Les Baxter, 1922-1996, was a producer, arranger, and orchestra leader. He scored dozens of B films during the 1960s and 1970s.
He was also a prolific recording artist. He released just over 60 albums during his career, which sold tens-of-millions of copies. He released fewer singles but had nine reach the BILLBOARD MAGAZINE Pop Singles Chart during the 1950s with two reaching the number one position.
“Unchained Melody” was one of the most recorded songs of the 20th century. Written by Alex North with lyrics by Hy Zaret, it originally appeared in the film UNCHAINED and was nominated for an Oscar. The most famous version was recorded by the Righteous Brothers who reached the top 20 with the song three different times.
It was Les Baxter, however, who had the biggest hit. It did not top the Best Sellers In Stores Chart or The Most Played In Jukeboxes Chart but did manage two non-consecutive weeks on top of the Most Played By Disc Jockeys Chart beginning May 14, 1955.
Baxters version was a thing of beauty filled with a lot of strings. A memorable song from the pre-rock and roll era.