Birthday Songs

Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy, by Red Foley, topped the Billboard charts in America on the day I was born. Clearly, my precociously good musical taste forced the issue. Had I delayed until March 11, I would have been lumbered with The Cry of the Wild Goose, by Frankie Laine. While I’m no fan of country and western music, Red Foley is pretty good musically, as opposed to Frankie Laines’s ludicrous orchestral overkill.

There were no pop music charts in the UK until the New Musical Express (NME) introduced them in 1952. Rankings were calculated from sheet music sales, with Dear Hearts and Gentle People topping sales on Mar 10. Godawful sentimental dreck. If only I’d waited, because the splendidly toe-tapping Music! Music! Music!, by Teresa Brewer, claimed the crown the following day.

What can I say? Life’s a lottery.

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