Skeets McDonald VS Perry Como   4 comments

I’ve written before about how certain songs seem so familiar that I’m convinced we had the record around the house while I was growing up. A good example would be Perry Como’s “Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes,” which topped the pop charts in 1952. But even though his version is the one that’s familiar to me, it wasn’t the only hit record of the song that year. Skeets McDonald hit the top of the country charts with his version, and it stayed there for 18 weeks!

Enos William McDonald grew up in rural Arkansas, where he picked up his mosquito-themed nickname, along with a lifelong interest in music. By the time he’d reached adulthood in the mid-1930s, he’d followed an older brother to Detroit, where he soon began to make appearances with a country music group called the Lonesome Cowboys.

McDonald spent the new few years gaining musical experience, even forming his own group for a while and also appearing on radio, but things changed when World War II came along. Drafted into the Army, he served bravely in combat zones (earning a Bronze Star) and eventually resumed his musical career in Detroit in the post-war years.

By the early 1950s, McDonald had helped out on a few records and even appeared occasionally on TV, and he decided to relocate to California, hoping to take the next step. It turned out to be a good move, because he landed a deal with Capitol Records and subsequently released “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes,” which climbed to the top of the charts and stayed for a long time. Although he’d not have another record do so well, it marked the start of what would be his best career years, with records like “This Old Heart” and “Call Me Mr. Brown” doing very well. He also made many appearances on the Grand Ole Opry, and even did the occasional movie spot, but his career came to a premature end when he suffered a fatal heart attack in 1968. He was just 52.

Perry Como – “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” 

Skeets McDonald – “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes”

 

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4 responses to “Skeets McDonald VS Perry Como

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  1. I used to see Skeets McDonald at Town Hall Party in Compton, CA in ’57. Google Slim Willett. He wrote it and Buck White of The Whites played piano.

  2. Not sure if the video above is at Town Hall Party, but here’s one from Ranch Party in the 1950s.
    (later deleted)

  3. Ranch Party and Town Hall Party had the same performers for the most part. On the left side of the screen you can see Rose Lee Maphis. Her husband, Joe, played the guitar solo in the video. He was Larry Collins’, of the Collins Kids, mentor. He played a custom double-neck Mosrite guitar and anything else with strings. The guy in the black shirt with the white scarf around his neck is Les “Carrottop” Anderson. I you look close you can see the orange carrots appliqued on his shirt.

  4. I don’t remember Skeet so well but remember my love affair with Perry. It was just a fan, darn the luck.

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