Author Topic: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s  (Read 22794 times)

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #660 on: June 12, 2019, 02:38:48 AM »
House of the Rising Sun likewise

It will be interesting to see how many pages each decade generates. This one has made it to 23.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #661 on: June 12, 2019, 05:10:24 PM »
This is, in my opinion (which is definitive and objectively correct), the best #1 of each year of the 1950s.

1950: There was no such year as 1950.
1951: There was no such year as 1951.
1952: Al Martino - Here in My Heart (By default.)
1953: Frankie Laine - Hey Joe
1954: Rosemary Clooney - This Ole House
1955: Perez Prado - Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
1956: Tennessee Ernie Ford - Sixteen Tons
1957: Lonnie Donegan - Cumberland Gap
1958: The Everly Brothers - All I Have to Do Is Dream
1959: Elvis Presley - I Got Stung

These are, in my opinion (which is definitive and objectively correct), the 40 best #1s of the 1950s.

  • The Everly Brothers - All I Have to Do Is Dream
  • Lonnie Donegan - Cumberland Gap
  • Perez Prado - Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
  • Rosemary Clooney - This Ole House
  • Tennessee Ernie Ford - Sixteen Tons
  • Elvis Presley - I Got Stung
  • Russ Conway - Side Saddle
  • Emile Ford & the Checkmates - What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?
  • Lord Rockingham's XI - Hoots Mon!
  • The Johnston Brothers - Hernando's Hideaway
  • Winifred Atwell - The Poor People of Paris
  • Russ Conway - Roulette
  • Jerry Lee Lewis - Great Balls of Fire
  • Frankie Laine - Hey Joe
  • Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers - Why Do Fools Fall in Love
  • Rosemary Clooney - Mambo Italiano
  • Lonnie Donegan - Gamblin' Man
  • Elvis Presley - All Shook Up
  • The Dream Weavers - It's Almost Tomorrow
  • Pat Boone - I'll Be Home
  • Elvis Presley - I Need Your Love Tonight
  • Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now
  • The Platters - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  • Dean Martin - Memories Are Made of This
  • Perry Como - Magic Moments
  • Anne Shelton - Lay Down Your Arms
  • Doris Day - Que Sera, Sera
  • The Everly Brothers - Claudette
  • Johnnie Ray - Such a Night
  • Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
  • Bill Haley & His Comets - Rock Around the Clock
  • Buddy Holly - It Doesn't Matter Anymore
  • Adam Faith - What Do You Want?
  • Mantovani - The Song from Moulin Rouge
  • Slim Whitman - Rose Marie
  • Ruby Murray - Softly, Softly
  • Frankie Vaughan - The Garden of Eden
  • Jane Morgan - The Day the Rains Came
  • Perry Como - Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes
  • Ronnie Hilton - No Other Love



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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #663 on: June 20, 2019, 11:21:30 AM »
Just popping back, as I'd forgotten to add a link to the next thread :

UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #664 on: August 06, 2019, 05:14:42 PM »
Cor, it's a bit dusty in here! . . . Anyway, as requested, here we go with a couple of bonus Melody Maker number ones -

Shaking a Chicken in the middle of the room, it's . . .

64b. (MM 18.) Elvis Presley - Party

From : 2 - 8 November 1957 (1)
       + 16 - 22 November 1957 (1)
Weeks : 2
Double A-side : Elvis Presley - Got a Lot O' Livin' To Do
bonus 1 : Party film version 1  /  Party film version 2 
bonus 2 : Livin' film version 1  /  Livin' film version 2

The Story So Far :
In his first film, 'Love Me Tender', Elvis plays Clint Reno, the youngest of the four Reno brothers, who stays home to take care of his mother and the family farm as older brothers Vance, Brett and Ray fight in the American Civil War for the Confederate Army.

Elvis' first experience as a Hollywood actor was closely followed in the entertainment press from the day he was assigned a role in Love Me Tender until the day the film was released. The close scrutiny affected the outcome of the film in several ways. Originally called The Reno Brothers, this western drama was retitled after a number of articles announced that advanced sales for 'Love Me Tender' - one of the songs recorded for the film - exceeded a million copies. It was the first time advanced sales for a single release had ever surpassed the million mark, and the producers capitalized on the publicity by changing the film's title.

"I think he provides tremendous additional value in the role," said producer David Weisbart. "He will surprise a lot of people who go to see him because his presence is just a gimmick. Actually he plays an acting part in a legitimate story and he does it very well. He sings but the script is so constructed that the situations are logical... when the family is together after the war.... or at a bazar and picnic. These are folk tunes or hoedowns that - except for the title piece, a ballad - have Elvis' rhythms. With his long brown hair and sideburns he looks legitimate too in terms of the period."

The enormous amount of press coverage also affected the film's conclusion. During production, fanzines leaked that Elvis' character was supposed to die near the end of the film. As originally shot, the final scene features Mother Reno solemnly ringing the dinner bell as her three remaining sons toil in the fields. Pain and loss are registered on the faces of Mother Reno and Cathy, who mourn the death of Clint. Elvis' legion of fans were disturbed by the news that their idol was to be killed off in his first film.

In an attempt to counter an 'adverse public reaction,' Twentieth Century-Fox shot an alternative ending in which Clint is spared. For reasons known only to the producers, this second ending was rejected. A compromise ending was used instead. Clint is killed as called for in the original script, but the final shot superimposed a ghostly close-up of Elvis as Clint crooning 'Love Me Tender' as his family slowly walks away from his grave.

Prior to the film's premiere at the Paramount Theatre in New York, a 40-foot likeness of Elvis as Clint Reno was erected atop the theater's marquee. Part of the ceremony surrounding the unveiling of the huge cutout included placing the world's largest charm bracelet, which measured nine feet, around the figure's wrist. The charms depicted various events in Elvis' career, and the bracelet was a giant replica of one being merchandised across the country. Some fans attending the unveiling carried placards that complained about Elvis' on-screen death, but Presley biographers have speculated that Colonel Tom Parker, the singer's manager, passed them out to garner even more publicity.

If the promotion surrounding Love Me Tender generated excitement among Elvis fans, it generated loathing among the critics. Reviewers around the country were lying in wait for the film, and many were brutal in their assessment of Elvis' performance. In a particularly scathing review for Time magazine, one critic compared Elvis' acting and screen presence to that of a sausage, a 'Walt Disney goldfish,' a corpse, and a cricket -- all in the same brief review. Many did not confine their criticism to Elvis' screen performance. Critics used the opportunity to reiterate the same complaints the Establishment had always hurled at Elvis, including his singing style, his hair, his Southern background, and his fanatical following.

Love Me Tender had its premiere on November 15 at the Paramount Theater in New York City, and was released nationally on November 21, 1956. 20th Century Fox released 575 prints, a record for its studios at the time. During this private screening Presley's mother, Gladys, cried at the death of her son's character at the end, leading Presley to insist that his characters would never die on screen again.

Despite many critics giving it a lukewarm reception, a number of critics viewed it in a positive light. The Los Angeles Times wrote: "Elvis can act. S'help me the boy's real good, even when he isn't singing."


Instead of a full long-playing album soundtrack, for 'Love Me Tender' the four songs appearing in the film were released as a seven inch (extended-play) EP during November 1956 : "Love Me Tender"  /  "Let Me"  /  "Poor Boy"  /  and "We're Gonna Move"

The four EP soundtrack songs were recorded at Fox's Stage One in Hollywood, at three sessions on August 24, September 4, and October 1, 1956. The music for the title song was based on the Civil War ballad "Aura Lee", with new lyrics by Ken Darby. Darby, in fact, wrote all of the soundtrack songs, but credited them to his wife, Vera Matson, while Parker cut his publishing company, Hill and Range, in on the royalties by further crediting the writing to Presley as well.

Production began for Presley's second film, 'Loving You', on January 21, 1957 and was completed in early March. The film was based on the short story "A Call from Mitch Miller", written by Mary Agnes Thompson and published in the June 1956 issue of Good Housekeeping.

Elvis left Memphis by train for Hollywood on January 10, 1957. After recording sessions he reported on the 14th to the Paramount makeup and wardrobe departments for his new role as singer Deke Rivers.

It was on January 14, 1957 that Elvis first had his natural light brown hair dyed black. He had decided it would look good on film, as did the dark hair of Tony Curtis, one of the actors he admired. He let his hair go back to its natural color while serving in the U.S. Army, 1958-60. But for that and a brief time in the early 1960s, Elvis kept his hair dyed black for the rest of his life.

To ensure that the film captured the essence of Elvis' life as a performer, Producer Hal Wallis sent director/co-scriptwriter Hal Kanter to observe Elvis' live appearance on the radio program 'Louisiana Hayride' on December 16, 1956. Kanter followed Elvis around for a few days in Memphis and then in Shreveport, Louisiana, where the 'Hayride' program was based. Kanter was able to capture the chaos, exhilaration, and confusion that surrounds an up-and-coming popular singer. In addition to capturing the highs of an entertainer's life, Kanter also worked a number of lows into the storyline, suggesting a 'price of fame' theme.

To further equate Elvis with Deke, Kanter and Wallis allowed some of Elvis' family and friends to appear in the film in cameos and bit roles. His parents, Vernon and Gladys, appear as members of the audience in the final production number. Real-life band members Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and DJ Fontana have bits as Deke's band members. The most obvious similarity between the real-life Elvis and the fictional Deke was the controversy both generated because of their performing style. The film explains that the controversy surrounding Deke is based on a misunderstanding involving miscalculated publicity stunts. This was central to the production team's attempt to make Elvis more acceptable to mainstream audiences.

A box office success, Loving You opened nationwide on July 9, 1957. Paramount Pictures chose to ignore the first-run theater system, opting instead to release the film in sub-run neighborhood theaters, a system later dubbed the "Presley Pattern."

Shot in Technicolor and VistaVision, the production started on January 21, 1957, ending on March 8. The film was shot at the Paramount studios, except the Jessup farm scenes, which were shot in the Hollywood Hills.

Loving You premiered in Memphis on July 10, 1957 at the Strand Theater. Presley did not go to that showing, instead opting to take girlfriend Anita Wood, as well as his parents to a private midnight screening. The film opened nationally on July 30, 1957 and peaked at #7 on the Variety National Box Office Survey, staying on the chart for four weeks.

On its review, Monthly Film Bulletin qualified Presley's career as "one of the most puzzling and less agreeable aspects of modern popular music. Presley adopts a slurred and husky style of delivery and a series of grotesque body gestures to impose on his otherwise innocuous material a suggestive meaning. ... in 'Loving You' he is allowed more scope and is at times both the cause and sum total of the film's somewhat doubtful entertainment value."


The soundtrack includes seven songs composed expressly for the movie Loving You from writers contracted to Elvis Presley Music and Gladys Music, the publishing companies owned by Presley and his manager, Colonel Tom Parker. An eighth song intended for but not appearing in the movie, "Don't Leave Me Now", was included on the album, and a new recording would appear on the soundtrack for his next film, Jailhouse Rock.

Songs were added to bring up the running time of the album, including the swing-era favorite "Blueberry Hill"  /  "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?"  /  and Cole Porter's "True Love". The practice of RCA augmenting soundtrack recordings with extra songs from non-soundtrack studio sessions to bring up the running time of the LP to acceptable lengths would become a commonplace occurrence with Presley soundtracks through the 1960s.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Also included on the soundtrack album was the single "Let's Have a Party" which was written by Jessie Mae Robinson. It reached #2 in the official chart, but topped the Melody Maker Chart for two separate weeks in November 1957.

Other Versions include :  The Collins Kids (1957)  /  Wanda Jackson (1958)  /  "Ja, so 'ne Party" by Billy Sanders und die Boys (1958)  /  Rock-Jerry and His Masters (1960)  /  June Dyer (1961)  /  Mud (1975)  /   Dr. Feelgood (1978)  /  Slade (1985)  /  Paul McCartney (1999)  /  Sonia (2010)  /  The Lollies (2011)  /  Danny McEvoy (2013)  /  Bloody Mary & The Munsters (2014)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Got a Lot o' Livin' to Do!" was written by Aaron Schroeder and Ben Weisman. The latter, a songwriter from New York, came to the recording studio in Hollywood where Presley was working on the songs for 'Loving You' Soundtrack album.

Elvis later recalled:
"I looked at him, smiled, asked his name, and why he was in the studio. He said he was Ben Weisman, and he had composed the song "Got A Lot O' Livin' To Do". I hollered at the guys to come out and we started playing the song. After that day, Ben and I became really good friends and he would wind up writing fifty-seven songs for me. Funny how chance meetings end up!"

In Europe "Got a Lot o' Livin' to Do!" was released as a Double A-sided single with "Party". Both songs appeared on the UK Singles Chart : "Party" charted 15 weeks, peaking at number 2 for the week of October 10, while "Got a Lot o' Livin' to Do!" charted 4 weeks, peaking at number 17 for the week of October 24.

Other Versions include :  Jack Jersey (1979)  /  Shakin' Stevens (1983)  /  The Pogues (1990)  /  The Beatniks (1997)  /  Danny McEvoy (2013)  /  Sayaka Alessandra (2016)

At their peak, NME used about 150 phoned returns whereas Melody Maker used around 270 to 280 postal returns from its suppliers, collated by Roy Burchill, Jeff Stars, Alf Martin and Mike Benson.

An anomaly between chart positions on individual weeks was caused by the fact that NME and Disc also used 'advance sales' figures from record companies when compiling their statistics whereas Record Retailer and Melody Maker used only pure 'actual' over the counter sales figures.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2019, 08:13:10 PM by daf »


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #665 on: August 07, 2019, 05:52:47 AM »
HOW is it possible that we can go back and find more Elvis #1s? Every Elvis song was already a #1! Even some of Elvis's #1s weren't real Elvis songs. Have you heard "She's Not You" in the other thread? Did NOT exist until daf made it up. This is gaslighting and a police matter.

I don't know what gaps are going to be left between these bonus posts so I'm going to go ahead and leave commentary before I have time to actually listen to the song, because the important thing is that I don't break my streak, not that I contribute anything worthwhile to the thread. I hate and resent "Party" deeply, whatever it is. Might listen to it tomorrow. 3/10


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #666 on: August 07, 2019, 10:32:13 AM »
I don't know what gaps are going to be left between these bonus posts

Thinking of roughly twice a week - with a gap of 3 days  - so pencil the next one in for Saturday, and . . . (counts on fingers) . . . Wednesday after that.

I hate and resent "Party" deeply, whatever it is.

Seems to be something Jerry Lee Lewis might have done - Couldn't find a version by the old 'Great Balls' himself, though.

This is an instance of missing out on the official Number 1 due to NME's practice of splitting up the Double A-side into two separate chart positions :
In Europe "Got a Lot o' Livin' to Do!" was released as a Double A-sided single with "Party". Both songs appeared on the UK Singles Chart : "Party" charted 15 weeks, peaking at number 2 for the week of October 10, while "Got a Lot o' Livin' to Do!" charted 4 weeks, peaking at number 17 for the week of October 24.

I think the Americans also did this for normal records (the lunatics!!) - resulting in random B-sides cluttering up the bottom end of the charts.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2019, 11:24:52 AM by daf »


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #667 on: August 08, 2019, 02:52:04 AM »
Is it worth asking how double A-sides can be split in the charts? Customers cutting the vinyl in half so they can only take home the side they like best?

I've caught up and I don't hate and deeply resent it, but I do dislike and shallowly resent it.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #668 on: August 08, 2019, 08:17:13 AM »
I think the shop wrote down the track the customer requested, although that doesn't account for someone just picking it off the shelf.

More likely they wrote down the shop assistant's idea of what the main side was unless the customer specifically requested the other.

The safest conclusion is that chart positions of records split in this way are fake.

The US example that springs to mind is Something and Come Together being split as late as 1969 ffs.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #669 on: August 08, 2019, 01:18:41 PM »
The US example that springs to mind is Something and Come Together being split as late as 1969 ffs.
A lot of how singles are rated in the US charts is/was to do with airplay, right? I figured double-A side singles would be split up in the chart to reflect their individual plays.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #670 on: August 10, 2019, 03:04:30 PM »
With Three Tons of Joy, it's . . .

65b. (MM 21.)  Johnny Otis Show - Ma He's Making Eyes At Me

From :  11 - 24 January 1958
Weeks : 2
Flip side : Romance In The Dark

'Johnny Otis' was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes on 28 December 1921, in Vallejo, California, to Greek immigrant parents, and grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in Berkeley, California, where his father owned a grocery store. He became known for his choice to live his professional and personal life as a member of the African-American community. He wrote, "As a kid I decided that if our society dictated that one had to be black or white, I would be black."

On May 2, 1941, when Otis was 19, he married Phyllis Walker, an 18-year old woman of African American and Filipino descent from Oakland, whom he had known since childhood. Despite deep and enduring objections from his mother, the young couple left California and eloped in Reno, Nevada, where interracial marriage was accepted at the time. They had four children: two sons, Shuggie Otis and Nicholas Otis — both of whom became musicians — and two daughters, Janice and Laura.

Otis began playing drums as a teenager, having bought a set by forging his father's signature on a credit slip. Soon after, he dropped out of Berkeley High School, in his junior year. He joined a local band, the West Oakland House Rockers, with his pianist friend "Count" Otis Matthews. By 1939, they were performing at many local functions, mostly in and around Oakland and Berkeley.

In the early 1940s Otis played in swing orchestras, including Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders and Harlan Leonard's Rockets. He founded his own band in 1945; they had one of the most enduring hits of the big-band era, "Harlem Nocturne", a composition by Earle Hagen. His band included Wynonie Harris, Charles Brown, and Illinois Jacquet, among others.

In 1947, he and Bardu Ali opened the Barrelhouse Club in the Watts district of Los Angeles. Otis reduced the size of his band and hired the singers Mel Walker, Little Esther (later known as Esther Phillips) and the Robins (who later became the Coasters). With this band, he toured extensively in the United States as the California Rhythm and Blues Caravan, and had a string of rhythm-and-blues hits through 1950.

He began recording Little Esther and Mel Walker for Savoy Records in 1949, and also released a stream of hit records, including "Double Crossing Blues", "Mistrustin' Blues" and "Cupid's Boogie", all of which reached number 1 on the Billboard R&B chart.

In 1951, Otis released "Mambo Boogie", the first R&B mambo ever recorded. Otis moved to Mercury Records in 1951. He discovered the singer Etta James, who was then 13 years old, at one of his talent shows. He produced and wrote her first hit, 'The Wallflower (Dance with Me, Henry)'.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In 1952, while in Houston, Texas, Otis auditioned the singer Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton. He produced and played drums on her 1953 recording of "Hound Dog" (the first recording of the song).

Leiber and Stoller wrote the song "Hound Dog" in 12 to 15 minutes, with Leiber scribbling the lyrics in pencil on ordinary paper and without musical notation in the car on the way to Stoller's apartment. Said Leiber, "'Hound Dog' took like twelve minutes. That's not a complicated piece of work. But the rhyme scheme was difficult. Also the metric structure of the music was not easy."

According to Leiber, as soon as they reached the parking lot and Stoller's 1937 Plymouth, "I was beating out a rhythm we called the 'buck dance' on the roof of the car. We got to Johnny Otis's house and Mike went right to the piano … didn't even bother to sit down. He had a cigarette in his mouth that was burning his left eye, and he started to play the song."

Thornton recorded "Hound Dog" at Radio Recorders Annex in Los Angeles on August 13, 1952, the day after its composition. It subsequently became her biggest hit. It was the first record that Leiber and Stoller produced themselves, taking over from bandleader Johnny Otis :
"We were worried because the drummer wasn't getting the feel that Johnny had created in rehearsal. Johnny," Jerry said, "can't you play drums on the record? No one can nail that groove like you." "Who's gonna run the session?" he asked. Silence. "You two?" he asked. "The kids are gonna run a recording session?" "Sure," I said. "The kids wrote it. Let the kids do it."

Otis played drums on the recording, replacing Ledard "Kansas City" Bell. As Otis was still signed exclusively to Federal Records, Otis used the pseudonym "Kansas City Bill" on this record. Therefore, Otis, Louisiana blues guitarist Pete "Guitar" Lewis, and Puerto Rican bass player Mario Delagarde are listed as "Kansas City Bill & Orchestra" on the Peacock record labels.

Leiber and Stoller along with Johnny Otis, also wrote a different version to the "Hound Dog" song structure on behalf of Big Mama Thornton, recorded with an alternative lyric entitled "Tom Cat".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In 1957, signed with Capitol Records, and now known as the Johnny Otis Show, he made a comeback, at first in the British charts with "Ma! He's Making Eyes at Me" in 1957. In April 1958, he recorded his best-known song, "Willie and the Hand Jive", which was a hit in the summer of 1958, peaking at number 9 on the U.S. Pop chart.

In 1969, Otis landed a deal with Columbia Records and recorded the albums Cold Shot! and the sexually explicit Snatch and the Poontangs, both of which featured his son Shuggie and the singer Delmar "Mighty Mouth" Evans.

Otis died of natural causes on January 17, 2012, in the Altadena area of Los Angeles.

"Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me" was written by comedian Sidney Clare (words), and producer Con Conrad (music). Some of the earliest recordings are those by The Benson Orchestra of Chicago and Ted Lewis & His Orchestra, both in 1921.

The Greek-American singer and band-leader Johnny Otis had a hit with it, after including it in his album The Greatest Johnny Otis Show. The single credited to "Johnny Otis & His Orchestra with Marie Adams & The Three Tons of Joy" was released on Capitol Records, charted in the UK Singles Chart peaking at number 2 in the NME chart in November and December 1957, and number 1 in the Melody Maker chart for two weeks in January 1958.

Other Versions Include : Isham Jones Orchestra (1921)  /  Billy Jones (1921)  /  The Merry Macs  (1940)  /  Judy Garland (1940)  /  Al Jolson (1948)  /  Pearl Bailey (1949)  /  Dori Anne Gray (1957)  /  Gerald Wiggins Trio (1957)  /  Somethin' Smith and The Redheads (1957)  /    Brita Koivunen (1958)  /  Annette and The Afterbeats (1958)  /  Russ Conway (1958)  /  Teresa Brewer (1960)  /  The Ray Conniff Singers (1960)  /  Bert Weedon (1961)  /  Billy Eckstine & Quincy Jones (1962)  /  Ray Charles (1964)  /   Al Hirt and Ann-Margret (1964)  /  Little Pattie (1966)  /   Merle Travis (1968)  /  Mrs. Mills (1969)  /  Mrs. Miller (1971)  /  Count Basie (1972)  /  Lena Zavaroni (1974)  /  Pinky & Perky (1974)  /  "Krásný den" by Jana Robbová (1975)  /   Jasmine Thorpe ft. Danny McEvoy (2016)  /  Limousin Lil (2017)  /  Justen Hosken (2019) 
« Last Edit: August 10, 2019, 05:20:07 PM by daf »

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #671 on: August 11, 2019, 02:55:09 AM »
I often confuse him with Johnny Ace, who had an unfortunate demise:


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #672 on: August 13, 2019, 06:39:44 AM »
"Three Tons of Joy" is an outstanding group name, and a real loss to the official chart canon. Would have been quite a curveball for my "name every girl group to have had a UK #1 hit" Sporcle quiz. "Hmm, what am I missing... got the Spice Girls, got Girls Aloud, even got the Military Wives... hmm... ah, I know. Three Tons of Joy."

But I can't make any sense of this record being at the top of any chart. Is it an actual live recording, or just a normal song where the instrumentation happens to be constant screams?


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #673 on: August 13, 2019, 10:46:27 AM »
"Three Tons of Joy" is an outstanding group name, and a real loss to the official chart canon.

Here they are in action -  introduced by Johnny Otis (show) himself :

Marie Adams & The Three Tons of Joy - Goody Goody

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #674 on: August 13, 2019, 11:10:26 AM »
that is one hell of a life story.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #675 on: August 13, 2019, 07:19:40 PM »
Three Tons of Joy would be hard to hide in the wardrobe when your wife come home early.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #676 on: August 14, 2019, 02:36:04 PM »
Biro Moustaches all round, it's . . .

76b. (MM 31.)  The Everly Brothers - Bird Dog

From :  1 - 21 November 1958
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Devoted To You

Boudleaux and Felice Bryant were an American husband and wife country music and pop songwriting team.

Diadorius Boudleaux Bryant was born in Shellman, Georgia, on 13 February 1920. Trained as a classical violinist, he joined Hank Penny and his Radio Cowboys, an Atlanta-based western music band.

In 1945, Bryant met Matilda Genevieve Scaduto, whom he called Felice, when he performed at a hotel in her hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was born in the city on 7 August 1925 to an Italian family, and had written lyrics set to traditional Italian tunes. During World War II, she sang and directed shows at the local USO.

In the early years of their marriage, the couple settled in Moultrie, Georgia. Boudleaux continued to work as a musician and a mechanic, while his wife started dabbling in songwriting. “I always wrote,” Felice said. “I wrote letters and poetry that I would tear up so that they couldn’t be found. I wrote all the time, even if I was only doodling. I had to have someone to talk to, so I talked to myself. I don’t read music. I don’t play an instrument. The words themselves will have a musical value. That’s how I can compose a melody. Then Boudleaux will write the music down, or I’ll turn on the tape machine.”

“We started writing for the hell of it, for fun,” Boudleaux said. “And after about 80 songs we thought, this looks like it could be a good thing. But we originally wrote them for our own amusement, and we’d show them to our friends.”

After months of writing letters to everyone he knew—and didn’t know—in the music business, Boudleaux placed a song called "Country Boy" with Grand Ole Opry singer Little Jimmy Dickens. The song went to No. 7 on the charts in 1949, and by the next year, the Bryants had moved to Nashville.

“At the time, in the field that we flopped into, the artists wrote and performed all of their own material,” Felice recalled. “Then, after a while, the road got to them. They couldn’t think, they couldn’t doodle around on the front porch with a guitar, they couldn’t stroll through the woods and get inspired. So Boudleaux and I were the first people who came to Nashville who didn’t do anything but write. We were the factory.”

They were signed by Acuff-Rose Publishing and scored with a few more hits, including “Hey Joe” (recorded by Carl Smith), “I’ve Been Thinking” (recorded by Eddy Arnold), the swinging "Sugar Beet" (recorded by Moon Mullican) and the bluesy "Midnight" (recorded by Red Foley).

In the mid-’50s, with rock ’n’ roll on the rise, the Bryants hit their creative stride when they hooked up with two young harmonizing brothers from Kentucky, Phil and Don Everly.

“Their stuff fit us like a glove, because it was designed to fit,” said Don. “Boudleaux would sit down and talk with us. A lot of his songs were written because he was getting inside our heads—trying to find out where we were going, what we wanted, what words were right.”

“They were masters,” added Phil. “Anybody would be a fool not to watch how they did it. That’s the level that you wanted to be at. I learned more from them than from anybody.”

Over the next 30 years, the couple would write nearly 6,000 songs together, selling over 200 million records with artists such as Roy Orbison, Tony Bennett, Dean Martin, Buddy Holly, Eddy Arnold, Bobbie Gentry, Gram Parsons, Simon & Garfunkel and most memorably, the Everly Brothers. The Bryants’ list of classics includes “Bye Bye Love,” “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “Love Hurts”.

In 1979 they released their own album called A Touch of Bryant.

"Rocky Top", written in 1967, was adopted as a state song by Tennessee in 1982, and as the unofficial fight song for the University of Tennessee sports teams.

"Bird Dog" was written by Boudleaux Bryant and recorded by the Everly Brothers. Released in 1958, it was a #1 hit on the Billboard Country Chart, and also hit number two on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Following their first UK number 1 - 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' - Bird Dog reached #2 in the (official) NME chart, but topped the Melody Maker chart for 3 weeks in November 1958.

The song deals with the singer's dismay that a boy by the name of Johnny is trying to take his girlfriend away. The singer calls him a bird dog as a result of his behaviour.

The Everlys weren't fond of the song and were surprised when it became a hit : "I thought the song was one of those corny things." said Don, "Still, it had something. Still does. We don't do it anymore though."

Brother Phil added : "'Bird Dog' was a strange song. There used to be a ventriloquist on television with Jerry Mahoney, who had a dog called Farfel. Archie Bleyer, the producer, wanted to get Farfel to do 'he's a bird,' 'he's a dog' but we just weren't going for it. We said, 'Uh-uh!' Thank God they didn't do it."

Other Versions include : Paul Rich (1958)  /  The Fouryos (1958)  /  "Herzensdieb" by Conny Quick und Die Rockies (1958)  /  The Tilton Sisters (1962)  /  The Hep Stars (1965)  /  The Compton Brothers (1970)  /  Mud (1975)  /  Bellamy Brothers (1978)  /  Hans Edler (1978)  /  Carl Perkins (1986)  /  "De hotdog" by André van Duin (1989)  /  Joan Jett and The Blackhearts (1998)  /  Bull Kelp (2013)  /  Danny McEvoy and Jasmine Thorpe (2015)  /  Babies in Black (2017)  /  Rich Davis (2017)  /  The Pirate Biker (2018)

"Devoted to You" was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.

The best-known recording was by The Everly Brothers, released by Cadence Records. This version was issued as the flip side of "Bird Dog," but reached the charts on its own, at No. 10 on the United States pop charts, No. 25 in Australia, and No. 1 in Canada.

Other Versions Include : Helen Merrill (1959)  /  Brian Hyland (1964)  /  The Beach Boys (1965)  /  Frank Ifield (1966)  /  Agnes Chan (1971)  /  Felicia Wong (1972)  /  Fire & Rain (1975)  /  Carly Simon (1978)  /  Tracy with Tony (1981)  /  Sandy Posey (1982)  /  Cliff Richard & Denise Black  (1995)  /  Linda Ronstadt (1996)  /  Ali Campbell feat. Robin Campbell (2007)  /  Throwback Junkies (2013)  /  Tom Houghton & Kim Smith (2016)  /  claireGDcosta (2017)  /  the roboty brothers (2018)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 02:50:03 PM by daf »

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #677 on: August 14, 2019, 03:49:21 PM »
'Devoted To You' - The Beach Boys' version linked above is a gem


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #678 on: August 17, 2019, 03:56:55 AM »
This is cute. I like the ventriloquist interjections. I know you say they weren't ultimately recorded by a ventriloquist BUT I can't see the Everly Brothers' mouths moving when I listen to this, so????

"Rocky Top", written in 1967, was adopted as a state song by Tennessee in 1982...

My personal favourite official Tennessee state song (we've all got to have one) is the Tennessee Bicentennial Rap.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #679 on: August 17, 2019, 04:19:17 AM »
Seems to be something Jerry Lee Lewis might have done - Couldn't find a version by the old 'Great Balls' himself, though.

Wanda Jackson's version of Party is definitive. Lulu must've been taking notes while pretending to do her homework in Glasgow.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #680 on: August 18, 2019, 01:40:48 PM »
50,000,000 Melody Maker Readers Can't be Wrong, it's . . .

99b. (MM 51.)  Elvis Presley - Stuck on You

From :  16 - 22 April 1960
Weeks : 1
Flip side : Fame and Fortune
bonus : Frank Sinatra Special

The Story So Far :
Elvis' third movie was the 1957 MGM film 'Jailhouse Rock'.

Directed by Richard Thorpe and starring Elvis Presley, Judy Tyler, and Mickey Shaughnessy. Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) and dramatized by Guy Trosper from a story written by Nedrick Young.

Vince Everett (Elvis) was sent to prison after being convicted of Manslaughter. When his cell-mate Hank Houghton, a country & western singer, recognizes Vince's singing-talent they make a contract to perform together and to share the profit. Once out of jail, Vince tries unsucessfully to get a job as singer however only after he has help from Peggy van Alden (Judy Tyler) does he achieve success and they start a record-company together. Vince seems only to be interested in fame and fortune until a confrontation with Hank. During the fight Vince's throat gets injured, which puts his career in danger. After recovering everyone rallys round to see Vince get his voice back and realise the error of his ways.

Filmed in black-and-white, the film was the first production that MGM filmed with the recently developed 35 mm anamorphic lens by Panavision. The film was originally titled The Hard Way, which was changed to Jailhouse Kid before MGM finally settled on Jailhouse Rock. It was not listed with the studio's planned releases for the year, which it published in Variety magazine, because it was based on an original story by Nedrick Young, a blacklisted writer.

Shooting of the film began on May 13, 1957, and concluded on June 17. Presley's characteristic hairstyle and sideburns were covered with a wig and makeup for the scenes in musical number and those set in the jail. During the performance, one of Presley's dental caps fell out and became lodged in his lung. He was taken to the Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, where he spent the night after the cap was removed.

Elvis' leading lady in the movie was Judy Tyler. Her father was a big band trumpeter and her mother had been a Ziegfeld Follies dancer. Judy had studied acting and dance. She had danced with the chorus line of the famous Copacabana Club and had played the role of Princess Summerfall Winterspring on the popular children's television program, 'The Howdy Doody Show'. She was a newlywed at the time she began work on 'Jailhouse Rock' with Elvis in May of 1957. Sadly, on July 3rd, soon after finishing the film, she and her husband were killed in an automobile accident during a cross-country trip.

Elvis was badly shaken by the news. When told of the accident, he broke down and cried. His reaction was disclosed to a reporter who wrote about it for the Memphis Commercial Appeal. The article revealed a pensive young man, who murmured in an unguarded moment, 'I remember the last night I saw them. They were leaving on a trip...All of us boys really loved that girl. She meant a lot to all of us. I don't believe I can stand to see the movie we made together now...'

Jailhouse Rock premiered on October 17, 1957 in Memphis, Tennessee and was released nationwide on November 8, 1957. It peaked at number 3 on the Variety box office chart, and reached number 14 in the year's box office totals, grossing $4 million.

Jailhouse Rock earned mixed reviews from critics. It was looked upon as scandalous once it was released because it portrayed Vince Everett as an anti-heroic character, presented a convict as a hero, used the word "hell" as a profanity, and included a scene showing Presley in bed with co-star Tyler.

The Parent-Teacher Association described the movie as "a hackneyed, blown-up tale with cheap human values."

The Miami News compared the film with horror movies, and said, "Only Elvis Presley and his 'Jailhouse Rock' can keep pace with the movie debut of this 'personality,' the records show. In estimating the lasting appeal of their grotesque performer."

Louise Boyca of The Schenectady Gazette wrote that "it's dear Elvis that gets the soft focus camera and the arty photography." Boyca remarked upon the low production costs of the film, and said that Presley was "in top singing and personality form."

The Gadsden Times said, "Elvis Presley not only proves himself as a dramatic actor ...  but also reveals his versatility by dancing on the screen for the first time. The movie ... also contains Elvis' unique style of singing."


Like 'Love Me Tender', a full long-playing album soundtrack was not devised for Jailhouse Rock. The title song "Jailhouse Rock" had already been released as a single on September 24, 1957, and went to #1 on the singles chart. The sixth soundtrack song "Treat Me Nice" was not included on the EP, a new recording from September 5 at Radio Recorders was instead placed as the B-side to the "Jailhouse Rock" single where it peaked at #18 on the singles chart independently.

The writing and production team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller played prominent roles in the making of the soundtrack, writing four of its songs and working closely with Presley in the studio. Other than both sides of the single and "I Want to Be Free", the fourth song by the pair "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care" became a minor standard, receiving cover versions by Buddy Holly, Cliff Richard, and Joni Mitchell.

"Don't Leave Me Now" had also appeared on the 1957 'Loving You' album, but in a different version from an earlier set of recording sessions. Also included on the EP was "Young and Beautiful", written by Aaron Schroeder and Abner Silver.

"Stuck on You" was written by Aaron Schroeder and J. Leslie McFarland. It was Elvis Presley's first hit single after his two-year stint in the US Army, reaching number one in 1960 in the US.

He recorded the song during March 1960, and the single was released within weeks and went to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late-April 1960, becoming his first number-one single of the 1960s and thirteenth overall.

In the US, the song knocked Percy Faith's "Theme from A Summer Place" from the top spot, ending its nine-week run at number one on the chart. In the UK, the record reached number three in the Record Retailer Chart, but was a number one for a week in the Melody Maker chart while Lonnie Donegan was spending his third week at the "official" Top Spot with 'My Old Man's A Dustman'.

Other Versions include : Bobby Stevens (1960)  /  "Takaan sen" by Jorma Kalenius (1960)  /  "Lach' nicht so" by Teddy Palmer (1960)  /  "Me quedé contigo" by Los Teen Tops (1960)  /  "Comme un clou" by Nicole Paquin (1961)  /  Wild Angels (1970)  /  "Comme un fou" by Johnny Hallyday (1975)  /  "J'donne des coups" by Lucky Blondo (1977)  /  Peter Gordon (1986)  /  The Residents (1989)  /  The Chaperals (1990)  /  Orion (2000)  /  The Brotherhood of St Gregory (2003)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Cliff Richard (2013)  /  Ben Pryer & The Lucky Dogs (2017)

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #681 on: August 18, 2019, 02:09:52 PM »
Stuck On You? Should have use more lube.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #682 on: August 18, 2019, 11:02:01 PM »
daf's epic project has made it abundantly clear that Elvis' contemporary imitators - yer Cliffs and what have you - didn't possess an ounce of The Monarch's natural affinity for rhythm and blues. Elvis always sounds sexy, playful and at ease when performing songs like that. Cliff et al sound like milkmen who've won a local talent competition.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #683 on: August 20, 2019, 01:25:05 AM »
The Residents' version is so clearly the only one necessary that I wish Elvis and Cliff has made a miscarriage pact in the womb and never been fucking BORN

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #684 on: August 20, 2019, 02:23:50 AM »

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #685 on: August 20, 2019, 03:22:06 PM »
How did they calculate that Elvis had 50,000,000 fans? Sounds like a figure pulled out of someone's arse.


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #686 on: August 20, 2019, 03:32:01 PM »
Ground Control to Colonel Tom, it's . . .

106b. (MM 57.)  Elvis Presley - A Mess of Blues

From :  24 - 30 September 1960
Weeks : 1
Flip side : The Girl of My Best Friend

The Story So Far :
Colonel Tom Parker was born Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk on June 26, 1909 in Breda, the Netherlands. As a boy, he worked as a barker at carnivals in his hometown. At age 15, van Kuijk moved to Rotterdam, gaining employment on boats in the port town.

At age 17, he first displayed signs of wanting to run away to America to "make his fortune." A year later, with enough money to sustain him for a short period, he entered America illegally by jumping ship from his employer's vessel. During his first visit there, he traveled with a Chautauqua educational tent show, before returning briefly to the Netherlands.

In her biography of Parker, Alanna Nash wrote that there were questions about a murder in Breda in which Parker may have been a suspect. This may have motivated him to avoid seeking a passport, as the Netherlands has an active extradition treaty with the United States, and he may have wanted to avoid arrest by Dutch authorities in that case.

He returned to America at age 20, finding work with carnivals, and enlisted in the United States Army, taking the name "Tom Parker" from the same name of the officer who interviewed him, to disguise the fact he was an illegal immigrant.

He served two years in the 64th Coast Artillery (United States), at Fort Shafter, in Hawaii, and shortly afterwards re-enlisted at Fort Barrancas, Florida. Although Parker had served honorably before, he went AWOL this time and was charged with desertion. He was punished with solitary confinement, from which he emerged with a psychosis that led to two months in a mental hospital, and he was discharged from the Army because of his mental condition.

Parker first became involved in the music industry as a music promoter in 1938, working with popular singer Gene Austin. Despite having sold over 86 million records since 1924 and earning over $17 million, Austin's career had hit a bad patch. He had wasted much of his fortune on partying, cars, mansions, and women.

In 1945, Parker became Arnold's full-time manager, signing a contract for 25% of the star's earnings. Over the next few years he would help Arnold secure hit songs, television appearances, and live tours.

In 1948, Parker received the rank of colonel in the Louisiana State Militia from Jimmie Davis, the governor of Louisiana and a former country singer, in return for work Parker did on Davis's election campaign. The rank was honorary, since Louisiana had no organized militia, but Parker used the title throughout his life, becoming known simply as "the Colonel" to many acquaintances.

In early 1955, Parker became aware of a young singer named Elvis Presley. Presley had a singing style different from the current trend, and Parker was immediately interested in the future of this musical style.

Presley's first manager was Scotty Moore, the guitarist in his band, who was encouraged by Sun Records owner Sam Phillips to become his manager to protect Elvis from unscrupulous music promoters. In the beginning, Presley, Moore, and the bassist Bill Black were a trio, the Blue Moon Boys. However, when Presley signed a recording contract with Phillips, Moore and Black were excluded from the contract. Phillips told them to make a separate deal with Elvis. According to Moore, Presley agreed to take 50 percent, and Moore and Black would split the other 50 percent.

Moore's one-year management contract with Presley provided him with a 10-percent commission, which Moore said he never took. The contract, dated July 12, 1954, eight days after their first recording session, was signed by Presley and his parents. When the contract expired, the Memphis radio personality Bob Neal stepped in and made a deal with Phillips to become Presley's manager. At that point, Moore and Black had no contractual ties to either Phillips or Presley. Neal was struggling at the time to accommodate his new client's success, and in February 1955, following a meeting with Parker, Presley agreed to let Parker take some control of future bookings and promotions.

Parker and Neal worked together to promote Presley, using their own Hank Snow Tour to book him and tour him. Although Neal remained Presley's official manager, Parker was becoming increasingly involved in the running of his career, and by the summer of 1955 he had become Presley's "special advisor." Part of Parker's role was to secure a new recording contract with a bigger label. Presley had been at Sun Records since the beginning of his career, but Sam Phillips, the owner of Presley's current label, was aware that for Presley to have any kind of a successful future in the business he would need the backing of a much larger label. Despite this, Phillips was not keen to let him go easily, advising Parker that he would require $40,000 to secure the release of Presley's contract, a completely unheard-of sum at the time.

Parker immediately went to work to find a new label for Presley. Both Mercury Records and Columbia Records showed interest, although their initial offers were nowhere near the $40,000 requirement. However, RCA Victor producer Steve Sholes was convinced that Presley's style of music would be a huge hit with the right label, and he began talks with Parker.

In November, Parker and Snow persuaded RCA to buy Presley out from Sun for $40,000, and on November 21, Presley's contract was officially transferred from Sun Records to RCA Victor. Snow attended the signing, thinking that Elvis had signed a management contract with Jamboree Attractions, which he owned with Parker. However, that was not the case since Elvis was still under contract to Bob Neal. The only document that was signed on November 21 pertained to the record label transfer.

On March 26, 1956, after Presley's management contract with Neal had expired, the singer signed a contract with Parker that made him his exclusive representative. Later, when Hank Snow asked Parker about the status of their contract with Presley, Parker told him, "You don't have any contract with Elvis Presley. Elvis is signed exclusively to the Colonel."

With his first RCA Victor single, "Heartbreak Hotel", in 1956, Presley became a recording star. Parker arranged for Presley to appear on popular television shows, such as The Milton Berle Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, securing fees that made him the highest-paid star on television. By the summer Presley had become one of the most famous new faces of the year, causing excitement among the new teenage audience and outrage among some older audiences and religious groups.

Parker signed a merchandising deal with Beverly Hills film merchandiser Hank Saperstein for nearly $40,000 to turn Presley into a brand name. With over 78 different ranges, from charm bracelets to record players, Presley merchandise had brought in $22 million by the end of 1956.

In April 1956, Parker made his first mistake with Presley's career. He had booked him into a four-week Las Vegas engagement, misjudging the reaction of the slightly older, more reserved audiences that Las Vegas attracted. While Presley was a hit among the youth of America, the middle-aged audiences found him to be something of an oddity. After a very cool reception during his first few shows, Parker cut Presley's appearance to two weeks. Presley would later remember the event as one of the worst moments of his career.

Despite this hiccup in his career, Presley was still going from strength to strength. He had expressed interest in making films when he first met Parker, and now Parker was working to make that happen. He arranged for a screen test with Paramount Pictures, and after impressing them with his acting ability, Presley was signed to a seven-picture contract.

In January 1958 Presley received his draft notice from the United States Army. He was upset about the possibility of it affecting his career, but Parker was secretly overjoyed. Presley had been showing signs of rebellion against him recently, and Parker believed that a stint in the Army would cure him of this.

While Presley was serving in West Germany, Parker was hard at work keeping his name known to the public. He realized that by keeping RCA, and more importantly the public, hungry for more Presley material, he would be able to negotiate a better contract for him when he returned from active service. He had arranged for Presley to record five singles before his induction, guaranteeing RCA enough material to release over a two-year period. RCA was eager for Presley to record in Germany, but Parker insisted that it would ruin his reputation as a regular soldier if he was able to go into a recording studio and sing.

Parker appeared to be in complete control during Presley's time away, but he was worried about the outside influence that Presley might come across in Germany. Parker had declined to travel to Europe, denying that he spoke any language other than English. He sent Presley's friends to keep him company, arranged for business associates to watch over him while they were working in Europe, and kept in regular contact with him via telephone and letter.

Frank Sinatra, who had declared Presley and rock and roll a disgrace in the 1950s, was keen to have him appear on his show. Parker, not one to forget harsh criticism, stated that the fee would be $125,000 for two songs, a total of eight minutes on screen; Sinatra himself was receiving a lower sum for the whole show, but he agreed. The show, entitled “Welcome Home, Elvis”, was Presley's first national television appearance since The Ed Sullivan Show in January 1957.

After the Sinatra special, Parker decided that Presley's future lay in Hollywood. Parker signed long-term contracts with the film studios, possibly to guarantee work and income for both him and Presley. This was, with hindsight, a mistake on his part; if he had negotiated each deal separately based on the profits of the previous film, he could have received more money.

Presley had to do no more than provide RCA with three albums a year, and his film soundtracks did that for him. With no touring or public appearances to be made, Parker was able to keep costs to a minimum. For the first few years Presley's films were somewhat successful, his albums topped the charts, and any singles that were released were mostly hits. But as time went on, as The Beatles began their dominance of the music charts, Presley became less and less successful. His films still made money and his albums still sold well, but the profits were falling. This led Parker to insist that films be made cheaply, on a strict schedule, and with as little hassle as possible.

For the remainder of the 1960s, Presley made films that relied heavily on exotic locations and mundane songs, and he was tied into contracts that he could not escape. Parker did not appear to care if the films were good or bad but only about the profits. When Presley complained to him that he wanted better scripts, Parker reminded him of his lavish lifestyle and that risking $1 million a year for doing practically no work was dangerous. Presley's career stagnated while artists like The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, The Dave Clark Five and The Brumbeats dominated the charts.

"A Mess of Blues" was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.

At Noon, 20 March 1960, Elvis, his entourage, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana (But not Bill Black, who never played with Elvis again) took a charted bus to Nashville for a session at RCA's Studio B, whose recoding facilities had been upgraded with a three track machine. They were joined by the Jordanaires, Colonel Parker and RCA's new chief studio engineer, Bill Porter.

It was recorded on 21 March 1960, and featured Elvis on lead vocals and acoustic rhythm guitar, Scotty Moore on lead guitar and D. J. Fontana on drums. Also performing on the track were Hank Garland - bass guitar  /  Bob Moore - double bass  /  Floyd Cramer - piano  / Buddy Harman - drums  /  and The Jordanaires on backing vocals.

Originally released in the US in July 1960 as the B-side to 'It's Now Or Never', it became the A-side in the UK, (featuring a different B side - 'The Girl of My Best Friend'), as the British release of 'It's Now or Never' was delayed for some time because of rights issues.

As the B-side to "It's Now or Never", "A Mess of Blues" reached number 32 in the U.S. As the UK A-side, it peaked at number 2 in the rotten old Record Retailer 'Granny Takes a Nap Official' chart in August 1960, while topping the 'Wicked and Skills' Melody Maker Chart for a week at the end of September 1960.

Other Versions include : Bobby Stevens (1960)  /  "C'est tout comme" by Les Chaussettes Noires (1961)  /  Peter & Gordon (1964)  /  Lee Curtis & The All-Stars (1965)  /  Coloured Balls (1973)  /  The Riot Rockers (1976)  /  Delbert McClinton (1979)  /  Alexis Korner & Friends (1979)  /  Status Quo (1983)  /  Terry Dene (1983)  /  "Jäljelle jää vain blues" by Kari Peitsamo Revival (1984)  /  ‎Elkie Brooks (1987)  /  Henning Stærk (1989)  /  Jean Vincent & Her Band (1991)  /  Lee Towers (1994)  /  John Hiatt (1995)  /  Bill Hurley (1995)  /  Frantic Flintstones (1999)  /  "Loputon blues" by Topi Sorsakoski (2000)  /  Sébi Lee (1999)  /  Tom Jones & Jools Holland (2004)  /  Jeff Healey (2008)  /  Henry McCullough (2008)  /  Kingcats (2008)  /  Burt & The King Creoles (2010)  /  Colin Tribe (2010) (Pumus!)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Joe Var Veri (2012)  /  Lara Collinge (2015)  /  Susan Surftone (2016)  /  Yvan Jacques (2018)  /  Bjoern Angermann (2018)
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 04:58:08 PM by daf »


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Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #687 on: August 20, 2019, 03:56:24 PM »
How did they calculate that Elvis had 50,000,000 fans? Sounds like a figure pulled out of someone's arse.

See above ^ notes for the probable arse responsible for the claim!

In 1959 RCA put total sales at 50 million

Which means the only way you could get '50 million' fans from that is if you assumed each fan only ever bought one record by Elvis . . . which is, frankly, ludicrous!

Lets say most fans had bought 5 elvis singles by 1959, that plonks it down to 10 million maximum, and I can imagine there'd be people who bought a LOT more than that!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 04:21:31 PM by daf »

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #688 on: August 20, 2019, 04:52:43 PM »
How did they calculate that Elvis had 50,000,000 fans? Sounds like a figure pulled out of someone's arse.

Colonel Parker's arse, the most heinous arse of all.

Re: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s
« Reply #689 on: August 20, 2019, 11:32:14 PM »
Stuck On You and A Mess of Blues were both from Elvis's first recording session of the 60s:

The Jordinaires get a credit on the label: