In 2007 this website was created as an “online magazine” with monthly articles, which included a monthly feature called Forgotten Gem. These were examinations of individual songs — not so much of the composition or lyrics, but rather these articles were mostly about some of the backstory and history surrounding the selected songs.
Although most of these articles are a decade old, the information is still timely and enlightening, and preserved here for your enjoyment…
Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive Classic 1940s gem from Johnny Mercer; here we examine the story behind the song.
Do You Know the Way to San Jose Breezy, superb offering from Burt Bacharach and Hal David via Dionne Warwick in the late 1960s.
Don’t Fence Me In Cole Porter song inspired/assisted by poet Bob Fletcher. Introduced by Roy Rogers; hit versions by Bing Crosby & the Andrews Sisters, Gene Autry, and Eddy Arnold, and covered by countless others through the years.
Eh, Cumpari! Novelty song forever tied to Julius LaRosa.
First of May Powerfully emotive song recorded by the Bee Gees as the era of their 1960s popularity was waning.
Glow Worm The Mills Brothers went “big band” in this hit from the early 1950s.
Go Away Little Girl Gerry Goffin/Carole King tune that struck gold for Steve Lawrence, Donny Osmond, and a few others.
The Gypsy 1945 song by Billy Reid that hit for Dorothy Squires, The Ink Spots (most notably), Dinah Shore, Guy Lombardo and Sammy Kaye.
Hello Young Lovers Rodgers and Hammerstein song from The King and I, popularized by Marni Nixon, Perry Como, Guy Lombardo, Paul Anka, and The Temptations…although the most enduring version is undoubtedly by Frank Sinatra.
I Believe In Music Terrific tune by Mac Davis that, despite fantastic recordings by Gallery, Helen Reddy, Liza Minelli, BJ Thomas, The Statler Brothers, and Davis himself, never cracked the top 20 on any chart.
I’ll Buy That Dream Oscar nominated 1945 song penned by Herb Magidson usually recorded as a male/female duet.
Islands In the Stream 1980s hit penned by the Gibb Brothers, Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers version topped the pop, country, and adult contemporary charts.
It’s Getting Better Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil song that hit for Cass Elliott in a recording that featured Hal Blaine’s “Wrecking Crew.”
Love Is A Many Splendored Thing Academy Award winning 1950s song by Sammy Fain/Paul Francis Webster song that hit #1 for The Four Aces.
Love Is Blue Massive hit song from the late 1960s penned by André Popp and Pierre Cour, actually finished fourth in the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest, recorded by many artists, best known version by Paul Mauriat.
Love’s Been Good to Me Song written by Rod McKuen, popularized by Frank Sinatra in the late 1960s, covered by dozens of artists.
Return to Pooh Corner Odd folk/rock offering from the early 1970s by Loggins and Messina, continues to sell more than 40 years later.
Secret Love Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster song from the 1953 musical Calamity Jane, massive hit for Doris Day. Cover versions by Gogi Grant, Tommy Edwards, Bing Crosby, a country version by Slim Whitman, and and R & B version by The Moonglows also charted.
Singing The Blues Melvin Endsley song from the mid 1950s that hit for both Marty Robbins and Guy Mitchell.
That Old Black Magic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer song that was Glenn Miller’s final #1 hit. Versions by Margaret Whiting, Frank Sinatra and other covers were also popular at the time. Later recordings by Billy Daniels, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Prima & Keely Smith, as well as a re-styled 1961 version recorded by Sinatra also dented the charts.
We’ve Only Just Begun Banking commercial jingle written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams turned into Grammy winning #1 pop hit by The Carpenters in the early 1970s.
Wishin’ You Were Here Peter Cetera-penned Chicago song featuring vocals by Terry Kath and Cetera, with Beach Boys Alan Jardine, Carl and Dennis Wilson.
You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff song that Lou Rawls launched into the stratosphere in the late 1970s, and continues to sell.
Multiple Songs, LPs or Other Forgotten Gems
An Examination of Indispensible Vinyl from the Rock Album Era Pass the album cover around (and maybe a pipe) while listening to these classics from the days when rock albums were important.
Melody in ‘A’ Major/Dawes’ Melody/It’s All In The Game As far as we know this is the only #1 song written by an elected Vice-President of the USA with hit versions for two guys named Tommy. (Dorsey and Edwards).
Music: A Part of Me Scottish-born David McCallum created this gem of an album in the late 1960s when he starred in The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Orange Crate Art Stunning and largely forgotten 1995 Van Dyke Parks album that painted a picture of life growing up in California in the 1950s, featuring vocals and vocal arrangements by Brian Wilson.