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Sep 03

PERRY COMO – “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes”

Popular19 comments • 4,307 views

#5, 6th February 1953

I know this tune already, from a role-reversed version by (I think) Goldie Hill, “I Let The Stars Get In My Eyes”. That’s a terrific record, strident and fatalist. Goldie admits her starstruck whim has ruined her relationship – possibly her life – with such a deadened delivery the listener is left with no illusions that it could possibly have turned out otherwise.

Unfortunately that record isn’t this one. Como’s jocular finger-wagging has zero emotional heft, and just to underline how droll it all is he has a gang of back-up wags and a brass section laugh track. Perry has a fine voice and does a professional job but this is still a stinker.

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Comments

  1. 1
    Doctor Mod on 14 Oct 2006 #

    19th February 1953: (Honolulu) Doctor Mod is two years old…..

    And it would be Perry Como, now wouldn’t it? The bain of my childhood! Generally speaking, my father HATED crooners–they were wimps, as far as he was concerned, and he let it be known every time he heard one. But Perry Como was the exception. He was wholesome–and boring. For most of my childhood (or so it seems), he had an insipid weekly television series that, if I remember correctly, was so boring that even Como would fall asleep during it. Somewhere in each show, he’d sing a very Catholic hymn, often in Latin. This was Mein Papa’s favorite moment every week. He saw it as a means of defeating Communism, a concept that he saw everywhere and my siblings and I saw nowhere except he told us it was going to get us–when he didn’t think we were Communists ourselves.

    And so we were forced to watch Perry Como. Not a bad singer really, just really, really boring. But then I suppose he got by all those years by not offending anyone.

    I heard this song so often in my early years that it’s just like some endless loop–I basically remember two lines: “Don’t let the stars get in your eyes / Don’t let the moon break your heart.” In my brain, these lines always have sort of a hillbilly shriek at the end. I know that can’t be there in the original, but the song’s too boring for me to want to psychoanalyze my recollection, but as my mother, a chronic if less than artistic singer, always sang popular 50s songs while she cooked and cleaned, I wonder if this wasn’t her own unique contribution to the song that sticks in my head.

    It was only in recent years that Como passed on. Strange, I thought he died a long, long time ago.

  2. 2
    Lena on 19 Oct 2006 #

    Is this the same song that k.d. lang covered years ago? It’s a good song then, but not great.

  3. 3
    Marcello Carlin on 20 Oct 2006 #

    Yep.

  4. 4
    rosie on 21 Oct 2006 #

    I’m not the only one, then, who often gets this strange feeling when a celebrity death is announced that I recall the said celkeb dying years ago…

    I know this song more through Dean Martin’s version. )I know a lot of songs of this period through Dean Martin’s versions because my late ex-partner Frank was a big Dean Martin fan and could do a pretty mean impersonation of the man himself.) As a result, it seems to me that Perry Como takes the song way too fast, as if he’s in a rush to get back to his unattended drink. (Dean Martin, of course, would never be caught leaving a drink unattended.)

  5. 5
    intothefireuk on 3 Nov 2007 #

    I associate Perry Como with dodgy jumpers and warm, cosy Xmas specials. Which doesn’t really tarry with this jaunty sing a long number which sounds like someone has dumped an unwanted brass section on board his sled and taken the brake off.

  6. 6
    Marcello Carlin on 3 Nov 2007 #

    I was never a big fan of what Desmond Carrington terms “perky pops.” I do like cosy seventies Perry, however, and also kd lang’s version of this song (it’s on the Shadowland album).

  7. 7
    Marcello Carlin on 5 Nov 2007 #

    duh that’ll teach me to read/remember my own previous comments!

    I note with some surprise that Perry is the first entrant in Popular to have passed away – Al Martino, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr and Eddie Fisher are all still with us!

  8. 8
    Billy Smart on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Perry Como is well represented in the archive – all these shows survive;

    CHRISTMAS NIGHT WITH THE STARS: Perry Como (1958)

    PARKINSON: with Perry Como (1977)

    PERRY COMO SPECIAL: with Perry Como (1971)

    PERRY COMO’S CHRISTMAS IN AUSTRIA: with Perry Como (1979)

    PERRY COMO’S CHRISTMAS IN MEXICO: with Perry Como (1976)

    PERRY COMO’S HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY: with Perry Como (1977)

    PERRY COMO’S OLDE ENGLISH CHRISTMAS: with Perry Como (1977)

    THE ROYAL VARIETY PERFORMANCE: with Josephine Baker, Ted Rogers, Noele Gordon, Roy Castle, Paper Lace, Perry Como, Paul Melba (1974)

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 20 Jan 2010 #

    Tom, I’m guessing Goldie Hill’s song was a response to this. It had already been a country hit, before Perry Como covered it, for Skeets McDonald* in 1950. Whoever sings it, the mangled-heart answer song is on a totally different emotional level; Don’t Let… sounds like a gentle admonishment for a situation that will never arise. Little does the smug, gallivanting fella know.

    *his Birthday Cake Boogie got regular plays from my sis in the 80s along with Big Ten Inch and other super-smutty country/rockabilly songs.

  10. 10
    Eli on 19 Dec 2010 #

    Well, Perry’s reputation as a singer has lived on, unlike the Eddie Fisher’s of the ’50s. And even if he’s not artistically revered like Sinatra or Martin, his 50s hits are still heard. Another voice admired by us sentimentalists…

    Perky pops – I like that term. Quite an enjoyable record – disposable catchy pop, like much of what’s in today’s charts, actually.

  11. 11
    Erithian on 29 Jan 2012 #

    One of the few old-timers my mum and I could really bond over, I loved that velvety voice and it was an instant nostalgia rush for a time before I was born, if that makes sense! Found myself admiring the breath control on the long lines – and wishing there were more Christmas specials to enjoy. Even as a kid I found my inner middle-aged bloke watching them.

  12. 12
    weej on 6 Jun 2013 #

    Over the past year I’ve found myself making video compilations of popular years and have now started putting them up on Youtube. The earlier ones feature mainly collages made by another Youtube user, but later ones feature more and more original performances.
    Here’s 1953 then – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5510TO0KkHM – posting it here as there’s no 1953 poll as yet, and Perry Como was the earliest actual video clip I found.

  13. 13
    wichita lineman on 7 Jun 2013 #

    Re 12: Bah, link isn’t working, but it’s a splendid idea.

  14. 14
    weej on 7 Jun 2013 #

    Not working? Just checked it and seems fine for me. In any case here are a couple more to try – http://youtu.be/5510TO0KkHM and http://www.youtube.com/user/uknumberoneyears/videos

  15. 15
    Mutley on 7 Jun 2013 #

    #14 I’m getting a message on Youtube that (in the UK) these are being blocked on copyright grounds. Is that right? If so that’s a pity.

  16. 16
    swanstep on 7 Jun 2013 #

    @12, weej. Your original link works fine down under. And, ha, it was great to hear the Jo Stafford, You Belong To Me (I principally know the song from Dylan in the early ’90s).

  17. 17
    weej on 7 Jun 2013 #

    On closer examination, yes, it’s “unavailable in the UK and Germany” due to copyright claims. Damn, they’re quick. Any suggestions of alternative locations where I can upload 30 minute + clips?

  18. 18
    swanstep on 7 Jun 2013 #

    @weej, 17. I’ve had good experiences with vimeo, e.g., this video was immediately copyright-objected off youtube, but has lived happily on vimeo for the past 4 months.

  19. 19
    weej on 7 Jun 2013 #

    Ok, up on Vimeo too now – https://vimeo.com/67887969
    Will they give me any more space later or do I just get 500mb?

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