The #1 Hits of 1944

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If Bing Crosby was big in 1934, he was massive a decade later, as the #1 hits of 1944 show. He sang on six of the 17 songs on the charts, two with the Andrews Sisters. His 1942 smash White Christmas went Top 5 pop and Top 10 R&B in 1944.

From A Century of Music by Joel Whitburn: “The recording industry enjoyed booming success during the early 1940s until the era’s dominant big bands were stilled on August 1, 1942, when the American Federation of Musicians joined in a ban on recording due to a dispute over musicians’ royalties. By the time all record companies entered into an agreement to end the ban in late 1944, vocalists had assumed predominance over bands in popularity.”

Of course, the US was amid World War II, as some of the song titles make clear.

BTW, because of competing charts, there were 88 weeks’ worth of #1 hits.  All songs were on Decca Records except the two indicated.

Swinging On A Star – Bing Crosby, nine weeks at #1, gold record. From the  Paramount picture Going My Way, for which he also scored an Oscar on March 15, 1945, portraying Father Chuck O’Malley in the 1944 film

Shoo Shoo Baby – The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen and his orchestra, nine weeks at #1. From the Universal picture Three Cheers For The Boys.

Don’t Fence Me In – Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen and his orchestra, eight weeks at #1, gold record, written by Cole Porter. From the Warner Brothers picture Hollywood Canteen.

The Beatles covered this.

Besame Mucho (Kiss Me Much) – Jimmy Dorsey with Bob Eberly and Kitty Kallen, seven weeks at #1. The song was performed on the Beatles Decca audition of 1 January 1962; the label passed on them.

I’ll Get By (As Long As I Have You) – Harry James with Dick Haymes (Columbia), six weeks at #1

(There’ll Be A) Hot Time In The Town of Berlin (When The Yanks Go Marching In) –  Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters with Vic Schoen and his orchestra, six weeks at #1. The writing credits are Sgt. Joe Bushkin and Pvt. John De Vries.

You Always Hurt The One You Love – Mills Brothers, five weeks at #1, gold record

San Fernando Valley – Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and his orchestra, five weeks at #1. It was composed by Gordon Jenkins.

My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?) – Glen Gray with Eugenie Baird and the Casa Loma Orchestra, five weeks At #1. From the 20th Century Fox picture Sweet Rosie O’Grady

I Love You – Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and his orchestra, five weeks at #1. From Michael Todd’s Mexican Hayride. Written by Cole Porter.

My mom sang this.

Mairzy Doats – The Merry Macs, five weeks at #1. A novelty song that I remember my mother singing around the house. The lyrics.

I’ll Walk Alone – Dinah Shore (Victor), four weeks at #1. From the Universal film Follow The Boys. Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn wrote it.

I’ll Be Seeing You – Bing Crosby with John Scott Trotter and his orchestra, four weeks at #1

G.I. Jive – Louis Jordan and his Tympany Five, two weeks at #1. Johnny Mercer wrote it.

Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall -Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald, two weeks at #1, gold record

I’m Making Believe –  Ink Spots and Ella Fitzgerald, two weeks at #1, gold record. From the 20th Century Fox picture Sweet and Low-Down.

It’s Love-Love-Love – Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians with Skip Nelson and the Lombardo Trio, two weeks at #1

Music throwback: Beatles Decca tapes

Coincidentally, both the Tremeloes and the Stones recorded Beatles’ songs.

Beatles Decca tapesSomeone on Quora posted 10 of the 15 songs that appeared on the Beatles Decca tapes, an audition which took place on 1 January 1962 in London.

As you may know, Decca Records rejected the Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and drummer Pete Best – with a polite “guitar groups are on the way out.”

The order of the songs at the session was:

Like Dreamers Do (A) (Lennon/McCartney)
Money* (That’s What I Want) (Gordy/Bradford)
Till There Was You* (Meredith Willson)
The Sheik of Araby (A) (Smith/Wheeler/Snyder)
To Know Her Is to Love Her* (Phil Spector)
Take Good Care of My Baby** (King/Goffin)
Memphis, Tennessee (Chuck Berry)*
Sure to Fall (In Love with You)* (Cantrell/Claunch/Perkins)
Hello Little Girl (A) (Lennon/McCartney)
Three Cool Cats (A) (Leiber/Stoller)
Crying, Waiting, Hoping* (Buddy Holly)
Love of the Loved** (Lennon/McCartney)
September in the Rain** (Warren/Dubin)
Bésame Mucho* (Consuelo Velázquez)
Searchin'(A) (Leiber/Stoller)

*unreleased version **unreleased (A) appears on Beatles Anthology #1, 1995

I had – actually have – a bootleg an unauthorized version of the Decca Tapes on vinyl from some point in the 1970s. I know that because my girlfriend at the time, who otherwise liked the collection, scowled when she heard Three Cool Cats: “save one chick for me!” It was a song, let’s say, of its time.

The decision to reject the Beatles turned out to be fortunate for three bands:

Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, “who auditioned the same day as the Beatles, as they were local and would require lower travel expenses”

The Beatles, who ended up at Parlophone under the tutelage of George Martin

The Rolling Stones: after the Beatles became popular in England, Decca snatched up the Stones

Coincidentally, both the Tremeloes and the Stones recorded Beatles’ songs.

Those five Decca recordings on the Anthology 1 collection in 1995 was a boon to Pete Best’s bank account.

10 songs
Three Cool Cats
The Sheik Of Araby
Like Dreamers Do
Hello Little Girl

I also own The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away, a “compilation album containing the original artist recordings of songs composed by [the duo] in the 1960s that they had elected not to release as Beatles songs. The album was released in the UK in 1979.” Three covers of the Decca songs appear there.

Hello Little Girl- The Fourmost
Like Dreamers Do – The Applejacks
Love of The Loved – Cilla Black

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