Today’s music video is Theme From A Summer Place and the song is performed here by the American band leader, Percy Faith and his orchestra.
This video was posted to You Tube by Retro Channel Anglo
Last week, I featured a song from Ray Conniff, (at this link) and I mentioned that from the 50’s onwards, there were a number of these band leaders who were releasing albums of some of the recent popular music, only arranged into a big band, easy listening format for a different audience. I mentioned that I had ten or more albums from six of these band leaders, and that, even though I came to an appreciation of music during the early 60’s when all those fabulous bands and artists came out of the new sound of modern popular rock music coming mainly out of the UK, I found that my tastes in music had matured somewhat, and that I actually did like this genre of music.
One of those bands I had in my collection was Percy Faith, and his orchestra, and I had three of his LP’s.
Percy Faith, similar to Ray Conniff was one of those band leaders at Columbia Records, and just like Ray Conniff, Percy Faith was prolific, and during a long career, he brought out close to 90 LP’s of this type of music. Percy Faith started out with the big bands of the War years and then the late 40’s. What he wanted to do when he went out on his own was to try and soften the sound somewhat, as those earlier bands were quite heavy on the Brass Section, the horns, trumpets and all those other instrument in that group of them. To do this Percy Faith added a large string section with a large number of Violins and other instruments in that string section of them.
What this resulted in was a softer sound, somewhat more appealing to a wider audience.
As in in house arranger for Columbia, he also provided backing and arranging for some of the current list of artists for Columbia, in the same manner as did Ray Conniff, also working for Columbia Records at the same time, and Percy Faith was a big part of quite a few recognisable music stars during the 50’s and 60’s.
All, up, along with his 90 or so LP’s, He actually had 5 hit Singles inside the Top Ten, and in fact three Number One hits, Delicado in 1952, the Moulin Rouge Theme, (the original) in 1953, and then the song I have featured today, Theme From A Summer Place, which was a Number One in 1960.
The song was written by Mack Discant (music) and the lyrics were by Max Steiner. It was written for the movie A Summer Place, and for that movie, it was performed as an Instrumental by Hugo Winterhalter. It was not even the main theme of the movie, and was written as the theme for the young lovers played by Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue. The movie was released late in 1959.
Percy Faith arranged a cover of this theme, improving on the original actually, and that Single was released before the movie went to general release. It didn’t do very much until in mid January, almost four Months after its initial release, it started to rise up the charts, and then went all the way to Number One, and then just stayed there, for nine weeks in all.
The most astonishing thing about the song was that stay at Number One, for an incredible nine weeks, something not surpassed until 1977, seventeen years later. To this day, the song is still the longest stay at Number One for an Instrumental. The song was ranked as the Number One song for the year by Billboard, who ran the main chart.
It sold off the wall, and won the major Grammy Award for that year, Record Of The Year, which made this song the first Instrumental to win that award, as well as the first movie theme to win that award.
The song still ranks high in most lists of Top Hundred, or Top Five Hundred Hits of the rock era, and it has the place as the top Instrumental of the Modern Rock era, which is surprising as there are so many good Instrumentals.
This song was a Monster, and to this day, stands the test of time as just such a beautiful song, wonderfully arranged by Percy Faith.