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1944: Gas Was 15 Cents, Music Was Melodic, and War was Hell
Want a Loaf of Bread? ............... It's One Dime in 1944
1944 - It Had an Extra Day
It was a Leap Year. There were so many things happening in the world in 1944, that a 366th day seemed to be needed to fit everything in.
February 29 was the launch date of a three month campaign by allied forces in the Admiralty Islands of New Guinea. Following their victory on Los Negros (the third largest island in the group) the UK/US led forces were able to build a major air and naval base that was critical to the year's Pacific action.
Back home in the States, a gallon of gasoline was fifteen cents and a loaf of bread cost a dime.
We'll have more news in a few minutes, but first let's take a musical break for the number five song of the year. It's a fluffy little piece of doggerel that everybody loves. Here's Mairzy Doates:
Wunnaful, wunnaful. Thank you Lawrence Welk. The news during the year was mostly War events. Franklin Rosevelt was elected to a fourth term as U.S. President. He remains the only person to serve more than two terms. The law was later changed so that the most anyone can serve is eight years-two terms.
Celebs born in 1944 include Danny DeVito, Joe Frazier (who died from cancer in 2011), Tony Orlando, the lovely and talented Gladys Knight, and the not-lovely and not so talented, Jerry Springer.
Let's have a listen now to the Number Four song of the year - it's by the great Harry Mills and his brothers: You Always Hurt the One You Love
The Mills Brothers kept the hits coming right up until almost 1970. 'Cab Driver' was their last tune to hit the top 40.
The big three world leaders for the Allies were Winston Churchill from the UK, Joseph Stalin from Russia, and FDR from the U.S. Adolph Hitler was still in charge of the Axis powers.
Sax man Jimmy Dorsey was in charge of the music, with the year's Number three hit, a Spanish tune called Besame Mucho - Kiss Me a Lot!!!!!
In sports, the loveable doormats, the St. Louis Browns managed to win their only American League Pennant in their long history. It was an ALL ST. LOUIS WORLD SERIES, as the National League winners were the ubiquitous St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards easily won baseball's top prize, winning the the 44 Championship in six games. Game one Pitcher for the Browns was Denny Galehouse. He won the contest beating Mort Cooper 2 to 1 on a two hitter.
(Four years later, Galehouse was twirling for the Boston Red Sox and had an 8-7 record at the end of the season, with the Red Sox tied with Cleveland for the top spot in the American League. This forced a one game play-off.
The Indians clubbed Galehouse for four runs in the fourth inning and won the tie breaker by a score of 8 to 4. They then went into the World Series to face Boston's other baseball club, the Braves.. Cleveland spoiled the chance for the first and only ALL BOSTON WORLD SERIES. The Indians went on to beat the Braves in six games. For the Boston Braves, it was their first pennant since the 1914 Miracle finish and it was Their last world series appearance until about ten years later when they won the World Series as the Milwaukee (Boston) Braves. The Boston/Milwaukee Braves won their next World Series in 1995 as the Boston/Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. The Braves are the ONLY TEAM EVER to win the world series representing three different cities.)
Now, here now are the top two songs of 1944.
#2. The Trolley Song by Judy Garland
NUMBER ONE! Bing Crosby. Swinging on a Star
Coming soon. More Years in Review. More Songs and Stories.
Here's the link to the story on the 1914 Miracle Year for the Boston Braves: