Music Friday: 1955 Hit 'Band of Gold' Makes Resurgence 52 Years Later on 'Mad Men'

August 20, 2021

Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you great throwback songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the lyrics or title. Today, we shine the spotlight on Don Cherry's 1955 hit, "Band of Gold," which made a resurgence more than 50 years later on the Emmy-award-winning AMC series Mad Men.

In the song, Cherry explains how he would gladly trade fame and fortune for a simple life with his true love. And he symbolizes that eternal bond with a gold wedding band.

Backed by Ray Conniff & His Orchestra, Cherry sings, "Don't want the world to have and hold / For fame is not my line / Just want a little band of gold / To prove that you are mine."

With music by Jack Taylor and lyrics by Bob Musel, "Band of Gold" became Cherry's biggest hit, reaching #4 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It was also covered by Kit Carson, Petula Clark, Mel Carter, and Cherry, again, in 1968 for his album There Goes My Everything.

The song may have faded from our collective memories had it not been for critically acclaimed Mad Men, which chronicled the fast-paced world of New York's Madison Avenue advertising executives during the turbulent 1960s.

Mad Men fans may remember that "Band of Gold" was the first song played after the opening credits of the first episode of Season 1 in 2007. It also returned for Mad Men's sixth season finale. The series included 92 episodes and concluded in 2015.

In November 2015, "Band of Gold" was featured as the second song on a 24-track compilation album called Retrospective: The Music Of Mad Men.

Born in Wichita Falls, TX, in 1924, Cherry was a successful big band singer and a top-ranked amateur golfer. In 1960's U.S. Open, Cherry finished only four strokes behind the winner, Arnold Palmer. Cherry passed away in 2018 at the age of 94.

Please check out the audio track of Cherry singing "Band of Gold." The lyrics are below if you'd like to sing along…

"Band of Gold"
Written by Bob Musel and Jack Taylor. Performed by Don Cherry.

I've never wanted wealth untold
My life has one design
A simple little band of gold
To prove that you are mine

Don't want the world to have and hold
For fame is not my line
Just want a little band of gold
To prove that you are mine

Some sail away to Araby and other lands of mystery
But all the wonders that they see will never tempt me

Their memories will soon grow cold
But till the end of time
There'll be a little band of gold
To prove that you are mine

Don't want the world to have and hold
For fame is not my line
Just want a little band of gold
To prove that you are mine

Credit: Screen capture via Youtube.com.