Not on YouTube: Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians - Velvet Lips
#1 this week: Mario Lanza - Be My Love
Pick of the week: I'll go with Patti Page's version of Mockin' Bird Hill, though I like Les Paul's as well. Better than either, of course, is the original country hit by the Pinetoppers. It's a pity I don't have the country charts . . .
Not on YouTube: Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra - Across the Wide Missouri
#1 this week: Mario Lanza - Be My Love
Pick of the week: Peter Cottontail is a seasonal re-release of a 1950 single, so that's out. Rosemary Clooney's version of Beautiful Brown Eyes is a boring cover of a pretty good song, so that's out too. Pass.
Across the Wide Missouri is a traditional song that (to me, at least) sounds pretty much the same as Shenandoah. It had a mini-revival in 1951 because of a Clark Gable western from that year: www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIpWHjA7jTU
I could have put this in the Film thread, but since we're on 1950, I thought I'd put it here. This is from a blog post by David Bordwell about old film critics, starting with a quote:
The movies live on children from the ages of ten to nineteen, who go steadily and frequently and almost automatically to the pictures; from the age of twenty to twenty-five people still go, but less often; after thirty, the audience begins to vanish from the movie houses. Checks made by different researchers at different times and places turn up minor variations in percentages; but it works out that between the ages of thirty and fifty, more than half of the men and women in the Unites States, steady patrons of the movies in their earlier years, do not bother to see more than one picture a month; after fifty, more than half see virtually no pictures at all.
This is the ultimate, essential, overriding fact about the movies. . . .
Yes, another oldie, this time from Gilbert Seldes’ book The Great Audience (1950). What we’ve been told for years was characteristic of our Now—the infantilization of the audience—has been in force for at least sixty years.
By the way, here are some US features released in 1950: Father of the Bride, Gun Crazy, House by the River, In a Lonely Place, Julius Caesar, Mystery Street, Night and the City, Panic in the Streets, Rio Grande, Shakedown, Stage Fright, Stars in My Crown, Summer Stock, Sunset Blvd., The Asphalt Jungle, The Baron of Arizona, The File on Thelma Jordan, The Furies, The Gunfighter, The Third Man, Twelve O’Clock High, Union Station, Wagon Master, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Whirlpool, Winchester ‘73, and probably some other good movies I haven’t seen.
Perhaps not a luminous year, but I’d settle. Especially compared with 2010. Did kids just have better taste then?
Some other good ones from 1950 Bordwell doesn't mention: All About Eve The Blue Lamp Born Yesterday The Breaking Point Cinderella Destination Moon D.O.A. The Flame and the Arrow The Happiest Days of Your Life Harvey Kill the Umpire Last Holiday The Men Los Olvidados Orphee Rashomon Seven Days to Noon State Secret Three Came Home Variety Lights
I'm not crazy about all the songs I've been finding, but there have been quite a few more gems than I'd be likely to find on the 2010 pop charts. So the answer must be yes, kids did have better taste back then . . .
Pick of the week: Apples and oranges here, with Dino delivering a helluva pop single and Lanza delivering a helluva great version of a classic aria. I'll give it to Mario, because you don't see Pagliacci crack the top 40 pop charts very often . . .
Not on YouTube: Phil Brito - Mama Vic Damone - Mama Georgia Gibbs - Once Upon a Nickel Ethel Merman and Ray Bolger - Once Upon a Nickel Florian Zabach - The Hot Canary
#1 this week: Perry Como - If
Pick of the week: Two flat out classics this week, and I'll give the edge too Les (the first guitar hero) Paul's How High the Moon over Nat King Cole's uber-romantic Too Young. That leaves On Top of Old Smoky, a song everybody knew when I was growing up, in third place. I also liked that Syncopated Clock record. Quite a week.