On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
The Teddy Bears – To Know Him Is to Love Him (1958)
I never thought this would happen but we have reached the end of 1958 with today’s song. Goodness me, this was a busy but terrific year for music. Imagine living around this time. You’d be spoilt for choice. We’re staying in the US today and our artists are a group who had a very brief foray in the charts before disbanding for good. Quite sad really. The song, written by Phil Spector, is To Know Him Is to Love Him and the group of which Spector was a member are The Teddy Bears.
Inspired by writing on the gravestone of Spector’s father, To Know Him Is to Love Him is a love song of the sad nature, the classic unrequited love tale we know so well. Carol Connors sings the song here and she speaks of someone she knows and loves and how he makes her life worth living and complete. True happiness this man does bring to her but there is one problem. He doesn’t notice her the way that she does him. The narrator desires this man but he is oblivious to her affections but that won’t stop her being grateful for him being in her life though she wants them to be together.
I don’t recall hearing this song before but the title did sound familiar so I may well have encountered it in years gone by. It’s a sad love song but one still brimming with hope. Connors sings it well and is ably supported by the backing vocalists. Phil Spector was but 19 when he wrote this chart topper in the US. Although The Teddy Bears would disband within a year, Spector would enjoy a memorable career as a music producer until the early 1980s when he became largely inactive and reclusive. He would later appear in the media in 2003 following the death of Lana Clarkson in his home from a gunshot wound. Two trials later, Spector would be sent to prison for second degree murder where he remains to this day.
Favourite songs so far:
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill (1956)
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line (1956)
The Louvin Brothers – The Knoxville Girl (1956)
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode (1958)
Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Move It (1958)
Ritchie Valens – La Bamba (1958)
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues (1958)
Peggy Lee – Fever (1958)
The Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream (1958)