Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Your Hit Parade," on Wikipedia

As part of the Wikipedia entry for Your Hit Parade (, there is a photograph (seen below) in which the singer who is pictured is identified as being Dorothy Collins.  The picture's caption says that Collins sang on the Hit Parade with Frank Sinatra in 1947. 

The caption is unfortunately not accurate (Dorothy Collins did not join the program until 1950, the year the show came to television), and the picture itself is not of Collins.  If you click on the picture, on the Wikipedia page, you are taken to another page; a new caption identifies the singer as Doris Day, who did sing on the Hit Parade radio show with Frank Sinatra.  But it certainly doesn't look like Doris Day, either.

Before 1950, the Hit Parade was solely a radio program. For a time, after the show came to television, the radio show continued, and the radio and television programs featured the same casts. (The shows were aired in a semi-simulcast.  The Hit Parade cast performed on the half-hour NBC radio show, Saturday nights at 9 p.m. At 10: 30 p.m., an hour after the radio program ended, the same cast members performed on the TV show.) 

In the fall of 1951, however, the radio and television shows became separate entities.  The TV show continued to air on Saturday nights, and a new version of the radio show, which starred bandleader Guy Lombardo and his orchestra, and which featured a guest female vocalist each week, was heard on Thursday nights. The Guy Lombardo version of the radio program aired until 1953.  The Wikipedia picture is evidently from this 1951-1953 version of the Hit Parade radio show; one can see Guy Lombardo, seated, to the right of the singer.

If anyone knows who the singer in the photo is, I'd be interested in finding out. Please e-mail me at

Pictured below:  Hit Parade star Dorothy Collins, on the cover of the New York edition of TV Guide, in August of 1952.

(Postscript:  A reader later wrote to tell me that the Wikipedia photo, above, was of the vocalist Helen O'Connell.)