The Way We Were (part 3) - Jan-June 1947 ©JCMarion
JANUARY-At the start of the new year the recordings showing the most promise are : "The Beginning of the End" by Cass Daley(Decca), "Save Me A Dream" by Freddy Martin's orchestra with vocal by Clyde Rogers, "Address Unknown" sung by The Inkspots(Decca) and "Sonata" by Perry Como(Victor) and Carmen Cavallero(Decca). The song "Bless You", having been England's number one seller for 24 consecutive weeks is rush recorded by a host of American recording artists. Among the group are : Betty Rhodes(Victor), Phil Brito(Musicraft), Inkspots(Decca), Eddy Heywood(Majestic), Dick Jurgens(Columbia), Clark Dennis(Capitol), Harry Cool(Signature) and Griff Williams(Sonora). A hot seller on the west coast is "Open The Door Richard" by Jack McVea(Black & White). Columbia issues a two sided 12 inch recording of "Soliloquy" by Frank Sinatra. "September Song" has additional releases by Tony Martin(Decca), Joe Mooney Quartet(Decca), Jo Stafford(Capitol), and Bridget O'Brien and Louis Prima(Majestic). Johnny Desmond (sometimes billed as the "G.I. Sinatra") records "I'll Close My Eyes" with the Page Cavenaugh Trio for Capitol. Count Basie records his version of the fast rising hit "Open The Door Richard" with vocals by Harry Edison and Bill Johnson on Victor, and Buddy Clark's new release for Columbia are two tunes from the Broadway hit show Finian's Rainbow-"How Are Things In Glocca Morra ?" (introduced by Ella Logan) and "If This Isn't Love". In mid January 1947's first top ten best seller list of recordings looks like this :
10-"Sooner Or Later" - Sammy Kaye(Victor)
9-"Rumors Are Flying" - Frankie Carle(Columbia)
The Andrews Sisters(Decca)
8-"The Things We Did Last Summer" - Vaughn Monroe(Victor)
7-"The Whole World Is Singing My Song" - Les Brown(Columbia)
6-"A Gal In Calico" (from the picture The Time, The Place, and The Girl)
Tex Beneke(Victor) -
5-"Zip-Ah-De-Doo-Dah" - Sammy Kaye(Victor)
4-"Huggin` And Chalkin`" - Hoagy Carmichael(Decca)
3-"Old Buttermilk Sky" (from the picture Canyon Passage)
2-"For Sentimental Reasons" - Ella Fitzgerald(Decca)
1-"The Old Lamplighter" - Sammy Kaye(Victor)
Benny Goodman begins a radio show for Mobil on NBC Monday nights, while Freddy Martin begins his fourth year on the Jack Carson Show. Fred Robbins begins The Columbia Record Hop on Saturday mornings. The music show will showcase records only on the Columbia label. The long running hit show Your Hit Parade starts a new format. No more cast vocals, as Joan Edwards is let go after six years. Short term guest stars will be used instead, and the initial lineup features Dinah Shore, Andy Russell, and the Mark Warnow orchestra. Martin Block names Tex Beneke as the number one band in his listener's poll. The radio ratings list the top fifteen shows -
15-Burns and Allen
11-Mister District Attorney
10-Amos & Andy
8-Lux Radio Theater
7-Screen Guild Players
4-Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy
2-Fibber Magee & Molly
WNEW will debut a Saturday night jazz program mc'd by Art Ford and will feature Billie Holliday, Charlie Shavers, Pete Johnson and Red Norvo. During the year 1946 Decca records was the top grossing company, and Perry Como the top earning performer. Frankie Carle was second. The album from the musical Oklahoma passed the one half million sales mark, and Cole Porter's "Night And Day" has 185 recorded versions out. Buddy Rich breaks up his band while Buddy Moreno starts one. The 400 Club in New York folds and the Aquarium drops it's band policy. Benny Goodman switches labels from Columbia to Capitol. The Jolson Story opens at Loews State, while on stage, the new comedy team of Martin and Lewis. Tex Beneke is set to open the refurbished Glen Island Casino.
FEBRUARY-The spot for the first dj job on the Don Lee network goes to Peter Potter, who beats out Harry James. Martin Block's 12th annual popularity poll is out. Tex Beneke, as already announced, is the number one band. The number one vocalists are-male : Frank Sinatra, and female : Margaret Whiting. Tex Beneke is featured on the Saturday night show Treasury Bandstand. Dinah Shore and Andy Russell are both on Your Hit Parade and both have hit records of "Anniversary Song", so the plan is for them to alternate singing the song on the air. Fibber McGee and Molly is the #1 radio program. The most played record on the radio is "For Sentimental Reasons" by Nat King Cole. The top budgeted show on the air is Bing Crosby'sMusic Hall. WOR in New York celebrates 25 years on radio. Vic Damone starts a 15 minute program on the Mutual network.
Billy Eckstine goes to MGM records from National. At the Paramount are Ella Fitzgerald, The Inkspots, and Cootie Williams band. Ted Weems 1931 record of "Heartaches" starts a groundswell of popularity after heavy airplay on WBT in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 3 Suns at the Hotel Picadilly in New York, invite NY dj's to broadcast from the stage. The first to take them up on the offer is the team of Andre Baruch and Bea Wain. During the month recording activity is very heavy as the labels look to springtime hits, after the holiday layoffs. Sarah Vaughn records "September Song" with Teddy Wilson for Musicraft. "I Tipped My Hat And Slowly Walked Away" by Jack Smith and The Clark Sisters(Capitol) is tabbed as a "can't miss". The Majestic label releases "Neccessity" by Georgia Gibbs, "Lover" by Mildred Bailey with Ellis Larkins, and "Santa Catalina" by Eddy Howard. Phil Harris records "The Preacher and the Bear" for Victor, Buddy Clark has both "Linda" and "How Are Things In Glocca Morra" on seperate Columbia sides. The Andrews Sisters latest for Decca is "My Dearest Uncle Sam" with Vic Schoen's orchestra. Benny Goodman's first release for Capitol is "Moon Faced and Starry Eyed" with vocal by Johnny Mercer. New albums out are "Manhattan Moods" by Eddy LaMar and his orchestra(Capitol), "Concertos For Dancing" by Freddy Martin(Victor), and "Who's Sorry Now" by Eddy Heywood(Decca). Certainly the hottest up and coming tune is "Open The Door Richard", and everybody it seems has a version out on wax. Among these are : Dusty Fletcher(National), who is the originator of the comedy routine that produced the tune, Jack McVea(Black & White), the early best seller, Bill Samuels and the Cats & Jammer Three (Mercury), Count Basie(Victor), 1 String Willie & his Jivesters(Empey), The Three Flames(Columbia), Charioteers(Columbia), Walter Brown & Tiny Grimes(Signature), The MerryMacs(Majestic), Pied Pipers(Capitol), Sid Catlett(Manor), and "Hot Lips" Page(Apollo). Bing Crosby's "Merry Christmas" album for Decca tops the cast recording of the show "Oklahoma". The four record album which includes "White Christmas" has racked up 350,000 in 1945 and another 400,000+ in 1946. A new song entitled "The Egg And I" from the film of the same name, is recorded by Dinah Shore(Columbia), Sammy Kaye(Victor), The MerryMacs (Majestic), Helen Forrest(MGM), and Connie Haynes and Harry Babbit(Mercury). The great success of the Three Suns has led to sound-a-like trios including the Twilight Trio(Majestic), which was the Suns former label before the switch to RCA, the Dell Trio(Columbia), the Gordon Trio(Signature) and the Airlane Trio on Mercury.
MARCH-Your Hit Parade makes news again this March with two big changes. The first is the reduction in air time from 45 minutes to one half hour. The second change is it's network, as it goes from NBC to CBS. Former bandleader Paul Whiteman has a new show called Assembly, and it features singer Mindy Carson. Martin Block adds the coast to coast show Supper Club, along with live broadcasts from California and a transcribed show in New York. Robert Q. Lewis goes to CBS to sub for Arthur Godfrey. Most radio stations ban Walter Brown & Tiny Grimes recording of "Open The Door Richard" on Signature. The label then voluntarily withdraws it from sale. Spike Jones and his orchestra prove to be big at the box office. The Santa Catalina Casino ends it's name band policy. Elmo Tanner (the whistler), rejoins Ted Weems due to the popularity of it's 1931 recording of "Heartaches". The Sonora label announces the signing of Ginny Sims and Dick Todd. At the Paramount-Jimmy Dorsey with Dee Parker and Bob Caroll, and Louis Jordan and the Tympani Five. Ziggy Elman calls it quits for his recently formed band. Doris Day debuts as a solo artist at Billy Reed's Little Club.
New record releases of the month include : "I'm In The Mood For Love" by Monica Lewis with Ray Block(Signature), "My Number One Dream" by Jane Harvey and the Page Cavenaugh Trio(RCA Victor, as it is now designated), "Richard's Answer" by Stepin Fetchit(Apollo), Jimmy Dorsey's first on MGM-"Heartaches", "Roses In The Rain" Marjorie Hughes with Frankie Carle's orchestra(Columbia), "Texas and Pacific" by Louis Jordan(Decca), "Easter Parade" by Bing(Decca), "My Favorite Brunette" by Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour(Capitol), "That's My Desire"-Frankie Laine (Mercury), "My Adobe Hacienda" by Eddy Howard(Majestic), and "If I Had My Life To Live Over" by Bob Eberle and The Songspinners with Frankie Froeba and his Trio(Decca). Decca claims net sales of close to 37 million records for the year 1946. Their latest million seller is Louis Jordan's "Choo Choo 'Ch Boogie". The new MGM label promos it's roster of Blue Barron, Jimmy Dorsey, Ziggy Elman, Helen Forrest, Art Mooney, Hal McIntyre, Sy Oliver, David Rose, Raymond Scott, Kate Smith and Mark Warnow.
APRIL-Tony Martin comes to radio on CBS, with Evelyn Knight, the Jeff Alexander chorus and Victor Young's orchestra. English singer Beryl Davis is signed to appear on Your Hit Parade. Little Jack Little appears as a dj on WEAM in Arlington Virginia. Former Sammy Kaye vocalist Bill Williams signed to appear in the Columbia motion picture Smokey River Serenade. Paul Whiteman to go nationwide as a radio dj. Your Hit Parade pares down the top tunes to the top seven.The #1 record is "Heartaches" by Ted Weems(Decca) the original, and (RCA Victor)the remake. The #1 album is Hamp's Boogie Woogie by Lionel hampton on Decca. The VOX label plans to record WNEW's Swing Session radio program and issue it as an album. New recordings released this month are : "Why Didn't We Say We're Sorry"-Tex Beneke orchestra with vocal by Tex, Gary Stevens and the Mellowlarks(RCA Victor), "Rose Of Santa Rosa"-Bing with Bob Crosby's Bobcats and the Chickadees(Decca), "Spring Isn't Everything" by Tommy Dorsey with vocal by Stewart Foster (RCA Victor), "The Brooklyn Bridge"-Frank Sinatra with Axel Stordahl (Columbia-from the picture "It Happened In Brooklyn"), "Would You Believe Me?" by Eddy Howard(Majestic), "Red Silk Stockings and Green Perfume" by Ray McKinley(Majestic), and "Peg 'o My Heart" by The Harmonicats (Universal) and Clark Dennis(Capitol). Decca claims it's album "The Jolson Story" will be the first one to sell over one million copies. Present sales are put at 650,000 sets. Bing's Christmas album is at 750,000 over two years and the Oklahoma album has sold 550,000 so far. Decca is pushing it's One Million Club for label artists with million sellers. They include Bing, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Jordan, Andrews Sisters, Ink Spots, Dick Haymes and Carmen Cavallero. Al Jolson's single of "Anniversary Waltz" is nearing the one million sales figure. The top record in the juke boxes is "Mam'selle" by Art Lund(MGM) and Dick Haymes(Decca). The song is from the cafe scene in the picture The Razor's Edge. Also new are "It's Dreamtime" by Mel Torme (Musicraft), "Across The Alley From The Alamo"-Andrews Sisters(Decca) and Woody Herman(Columbia), "We Knew It All The Time" by Fran Warren with Claude Thornhill(Columbia) and "It's So Nice To be Nice" by Monica Lewis(Signature). LOOK magazine picks as it's band of the year - Elliot Lawrence. At the Capitol theater is Xavier Cugat and Martin & Lewis. Louis Prima has Jack Powers and Cathy Allen as vocalists.
MAY- The Ford Motors Corporation announces it is dropping sponsorship of the Dinah Shore radio show. Tommy Dorsey plans to become a radio dj. Kate Smith and partner Ted Collins are being pursued by radio. Mutual network is trying to sign Martin Block to rival Paul Whiteman on ABC. Tony Martin joins the cast of Texaco Star Theater on Sunday nights on CBS. WNEW debuts a new audience participation show called So You Want To Be A Disc Jockey ?. Besides Bing Crosby, only Dick Haymes (for AutoLite) has kept a music show's sponsor. Tommy Dorsey, Paul Whiteman, Peter Potter, Ted Husing, Woody Herman, Ira Cook, and Rudy Vallee all broadcasting as djs, have recorded syndicated interviews with musical personalities to use on the air between records. Vaughn Monroe will begin a show sponsored by Camels on CBS Saturday nights
The top ten best selling records in mid-May are as follows :
10-"Across The Alley From The Alamo" - Mills Brothers(Decca)
9-"If I Had My Life To Live Over" - Larry Vincent(20th Century)
8-"Red Stockings and Green Perfume" - Ray McKinley(Majestic)
7-"Anniversary Song" - Al Jolson(Decca)
6-"A Sunday Kind Of Love" - Claude Thornhill voc-Fran Warren(Columbia)
5-"That's My Desire" - Frankie Laine(Mercury)
4-"Linda" - Buddy Clark(Columbia)
3-"My Adobe Hacienda" - Eddy Howard(Majestic)
2-"Heartaches" - Ted Weems(Decca/RCA Victor)
1-"Mam`selle" - Art Lund(MGM) Dick Haymes(Decca)
The top of the best bets for the future weeks in record sales include the following : "Chi Baba, Chi Baba"(subtitled My Bambino go To Sleep) -Perry Como(RCA Victor), "Jack Jack Jack- The Andrews Sisters(Decca), "I Wonder I Wonder"-Martha Tilton(Capitol), "Peg `o My Heart"Harmonicats (Vitacoustics), "Roses In The Rain"-Frankie Carle(Columbia), "You Can't See The Sun"-Ink Spots(Decca), "Midnight Masquerade"-Eddy Howard(Majestic), "I Believe"-Frankie Laine(Mercury), "Time After Time"-Frank Sinatra(Columbia), "April Showers-Al Jolson (Decca), and "It's The Same Old Dream" by Tommy Dorsey(RCA Victor).Some of the new recordings released during the month are : "Sidewalks Of New York" by Hildegarde with The Song Spinners and Guy Lombardo and his orchestra(Decca); "Alexander's Ragtime Band" by Bing Crosby and Al Jolson (Decca); "Wish I Didn't Love You So" (from the picture Perils Of Pauline) by Betty Hutton(capitol); "Cecilia" by Dick Jurgens with vocal by Ronnie Kemper(Columbia); "It Takes Time"-Doris Day and Mitchell Ayers(Columbia) and "Come In Out Of The Rain" by Nat King Cole(Capitol). Percy Faith, noted conductor and arranger, signs with Majestic records. "Peg `o My Heart" by The Harmonicats on Vitacoustic (originally on Universal) has sales of over 600,000. The label also signs The Honeydreamers. Louis Jordan has three of the seven top selling "race records" (as they were called in 1947). They are "Texas and Pacific" (#1), "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens" (#2), and "Let The Good Times Roll" (#4) all on Decca. Eddy Vinson has two for Mercury-"Old Maid Boogie" and "Kidney Stew". The others are "I Wanna Be Loved" by Savannah Churchill(Decca) and "Hawk's Boogie" by Erskine Hawkins(RCA Victor).
New York's famed Zanzibar Club closes, as does the Vanity Fair. At the Apollo theater is Lucky Millinder with Annisteen Allen, Bullmoose Jackson and Deek Watson's Brown Dots. Tex Beneke and his orchestra is at the Glen Island Casino. Ted Weems plans a date in Charlotte North Carolina as a big thank you to Kurt Webster, dj at WBT who was responsible for making a huge hit out of the 1931 recording of "Heartaches". The bill at the Paramount is Boyd Raeburn, The Modernaires, Buddy Clark and Jan Murray.
JUNE-Radio programming begins to move heavily toward a full time dj musical policy. The So You Want To Be A D.J. ? program on WNEW must change it's title because Robert Q. Lewis has a program of the same name on rival WHN. In L.A., station KFWB hosts a "Block Party" to welcome Martin Block to the west coast. It is held on the front lawn of station president Harry Mainlish's mansion. Many of the top music stars of the day join the festivities. Martin Block Presents will air Monday through Saturday from 10am until 1pm. The Page Cavenaugh Trio joins the cast of the Jack Paar Show on Sunday evenings on NBC for Lucky Strike. Buddy Clark is on the Old Gold show every other Wednsday, and on the Contented program on Monday nights. Mark Warnow is soon to exit the Hit Parade show when Axel Stordahl arrives with Frank Sinatra. Old Gold has set up it's summer show-it will be called Rhapsody in Rhythm, and will feature Peggy Lee, Johnny Johnston, the Jubilaires and Jan Savitt's orchestra. Long time Nashville band leader Francis Craig becomes d.j. on WSM.
Some promising record releases in the month of June are : "Smoke Smoke Smoke (that cigarette)" by Tex Williams and the Western Caravan (Capitol); "Feudin` Fussin` and a-Fightin`" (originally introduced by Pat Brewster in the 1944 revue called Laffin` Room Only) by Dorothy Shay(Columbia); "Tallahassie"(from the show Variety Girl) by Johnny Mercer and the Pied Pipers(Capitol); "I'm So Right Tonight" by Jo Stafford and Paul Weston's orchestra(Capitol) "Temptation" (actually "Timtayshun" a comedy version of the pop song introduced by Bing Crosby in the 1933 film Going Hollywood) by Red Ingle(Capitol); and "Dreams Are A Dime A Dozen" by Sarah Vaughn(RCA Victor). Norman Granz starts up a new label called Clef. Beryl Davis records her first sides for RCA Victor. Decca records claims over one million copies sold of it's version of Ted Weems "Heartaches". Other promising records released this month are : "Pancho Maxmillian Hernandez" -Woody Herman(Columbia); "There's That Lonely Feeling Again" -Charlie Spivak with vocal by Tommy Mercer(RCA Victor); "Ace In The Hole" -Anita O'Day with Alvie and his Little Band(Signature); "I Have But One Heart" -Monica Lewis(Signature); "There But For You Go I" (from Brigadoon) -Frank Sinatra with Axel Stordahl.
Mel Torme` debuts as a solo performer at the Copacabana. Al Trace tries to get away from his "silly symphony' identification. Sammy Kaye sets the 2nd annual national finals of his So You Want To Lead A Band contest at Carnegie Hall for June 30th 1947. Art Lund premiers at the Roxy Theater riding the success of his hit recording of "Mam`selle".Some night spots are using djs "live" such as Jack Eigen(WINS) at the Copa, and Bea Kalmus(WHN) at the Fort Lee Riviera. The state of the big band business is the fact that one opening in the Freddy Martin orchestra for a four month tour bought forth 67 applications ! The Latin Quarter night club in New York features "Luncheon With Maggie McNellis and Herb Sheldon". The daughter of Jan Garber, Kitty Martin, joins the band as a vocalist.
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