Previous Vocal Group Record of the Week
(Week of 12/13/03 - 12/19/03) [Upgraded on 8/26/17]

"Home In The Sky*"/"At Last"
by Herb Lance (*with vocal group)
on Sittin' in 603
released in 1951

[The above photo provided by Paul Ressler.]

Above: Photo of Herb Lance, whose recording career started in 1949 on Bobby Shad's Sittin' in with label and ended in 1966 with a Chess LP "Herb Lance THE COMEBACK" (which included Herb's third version of his 1949 hit "Close Your Eyes.")

NEW YORK AGE, May 2, 1949: Herb Lance Draws Philly Assignment
PHILDELPHIA—Herb Lance, the handsome young baritone singing sensation, makes his first nightclub appearance since arriving on the big time, when he plays the "Showboat" cafe here. Reigning favorite in the juke box set because of his heart throbbing recording of "Close Your Eyes," Herb goes into the Roosevelt Theatre in Pittsburgh and the Regal in Cincinnati as part of an all-star lineup near the end of the month. The Pittsburgh date will be preceded by a three-day stand at the recently opened Duke Theatre in Detroit.

NEW YORK AGE, April 26, 1952....Although he is not headlined, Herb Lance is the best offering on the bill at Club Savannah. Herb sings with such warmth and sincerity that he is captivating the customers. He's our No. 1 male vocalist for 1952 as well as a top Mercury recording artist.

Herb Lance (From Jet Magazine dated 5/21/53)

Herb Lance Eyes Click Platters

Herb Lance and Bobby Shad
Above is from Cash Box Magazine dated 8/13/49....
NEW YORK—Pictured with a bit of an amazed look upon his face is balladeer Herb Lance, as Sittin' In Records prexy Bob Shad drops in for a visit at the New York Veterans' Hospital, Staten Island. Herb, temporarily bedded down, certainly is riding high in the music business, via a bevy of hot records, among them "Close Your Eyes," "Because" and his latest "Stardust." The platters Bob Shad is holding were donated to the hospital on behalf of the plattery for the vetrans' record library.

Ad for "That Lucky Old Sun" (From Cash Box Magazine dated 9/10/49)
Herb is backed by The Beavers on both sides.

(From Detroit Free Press dated 11/3/50)

(From New York Age dated 3/10/51)

(From Cash Box Magazine dated 3/12/49)

(From Cash Box Magazine dated 4/9/49)



  • Sittin' in with 514 released in February 1949.
  • Columbia 40427 released on January 1955.
  • DeLuxe 6124 released in April 1957.

"Close Your Eyes," composed by Bernice Petkere, was published in 1933. Ruth Etting and Al Bowly had the first records of the song, both released in 1933.

The Cash Box Review (3/19/49):

Close Your Eyes
Pair of sides that are already bouncing around in top spots on juke boxes throughout the nation are these offered by balladeer Herb Lance. Top deck, tagged "Close Your Eyes" is a ditty that is rapidly winning wide favor with music ops. The slow, sensuous tones tha Herb offers make for grand listening pleasure from start to finish. Ditty is top drawer ballad, one that makes you wanna listen. Herb's vocal range is terrific on the side and should cause a load of attention in the music biz.... "Close Your Eyes" is hot—grab it!

The Billboard Review Spotlight (4/9/55):

TONY BENNETT — COLUMBIA 40427.... Close Your Eyes
Tony Bennett returns to his "Cinnamon Sinner" beat with this lively new slicing. He sings the standard with style, backed with a big beat by the ork and chorus. This is fine juke fare. Flip is "It's Too Soon To Know."

(NOTE: Alan Freed played this Tony Bennett side regularly on his WINS [NYC] radio show in early 1955.)

The Billboard Review (4/20/57):

Close Your Eyes
(65) A pop-styled ballad, both in type and in Lance's vocal. He's backed by instrumentation featuring a Latin beat.

(NOTE: A ratings range of 60-69 was considered "satisfactory.")

Listen to "Close Your Eyes" - Herb Lance - Sittin' in with 514 - 1949.
Listen to "Close Your Eyes" - Tony Bennett - Columbia 40427 - 1955. [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
Listen to "Close Your Eyes" - Herb Lance - DeLuxe 6124 - 1957. [Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]
ALL THREE played in sequence.

King-Federal-Deluxe Records Ad (From Billboard Magazine dated 4/20/57)

Above: Label image of Sittin' in #603, "Home In The Sky," released in 1951. Herb Lance had ten records on the Sittin' in (with) label (1949-1951). He began recording for Columbia/Okeh in early 1951. In late 1951, Herb again moved, this time to the Mercury label. In early 1952, Herb co-composed Ruth Brown's hit "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean." And, later in 1952, he moved to Jubilee Records. After a few years away from recording, Herb showed up on the DeLuxe label, a subsidiary of King Records, in 1957.

CASH BOX MAGAZINE, June 1, 1957: ....King's Herb Kole reports Deluxeroo, "Close Your Eyes" by Herb Lance starting to kick on all charts with more and more plays each day. "It's amazing and the greatest thing that I've ever seen," says Kole about the way orders are flying for the Lance ballad.... (Guess he lived a sheltered life!)

Listen to this week's selections featuring Herb Lance on Sittin' in from 1951:
[Audio restoration by Dave Saviet.]

          1. Home In The Sky
          2. At Last
          BOTH played in sequence

     B. Download RealAudio...
          1. Home In The Sky
          2. At Last

     C. Stream/Download Media Player...
          1. Home In The Sky
          2. At Last
          BOTH played in sequence

      [To download audio files, right-click on link and then select "Save (Link) Target As..."]