Step back in time to the 50s when cigarettes were a common sign of the times...cool, cheap and socially accepted. The hazards of cigarette smoking were unknown, so the warnings such as the ones widely advertised today were virtually unknown. In 50s America, cigarette smoking was the epitome of being cool and hip. Marketing was at its peak thus it was not unusual for radio and TV programs to be positively sponsored by the popular trend.
Today in Music History: July 10, 1950
Lost Gold Records presents the introduction to the popular show "Your Hit Parade" sponsored originally by Lucky Strike. (1955)
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.
Enjoy the 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. This clip comes from the April 12, 1952 episode, while the show was still fresh. Click image...
"Your Hit Parade" was a highly popular 50's TV show, and was a spin-off from the radio show with the same name. Very well-liked and (almost) always tasteful, the show featured covers of hit 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.
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 the No.1 hit? You'll have to watch to find out.
And the music goes on beating to the rhythm of the changing times...