American Popular Songs - Ballads


Crying from an aching heart, the 'country' backlash into smooth non rhythmic jazz.

Mitch Miller (-) was from Rochester, an A&R man at Columbia. He was an oboe virtuoso but made Columbia the top pop company.

Envied by all but it was basic schmaltz ... but there was always room for both Richard Rogers & Beethoven.

Singers were with the big bands and did the vocal interludes. The band leaders did all the organising. But now the singers were solo the A&R men took over, as singers were matched to songs ... until Rock 'n' Roll ... 


There were blues singers always. And folk singers. The hillbillies from the Grand Ol' Oprey also did lots of singing.

Then in August 1942 Frank Sinatra went solo. Jo Stafford followed in 1944. '

Vaughn Munroe - 'Cool Water', 'Riders in the Sky',

Frankie Laine - 'That's My Desire' 'Mule Train', 'Jezebel', 'High Noon' ... sweat & hard words.

Doris Day - 'Secret Love',

Guy Mitchell - 'She Wore Red Feathers' ... happy go lucky.

Rosemary Clooney - 'Come On-a My House' ... a barrel house dame, a hillbilly at heart.

Johnny Ray - 'Cry' ... son of a square dance fiddler and sounded like he meant it.

Dinah Shore -

Les Paul - wife Mary Ford and electronics ... 3 dozen hits between 1948-53.

Johnny Mathis ... of caressing voice and relaxed tempo ...

Pat Boone went from rocker to ballads, 'Love Letters in the Sand',

Connie Francis - 'Everybody's Somebody's Fool',

Pop music was in the studios not in the dives or the ballrooms or the theatres ...

And as records had taken over distribution the song was still important and this was the era of the 'cover' versions. Same song very different interpretations and much copying ... which some said amounted to theft ... but others said it was idolising ... imitation was the highest form of praise ... 



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