Great balls of fire: Popular music in the 1950’s, Part 3 – 1952

This programme is part of the series Great Balls of Fire
Frankie Laine at the piano with Patti Page (© Wikimedia)

In this nine-part radio essay, Pete Myers tells the stories behind the music and the people that created the sounds of the 1950’s. This was the decade in which rock ‘n roll burst upon the world, but it was also a time of memorable recordings by the likes of B.B. King and Nat King Cole, of Edith Piaf and Mario Lanza, Patti Page and Frank Sinatra. It was also a decade of outstanding instrumental and popular orchestra music from such stars as Mantovani and Henry Mancini.

Part 3 – 1952: A breakthrough year for Peggy Lee and Al Martino, but some of the most successful recordings that year were made by stars who were already well established on the music scene: Kay Starr (“Wheel of Fortune”), Very Lynn and Jo Stafford. And then there was the novelty “I Saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus”. The quiet before the storm.

Producer: Pete Myers

Broadcast: February 8, 1991

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