Red Sails In The Sunset

Album: Portrait Of Bing Crosby (1935)


  • According to Don Tyler in Hit Songs 1900-1955: American Popular Music of the Pre-Rock Era, James Kennedy wrote the words to this song after watching a sunset with his artist sister in Donegal, Ireland. The music was composed by Will Grosz (who was better known as Hugh Williams).
  • "Red Sails In The Sunset" was a big hit in the USA in 1935, topping Your Hit Parade for four weeks and selling more than a million copies of the sheet music; many recordings were made, including by Louis Armstrong and Paul Anka, but most notably by Bing Crosby.
  • The boat which inspired the song was called Kitty Of Coleraine (poetically the boat is itself named after a song), and it actually had white sails, it was only the sunset that made them appear red. A ten foot tall fishing boat was sculpted and a plaque erected in honor of the song, and the original boat was restored and put on public display in Portstewart Harbour. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

Comments: 3

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NySadly, on August 29th, 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans; but thankfully Fats Domino was rescued...
    Exactly forty-two years earlier on August 29th, 1963 Mr. Domino appeared on the ABC-TV week-end afternoon* program 'American Bandstand'...
    See second post below...

    * This 'Bandstand' episode was the last week-day afternoon showing of the program; all future episodes would air just once a week, on Saturday.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 8th 1960, the Platters appeared at the Town House in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
    At the time they didn't have a record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; but a little over three weeks later on August 1st their covered version of "Red Sails in the Sunset" would enter the Top 100 at position #76, and on August 22nd it peaked at #36 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 9 weeks...
    Between 1955 and 1967 the quintet had forty Top 100 records; seven made the Top 10 with four reaching #1; "The Great Pretender" for 2 weeks in 1956, "My Prayer" for 5 weeks in 1956, "Twilight Time" for 1 week in 1958, and "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" for 3 weeks in 1959...
    Bass singer Herb Reed, the last surviving member of the group, passed away on June 4th, 2012 at the age of 83...
    May all five R.I.P.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 29th 1963, 'Fats' Domino performed "Red Sails in the Sunset" on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    Sixteen days later on September 14th, 1963 it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #82; and on October 27th, 1963 it peaked at #35 {for 1 week} and spent 8 weeks on the Top 100...
    It reached #24 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1952 and 1968 'Fats' had sixty-eight Top 100 records; ten made the Top 10 with "Blueberry Hill" being his biggest hit, it peaked at #2 {for 3 weeks} in 1957 and spent over a half-year on the Top 100 {27 weeks}...
    Antoine Domino Jr. will celebrate his 87th birthday come next February 26th {2015}.
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