The 1950s was a decade of many firsts; seat belts were introduced in 1952, Disneyland opened in 1955 and NASA was founded in 1959. In the world of music, the 1950s is known as the birth of rock and roll with hits like "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets dominating the airwaves. Aside from rock and roll, country music and folk music were also popular during this period. Love songs recorded by vocal groups climbed the music charts during the 1950s. Hits like "Earth Angel" by The Penguins, "In the Still of the Night" by the Five Satins and "The Great Pretender" by The Platters, were published in the 50s.
1. Bye Bye Love
A song made popular by The Everly Brothers; it was written by husband and wife songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. The said song was published in 1957 and became a huge hit. A version of "Bye Bye Love" was also recorded by Ray Charles
Bye bye, love.
Bye bye, happiness.
I think I'm a-gonna cry.
Watch this vintage clip of The Everly Brothers singing "Bye Bye Love" courtesy of YouTube.
A song written by Churchill Kohlman and recorded by Johnnie Ray & The Four Lads in 1951. Other artists who recorded this song includes Lynn Anderson, Ray Charles and Crystal Gayle.
Remember sunshine can be found
Behind a cloudy sky,
So let your hair down and go on and cry
Listen to one of Johnnie Ray's hit songs from YouTube.
3. Earth Angel
If you're a fellow Back to the Future fan, you might remember this song from a pivotal part of the movie; the high-school dance scene. This love song is credited to Curtis Williams, Jesse Belvin and Gaynel Hodge; it was recorded by The Penguins in 1954 under the Dootone label.
Earth angel, earth angel
Will you be mine?
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you
Listen to this song from YouTube.
4. Lonely Teardrops
This song was written Berry Gordy, Gwen Gordy, Tyran Carlo. It was recorded by Jackie Wilson and released in 1958 under the Brunswick label.
My heart is cryin', cryin'
My pillows never dry of
Watch Jackie Wilson perform his hit song courtesy of YouTube.
5. In the Still of the Night
Also known by the title "In the Still of the Nite;" this song was written by Five Satins lead vocalist, Fred Parris, and published by the Five Satins in 1956 under the Standord label. Paul Anka recorded a version of this song in 1969.
In the still of the night
I held you
Held you tight
'Cause I love
Love you so
Promise I'll never
Let you go
In the still of the night
6. Mona Lisa
This classic song, which mentions Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston. The song was recorded by Nat King Cole and featured in the 1950 film Captain Carey, U.S.A.
Mona lisa, Mona lisa, men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only 'cause you're lonely they have blamed you?
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?
Listen to Nat King Cole's beautiful rendition of this song courtesy of YouTube.
7. The Great Pretender
A song written by music producer, songwriter and arranger Samuel "Buck" Ram; it was released in 1955 and became one of The Platters' greatest hits.
Oh yes, I'm the great pretender
Pretending I'm doing well
My need is such
I pretend too much
I'm lonely but no one can tell
8. Too Young
Published in 1951, the lyrics of this song was written by Sylvia Dee and the music composed by Sidney Lippman. This song was recorded by Nat King Cole and became a huge hit.
They try to tell us we're too young
Too young to really be in love
They say that loves a word
A word we've only heard
But can't begin to know the meaning of
9. Your Cheatin' Heart
This "after the break-up" song was written by singer-songwriter Hank Williams Sr. in 1952. Williams' recording of this song was released in 1953; after his death. "Your Cheatin' Heart" was also covered by other performers including his son, Hank Williams' Jr., Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles and Patsy Cline
Your cheatin' heart,
Will make you weep,
You'll cry and cry,
And try to sleep,
But sleep won't come,
The whole night through,
Your cheatin heart, will tell on you
Watch this performance of Hank Williams Jr. from YouTube.
10. Why Do Fools Fall in Love
Released in 1956 under the Gee label; this song is credited to Frankie Lymon and Morris Levy. It became a big hit in 1956 for then 13 year old Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers.
Why do fools fall in love?
Why do birds sing so gay?
And lovers await the break of day
Why do they fall in love?