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.
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...