I wonder how many readers of this blog are old enough to remember 1956 and a pop song that hit it big time then?
“Green Door” was sung and recorded by a man named Jim Lowe and I have been haunted by that song for Lo, these many years.
In the fall of 1956 I had just begun my first year of college and my roommate and I would wait for 10:30 p.m. when KVOX in Moorhead (the pop song radio station of choice for teens in the 1950s) would always play ‘GREEN DOOR” After we had heard our song, we could go to bed and sleep soundly til the alarm clock went off the following morning.
I have done a bit of research on the song and learned that it might have been inspired by a green-doored restaurant called “The Shack” in Columbia, Missouri. Jim Lowe had been a student at the University of MO but the owner of The Shack doubted it was the inspiration for the popular song which featured a catchy story in the Lyric and the tinkley playing of a Player Piano.
Some wonder if the song refers to the lesbian Gateways club (first opened in 1930) which had a green door and was featured in the movie THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE. Some doubt this connection also.
One of the Nancy Drew mystery series of books was titled ” The Green Door”. The author, Mildred Wirt, also wrote the Penny Parker mystery series and one of those books was titled “Behind The Green Door”
I was an avid Penny Parker fan for a few years but our library did not include the Green Door book of that series.
“Green Door” is also a short story by O Henry from his 1906 book THE FOUR MILLION in which a man named Rudolf Steiner is handed a mysterious card reading “The Green Door” He enters a green door where he finds a young woman who is starving . He quickly returns with much food and they become friends over supper. Steiner promises to return again and romance is in the offing. Eventually in the O Henry story, it turns out that the card for the Green Door was for an entirely different place. O Henry uses the eponymous green door as a symbol for everyday adventures which he encourages us to seek out.
It is also possible that the song refers to an H.G. Wells short story “The Door in the Wall”
It is rather amazing that this one short pop song from 1956 has triggered so much speculation. It is one of the catchiest tunes I know.
I heard it again by typing in (on Google) “Green Door, song by Jim Lowe, 1956″ and I got a Youtube recording of the song …what a thrill after so many years of not hearing the song I loved so much in 1956!
Type that in and listen for yourself!!!!
Here are the words to Green Door:
“Midnight, one more night without sleepin’
Watchin’ til the morning comes creepin’
Green Door, what’s that secret you’re keepin’?
There’s an old piano and they play it loud…Behind the Green Door,
Don’t know what they’re doin’ but they laugh a lot behind the Green Door….
Wish they’d let me in so I could find out what’s behind the Green Door,
Knocked once, tried to tell them I’d been there,
Door slammed, hospitality’s thin there,
Wonder just what’s goin’ on in there?
Saw an eyeball peeping through a smoky cloud behind The Green Door….
When I said ‘Joe Sent Me’ someone laughed out loud Behind the Green Door,
All I want to do is join the happy crowd behind the Green Door…..”
(then the first part repeats starting with “Midnight, one more night without sleepin’” and continues to a fading end of tinkling player piano notes.
IT WAS SO WONDERFUL!!!!
I am happy to have heard it once more.
And discovered where I can play it again and again….it was originally recorded on a 78 rpm record and also on a 45 rpm (small record with one song).