THE recent Seaside Stars article about Emile Ford has brought what reader Harold Eastwood calls “just one bit of trivia” he wants to share.
Harold, of Normoss, says: “Throughout December 1959 the number one and two slots in the New Musical Express charts were occupied by two different songs, but the first four words of the song’s titles were identical – namely the Emile Ford recording of What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?, poster right, and the first hit by Adam Faith called What Do You Want.”
Harold adds: “Emile’s was a very distinctive recording, the arrangement being based on the 1958 US Capitol recording by Marie Adams and the Three Tons Of Joy, my favourite version.
“Some 52 years later it still has a fresh sound to it, unlike many other British pop records of the period. I remember the stop/start ending confused several radio DJs at the time who started speaking before the record had ended. The song, however, has a very long pedigree having been written for the 1916 show Follow Me, and in that year it was recorded by one Samuel Ash.
“In 1917 it became a smash hit recording in America by Ada Jones and Billy Murray who, recording either solo or together, were the most prolific hit makers of the first 20 years of the 20th century.
Just listen to their version on YouTube, which includes a verse not featured on more recent recordings of the song.
“It next became a best-selling record in 1945 by Betty Hutton as it was featured in her Paramount movie Incendiary Blonde – again this version is on YouTube.
“Emile Ford’s version was issued in America in 1960, but without success, and US cover versions by Ray Peterson and Sunny Gale did not reach the American charts and were not issued here at the time,” says Harold.