Big Bands Database --- http://nfo.net WINNING TUNES

Lucky Strike Cigarettes Hit Parade Radio Show - 1935 - 1955

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1. A "Composer's" name in brackets indicates that his name appears on the sheet music as composer, but in reality, he may have had little to do with the writing.
2. Where no composers are shown, - the name is not known to this Database. I hope to soon fill in those places where the composer is not shown. ( if you can help please send the information along to [ mlp@nfo.net ] )
3. Note that the Numbers in brackets ONLY indicate how long the tune was heard on the show - NOT how long the song remained in any given position.

These Hit Parade Winners, 1935-1955, were originally contributed by Mr. and Mrs. Phil Schnabel, and subsequently edited by others, including Mr. William H. Crowe, of Toronto, Canada. A little History of the show is shown below.

Choose a Year

Radio Shows: 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948

Television Shows: 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955

Or Browse The
Alphabetical Listing

The Lucky Strike Hit Parade Radio Show had two "in-theme" songs.
Mr. Mel Walton has recalled the early theme, while Mr. Glenn Churches has pointed out that the song was originally introduced in George White's, Scandals of 1926.
1930s In-Theme: "Happy Days Are Here Again", (Jack Yellen and Milton Ager)
Later In-theme: "Lucky Day" (DeSylva, Brown and Henderson)
Out-Theme: "So Long For A While" (Alex Kramer)

     "Your Hit Parade survey checks the best sellers on sheet music and phonograph records -
     the songs most heard on the air and most played on the automatic coin machines - an
     accurate, authentic tabulation of America's taste in popular music.

A little history:
Originally a radio program, the show began in 1935, and ran for the next 15 years. From 1950 to 1959, 'Your Hit Parade' was a weekly network television program. The radio and TV versions of the program consisted of a "Top Ten" list, plus "Lucky Strike Extras". The methodology used to ascertain the 'Top Ten' was never revealed, but audiences that loved the music never complained. A song could be heard over many weeks as it climbed up, and then "slid" down, the 'Top Ten" list. Often, a different vocalist from the previous week would provide variation. Radio audiences had to 'visualize' the songs, but the Television version of the show needed elaborate sets, many performers, and unique skits to aid in the song's dramatization. This added an extra burden to producing the show. In addition, the rise of "rock and roll" hastened the TV show's demise.

One reader, Mel Walton, has pointed out that Lennie Hayton's band was featured in the Spring of 1935; Carl Hoff's band during part of 1936 and Al Goodman's band sometime during 1938. Both Peter van Steeden and Harry Sosnick also also led the show's band (dates unknown). Thereafter, CBS used Mark Warnow as the show's musical director, and he also conducted the Mark Warnow Orchestra and was the bandleader until his death in 1949. At that time, his brother Raymond Scott (nee Harry Warnow) took over the job, and the Raymond Scott orchestra was heard on the show until the show ended in 1959. In 1950, the show made a successful transitition from Radio to Television, and both the 'Peter Gennaro Dancers' and the 'Hit Paraders' were seen in dance production sequences. The show 'usually' featured 7 hits of the day, with 3 other "standards" interpolated into the show.

Here's how the August 9, 1941 Ticket, looked. (One of our readers auctioned this ticket for $20.00 in August 2001.)

During 1950 to 1957, Andre Baruch (later Bea Wain's husband. Bea is best recalled for her work with the Larry Clinton Orch. ) was the show's announcer, and from 1957-'58, Del Sharbutt was the announcer.

The vocalists are another matter altogether. Many different singers were heard singing with the original Mark Warnow Orchestra and later with the Raymond Scott orchestra. During the 1930s, singers GoGo Delys, Kay Thompson, Charles Carlisle and Loretta Lee sang on the show. Vocalists Beryl Davis and Frank Sinatra left the original Mark Warnow's band together in 1939 (and joined Morris Stoloff's orchestra). John Klein, Mark Warnow's arranger, also left. He had also been Beryl's voice coach.

The 1950s saw many other singers on the show including Snooky Lanson ('50-'57), Eileen Wilson ('50-2), Sue Bennett ('51-2), June Valli (1952-3), Russell Arms (1952-'57), with Gisele MacKenzie ('53-'57), Dorothy Collins ('50-'59). Between 1958-'58, there were Tommy Leonetti, Viginia Gibson, Jill Corey and Alan Copeland. In 1958-9, Johnny Desmond sang on the show.

Before going to NYC, and to the Hit Parade, Russell Arms had made singing cowboy movies with Gene Autry (d. 1998), Chill Wills and Lash Larue (who passed away in 1996).

Some folks have asked if these tunes are available on CD. We have two responses.
1.) You may be able to find all of them on various CDs available at most all Record Shops. The store personnel should be able to help you. Readers may also wish to surf two of our own pages.

  • Record Shops, Labels and Videos

  • Sources
  • 2.) There was, and may still be, a group of CDs, available singly or by subscription from the Time-Life Records, - now a division of AOL-Warner. The last "hotlink" we had for their specific page was:    

  • TIme-Life

  • 2a.) Further information can be had from the book This Was Your Hit Parade, by John R. Williams. Camden, Maine (np), 1973
    As one may see, their list is not as complete as ours, but they do have some years, and some tunes. ("click" the "and More" prompt to see the tune titles on each CD.)
    (Please do NOT eMail us regarding the Time-Life links, - we will not reply.)

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