It would be great if we could have a sumptuous dessert and not have to worry about the calories. We would then be able to satisfy our “sweet tooth” yearnings as well as solve the obesity problem that plagues this nation today.
Alex Kramer, Mack David and Joan Whitney solved that problem back in 1944 with their song, Candy. Songs about sweets were not new, of course.
One of the earlier “sweets” song was introduced by Shirley Temple in 1934. The song was entitled On the Good Ship Lollipop. The song became child-star Shirley Temple’s signature song, and while it may be a bit dated, how could anyone resist a song that talks about
. . .Where bon-bons play
On the sunny beach of Peppermint Bay.
Lemonade stands everywhere.
Crackerjack bands fill the air.
And there you are
Happy landing on a chocolate bar.
Now that is a ship I am willing to take anytime! Pipe me aboard, Captain!
Another “sweets” song, A Marshmallow World is usually sung around Christmas-time, even though it has nothing to do with that particular holiday, either in the religious or in the secular sense. The song does refer to winter, however. Since Christmas comes in the winter (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), I guess that is the connection. The song speaks of winter as a time for “marshmallow clouds,” and further talks about “a whipped cream day,” sugary dates, and “a yum- yummy world made for sweethearts.” I am starting to droll just contemplating these delectable words.
Still another song in this same genre is Lollipop, a favorite song among many who perform barbershop music and it became a world-wide hit by the Chordettes, a popular female singing quartet, who usually sang a cappella. This “sweet” tune comes from a time when songs about candy and other sugary food items were a lot more innocent than their modern counterparts. The lollipop is a candy classic, and this ode to the sweet treat temptation complete with a fun “POP!” near the end never seems to get old.
Other songs that come to my mind and fall into this category include Big Rock Candy Mountain by Tex Ritter, Sugar by Peggy Lee, Cotton Candy by Al Hirt, Sugartime by the McGuire Sisters, Honeycomb by Jimmy Rogers, Tutti Fruitti by Little Richard, Candy Kisses by George Morgan, Candy and Cake by Mindy Carson, and, of course, my all-time favorite, I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream For Ice Cream by Fred Waring’s Pennsylvanians.
You would think that listening to songs about such sweet things might give you diabetes, but in most cases these songs are not actually about food at all.
The Alex Kramer, Mack David and Joan Whitney song, Candy is no exception to that statement. Just read the lyrics and you will see what I mean.
Candy, I call my sugar Candy
Because I’m sweet on Candy
And Candy’s sweet on me
She understands me
My understanding Candy
And Candy’s always handy
When I need sympathy
I wish that there were four of her
So I could love much more of her
She has taken my complete heart
Got a sweet tooth for my sweetheart
Candy, it’s gonna be just dandy
The day I take my Candy
And make her mine, all mineAs you can see from these lyrics, even in the innocent days of the 1940s, it was not a morsel of candy that the singer longed for and sang about, but rather the one he or she loved.
This “sweet” song was recorded by a large number of artists. No less than five different versions charted on the Billboard charts. Among the most popular version of the song was the recording by Johnny Mercer and Jo Stafford. Their recording first reached the Billboard Best Seller charts on 24 February 1945 and lasted nineteen weeks on the charts, peaking at #1.
A recording by Dinah Shore was released by RCA Victor Records and reached the Billboard Best Seller charts on 10 March 1945 at #5, and stayed on the charts for eleven weeks.
Johnny Long and his Orchestra, with Dick Robertson doing the vocals also charted on the Billboard charts. Long’s recording debuted on the Billboard charts on 5 May 1945 and peaked at #8, lasting eight weeks.
Still another charted version was made by The Four King Sisters (a family vocal group from Salt Lake City, consisting of Alyce, Yvonne, Donna, and Louise Driggs. “King” was their father’s middle name, which they used professionally). The quartet’s version reached the Billboard charts on 31 March 1945, peaking at #15, and staying on the charts for two weeks.
Jerry Wald and his Orchestra, with Kay Allen handling the vocals was the fifth charted version of the song. This version came on to the Billboard charts on 19 May 1945, and stayed on the charts for one week, peaking at #18.
In England, Joe Loss and his Orchestra recorded the song with Harry Kaye on vocals. The recording was made on 15 June 1945 and was released by EMI on the HMV Records label. This version did not chart in the United States and there were no recording charts in England at the time.
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Johnny Mercer and Jo Stafford, Paul Weston and his Orchestra Candy
Dinah Shore, Al Sack and his Orchestra Candy
Johnny Long and his Orchestra, vocals by Dick Robertson Candy
The Four King Sisters, Buddy Cole and his Orchestra Candy
Jerry Wald and his Orchestra, vocals by Kay Allen Candy
Joe Loss and his Orchestra, vocals by Harry Kaye Candy