Monday, April 3, 2017

105. Crooners of the Forties

Nancy recently discovered a letter from her mother written in 1951 when Nancy was completing the first term of her sophomore year at what is now Shippensburg University. In her opening paragraph, Mother Ogden wrote:
“You’ll just love television, Daddy is having just the grandest time. We’ve had it 2 nights and the house is full of neighbors each night.  Our set is really  nice, the picture is clear and my, what fun. We laughed our sides sore tonight.” 
Many people who grew up with television may wonder how we entertained ourselves Growing Up in the Forties without it. In her diaries from the Forties, Nancy often mentions going to the movies which in those days changed several times each week. Throughout high school, Nancy often walked to the soda shops on or near the square, and once or twice each week she visited the Teen Canteen to dance and play games with friends.

But when she was alone at night, she often mentions listening to music on the radio, and back in the Forties, when she turned her radio on in the evening, the crooners were coming into their own led by Frank Sinatra, the most popular singer in broadcasting history. 

A crooner is a male singer with a soft, intimate style, originally made possible by the introduction of microphones. Crooners were  popular in the Thirties, but our earliest recollections are from the mid-Forties when we listened, and often danced to their music

Nancy and I and most of our friends knew the signature songs that identified each of the crooners as well as the lyrics to many of their recordings. Here are a few favorite crooners with their signature songs:
Perry Como Prisoner of Love
Frankie Laine That’s My Desire
Vaughn Monroe Racing with the Moon
Dean Martin Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime
Andy Williams Moon River
Bing Crosby The Blue of the Night  (From the Thirties)

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