38. “HERNANDO’S HIDEAWAY” – THE JOHNSTON BROTHERS

Weeks at number one: 2 (11th – 25th November 1955) / Length: 2m35s / Label: Decca

Notable for… the only number one with the name Hernando.  haven’t looked that up

MELODY & HARMONY ~ 6 : Originally written for ‘The Pajama Game’, a beautifully titled 1954 musical. This is not an original cast recording: This video might be something a bit more like that.

WORDS ~ 7 : Some audacious & original rhymes. A combo like “Sillouhettes”/”castanets” would make even renowned rapper MF DOOM proud. The middle eight is very context-specific: without having seen the musical, ‘Uncle Joe’ won’t really mean much to you

VOICE ~ 6 : Homophony galore. But is that the beautiful sound of brothers? No. It’s the beautiful sound of three unrelated men.

STRUCTURE ~ 4 : It’s fine, okay?

PRODUCTION & ARRANGEMENT ~ 6 : Castanets: not a surprise. But I find the sparseness impressive

COOLNESS/STYLE ~ 5 : As with yesterday’s, it’s hard to believe that the people singing the song have any experience of the type of goings-on documented in the song. But they go in whole-heartedly, and that’s what matters

ORIGINALITY/NEWNESS ~ 3 : Look, I spent all day writing a song, and recording it. And then it turns out the song is rubbish. Which is a shame, because that means I wasted my day completely. So I don’t really wanna write much. Which is a shame, because I like this song.

CATCHYNESS ~ 6 : Yeah, sure

CONNECTION/EMOTIONAL HOLD ~ 2 : No, sure

MORALITY/INTENT ~ 3 : The man who named this band after himself, Johnny Johnston, began a career in jingle-writing less than a year later. He wrote “Beanz Meanz Heinz”

OVERALL ~ 48/100

Spotify here, lyrics here, or buy it: CD or mp3

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