February 9, 2012

Eddie Heywood (from 1947) - From Jazz notable to Pop-star and back again.

One of the biggest instrumental hits of the 1950's was a song composed and recorded by Jazz pianist Eddie Heywood and accompanied by Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra for RCA Victor. Canadian Sunset was a smash and has, over the years, achieved icon status as a track that typifies Pop Music in America in the 1950's.

Heywood had been around for the better part of two decades in various capacities as soloist and sideman for a number of Jazz outfits including those of Benny Carter and Don Redman. His transition into the Pop idiom was something of a fluke, and even his solo recording of Canadian Sunset didn't achieve the massive exposure the full-blown wall-of-strings version did.

And, as is always the habit in pop music, a follow up single that sounds "almost like" the hit record came shortly on the heels of the mega-hit.

Tonight's track, Lost Love is the follow up, recorded about two months after Canadian Sunset in 1956. But unlike Canadian Sunset, Lost Love didn't make a dent in the charts, despite the signature over-production so popular in 50's mainstream pop. It seems lightning was not destined to strike twice and shortly after Heywood left RCA to greener pastures with Mercury and a resumption of his status as a Jazz figure with fits and starts to continue on into the 80's.

So, just as we did with Joni James a couple nights ago, here is the original 78 just as it was destined for your local jukebox or AM radio station.

And the wheels of Pop fortune continue to turn.

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