1956

Number Ones:
The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant [Era 1013] (Lebowksy, Newman) also made Top 30 for Tex Ritter [Capitol 3430].
The Poor People of Paris - Les Baxter [Capitol 3336] (Monnot) A French song, ‘La Goualante du Pauvre Jean’, by Edith Piaf [‘54]. The English title may result from hearing “pauvre Jean” as :pauvres gens”. Russ Morgan’s version also reached the Top 30 [Decca 29835].
Memories Are Made of This - Dean Martin [Capitol 3295] (Dehr, Gilkyson, Miller) The writers, the folk group known as the Easy Riders, backed Martin on his version before they began their own recording career. It was covered by Gale Storm [Dot 15436].
My Prayer - The Platters [Mercury 70893] (Boulanger, Kennedy) A French tango ‘Avant de mourir’, Opus 17, by the Georges Boulanger Orchestra; there was a German 78 release of this on the Vox label [01530 or 1581], with the date given as 1924. (It has been released on a CD collection called Musique Tsigane; a Frémeaux & Ass. double CD Tziganes: Paris-Berlin-Budapest 1910-1935.) There were a couple hit versions in 1939: Glenn Miller feat. Ray Eberle vocal [Bluebird 10404] and the Ink Spots [Decca 2790].
Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley [RCA 6643] (Presley-Matson) is a movie title song using new words to the Civil War tune ‘Aura Lee’, melody written by George Poulton in 1861. ’Aura Lee’ was performed by Frances Farmer in the film Come and Get It [’36], and recorded by the Shelton Brothers in 1937 [Decca 5533]. It was later a minor hit for actor Richard Chamberlain in 1962 and Alabama soul singer Percy Sledge in 1967.
I Almost Lost My Mind - Pat Boone [Dot 15472] (Hunter) A 1950 R&B hit for Ivory Joe Hunter [MGM K10578].
Number Twos:
Lisbon Antigua - Nelson Riddle Orchestra [Capitol 3287] (Raúl Portela, Amadeu do Vale and José Galhardo) A Portuguese song ‘Lisboa Antigua’ from 1937, incorporated in the 1956 movie Lisbon. Riddle is said to have heard it from a Mexican version - perhaps the version by Los Churumbeles de España [RCA, 51]. A popular Portuguese version was Amália Rodrigues’s 1952 (?) version.
Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) - Doris Day [Columbia 40704] (Evans, Livingston) was written for and sung by Doris Day in the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Just Walking in the Rain - Johnnie Ray [Columbia 40729] (Bragg, Riley) was originally by the Prisonaires [‘53, Sun 186].
Moonglow and Theme from ‘Picnic’ - Morris Stoloff [Decca 29888] (Hudson, DeLange, Mills and Allen, Duning). This is a medley used in the movie Picnic. ‘Moonglow’ was a 1934 tune with popular versions by Benny Goodman [Columbia 2927-D], Cab Calloway [Victor 24690], Glen Gray’s Casa Loma Orchestra [Brunswick 6937], and Duke Ellington [Brunswick 6987]. There was also a hit version by George Cates [Coral 61619], and the McGuire Sisters charted with ‘Picnic’ [Coral 61627].
Hot Diggety - Perry Como [RCA 6427] (Hoffman, Manning) was based on España Rhapsody by the French composer Chabrier in 1883.
Hound Dog - Elvis Presley [RCA 6604] {Leiber, Stoller) Willie Mae Thornton
Top Fives:
Standing on the Corner - Four Lads [Columbia 40674] (Loesser) is from the musical The Most Happy Fella; it also made Top 30 in Dean Martin’s version [Capitol 3414].
Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino [Imperial 5407] (Lewis, Stock, Rose) was from a 1940 Gene Autry movie The Singing Hill [Okeh 05779]. Sammy Kaye had the earliest recording [5/31/40, Victor 26643], and there were popular versions by Glenn Miller with Ray Eberle [Bluebird 10768], Kay Kyser with Harry Babbitt [Columbia 35554], and Russ Morgan with Carol Kay [Decca 3290]. Louis Armstrong made the Top 30 this year also [Decca 30091] with a re-release of a 1949 recording [Decca 24752].
True Love - Bing Crosby & Grace Kelly [Capitol 3507] (Porter) is from the film High Society; a version by Jane Powell also made Top 30 [Verve 2018].
Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins [Sun 234] (Perkins) was also a Top 30 hit for Elvis Presley [Elvis Presley EP RCA Victor EPA-747].
Band of Gold - Don Cherry [Columbia 40597] (Musel, Taylor) also charted for Kit Carson [Capitol 3283], who recorded it first.
I’ll Be Home - Pat Boone [Dot 15443] (Lewis, Washington) is a cover of the Flamingos‘ R&B hit [‘56, Checker 830].
Top Tens:
Tonight You Belong to Me - Patience & Prudence [Liberty 55022] (David, Rose) is a song from the ‘20s: Irving Kaufman [Banner 1804], Gene Austin [‘27, Victor 20371], Franklyn Baur [‘26, Brunswick 3519], and Roger Wolfe Kahn [‘27, Victor 20359]. Frankie Laine charted slightly with it in 1953 [Columbia 39903]. It was also covered by the Lennon Sisters [‘56, Coral 61701].
See You Later Alligator - Bill Haley & the Comets [Decca 29791] (Guidry) Bobby Charles
Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Teenagers feat. Frankie Lymon [Gee 1002] (Lymon, Levy) was covered by Gale Storm [Dot 15448] and the Diamonds [Mercury 70790].
A Tear Fell - Teresa Brewer [Coral 61590] (Hunter) is a cover of an Ivory Joe Hunter song [‘56, Atlantic 1086].
Flying Saucer (Parts 1 & 2) - Buchanan & Goodman [Luniverse 101] (Buchanan, Goodman) was the first example of Dickie Goodman’s ‘break-in’ records where, usually in interview format, questions are answered by lines cut from current hit songs.
It’s Almost Tomorrow - Dream Weavers [Decca 29683] (Buff, Adkinson) was covered by Jo Stafford [Columbia 40595]. The writers were members of the Dream Weavers.
Friendly Persuasion - Pat Boone [Dot 15490] (Webster, Tiomkin) is a movie title song.
On the Street Where You Live -Vic Damone [Columbia 40654] (Lerner, Loewe) is from the musical My Fair Lady, sung by Michael King; it also charted Top 30 for Eddie Fisher [RCA Victor 6529].
Teen Age Prayer - Gale Storm [Dot 155436] (Lowe, Reichner), also had a hit version by Gloria Mann [Sound 126]. At the same time, there was a version by black vocalist Kitty White [Mercury 70750] - the original?
Moritat (Theme from ‘The Three Penny Opera‘) - Dick Haymes Trio [MGM 12149] (Blitzstein, Weill) Die Dreigroschenoper [The Three Penny Opera] was a 1928 German musical by Berthold Brecht and Kurt Weill, which opened with ‘Die Moritat von Mackie Messer’ [‘The Ballad of Mack the Knife’]; Rosemont indicates that the first German recording was by Harald Paulsen [’28, Homocord 3747]. Blitzstein’s translation was produced on Broadway in 1954, and in 1956 there was a plethora of charting versions of the song: besides Haymes, Richard Hayman & Jan August [Mercury 70781], Lawrence Welk [Coral 61574], Louis Armstrong, Billy Vaughn [Dot 15444], and Les Paul [Capitol 3329]. It’s biggest fame came with the #1 Bobby Darin version of ‘Mack the Knife’ in 1959 [Atco 5147], and also charted with a live Ella Fitzgerald recording [‘60, Verve 10209].
Cindy Oh Cindy - Eddie Fisher [RCA Victor 6677] (Barron, Long) was also a hit for the folk group that introduced it: Vince Martin & the Tarriers [Glory 247]. It was adapted from a Jamaican (?) sea chanty.
Ivory Tower - Gale Storm [Dot 15458] (Fulton, Roberts) also had hit versions by Cathy Carr [Fraternity 734] and Otis Williams & his Charms [DeLuxe 6093].
Theme from ‘Song for a Summer Night’ - Mitch Miller [Columbia 40730] was from a 1956 Studio One production.
Rock Island Line - Lonnie Donegan [London 1650] (Donegan) was first recorded by Buell Kazee as ‘Rock Island’ [‘27, Brunswick 145]. It was recorded for the Library of Congress by unnamed groups in 1933 and 1934, the in 1937 by Leadbelly. He recorded it for Victor in 1940, but it was not issued. It was recorded in 1942 on Asch 102 and released in the 78 rpm album Work and Play party Songs Sung by Lead belly [Asch 341]. According to Rypens, it made its way to England by way of Chris Barber on the 10” New Orleans Joys, but I don’t see it listed in Lord.
Top Twenties:
Eddie My Love - Fontane Sisters [Dot 15450] (Collins, Davis, Ling) is a cover by the R&B hit by the Teen Queens [RPM 453], which made the Top 30.
Are You Satisfied? - Rusty Draper [Mercury 70757] (Wooley, Escamilla) was originally by Sheb Wooley [‘55, MGM 12114], also recorded by Ann Cole [‘55, Baton 218].
Tutti Frutti [Dot 15443] (LaBastrie, Penniman) and Long Tall Sally [Dot 15457] (Johnson, Penniman, Blackwell) were Pat Boone covers of Little Richard hits [Specialty 561 and 572].
Angels in the Sky - Crew Cuts [Mercury 70741] (Glasser) was originally recorded in 1954 by Tony Martin [RCA Victor 70741] and covered by the doo-wop group the Monarchs [‘55, Wing 90040].
You Don’t Know Me - Jerry Vale [Columbia 40710] (Walker, Arnold) is a cover of Eddy Arnold’s country hit [‘56, RCA 6502]. It gained immortality with Ray Charles’s 1962 hit [ABC-Paramount 10345] from Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.
Mickey Gilley had a #1 country version in 1981 [Epic 02172].
Themes from ‘The Man with the Golden Arm’ - Richard Maltby [Vik 0196] (Bernstein), from an Otto Preminger film starring Frank Sinatra, had several charting versions: besides Maltby’s, Elmer Bernstein [‘Main Title’ Decca 29869], Dick Jacobs [’Main Title and Molly-O‘ Coral 61606], the McGuire Sisters [’Delilah Jones‘ Coral 61627], Billy May [’Main Title‘ Capitol 3372], Les Elgart [‘Main Title - Golden Arm’ Columbia 40664], and Buddy Morrow [’Main Title‘ Wing 90063].
After the Lights Go Down Low - Al Hibbler [Decca 29982] (White, Lovett) is a remake of Original 1006 from 1955.
When the White Lilacs Bloom Again - Helmut Zacharias [Decca 30039] (Rotter, Doelle) is a German song from 1928 ‘Wenn der weisse Flieder wieder blüht’ [by Ruth Arden, Homocord 4-2792] [available on the CD Es liegt in der Luft, TT-1813, www.truesoundtransfers.de], and the title song from a 1953 German film (by Rotter). Also recorded by British bandleader Jack Hylton. Billy Vaughn’s version made the Top 30 [Dot 15491].
Lay Down Your Arms - Chordettes [Cadence 1299] (Robertson, Gerhard, Land) was a British #1 song by Anne Shelton [Philips PB 616]. It was originally a Swedish song, ‘Ann-Caroline‘, by songstress Thory Bernhards in 1955.
Bo Weevil - Teresa Brewer [Coral 61590] (Bartholomew, Domino) is a Fats Domino cover [Imperial 5375].
Stranded in the Jungle - Cadets [Modern 994] (Smith, Johnson) was a cover of a song by the Jayhawks, which also charted [Flash 109]. The Cadets also recorded as the Jacks, and the Jayhawks later became the Vibrations.
Slow Walk - Sil Austin [Mercury 70963] (Austin, Siders, Moore) charted Top 30 in a cover by Bill Doggett [King 5000].
Church Bells May Ring - Diamonds [Mercury 70835] (Craft, Middleton, Martin, Martin, Davis) was a cover of the Willows [Melba 102].
Burn That Candle - Bill Haley & the Comets [Decca 29713] (Winfield Scott) was originally by the Cues [‘55, Capitol 3245].
Chains of Love - Pat Boone [Dot 15490] (Nugetre) was originally an R&B hit for Joe Turner [‘51, Atlantic 45-939].
Seven Days - Crew-Cuts [Mercury 70782] (Carroll, Taylor) is a cover of Clyde McPhatter’s R&B hit [Atlantic 1081]; Dorothy Collins’ cover also made Top 30 [Coral 61562].
In the Middle of the House - Rusty Draper [Mercury 70921] (Hilliard) was equally popular in the version by Vaughn Monroe [RCA Victor 6619].
Lullaby of Birdland - Blue Stars [Mercury 70742] (Shearing) French vocal group led by Blossom Dearie gave a vocal treatment to this jazz tune by British bandleader George Shearing [‘52, MGM 11354].
Top Thirties:
Mutual Admiration Society - Teresa Brewer [Coral 61737] (Dubey, Carr) is from the Ethel Merman musical Happy Hunting.
My Blue Heaven - Fats Domino [Imperial 5386] (Donaldson, Whiting) is a 1928 song, added to Ziegfeld Follies of 1927, sung by Eddie Cantor. Recorded versions were by Gene Austin [Victor 20964], Paul Whiteman [Victor 20828], Don Voorhees [Columbia 1129-D] and Nick Lucas [Brunswick 3684].
When My Dreamboat Comes Home - Fats Domino [Imperial 5396] (Friend, Franklin) was a 1937 hit for Guy Lombardo [Victor 25435], Shep Fields [Bluebird 6661], and Henry ‘Red’ Allen [Vocalion 3389], and revived in 1953 by Kay Starr [Capitol 2595].
(Love Is) The Tender Trap - Frank Sinatra [Capitol 3290] (Kahn, Van Heusen) is from Sinatra’s film The Tender Trap.
Mr. Wonderful - Peggy Lee [Decca 29834] (Bock, Holofcener, Weiss) is the title song to a Broadway musical starring Sammy Davis, Jr. Versions by Sarah Vaughan [Mercury 70777] and Teddi King [RCA Victor 6392] also charted.
The Bus Stop Song (A Paper of Pins) - Four Lads [Columbia 40736] (Darby) is from the Marilyn Monroe movie Bus Stop.
Portuguese Washerwoman - Joe ‘Fingers’ Carr [Capitol 3418] (Popp, Lucchesi) is a popular French song from 1955, ‘Les lavandières du Portugal’, with popular versions by Jacqueline François, Suzy Delair and Luis Marino.
Ask Me - Nat ‘King‘ Cole [Capitol 3328] (Gaze, Niessen, Skylar) is a German song, ‘Deine erste Liebe’, but I can’t find more information on it. One lyric site gives the performer as Alcie Babs [‘55 ]- again, no more information.
The Italian Theme - Cyril Stapleton [London 1672] (Giacomazzi) may be of foreign origin; its alternate title (in U.K. release) is ’Mambo Caliente’.
Somebody Up There Likes Me - Perry Como [RCA Victor 6590] (Cahn, Caper) is the title song to a Paul Newman movie.
To You, My Love - Nick Noble [Mercury 70821] (Lawrence, Louis Gasté) was a French hit for the composer‘s wife, Line Renaud, as ‘Je ne sais pas’ [‘54]; also sung by Miguel Amador.
Rip It Up - Little Richard [Specialty 579] (Blackwell, Marascalco) also charted in Bill Haley & the Comets’ version [Decca 30028].
Gee Whittakers! - Pat Boone [Dot 15435] (Scott) is a cover of a Five Keys song [Capitol 3267].
Innamorata - Dean Martin [Capitol 3352] (Brooks, Warren) is from the Jerry Lewis-Dean Martin movie Artists and Models, and also made Top 30 for Jerry Vale [Columbia 40634].
In a Shanty on Old Shanty Town - Somethin’ Smith & the Redheads [Epic 9168] (Young, Siras, Little) was featured in the 1932 film The Crooner sung by Teddy Joyce; the song’s co-writer, Little Jack Little, sang it on stage and radio. Recorded hit versions were by Ted Lewis [Columbia 2652-D] and Ted Black [Victor 24050]. It charted for Johnny Long in 1946 [23622].
April In Paris - Count Basie [Clef 89162] (Harburg, Duke) was featured in the 1932 show Walk a Little Faster, sung by Evelyn Hoey. It was recorded by Freddy Martin [Brunswick 6717], Henry King [Victor 24478] and Marian Chase [LMS L-153].
Love, Love, Love (Mcrae, Wyche, David) charted for the Clovers [Atlantic 1094] and the Diamonds [Mercury 70889].