#1 hits of 1954: rock and roll is coming

The voice of Tony the Tiger

Here are the #1 hits of 1954. Even though I was an infant when these came out, some of them are familiar because they got heavily played on oldies stations.

Sidebar: one of the rare times I REALLY feel old is when I hear music of the 1990s described as “oldies.”

All of these songs were gold records except This Ole House. There are 65 weeks of #1 songs because of competing Billboard charts.

Little Things Mean A Lot – Kitty Kallen (Decca), nine weeks at #1

Sh-Boom – The Crew Cuts (Mercury), nine weeks at #1. The Crew Cuts was a white Canadian group. From A Century of Pop Music by Joel Whitburn: Sh-Boom was originally “a song by the R&B group The Chords.” The Chords’ version (Cat) went to #5 pop and #2 for two weeks RB that year. “The subsequent influx of R&B songs covered by white artists such as Pat Boone and Gale Storm introduced R&B to the mass audience and left white teens hungry for more.” I’ve heard both versions.

Wanted – Perry Como with Hugo Winterhalter’s orchestra and chorus (RCA Victor), eight weeks at #1

Oh! My Papa (O Mein Papa) – Eddie Fisher with Hugo Winterhalter’s orchestra and chorus (RCA Victor), eight weeks at #1. I remember this song, which I found schmaltzy.

Make Love To Me! – Jo Stafford with Paul Weston and his orchestra (Columbia), seven weeks at #1

Mr. Sandman – The Chordettes (Cadence), seven weeks at #1. The “yes?” is spoken by Archie Bleyer, Cadence’s founder and the orchestra leader on the recording. It’s a song I already linked to this year. A Reddit post says it’s “the best unintentionally creepy song,” which I’m not feeling.

George Clooney’s aunt

Hey There – Rosemary Clooney with Buddy Cole and his orchestra (Columbia), six weeks at #1. The song is from the Broadway musical The Pajama Game. I remember that first line after the intro.

Secret Love– Doris Day with the orchestra conducted by Ray Heindorf (Columbia), four weeks at #1. From the Warner Brothers picture, Calamity Jane, in which she starred. The IMDb states she recorded the song in one take.

This Ole House – Rosemary Clooney with Buddy Cole and his orchestra (Columbia), three weeks at #1. I always liked this song, especially the featured bass vocals by the wonderful Thurl Ravenscroft.

I Need You Now – Eddie Fisher with Hugo Winterhalter’s orchestra (RCA Victor), three weeks at #1

Three Coins In The Fountain – Four Aces featuring Al Alberts (Decca), one week at #1. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote the title song from the 20th Century film.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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