Friday, July 27, 1990

50 years ago: Frank Sinatra hit #1 for the first time with "I'll Never Smile Again"

I’ll Never Smile Again

Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & the Pied Pipers

Writer(s): Ruth Lowe (see lyrics here)


Recorded: April 23, 1940


First Charted: June 29, 1940


Peak: 112 US, 17 HP, 12 GA (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US (includes 1.0 in sheet music)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, -- video, -- streaming

Awards: (Click on award for more details).

About the Song:

Ruth Lowe was a pianist with Ina Ray Hutton’s all-girl orchestra when she composed this song about the death of her husband, just a few months after their marriage. TY Believing in the song’s potential, she staked out Tommy Dorsey’s several-night engagement at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition in September 1939. She finally got Carmen Mastren, the band’s guitarist, to give her demo a listen. SS Dorsey wasn’t initially swayed and passed the song on to Glenn Miller, who recorded a medium-tempo version, but it got overlooked. However, when Frank Sinatra came on board with Dorsey, they took another stab at recording it. SS

Sinatra had recorded with Harry James and His Orchestra in 1939, including the eventual #1 song “All Or Nothing at All.” However, those recordings didn’t chart until 1943 and 1944. When vocalist Jack Leonard parted ways with Dorsey in 1939, Dorsey was looking for a replacement. When Dorsey and James ended up at nearby gigs in Chicago, Dorsey sent someone to talk to Sinatra. James knew Sinatra, whose wife Nancy was pregnant, needed the money and agreed to let Sinatra work with Dorsey. SS

Sinatra’s first recording session with Dorsey in February 1940 led to Dorsey’s 100th chart entry, “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” and the first taste of the charts for Sinatra. They charted a couple of more times before they struck gold with the “unabashedly sentimental ballad” SS “I’ll Never Smile Again.” Down Beat magazine called it “the most sensational Tin Pan Alley hit of the year.” SS

It was Dorsey’s fourteenth trip to the top and the biggest hit of his career. PM- As Sinatra’s maiden voyage to the pinnacle, it “made him a national heartthrob virtually overnight.” SS He would hit #1 eleven times total, but this was his most successful song. It also bore the distinction of being the first #1 on Billboard’s best-selling chart. TY It also marked a shift from the “swing era” to the “sing era” when “the vocalists, not the bands and their leaders, were kings”. TY Previously, vocalists were generally limited to one chorus. TY


Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Tommy Dorsey
  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Frank Sinatra
  • JA David A. Jasen. (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Remembered Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc. Page 85.
  • SS Steve Sullivan (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland. Page 373.
  • TY Don Tyler (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. New York, NY: Quill. Page 98.
  • PM Joel Whitburn (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. Pages 136 and 521.
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 7/20/2011; last updated 4/18/2021.

Saturday, July 21, 1990

Roger Waters performed The Wall Live in Berlin

The Wall – Live in Berlin

Roger Waters


Released: August 21, 1990


Recorded: July 21, 1990


Charted: September 22, 1990


Peak: 56 US, 27 UK, 12 CN, 10 AU


Sales (in millions): --


Genre: classic rock veteran


Tracks, Disc 1:

Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. In the Flesh? (with the Scorpions)
  2. The Thin Ice (with Ute Lemper & the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  3. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1) (with Garth Hudson)
  4. The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  5. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) (with Cyndi Lauper, 9/10/90, 82 UK)
  6. Mother (with SinĂ©ad O’Connor & The Band)
  7. Goodbye Blue Sky (with Joni Mitchell & the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  8. Empty Spaces/Young Lust (with Bryan Adams, 9/8/90, 7 AR)
  9. Oh My God – What a Fabulous Room (with Jerry Hall)
  10. One of My Turns
  11. Don’t Leave Me Now
  12. Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3) (with Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  13. The Last Few Bricks
  14. Goodbye Cruel World

Tracks, Disc 2:

  1. Hey You (with Paul Carrack)
  2. Is There Anybody Out There (Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  3. Nobody Home (with the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  4. Vera (with the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  5. Bring the Boys Back Home (with the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir, Band, and the Combined Soviet Forces in Germany and Red Army Chorus)
  6. Comfortably Numb (with Van Morrison and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  7. In the Flesh (with the Scorpions and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  8. Run Like Hell (with the Scorpions)
  9. Wiating for the Worms (with the Scorpions and the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir)
  10. Stop
  11. The Trial (with the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir, Tim Curry, Thomas Dolby, Ute Lemper, and Marianne Faithfull)
  12. The Tide Is Turning (with the Company: Joni Mitchell, Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, Van Morrison, and Paul Carrack; the Rundfunk Orchestra & Choir; 11/19/90, --)

Rating:

3.302 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)


Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Roger Waters commemorated the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 by assembling a slew of guest artists to stage a live production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall in Berlin. The show was held in the vacant space of what was known as the “no man’s land” area of the Berlin Wall in between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate.

Waters had said he’d never perform The Wall on stage as it was too expensive and the message was about “the inherently greedy nature of stadium rock shows.” WK He would later gross $450 million from his tour of The Wall from 2010-13, the highest amount made at that time for a solo artist. W2 He did also qualify his initial answer that he would consider doing an outdoor show if they tour down the Berlin Wall. WK

The “star-studded megaconcert” AMG doesn’t always hold up as “it invites constant comparison to the studio album” AMG but there are moments, such as Bryan Adams’ “cock rock swagger” during Young Lust which work. AMG The trial scene also “is handled well, with Albert Finney, Tim Curry, Marianne Faithfull, Thomas Dolby, and Ute Lemper taking on the characters.” AMG

The show featured “larger bricks, bigger inflatable puppets, and a larger audience than any of the original Pink Floyd shows.” AMG The staging included a 550-foot-long and 82-foot-high wall. Most was built before the show and then it was added to during the show. At the end of the show, the wall was knocked down while images of the actual Berlin Wall being tore down were projected. The show ended with “The Tide Is Turning,” initially a song from Roger Waters’ Radio K.A.O.S. album and not The Wall.

The one-time performance set a record for a paid show with 450,000 attendees. Waters covered some of the expenses of the show, but made his money back from CD and video sales of the show. He initially planned to donate all profits past his investment to the Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief, but sales came in much lower than projections. WK

Resources and Related Links:


Other Related DMDB Pages:


First posted 8/23/2021.