ROCK ERA INSTRUMENTAL #1: THEME FROM 'A SUMMER PLACE'--PERCY FAITH AND
HIS ORCHESTRA, 1960
Sometimes the bridesmaid, never the bride.
Not this time.
It was ranked the #2 summer song of all time, trailing only "Rock
Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and The Comets. It was ranked the #2
song of the entire decade of the 1960's, trailing only "Hey Jude" by
the Beatles. And it was the #6 movie song ever.
This time around, "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" by Percy Faith and his
Orchestra is the #1 instrumental of the rock era (1955-present). It
spent nine weeks at #1 and became the #1 single of 1960.
Perhaps you're wondering why "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" by
Perez Prado was ranked #2 instead of #1 among rock era instrumentals.
After all, it was #1 for 10 weeks, one more week than "Summer Place."
Here's why: The instrumentals were #1 on different charts. The Prado
tune's stay at #1 was on the Best Seller chart at a time when songs
were around a longer time. Faith's tune was #1 on the Hot 100 and at a
time when the second longest stay at #1 for that year (1960) was "It's
Now Or Never" by Elvis Presley with five weeks at the top. Thus, when
the songs were compared with an index rating factor, "Summer Place"
won out over "Cherry Pink."
Rob Durkee admits he hated this recording when it was a #1 hit. It
took Rob a long time to grasp the song's theme and beauty of what it
stood for. It helped immensely when the Lettermen remade it in 1965.
THEN he got it!
"There's a summer place...where it may rain or storm...but I'm safe
and warm...in your arms."
Today, just hearing the flutes' opening lines can give you an "Oooo"
and an "Awww" along with mind-blowing visions of Troy Donahue and
Sandra Dee gettng romantically involved in the 1959 movie.
"Summer Place" won the Grammy for Record Of The Year and a disco
version of the song (also by Faith) reached #13 on the Adult
Contemporary chart in the mid-70's.
Very few recording acts can lay claim to having two different singles
becoming the biggest for a calendar year. Percy Faith did it also with
"Theme From "Moulon Rouge" in 1953. Sadly, Percy Faith died of cancer
on February 9, 1976. He was 68 but he leaves behind the legacy of the
greatest summer song with "summer" in its title. And the song's
charted three others times.
Here's how the song sounded by the late Dick Roman in 1962...
In the summer of 1965, the song was a perfect remake for the Lettermen...
Finally, the Ventures from 1969...
ROCK ERA INSTRUMENTAL #2: CHERRY PINK AND APPLE BLOSSOM WHITE--PEREZ
For years, this record was the trend-setter for #1 singles in the
so-called Rock Era. The "Rock Era" is the age of rock and roll music
and the "American Top 40" staff decided that the best way to describe
would be to start with the first day of 1955.
For the start of 1955, the main record chart was the Best Seller
chart. In November, 1955, the Top 100 was born and it would include
results from the Sales Chart plus other charts like the Jockey
(airplay) and Jukebox ones.
In April, 1955, "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado
became a #1 single for 10 weeks. Although the song was a remake of a
single recorded by Moon Mullican on the King label from 1951, it got
its popularity through its inclusion in the movie "Underwater." It's
the #2 instrumental of the rock era. The single's 10 weeks at #1
wouldn't be matched for 22 years...or when Debby Boone spent 10 weeks
at the top with "You Light Up My Life."
While "Cherry Pink" was Prado's first official pop chart single, it's
believed it was far from being his first single release. In fact, he
may have been releasing singles in the 1940's. That's because when Lou
Bega had his big hit, "Mambo #5" in 1999, it was a remake of a single
Prado originally did in 1949.
When Prado hit #1, he was from Cuba, which is among at least seven
non-English speaking countries to have a #1 single in the United
States. The other six are Japan, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France,
Sweden and Austria. South Africa used to be listed but AT40 fan Ros
Altus pointed out that some English is spoken there.
Perez Prado was 72 when he died in 1989....but here's how his biggest