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Thursday, March 3, 2016

3/3/1945: Les Brown charts with “Sentimental Journey”

image from allmusic.com


Les Brown with Doris Day “Sentimental Journey”


Writer(s): Bud Green, Les Brown, Ben Homer (see lyrics here)

First charted: 3/3/1945

Peak: 19 US, 14 HP, 12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, -- UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Radio Airplay (in millions): -- Video Airplay (in millions): --


Review: Sentimental indeed. When she first saw the sheet music, Doris Day commented, “What a lovely title,” to which Les Brown responded “Wait till you hear it.” SS-375 “The song’s aching nostalgia struck a chord in a nation welcoming its boys back from the front lines,” TM becoming “one of a handful of songs that summed up romantic longing during World War II.” SS-375 Will Friedwald called it “the definitive end-of-war song,” SS-375 “a song that helped define an era.” SS-375

Doris Day’s “honey with a dash of pepper” TM voice compelled one “to pack your bag and join her on that journey home.” TM “In the lilting fox-trot…and in Arthur Green’s swinging sen-tuh-men-tul phrasing — you can almost see the locomotive wheels chugging, hear the steam spurting from the smokestack and feel the second-class coach swaying back and forth as the train makes its way down the tracks.” TM

The top hit of 1945 TY-125 launched the career of then-twenty-year-old Doris Day as a solo artist and America’s sweetheart. It would be the biggest hit of her career as well as Les Brown, the orchestra leader credited with the song. Stunningly, the record could potentially have been even bigger. According to George Simon in the December 1946 issue of Metronome, war restrictions prevented Columbia Records from pressing more copies of the song to maximize its potential. SS-376 On top of that, Les Brown and His Band of Renown performed the song for awhile, but couldn’t record it because of the musicians’ strike of 1942 to 1944. WK

Brown adopted the million-seller as his theme song TY-125 and Ringo Starr later used it as the title cut for his 1970 debut solo album, a collection of standards. JA-170 It became a jazz standard and was recorded by numerous artists, including Booker T. & the MG’s, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Harry James, The Platters, Frank Sinatra, and Amy Winehouse. WK


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