On his previous number 1, Outside of Heaven, Eddie Fisher sounded like he was stalking an ex-partner by watching her in the crowd as she married someone else. This time, with accompaniment from the singer Sally Sweetland, his obsession has deepened – he’s walking down the aisle behind the bride-to-be!
‘I’m walking behind you
On your wedding day
And I’ll hear you promise
To love and obey
Though you may forget me
You’re still on my mind
Look over your shoulder
I’m walking behind’
Shudder. Was stalking an ex considered socially acceptable in 1953? It certainly didn’t stop Fisher bagging another number 1, so perhaps so. Frank Sinatra later covered it too.
This forgettable slice of traditional pop was written by the first British songwriter to top the US charts, Billy Reid. Fisher and Sweetland are so loud you can barely hear the musicians, but the song is so average it doesn’t really matter.
Sweetland, born Sally Miller on 23 September 1911, was a soprano who provided backing vocals for the young Tony Bennett. Years later she worked as a vocal coach with her husband Lee, and among their students was one Seth McFarlane, later the creator of animated comedy Family Guy. She lived to the grand old age of 103, passing away on 8 February 2015.
This was Fisher’s last number 1 in the UK, and this may be down to the problems his personal life would cause. In 1955 he married actress Debbie Reynolds, and had two children, one being Star Wars great Carrie Fisher. They had a very public divorce and he went on to marry Elizabeth Taylor, with who he had been having an affair. Taylor had been married to Fisher’s best friend, the deceased Mike Todd (I wonder if Fisher checked to see if the ghost of Todd was walking behind him in church?). Such behaviour, bad enough now, must have been truly scandalous in the 50s. His TV show was subsequently cancelled and he was then dropped by RCA Victor in 1960.
The handsome crooner notched up a further three marriages after Taylor. He tried a comeback in 1983 but this went nowhere and his final album was made a year later.
Plagued by health problems in later years, Fisher was rarely seen in public. He fell and broke his hip and died due to surgery complications on 22 September 2010. He was 82.
Written by: Billy Reid
Producer: Hugo Winterhalter
Weeks at number 1: 1 (26 June-2 July)