Try to imagine all the spontaneous joy and the number of smiles when a Doris Day song came over the airwaves. Multiply that by all the radios in the world, and multiply that number by all the hit songs, and now multiply that by all the years since her first hit, compounding all the joy and smiles from all the Doris Day songs over the decades.
If you could put a number on the result, it would be an extraordinary number.
Now imagine if you took away all of that joy. All of those smiles, all the good feelings from all of the hits that resonated with people everywhere. Imagine what that world would be like, and maybe — just maybe — by considering what was missing, we could quantify the impact of Doris Day on pop music.
Notice we haven’t said a word about movies, or television, or the countless hours giving back to the community. Hardly necessary, but then again, it shouldn’t be necessary to list the hits like “A Guy is a Guy,” or “My Dreams are Getting Better All the Time” or “Everybody Loves a Lover” or “Teacher’s Pet.” All of those are more or less forgotten alongside her better known records, yet all of them were sizable hits.
Day’s vocals were mostly straightforward and at times her style and phrasing bordered on pedantic, but her honesty and spirit combined with such clarity of voice that it was incredibly compelling. Regardless of her simplicity, the joy in her voice was infectious. Let’s be thankful that we had her for so long.
If you’d like to read more about Doris Day’s vocal stylings, our feature article on the hit “Secret Love” provides some additional insights into what made her so significant in the history of popular song.