Y is for YES!

It occurred to me that one of the most famous uses of the word “yes” in film replicates a lie.

Sometimes, it feels like such a NO world. Things go wrong: from natural and man-made disasters to personal crises, such as illness, accidents and economic problems. Stress and strain, stress and strain. And “the power of positive thought” can’t always fix it.

Yet, today, I’m saying YES anyway! And what says YES more to me than music?!

So, I started by looking at the pop charts for songs that start with the word Yes. The first one is oxymoronic, Yes, We Have No Bananas, which charted no fewer than five times in 1923. The first version to chart went to #1. Click on HERE to hear Billy Jones with Arthur Hall & Irving Kaufman. Ben Selvin’s version ALSO went to #1. (This is sonically interesting: George Wilton Ballard on a 1927 Edisonic Beethoven Diamond Disc Phonograph.)

Also charting five times in one year is 1925’s Yes, Sir! That’s My Baby! Gene Austin’s #1 version can be heard HERE. It was also recorded by everyone from FRANK SINATRA to Ricky Nelson (#34 in 1960) and the Baja Marimba Band (#109 in 1968). A couple of non-charting 1925 versions: Dajos Bela Tanzorchester and, perhaps my favorite, Lee Morse.

A couple of YES songs charted in 1941: Yes, Indeed! by Tommy Dorsey and Yes, My Darling Daughter, by both Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore.

There are a lot more YES songs in the modern era of rock, including Yes! by Chad Brock (#22 in 2000) and Yes by Merry Clayton (#45 in 1988). But the biggest hit was Yes I’m Ready, which Barbara Mason took to #5 in 1965, only to be bested in the charts by the version from Teri DeSario w/ K.C., #2 in 1980.

Possibly my favorite YES song is Yes We Can Can, a minor hit for Lee Dorsey in 1970, as Yes We Can. Here’s the studio version, which went to #11 in 1973, and also, a Live 1974 version, featuring the composer of the song, Allen Touissant.

Oh, and there’s a GROUP called YES. Here’s Roundabout, the first song on the first YES album I owned, FRAGILE; I bought The Yes Album subsequently.

It occurred to me that one of the most famous uses of the word “yes” in film replicates a lie.

Still, I’m saying Yes. Say “yes” in your own language, be it Arabic or Bengali or Bulgarian or French or Hebrew or Italian or Japanese or Mandarin Chinese or Portuguese or Vietnamese or any other tongue you wish.

To pretty much negate a former First Lady, Just Say Yes!

ABC Wednesday

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