Here are the final answers to all of the trivia questions posted last week in our Joel Whitburn / Record Research / Forgotten Hits 1950's Billboard Charts Trivia Challenge!!! (Whew!!!)
As mentioned on Sunday, Joel and I had a lengthy conversation to clarify some of the "gray" areas in the contest ... and I can emphatically state that after a meeting of the minds, we decided in favor of the contestants in every case. (In fact, as you'll see below, we even awarded Bonus Points for some of these answers that went above and beyond the original intent of the contest.) Because of this, I was able to score half-points ... and, in one case, a FULL point ... for answers of greater depth than what we were seeking.
Did it make a difference in the outcome? I'll say!!! In fact, when all was said and done, the top four winners were all separated by half-a-point each!!! (Now THAT'S a contest!!!)
For the benefit of anyone out there still wondering, here are the answers we were looking for ... along with a few of the "surprise" answers we received. Thanks again to everybody who played along. And congratulations one more time to winner Ron Smith ... great job!
1. What movie theme had two versions holding down the #1 and #2 spots for seven consecutive weeks in 1950?
"The Third Man Theme", a hit for both Anton Karas and Guy Lombardo
2. Matty Matlock’s All-Stars backed this duo on their two-sided smash record – the two sides switched back and forth, holding down the #3 and #4 spots for ten consecutive weeks in 1950! Name the two titles.
"Play A Simple Melody" and "Sam's Song" ... by Gary Crosby and Friend (who just happened to be his dad, Bing Crosby!)
3. “The Duckworth Chant” is the sub-title of this army marching cadence song that peaked at #4 in 1951.
Name that tune.
"Sound Off (The Duckworth Chant)" by Vaughn Monroe
4. In the summer of 1951 (June - August) six girl’s names were featured in titles on the charts. Name at least four of the six.
Although some contestants did, you did not have to name all six ... Joel was only looking for four.
The complete list includes Jezebel, Josephine, Laura, Belle, Rose and Maggie
5. Les Paul and Mary Ford said “The World Is Waiting For” what in September of 1951 hit?
6. This male vocalist held the #1 position for 14 consecutive weeks with back-to-back hits in 1951. Name the singer and the two titles.
None other than the incomparable Tony Bennett, still going strong some 62 years later!!!
The titles of his back-to-back #1 Hits were "Because Of You" and "Cold, Cold Heart".
7. On the January 12 & 19, 1952 charts, Johnnie Ray had the #1 and #2 songs with “Cry” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried”. What vocal group did the backing on both songs?
The Four Lads
8. This male vocalist had a string of 40 Hot 100 & Bubbling Under hits from 1959 - 1978 ... however, his only #1 hit was back in 1952. Name the artist and the #1 hit.
Al Martino - "Here In My Heart"
9. The first issue of Billboard in 1950 featured a #1 Christmas song: “Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Gene Autry. Name the other two Christmas songs that hit #1 during the '50s decade.
"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by Jimmy Boyd and "The Chipmunk Song" by The Chipmunks
10. From 1948 - 1950, Jo Stafford had ten hits with her duo partner, Gordon MacRae. From 1951 - 52, she had five “Best Selling” hits with what other duo partner?
11. On the May 16, 1953 “Best Selling” chart, this famous actor / comedian had a two-sided hit, one at #10 and the other at #15. Name the actor and the two similar sounding song titles.
Red Buttons - "The Ho Ho Song" and "Strange Things Are Happening (Ho Ho, Hee Hee, Ha Ha)"
12. A cabaret in Paris and a European country were the subjects of the #1 and #2 songs for three consecutive weeks in 1953. Name these two song titles.
"Song From Moulin Rouge" and "April In Portugal"
13. This #6 hit in 1953 was written by a legendary movie actor for a movie that he directed and starred in. Name this actor and the song title.
The actor was none other than Charlie Chaplin and the song was "(Terry's Theme from) Limelight", a hit for Frank Chacksfield
14. On consecutive weeks in 1952, foreign language words were used in these #1 hits: “Delicado” and “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart”. Name four more #1 hits of the '50s that had foreign language words in the titles. Novelty titles such as “Hot Diggity”, “Hoop-Dee-Doo”, “Sh-Boom”, “Yakety Yak” and dances such as “Bolero” and “Tango” do not count.
Here's the first question where we gave some liberal leeway. The four answers that Joel Whitburn was looking for were "Vaya Con Dios", "Lisbon Antigua", "Tequila" and "Volare". However we received some other answers that we awarded half-a-point for, provided the contestant had at least three other correct answers on their list. While Joel was specific about novelty titles and dances not counting, he was NOT specific about the foreign title being in parentheses or being used as a sub-title. As such, we ultimately also allowed "Oh My Pa-Pa (O Mein Papa" by Eddie Fisher and "The Three Bells (Les Trios Cloches)" by The Browns. The #1 Hit "Volare" was shown BOTH ways on the title, with "Volare" as both the main title and also the sub-title, depending on what pressing you happened to buy. (My copy showed the title as "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu".) Other titles that were submitted but ultimately not allowed the half-point were "Mona Lisa" and "Song From Moulin Rouge" (which appeared on several ballots).
15. What #1 novelty hit in 1953 was a parody of one of the year’s top rated TV shows?
"St. George and the Dragonet" by Stan Freberg, an ode to the hit television series "Dragnet"
16. Which two Canadian vocal groups had a combined total of thirteen top 20 “Best Sellers” hits in the '50s?
We also granted a little bit of leniency on this one. The CORRECT answer is The Crew Cuts and The Diamonds ... but several others mentioned The Four Lads. Doing the math (and counting the Best Sellers Chart only, as specified in the question), I came up with ten hits for The Crew Cuts, four for The Diamonds and five for The Four Lads, no combination of which adds up to thirteen. As such, we awarded half-a-point for The Four Lads provided you had The Crew Cuts listed as the other act. (Songs that The Four Lads performed on ... but not as the featured artist ... were not counted.)
17. This 19-year-old singer had her only chart hit rocket up the charts to #1 after being featured six times on a CBS-TV production in 1954. Name the singer and the song title.
We've told this story several times over the years in Forgotten Hits. The correct answer is Joan Weber and her #1 Hit was "Let Me Go, Lover".
18. This TV series produced a song that had three versions within the top 10 for nine consecutive weeks in 1955. Name the song and the three artists.
We accepted both the TV Series Name and the song title on this one, as long as you got all three artists right. It's "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett", a Top Ten Hit for Bill Hayes, Fess Parker and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
19. What song released on May 10, 1954, finally debuted on the “Best Sellers” chart on May 14, 1955?
"Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and the Coments. Incredibly, it took a year ... and inclusion in a movie ... to make this one a hit!
20. What ‘part of a flower’ word was used in two song titles that were together in the top 10 “Best Sellers” chart for twelve consecutive weeks during the summer of 1955?
Blossom: "A Blossom Fell" by Nat "King" Cole and "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado.
21. On November 12, 1955 these song titles at #8 & #9 make up a perfectly logical sentence when read together. Name these two ‘cover’ songs (R&B songs covered by pop artists).
"I Hear You Knocking" / "At My Front Door" by Gale Storm and Pat Boone respectively
22. What song that hit #6 on January 14, 1956 would become the theme song for a TV series beginning in 1987?
"Love And Marriage" by Frank Sinatra ... used thirty years later as the theme to the hit comedy series "Married ... With Children".
23. Name the two blockbuster movies that both produced multiple hit versions of their theme songs during the Spring of 1956.
"Picnic" and "The Man With The Golden Arm"
We received several entries that listed "Moonglow" (which was FROM the movie "Picnic", and issued as a medley with the title track) and "Theme from 'A Three Penny Opera'", a hit for several artists (and ultimately recorded as "Mack The Knife" by Bobby Darin), which wasn't a movie timely to the date specified in the question.
24. What do these three R&B groups have in common with their recordings in the Spring of 1955: The Jewels, Gene and Eunice, and The Moonglows?
Their original recordings were all covered by white artists, who went on to have Top Ten Hit versions with these songs ... while the R&B originals made virtually no pop chart impression at all.
The songs and artists in question?
"Hearts Of Stone", a hit for The Fontane Sisters, "Ko Ko Mo", a hit for Perry Como and "Sincerely", a hit for The McGuire Sisters.
25. What consecutive numbers (between 1 and 20) were in two song titles that were on the “Best Sellers” chart on November 12, 1955?
Sixteen and Seventeen ...
"Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford and "Seventeen" by The Fontane Sisters
26. What artist captured the “Best Sellers in Stores” #1 spot for 16 consecutive weeks in 1956?
That would be The King of Rock And Roll, Elvis Presley ... who scored back-to-back-to-back #1 Hits with "Hound Dog", "Don't Be Cruel" and "Love Me Tender".
27. Name the only two songs with the word “Rain” in the title that made the top 10 of the “Best Sellers” charts from 1955 - 1959. [“Train” does not count]
"Just Walking In The Rain" by Johnnie Ray and "Rainbow" by Russ Hamilton
28. What popular candy bar was a top 10 hit late in 1956?
Baby Ruth (as in "A Rose And A Baby Ruth") by George Hamilton IV
29. In February of 1957 which two colors charted side-by-side? Actually, two of the same color peaked at # 9 & #10 and a different color at #11.
Blue and Green ... "Blue Monday" by Fats Domino (#9) and "The Green Door" by Jim Lowe (#10) ... with "Blueberry Hill" by Fats Domino at #11.
30. What folk song, featuring an original version and an alternate version, peaked side-by-side in 1957 at #6 and #7?
We received a variety of answers to this one ... but the CORRECT answer was "The Banana Boat Song", a hit for both Harry Belafonte (in its original, traditional version) and The Tarriers (who incorporated a little bit of "Hill And Gully Rider", another Jamaican folk song, into their arrangement.) We awarded a half-point bonus for that complete answer, even though it wasn't asked for. Other multiple versions of folk songs may have qualified ... but NOT with the distinction of different arrangements.
31. Name the black songwriter that wrote two of Elvis Presley’s biggest chart hits of the '50s.
Otis Blackwell: "Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up"
32. In May of 1957 there were three songs that had multiple hit versions in the Top 25 “Best Sellers’ Chart: “Party Doll”, “Butterfly” and what other one?
It was this question that prompted the only FULL Bonus Point awarded. The answer we were looking for was "Dark Moon" by Bonnie Guitar and Gale Storm. However, further research proved that "I'm Walkin'" by Fats Domino and Ricky Nelson ALSO qualified ... so the two readers who pointed out this fact were each awarded a full bonus point (provided they also listed "Dark Moon" on their entry form).
33. Put these Rock And Roll Hall of Fame legends in chronological order by debut date on the “Best Sellers” chart: 1. Jerry Lee Lewis 2. Little Richard 3. Chuck Berry 4. Fats Domino
Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis
34. Put these #1 “Best Sellers” one-word titles from 1957 in chronological order by debut date: “Honeycomb” / “Diana” / “Tammy”.
As it turns out, "Tammy" and "Diana" both premiered on the same chart ... an oversight on our part. (This was not the case on ALL of the charts ... but it WAS the case on Billboard's Best Sellers Chart.) As such, we accepted BOTH answers as long as the contestant listed "Honeycomb" third. "Tammy" premiered higher on the chart than "Diana" did ... but that did NOT hold any weight in our decision.
35. On the January 6, 1958 “Best Sellers” Top 50 chart, the #1 and the #50 hits had very similar titles with a theme that could read as a sentence when put together. Name these polar opposite titles.
"At The Hop" and "Dance The Bop" by Danny and the Juniors and Gene Vincent respectively. Ironically, the #1 Hit "At The Hop" originally started out as "Do The Bop" when first written by John Madara and David White. John Madara told our Forgotten Hits readers that story several years ago. It was Dick Clark who suggested the title change, stating that "the bop" was on its way out ... and all the kids were going to "the hop" these days. They changed the title and a few of the lyrics and soon had the #1 Hit in the Nation!
36. In January of 1958, no less than eleven girls names were featured in “Best Sellers” titles. Not counting these five: “Bony Moronie”, “Ivy Rose”, “Little Sandy Sleighfoot”, “Honeycomb” or “Wake Up Little Susie”, name the other six.
You had to get all six names correct in order to earn a point for this question. Most of you did:
"Peggy Sue" by Buddy Holly, "Tammy" by Debbie Reynolds", "Oh Julie" by The Crescendoes, "Henrietta" by Jimmy Dee, "Jo-Ann" by The Playmates and "De-De Dinah" by Frankie Avalon.
37. “Silhouettes” was a popular word on the February 3, 1958 “Best Sellers” chart. In fact, it came up twice in the Top 20 at the same time. One was a title of a song and the other was the name of the group. Name both the artist and the title for the two entries.
"Silhouettes" by The Rays ... and "Get A Job" by The Silhouettes
38. The March 10, 1958 “Best Sellers” chart featured a polka and a march. Besides those, what two teen dances were in the Top 20 that week?
"The Walk" (Jimmy McCracklin) and "The Stroll" (The Diamonds)
39. What song in the summer of 1958 was named after a highly sought after prize at county and state fairs?
"Kewpie Doll" by Perry Como. Four people submitted "Blue Ribbon Baby" by Tommy Sands, which was NOT the song we were looking for ... but a VERY clever answer. We almost allowed it at half a point ... but since Joel had previously defined "summer" as "June, July and August" ... and Tommy's record didn't appear until the September 1st chart, we stuck to our original guns on this one.
40. The “Hot 100” chart debuted on August 4, 1958. Not counting The Coasters, who are the only two artists still alive from the top 10 of that first chart?
The correct answers were Duane Eddy and Jack Scott ... but we got a WIDE assortment of answers. Records on that first Hot 100 Charts could be found by The Everly Brothers, Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, Frankie Avalon, Jerry Butler, Dion, Tony Bennett and more ... but Joel's question SPECIFICALLY says "The Top Ten" ... and that's what narrowed down the field on this one.
41. What chart feature, still used today, was introduced on the second “Hot 100” chart?
The Star Performer (better known as "the bullet".) I asked Joel if he knew for certain when the catch-phrase "the bullet" came into play, as it seems it's been referred to that way forever. He told me that "the bullet" actually originated in Cash Box Magazine ... sometime between late 1959 and early 1961. (He was going to check for a more specific date). And, since it was technically a Cash Box term, Billboard never referred to it that way. It became, instead, an industry standard ... referring on all three major national trade charts to the records showing the greatest upward movement from one chart to the next. Sort of an "generic" industry term, if you will.
42. What was the very first Star Performer on that second “Hot 100” chart?
Another area of controversy surrounded this question. What Joel was looking for (but not clearly stated in his question) was the highest charting "Star Performer" record on this chart, which would have been "Volare", sitting at #2, a jump of 52 points from the previous week's showing of #54. However, there were actually FIFTEEN records awarded "Star Performer" status that week. Since MOST of you got it right anyway, I was just going to let it go at that ... until I received two entries that mentioned "Are You Really Mine" by Jimmie Rodgers. Albeit much lower down on the chart, THIS record had the biggest single jump of the week ... from #93 to #26, a 67-point leap ... so I thought that THIS could potentially be a correct answer as well. As such, I gave a half-point to the two folks who selected this as their answer.
43. The first “Hot 100” chart was occupied primarily by male vocalists. Only seven female solo vocalists made the tally: Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Doris Day, Eydie Gorme, Toni Arden, Connie Francis and Kitty Wells. Which one had two entries on that first chart?
Eydie Gorme: "You Need Hands" and "Gotta Have Rain"
44. What dog and bird exchanged places at the #2 & 3 spots on the “Hot 100” in October 1958?
"Bird Dog" (by The Everly Brothers) and "Rock-in Robin" (by Bobby Day)
45. In addition to the dog and bird and the “Pussy Cat”, what two summertime bugs had places on that “Hot 100” chart?
"Firefly" by Tony Bennett and "The Green Mosquito" by The Tune Rockers. (FH Reader Mike Ogilvie points out that another song on the chart that week was titled "How The Time FLIES" ... lol! Clever ... but no soup for you!)
46. The December, 1958 charts saw four different wedding songs make their entrance. Not counting “The Wedding” by June Valli, name the other three songs with wedding in the title.
"The Big Bopper's Wedding" by The Big Bopper ... which FH Reader Jack Levin tells us was played at his own wedding, TWO versions of "A House, A Car And A Wedding Ring" (by Dale Hawkins and Mike Preston) and "The Hawaiian Wedding Song" by Andy Williams (one of my all-time favorites!)
47. What revolutionary music industry sound development was given notice for the first time on the May 18, 1959 “Hot 100” chart?
For the first time, it was noted if a Stereo Single was available for that title. Joel tells us these original stereo single are now quite collectible (and fetching big bucks). Amazing, because MOST people at the time didn't have the proper hardware to play them!
48. What other chart enhancement appeared on that same chart for the first time ever?
An A - Z listing of all of the song titles. Amazing ... something that seems like it has ALWAYS been there ... but this is where it started!
49. Bobby Darin’s “Mack The Knife” held the #1 spot for nine weeks late in 1959. However, those were not consecutive weeks at #1. What song interrupted his string between the 6th & 7th weeks?
"Mr. Blue" by The Fleetwoods
50. The very last “Hot 100” chart of the '50’s decade saw the debut of what song that has recently been a part of TV history?
The correct answer was "The Sound Of Music", a hit for Patti Page, which received some horrendous reviews after Carrie Underwood resurrected the musical for a live performance on NBC a couple of weeks ago. (Guess you could say critics took a Louisville slugger to her career over this one!) Also premiering on the charts that week were "Do-Re-Mi" by Anita Bryant (as well as Mitch Miller) and "Climb Every Mountain" by Tony Bennett, both of which came from the same score. I gave half a point if you mentioned either of these titles as it was an obvious tie-in to what we were looking for. Ironically, Joel was originally going to ask for all three titles in his question but decided at the last minute to zero in on the title track.
And there you have it ... for those of you scoring at home, how'd you do??? I can honestly say that the nine folks who became qualifying finalists did a bang-up job ... and are probably kicking themselves now over a couple of little things that, even at half-a-point each, add up to the difference between winning and losing. I know you all spent a lot of time on this (so did we!!! lol) and I really appreciate it.
That being said, we heard from a couple of non-winners (aka "whiners") who felt the contest wasn't fair to anyone who didn't have access to the Billboard Charts. My response to that is simple ...
If you don't have access to the 1950's Billboard Charts, then this book is a GREAT place to start!!! And, you can add it to your collection via the link below for just $79.95 (plus shipping and handling)
It's packed with fascinating information from cover to cover ... and gives you a COMPLETE overview of what was happening musically on the charts back in the '50's. You'll see the whole decade evolve and unfold right before your very eyes. HIGHLY recommended ... as are ALL of the books in The Record Research Series.
Speaking of which, Joel is telling us that his "Cash Box" book is actually running a little AHEAD of schedule!!! This volume has been highly-anticipated for YEARS ... and we can't wait to get our hands on a copy to complete the "trilogy" of chart bibles covering the rock and roll era. It, too, is available now through Joel's website for pre-order. Don't be caught short ... order your copy today!