Tales from the Atomic Age

Sopranos in the Sky

In the 1950s, coloratura vocalists were more open to the idea of working as background singers on popular recordings, surely considered a disastrous turn of events to a classical or opera purist. For every Yma Sumac (who famously claimed to be a Peruvian princess), an exotic singer unyielding in her pursuit of mainstream recognition, there were scores of uncredited sopranos who presumably preferred being in the background. In this implied downgrade of musical culture, the vocalists are, by ... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

The Seekers

Australian folk-rockers The Seekers have two songs on the list of the Top 100 Capitol Hits 1950-1969! Check out the other 98 classic tower-label recordings ... MORE ››

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Featured Artist


Guy Mitchell

He was a singer, an actor, a cowboy, a cancer survivor and saddle maker (not necessarily in that order) who sometimes drank to excess. Guy Mitchell also recorded some of the biggest hit songs of the 1950s, his best-known originating from the world of country music. Born Albert Cernik in Detroit in 1927, his career in entertainment began at age three when he sang at a wedding reception. His parents, who had emigrated from Yugoslavia, knew right then and there he had the talent to be a star...and they were right! The family moved around quite a bit, living in Los Angeles for a couple of years starting in 1938. Albert auditioned for the Warner Bros. movie studio, which led to a steady job singing on KFWB radio as Al Cernik. His Hollywood hopes ... MORE ››

Vinyl Attack Al Hibbler

Unchained Melody
Al Hibbler

Skilled jazz singers, apparently, were hard enough to come by some eight decades ago that a bandleader in need of a vocalist might be willing to overlook warning signs where auditioners were concerned. Now Duke Ellington, it would seem, by the early '40s well-established as one of America's premier conductors, could have his pick among ... MORE ››