess Parker [Columbia 40449]. Also charted for Tennessee Ernie Ford [Capitol 3058] and the Voices of Walter Schumann [RCA Victor 6041].
Hearts of Stone - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15625] {Jackson, Ray) A cover of the Charms [DeLuxe 6062], which in turn was covered from the Jewels [‘54, R&B 1301]. John Fogerty, recording as the Blue Ridge Rangers, revived it in 1973 [Fantasy 700].
Let Me Go Lover - Joan Weber [Columbia 40366] (Carson, Hill) Originally ‘Let Me Go, Devil’, by Georgie Shaw [‘53, Decca ?]. This rewrite was featured on TV’s Studio One drama show, in this version. Covered by Teresa Brewer [Coral 61315], Patti Page [Mercury 70511] amd Sunny Gale [RCA Victor 5952].
Number Twos:
Autumn Leaves - Roger Williams [Kapp 116] (Kosma) 1947 French song ‘Les feuilles mortes’ by Yves Montand, words by Jacques Prévert, from the film Les portes de la nuit.
Learnin’ the Blues - Frank Sinatra [Capitol 3102] (Silvers) was introduced by Joe Valino in Atlantic City’s 500 Club, but perhaps not recorded by him.
Unchained Melody - Les Baxter [Capitol 3055] (North, Zaret) From the film Unchained. Also covered by Al Hibbler [Decca 29441] and Roy Hamilton [Epic 9102]. Revived as a rock classic by the Righteous Brothers [‘65, Philles 129], and a #1 British hit by TV stars (?) Robson (Green) & Jerome (Flynn) in 1995.
Ain’t That a Shame - Pat Boone [Dot 15377] (Batholomew, Domino) Cover of Fats Domino ‘Ain’t It a Shame’ [Imperial 5348]; had a brief revival in a bizarre make-over by the Four Seasons [‘63, Vee-Jay 512].
Dance With Me, Henry - Georgia Gibbs [Mercury 70572] (Ballard, James, Otis) Cover of Etta James answer song [‘The Wallflower’ or ‘Roll With Me, Henry’, Modern 947] to the Midnighters’ ‘Work With Me Annie’ [‘54, Federal 12169].
Melody of Love - Billy Vaughn [Dot 15247] (Engelmann, Tom Glazer). The music is a piano piece written in 1903. This version is based on the Wayne King version [‘40, Victor 26695]; he recorded it again the following year with Franklyn McCormack reading the poem ‘Why I Love You‘, by Davies, over the music [Victor 27713]. Folk singer Tom Glazer added the words which were used in versions by the Four Aces [Decca 29395] and Frank Sinatra and Ray Anthony [Capitol 3018]; another instrumental version was by David Carroll [Mercury 70516]. (Lucy Isabelle Marsh had a popular version of the song of this name from the musical Gypsy Love [‘12, Victor 60059], also recorded by Marguerite Sylva, but it seems to be a different song, written by Franz Léhar.)
The Crazy Otto - Johnny Maddox [Dot 15325] (Peretti, Creatore, White, Wolfson) According to Whitburn, this is a medley of 5 tunes originally released in Germany [‘54, ‘Die Beschwipste Drahtkommode’, Polydor 22009] by Der Schräge Otto (aka Fritz Schulz-Reichel). ‘The Tipsy Wire Box’ is an invention of his that transformed the sound of any piano into a honky-tonk sound.
Tweedle Dee - Georgia Gibbs [Mercury 70517] (Winfield Scott) Cover of LaVern Baker [Atlantic 1047].
I Hear You Knocking - Gale Storm [Dot 15412] (Bartholomew, King) Cover of Smiley Lewis [Imperial 5356].
Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So) - Perry Como [RCA Victor 5994] (Levy, Porter, Wilson) Cover of Gene & Eunice [Combo 64 and Aladdin 3276, different versions], also covered by the Flamingos [Parrot 812] and the Crew Cuts [Mercury 70529].
Top Fives
The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane - Ames Brothers [RCA 5897] (Bennett, Tepper) Another version by Archie Bleyer Chorus [Cadence 1254].
Seventeen - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15386] (Bennett, Gorman, Young) Cover of the Top 10 song by Boyd Bennett & his Rockets [King 1470]; Rusty Draper also charted [Mercury 70851].
Hard to Get - Gisele Mackenzie [X 0137] (Segal) Introduced by Mackenzie in TV drama Justice.
Only You - Platters [Mercury 70633] (B. Ram, A. Ram) was covered by the Hilltoppers [Dot 15423]. It charted again in 1959 for Franck Pourcel [Capitol 4165] and in 1975 for Ringo Starr [Apple 1876].
Love and Marriage - Frank Sinatra [Capitol 3260] (Cahn, Van Heusen) Introduced by Sinatra on Producer’s Showcase TV production of Our Town.
How Important Can It Be? - Joni James [MGM 11919] (Benjamin, Weiss) Also by Sarah Vaughan [Mercury 70534].
Shifting, Whispering Sands - Billy Vaughan [Dot 15409] (Gilbert, Hadler) Publication date for this song is given as 1950. According to the Jack Gilbert website (jackvcgilbert.com), it was recorded in April 1952 by the Chansonettes, and Gilbert sold the recording to Dot records. Other 1955 recordings were by Rusty Draper [Mercury 70696] and Eamonn Andrews [Parlophone].
Top Tens
It’s a Sin to Tell a Lie - Somethin’ Smith & the Redheads [Epic 9093] (Mayhew) Revival of 1936 hit by Fats Waller [Victor 25342] and Victor Young [Decca 751], introduced by Kate Smith on stage and radio.
Something’s Gotta Give - McGuire Sisters [Coral 61423] (Mercer) Recorded by Fred Astaire [RCA Victor 47-6410], from his film Daddy Long Legs. Also a version by Sammy Davis, Jr. [Decca 29484].
Earth Angel - Crew Cuts [Mercury 70529] (Dootsie Williams) Cover of Penguins, a #1 R&B hit which charted Top 20 [DooTone 348]; Gloria Mann also charted with a cover [Sound 109].
He - Al Hibbler [Decca 29660] (Mullan, Richards) Other version by McGuire Sisters [Coral 61501]. Revived in 1966 by the Righteous Brothers [Verve 10406].
Hummingbird - Les Paul & Mary Ford [Capitol 3165] (Robertson) Introduced by its writer, Don & Lou Robertson [Capitol], also charted for Frankie Laine [Columbia 40526].
At My Front Door - Pat Boone [Dot 15422] (Moore, Abner) is a cover of the El Dorados’ hit [Vee-Jay 147], which also made the Top 30.
Nuttin’ for Christmas - Art Mooney [MGM 12092] (Tepper, Bennett) According to Whitburn, the verse melody is from 19th century French song ‘Vive la compagnie.’ It also charted for Joe Ward [King 4864], Ricky Zahnd [Columbia 40576], the Fontane Sisters [Dot 15434], and a parody by Stan Freberg [Capitol 3280].
Honey-Babe - Art Mooney [MGM 11900] (Steiner, Webster) Adapted from an army marching chant for the film Battle Cry.
Wake the Town and Tell the People - Les Baxter [Capitol 3120] (Gallp, Livingston) Also by Mindy Carson [Columbia 40537].
Whatever Lola Wants - Sarah Vaughan [Mercury 70595] (Adler, Ross), sung by Gwen Verdon in the musical Damn Yankees, also charted Top 30 for Dinah Shore [RCA Victor 6077].
(My Baby Don’t Love Me) No More - DeJohn Sisters [Epic 9085] (J., D. & L. DeJohn) Another version by the McGuire Sisters [Coral 61323].
Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup - Nat ‘King’ Cole [Capitol 3027] (Sosenko) Theme song for the singer Hildegarde, who recorded it in 1935 in England [Columbia DB-1556] and in 1941 in America [Decca 23218]. It was also recorded by the Charioteers in 1940 [Columbia 35736].
Heart - Eddie Fisher [RCA Victor 6097] (Adler, Ross) From the musical Damn Yankees. Another version by the Four Aces [Decca 29476].
Play Me Hearts and Flowers - Johnny Desmond [Coral 61379] (Curtis, Green) Introduced by Desmond on TV in Philco Playhouse.
Top Twenties:
The Breeze and I - Caterina Valente [Decca 29467] (Stillman, Lecuona, Camarata) Adapted from Lecuona’s Andalucia Suite, it was a hit for Jimmy Dorsey [Decca 3150] and Xavier Cugat [Victor 26641] in 1940, revived by Vic Damone in 1954 [Mercury 70287].
The Bible Tells Me So - Don Cornell [Coral 61467] (Dale Evans) Recorded for children by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans [Golden R241] around 1956; the Capitol LP of that name [T 1745] is from around 1962. Nick Noble’s version also charted [Wing 90003].
Daddy-O - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15428] (Innis, Abner, Gore) is a cover of country singer Bonnie Lou’s song [King 4835], which reached the Top 30.
My Bonnie Lassie - Ames Brothers [RCA Victor 6208] (Bennett, Tepper, McClurg) Adapted from Scottish song ‘Scotland the Brave’; later recorded by Mitch Miller as ‘Tunes of Glory’.
Suddenly There’s a Valley - Gogi Grant [Era 1003] (Meyer, Jones) Other versions by Jo Stafford [Columbia 40559] and Julius LaRosa [Cadence 1265].
Sweet and Gentle - Alan Dale [Coral 61435] (Thorn, Otilio Portal or del Portal) A Cuban song ‘Me Lo Dija Adela’. It was released on a 1955 mambo compilation [Mambos, RCA Victor LPM-1067] by Tito Rodrigues; other frequently compiled versions are by Orquesta Enrique Jorrin and Orquesta America [‘50s]; it has also been recorded by Xavier Cugat and Chico O’Farrill. Another ‘55 pop version is by Georgia Gibbs [Mercury 70647].
Domani (Tomorrow) - Julius LaRosa [Cadence 1265] (Tony Velona, Ulpio Minucci) is probably an Italian song. It has also been recorded by British bandleader Billy Cotton, perhaps in the mid-50s also. It appears on a compilation of Ernesto Bonino, an Italian crooner, of songs recorded between 1951 and 1958: An Italian Crooner Sings in Spanish.
It May Sound Silly - McGuire Sisters [Coral 61369] (Hunter) Cover of Ivory Joe Hunter [Atlantic 1049].
That Old Black Magic - Sammy Davis, Jr. [Decca 29541] (Mercer, Arlen) Sung by Johnny Johnston in the 1942 film Star-Spangled Rhythm, it was a hit in 1943 for Glenn Miller [Victor 20-1523], Freddie Slack with Margaret Whiting [Capitol 126], and Horace Heidt [Columbia 36670]. It would be revived again when performed in the film Senior Prom by Louis Prima & Keely Smith [‘58, Capitol 4063].
I’ll Never Stop Loving You - Doris Day [Columbia 40505] (Cahn, Brodszky) Sung by Day in the film Love Me or Leave Me.
Gum Drop - Crew-Cuts [Mercury 70668] (Toombs) Cover of Otis Williams & his New Group [DeLuxe 6090].
Love Me or Leave Me - Sammy Davis, Jr. [Decca 29484] (Donaldson, Kahn) Featured in the shows Whoopee [1928] and Simple Simon [1930], sung in both shows by Ruth Etting [‘29, Columbia 1680-D]. It was recorded by Benny Goodman and his Orchestra in 1934 and 1936. It was the title song of the 1955 biopic of Ruth Etting, starring Doris Day. Lena Horne’s version also charted [RCA Victor 6073].
Chee Chee-oo Chee (Sang the Little Bird) - Perry Como & Jaye P. Morgan [RCA Victor 6137] (Turner, Parsons, Seracini) An Italian song ‘Ci Ciu Ci Cantava un Usignol’ with versions by Natalino Otto and Narciso Parigi and entered in the San Remo Festival in 1955.
Pledging My Love - Johnny Ace [Duke 136] (Washington, Robey), a huge posthumous R&B hit, was also a Top 30 in a cover by Teresa Brewer [Coral 61362].
The Man in the Raincoat - Priscilla Wright [Unique 303] (Webster) Also by Marion Marlowe [Cadence 1266].
Rock Love - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15333] (Glover) Cover of Lula Reed [‘54, King 4767]; there’s also a version by Eddie Fontaine [‘X’ 0096].
House of Blue Lights - Chuck Miller [Mercury 70627] (Raye, Slack) A 1946 hit for Freddie Slack with Ella Mae Morse on vocals [Capitol 251], and also for the Andrews Sisters [Decca 23641].
Don’t Be Angry - Crew-Cuts [Mercury 70597] Cover of Nappy Brown [Savoy 1155].
I Want You to Be My Baby - Georgia Gibbs [Mercury 70685] (Hendricks) Originally by Louis Jordan [‘53, Decca 28883]. There is another version by Lillian Briggs [Epic 9115].
Two Hearts - Pat Boone [Dot 15338] (Williams, Stone) Cover of the Charms [DeLuxe 6065].
A Woman in Love - Four Aces [Decca 29725] (Loesser) Sung by Frank Sinatra in the film Guys and Dolls (but apparently not in the 1950 Broadway show). Another version by Frankie Laine [Columbia 40583] made Top 30.
Top Thirties:
Rollin’ Stone - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15370] (Riley) was an R&B hit for the Marigolds [Excello 2057].
Most of All - Don Cornell [Coral 61393] (Freed, Fuqua) is a cover of an R&B hit by the Moonglows [Chess 1589].
Pepper-Hot Baby - Jaye P. Morgan [RCA Victor 6282] (Evelyn) also had vesions by Gisele MacKenzie [‘X’ 0172] and R&B singer Bonnie Davis [Decca 29718].
My Boy Flat-Top - Dorothy Collins [Coral 61510] (Young, Bennett) is a cover of Boyd Bennett & his Rockets [King 1494].
No Arms Can Ever Hold You (Like These Arms of Mine) - Georgie Shaw [Decca 29679] (Crafer, Nebb) also charted for Pat Boone [Top 30, as ‘No Other Arms’ Dot 15422] and the Gaylords [Mercury 70706].
A Man Chases a Girl - Eddie Fisher [RCA Victor 6015] (Berlin) is from the Ethel Merman movie There’s No Business Like Show Business.
All At Once You Love Her - Perry Como [RCA Victor 6294] (Rodgers, Hammerstein) is from the Broadway musical Pipe Dreams.
Alabama Jubilee - Ferko String Band [Media 1010] (Yellen, Cobb) is a 1915 song, sung on stage by Elizabeth Murray, and a recorded hit for Collins & Harlan [Columbia 1721 and Victor 17825]. Red Foley had a country hit with it in 1951 [Decca 9-27810].
Story Untold - Crew-Cuts [Mercury 70634] (Griffin, Wilson) is a cover of the Nutmegs’ R&B hit [Herald 452].
Glad Rag Doll - Crazy Otto [Decca 29403] (Yellen, Ager, Dougherty) was a 1929 hit for Ted Lewis [Collumbia 1709] and Ruth Etting [Columbia 1733].
Smiles - Crazy Otto [Decca 29403] (Callahan, Roberts) was a 1918 song, featured in The Passing Show of 1918 as sung by Nell Carrington. Successful recordings were made by Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra, featuring Harry MacDonough [Victor 81473], Albert Campbell & Henry Burr [Columbia A-2616], and Lambert Murphy [Victor 45155].
Two Lost Souls - Perry Como & Jaye P. Morgan [RCA Victor 6137] (Adler, Ross) is from the musical Damn Yankees.
Memories of You - Four Coins [Epic 9129] (Razaf, Blake) was introduced by Minto Cato in Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1930, and has been recorded by Louis Armstrong [’30, Okeh 41463], Ethel Waters [‘30, Columbia 2288], the Casa Loma Orchestra [’37, Decca 1672], the Benny Goodman Sextet [‘39, Columbia 35320] and the Ink Spots [’40, Decca 2966], among others - it is a much-recorded standard. The song was popular in 1955-56 due to its inclusion in The Benny Goodman Story, starring Steve Allen; a version by the Benny Goodman Trio featuring Rosemary Clooney also charted [Columbia 40616].
Song of the Barefoot Contessa - Hugo Winterhalter [RCA Victor 5888] (Nascimbene) is from the Humphrey Bogart film The Barefoot Contessa.
The Bandit (O’Cangaceiro) - Eddie Barclay & his Orchestra [Tico-249] (Turner, Carr, Nascimento) is from the Brazilian movie O’Cangaceiro.
The Kentuckian Song - Hilltoppers [Dot 15375] (Gordon) is from the Burt Lancaster movie The Kentuckian.
Dogface Soldier - Russ Morgan [Decca 29703] (Gold, Hart), written in 1942, is the song of the 3rd Infantry Division of the Army, and was very popular during and after the war. It was featured in the 1955 movie To Hell and Back, starring Audie Murphy.
Ling, Ting, Tong - Charms [DeLuxe 6076] (Godwin) is a cover of the equally popular Five Keys version [Capitol 2945]..