1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Lost EASY-POP Songs from Albums:
Everything’s Coming Up Roses Kirby Stone Four 1959 Orchestra conducted by Jimmy Carroll Written by Stephen Sondheim and Jule Styne Following their 1958 hit Baubles, Bangles, and Beads, the inventive Kirby Stone Four, recorded their 3rd album in two years, ‘The Kirby Stone Touch,’ where they display their distinctive trademark ‘GO’ sound with this rousing tune from ‘Gypsy.”
Falling In Love With Love Dinah Shore 1959 Orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Her first album after moving to swinging Capitol Records, ‘Dinah, Yes Indeed,’ featured her amazing version of Falling in Love with Love. Dinah Shore’s warm, lilting voice moves soothingly over a surprising background of wild bongos and instrumental frenzy.
(The) Gypsy in My Soul Doris Day 1956 With Paul Weston and his Music from Hollywood Written by Moe Jaffe and Clay Boland Some of Doris Day’s finest performances appear on her LP ‘Day By Day’ where her appealing, personal style is most evident in the lively Gypsy in My Soul. The album also includes light, rhythmic versions of Gone With the Wind, But Beautiful, and Day by Day.
Hosanna Harry Belafonte 1956 With Tony Scott and His Orchestra Written by Irving Burgie (aka Lord Burgess) & William Attaway This song was from ‘Calypso,’ the album that made Harry Belafonte’s career. The West Indies album includes his two most successful songs Day-O and Jamaica Farewell, but it is the joyful house-building Hosanna, based on a Jamaican trade guilds song—a house built on a rock foundation will stand—that should have been a big Calypso hit for him.
I’m Shooting High Eydie Gorme 1959 Arranged by Billy Byers, Produced by Don Costa Written by Jimmy McHugh and Ted Koehler Her fourth album for ABC-Paramount, ‘Eydie Gorme…On Stage,’ captures the vivacious and rollicking spirit of Eydie Gorme as she performs the rhythmic, but rarely heard I’m Shooting High.
It’s Good To Be Alive the Four Aces 1957 Orchestra directed by Jack Pleis Written by Bob Merrill The Four Aces are at their best, displaying a sheer joy of singing in It’s Good To Be Alive from their Decca album ‘Hits from Broadway, the Four Aces.’ This underrated, upbeat song was introduced in the Broadway show ‘New Girl in Town’ starring Gwen Verdon.
Just for Once Pat Suzuki 1959 Arranged and conducted by George Siravo Written by Albert Hague and Dorothy Fields Capitalizing on her success in the Broadway show ‘Flower Drum Song,’ the RCA album ‘Pat Suzuki’s Broadway ‘59’ featured songs from seven late-fifties Broadway musicals. The snappy and flirtatious Just for Once was from ‘Redhead.’
Love is a Simple Thing Debbie Reynolds 1959 Arranged and conducted by Jerry Fielding Written by June Carroll and Arthur Siegel Her first album from Dot Records, ‘Debbie,’ features the actress singing one of her best recordings, the fresh and sincere, but undiscovered, Love is a Simple Thing. Her honesty and believability also come across in another song on the album, Hooray For Love.
Love is like Champagne Jane Morgan 1959 Orchestra directed by Vic Schoen Written by Jean Constantin, Carl Sigman, Norbert Glanzberg There are bubbles in her voice when she conveys the joy of discovering that Love is like Champagne in this fantastic song from ‘Jane Morgan Time’ that also includes her hopeful hit With Open Arms and the tenderness of her best-selling Happy Anniversary.
Lullaby of Broadway Tony Bennett 1957 Arranged by Ralph Sharon Written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren Only his third LP, ‘The Beat of My Heart’ was his first ‘concept’ album. In it he gives full-voiced emotion to an imaginative percussion arrangement of this popular standard. The LP also includes Let’s Face the Music and Dance and Just One of Those Things.
Married I Can Always Get Beverly Mahr 1956 Arranged and conducted by Gordon Jenkins Written by Gordon Jenkins This lighthearted look at romance is from ‘The Complete Manhattan Tower’ suite. Jeri Southern and Teddi King recorded singles of Married I Can Always Get, but it was never performed better than it is here by Beverly Mahr (Mrs. Gordon Jenkins).
Mountain Greenery Ella Fitzgerald 1956 Arranged by Buddy Bregman Written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart Following her extremely popular album of Cole Porter songs, Ella Fitzgerald released the second in her ‘Song Book’ series, the 2-LP set, ‘Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Rodgers & Hart Song Book’ with her medium-tempo Mountain Greenery, she is in peak form.
(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings Polly Bergen 1958 Orchestra conducted by Luther Anderson Written by Harold Rome, Jean Blanvillain, Henri Herpin Following her riveting dramatic performance as torch singer Helen Morgan on TV, Polly Bergen’s fourth album ‘My Heart Sings’ explores the livelier side of love with her stunning performance of the ascending and descending scales in My Heart Sings.
Things Are Swingin’ Peggy Lee 1959 Orchestra conducted by Jack Marshall Written by Peggy Lee and Jack Marshall All of the songs in her album ‘Things Are Swingin’ are pure and rich. Peggy Lee is at her most fervent and really shines with the up-tempo pace of the title song, her own composition, Things Are Swinging. She moves it along at a happy, sassy pace.
You Make Me Feel So Young Frank Sinatra 1956 Orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle Written by Mack Gordon and Josef Myrow Frank Sinatra returns to up-tempo material in his greatest swing album ‘Songs for Swinging Lovers’ singing You Make Me Feel So Young with authority and joy. Other Nelson Riddle arrangements on this concept album include Pennies from Heaven and I’ve Got You Under My Skin.
Zing Went The Strings of My Heart Judy Garland 1958 Orchestra conducted by Nelson Riddle Written by James F. Hanley Judy Garland conveys her stamina, virtuosity, and heart in all of her recordings. She gives one of her best performances singing Zing went the Strings of My Heart on her LP ‘Judy in Love’ with Nelson Riddle’s thrilling strings and brass to accompany her.
Fabulous-but-Overlooked EASY-POP Songs on Albums
The million-selling records and top-ten hits associated with the 1950s were released as single records on 45rpm discs. These compilations of a dozen songs on extended-play discs were called albums and they provided singers of the fifties the opportunity to sell a collection of songs rather than just one.
Teresa Brewer, Perry Como, Rosemary Clooney, Eddie Fisher, the McGuire Sisters, and Patti Page tended to record mostly 45rpm singles. Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Jane Morgan, and Andy Williams favored 33 1/3 LPs, while Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, and Frank Sinatra were successful in both formats. Scores of great 50s songs were released only on LPs. Some of the songs are unfamiliar while some are unexpected versions of familiar songs.