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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 07:56 PM
Original message
The most awesomely bad songs of the 1950s
Edited on Tue May-25-04 08:03 PM by NightTrain
I recently saw the "Awesomely Bad Songs" special on VH-1, so I thought, why not do the '50s? Here are my rank-ordered choices for the 50 most awesomely bad songs of that decade.

#1 (How Much is That) Doggie In the Window - Patti Page
#2 Tutti Frutti - Pat Boone
#3 Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb) - Edd Byrnes and Connie Stevens
#4 Ain't That a Shame - Pat Boone
#5 Mama Will Bark - Frank Sinatra and Dagmar
#6 Long Tall Sally - Pat Boone
#7 The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
#8 Pink Shoe Laces - Dodie Stevens
#9 Why Frankie Avalon
#10 The Ballad of Davy Crockett Bill Hayes

#11 Earth Angel - The Crew-Cuts
#12 Lonely Boy Paul Anka
#13 Why Do Fools Fall In Love? - Gale Storm
#14 Bobby Sox to Stockings - Frankie Avalon
#15 Dance With Me Henry Georgia Gibbs
#16 Dungaree Doll - Eddie Fisher
#17 Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
#18 Sh-Boom - The Crew-Cuts
#19 Young Love - Tab Hunter
#20 Dede Dinah - Frankie Avalon

#21 Oh! My Papa Eddie Fisher
#22 We Can't Sing Rhythm and Blues - Patience and Prudence
#23 Start Movin' (In My Direction) - Sal Mineo
#24 Sippin' Soda - Guy Mitchell
#25 Don't Be Angry - The Crew-Cuts
#26 See Saw - Don Cornell
#27 The Girl Can't Help It - Alan Dale
#28 You Are My Destiny Paul Anka
#29 Ginger Bread - Frankie Avalon
#30 (Crazy Little Mama) At My Front Door - Pat Boone

#31 Rock and Roll Waltz - Kay Starr
#32 If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake - Eileen Barton
#33 Till I Waltz Again With You - Teresa Brewer
#34 That'll Be the Day - The Ravens
#35 High Hopes - Frank Sinatra (and a Bunch of Kids)
#36 He's Got the Whole World in His Hands - Laurie London
#37 I Got a Wife - The Mark IV
#38 Venus Frankie Avalon
#39 Stranded in the Jungle - The Gadabouts
#40 I Hear You Knocking - Gale Storm

#41 Rock Island Line - Don Cornell
#42 Great Balls of Fire - Georgia Gibbs
#43 Abba Dabba Honeymoon - Debbie Reynolds and Carleton Carpenter
#44 Tiger - Fabian
#45 At the Hop - Nick Todd
#46 April Love Pat Boone
#47 Turn Me Loose - Fabian
#48 Tammy Debbie Reynolds
#49 Speedo - Steve Lawrence
#50 Juke Box Baby - Perry Como

And some that almost made it onto the list:

All of a Sudden My Heart Sings - Paul Anka
Billy - Kathy Linden
Blue Velvet - Tony Bennett
Delicado - Percy Faith & His Orchestra
Feet Up (Pat Him on the Po-Po) - Guy Mitchell
Honey Babe - Art Mooney & His Orchestra
It's Almost Tomorrow - The Dream Weavers
Jambalaya - Jo Stafford
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing - The Four Aces
Mister and Mississippi - Patti Page
Nuttin' For Christmas - Barry Gordon
Pledge of Love - Ken Copeland
Rock-A-Billy - Guy Mitchell
Tennessee Waltz - Patti Page
Yellow Rose of Texas - Mitch Miller

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ablbodyed Donating Member (610 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. The absol;ute worst....
One-eyed, One-horned, Flying Purple People Eater, by Rummy and the Dominatrix
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
2. Dont mess with the Chipmunks

You have been warned.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #2
9. Why? Will Alvin annoy me to death?
;)
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Spinzonner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:56 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Apparently you dont realize what you're dealing with
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demosincebirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. There were some, in hind sight,
that were quite korny, but at least you could hum 'em.

True music was and is written. More than I can say for some of the "music" today. This is from someone who still loves the Big Band sound.
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BlueJazz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I'll tell ya, augie38..
As a former professional Jazz Musician, it took more talent to play
even the worse songs on that list than play the Simplistic, one Chord,
cornball structured, 4/4 crap that has been popular for the past few years...
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HEyHEY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:25 PM
Response to Original message
4. Come on ..Davy Crockett rules!
And the crew cuts are a Vancouver, BC creation..so I must give them grace
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 08:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. You're trashing my childhood
I spent my little-kiddie years enthusiastically singing songs like The Ballad of Davy Crocket, If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd've Baked a Cake, (How Much is That) Doggie In the Window, and Abba Dabba Honeymoon. And when I was 10 or 11, I loved The Chipmunk Song and Pink Shoe Laces. (And I can still sing large chunks of all of them, or could if I could carry a tune, which I can't.) Not to mention The Little Blue Man, The Witch Doctor Song, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, and Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat. I really think you should cut 50's novelty hits some slack -- they had a certain peculiar charm all their own.

Then, when I was about 12, I had a crush on Edd Byrnes, and I also bought far too many Frankie Avalon and Fabian singles, but I won't try to defend any of that now. (Even then, I thought Bobby Sox to Stockings was awfully lame.)

I will second you strongly, though, on all the white bread cover versions. And even when I was 7 or 8, I didn't have much use for sentimental mainstream hits like Oh! My Papa. (I'm surprised Love and Marriage didn't make it to your list. I really found that one offensive.)

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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. No, I'm trashing records that make my skin crawl.
They just happened to be popular during your childhood, that's all.
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WillParkinson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. They had music back then?
Yeah, sure. Next you're going to tell me that they used to press that music on like wax discs or something.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Gale Storm sang covers of soul music?
I don't remember that!

(For you young 'uns, Gale Storm was a sitcom actress who played ditzes in "My Little Margie" and "Oh Susannah.")

But I can't help noting that so many of your top 50 were sung by Pat Boone. How charming that his daughter carried on the family tradition.
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:16 PM
Response to Reply #10
14. In fact, she and Pat Boone were labelmates!
Both recorded desiccated R&B covers for the Dot label.

Hard to believe that Dot started out recording genuine R&B acts in the early '50s! Why, oh why, did Randy Wood have to sign Pat Boone? :cry:
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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 10:40 PM
Response to Original message
11. You Forgot "I Put a Spell On You" by Screaming Jay Hawkins
:-)
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-25-04 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. No, I didn't. That's one of the BEST records of the 1950s!
n/t
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CO Liberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. "Best" and "Worst" Are Subjective Terms
:-)
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
15. The Flying Saucer - Buchanan & Goodman
http://ubl.artistdirect.com/store/artist/album/0,,16704...

I thought it was fun ... more of a 45, than 'a song' ...

story built around hits of the day

We take you downtown to John Cameron Swayze ...


Yakety Yak by the Coasters
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sundog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:25 AM
Response to Original message
16. it's my party & my boyfriend's back
--
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:30 AM
Response to Original message
17. Some of those are awesomely GREAT songs!
#7 The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
#11 Earth Angel - The Crew-Cuts
#13 Why Do Fools Fall In Love? - Gale Storm
#17 Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
#18 Sh-Boom - The Crew-Cuts
#22 We Can't Sing Rhythm and Blues - Patience and Prudence
#27 The Girl Can't Help It - Alan Dale
#35 High Hopes - Frank Sinatra (and a Bunch of Kids)
#45 At the Hop - Nick Todd
#48 Tammy Debbie Reynolds
#49 Speedo - Steve Lawrence
Jambalaya - Jo Stafford

--bkl
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #17
21. You're kidding, right?
You must be unaware that almost every one of those records was a white-bread cover of a far superior R&B or C&W song; because there's no way a sane person would prefer the covers to the originals!
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. I was looking at the song titles themselves
Looking back over them anyway, only half that list meets your criteria of being an R&B or C&W song being badly covered.

I probably do like the originals of those songs better. But the ones left over are still, by and large, excellent songs, though most are novelty and movie songs.

#7 The Chipmunk Song - The Chipmunks
#17 Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
#22 We Can't Sing Rhythm and Blues - Patience and Prudence
#35 High Hopes - Frank Sinatra (and a Bunch of Kids)
#48 Tammy Debbie Reynolds
Jambalaya - Jo Stafford (I think she was the first artist to record Jambalaya, but I could be wrong)

There is also (at least) one cover of a C&W song that was better than the original: "You Don't Have To Be A Baby To Cry", originally by "Tennessee" Ernie Ford (1955?) and the Caravelles (1960). And Ford's version was far from bad itself.

An interesting thread topic might be for you to post the best/original version along side the bad version. (The Crew Cuts covers were what you were thinking about, right?) I don't pay as much attention to the original/cover artist details, which is probably pretty common.

--bkl
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AwakeAtLast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 12:47 AM
Response to Original message
18. Does anyone know?
My dad had an old 45 titled, "Daddy Cool". I have no idea who the people were or anything. When my sister and I were really small, we would dance to this song over and over. We listened to it again when we were older, and it is truly awful. Does anyone have any idea what I am talking about?
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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:28 AM
Response to Reply #18
22. It's by the Rays. It was the B-side of their huge hit, "Silhouettes."
And it's not awful; it's actually pretty good!
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starroute Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. Allmusic.com shows a number of songs with that title
http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&uid=UIDSUB0404...
is a listing of albums that include a song called "Daddy Cool." There seem to be five different songs of that name, but two of them account for most of the listings. One was a disco song, while the other was done by the Diamonds and appears on albums like Australian Pop Classics: Novelty Songs of the 60s & 70s and Early Rock from New Zealand, Vol. 9-10. It sounds like you're talking about the second.
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terrya Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
20. Steve Lawrence did a song called "Speedo"??? Who knew??
:-)

And I also didn't know Sal Mineo was a singer.

Agree with the number 1 song. "How Much is That Doggie in the Window" is horrible.
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slaveplanet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
24. #11 Earth Angel - The Crew-Cuts
one of the songs that inspired Paul Simon to become a musician...at least that's what I heard him say in some interview years back.
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Misunderestimator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 09:37 AM
Response to Original message
25. Purple People Eater
"It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater.
(one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater)
A one-eyed one-horned, flyin' puple people eater
Sure looks strange to me. (one eye?)"

I mean.... puhlease... it was apparently #1 for 6 weeks in 1958.
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Butterflies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-26-04 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
26. Some of those aren't so bad
One that I would've expected to be on your list is called "Hold me, thrill me, kiss me". I don't know who sang it, but it would fit with some others on your list (though I don't think it's a bad song . . . I kind of like it.)
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