Paper Doll – The Mills Brothers (1942 & 1943)
The Mills Brothers
John, Jr. (1910 – 1936), Herbert (1912 – 1989), Harry (1913 – 1982), Donald (1915 – 1999), John, Sr. (1882 – 1967)
Genre: Jazz / Traditional pop
Origin: Piqua > Ohio > US
Tidbit: Originally comprised of four brothers, their father stepped in when John, Jr. died from pneumonia. In 1930, they were the first African-American performers to get a network radio show. In 1998, they were recognized with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame.
Posted in 1940's, Jazz, Old School, Traditional pop
Tagged 1942, 1943, Donald Mills, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Harry Mills, Herbert Mills, John Mills Jr., John Mills Sr., Mills Brothers, Vocal Group Hall of Fame
I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone (1965)
Genre: Jazz / Blues / Gospel / Folk
Origin: Tryon > North Carolina > US
Tidbit: Born Eunice Waymon, Simone was a classically-trained pianist who begrudgingly performed popular music, so she could afford her music studies. In the 60’s, she became an active participant in the US civil rights movement.
Valleri – The Monkees (1968)
Micky Dolenz (1945-present), Michael Nesmith (1942-present), Peter Tork (1942-present), & Davy Jones (1945-2012)
Genre: Pop-rock / Bubblegum pop
Origin: Los Angeles > California > US
Tidbit: Cast and launched for a television series, most of the Monkees were musicians…but none of them was a drummer. Davy Jones, the only non-musician, was too short and got lost behind the drums, so Micky Dolenz won the job. And then learned how to play drums.
Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin (1964)
Genre: Big band / Traditional pop
Origin: Steubenville > Ohio > US
Tidbit: Born Dino Crocetti, Martin had a career that spanned music, film, and television. This single, recorded during his years in the “Rat Pack,” bucked the onslaught of rock & roll and the British Invasion at the time by knocking the Beatles out of the #1 spot on the US charts.
Frosty the Snowman – Gene Autry & the Cass County Boys (1950)
Genre: Country and Western
Origin: Tioga > Texas > US
Tidbit: Born Orvon Grover Autry, Autry was a diverse performer and businessman. He’s the only celebrity to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame – one each for live theater, motion pictures, radio, recording, and television. He’s also been inducted into the Country Music, Nashville Songwriters, Radio, Western Performers, and Baseball Halls of Fame.
Posted in 1950's, Country, Holiday, Old School, Western
Tagged 1950, Country Music Hall of Fame, Gene Autry, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Orvon Grover Autry, Radio Hall of Fame, Western Performers Hall of Fame
It’s Only Make Believe – Conway Twitty (1958)
Genre: Country / Rockabilly
Origin: Friars Point > Mississippi > US
Tidbit: Born Harold Jenkins, Twitty started his career as a rock musician in the mold of Elvis Presley. But he switched to country music in 1965, where he saw much greater success. He scored 55 #1 US country hits and was inducted into the Country Music and Rockabilly Halls of Fame.
Little Wing – The Jimi Hendrix Experience (1968)
Genre: Blues / Psychedelic / Hard rock
Origin: Seattle > Washington > US
Tidbit: Born Johnny Allen Hendrix (and later renamed James Marshall Hendrix), Hendrix has been repeatedly recognized as one of the top guitarists of all time. He was posthumously awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and UK Music Hall of Fame.
Posted in 1960's, Blues rock, Hard rock, Old School, Psychedelic rock
Tagged 1968, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, James Marshall Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix, Jimi Hendrix Experience, Johnny Allen Hendrix, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, UK Music Hall of Fame
The Little White Cloud That Cried – Johnnie Ray (1951)
Genre: Rhythm & blues / Traditional pop
Origin: Hopewell > Oregon > US
Tidbit: Ray was one of the most controversial recording artists of the 50’s. His emotional, animated performances caused a stir, but such behavior would soon become the fabric of an emerging genre called Rock & Roll.
Moon River – Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (1961)
Genre: Film & television scores (Big band, classical & traditional pop)
Origin: Cleveland > Ohio > US
Tidbit: Born Enrico Mancini, Henry attended Juilliard School of Music before being drafted to serve in World War II. His work was recognized with 20 Grammy Awards and four Oscars.
The Very Thought of You – Nat King Cole (1958)
Nat King Cole
Genre: Vocal jazz / Traditional pop / Jump blues
Origin: Montgomery > Alabama > US
Tidbit: Born Nathaniel Coles, Cole was the first African-American to host a television variety show, The Nat King Cole Show, in 1956. He was awarded with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the Jazz and Rock & Roll Halls of Fame.