Sunday, November 6, 2016

11/6/1948: Dinah Shore hit #1 with “Buttons and Bows”

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Dinah Shore & Her Harper Valley Boys “Buttons and Bows”

Writer(s): Jay Livingston/ Ray Evans (see lyrics here)

First charted: 9/18/1948

Peak: 110 US, 110 HP, 13 GA, 112 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

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

Review: The biggest hit of 1948 WHC-67 was also an Academy Award winner for Best Song. Bob Hope and Jane Russell introduced the song in the movie The Paleface. The song had a distinct western flavor and referenced Hope’s character in the film – a dentist from the east. TY-135 It was initially written with an Indian theme, but the director determined that wouldn’t work. WK

The song charted six times in 1948 – the Dinning Sisters million-selling version with the Art Van Damme orchestra TY-135 (#5), Betty Garrett (#8), Betty Jane Rhodes (#9), Evelyn Knight (#14), and Gene Autry (#17). PM-481 However, Dinah Shore’s version was the most successful. It went to #1, was a million-seller, and was “long associated with Shore, who continued to perform it for decades.” JA-29

Born Frances Rose Shore, Dinah was one of the most popular singers in the 1940s. She had a brief stay wit the Xavier Cugat band before striking out as a solo star. She charted 83 hits from 1940-1957, hitting #1 with “I’ll Walk Alone” (1944), “They Gypsy” (1946), “Anniversary Song” (1947), and “Buttons and Bows” (1948). The latter, however, was her last and longest time at the top. PM-388 From 1951-62, she hosted a popular TV variety series and was a talk show host in the 1970s. PM-388

The song was used as a theme for one of the characters on F Troop, a 1960s TV sitcom. WK It surfaced again on The Jack Benny Program in 1962 when Gisele MacKenzie performed it as a saloon singer (“Ghost Town: Western Sketch”). WK It was used again in 1996 in an episode of Frasier (“Look Before You Leap”) in which the lead character attempts a performance of the song but forgets most of the lyrics. WK

Resources and Related Links:

Note: Footnotes (raised letter codes) refer to sources frequently cited on the blog. Numbers following the letter code indicate page numbers. If the raised letter code is a link, it will go directly to the correct page instead of the home page of a website. You can find the sources and corresponding footnotes on the “Lists” page in the “Song Resources” section.


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