In 1940 RCA-Victor signed a new bandleader to
a recording contract for the company's Bluebird label. His name was Vaughn
Monroe and he had just organized his band.
The band was too new for anything to have happened yet, but the recording
executives were impressed by the different quality of Monroe's voice. It had a
fullness and depth to it that was unlike anything heard among the contemporary
crop of male vocalists.
The first recording made by the band was "IF
YOU SEE MARGIE" and " THE GENTLEMAN NEEDS A SHAVE." Nothing happened with this
record, but later that year Vaughn cut "THERE I GO", and his theme song "
RACING WITH THE MOON", which enjoyed good sales and justified the faith the
recording executives had in him. The year 1942 produced "TANGERINE", but it
was in 1945 that he finally hit the big time on records with "THERE, I'VE SAID
IT AGAIN", which sold 1,250,000 copies. Next on the growing list of hits was
"LET IT SNOW, LET IT SNOW", in 1945, and then in 1947 the second "million
disc", "BALLERINA," which went 1,750,000. "COOL WATER", in 1948 became the
first of the Monroe western hits, while 1949 saw "RIDERS IN THE SKY" become
the fastest selling record in the history of RCA-Victor, hitting the million
mark in just seven weeks. Other 1949 hits were "RED ROSES FOR A BLUE LADY",
"SOMEDAY" and "MULE TRAIN " and "SINGING MY WAY BACK HOME", from Vaughn's
motion picture, "Singing Guns."
Today, Vaughn Monroe is RCA-Victor's first
artist in record sales. He averages 5,000,000 records a year and his western
records alone have gone over the 2,000,000 mark. He has sold well over
20,000,000 records since he started recording.