Friday, February 27, 2004

50 years ago: Doris Day hit #1 with “Secret Love”

Secret Love

Doris Day

Writer(s): Sammy Fain (music), Paul Francis Webster (lyrics) (see lyrics here)

Released: October 9, 1953

First Charted: November 28, 1953

Peak: 14 US, 17 HP, 15 CB, 11 UK (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.6 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“The careers of Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster were inextricabily linked to the old aristocracy of Tin Pan Alley” LW and “Secret Love” “was one of the last gasps for the old craftsmen of Tin Pan Alley” LW as pop music gave way to rock ‘n’ roll. “Power was ebbing away from the artists and writers towards the record companies.” LW

The song was featured in the film Calamity Jane, “the story of an accient prone, rough and ready cowgirl of the old Wild West.” LW The movie starred Doris Day in the title role, falling in love – secretly – with Wild Bill Hickok. It won the Oscar for Best Song.

Fain brought the song to Day’s house and played it for her. WK She said “I almost fainted. It was so beautiful.” LW On the day of the recording session, the musical director, Ray Heindorf, suggested a practice run-through with the orchestra prior to recording any takes. However, she asked that they record the first performance after which Heindorf said, “That’s it.” It was the only take they did. WK

The song charted multiple times, including versions by Tommy Edwards (#28 US, 1954), Ray Anthony (#29 US, 1954), Slim Whitman (#2 CW, 1954), Kathy Kirby (#4 UK, 1963), Billy Stewart (#11 RB, 1966), Richard “Groove” Holmes (#27 AC, 1966), Tony Booth (#47 CW, 1973), and Freddy Fender (#1 CW, 1975). Others who recorded the song included Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Connie Francis, Spike Jones, Loretta Lynn, George Michael, the Moonglows, Sinéad O'Connor, the Orioles, Frank Sinatra. WK Bigs Bunny even sang “Secret Love” in the 1966 animated featurette “Rabbitson Crusoe.” WK


First posted 11/25/2022.

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