[PW] Victory at Sea soundtrack

Elizabeth Bezera ebezera at nc.rr.com
Wed Jun 24 18:48:00 PDT 2015


A friend in another discussion group posted this:

In 1958, the "Victory at Sea Vol. 2" soundtrack album peaked at #2 for 4 weeks on Billboard's album chart.

I have never uncovered a satisfactory explanation as to why this happened a full 6 years after the show aired, and why in particular Vol. 2 (there were 3 separate soundtrack LPs issued). 

It's the kind of thing that keeps a pop music obsessive awake at night.

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Does anyone in PW-land have any ideas about this?  I see from Billboard's Top Pop Albums that it debuted on 11/10/58 and hit its peak in the following year, and charted for 89 weeks.  The Billboard listing says it contained these tracks:  Allies on the March, Danger Down Deep, Fire on the Waters, Magnetic North, Mediterranean Mosaic, Peleliu, Sound of Victory, and Voyage into Fate.

The Museum of Broadcast Communication website includes this:  "Victory at Sea went into syndication in May 1953 and enjoyed a decade of resounding success. It played on 206 local stations over the course of ten years. It had as many as 20 reruns in some markets. This interest continued through the mid-1960s when one year's syndication income equalled the program's entire production cost. NBC also aggressively marketed the program overseas. By 1964, Victory at Sea had played in 40 foreign markets. Meanwhile, NBC recut the material into a 90-minute feature. United Artists distributed the film theatrically in 1954, and it was subsequently broadcast in NBC's prime-time schedule in 1960 and 1963. The Richard Rodgers score was sold in several record versions through RCA-Victor. By 1963, the album version had grossed four million dollars, and one tune from the collection, "No Other Love," earned an additional $500,000 as a single."

I don't see "No Other Love" listed in Billboard's Top Pop Singles compilation.  Wikipedia says the song was originally "Beneath the Southern Cross" and was written for Victory at Sea.  The tune was reused with new words for "No Other Love" in 1953.  Billboard's Top Pop Singles compilation starts with 1955.

Thanks!
Liz Bezera


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