Best Songs From 1952

The early 1950s was a pivotal era for music, with 1952 being a prime year. In 1952, iconic artists released songs that have gone down in musical history.

Most music lovers will recognize the biggest hits of this year. Read on to learn interesting facts about the best songs from 1952.

“Blue Tango” by Leroy Anderson

Song year: 1952

Leroy Anderson composed “Blue Tango” in 1951 and released it with lyrics by Mitchell Parish in 1952. It reached number one on the Billboard charts in 1952, making it one of the most recognizable songs of the year.

Several artists have paid homage to the tune with their spin on covers. Bobby Wayne, Oneal Hudson, Calvin Boze, Teddi King, the Mulcays, and Guy Lombardo have all released versions.

Amanda Lear also covered the song with her original lyrics, later releasing a notorious accompanying video that addressed rumors about her gender.

“Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” by Vera Lynn

Song year: 1952

The German composer Eberhard Storch composed “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart,” but songwriters John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons brought the song to the English market in 1952 with their lyrics.

Vera Lynn stumbled across a group of bargoers singing the song in Switzerland while on vacation. She immediately fell for the tune and decided to record the number with new lyrics. Vera Lynn became the first foreign artist to hit number one on the U.S. Billboard charts with this tune.

“You Belong to Me” by Jo Stafford

Song year: 1952

The opening lyrics of Jo Stafford’s “You Belong to Me” paint pictures of ancient pyramids on the Nile River, adding the right amount of theatrics for the Hollywood single.

Chilton Price, Pee Wee King, and Redd Stewart contributed to the song’s composition. These three were some of the decade’s most successful artists and likely the reason the song topped the Billboard charts in both the United Kingdom and the United States.

Joni James immediately liked the lyrics when she saw the sheet music and released her recording in 1952.

“I Went to Your Wedding” by Patti Page

Song year: 1952

Patti Page sings about unrequited love in “I Went to Your Wedding.” Songwriter Jessie Mae Robinson wrote the lovesick song about a woman who attends a wedding while still in love with her ex-lover: the groom.

It floated around the Billboard charts for 21 weeks, eventually taking the number one spot. Artists Sammy Kaye, Alma Cogan, and Hank Snow later released covers with their unique spins.

The song has more comedic uses in pop culture, including a parody by musician Spike Jones.

“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” by Jo Stafford

Song year: 1952

Jo Stafford released “Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” in 1952 with Paul Weston and his Orchestra, and the song immediately charmed America with its southern flair before skyrocketing to the top of the charts.

The fun, easy-listening song details the Cajun experience, from food and lifestyle to parties and rhythmic spirit. Lovers of Cajun meals and music will love this tune about Jambalaya, crawfish pie, fruit jars, and gumbo–But it may make them hungry.

“Please, Mr. Sun” by Johnnie Ray and the Four Lads

Song year: 1952

Ray Getzov and Sid Frank wrote “Please, Mr. Sun” for the American singer and pianist Johnnie Ray, with features by the Four Lads and the Jimmy Carroll Orchestra. The song reached Billboard’s top 30 songs for the entirety of 1952.

Several other artists released covers of the pop song, including Perry Como, whose version hit number 12 on the U.S. pop chart in 1952. Other renditions came later in the decade, like Tommy Edwards’ cover in 1959, which charted at number 11.

“Wheel of Fortune” by Kay Starr

Song year: 1952

Johnny Hartman released “Wheel of Fortune” in 1951, but the song did not receive widespread acclaim until Kay Starr covered it in 1952. It reached number one on the U.S. pop charts in the spring of 1952 and later in the year when Dinah Washington recorded a version.

The song became the theme song for Wheel of Fortune, the American game show that started in 1952–The same year Kay Starr and Dinah Washington released their recordings.

“High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)” by Frankie Laine

Song year: 1952

Dimitri Tiomkin produced “High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin’)” in 1952 for the film High Noon, a western by Fred Zinnemann starring Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly. Frankie Laine sings the lyrics about Will Kane, the film’s protagonist.

The song has become synonymous with the iconic film, making the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 most representative songs of American cinema. It won the Oscar for “Best Original Song” in 1952.

“Slow Poke” by King Pee Wee & His Golden West Cowboys

Song year: 1952

King Pee Wee & His Golden West Cowboys released the hit country song “Slow Poke” in 1952. Chilton Price, a good friend of Pee Wee King, wrote the song for and about the country artist because she believed the lyrics applied to his personality.

The tune describes his tardy tendencies and his indifference to time. Price seemed slightly frustrated with his habits when she wrote the song but gave him the song to tea him in good spirits.

“I’ll Walk Alone” by Don Cornell

Song year: 1952

In 1952, Don Cornell released his cover of the hit musical number “I’ll Walk Alone.” The original song comes from the 1944 musical Follow the Boys, for it received an Academy Award nomination for “Best Original Song.”

It lost to “Swinging on a Star” but received plenty of acclaim over the next decade for the original version by Dinah Shore and for Don Cornell’s rendition. Cornell brought the tune back to the top 10 on the Billboard charts in 1952.

“I’m Yours” by Eddie Fisher

Song year: 1952

Russian composer Robert Mellin wrote the hit song “I’m Yours,” and many notable artists have covered the tune since. Don Cornell, the Four Aces, and Toni Arden all released their versions, but the most famous rendition is Eddie Fisher’s.

RCA Victor released Fisher’s “I’m Yours” in 1952, and it lasted 19 weeks on the United States Billboard Charts. It peaked at number five and still holds a special place in the hearts of romantics.

“The Little White Cloud That Cried” by Johnnie Ray

Song year: 1952

Ray and the Four Lads made history with “The Little White Cloud That Cried,” as it was one-half of their famous two-sided hit. The “A” side of the record, a song called “Cry,” reached number one on the Billboard charts; meanwhile, this melancholy, whimsical tune hit number two.

The public adored the tune after its release by Okeh Records, and it even hit number six on the “Most Played Juke Box Rhythm & Blues Records” Billboard chart.

“Kiss of Fire” by Georgia Gibbs

Song year: 1952

Georgia Gibbs released her version of “Kiss of Fire” in 1952, charming the music world with her jazzy roots. She released this tune before her climb to widespread popularity in the rhythm and blues community, and the pop song served as a rung on the ladder.

The song remains a beloved pop culture artifact, appearing in new media like Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story: Freak Show in a scene with Emmy Award winner Evan Peters.

“Anytime” by Eddie Fisher

“Anytime” by Eddie Fisher

Song year: 1952

Eddie Fisher’s version of the hit single “Anytime” peaked at number two on the Billboard charts in 1952, but it was a popular song for decades before Fisher’s rendition. Herbert “Happy” Lawson worked with Tin Pan Alley to produce the earliest version of the song in 1921, with Emmett Miller on vocals.

Patsy Cline and the Osmond Brothers released their own recordings in the following decades, but no other artist peaked as high as Eddie Fisher with it.

“Blacksmith Blues” by Ella Mae Morse

Song year: 1952

American songwriter Jack Holmes wrote “Blacksmith Blues” for Ella Mae Morse. She recorded it on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood, and the song’s legacy is safe in her hands.

It sold over a million copies, reached number three on the United States Billboard charts, and has become one of the most recognizable songs from the year.

Many artists breathed new life into Morse’s song after its run, including Bing Crosby, the John Berry Seven, and Toni Harper in collaboration with Harry James.

“The Glow-Worm” by the Mills Brothers

Song year: 1952

The Mills Brothers recorded “The Glow-Worm” in 1952 with the Hal McIntyre Orchestra, hitting the Billboard charts for 21 weeks with a peak at number three. However, the song has fascinating origins in a 1902 German production.

The song’s German title is “Das Glühwürmchen,” and it comes from Paul Lincke’s operetta Lysistrata. Lilla Cayley Robinson translated the song into English, allowing artists like the Mills Brothers to put their unique spin on the tune and push it into the mainstream music world.

“Here in My Heart” by Al Martino

Song year: 1952

Songwriters Pat Genaro, Lou Levinson, and Bill Borrelli published “Here in My Heart” in 1952. The Italian-American singer and actor Al Martino reached number one on the United Kingdom Billboard Singles Charts with his recording.

It stayed at number one for nine weeks and proved to be Martino’s most successful song–Save for a brief stint in the top five for “Spanish Five,” he never reached the top of the charts with another single.

“Delicado” by Percy Faith

Song year: 1952

Percy Faith and his orchestra recorded a version of Waldir Azevedo’s “Delicado” in 1952, bringing it to the top of the United States Billboard charts.

Jack Lawrence penned the lyrics to the iconic 1950s tune, contributing to the discography that would land him in the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1975.

The Three Suns and Dinah Shore recorded renditions in the same year, but none received the same acclaim as Percy Faith.

“Botch-a-Me (Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina)” by Rosemary Clooney

Song year: 1952

Eddie Stanley wrote English lyrics for Riccardo Morbelli and Luigi Astore’s Italian song “Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina” from 1940. The Italian word “Baciami” translates to “kiss me,” and the English lyrics meet the original song’s romantic standards despite the lighthearted phonetic spelling.

Actress and singer Rosemary Clooney released the song under Columbia Records. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Charts, where it stayed for 17 weeks during the peak of her career.

“Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” by Johnnie Ray

Song year: 1952

When Roy Turt and Fred Ahlert published “Walkin’ My Baby Back Home” in 1930, they may not have expected it to reach the charts over two decades later.

Johnnie Ray released his version under Columbia Records in 1952, and it charted at number four on the United States Billboard charts. Nat King Cole released his performance in the same year, also hitting the top of the charts.

Louis Armstrong, John Allred, Paul Anka, and Ella Fitzgerald also recorded their renditions of the world-famous song.

“Trying” by the Hilltoppers

Song year: 1952

The Hilltopper’s hit song “Trying” hit number seven on the Billboard charts in 1952 and with good reason. The multi-talented Richard Smith “Billy” Vaughn wrote the lyrics about a person trying to move on from an ex-lover when they still have strong feelings.

Popular artists would cover the vocal pop group’s biggest hit for decades to follow, including a 2001 cover by the Texas Tornados.

“Half as Much” by Rosemary Clooney

Song year: 1952

American singer and actor Rosemary Clooney’s career was soaring in the early 1950s, and her hit recording of “Half as Much” is more evidence of her impact on music in 1952.

The jazzy, easy-listening tune took the top spot on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, beating out Hank Williams, who recorded his version earlier in the year.

The lyrics, written by Curley Williams, describe a woman who loves her partner more than he loves her and the pain that comes with an emotionally distant lover.

“Why Don’t You Believe In Me?” by Joni James

Song year: 1952

Joni James released “Why Don’t You Believe In Me” in 1952 to kick off her traditional pop discography. It became her first big hit, selling over two million copies and throwing her into a successful career of seven top-ten hits.

This single’s success meant a lot to Joni James, as she grew up in South Chicago as one of six children, with only her widowed mother for support. She had been working toward a career in entertainment since her youth, and this song under MGM records helped fulfill her dreams.

“Homing Waltz” by Vera Lynn

Song year: 1952

Vera Lynn’s “Homing Waltz” peaked at number nine on the United Kingdom Billboard singles chart. The song contributed to her notoriety as a recording artist, as well as the songwriting abilities of Johnny Reine and Tommie Connor.

Al Martino’s “Here in My Heart” stole the top spot from Vera Lynn after nine weeks, but the song is still popular among traditional pop lovers.

“The Loveliest Night of the Year” by Anne Shelton

Song year: 1952

“The Loveliest Night of the Year” by Anne Shelton shows the composition’s versatility–It was originally a waltz, but Irving Aaronson adapted it as a pop song, and Anne Shelton sang the most popular version in 1952.

Circus performers and magic acts commonly use this tune to accompany their show.

“Singin’ in the Rain” by Gene Kelly

Song year: 1952

Gene Kelly’s “Singin in the Rain” came out with the romantic comedy musical film in 1952, and it lives in infamy as the best and most well-known version of the song.

The original song came out in 1929 in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and has since appeared in many films, but Gene Kelly’s version supersedes them all in popularity. Arthur Freed is responsible for the notorious lyrics, and Nacio Herb Brown takes the credit for the danceable tune.

“There’s a Pawnshop on a Corner in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania” by Guy Mitchell

Song year: 1952

Guy Mitchell’s 1952 song, shortened to “Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” is a Columbia Records pop song that peaked at number six on the Billboard charts. It has become a staple of pop culture, with works like Robert A. Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love featuring characters that sing the lyrics.

The song tells a story about a poor man that convinces a beautiful woman he’s rich by spending everything he owns on her.

Top Songs From 1952, Final Thoughts

1952 was a productive year for music, and many wonderful songs came from it. Some well-known musicians were at their peak, while others were just beginning their careers and producing their first works of art.

Music lovers in the market for nostalgic releases and pivotal tunes should take a look at the top songs of 1952.

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