Music for the 38th parallel: 1950

Ames Brothers, Andrews Sisters

Patti PageJust as the 38th parallel separates North and South Korea, so does the year 1950 bisect the century. This was the year the Korean war began. It ended, sort of, three years later.

It was the year my parents got married, which I always appreciated. The round year made remembering which anniversary they were celebrating. they were wed 50 years before my dad died in 2000.

A bit about the list below. Billboard had a “triad of charts – record sellers, juke boxes, and radio airplay” in this period. this explains why there 103 weeks represented in the list below.

The Tennessee Waltz – Patti Page, #1 for thirteen weeks, gold record. I have this one a compilation.
Goodnight Irene – Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers, #1 for thirteen weeks, gold record. When I was a kid, my father used to come to my classroom every semester. He’d always sing this song, attributed to Leadbelly. My classmates assumed I put him up to it, and that I had a crush on the girl in our class named Irene, which was untrue.

“The Third Man” Theme – Anton Karas, #1 for eleven weeks
The Third Man Theme – Guy Lombardo, #1 for eleven weeks, gold record

If You Knew You Were Comin’ (I’d Have Baked A Cake) – Eileen Barton, #1 for ten weeks, gold record. This is a song that my mother would sing around the house.

Mona Lisa – Nat “King” Cole, #1 for eight weeks, gold record. I have this, of course. My mom’s favorite artist.
Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy – Red Foley, #1 for eight weeks, gold record

Yes, you can

I Can Dream, Can’t I? – Andrews Sisters, #1 for five weeks, gold record
All My Love (Bolero) – Patti Page, #1 for five weeks
The Thing – Phil Harris, #1 for five weeks, gold record. This was a novelty song that I heard on the radio, long before Dr. Demento.

Harbor Lights – Sammy Kaye with Tony Alamo and the Kayets, #1 for four weeks
Music! Music! Music! – Teresa Brewer, #1 for four weeks. On the record album I never wrote, let alone performed, a snippet of this song appears. “Put another nickel in, in the nickelodeon.”

I Wanna Be Loved – Andrew Sisters with Gordon Jenkins and his orchestra, #1 for two weeks
Rag Mop – Ames Brothers, #1 for two weeks, gold record. I know this from the Beany and Cecil cartoon show.
The Cry Of The Wild Goose – Frankie Laine, #1 for two weeks, gold record
Hoop-Dee-Doo – Perry Como, with the Fontane Sisters, #1 for two weeks

Sentimental Me – Ames Brothers, #1 for one week, gold record