Paper Doll (song)
|Song by Mills Brothers|
|Writer||Johnny S. Black|
"Paper Doll" was a hit song for the Mills Brothers. In the United States it held the number-one position on the Billboard singles chart for twelve weeks, from November 6, 1943, to January 22, 1944. The success of the song represented something of a revival for the group, after a few years of declining sales. It is one of the fewer than forty all-time singles to have sold 10 million (or more) physical copies worldwide.
The song has been named one of the Songs of the Century and has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It appeared in the films The Execution of Private Slovik and The Majestic and in the British television miniseries The Singing Detective. Four lines of it are sung by Rodolfo in the first act of Arthur Miller's play A View from the Bridge. It is also referenced in stage directions of the third scene of Tennessee Williams' play A Streetcar Named Desire.
The song was written in 1915 (although it was not published until 1930) by Johnny S. Black, whose greatest success would come with his song "Dardanella," which sold 5,000,000 copies in a recording by bandleader Ben Selvin in 1920, and a further 2,000,000 copies of sheet music. Black died in 1936, six years before his second greatest success, "Paper Doll," swept the country.
- David A. Jasen, A Century of American Popular Music (New York: Routledge, 2002), p. 155.
- "Songs of the Century". CNN.com. 7 March 2001.
- "Grammy Hall of Fame Award". GRAMMY.com.
- The Vocal Group Hall of Fame Foundation, "The Mills Brothers".
- Stephanie Zacharek, "A Singing Detective Plays It Again", New York Times, 20 April 2003.
- David A. Jasen, Tin Pan Alley: An Encyclopedia of the Golden Age of American Song (New York: Routledge, 2003), p. 199.
"Pistol Packin' Mama" by Al Dexter
|The Billboard Best Selling Retail Records number-one single
November 6, 1943 - January 22, 1944
"My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart)" by Glen Gray
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