1956 Lawrence Welk with the Lennon Sisters – Tonight You Belong To Me
Billy Rose and Lee David wrote the song Tonight You Belong To Me in 1926. Several versions were recorded, including Gene Austin’s 1927 single that reached the top of the pop charts that year.
Gene’s recording is a slow ballad that sounds very different from the updated versions that followed.
Mark McIntyre played piano, wrote songs, and led his own orchestra. He worked with Frank Sinatra in the forties, and he began working with his two young daughters in the early fifties. They recorded a demo version of Tonight You Belong To Me that was much faster. Liberty Records immediately signed the girls and issued a single that reached #4 on the Hot 100 in 1956.
Lawrence Welk formed an orchestra and began hosting a daily radio show in 1927. Recordings followed and reached the charts beginning in 1938. He began hosting his own television show in 1951 that featured live music. Often, the songs were covers of records that had reached the charts for other artists.
The four Lennon Sisters auditioned for the television show in 1955 when the girls were between 10 and 16 years old. They became regulars on the show after their first appearance proved popular with the public.
In 1956 Lawrence worked with the Lennon Sisters to record a cover version of Tonight You Belong To Me.
The single came out about a month after the record by Patience and Prudence, but still reached #15 on the Hot 100 before the end of the year.
Patience and Prudence had one more hit record and recorded a few more songs, but their father did not want them to appear on television or in public, and that prevented them from capitalizing on their early success.
Lawrence Welk kept charting into the mid-sixties and hosted his show into the mid-eighties.
The Lennon Sisters never reached the Hot 100 again, although they continued appearing on the Lawrence Welk Show for over a decade. They were active in the music business most of their lives.
Tonight You Belong To Me became popular again in 2011 after they featured it on American Horror Story.
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