Dinah Shore took “Dear Hearts and Gentle People,” a Sammy Fain/Bob Hilliard composition and made a recording for Columbia Records of it on September 9, of 1949.
Bing Crosby’s version, recorded for Decca Records, happened on October 26, 1949.
On January 13th, 1950, Dennis Day’s RCA Victor version appeared on the Billboard top hits chart.
Cashbox Magazine best selling chart for February 18th, 1950, lists both Bing Crosby and Dinah Shore as having the #1 selling records for the week.
Billboard’s top chart position for Dinah Shore was #7, Bing Crosby at #2, Gordon MacRae reaching #19, and Dennis Day also reaching #19.
Crosby and MacRae used the same tune on the flip side of their records; “Mule Train.” “Mule Train,” was a hit for Frankie Laine.
Gene Autry & the Cass County Boys performed the song in the 1950 movie, Beyond the Purple Hills. Other recordings have been many, including Perry Como with the Fontane Sisters for RCA Victor in 1959, a session for his album, Como Swings.
The Springfields, including Dusty on vocal, recorded a version.
Bob Crosby and the Bobcats also recorded the song.
Jim Reeves also recorded the song for an RCA Victor album.
Wikipedia references a scrap of paper found in Stephen Foster’s hotel room after he died, in 1964, as the inspiration for the lyrics to the song. The note on the scrap of paper said, “Dear friends and gentle hearts.”
notes on twentieth century music
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