Thirteen Women

Album: Greatest Hits (1954)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a bizarre song which attempts to make light of the specter of nuclear destruction. It appears to have been written in the wake of the explosion of the first hydrogen bomb, at Bikini Atoll on March 1, 1954, less than 10 years after the twin horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
  • The sheet music credits it as follows: Thirteen Women, by Dickie Thompson, Featured & Broadcast by Harry Leader And His Orchestra, published by Cinephonic Music Co. of London and Darby Music Co of New York. It sold for one shilling and was copyrighted in 1954. According to Haley's biographer John Swenson, in April of that year, Haley and his band together with session drummer Billy Guesack recorded "Thirteen Women" and "Rock Around The Clock" at Decca's New York studio. Swenson describes it as "A weird novelty tune about the aftermath of an atomic holocaust that leaves one man and 13 women alive." As might be expected from its credits, it is not a rock 'n' roll song, and might be described as a down-tempo swing number. Haley's vocals are very laid-back. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

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