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Traditional Pop

What do we call traditional pop?

Traditional or classic pop is the name given to the popular American music that was produced between the decline of the big bands in the mid-1940s and the expansion of rock and roll in the mid-1950s.

The songs of Tin Pan Alley composers such as Cole Porter and Jerome Kern, written between World War I and the 1950s, are also considered classic pop. They were popularized by Broadway and Hollywood.

Bing Crosby and The Andrew Sisters – Don’t Fence me in (1944)

Song composed by Cole Porter and Robert Fletcher. It is one of these songs known as standards or classics and that are part of the Great American Songbook.

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Bing Crosby was born in Tacoma, Washington state. Between 1934 and 1954, she was a superstar with an unbeatable record sales record. In addition, she gained large audiences on radio stations and her films were shown all over the world. He is considered as one of the most popular musical actors in history and is today the most recorded human voice. He has influenced other great male performers like Frank Sinatra, Perry Como or Dean Martin.

Who was Johnnie Ray?

Descended from Blackfeet Indians, he is considered the first pop idol of the 1950s, halfway between the crooners and the rise of rock and roll. A sensitive person, he was worshipped by thousands of teenage girls.

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He didn't stand out as a composer or for his vocal abilities, but his ability to deliver on stage drove fans crazy. The dramatic nature of his performances earned him the title of Prince of Wails.

Johnnie Ray – Cry (1951)

Song composed by Churchill Kohlman. It was his most emblematic song, both for the success he achieved with it and for its title, Llora, which created a personal style and image for him.

Johnnie Ray grew up on a farm in Dallas, Oregon. After singing on a radio station in Portland and performing in a rhythm and blues club in Detroit, in 1951 he recorded his first album, Whiskey and Gin, which, released by OKeh Records, was a minor success. However, the following year, he would go on to dominate the charts with a single whose songs Cry and The Little White Cloud that Cried were a huge hit and sold over two million copies. Between 1952 and 1959 he had an important record production, both singles and LPs.

What is his style like?

Inspired by singers like LaVern Baker, he created a personal style, a mix of rhythm and blues and classic pop. A basic rhythmic accompaniment supported a mournful voice wrapped in a chorus.

Accompanied by the black vocal group The Four Lads, he also managed to break into the R&B charts. At the height of his success, the conservative press described him as a homosexual, which caused him to leave the stage.

Johnnie Ray – Just Walking’ in the Rain (1956)

Version of a song composed by Johnny Bragg and Robert Riley. Two inmates of the Tennessee State Prison in Nashville who played under the name of The Prisonaires.

Johnnie Ray became deaf in his right ear when, at age 13, he was doing an activity with the Boy Scouts. This forced him to make an extra effort to sing and play the piano, but it didn't stop him from connecting with teenage audiences and becoming one of their idols. Much later, in 1958, surgery in New York left him virtually deaf in both ears, which he was unable to correct despite the use of hearing aids.

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