Various Artists

Your Hit Parade: 1954

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As usual, Time-Life Music makes a reasonable show of including most of the year's hits in their most popular versions in the 1954 volume of its Your Hit Parade series, including such major artists and songs as Kitty Kallen's "Little Things Mean a Lot" (the year's biggest hit), Eddie Fisher's "Oh! My Papa" and Jo Stafford's "Make Love to Me!" And, as usual, a few major hits are missed completely, there are substitutions for recordings presumably not available, and there are a couple of songs that, while not the year's biggest hits, have lived in the memory better than some that were. The most notable omissions, for no reason we can guess (since other selections from the same record labels are included) are the Crew-Cuts' "Sh-Boom" and Perry Como's "Wanted," both long-running #1 and gold records. Frank Sinatra had a much bigger hit with "Young at Heart" than Bing Crosby and Guy Lombardo, whose version is included, but Sinatra's Capitol recordings are usually not available for compilations, and the DeCastro Sisters outperformed Jo Stafford on "Teach Me Tonight," but who knows who controls the catalogue of Abbott Records, their label, today? Anyway, Stafford's version was a hit, too. And if you want to get technical about it, neither Erroll Garner's "Misty" nor Judy Garland's "The Man That Got Away" ever made the hit parade, but both have turned out to be classics from 1954 and are worthy bonuses.

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