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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, April 5 2001

Popular music's watershed decade

Continuing yesterday's survey of 1950's hit music...some background. Why we discuss this on the Nanty Glo Home Page is that because music and dance played formative roles in our coming-of-age years in the Valley. Nothing more readily transports many of us to one of those moments of youth than hearing a song that captured our attention at age 17, or 22.... Music of our times was always a major topic of the teen column that is continued by the Jonal.

And as for why we're focusing especially on the top hits of the '50s for a couple of days is not only because the list has been dropped into the mix by Frank Charney, but because that decade's music was a watershed of some kind, the transition from "pop," at least in the opinion of the magazine from which Frank took the list, to "rock" as the dominant musical style. And "dominant" is a key word there...both continued to exist and even flourish side by side even after Elvis or, more properly, Bill Haley and the Comets and their Rock Around the Clock (the first rock song to dominate the charts for a year).

More discussion can follow the completion of the list, but first, to finish that. Yesterday's entry listed 1950-55; today we look at 56-59.

1956 - 1. Don't Be Cruel, Elvis Presley. 2. Great Pretender, The Platters. 3. My Prayer, The Platters. 4. Wayward Wind, Gogi Grant. 5. Whatever Will Be, Will Be, Doris Day. 6. Heartbreak Hotel, Elvis Presley. 7. Lisbon Antigua, Nelson Riddle. 8. Canadian Sunset, Hugo Winterhalter. 9. Moonglow and Theme from Picnic, Morris Stoloff. 10. Honky Tonk, Bill Doggett.

1957 - 1. Tammy, Debbie Reynolds. 2. Love Letters in the Sand, Pat Boone. 3. It's Not for Me to Say, Johnny Mathis. 4. Young Love, Tab Hunter. 5. Chances Are. Johnny Mathis. 6. Little Darlin', The Diamonds. 7. Bye Bye Love, the Everly Brothers. 8. All Shook Up, Elvis Presley. 9. So Rare, Jimmy Dorsey. 10. Round and Round, Perry Como.

1958 - 1. Volare, Domenico Modugno. 2. It's All in the Game, Tommy Edwards. 3. Patricia, Perez Prado. 4. All I Have to Do Is Dream, the Everly Brothers. 5. Bird Dog, the Everly Brothers. 6. Little Star, the Elegants. 7. Witch Doctor, David Seville. 8. Twilight Time, the Platters. 9. Tequila, the Champs. 10. At the Hop, Danny and the Juniors.

1959 - 1. Mack the Knife, Bobby Darin. 2. Battle of New Orleans, Johnny Horton. 3. Venus, Frankie Avalon. 4. Lonely Boy, Paul Anka. 5. There Goes My Baby, the Drifters. 6. Personality, Lloyd Price. 7. Three Bells, the Browns. 8. Put Your Head On My Shoulder, Paul Anka. 9. Sleep Walk, Santo and Johnny. 10. Come Softly to Me, the Fleetwoods.

The biggest curiosity to me from these additions is that Paul Anka broke into the top ten for a year with the two listed in 1959, but his breakthrough song, Diana, never got that high on the charts. One thing that's obvious: tastes in pop music are all over the map. There could be dozens of illustrations, but, for example, and in my opinion (worth no more than what it's costing you), Diana is a much better song than Frankie Avalon's Venus.

And...Love Me Tender seemed to me to be a much bigger hit than any of Elvis' 1956 and '57 top-ten hits...but it didn't even make the top 10 for the year for any year.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Comprehending Engineers - Take Nine (Last in series)

An engineer was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to him and said, "If you kiss me, I'll turn into a beautiful princess".

He bent over, picked up the frog and put it in his pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a beautiful princess, I will stay with you for one week."

The engineer took the frog out of his pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a princess, I'll stay with you one week and do anything you want."

Again the engineer took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into his pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I've told you I'm a beautiful princess, that I'll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won't you kiss me?"

The engineer said, "Look, I'm an engineer. I don't have time for a girlfriend, but a talking frog, now that's cool."

Sent by Trudy Myers

Lenten thought

1. My little children, these things I write to you, so that
you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous.

2. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.

3. Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

4. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

5. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know we are in Him.

St. John's First Epistle, Chapter Two

Sent by Anastasia Theodoridis

Lenten thoughts (i.e., pertaining to repentance and spiritual growth, from any faith-community perspective) are solicited from readers.

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