Now we get to, what probably is, my favorite song of the Fifties. When I think of the Fifties, I think of “The Green Door.” The song was written by Bob Davie (music) and Marvin Moore (lyrics). Jim Lowe, of course, recorded the song. I heard at the time this record was airing on the radio (I was about 14) that Jim Lowe was a Disc Jockey at the time and recorded the song as a lark. Jim Lowe was not a singer, but I think he aspired to be one. Wikipedia confirms that he worked for WNEW-AM and WNBC-AM in New York City.
Listening to the words of the song confirms that “The Green Door” is the entrance to a private club and the singer is not allowed in, no matter how hard he tries. People sure are having a good time behind the “Green Door.” There has been a lot of speculation as to what club Lowe is singing about. Some claim that it refers to “The Shack” which is a restaurant in Columbia, Missouri where Jim Lowe went to college. This doesn’t make any sense to me since Jim Lowe didn’t write the song and I don’t think the writers would have known about a restaurant that he ate at years earlier. (“The Shack” does have a green door.)
There’s a urban legend that says the song refers to London’s first lesbian nightclub called “Gateways” which was in business until 1955. It also had a green door. There were several books written before the song was popular which mentions green doors and there have been several books and movies written since then. The bottom line is no one really knows for sure what green door the song is referring to. I really don’t care. It is one my all-time favorite songs and I greatly enjoyed listening to it again for the article. I hope you do, too.
“The Green Door” entered the charts in November of 1956 and spent three weeks at number one, knocking “Love Me Tender” out of the top spot. Jim Lowe is still alive, as far as I know. He is now 86 years old and lives in Southampton, New York. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Next: “Singing the Blues” – Guy Mitchell