“Catch a Falling Star,” written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss, was Perry Como’s last number one of his career. Of course, Perry Como kept right on singing and entertaining. His television show, Kraft Music Hall, lasted until 1967, So, Perry did not go away. However, rock and roll was slowly taking over in 1958 and by the turn of the decade, would have complete control of the pop charts.
It’s melody is based on a theme from Brahms “Academic Festival Overture,” which Brahms wrote during the summer of 1880. Perry’s version featured the Ray Charles Singers who also were the background singers on his television show.
The term “catch a falling star” is a sign of good luck. If you wish on a falling star, it is said that your wish will come true. If you should catch a falling a star and hold onto it (“put it in your pocket”,) then you would continue to have good luck as long as you held the star. There is no evidence that anyone has ever caught a falling star (except maybe Perry Como.)
In 1958, Perry was on television with The Perry Como Show, where he was known as “Mr. C.” Perry Como’s relaxed demeanor was just what Americans needed in a time when they were worrying about Russia invading the United States and Communists infiltrating our government. He wore his trademark cardigan sweater and sang songs that our parents loved. (I was a teenager and I liked them, too. They were great to slow dance to.) He was the perfect spokesman for the time, but it would not last long.
“Catch a Falling Star” was the first song to receive “Gold Record” status from the R.I.A.A. (one million copies sold.) Perry received the award for Best Vocal Performance Male at the next Grammy Awards for the song.
“Catch a Falling Star” entered the charts on March 24, 1958 and spent one week at number one.
Next: “He’s Got the Whole World (In His Hands) – Laurie London