Sunday, July 17, 2016
SHG: Hugo Winterhalter (feat. Eddie Heywood): "Canadian Sunset"
Hugo Winterhalter: “Canadian Sunset”
Entered the chart on: 7/28/1956
Peaked on: 9/29/1956
Weeks at #2: 2 weeks
Song at #1: “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley
Thus far, 1956 has been a vast improvement over 1955 on all fronts. Three superb female-sung tunes, an early rock & roll classic, and even the Four Lads tune was tolerable. I’m just waiting for someone to ruin it. This is an instrumental from RCA Victor’s musical director, written by pianist Eddie Heywood as a vehicle for a solo for himself, it looks like. Well, let’s see what we have here.
So...where in Canada is this? Banff? Algonquin Park? Mont-Tremblant? Canada’s a big place!
OK, I was expecting something a lot more unbearable, à la “Melody of Love,” but the softly swinging saxophones and the slight “cinematic” (more like “travelogue,” but it was the 50s) feel make this a lot more easy to take. The piano makes me think of Ferrante & Teicher (post-prepared piano period, alas) and the screeching strings that tend to be all over recordings like this threaten to ruin it.
I’m trying to put these dreamy, easy-listening instrumentals in some kind of context. I have this picture in my head of some grizzled Spanish-American War veteran hobbling over to the Wurlitzer, dropping a nickel in, selecting C1 on the hit parade, popping a Sen-Sen into his mouth, then holding out a hand to his beloved and asking her, “Care for a dance, m’dear?”
Can you think of a more plausible explanation?