Album:Hard To Find 45s On CD Vol. 9: 1957-1959
The husband wife team of Art & Dotty Todd were a lounge act in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. But they had a top ten hit with Chanson D'Amour in 1958. This was at a time when Rock 'N' Roll was taking over but a lot of radio stations preferred the pop music of the early 50s. And that's how oddball hits like this were born. Dotty Todd was born Doris Dabb June 22, 1913 in Elizabeth, NJ. She learned to play piano as a child and gave a piano recital at Carnegie Hall in New York at age 13. Guitarist Art Todd was born Mar. 11, 1914 in Baltimore. They met when both were accidently booked to play the Biltmore Hotel in Providence, RI. They married in 1941. After WWII, they moved to Los Angeles and settled in playing clubs. They were known as a lounge act. They recorded for RCA in the early 50s and their 1953 recording of Simple Wings was a top ten hit in England. In 1958 they were the house act at the Chapman Park Hotel in Los Angeles. Songwriter Wayne Shanklin approached Art Todd and gave him Chanson D'Amour. Shanklin co-wrote the 1951 Frankie Laine hit Jezebel and the 1959 Jerry Wallace hit Primrose Lane. The Todds recorded a demo and sold it to Herb Newman's Era Records. As I said, at that time some DJs hated Rock 'N' Roll and jumped all over Chanson D'Amour. It reached #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. The Fontane Sisters version of Chanson D'Amour was released at the same time and reached #12. The Lettermen had a hit with it in 1966 and The Manhattan Transfer did well in Europe with their 1977 recording of Chanson D'Amour. Danny Boyle used the Art & Dotty Todd recording of Chanson D'Amour in his 2013 film Trance. You can get it on this various artists comp from Era Records. Art & Dotty Todd never had another hit. But they continued to play clubs in Los Angeles and then Las Vegas until they moved to Honolulu in 1980 and opened their own club. Dotty Todd died on Dec. 12, 2000 at age 87 and Art Todd died on Oct. 10, 2007 at age 93. Here's a video of Chanson D'Amour by Art & Dotty Todd.