Aired on Treasure Island Oldies – Mar 26, 2023
The late 50s & 60s featured a lot of classic game shows such as ‘Beat The Clock,’ ‘I’ve Got A Secret,’ ‘What’s My Line,’ ‘To Tell The Truth,’ and ‘Concentration’ to name a few.
From 1962 thru 1969 the ‘Match Game’ had its initial run on TV. Its host was Gene Rayburn whose signature prop was his extended microphone.
Prior to establishing a relationship with game show producers Mark Goodson & Bill Todman in 1953, Rayburn was an on-air radio personality in New York City. He became extremely adept at lobbying certain versions of popular songs. In one instance his efforts resulted in a million seller for a young female singer who became a star …
Rayburn was first accompanied by Jack Lescoulie (‘Anything Goes’) on his morning drive time radio show. Subsequently, he teamed up with Dee Finch (‘Rayburn & Finch’) on WNEW. Rayburn’s pairings with Lescoulie and Finch helped to popularize the now-familiar morning drive radio format.
Having a good ear for music and blessed with the ability to recognize talent, Rayburn was able to persuade London Records to have their new female artist record a cover of a 1949 song on the B-side of her new single which was officially released on December 26, 1949.
Rayburn & Finch played it regularly on WNEW, and it became a number 1 hit in March of 1950, going on to become a million seller that year.
This was quite a feat, given that the song was recorded by many other artists on various labels who also had hit versions in 1950 – Carmen Cavallaro (reached #5), Freddy Martin (#5), the Ames Brothers (#14), Hugo Winterhalter (#17) and Mickey Katz (#18).
Rayburn’s successful lobbying resulted in the recording becoming the female artist’s signature song and earned her the nickname “Miss Music.”
The decade of the 50s truly belonged to this pop artist who was a favorite of TV audiences, appearing nearly 40 times on the Ed Sullivan Show alone.
Whenever she appeared on stage, there always seemed to be time “to put another nickel in that Nickelodeon” and listen to Teresa Brewer sing “Music! Music! Music!,” this week’s Tom Locke moment in time.
Epilogue: Ironically, when Tom Locke was born on March 26, 1950, this record was #1 on the charts!
YouTube video of this song:
This “Moments In Time” story is yet another example of a “golden oldie” or forgotten favorite that earned its place in the evolution of Rock & Roll.