Author Topic: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s  (Read 10528 times)

Johnboy

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2019, 07:14:05 PM »
Til there Was You borrows a bit from this I think

great song, the youtube comments are nice

purlieu

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2019, 07:44:12 PM »
Little nugget about this - 'You Belong to Me' was originally the B side :

In an 'I Will Survive' move, They flipped it to the A side for the UK release.
Surprising how often this sort of thing happens. XTC's 'Dear God' was a b-side that ended up being the a-side that made them in America.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2019, 07:48:11 PM »
Surprising how often this sort of thing happens. XTC's 'Dear God' was a b-side that ended up being the a-side that made them in America.
Or Joy Division initially giving away 'Dead Souls' and 'Atmosphere' for an incredibly limited release on some French indie label.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2019, 08:02:29 PM »
Am reading with interest. I tried to review every UK#1 ever on a blog, set the order to random because I couldn't handle all the 50s at once (so slow and dreary to my 90s rocker ears) but still only got less than a sixth of the way through. In that time I did uncover some gems so not a total waste of time.

buzby

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2019, 10:25:33 PM »
A very commendable project, daf. This era, up until the early sixties, was very much my dads. When he died I had to give away boxes and boxes fo records and tapes of 50s and early rock & roll stuff.

Buzby: what kind of equipment is Al Martino using to get that reverb on the shouty bits?
In 1952 the plate reverb hadn't been invented yet (the EMT 140 was developed in Germany in 1957), so it would have either been an echo chamber or dedicated large recording space to generate natural reverb, or a spring reverb unit. Given the year and that it was a Capitol release, it was most probably recorded at their original studio on Melrose Avenue in Hollywood (before the 'stack of records' tower opened in 1956) and that had an echo chamber. You can see a bit of what the Melrose studio was like in the Capitol promo film Wanna Buy A Record?, presented by Mel Blanc.

Or Joy Division initially giving away 'Dead Souls' and 'Atmosphere' for an incredibly limited release on some French indie label.
Sordide Sentimental. - a project created by Jean-Pierre Turmel and Yves von Bontee to put out limited-editon releases by cult bands accompanied by art booklets. Turmel had heard Joy Division on The Factory Sampler and contacted Wilson to ask about working with them, and when they released Unknown Pleasures he got Gretton to send a copy to Tunmel 

The label's first release was with Throbbing Gristle, and when they played The Factory in 1979 Ian met Genesis P who showed him a copy of their release on the label, and Ian then contacted Turmel to discuss plans for a joy Division collaboration (Tunmel's essay in the booklet was actually written for a release with an American band that was cancelled because they had changed styles).

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2019, 10:38:58 PM »
Sordide Sentimental. - a project created by Jean-Pierre Turmel and Yves von Bontee to put out limited-editon releases by cult bands accompanied by art booklets. Turmel had heard Joy Division on The Factory Sampler and contacted Wilson to ask about working with them, and when they released Unknown Pleasures he got Gretton to send a copy to Tunmel 
I did get to hold one of the 1400-odd copies of that single once, when I was in a band with someone whose old man had been a JD obsessive back in the day and managed to get hold of everything they (and other Factory artists of the day) did. It's a bit pathetic to say ten years on, but at the time it felt like holding holy scriptures.

I'm going to add that this ties in to the thread because three* of Joy Division feature on a future #1.

*is Hooky actually playing on the single version that everyone knows? Guess we'll find out when the time comes!

buzby

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2019, 11:15:17 PM »
I did get to hold one of the 1400-odd copies of that single once, when I was in a band with someone whose old man had been a JD obsessive back in the day and managed to get hold of everything they (and other Factory artists of the day) did. It's a bit pathetic to say ten years on, but at the time it felt like holding holy scriptures.
1578 - some bloke on the JD Central forum has been attempting to track down every copy. Given how much they are worth it's unsurprising that there have been fake bootleg releases of it going round since the mid-80s
Quote
I'm going to add that this ties in to the thread because three* of Joy Division feature on a future #1.

*is Hooky actually playing on the single version that everyone knows? Guess we'll find out when the time comes!
Yes - his bass noodling can just about be heard throughout the track. It's where he maintains New Order went wrong and they started trying to edge him out. As it was originally a The Other Two track that they allowed to be reused at short notice as neither of the others had anything written, I'm not sure he can complain. He could always have come up with a bass-led song for them to consider, though of course we are still waiting for that Freebass album or the next Monaco one.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2019, 11:28:58 PM »
I'm curious how many, if any, will not be readily available on YouTube. (Actually the ones that won't be up there are probably because they are too popular, rather than too obscure.)

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2019, 11:32:03 PM »
Up next - everyone's favourite Ragtime Cowboy Joe, its . . .

2. Jo Stafford - You Belong To Me



From : January 11 – 17 1953
Weeks : 1
B side : Pretty Boy

Funnily enough, I know this song from a cover on the Shrek soundtrack.

daf

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2019, 12:12:43 PM »
Next up, Everyones favourite Singing Star, it's . . .

3. Kay Starr - Comes A-Long A-Love



From : January 18 – 24 1953
Weeks : 1
B side : Three Letters

Quote
Kay Starr was born Katherine Laverne Starks on a reservation in Dougherty, Oklahoma. Her father, Harry, was an Iroquois native American; her mother, Annie, was of mixed Irish and Native American heritage. When her father got a job installing water sprinkler systems for the Automatic Sprinkler Company, the family moved to Dallas. Her mother raised chickens, whom Starr serenaded in the coop. Her aunt Nora was impressed by her 7-year-old niece's singing and arranged for her to sing on a Dallas radio station, WRR. Starr finishing 3rd one week in a talent contest and placed first every week thereafter. She was given a 15-minute radio show. She sang pop and country songs with a piano accompaniment. By age 10 she was making $3 a night.

After finishing high school, she moved to Los Angeles and signed with Wingy Manone's band. From 1943 to 1945 she sang with Charlie Barnet's ensemble, retiring for a year after contracting pneumonia and later developing nodes on her vocal cords as a result of fatigue and overwork.

In 1950 she returned home to Dougherty and heard a fiddle recording of "Bonaparte's Retreat" by Pee Wee King. She liked it so much that she wanted to record it. She contacted Roy Acuff's publishing house in Nashville and spoke to Acuff directly. He was happy to let her record it, but it took a while for her to make clear that she was a singer, not a fiddler, and therefore needed to have some lyrics written. Acuff came up with a new lyric, and "Bonaparte's Retreat" became her biggest hit up to that point, with close to a million sales.

Quote
The song was released in 1952 and was written by the former Tin Pan Alley songwriter Al Sherman. This was the last hit song Sherman would write, handing the reins over to his sons, Bob and Dick Sherman who were just beginning their song writing careers in 1952. On September 27, 1952, "Comes A-Long A-Love" reached number nine on the Billboard top singles chart. The song has appeared in the soundtracks of several films, including the 2006 release of Confetti. The track also topped the, then fledgling, UK Singles Chart in January 1953 for one week, becoming only the third chart topper in that listing.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 03:12:11 PM by daf »

Crabwalk

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #40 on: March 12, 2019, 03:04:21 PM »
Very sparky. Very Broadway too, to my ears.

purlieu

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #41 on: March 12, 2019, 09:29:07 PM »
That's very jolly. Back when people made Proper Music with Real Tunes.

I always find it interesting how formal sleeve and label notes were back in the day. Lots of old albums still have their tracklists described as 'programmes', and the scan of the label for this particular 7" on YouTube ensures we all know the piece consists of 'Vocal with Orchestra'.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #42 on: March 13, 2019, 01:39:22 AM »
Kay Starr sounds like Dinah Washington to my ears. 'Wheel of Fortune' (1951) was her biggest US hit but preceded the beginning of these UK charts. It's a cracker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTsKRb4jleE

machotrouts

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2019, 04:04:59 AM »
More like 'Comes A-Long A-Not That Arsed'

Captain Z

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #44 on: March 13, 2019, 01:17:09 PM »
This is one of the few tracks from this era that I had never heard before yet found instantly memorable, so I guess quite a good example of the pop formula. With that said, I don't particularly like it. 5/11.

daf

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #45 on: March 13, 2019, 01:34:59 PM »
Moving swiftly on with everyone's favourite Showbiz Love Rat, its . . .

4. Eddie Fisher - Outside Of Heaven



From : January 25 – 31 1953
Weeks : 1
B side : Lady of Spain

Quote
"Outside of Heaven" is a popular music song written by Sammy Gallop and Chester Conn. A recording by Eddie Fisher with Hugo Winterhalter's orchestra and chorus was made at Manhattan Center, New York City, on July 19, 1952.

Quote
Edwin John "Eddie" Fisher (August 10, 1928 – September 22, 2010) was an American singer and actor. Unable to keep his trousers on, he was married five times, and was father to Carrie Fisher ('Princess Leia') with his first wife Debbie Reynolds.

It was known at an early age that he had talent as a vocalist, and he started singing in numerous amateur contests, which he usually won. He made his radio debut on WFIL, a local Philadelphia radio station. He also performed on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, a popular radio show that later moved to television. Because he became a local star, Fisher dropped out of high school in the middle of his senior year to pursue his career.

By 1946, Fisher was crooning with the bands of Buddy Morrow and Charlie Ventura. He was heard in 1949 by Eddie Cantor at Grossinger's Catskill Resort Hotel in the Borscht Belt. Cantor's so-called discovery of Fisher was later described as a totally contrived, "manipulated' arrangement by Milton Blackstone, Grossinger's publicity director. After performing on Cantor's radio show he was an instant hit and gained nationwide exposure. He then signed a recording contract with RCA Victor. 

In 1956, Fisher costarred with then-wife Debbie Reynolds in the musical comedy Bundle of Joy. He played a dramatic role in the 1960 drama Butterfield 8 with second wife Elizabeth Taylor. His best friend was showman and producer Mike Todd, who died in a plane crash in 1958. Fisher's affair, divorce from Reynolds, and subsequent marriage to Taylor, Todd's widow, caused a show business scandal. Due to the unfavorable publicity surrounding the affair and divorce, NBC canceled Fisher's television series in March 1959.

Norton Canes

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #46 on: March 13, 2019, 01:58:00 PM »
There was a girl called Kay Starr at our school.

daf

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #47 on: March 13, 2019, 02:27:24 PM »
She was always up for playing the fool,
At hopscotch or conkers
She drove us all bonkers,
and was useless at riding a mule

Norton Canes

  • The leper heart will see you for what you are
Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #48 on: March 13, 2019, 03:07:05 PM »
I've got a tree-climbing story about her but I can't really say it now because I've said her real name.

Norton Canes

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #49 on: March 13, 2019, 03:10:57 PM »
All I will say is that if you wrote a limerick about it then for the other lines to rhyme they'd have to end with words like paddle or saddle.

machotrouts

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #50 on: March 13, 2019, 03:30:48 PM »
Eddie Fisher, host of Coke Time with Eddie Fisher.

Feel like there might be some subliminal product placement in there... hard to tell. I'll get myself a refreshing ice cold Coca Cola while I think it over. It's always time for ice cold Coca Cola. An ice cold Coca Cola... is everywhere. Good night. From the Coca Cola Company. Ice cold Coca Cola

purlieu

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #51 on: March 13, 2019, 05:35:38 PM »
Hmm no, that was one was a bit too saccharine for me.

daf

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2019, 05:50:39 PM »
Check out the B-side - a much spunkier proposition

Also cropped up in Jeeves & Wooster - featuring Hugh Laurie as you've never seen him before (or since!)

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #53 on: March 13, 2019, 06:07:17 PM »
Hmm no, that was one was a bit too saccharine for me.

That Fisher song is pleasant enough, if forgettable, but we've got quite a few saccharine ballads to get through before we hit the rock 'n' roll era - and even then, they still crop up at alarming intervals like a rare gas let loose in a discotheque.

This is a great thread idea, daf, a lorra lorra fun!

daf

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #54 on: March 13, 2019, 09:11:50 PM »
Cheers!
« Last Edit: March 13, 2019, 09:31:50 PM by daf »

purlieu

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #55 on: March 13, 2019, 10:15:19 PM »
Yes, I'm quite surprised at the quality so far, was expecting more like today's. Not that I'm eager for rock 'n' roll - not a fan at all - but I definitely prefer the more upbeat, focused sound of the first three.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #56 on: March 13, 2019, 10:47:37 PM »
How did Eddie Fisher, a weird-looking dork, marry Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor?

purlieu

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2019, 11:03:17 PM »
How did Eddie Fisher, a weird-looking dork, marry Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor?
UK number 1

non capisco

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #58 on: March 13, 2019, 11:13:12 PM »
Kay Starr sounds like Dinah Washington to my ears. 'Wheel of Fortune' (1951) was her biggest US hit but preceded the beginning of these UK charts. It's a cracker:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTsKRb4jleE

This is indeed a cracker, love the bridges with the double tracked harmonies.

Thoroughly enjoying this thread so far and looking forward to its continuation. Exactly the kind of blissful immersive nerd-out I still love CaB for.

Crabwalk

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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #59 on: March 14, 2019, 09:50:34 AM »
4. Eddie Fisher - Outside Of Heaven

It's quite funny picturing him showing up (I presume uninvited) to his ex's wedding and sitting in the crowd 'crying out loud'. The poor bride should've got an usher to take him into the graveyard for a shoeing.

The b-side is much better, and more dignified.