A few years ago I did a series of programs on the radio show Your Hit Parade. The songs came from a ten CD set that I have. Each CD features the songs from a certain year that were featured on Your Hit Parade. There were more songs on the CD than I could play in an show so I have decided to revisit this set and pick out different songs. Each show combines two years so today's show will feature songs from the years of 1940 and 1941. We'll also learn the history of the radio show as we listen to some great songs. I hope you'll join me for a potpourri of songs as we begin the series Your Hit Parade Part 1.
Here is a little bit about the show from web site www.otrcat.com:
It began in the mid-30s in New York, and was sponsored by Lucky
Strike cigarettes in 1936. The catchy #1 tune concept was a "hit" of its
own right from the start. "Goody Goody" was the first anniversary #1
tune…a perfect example of what a pop hit is. Al Goodman's orchestra
played through the rest of the 1930s, with Mark Warnow's taking over in
the 1940s. In July of 1941, the "Hut Sut Song" was a biggie. In July of
'42, "Sleepy Lagoon." By this time, New York radio personality Martin
Block took the host microphone, and introduced the singers and the
A chorus called The Hit Paraders were always ready to backup the
featured singers. At first the regulars were Barry Wood
and Joan Edwards. In the spring of '43, a skinny New Jersey kid named
Frank came on the show to stay for a while. Sinatra was probably the
biggest draw that Lucky Strikes ever had! The bobbie-soxers had swooned
over this guy, and listened avidly as he crooned the tunes. The show
went on without
Frankie in 1945, with Lawrence Tibbett, then Dick Todd, and then Andy Russell doing the hits. Dinah Shore
was on for a while, too. Then in 1947, Sinatra was back, and Beryl
Davis took over the girl's part. Axel Stordahl and His Orchestra backed
up. Sinatra fans will remember the wonderful records of Frankie made
with Stordahl's arrangements and accompaniment. Many consider these
among the very best, for it certainly was the most romantic and intimate
of Sinatra's oeuvre. This collection of shows draws mainly from the
1940s, which was a very good time for this show, the heydays of the
popular tune that drew on strong melodies and poetic lyrics…except for
the occasional novelty tune like "The Woody Woodpecker Song."
One of the more popular big-band-era singers, a performer that some might not consider a jazz vocalist, but one with exceptional ability to project lyrics and also an excellent interpreter. Forrest used several names early in her career, among them the Blue Lady and Bonnie Blue.
She began singing in her brother's band in Washington, D.C., then was featured in Artie Shaw's band after Billie Holiday left in 1938. Forrest joined Benny Goodman when Shaw disbanded in 1939, staying until 1941. She recorded with Nat King Cole's trio and Lionel Hampton in 1940, then began to score hits working with the Harry James orchestra. During the early '40s, she had string of successes. Later she teamed with Dick Haymes on his radio show and on six duets that were big hits. Forrest cut back her activity in the '50s, then sang with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra led by Sam Donahue in the early '60s. She continued to work on the club circut in the '70s and '80s, making a new album for Stash in 1983. Forrest died July 11, 1999 at age 82.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Forrest for a more complete biography as well as a listing of charted singles.