Show: Remembering When

Episode: 868-093 Your Hit Parade.mpg


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Episode Description:

Your Hit Parade, was an American radio and television music program that was broadcast from 1935 to 1955 on radio, and seen from 1950 to 1959 on television. It was sponsored by American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes. During this 24-year run, the show had 19 orchestra leaders and 52 singers or groups. Many listeners and viewers casually referred to the show with the incorrect title The Hit Parade.

André Baruch continued as the announcer when the program arrived on NBC television in summer 1950 (Del Sharbutt succeeded him in the 1957-58 season), written by William H. Nichols, and produced, in its first years, by both Dan Lounsbery and Ted Fetter. Norman Jewison and Clark Jones (nominated for a 1955 Emmy Award) directed with associate director Bill Colleran. Tony Charmoli won a 1956 Emmy for his choreography, and the show's other dance directors were Tom Hansen (1957–58), Peter Gennaro (1958–59) and Ernie Flatt (uncredited). Paul Barnes won an Emmy in 1957 for his art direction. In 1953, the show won a Peabody Award "for consistent good taste, technical perfection and unerring choice of performers."

The seven top-rated songs of the week were presented in elaborate TV production numbers requiring constant set and costume changes. However, because the top songs sometimes stayed on the charts for many weeks, it was necessary to continually find ways of devising a new and different production number of the same song week after week. After the show was revamped in September 1957, the top songs were reduced to five, while "extras" were increased.

On the TV series, vocalists Dorothy Collins (1950–59), Russell Arms (1952–57), Snooky Lanson (1950–57) and Gisèle MacKenzie (1953–57) were top-billed during the show's peak years. During this time, MacKenzie had her own hit record in 1955 with "Hard to Get" which climbed to the #5 ranking in June 1955 and stayed on the charts for 16 weeks. She also starred in her own NBC variety program, The Gisele MacKenzie Show from 1957–1958, a series produced by her mentor, Jack Benny. Russell Arms also enjoyed a hit record during his stint on the show - "Cinco Robles (Five Oaks)" (# 22 / 1957)

The line-up of the show's other singers included Eileen Wilson (1950–52), Sue Bennett (1951–52), June Valli (1952–53), Alan Copeland (1957–58), Jill Corey (1957–58), Johnny Desmond (1958–59), Virginia Gibson (1957–58), and Tommy Leonetti (1957–58). All were performers of standards, show tunes or big band numbers. Featured prominently were the Hit Parade dancers and the Hit Paraders, the program's choral singers, who sang the opening commercial jingle (composed by Raymond Scott):

Be happy, go Lucky,
Be happy, go Lucky Strike
Be happy, go Lucky,
Go Lucky Strike today!

During the 1950-1951 season Bob Fosse appeared as a guest dancer on several episodes, with partner Mary Ann Niles. From 1950 until 1957, the orchestra was led by well-known bandleader and musician Raymond Scott (who married Dorothy Collins in 1952); the show's other music supervisors were Dick Jacobs (1957–58) and Harry Sosnik (1958–59). During the 1957-58 season, sponsor American Tobacco pitched Hit Parade filter cigarettes instead of Lucky Strikes. Alternate sponsors included Avco Manufacturing's Crosley division (1951–54), Richard Hudnut hair care products (1954–57), and The Toni Company (1957–58).

The show faded with the rise of rock and roll when the performance became more important than the song. It is said that big band singer Snooky Lanson's weekly attempts to perform Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" hit in 1956 hastened the end of the series. The series went from NBC (where it became the first TV show to contain the living color peacock) to CBS in 1958 and expired the following year. While Your Hit Parade was unable to deal with the rock revolution, the show's imaginative production concepts had an obvious influence on the wave of music videos that began in the decade that followed.

CBS also brought it back for a brief summer revival in 1974. That version featured Kelly Garrett, Sheralee and Chuck Woolery. The 1974 version of Your Hit Parade also featured hit songs from a designated week in the 1940s or 1950s. Milton DeLugg conducted the orchestra and Chuck Barris packaged this series.

The show's familiar closing theme was "So Long for A While":

So long for a while.
That's all the songs for a while.
So long to Your Hit Parade,
And the songs that you picked to be played.
So long!

Episode Short Description: N/A

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[SD File Downloads]: 13

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SD (Standard Definition) File

File Name of SD Episode: 868-093 Your Hit Parade.mpg

Total SD Episode Video Runtime (hh:mm:ss): 00:28:42

File Size of SD Episode Video: 1,341,517,066 Bytes

Resolution of SD Episode Video: 720x480

Date SD Episode Video Uploaded: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 - 11:56


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