First recorded by Richard Himber & His Ritz-Carlton Orchestra (1934).
Popular versions by Guy Lomabardo’s Royal Canadians (US #2 1934), Ted Weems & His Orchestra (US #13 1934), Johnny Mercer & The Pied Pipers (US #4 1946), Perry Como & the Satisfiers (US #10 1946), Johnny Mathis (UK #17 1958), Darlene Love (1963), Ramsey Lewis Trio (US #27 1966).
From the wiki: “‘Winter Wonderland’, a winter song, is popularly regarded as a Christmas song even though the holiday itself is never mentioned in the lyrics. It was written in 1934 by Felix Bernard (music) and Richard B. Smith (lyricist). Smith, a native of Honesdale, Pennsylvania, was reportedly inspired to write the song after seeing Honesdale’s Central Park covered in snow. Smith had written the lyrics while in the West Mountain Sanitarium, being treated for tuberculosis.
“The original recording was by Richard Himber and his Hotel Ritz-Carlton Orchestra on RCA Bluebird in 1934. At the end of a recording session with time to spare, it was suggested that this new tune be tried with an arrangement provided by the publisher. This ‘studio’ orchestra included many great New York studio musicians including the legendary Artie Shaw. The biggest chart hit at the time of introduction was Guy Lombardo’s orchestra, a Top-10 hit. Singer-songwriter Johnny Mercer took the song to #4 in Billboard’s airplay chart in 1946. The same season, Perry Como hit the retail top ten. (Como would also record a new version for his 1959 Christmas album, Season’s Greetings.)
“Through the decades it has been recorded by over 200 different artists, among them Johnny Mathis (1958), Darlene Love (1963), and The Ramsey Lewis Trio (1966).”
First recorded (as “Samba De Verão”) by Eumir Deodato (1964).
First vocal recording (as “Samba De Verão”) by Marcos Valle (1965).
Hit versions (in English) by The Walter Wanderley Trio (US #26/MOR #3 1966), Johnny Mathis (MOR #17 1966), Connie Francis (MOR #17 1966), Vicki Carr (MOR #32 1966).
From the wiki: “‘Summer Samba’ (also known as ‘So Nice’ or its original Portuguese title, ‘Samba de Verão’) is a 1964 Bossa nova song by Brazilian composer Marcos Valle, with English-language lyrics by Norman Gimbel; the original Portuguese lyrics came from Paulo Sérgio Valle, brother to the composer. Brazilian musician, arranger and producer Eumir Deodato, a musical autodidact, starting with the accordion at age 12, first recorded the song in 1964.
“The song was first popularized by the Walter Wanderley Trio in 1966 — the album Rain Forest. Also reaching the U.S. MOR chart in 1966 with versions by Johnny Mathis, Connie Francis, and Vikki Carr. In fact, at least one source claims that three different versions were on the Billboard charts at the same time in 1966. Allmusic has said of Wanderley’s version, ‘His recording … is regarded as perhaps a more definitive Bossa tune than ‘Girl From Ipanema’.’ Wanderley’s version was the biggest seller in the U.S., reaching #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966, (#3 on the MOR chart).”
First recorded by Johnny Janis (1960).
Hit version by Johnny Mathis (US #6 1962).
From the wiki: “Paul Vance and Leon Carr wrote ‘Gina’ in 1960 and it was first recorded that same year by singer-guitarist Johnny Janis specifically for an episode (titled ‘Gina’) of the CBS TV series Diagnosis: Unknown in which Janis had a small role. In 1962, a cover recording by Johnny Mathis became Mathis’ highest-charting song since 1957’s ‘Chances Are’.”
First recorded by The Erroll Garner Trio (1954).
Hit versions by Sarah Vaughn (US #106 1959), Johnny Mathis (US #12/R&B #10/UK #12 1959), Lloyd Price (US #21/R&B #11 1963), The Vibrations (US #63/R&B #26 1965), “Groove” Holmes (U S#44/MOR #7/R&B #12 1966), Ray Stevens (US #14/MOR #8/C&W #3/UK #2 1975).
From the wiki: “‘Misty’ was written by Errol Garner in 1954 and first recorded for his 1955 album Contrasts. The song was later paired with lyrics by Johnny Burke and became the signature song of Johnny Mathis. Garner’s recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1991; Mathis’s version of the song was inducted in 2002. The 1975 Country-fied version by Ray Stevens won a Grammy in the category of Music Arrangement of the Year.
First recorded by Johnny Mathis (US #36 1972).
Hit versions by Al Wilson (US #1/R&B #10/UK #51 1973), Peabo Bryson (R&B #1 1989).
From the wiki: “‘Show and Tell’ was written by Jerry Fuller and first recorded by Johnny Mathis in 1972. A 1973 recording of the song by Al Wilson reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week in January 1974 and was also named a Cashbox Magazine Number One Single of the Year.”
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