“Sh-Boom” (sometimes referred to as “Life Could Be a Dream”) is an early doo-wop song. It was written by James Keyes, Claude Feaster, Carl Feaster, Floyd F. McRae, and James Edwards, members of the R&B vocal group the Chords and published in 1954. It was a U.S. top ten hit that year for both the Chords (who first recorded the song) and the Crew-Cuts.
The song was first recorded on Atlantic Records’ subsidiary label Cat Records by the Chords on March 15, 1954 and would be their only hit song. “Sh-Boom” reached #2 on the Billboard R&B charts and peaked at #9 on the pop charts. It is sometimes considered to be the first doo-wop or rock ‘n’ roll record to reach the top ten on the pop charts (as opposed to the R&B charts). This version was ranked #215 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and is the group’s only song on the list.
A more traditional version was made by the Crew-Cuts (with the David Carroll Orchestra) for Mercury Records and was #1 on the Billboard charts in for nine weeks during August and September 1954. The single first entered the charts on July 30, 1954 and stayed for 20 weeks. The Crew-Cuts performed the song on Ed Sullivan’s Toast of the Town on December 12, 1954. On the Cash Box magazine best-selling record charts, where both versions were combined, the song reached #1.