WPON-AM 1460 - Insane World Of Mike Sain - The 1950s - August 25, 2004

The "Insane World Of Mike Sain" airs every Wednesday at 9:00 AM Eastern Time on WPON-AM 1460 Detroit both on the air and on the Internet. Today's theme was the 1950s in which Mike gave a snapshot of some notable events of that decade by year along with a musical backdrop.


  • "Tennessee Waltz," which topped the charts for Patti Page in 1950, was written by Pee Wee King who also made it into a chart hit in 1948. Patti Page's version of this classic song was one of the biggest hits of all time and became one of her signature songs. Numerous other performing artists also charted with "Tennessee Waltz" including Guy Lombardo (1951), Les Paul & Mary Ford (1951), Jo Stafford (1951), Spike Jones (1951), the Fontaine Sisters (1951), Anita O'Day (1951), Bobby Comstock (1959), Jerry Fuller (1959), and Sam Cooke (1964).
  • Partially deaf from age 12, Johnnie Ray had a passionate, soulful style that made him a sensation in the 1950s with many chart hits during that decade. "Cry," which topped the charts in 1951, was considered to be Johnnie Ray's trademark song, and it later became a hit for Georgia Gibbs (1951), Eileen Barton (1952), the Four Knights (1952), the Knightsbridge Singers (1959), Ray Charles (1965), Ronnie Dove (1966), and Lynn Anderson (1972).
  • Frankie Laine of "Rawhide" fame had numerous chart hits going all the way back to 1947. The exotic and evocative "Jezebel" and its B-side, "Rose, Rose, I Love You," were both chart hits in 1951, and both songs were backed with Mitch Miller's Orchestra. Laine's last chart hit, "Dammit Isn't God's Last Name," was in 1969 (peaking at #86). Frankie Laine's distinctive baritone can be heard in the opening theme songs of many Westerns.
  • "Ballad Of Davy Crockett" by Fess Parker from 1955 was also a hit that same year for Bill Hayes (topping the charts) and the Voices of Walter Schumann. Fess Parker starred in the movie "Davy Crockett" and TV's "Daniel Boone" (1964-1970). Parker's version of "Ballad Of Davy Crockett" was introduced in the 12/15/1954 Disneyland TV episode "Davy Crockett Indian Fighter."
  • "Deep Purple" by Billy Ward & His Dominoes previously topped the charts for Larry Clinton's Orchestra in 1939 and later became a hit for Nino Tempo & April Stevens (topping the charts in 1963) and Donny & Marie Osmond (1976). Formed in 1950, Billy Ward & His Dominoes had several personnel changes over the years, and Clyde McPhatter, Jackie Wilson, and Eugene Mumford served, at various times, as the lead singers for this group.
  • "Teen-Age Crush" was Tommy Sands chart debut song in 1957. This song was played in "The Singing Idol," a 1957 Kraft TV production.
  • Many artists charted with "The Banana Boat Song" (a.k.a. "Banana Boat (Day-O)") including the Tarriers, Harry Belafonte, the Fontaine Sisters, Steve Lawrence, Sarah Vaughan, and Stan Freberg (all in 1957).
  • "Long Lonely Nights" by Lee Andrews & the Hearts was also a hit for Clyde McPhatter (1957), Bobby Vinton (1965), and the Dells (1970). Lee Andrews formed the Hearts in 1952.
  • "Earth Angel" was a chart hit for many artists including the Crew-Cuts (1955), the Penguins (1955), Gloria Mann (1955), Johnny Tillotson (1960), the Vogues (1969), and New Edition (1986).
  • "Tammy" by Debbie Reynolds topped the charts in 1957 and was from the movie "Tammy And The Bachelor" starring Debbie Reynolds. "Tammy" also charted that same year for the Ames Brothers.
  • Johnny Ace had a string of R&B chart hits including "Never Let Me Go" (1954). This song was also an R&B chart hit for Van Dykes (1966) and Luther Vandross (1993).
  • Bobby Freeman's rockabilly classic "Do You Want To Dance" (a.k.a. "Do You Wanna Dance") later became a chart hit for Del Shannon (1964), the Beach Boys (1965), the Mamas & the Papas (1968), Love Society (1968, slow version), Bette Midler (1973, slow version), and the Ramones (1978).
  • "Sea Of Love" by Phil Phillips & the Twilights later became a hit for Del Shannon (1982) and the Honeydrippers (1985). "Sea Of Love" can be heard in the soundtracks for the movies "Frequency" (2000), "Mr. Wrong" (1996), "Sea Of Love" (1989), and "Subrosa" (2000).

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