Fifty more Almost-as-Great lost 50s EASY-POP Songs that Should-Have-Been Hits
Am I That Easy to Forget by Debbie Reynolds 1959 This
admirable recording from Debbie Reynolds was a typical 50s love-lost
song and very topical one, coming on the heels of Eddie Fisher’s move
from his first marriage with Debbie Reynolds to his second marriage
with Elizabeth Taylor.
April in Portugal by Vic Damone 1953 Originally
written for the Univ. of Coimbra in Portuguese East Africa, this
seldom- heard vocal version opens big and features a lush, lilting
arrangement that soars to a dramatic crescendo. Tony Marin also
recorded April in Portugal in 1953.
Bimbombey by Jimmie Rodgers 1958 This, rarely heard, pop/country/folk song was typical of recordings by
this popular fifties performer with the high sweet voice.
Blue Star by Felicia Sanders 1955 This
version of the theme from the TV series ‘Medic’ was her only hit single
other than her vocal on Percy Faiths’ instrumental hit Song from
Bon Voyage by Janice Harper 1957 With
a powerful, emphatic style, reminiscent of Georgia Gibbs, Janice
Harper’s string-laden sob story of lost love never made it into the
top-forty, and this was her biggest hit.
Born Too Late by the Poni-Tails 1958 The
wispy Poni-Tails released three recordings in the late fifties but this
female trio never succeeded in achieving a top-five hit. Born Too Late is their best-remembered release.
Chanson d’Amour by Art & Dottie Todd 1958 The
only chart-making song from Art and Dottie Todd barely made it into the
top-ten and a version recorded by the Fontane Sisters didn’t even do
Domani (Tomorrow) by Julius LaRosa 1955 This
classic American/Italian recording exemplifies the dozens of popular
fifties Italian songs and singers. It is one of Julius La Rosa’s most
endearing and enduring releases.
Eddie My Love by the Teen Queens 1956 R&B
sisters Betty and Rosie Collins charted just this one recording and it
never hit the top-ten; neither did versions by the Fontane Sisters nor
the Chordettes. Goodbye to Rome (Arrivederci Roma) by Georgia Gibbs 1955 Usually
associated with popular male singers, this is another great version of
the perennial Italian hit, popularized in the Mario Lanza film ‘Seven
Hills of Rome.’
Hold ‘Em Joe by Harry Belafonte 1954 and 1957 An
outstanding calypso recording, from the Broadway show ‘John Murray
Anderson’s Almanac’ was released twice, by this popular 50s Jamaican
(How Little It Matters) How Little We Know by Frank Sinatra 1956 This light, easy masterpiece didn’t break into the top-ten. It was overshadowed by his swinging hit Hey! Jealous Lover. Both featured trademark Sinatra style and Nelson Riddle arrangement from their groundbreaking ‘concept’ albums.
I Wanna Go Where You Go by Eddie Fisher 1955 This powerful, driving song is often overlooked because of his more popular 1955 records Heart and Dungaree Doll. It was the ‘B’ side of the equally unsuccessful Magic Fingers.
I’ll Remember Today by Patti Page 1957 The
decade’s most popular singer recorded this forgotten gem. The touching,
melodramatic lost-love song was released between her hits Old Cape Cod and Left Right Out of Your Heart.
In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening by Bing Crosby & Jane Wyman 1951 Bing Crosby’s academy award winning duet, In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening with actress Jane Wyman is a hip, shank-of-the-night, doins-are-right song from the engaging film ‘Here Comes the Groom.’
Joey by Betty Madigan 1954 It
was only Joey that she remembers…Joey made her change her last name, in
this delightful Betty Madigan recording backed by the Ray Charles
Singers. Debbie Reynolds also recorded this all-but-forgotten song.
Let It Be Me by Jill Corey 1957 (Now and Forever) Let It Be Me is an expressive, mournful, without-your-love-what-would-life-be, song that first appeared on the CBS-TV program ‘Climax.’
Miracle of Love by Eileen Rodgers 1956 The
chorus begins ‘bom,bom,bom,bom’ in this arrangement for lovely but
seldom heard Eileen Rodgers. In spite of a great arrangement with Ray
Conniff and his orchestra it never hit the top-ten.
Mister Tap Toe by Doris Day 1953 This
is another outstanding, exhilarating, fast-paced, bouncy, release from
everyone’s favorite girl-next-door. She is backed by the Norman Luboff
A Penny a Kiss by Dinah Shore & Tony Martin 1951 RCA Victor teamed two of its most popular recording stars to produce this interesting light, bright romantic romp.
Ring-A-Ling-A-Lario by Jimmie Rodgers 1959 This, rarely heard, pop/country/folk song was typical of recordings by
this popular fifties performer with the high sweet voice.
Sisters by Rosemary & Betty Clooney 1954 Rosemary
Clooney and Vera-Ellen introduced Sisters in the musical film ‘White
Christmas.’ For the single, Rosemary teamed with her sister Betty and
the Clooney style—fine timing and diction with intimacy—is evident in
this duet even though it never broke into the top-twenty.
Summertime, Summertime by the Jamies 1958 and 1962 Brother
and sister, Tom and Serena Jamison formed the Jamies with Jeannie Roy
and Arthur Blair. They twice released this upbeat ‘no time to work,
just time to play, we’ll go swimming every day…have a ball, a regular
free-for-all,’ song that Tom wrote, but neither release made it into
Takes Two to Tango by Pearl Bailey 1952 Pearl
Bailey’s irreverent personality, inimitable style, and mischievous
you-can-go-to-pot-on-your-own spirit, sparkle in her recording of Takes Two to Tango.
The brassy arrangement—saxophones, trombones, and trumpets—matches the
vocal style of Pearl Bailey’s indomitable throaty voice. This I Know by Gisele MacKenzie 1957 Hit parade regular, Gisele MacKenzie recorded this dramatic ballad that is similar in theme to Jane Morgan’s 1959 If Only I Could Live My Life Again.
Two Different Worlds by Don Rondo 1956 This
little-known baritone had the most successful version of this
commanding ballad that was also recorded by Jane Morgan and by Dick
Warm and Tender by Johnny Mathis 1957 This jaunty, seldom-heard song was issued as the B-side of It’s Not for Me to Say. Both tunes were written by Hal David and Burt Bacharach and featured in the film ‘Lizzie.’
With All My Heart by Jodie Sands 1957 Opening with Jodie Sands chirping ‘la, la, la, la, la’ and backed by a chorus singing the lyrics in Italian, With All My Heart from little known Philadelphia singer Jodie Sands did edge into the top-twenty but has certainly been forgotten.
You Don’t Know Me by Jerry Vale 1956 This
touching song of unrequited love was the most successful single from
the popular ballad singer, born Genero Vitaliano in the Bronx. But even
his most successful record never made it into the top-ten.
You're So Square (but I Don't Care) by Elvis Presley 1957
In a most unusual situation for the King of Rock 'n' Roll, this recording of You’re So Square,
a fifties pop song with a light rock ‘n’ roll bridge from his 3rd film
'Jailhouse Rock' never even made it into the top one hundred! Maybe You’re So Square was overlooked and rarely heard because two much more familiar songs Jailhouse Rock and Treat Me Nice also came from the film.
Young and Warm and Wonderful by Tony Bennett 1958 Tony
Bennett’s glowing intensity was on display in this easy-going love
song. He has his own special way of making its quiet mood spring
unforgettably to life, but unfortunately, this recording would not
place in the top-twenty.