Jackie Gleason made history with romantic jazz instrumentals

His first ten albums went platinum, and he holds the record for the longest top ten debut album.

The '50s and '60s were a time to be alive! From legendary shows to soulful musical sounds that inspired many generations, the decades were the turning point for all art forms.

Jackie Gleason made sure to get in on the action with hit shows, The Honeymooners and The Jackie Gleason Show. However, he also solidified his mark in the industry through a stable music career. His music was like no other at the time, producing a series of 'mood' music albums with prevalent Jazz overtones.

The actor and Capitol Records believed that romantic music was a new market that needed to impact the industry, and it did just that. Gleason wanted listeners to indulge in these sounds, becoming one with the music and ultimately making an inseparable connection.

He was inspired by movie romance scenes and was intrigued by how the background music intensified the moments.

With so much love to give and an ear for new tones, it was time to put this energy into an album. Gleason released his debut project titled Music For Lovers Only, and the success that followed was only a portion of what the actor had in store for the music industry and fans.

To this very day, the album holds the record for the longest project to stay in Billboard's Top Ten chart, rising for a massive 153 weeks.

He even held the record for the most number-one albums on Billboard's 200 chart, with the first ten projects all selling over a million copies each, making them certified platinum.

Although the albums' success was immense, none of the singles reached the Top 40 on Billboard's Top Singles chart. Yet, it didn't matter because Gleason had his eyes and ears on the prize.

Some of his projects include Music For Lovers Only, Music, Martinis, and Memories, Lonesome Echo, Romantic Jazz, Music For the Love Hours and more.

What made the artist different than others? He couldn't read or write music, but that didn't stop the melodies he heard from leading the way. With this talent, it was easy for him to describe the sounds to people who transcribed them into notes.

Taking a chance with a relatively new or nonexistent musical market might have seemed crazy back then, but Gleason was a genius.

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CouchPotato19 17 months ago
I've got a few of his CD's. Found 'em at the Goodwill. What a bargain!
eugenebelvinandmoosefan8 20 months ago
There were two versions of Life With Riley with Jackie Gleason and William Bendix.
JudithAnderson 20 months ago
"Lonesome Echo" album cover art by none other than Salvador Dali.
psthisisnotme 20 months ago
I know Joyce Randolph
She still refers to Jackie as "Mr Gleason." It's a shame she never went to Miami, but she's a New Yorker. She's a very lovely gracious lady.
RichLorn psthisisnotme 20 months ago
Any woman with a name like Trixie is my kinda gal.
harlow1313 20 months ago
"Music for Lovers Only" might be nice to enjoy as background music at a gathering or a pairing, but let's face it, it ain't "Dark Side of the Moon."
Djpmasman harlow1313 20 months ago
Correct, but it wasn't made with the idea that you needed to be impared to enjoy the music, unlike Pink Floyd...
CouchPotato19 Djpmasman 17 months ago
Impaired on martinis, maybe??
moax429 20 months ago
He was a genius, indeed.
I have the full 16-track CD of "Music for Lovers Only" (which was one of the first CDs I bought in 1988) as well as the CD of his "Gigot" music score. And, I have Gleason's 45 of "Melancholy Serenade" (with "You're Getting to be a Habit with Me" on the B-side) in the very first slot of my near-restored 1976 Seeburg "Sunstar" jukebox. That original version of "Melancholy Serenade" is also heard on the menu of each DVD of the "lost" episodes.
Runeshaper 20 months ago
Jackie Gleason = AWESOME! I've listened to songs from Music For Lovers Only and they were pretty good (-:
BenSobeleone 20 months ago
Just some trivia here: A young Frankie Avalon appeared in and played the trumpet in one of the Christmas party episodes of The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes. That was in 1951. Frankie was just a kid then.
Runeshaper BenSobeleone 20 months ago
Thanks for sharing!
moax429 BenSobeleone 20 months ago
I have that episode on the DVD box set of the "Lost Honeymooners."
Frankie Avalon also tap danced in addition to playing his trumpet in that Christmas 1953 episode.
BenSobeleone Runeshaper 17 months ago
You're very welcome!
top_cat_james_1 20 months ago
"What made the artist different than others? He couldn't read or write music, but that didn't stop the melodies he heard from leading the way. With this talent, it was easy for him to describe the sounds to people who transcribed them into notes."

Phht. Probably not too far removed from Martin Short's Irving Cohen character: "Da, da, da. Dee, dee. dee, and whatever the hell else you wanna put in there!"

"Gimme a C, a bouncy C!"
Lantern 20 months ago
Didn't Jackie write the opening & closing sequences music for The Honeymooners?
MrsPhilHarris Lantern 20 months ago
The opening for sure.
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