Sep 03

DON CORNELL – “Hold My Hand”

Popular20 comments • 2,626 views

#23, 10th October 1954

Cornell’s problem is that he sounds far far too pleased with his allotted lines – rhymes like “this is / bliss is / kisses”, which aren’t that witty and which come attached to an unremarkable slow-dance tune. Even so a different singer might have made them sound spontaneous: Don just coats them with grease and deep fries them. “So this is the Garden of Eden” – and no girls allowed, just Don and a mirror and a finely adjusted bow tie.



  1. 1
    wichita lineman on 25 May 2008 #

    This may be the first no.1 that started life as a b-side. The original top side was I’m Blessed (“because I have two ears to hear you”??) which is similarly icky, but at least Cornell stays on the croony side when he could plump for operatics. Pleasant but unspectacular, and quite quite sexless.

    No.2 alert – Nat King Cole’s gorgeous Smile. Damn.

    Hold My Hand is from a film called Susan Slept Here, a comedy with Debbie Reynolds playing a juvenile delinquent who causes chaos on Christmas Eve. I’m off to the video shop.

  2. 2
    DrataHafPar on 31 Mar 2009 #

    Ммм, где ещё можно такие вещи прочесть?

  3. 3
    artie bazzarone on 11 May 2009 #

    “hold My Hand” is a wonderful song. It itroduced me to Don Cornell; I was born in 1969. I love old movies and saw Susan Slept Here and fell in love with the song and then my Mom told me about Don cornell and his hits like “It Isn’t Fair”, etc.

  4. 4
    Pete on 11 May 2009 #

    Susan Slept Here is a terrific little movie, dated in all the right ways (though the transformative power of the squarest juvenile delinquent on the block was an old story even in the fifties). But its anothe rone that shows Debbie Reynolds at her sparky best, it makes a nice contrast with her in Singin’ In The Rain.

  5. 5
    Waldo on 7 Aug 2009 #

    I can tell you that this record was actually banned by some radio stations simply because the first line comprised of “So this is the kingdom of heaven” and it was felt that this could greatly offend Christians. Blimey, how times change! Nowadays the BBC makes an industry in doing just that at every available opportunity. On the other hand, can you imagine just what the 1954 bosses would have made of “Highway to Hell”?!

  6. 6
    intothefireuk on 4 Sep 2009 #

    Don croons his way through this fairly unremarkable plodder which had two spells at the top and was apparently a million seller at the time. Not the most alluring of voices – and with some odd enunciation (what is a purtal ?) – it’s difficult to fathom quite why it was so successful – unless of course the film did big business in the UK.

  7. 7
    Eli on 20 Dec 2010 #

    Well, it has all the right ingredients for a smash hit in the pre-rock days – very “souped-up and melodramatic”, as my old English teacher remarked of Frankie Laine. That little classical section in the middle is rather nice; the song itself is quite good “of its type”, as the NME would have said.

  8. 8
    AndyPandy on 20 May 2011 #

    I like my pre-rock pop semi-lightoperatics (I don’t like real opera though- Mario Lanza being the nearest I get)but this isn’t one of my favourites.
    He’s also not one of my favourite ’50s singers but IMO out of all the versions I’ve heard his version of ‘Stranger In Paradise’ (even if not as good as Tony Bennett’s vocally) has probably the best production – complete with opening gong!
    I don’t really like or know much about 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll but I should imagine Don Cornell’s ‘Teenage Meeting (Gonna Rock It Up Right)’ is a more than respectable stan at the genre – and he was knockin’ on at about 36 when he recorded it!

  9. 9
    Erithian on 31 Jan 2012 #

    I’m getting a kind of foreshadowing of Elvis in the way Don slurs the last note of each line – never heard the song before tonight and quite enjoyed it. I thought I’d heard of Cornell but realise now that I was thinking of Don Cockell, the Balham blacksmith who lost a world heavyweight title fight to Rocky Marciano a few months after this was number one. Wonder how many others had them confused at the time?!

  10. 10
    Jimmy the Swede on 1 Feb 2012 #

    #9 – I’ll never forget a conversation amongst the guys at “Cheers” when Frasier foolishly mentioned the Swedish film-maker, Ingmar Bergman. “Hey, Fraze! Wasn’t that the guy who knocked out Floyd Patterson?” The situation became even more delightfully confused when the name of INGRID Bergman came up. Choice.

  11. 11
    wichita lineman on 1 Feb 2012 #

    Don Cornell, Frank Cordell, Kim Cordell… it’s a pre rock minefield.

  12. 12
    AndyPandy on 1 Feb 2012 #

    George Cornell gangster murdered by the Krays – although that was to the sound of the Walker Brothers’ ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ so not pre-rock

  13. 13
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Feb 2012 #

    …and Sid Waddell. Daddy Cool. Geddit?

    Okay, coat.

  14. 14
    Jimmy the Swede on 2 Feb 2012 #

    Perhaps since we’ve had a little exchange concerning the noble art on this blog, I can mention the passing of Angelo Dundee at age 90. One of the sport’s great figures. RIP.

  15. 15
    wichita lineman on 2 Feb 2012 #

    Re 8: Well, Don certainly drops the light operatics on Teenage Meeting.

    Guests at the party go by the names of Lilly Pop, Bubblegum and Old Man Thornton, and Don’s main concern is to put the cat out before the rockin’ begins.

    God, I love the ersatz when it sounds this screwy.

  16. 16
    doberman on 3 Mar 2012 #

    Saw the film ‘Susan Slept Here’ when I was at RAF Uxbridge and the next day took a trip up to the West End to get ‘Hold My Hand’and was told that it was’nt in stock because of the first line of the song. But they did have another record that i was very fond of- Ronnie Harris’ ‘The Story Of Tina’ so the journey was’nt completely wasted.

  17. 17
    wichita lineman on 3 Mar 2012 #

    I’m also very fond of Ronnie Harris’s The Story Of Tina. The punchline is telegraphed, but it’s so sweetly sung. I’ve been looking for an original 45 of it for years.

  18. 18
    Erithian on 4 Mar 2012 #

    – and since we’ve been talking confused identities on this thread, can I just point out to the Swede that it’s unlikely to be THAT Ron Harris.

  19. 19
    Jimmy the Swede on 4 Mar 2012 #

    …and there I was thinking that “The Story of Tina” was about a fling between Ron and Bobby Moore’s missus. The claim was rubbish, of course, although they didn’t call him Chopper for nothing!

  20. 20
    Gareth Parker on 9 Jun 2021 #

    Perfectly fine from Don imho. 6/10.

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