Author Topic: The Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 1 - The 50s  (Read 31634 times)


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Yeah, that must have been pretty exciting in 1957.

Still prefer the Judy Nylon version though.


  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Yeah, that must have been pretty exciting in 1957.

It still sounds exciting now.


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
I wasn't excited by it, it has to be said. But I can totally appreciate it in context, which, as I said earlier in the thread, was totally alien to me in the past. This thread alone has given me a much bigger appreciation of rock 'n' roll than I ever had before.

Captain Z

In 20 years of collecting records I've never been quite sure what "B/W" stands for. I thought I had an idea but that Elvis record has "C/W" and my head hurts.


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I like the DER DERRRRRR. DER DERRRRRR. DER DERRRRRR. DER DERRRRRR. bridge bits, and immediately lose interest every time it properly gets going again.

Slightly baffled that I clearly know the song and know it's one of Elvis Presley's big iconic hits, but I don't recognise the voice as Elvis's at all. Just some yelpy feller. Is this just Elvignorance on my part, or did his voice settle into the permabaritone moo I know later in his career?

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Elvis had an incredibly varied vocal range. His imitators tend to focus on the Vegas baritone because it's easy (even though his voice during the height of that era was richer and more nuanced than the "uh huh huh, thankgyouvermudge" stereotype).

His spooky falsetto version of Blue Moon is stunning.

Here he is digging some deep, dirty blues.

And crooning sweetly.

And belting out some pop-opera.

And singing from the depths of his soul in the wake of Martin Luther King's murder.

He is, without doubt, one of the greatest, most versatile singers who ever drew breath. Face facts, Sinatra.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

  • a hopeless vanity... a stupefyingly futile conceit
Handsome fucker, too.


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In 20 years of collecting records I've never been quite sure what "B/W" stands for. I thought I had an idea but that Elvis record has "C/W" and my head hurts.
B/W = Backed With
C/W = Coupled With
They are just two different ways of referring to the minor track on the record (which later became known as the B-side). As mentioned earlier in the thread, we are still a few years away from the point the record labels started using A and B side to refer to the tracks on the disc (1961 is when that started), so referring to the minor track on the record with 'b/w' or 'c/w' was the method of telling DJs to concentrate on the main track for radio play.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Hot Diggity, Dog Ziggity, BOOM!, its . . .

68.  Michael Holliday - The Story Of My Life

From : February 9 – 22 1958
Weeks : 2
Flip side : Keep Your Heart

Norman Alexander Milne, known professionally as Michael Holliday, was born 26 November 1924 in Liverpool, and brought up in the Kirkdale district of the city. His career in music began after he won an amateur talent contest, 'New Voices of Merseyside', at the Locarno Ballroom, West Derby Road, Newsham, Liverpool.

According to Elvis Costello, while working as a seaman in the Merchant Navy, Holliday used to smuggle obscure U.S. jazz records into the UK, where Costello's mother sold them. Finding himself in the U.S. as a seaman, he was persuaded to enter a talent contest at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and again he won, inspiring him to seek a career in show business. In 1951, he secured two summer seasons' work as a vocalist with Dick Denny's band at Butlin's Holiday Camp, Pwllheli.

In March 1953, he joined the Eric Winstone Band, another Butlin's contracted band that toured when the summer season's work was over. They also broadcast occasionally on BBC Radio.

In December 1954, Holliday wrote to the BBC requesting a TV audition. His audition came in April 1955 and he made his first TV appearance on The Centre Show on 22 July 1955. This TV performance was seen by Norrie Paramor, then head of A&R for EMI's Columbia record label, who signed him as a solo artist. He also sang "Four Feather Falls", the theme tune to the puppet-based television programme of the same name produced by Gerry Anderson.

"Nothin' to Do" was his first Top 30 hit, in March of 1956, and he made the Top 20 with the double-sided hit of "The Gal With Yeller Shoes" and "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity)" later that same year.

Holliday's chart action for the next year was relatively modest, his covers of songs such as "Love Is Strange," "Four Walls," and "Old Cape Cod" performing unexceptionally. At the end of 1957, however, he recorded an early Burt Bacharach/Hal David composition called "The Story of My Life," which had already been a hit in America for Marty Robbins, which soared to number one in England in a 15-week ride on the charts, overcoming three competing British versions.

Holliday also showed an unexpected ability as a composer, getting one of his own songs onto the B-side. With his soothing vocal style and good looks, Holliday seemed a natural for a screen career, but apart from an acting role in Val Guest's comedy Life Is a Circus, he never tried for a big-screen career. On television, however, he was a regular guest on variety programs, and also had his own program, called (appropriately enough) Relax With Mike. He enjoyed further modest hits with "In Love" and "I'll Always Be in Love With You" and once again soared on the U.K. charts with "Stairway of Love," a 13-week entry that hit number three in May 1958.

"The Story of My Life" was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and became a 1957 hit for US country singer Marty Robbins, which reached number fifteen on US chart and number two in Australia. In February 1958, a cover version recorded by Michael Holliday reached No.1 in the UK Singles Chart.

In 2004 it was used as theme music for Peter de Lane Rob Brydon's rib-tickling Director's Commentary Series on ITV.

Other versions include : Alma Cogan (1958) /  Gary Miller (1958)  / Dave King (1958)  / Terry Wogan (1978)  / Don Williams (1983)

On This Day :
13 February : Christabel Pankhurst, (suffragette), died age 77
16 February : Ice-T, (rapper), born in Newark, New Jersey
19 February : Carl Perkins leaves Sun Records for Columbia Records
21 February : The "peace symbol" is designed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by the CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament)


  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Ice-T is 61!


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
They liked their whistling in the '50s, didn't they?


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This is Burt Bacharach's first #1, so I could probably find something to like in it if I really squint my ears. It's just a shame nobody thought to exterminate all those backing vocalists and whistlers before it was recorded.

Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity), on the other hand, pops diggity the fuck off ziggity.


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Hot Diggity, Dog Ziggity, BOOM!, its . . .

68.  Michael Holliday - The Story Of My Life

Michael Holliday is the artist that is a distant relation of mine, as mentioned way back in the thread. He was my dad's second cousin, and back when he was still known as Norman Milne he lived at the opposite end of Scotland Road from my dad's family. I have a tray in the loft that has a picture of Rio de Janeiro's beachfront made using butterly wings that he brought my nan back from one of his voyages with 'The Merch'.

One of his early singles was a cover of Sixteen Tons, which didn't chart, unsurprisingly as his Bing Crosby crooning style doesn't suit the song and  it's pretty weak compared to the Tennessee Ernie Ford or Frankie Laine versions.

As daf mentioned, Holliday sang the theme tune to the early Gerry Anderson puppet series Four Feather Falls. Gary Miiller, who also covered The Story Of My Life, later went on to sing the end title theme for Stingray (Aqua Marina).

Holliday's cover of Story... has a couple of distinct differences to the Robbins original and Miller cover, in that it's at a faster tempo and a higher key. Norrie Paramour had arranged and produced all of Holliday's recording sessions up to this point, but for this track he handed it over to his deputy Mike Jones, and he made the decision to up the tempo and key, forcing Holliday to abandon his usual bass-baritone Crosby-imitating style. It took 12 takes to get a version that Jones and Paramour were happy with.

daf may mention it in the future, but unfortunately Michael Holliday's story doesn't end happily I'm afraid.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
daf may mention it in the future, but unfortunately Michael Holliday's story doesn't end happily I'm afraid.

Yes, he had two UK number ones, so the rest of his life and career will be covered in the next one.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Bagsies the Toffee Penny!, its . . .

69.  Perry Como - Magic Moments

From : 23 February – 19 April 1958
Weeks : 8
Flip side : Catch A Falling Star

Pierino Ronald Como was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania on 18 May, 1912.

In 1932, Como left Canonsburg, moving about 100 miles away to Meadville, Pennsylvania, where his uncle had a barber shop in the Hotel Conneaut. Around 80 miles from Cleveland, it was a popular stop on the itinerary for dance bands who worked up and down the Ohio Valley. Como, Roselle, and their friends had gone to nearby Cleveland; their good times took them to the Silver Slipper Ballroom where Freddy Carlone and his orchestra were playing. Carlone invited anyone who thought he might have talent to come up and sing with his band. Carlone was so impressed with Como's performance that he immediately offered him a job. On July 31, 1933, Como joined Freddy Carlone's band and began working with them.

Three years after joining the Carlone band, Como moved to Ted Weems's Orchestra. Como's first recording with the Weems band was a novelty tune called "You Can't Pull the Wool Over My Eyes", recorded for the Decca Records label in May, 1936.

In late 1942, Como made the decision to quit the Weems band. He returned to Canonsburg, tired of life on the road without his wife and young son. Como received an offer to become a Frank Sinatra imitator, but chose to keep his own style. While Perry was negotiating for a store lease to re-open a barber shop, he received a call from Tommy Rockwell at General Artists Corporation, who was offering him his own radio show and offering to get him a recording contract. Rockwell's next move was to book Como into the renowned Copacabana Night Club for two weeks beginning on June 10, 1943. One week later he signed his first RCA Victor contract and three days after that cut his first record for the company, "Goodbye, Sue".

On December 11, 1944, he moved from CBS to NBC for a new radio program, Chesterfield Supper Club. The April 5, 1946, broadcasts of the Chesterfield Supper Club took place 20,000 feet in the air; these were the first known instances of a complete radio show being presented from an airplane. Como, Jo Stafford, the Lloyd Shaffer Orchestra and the entire "Supper Club" crew made the flights for the shows.

Perry Como made the move to television when NBC initially televised the Chesterfield Supper Club radio program on December 24, 1948.  On September 8, 1949, it became a weekly half-hour offering on Sunday nights, directly opposite Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town.

In 1950, Perry moved to CBS and the show's title was changed to The Perry Como Chesterfield Show, again sponsored by Liggett & Myers' Chesterfield cigarettes. Como hosted this informal 15 minute musical variety series on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, immediately following the CBS Television News.

He moved back to NBC with a weekly hour-long variety show featuring additional musical and production numbers, comedy sketches and guest stars called The Perry Como Show, premiering Saturday, September 17, 1955. Como's "Dream Along With Me" became the show's opening theme song. The "Sing to me, Mr. C." segment with Como seated on a stool singing viewer requested songs had its roots in the first television broadcasts of Chesterfield Supper Club. When cameras entered the "Supper Club" radio studio, they found Como and his guests sitting on stools behind music stands. The show's closing theme was, "You Are Never Far Away From Me".
In 1959, Como moved to Wednesday nights, hosting Perry Como's Kraft Music Hall weekly for the next four years.

Between his two number ones, Como scored several other UK hits, including from 1954 : Wanted (#4),  Idle Gossip (#3),  Papa Loves Mambo  (#16), and from 1956 :  Hot Diggity (#4) and More (#10).

Thanks to the British Invasion led by the Dave Clark Five and the "Tottenham Sound", Como only graced the UK charts twice in the sixties - with Delaware (#3) in 1960, and Caterina (#37) in 1962.

After concentrating on his television show for most of the 60's, Como, who had not made a night club appearance in 26 years, accepted an engagement at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in June 1970, which also resulted in his first "live" album, Perry Como in Person at the International Hotel, Las Vegas.

The early 70's found him back in the charts, hitting the high spots with It's Impossible (#4) from 1971, And I Love You So (#3) , and For The Good Times (#7) both from 1973.

In May 1974, he embarked on his first concert appearance outside of the United States, a show at the London Palladium for the Variety Club of Great Britain to aid children's charities.

Como died in his sleep on May 12, 2001, at his home in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida, six days before his 89th birthday.

"Magic Moments" was written by Burt Bacharach (music) and Hal David (lyrics), one of the first compositions by that duo.

The biggest hit version of the song was recorded by Perry Como and released by RCA Victor in December 1957, becoming a hit early in 1958. The song was also a hit in Italy, while in the United Kingdom it spent eight weeks at number one in the UK Singles Chart, becoming Como's biggest ever hit there.

Other versions include : Ronnie Hilton (1958)  /  Bing Crosby (1958)  /  Amanda Lear (1985)  /  Erasure (1997)

This song was used in the television commercial for Quality Street chocolates in the 1980s and continues to be used each year for the brand's Christmas advertisements.

On This Day :
23 February : David Sylvian, (Japan), born in Beckenham, London
23 February : Cuban rebels kidnap five-time world driving champion Juan Manuel Fangio, releasing him 28 hours later.
25 February : Bertrand Russell launches the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
1 March : Nik Kershaw, singer/songwriter, born in Bristol
5 March :  Andy Gibb, (4th Bee Gee brother), born in Manchester
7 March : Rik Mayall, comedian, born in Epping, Essex
8 March : Gary Numan, born in Hammersmith, London
9 March : Martin Fry, (ABC), born in Stretford, Lancashire
12 March : 3rd Eurovision Song Contest: Andre Claveau for France wins singing "Dors, mon amour" in Hilversum
15 March : "Body Beautiful" musical closes at Broadway Theater NYC after 60 performances
22 March : Pete Wylie, (The Mighty Wah!), born in Liverpool
24 March : Elvis Presley joins the army (serial number 53310761)
26 March : 'The Bridge on the River Kwai' wins the Oscar for Best Picture at the 30th Academy Awards ceremony.
27 March : Nikita Khrushchev becomes Premier of the Soviet Union.
27 March : CBS Labs announce new stereophonic records
28 March : W. C. Handy, "Father of the Blues", dies of bronchial pneumonia at 84
1 April : The BBC Radiophonic Workshop is established.
11 April : Stuart Adamson, (Big Country), born in Manchester
12 April : Will Sergeant, (Echo & The Bunnymen), born in Liverpool
14 April : The satellite Sputnik 2 (launched 3 November 1957, piloted by space-dog Laika) disintegrates during re-entry from orbit.
14 April : Peter Capaldi, (12th Doctor Who), born in Glasgow
15 April : Benjamin Zephaniah, (poet), born in Handsworth, Birmingham
18 April : Les Pattinson, (Echo & The Bunnymen), born in Ormskirk, Lancashire
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 03:11:42 PM by daf »

I never realized that Bacharach and David had two Number Ones in a row. Is this the first time any writer(s) did so?

Dr Rock

  • The BEST of luck!
I like Perry Como, he's got a nice voice and some of his 70s stuff is really good.

It's Impossible


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The very second I put this on for a listen, I heard my cat WAILING her little tits off, and found her desperately trying to get in the bathroom, which we keep closed because she will shit and piss all over it if it's left open for a second despite her having a perfectly good garden and cat flap. Still listening to the song on my phone, I picked her up and carried her downstairs as she thrashed and yowled maniacally, then took her outside so she could shit or piss there. It's raining, so reluctantly and furiously, she sped to the nearest plantpot and dispensed an immense, neverending turd into it.

Anyway, I've found that standing outside in the pissing-down rain overseeing your distressed cat doing a shit in a pot is exactly how Perry Como's 'Magic Moments' is meant to be experienced.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 01:51:44 PM by machotrouts »


  • some weirdo taking the piss
With this terrible pain in all the diodes down his left side, its . . .

70.  Marvin Rainwater - Whole Lotta Woman

From : 20 April – 10 May 1958
Weeks : 3
Flip side : Baby, Don't Go

Marvin Karlton Rainwater was born on 2 July, 1925 in Wichita, Kansas, to Stella (née Miller) and Cicero Percy Rainwater, and grew up during the Great Depression. As a child, instead of listening to the Grand Ole Opry with his father, he took classical piano lessons, which ended after he lost part of his right thumb to a work accident as a teenager. He originally trained to be a veterinarian, but after some time in the Navy during World War II took up the guitar.

He became fascinated with Roy Acuff and started playing and writing songs. With his brothers, he played concerts around Virginia.  Rising guitarist Roy Clark worked with Rainwater and together they cut a few demos for 4 Star Records. Pop singer Teresa Brewer turned one of his compositions, "I Gotta Go Get My Baby", into a big hit.

He won first place on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts on May 9, 1955, and had a regular role on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee for several years in Springfield, Missouri beginning in 1955. He signed with MGM Records and recorded a series of songs for the label, including the peppy number, "Hot and Cold".

One of the first country songs he recorded was "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird", which he wrote. Released in 1957, the song became a big country-pop crossover hit, making Rainwater among the first country singers to appeal to a pop market. The song reached No. 18 on the pop chart, and gave Rainwater his first gold record. "The Majesty of Love" was a duet with Connie Francis, which also sold over one million copies.

His next single, "So You Think You Got Troubles", was a successful follow-up on the country charts, but not on the pop charts. His self-penned "Whole Lotta Woman" reached UK No. 1 for three weeks in April and May 1958. A second UK single, "I Dig You Baby", made No. 19 in June 1958. "Nothin' Needs Nothin' (Like I Need You)" missed the UK Top Thirty chart, but returned him to the US Country chart.

In 1959, he added three more gold records: "My Love Is Real", "My Brand Of Blues" and "Half Breed" (A cover version of a John D. Loudermilk song,) all sold in excess of one million records. In 1959, Rainwater recorded another Loudermilk song, "The Pale Faced Indian". His original version went unnoticed, but later efforts by Don Fardon and Paul Revere & The Raiders under the title "Indian Reservation" were hits.

By the end of the 50's, his voice began to give out, and he developed calluses on his vocal cords. As a result, Rainwater and MGM Records parted ways in 1960. He went into brief retirement to rest his voice and then recorded sporadically for Warwick Records (United Kingdom), although without any hits.

In the 1970s, Rainwater developed throat cancer, from which he slowly recovered, and moved to Aitkin, Minnesota. He appeared occasionally at rockabilly festivals in Europe and was still loved by many fans.

He died of heart failure on September 17, 2013, in Minneapolis.

Legendary UK guitarist Hank Marvin derived his stage surname in honor of Marvin Rainwater.

"Whole Lotta Woman" was written and originally performed by American country and rockabilly singer Marvin Rainwater. It was released as a single by MGM Records in January 1958.

The song was recorded in December 1957 at the Bradley Film and Recording Studio in Nashville, Tennessee, United States. Session musicians were Hank Garland (guitar), Grady Martin (guitar), Floyd "Lightnin'" Chance (bass), Buddy Harman (drums), and Floyd Cramer (piano). The session was produced by Jim Vienneau.

The record reached no. 15 on the country chart, and no. 60 on the US pop chart. However, it was far more successful in the United Kingdom, where it reached the no. 1 position on 25 April, replacing Perry Como's "Magic Moments". Rainwater toured in the UK to promote the record, starting on 20 April 1958.

On This Day :
21 April : Mike Barson, (Madness), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
25 April : Fish [Derek William Dick], (Marillion), born in Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland
3 May : Sandi Toksvig, (Number 73), born in Copenhagen, Denmark
4 May : Keith Haring, (graffiti artist), born in Reading, Pennsylvania
8 May : "Dracula" starring Christopher Lee, directed by Terence Fisher is the first Hammer Horror film released
9 May : "Vertigo" directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, is released
9 May : Paul Robeson, whose passport has been reinstated, sings in a sold-out one-man recital at Carnegie Hall.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
I've found that standing outside in the pissing-down rain overseeing your distressed cat doing a shit in a pot is exactly how Perry Como's 'Magic Moments' is meant to be experienced.

I'll never forget
The cat had a shit
right there in the plant pot

Now soaked to the skin
We carried her in
Still wailing her tits off

Ma-a-a-gic Mo-ments
machotrouts has been sharing

Ma-a-a-gic plant pot
Filled with turds

The b-side is much stronger than the a-side on this Rainwater one. He's really a country singer jumping on the rock and roll bandwagon.

Going back to #52 and #53, Ray Conniff and his Orchestra and the Ray Conniff Singers are on both recordings* and are thus, as far as we know, the first artist or ensemble to perform on two consecutive Number 1s.

*Johnnie Ray, Just Walking In The Rain, and Guy Mitchell, Singing The Blues


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
'Magic Moments' is indeed a lovely song. And, of course, slowed down a little it becomes 'Kingston Town' by Lord Creator / UB40.

'Whole Lotta Woman' has a nice twangy guitar / piano solo, but otherwise sounds a bit feeble in context of the other rock'n'roll we've had.


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I'm trying to assess this before daf posts the next #1, but the internet keeps cutting out here. It seems like a very stop-start song as it is – perhaps my connection's just playing along?

Definitely overshadowed a bit in the "Whole Lotta ___" canon. It's no Love/Rosie/History/Shakin' Goin' On. I don't actually remember how at least 2 of those songs go but it's too late now isn't it.


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Language Timothy!, its . . .

71.  Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now

From : 11 May – 21 June 1958
Weeks : 6
Flip side : You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)

Connie Francis was born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, on December 12 1938, in the Italian Down Neck, or Ironbound, neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey.

Growing up in an Italian-Jewish neighborhood, Francis became fluent in Yiddish, which would lead her later to record songs in Yiddish and Hebrew. She was encouraged by her father to appear regularly at talent contests, pageants, and other neighborhood festivities from the age of four as a singer and accordion player, appearing alternately as Concetta Franconero and Connie Franconero. Under the latter name, she also appeared on NBC's variety show Startime Kids between 1953 and 1955.

During the rehearsals for her appearance on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, Francis was advised by Godfrey to change her stage name to Connie Francis for the sake of easier pronunciation. Godfrey also told her to drop the accordion. Around the same time, Francis took a job as a singer on demonstration records.

In 1955, Startime Kids went off the air. In May that same year, George Franconero Sr. and Francis' manager George Scheck raised money for a recording session of four songs which they hoped to sell to a major record company under Francis' own name. The story goes that every record label they tried turned her down, mainly because, as a demo singer, Francis could copy other popular singers of the day like Kitty Kallen or Kay Starr, but had not yet developed a distinctive sound of her own.

Finally, even when MGM Records decided to sign a contract with her, it was basically because one track she had recorded, "Freddy", happened to be the name of the son of a company co-executive, Harry A. Meyerson, who thought of this song as a nice birthday gift. Hence, "Freddy" was released as Francis' first single, which turned out to be a commercial failure, just as her following eight solo singles were. Despite these failures, Francis was hired to record the vocals for Tuesday Weld's "singing" scenes in the 1956 movie 'Rock, Rock, Rock,' and for Freda Holloway in the 1957 Warner Brothers rock and roll movie 'Jamboree'.

In 1957, Francis enjoyed her first chart success with a duet single she had recorded with Marvin Rainwater: "The Majesty of Love", backed with "You, My Darlin' You". However, her minor chart success came too late –  Francis was informed by MGM Records that her contract would not be renewed after her last solo single.

Francis considered a career in medicine and was about to accept a four-year scholarship offered at New York University. At what was to have been her final recording session for MGM on October 2, 1957, she recorded a cover version of the 1923 song "Who's Sorry Now?", written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. The single seemed to go unnoticed like all previous releases, just as Francis had predicted, but on January 1, 1958, it debuted on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and on February 15 of that same year, Francis performed it on the first episode of The Saturday Night Beechnut Show, also hosted by Clark. By mid-year, over a million copies had been sold, and Francis was suddenly launched into worldwide stardom. In April 1958, "Who's Sorry Now" reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and number 4 in the US. For the next four years, Francis was voted the "Best Female Vocalist" by American Bandstand viewers.

"Who's Sorry Now?" was written by written by Ted Snyder (music) and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby. It was published in 1923, when Isham Jones took it to number three. Other popular versions in 1923 were by Marion Harris, Original Memphis Five, and Irving Kaufman.

"Who's Sorry Now?" was also featured in the Marx Brothers film A Night in Casablanca (1946) sung by Lisette Verea. It was also used in the 1950 film Three Little Words when it was sung by Gloria DeHaven.

"Who's Sorry Now?" was recorded in 1957 by Connie Francis. Since 1955, Francis had recorded 20 sides for MGM Records, and due to her near-complete failure as a recording artist, MGM informed her that her contract would end after one more disc. With her music career on the line, Francis's father suggested she record "Who's Sorry Now". He was convinced it stood a chance of becoming a hit because it was a song adults already knew and that teenagers would dance to if it had a contemporary arrangement. Francis strongly objected to the idea on the grounds that selling the youth audience on an almost 35-year-old song was "ridiculous", but she finally agreed to it as a favor to her father. After Dick Clark's championing of it on American Bandstand in January 1958, the single rose to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 that spring, with eventual US sales totaling one million units. In the UK, it was number 1 for six weeks in May and June 1958.

Other versions include : 
    Bing Crosby (1945)   /  Johnnie Ray (1956)  /  Pat Boone (1960)   /  Paul Anka (1963)
    Spanky Wilson (1969)  /  Jerry Lee Lewis (1977)  /  Willie Nelson (1981)   /  Marie Osmond (1975)

On This Day :
15 May : USSR launches Sputnik III
16 May : Glenn Gregory, (Heaven 17), born in Sheffield
18 May : Toyah Wilcox, born in Birmingham
19 May : British actor Ronald Colman finally reaches his "Lost Horizon" by dying at 67
19 May : "South Pacific" soundtrack album goes #1 and stays at the top spot for 31 weeks
20 May : Jane Wiedlin, (The Go-Go's) born in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, USA
23 May : Mao Zedong starts the "Great Leap Forward" movement in China
25 May : Paul Weller, (The Jam), born in Woking, Surrey
27 May : Neil Finn, (Crowded House), born in Te Awamutu, New Zealand
1 June : Charles de Gaulle is brought out of retirement to lead France by decree for 6 months.
7 June : Prince (Rogers Nelson), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota
9 June : Queen Elizabeth II officially opens London Gatwick Airport at Crawley, West Sussex
9 June : And it's "Goodbye Mr Chips" for Robert Donat, British actor, who hangs up his Earthly mortar board at 53


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Not bad for a 96-year-old song recorded by someone continually rejected by labels for not having a personality.

The modern equivalent would be breaking through with a cover of [googles #3 hits of 1984] "That's Livin' Alright (from the TV series Auf Widersehn, Pet)".


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Is Vic There?, its . . .

72.  Vic Damone - On The Street Where You Live

From : 22 - 29 June 1958 (1)
       + 29 June - 5 July 1958 (1) [joint #1]
Weeks : 2
Flip side : Arrivederci, Roma (Goodbye To Rome)

Born Vito Rocco Farinola on 12 June 1928 in Brooklyn, New York, to Rocco and Mamie (Damone) Farinola, Italian emigrants from Bari, Italy. Inspired by his favourite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons.

Damone entered the talent search on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts and won in April 1947. This led to his becoming a regular on Godfrey's show. He met Milton Berle at the studio and Berle got him work at two night clubs. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records.

His first release, "I Have But One Heart", reached number seven on the Billboard chart. "You Do" reached the same peak. These were followed by a number of other hits. In 1948, he got his own weekly radio show, Saturday Night Serenade.

In April 1949 he made his television debut on The Morey Amsterdam Show performing Cole Porter's "So in Love". In January 1950 he made his first of several guest appearances on Ed Sullivan's Toast of the Town, including a duet, the first of many, with the vocalist and future TV hostess Dinah Shore. Over the next 30 years he became a regular featured guest performer on every major variety series on network television.

In 1955, Damone had one song on the charts, "Por Favor", which did not make it above number 73. In early 1956, he moved from Mercury to Columbia Records, and had some success on that label with hits such as "On the Street Where You Live" and "An Affair to Remember".

In 1965, Damone next moved to Warner Bros. Records with the albums You Were Only Fooling and Country Love Songs. On Warner Bros., he had one top 100 chart hit: "You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)".  In 1969, he released his last US chart record, a cover of PJ Proby's "To Make A Big Man Cry".

In 1971, Damone started playing Las Vegas casinos as a performer, and although he had to declare bankruptcy in the early 1970s, he earned enough as a casino performer to clear up his financial difficulties. 

In 1972, he was offered the role of Johnny Fontane in The Godfather. The role ultimately went to Al Martino, as Damone turned down the role partly due to a fear of provoking the mob and Frank Sinatra, whom Damone profoundly respected.

Damone died on February 11, 2018 from complications of respiratory illness at the age of 89.

"On the Street Where You Live" was written by Frederick Loewe (music) and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner, from the 1956 Broadway musical, My Fair Lady. It is sung in the musical by the character Freddy Eynsford-Hill, who was portrayed by John Michael King in the original production. In the 1964 film version, it was sung by Bill Shirley, dubbing for future Sherlock Holmes actor Jeremy Brett.

The most version of the song was recorded by Vic Damone in 1956 for Columbia Records. It reached #4 in the US, and #1 in the UK Singles Chart in 1958.

Other Versions include :
Eddie Fisher  (1956)  /  Dean Martin  (1957)  /  Mario Lanza  (1958)  /  George Shearing  (1959)  /  Wild Bill Davis  (1959)
Peggy Lee  (1960) / Doris Day  (1960)  /  Quincy Jones  (1962)  /  Shirley Horn  (1963)   /  Andy Williams  (1964) 
Nat King Cole  (1965) /  Gene Pitney  (1965)  /   Mr Hudson & The Library  (2007) /  Jason Manford  (2017)  /  BirdyHop  (2017)

On This Day :
24 June : Nina Simone releases her debut jazz album "Little Girl Blue"
27 June : Lisa Germano, American singer-songwriter, born in Mishawaka, Indiana
3 July : The last débutante formally presented to the Queen, at Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
3 July : Siân Lloyd, Welsh weather presenter born in Maesteg, Glamorgan, Wales
3 July : "Andy Williams Show" premieres on ABC (later on CBS & NBC)
5 July : First ascent of Gasherbrum I (Pakistani–Chinese border), 11th highest peak on earth
5 July : Bill Watterson, cartoonist (Calvin and Hobbes), born in Washington, D.C.


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It's nice that we're far enough into this now that I can hear a #1 and think "hmm, this seems like a bit of a throwback to the early days of the chart". I'd have been perfectly happy never to hear an Italian-American again. You can be racist against Italian-Americans, it's fine. He was mates with Donald Trump, fuck him.

A fumble for my #1 Hits deadpool team – on the squad in 2017, then taken off for 2018 only to immediately die. Had the same issue with Avicii. I remember in my research noting that he'd had a Billboard #1 hit in 1949 (Damone not Avicii). Are there any other 1940s US #1 hitmakers left, or has he shut the coffin lid on that era?


  • some weirdo taking the piss
Go to Sleep Little Susie, its . . .

73.  Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream

From : 29 June - 5 July 1958 (1) [joint #1 with Vic Damone]
       + 6 July – 16 August 1958 (6)
Weeks : 7
Flip side : Claudette

Isaac Donald Everly was born in Brownie, Muhlenberg County, Kentucky, on February 1, 1937, and Phillip Jason Everly in Chicago, Illinois, on January 19, 1939.

They were raised in a musical family, first appearing on radio singing along with their father Ike and mother Margaret as "The Everly Family". Ike Everly had a show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah in the mid-1940s. The brothers sang on the radio as "Little Donnie and Baby Boy Phil."

The family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1953, where the brothers caught the attention of family friend Chet Atkins, manager of RCA Victor's studio in Nashville. The brothers became a duo and moved to Nashville. Despite affiliation with RCA, Atkins arranged for the Everly Brothers to record for Columbia Records in early 1956. Their "Keep a-Lovin' Me," which Don wrote and composed, flopped, and they were dropped from the Columbia label.

Atkins introduced the Everly Brothers to Wesley Rose, of Acuff-Rose music publishers who introduced them to Archie Bleyer, who was looking for artists for his Cadence Records. The Everlys signed and recorded "Bye Bye Love" in February 1957.  The song, by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, reached No. 2 on the pop charts and became the Everly Brothers's first million-seller.

Working with the Bryants, they had hits in the United States and the United Kingdom, the biggest being "Wake Up Little Susie," "All I Have to Do Is Dream," "Bird Dog," and "Problems". The Everlys, though they were largely interpretive artists, also succeeded as songwriters, especially with Don's "(Till) I Kissed You," which hit No. 4 on the US charts.

The brothers toured with Buddy Holly in 1957 and 1958. Don said Holly wrote and composed "Wishing" for them. "We were all from the South," Phil observed of their commonalities. "We'd started in country music."

"All I Have to Do Is Dream" was written by Boudleaux Bryant of the husband and wife songwriting team Felice and Boudleaux Bryant.
By far the best-known version was recorded by The Everly Brothers and released as a single in April 1958. It had been recorded by The Everly Brothers live in just two takes on March 6, 1958, and features Chet Atkins on guitar. It was the only single ever to be at No. 1 on all of the Billboard singles charts simultaneously, on June 2, 1958. It entered the U.K. Singles Chart on May 23, 1958, reaching the No. 1 position on July 4 and remaining there for seven weeks (including one week as a joint No. 1 with Vic Damone's "On the Street Where You Live"), spending 21 weeks on the chart.

Other Versions include :
Richard Chamberlain (1962)  /  Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell (1969)  /  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1975)  /  Cliff Richard with Phil Everly  (1994)

The B-side, "Claudette", was the first major song writing success for Roy Orbison (who also recorded his own version of the song) and was named after his first wife. As a result of this success "The Big Orbison" terminated his contract with Sun Records and affiliated himself with the Everly's publisher, Acuff-Rose Music.

Phil Everly :
"The idea was always to put the best up-tempo song and the best ballad back to back. When we were in Chicago, we asked Roy if he'd got a song for us. He gave us 'Claudette.'"

Roy Orbison :
“We were backstage. I met the boys and Ike Everly, their father.  Everybody backstage was pitching songs.  They would sit down and say, ‘Sing four or five songs for the boys.’ I said, ‘I don’t think I’ll do that; I won’t impose on them.’ I started to leave the dressing room and they said, ‘Roy, do you have any songs?’ I said, ‘I’ve got one song.’ So, I sat down to sing that (Claudette) for them and they liked it very much and wrote the lyric down on the top of a shoe box.  Took it back to Nashville and recorded it and it was a co-number one with ‘All I Have to Do is Dream.”

On This Day :
6 July : Jennifer Saunders, comic actress, born in Sleaford, Lincolnshire
10 July : First parking meters installed in England
11 July : Mark Lester, actor (Oliver!), born in Oxford
14 July : Pope Pius XII publishes his 39th and last encyclical Meminisse Juvat to mixed reviews from the critics ("impleta potboiler est ex hoc fons taedii efficiatur et floozies" - 3/10)
15 July : Julia Lennon, mother of Beatle John, dies in an car accident
16 July : Michael Flatley, "Irish" dancer, born in Chicago, Illinois (Chicago! The big fraud!)
18 July : 6th British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games open in Cardiff, Wales
19 July : "Oh, Captain!" closes at Alvin Theater NYC after 192 performances
19 July : 45th Tour de France won by Charly Gaul of Luxembourg
30 July : Daley Thompson, Olympic decathlete, born in Notting Hill, London
30 July : Kate Bush, singer, born in Bexleyheath, Kent
31 July : Bill Berry, American drummer (R.E.M.), born in Duluth, Minnesota
1 August : Premiere of Carry on Sergeant, the first Carry On film.
7 August : Bruce Dickinson, singer (Iron Maiden), born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire:
8 August : 'Chrissy Boy', guitarist (Madness), born Chris Foreman in St Pancras, London
13 August : Feargal Sharkey, (The Undertones), born in Derry, Northern Ireland
14 August : Big Bill Broonzy, American blues singer, dies of cancer at 65
15 August : Buddy Holly weds receptionist María Elena Santiago
16 August : Madonna [Ciccone], born in Bay City, Michigan
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 02:59:06 PM by daf »