1950s EASY-POP Songs and Singers...on the verge of Rock 'n Roll
Top Twenty Fabulous-but-Forgotten EASY-POP Recordings of the 1950s
The 20 Best EASY-POP Songs that You Never Heard Of :
My Little Angel by the Four Lads 1956 With its lush orchestral arrangement, fanfares of trumpets, and angelic singers in the background, My Little Angel has a bright, melodic, sentimental, and uncomplicated sound—polished and crisp—classic fifties harmony.
Learning to Love by Peggy King 1955 The breathtaking pace and driving beat of Learning to Love
was a departure from the traditional standards associated with Peggy
King. The juxtaposition of a very fifties lyric, the jazz/rock
arrangement, and Peggy King’s vibrant voice come together in this
unique take-it-slow-it’s-my-first-time record.
Here Comes Summer by Jerry Keller 1959 Jerry Keller’s Here Comes Summer is the epitome of a young guy’s idea of summer vacation in the fifties with double-features at drive-in movies.
Mostly Martha by the Crew-Cuts 1955 The underrated Crew-Cuts strayed from R&B covers in Mostly Martha.
The orchestra gets off to a rousing start, the Crew-Cuts energetic
vocal harmony is at its best, and the finger-snapping arrangement is
I Dreamed by Betty Johnson 1956 Betty
Johnson’s wholesome personality suited this fluffy song about a young
girl’s dream of being a queen who abdicates her throne for her true
love. It begins with a male chorus repeating “dream on little girl,
dream on little girl.”
Wild Horses by Perry Como 1953 Perry Como’s voice and style are showcased in Wild Horses
with its unique arrangement of plucked and bowed violins, a chorus of
‘by-up, by-up’ and a pack of Wild Horses that couldn’t keep these
There Goes My Heart by Joni James 1958 This
plaintive, yet lilting lament is full of orchestral crescendos as a
broken-hearted Joni James sighs “There goes the one I love and here am
Lovin’ Spree by Eartha Kitt 1954 Eartha Kitt’s (Goin’ on a) Lovin’ Spree,
is an unusual country-flavored record featuring a Henri Rene
arrangement replete with steel guitars backing her light vibrato-laden
voice. It was the most typical fifties song she recorded.
You, My Love by Frank Sinatra 1955 Frank Sinatra's engaging, happy, but shy version of the song You, My Love
was a bigger hit for him in England than it was in the United States.
This song was originally introduced in the film 'Young at Heart' as a
duet with Doris Day.
Suddenly There’s a Valley by Gogi Grant 1955 An
angelic chorus introduces Gogi Grant’s first Era release and her voice
soars to “kiss the falling rain” where “friend-ships never end” in this
buoyant and majestic ballad, Suddenly There’s a Valley (Where Hope and Love Begin).
To the Ends of the Earth by Nat King Cole 1956 Nat King Cole’s rich husky voice and careful enunciation was at its hickory-smoked best ‘stalking his love’ in the beguiling To the Ends of the Earth (Just to be where you are), a haunting, thousand-goodbyes-won’t-convince-me-you-are-gone, beguine.
May You Always by the McGuire Sisters 1959 The
McGuire Sisters’ unaffectedly beguiling manner and flawless harmony
was the musical embodiment of the popular ‘may you always be a dreamer’
culture of the fifties.
Now That I’m In Love by Patti Page 1953 Honey-voiced
Patti Page defined the decade of earnest, adult pop with her dreamy
legato phrasing and her wide range of material. Her Oklahoma accent
shines in this catchy, infectious, easy-to-sing-along-with recording.
When by Kalin Twins 1958 Catchy from the first note, When jumps off with clicking percussion and snap-ping fingers introducing the harmony and unique blend of the Kalen Twins.
Love Me in the Daytime by Doris Day 1959 The delightful, and enthusiastic Love Me in the Daytime
is typical of the fresh, inviting shuffle rhythms so often associated
with Doris Day. Her sincere approach, the attractive timbre in her
voice, and the glee in her delivery can be heard in this playful
Padre by Toni Arden 1958 Very possibly the best recording in the lost-love genre is Toni Arden’s Padre. Having lost her love to another woman, distraught Toni Arden now finds solace only in prayer, “counting her beads alone.”
We Could by Nick Noble 1957 If
there was ever a quintessential, optimistic fifties young love song,
this attractive, effortless country-styled
if-anyone-could-find-true-love-we-could ballad is it.
Look for a Star by Garry Mills 1960 The rippling arrangement in Look for a Star
sets up Garry Mills’ smooth and easy, tenor vocal with a flourish at
the end of each refrain “someone to love” where the word ‘love’ becomes
the lilting, three syllable word ‘luh-uh-uhv.’
Who’ll Be My Judge by Joan Weber 1957 Following her #1 Let Me Go Lover hit, this fantastic yet seldom-heard recording, Who’ll Be My Judge should have been another smash as Joan Weber wonders “whose life is pure?” and “whose conscience is clear?”
Andy Williams’ fast-paced You Don’t Want My Love arranged
with drums, tambourine, saxophone, and a chorus singing ‘in the summer
time, when all the trees are green’ is one of his best up-tempo
recordings and the most overlooked.
Forgotten 45rpm Singles, recorded in the 1950s, that should-have-been Smash Hits
pace of life was slower in the fifties: there seemed to be more time,
music was easy to listen to, to daydream to, and to relax to. Life was
easier—driving around town with the radio on, going to the local
hangout, putting change into the jukebox, and listening to the latest
hits—without a care in the world. The familiar as well as the forgotten
EASY-POP music of the fifties reflects that period in time.
popularity of EASY-POP music peaked before its creative style
peaked—rock ‘n’ roll was beginning to dominate the popularity charts.
Perfected sound and outstanding arrangements of the late fifties
EASY-POP era produced amazing recordings but they were not always
popular successes. There are probably as many reasons for a recording’s
limited popularity as there are songs, sometimes it was just a matter
of unfavorable timing of the record’s release, sometimes a recording
was relegated to the ‘B’ side of the 45rpm record where it got lost,
maybe the A&R men were pushing something else, or another recording
or event eclipsed it.