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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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.
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.
Frankie Avalon also tap danced in addition to playing his trumpet in that Christmas 1953 episode.
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!"