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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sold, American

Today in Music History: July 10, 1950

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Your_Hit_Parade
Back in the 50s cigarettes were a common sign of the times...cool, cheap and socially accepted. The hazards of cigarette smoking were unknown with no warnings such as the ones widely advertised today. In 50s America, cigarette smoking was the epitome of being cool and hip. Marketing was at its peak so it was not unusual for radio and TV programs to be sponsored by the popular trend.

1950 The US music show "Your Hit Parade" premiered on NBC-TV. The program, which featured vocalists covering the top hits of the week, had been on radio since 1935. "Your Hit Parade" was sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes. During a 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups. Each show capitalized on the tobacco auction theme and ended with the signature phrase "Sold, American." "Your Hit Parade" moved to CBS in 1958 but was canceled the following year, unable to cope with the rising popularity of Rock 'n' Roll.
Clip from the classic 50's TV show "Your Hit Parade", featuring a cover of the Irving Berlin song "Blue Skies" performed by The Lucky Strike Orchestra.
"Your Hit Parade" was a highly popular 50's TV show, and was a spin-off the the radio show with the same name. Very Popular and (almost) always tasteful, the show featured covers of popular songs. Running from 1950 to 1959, the show died after music began to change, and it is often reported that Snooky Lanson's cover of "Hound Dog" hastened to death of the show.
In researching for a recording of Snooky Lanson's 'Hound Dog', other songs appeared but not that one in particular. Um-m-m-m? Must have been pretty bad. I did find a cover of Elvis Presley's 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Snooky. Compare the two recording artists much different in style (to say the least). Perhaps a glimpse at this selection provides insight into why the show did not proceed into the 60s.


As with most live 50's TV shows, "Your Hit Parade" is public domain.

Dorothy Collins, Snooky Lanson, Eileen Wilson, Raymond Scott and the Lucky Strike Orchestra. It's all here from 1951. Bob Fosse was a featured dancer. Norman Jewison directed. This is TV in the "golden age." What was number one? You'll have to watch to find out.

And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...