The popular music industry in general had an eventful year. The big squabble that arose over record speeds was ironed out. All the recording companies began to give the public all three speeds—78, 33 1/3, and 45 revolutions per minute.
As for musical taste, it proved a sharp contrast to that of 1949. There was a sweeter, solid, and more romantic style of music, with a strong demand being shown for religious themes. Old tunes which had been shelved for years were revived. They included “Harbor Lights,” “Bewitched,” “Music, Maestro Please,” “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,” “Thinking of You,” “Nevertheless,” “Goodnight Irene,” and “Rain.
Comparative unknowns rose to stardom; some persons made secure their position in the entertainment world; others used this year as a springboard in their bid for fame; and for many it was the long haul up on the comeback trail. But the Crosbys, Godfreys, Autrys, Lombardos, Dorseys, Days, Martins, and the like kept rolling right along, while the Laines, Damones, and Ecksteins eclipsed any of their previous efforts. Skyrocketing to the top in sensational fashion were Patti Page, Kay Starr, Ralph Flannaghan, and Mario Lanza. The year proved most successful for such persons as Bill Farrell, Gordon Jenkins, Artie Shaw, Red Foley, Johnny Desmond, Eileen Barton, Bill Snyder, Theresa Brewer, and others who have a foot in opportunity’s door. Among names with which we should become familiar in the coming year are Tony Fontaine, Jack Plies, Don Cherry, Dick Baker, Ralph Martiere, Guy Mitchell, the Weavers, and Tony Bennett. Two prominent family groups made records: Bing Crosby and sons Lindsay, Garry, Philip, and Dennis; and Red Foley and daughters Shirley, Jenny, and Julia.
One of the major experiments of the record companies, and one which proved most successful, was the coupling on wax of top folk artists and popular style singers. This afforded both kinds of artists sales outlets which they had never before enjoyed.