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Thursday, March 13, 2014

MAGIC MOMENTS OF THE 50'S

PBS this week is showing various nostalgic programs, recently, Magic Moments:  The Best of 50's Pop:


The McGuire Sisters  were the stars of the evening with their Greatest Hits Medley...


...and Phyllis co-hosted with Pat Boone:


It was this past Sunday that I selected the McGuire Sisters as one of the miracles.  Phyllis is today 83 years old, but she was 73 when the program was produced.  Dorothy passed away in 2012 and Christine is now 87.   Pat will soon be 80 years old.  Can you believe that it was in 1977, 37 years ago, that Pat's daughter, Debbie, made popular You Light Up My Life, which was #1 in America for ten straight weeks.

But back to the program, the moderator was Nick Clooney (now 80), father of George Clooney and brother of Rosemary Clooney (would have been 83, but passed away in 2002), who entertained via video.

The person who is responsible for all these great magical moments is TJ Lubinsky, who will become 42 later this month.

The program began with Patti Page singing Tennessee Waltz.  She would now have been 87, but she passed away last year.  Amazingly enough, TW was the B side in 1950 of the expected hit, "Boogie Woogie Santa Claus."  I've always wondered why the State of Tennessee never convinced the estate of Redd Steward (lyrics) and Pee Wee King (music) to re-write the words to cast a more postive view of the state.

Then came the Crew-Cuts with Sh-Boom.  Like many acts of the time they gained their start in 1952 on Arthur Godrey's Talent Scouts, coming in at #2.  Remember, this is where the McGuire Sisters first got recognized.  In 1954, the Crew-Cuts covered the Chords' Sh-Boom, and their career took off.  They did it again with the Penguin's Earth Angel.  Here are the Crew-Cuts in the 21st Century with Sh-Boom.

I can go on and on, but let me just feature Dave Somerville, for he was the lead singer for the Diamonds, which in 1955 tied for first on, yes, Talent Scouts.  Their big hit came in 1957 when they covered the Gladiolas Little Darlin'.  

Somerville then in 1967 joined the Four Preps, who in 1957 earned a gold disc for 26 Miles.    Somerville (81, of the Diamonds), Bruce Belland (77, lead vocalist for the original Four Preps) and Jim Yester (of The Associationstill tour.  Here to the right is Somerville with Pat Boone.

You can watch this program when it someday returns.  Let me end by just listing some names whose songs are on the Magic Moments CD and note their status:
  • Tony Bennett, 88 years old and still active
  • Eddie Fisher (the cad who left Debbie Reynolds for Elizabeth Taylor--their daughter Carrie became Princess Leia in Star Wars), would have been 85, passed away in 2010
  • Marty Robbins, would have been 88, passed away in 1982
  • Perry Como, WHB 101, PAI 2001
  • Johnny Ray, WHB 87, PAI in 1990

  • Doris Day, 91, or 89, planning a birthday fundraiser for her Foundation on April 4 (I once owned this album)
  • Theresa Brewer, WHB 82, PAI in 2007
  • Nat King Cole, WHB 93, PAI 1965
  • Dean Martin, WHB 96, PAI 1995
  • Frankie Laine, WHB 100, PAI 2007
Also still alive:

Here or not, their music will live forever.

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