The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Movie Idol Next Door

Artist: Tab Hunter
Song: Red Sails In The Sunset (b-side) (a-side is Young Love)
Label: Dot MW-9452
Number: 45-15533
Songwriters: Williams-Kennedy
Time: 2:22
Released: 1957

Most of you will probably recognize the name of Tab Hunter from the many motion pictures he has appeared in. Movies such as The Lawless (1950), Return To Treasure Island (1954), Battle Cry (1955), The Sea Chase (1955), Operation Bikini (1963), Ride The Wild Surf (1964) and The Life And Times Of Judge Roy Bean (1972), among many others. What many may not remember is that, for a brief period during the late 1950's and early 1960's, Tab had a popular recording career as well. In 1957, he scored a Billboard number one hit with his cover version of Sonny James' Young Love. It rode the top of the charts for six weeks. He also reached to #11 with a song called Ninety-Nine Ways. His success prompted Jack Warner to enforce the actor's contract with the Warner Bros. studio by banning Dot Records, the label for which Hunter had recorded his hit singles (and which was owned by rival Paramount Pictures), from releasing a follow-up album he had recorded for them. He established Warner Bros. Records specifically for Hunter, although his singing career faded after a few more recordings.
I have heard several different versions of today's song, by a wide variety of artists, The Beatles even performed a version of this classic song (published in 1935), in which they performed it in an uptempo manner, but Tab's version is as a ballad. With Billy Vaughn's full orchestra and chorus backing him up, he turns in an impassioned version that I'm sure had all the teenyboppers of the day going wild. So, if you've never heard him sing anything other than Young Love, be sure to download Tab Hunter performing Red Sails In The Sunset and give it a listen. His recording career didn't last very long, but this is quite a pleasant version of a classic song.

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