Sep 03


Popular12 comments • 3,546 views

#16, 8th January 1954

If I was being crass (never!) I’d say this was a dance record – steady beat, cycling melody, simple repeated lyrical hook. And it is a dance record: a lazy, slow, respectable sort of dance record. The entry of the organ at 1’30” is the most ‘fifties-evocative’ thing I’ve heard yet – except it evokes an imagined 50s, learned from Hi-De-Hi and English murder mysteries, last dances in the Hawaiian ballroom and the gentle tap of heel on lacquer. I cannot imagine any circumstances in which anyone today would want to or get to hear this record unless they were embarked on some idiotic scheme like this one.



  1. 1
    koganbot on 28 Sep 2006 #

    [ed: was this meant to be a stork?]

  2. 2
    Doctor Mod on 14 Oct 2006 #

    19 February 1954:

    Doctor Mod’s third birthday, the first in California. (“Mein Papa” was still in Hawaii, though, so I imagine we had a good time.)

  3. 3
    Lena on 19 Oct 2006 #

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s an idiotic scheme, though 1953/4 does look pretty brutal…

  4. 4
    R. A. Neill on 17 Mar 2007 #

    A forgotten classic from the Man with the Golden Trumpet(even if he later grew to hate it). For me it is pure nostalgia. It was released two days before my eighth birthday, and was one of the most frequently played tracks on the Radio at that time(must have been the BBC Light Programme). I have not heard it for years, but have never forgotten the sound of that trumpet. I’m glad to hear that it has been re-released on CD.
    The fact that it was the first ever number 1 to be recorded at Abbey Road gives it a special place in pop history.

  5. 5
    intothefireuk on 10 Nov 2007 #

    Another Germanic flavoured piece complete with piercing trumpet (which seems to rather stray towards Spain) and quivering organ. A less exciting piece of music would be difficult to find (although the 50s is a very good place to start). It is, apparently, a mostly instrumental version of a song mourning the death of a beloved Father. Which could explain why, in post war Britain, it struck a chord with a nation, still in mourning for it’s lost loved ones.

  6. 6
    Keith W on 21 Mar 2008 #

    I’m 34, and this is the first of the UK No 1s. that I actually like. It’s been doing the rounds in my random playlists for a few years now. It’s a nice enough tune, I reckon, which is more than the previous number ones had.

  7. 7
    Matthew on 10 Jan 2009 #

    I am also 34 and I pretty much agree with the above comment. Great trumpetwork! Mind you, I can’t listen to 50s music without imagining it soundtracking some kind of vile psychosexual Dennis Potter scene, so I may not be hearing in the manner the original creators intended.

  8. 8
    wichita lineman on 17 Jan 2009 #

    Redolent of bottle green paint and utility furniture – I don’t think it’s the sound of an ‘imagined’ 50s at all, Tom. I imagine it on Housewives Choice, mirroring a yearning for romantic ballroom clinches (maybe with The Man With The Golden Trumpet and the Brylcreemed hair himself!) or something, anything, to aid escape from austerity Britain. It has an other-worldliness – that the village hall organ aggressively attempts to ground – which stems from Eddie C’s rather wayward blowing; not exactly jazz but still straying into dreamy, lonesome bullfighter territory. It is quite an obtuse take on a tribute to a dead father. I’ll bet Joe Meek had a copy.

    Later in ’54 Dylan Thomas read Under Milk Wood on the radio for the first time, and Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim was published. Just to put this in some kind of British cultural perspective, German origins or not!

    Presumably closer to the original was the vocal version by Eddie Fisher, a Top 10 hit at the same time and comically cloying: “O mein papa, so funny in his way”.

    I love that “in his way”, a tribute to Dad jokes. Praise as lukewarm as “you are so beautiful, to me.”

  9. 9
    Billy Smart on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Light Entertainment Watch: Eddie Calvert maintained a television presence well into the 1960s. None of these shows survive;

    THE KEN DODD SHOW: with Eddie Calvert and the ‘C’ Men, Jula De Palma, Mirko De Yorke, Denny Bettis, Joan Hurley, Joyce Adcock, Anastasia, Sonny Day, Carl Von Wurden, Barbara Sibley (1962)

    THE KEN DODD SHOW: with Petula Clark, Arthur Worsley, Eddie Calvert (1966)

    THE NEW LONDON PALLADIUM SHOW: with Frankie Vaughan, Eddie Calvert, Ray Fell, Jim Dale, Michael Allport (1965)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with The London Palladium Girls, The London Palladium Orchestra, Bruce Forsyth, The Daily Mirror Disc Festival, Max Bygraves, Eddie Calvert, Alma Cogan, Ted Heath and his Music, Ruby Murray, Joan Regan (1955)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with Bruce Forsyth, The Daily Mirror Disc Festival, Winifred Atwell, Eddie Calvert, Alma Cogan, Lonnie Donegan With His Skiffle Group, Ted Heath, Ronnie Hilton, Ruby Murray, Anne Shelton (1956)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Adam Faith, Marty Wilde, The Springfields, Eddie Calvert and the ‘C’ Men, Kenny Lynch, Dave Cones, Christine Campbell, Don Moss (1962)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Brian Matthew, Billy Fury, Eddie Calvert, Bernard Cribbins, Nicky Henson, Peter Jay and the Jaywalkers, Dick Kallman, The Vernons Girls, Bobby Vee and the Crickets, Muriel Young (1962)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Brian Matthew, Cilla Black, The Walker Brothers, The Mindbenders, Eddie Calvert (1966)

  10. 10
    Eli on 19 Dec 2010 #

    I much prefer the vocal versions – Eddie Fisher’s hit the top in the USA. I find myself agreeing with Tom’s assertion that “I cannot imagine any circumstances in which anyone today would want to or get to hear this record unless they were embarked on some idiotic scheme like this one”. The fact that people made this #1 for NINE weeks baffles me, but even in 2010, it has its fans, as we can see above…

  11. 11
    slideyfoot on 16 May 2020 #

    Fans in 2020 too: like the other 30 somethings (though I’m only just clinging to that group, at 39), I found this one appealing too. Albeit in the same “this sounds like it could be in a weird film” type of way as previous commenters. ;)

  12. 12
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    I still rather like this. A generous 6/10 from me.

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