Sunday, February 12, 2012

Songs I listened to in the mid-fifties

Warning:  This is one of those rambling entries where I started out to talk about one subject (forgotten songs) and meandered all over the place recalling events from a certain era.  Unless you are my age or older, you might want to skip it.

I began listening to the radio quite a bit in 1954 and 55.  I remember entire lyrics to some of the songs that were played on WHB, everybody's favorite station back then.  When I do a google search, some of those songs just don't show up and are forever lost.  Here are some words to one song I remember well from that era:

I'd like to trade my heart for a paper valentine,
A heart that wouldn't ache, a heart that wouldn't break
Yes, and a heart that wouldn't worry about you any more
Cause they sell 'em by the dozen in the five-and-ten-cent store.
I read each paper heart and then the teardrops start.
"I love you" seems to be the favorite line.
You broke my heart in two, it meant nothing more to you
Than just a paper Valentine.  

It has a lovely tune.  I would share a Youtube video, but there isn't any.  Maybe I just dreamed it up and wrote it myself.    
At least "Too Pooped to Pop" can still be found; it's from the same time period.  I thought the song was hilarious, although my parents seemed to think there was some sort of sexual innuendo in the words and didn't like me singing it.  
Not every song on the charts in 1955 faded away.  "Unchained Melody", for instance.  Most people think the Righteous Brothers invented the song, but it was very popular long before they came on the scene.   
Nat King Cole and Johnny Mathis turned out to have some staying power on the charts.  They were among my favorite singers.  
Sister acts seemed to be popular in the olden days.  When my mom worked at the truck stop in Eagleville, one of the songs that played often on the juke box was "Sincerely" by the McGuire Sisters.   
Of course, smooth songs like that were often followed up by a new style that was breaking on the scene: "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" sounded GREAT on the juke box.  
I remember the truck stop so well because my mom worked the evening shift there, and I spent Saturday nights hanging out in the joint.  
There was a ritual in small-town America in those days.  Everybody went to town on Saturday night to "do their trading".  That was the night I'd sometimes see a movie (Roy Rogers flicks were my favorite) at the little theater on the square.  Some of my schoolmates and I would walk around the square chatting.  There was a drawing at the hardware store at 9 or 10 o'clock with a first, second, and third prize.  When it was time for the drawing, that store was standing room only.  As soon as the names were drawn and the prizes handed out, most everybody went home.  
During the brief period my mother worked at the truck stop, though,  I walked up there and waited for her shift to end, enjoying the juke box and occasionally washing a few dishes in the kitchen.    
Oh, and as luck would have it, Facebook has put me in contact with a lady who, I think, worked at the truck stop with my mom back then.  I had better share this entry with her.


  1. sally7:58 AM

    Donna you never cease to amaze(sp) me...i so love reading your blogs. Hope you are staying warm and are ready for the first real snow of the year. Take care.

  2. Anonymous8:42 AM

    I agree with Sally--you always come up with something interesting and fun. Keep up the good work. I can also relate to most of the same feelings in this blog--growing up in that same time zone.

  3. I am just a little older than you are and grew up in the 50's and enjoyed all those songs too. How interesting that you met someone from way back then on FB. Saturdays were great for going into town. Thanks for sharing the memories today!

  4. Those songs bring back memories for sure. They have played so many times throughout the years at our house we know them all by heart. I talked about lyrics on my blog this week too, but not the vintage ones. Love the story of going to town and winning a prize. How fun. But waiting for your mom's shift to be done listening to the jukebox was my favorite part. Until my husband lost his job, I would go down to a local eatery everyday, order a raspberry tea and listen to the jukebox play songs from the 50's' 60's. Used to make my day. I miss it. Take care.

  5. I listened to the juke box at the Bulldog Snack Shack in the 50's.

  6. Hello.
    I have heard this song many times on a radio station were they play 20's -50's music and I often sing on it. I googled and it brought me to your blog :)
    It's a lovely song indeed. I am in my early 30's and for the past 7 years I have listened to music from the 1920's to 1940's exclusively, it is just so much better :) Take care.

  7. My mom knows Paper Valentine, I'll try and get a video for you. My grammy used to play it for her when she was younger.


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