It Was 60 Years Ago Today (and 50)


In the first first chart in January 1955

Dickie Valentine was number 1 with “Finger of Suspicion” followed by Winifred Attwell, Rosemary Clooney, Billy Eckstein, David Whitfield, Ronnie Hilton, Ruby Murray (etc) and at number 10 (mentioned a couple of weeks back), Bill Haley & his Comets, “Shake Rattle & Roll”

The highest new entry (at number 14) was “Mr Sandman” – the Four Aces

Of course by the mid 1960s everything was far more groovy wasn’t it?

The first chart of 1965 had the Beatles at number 1 with “I Feel Fine” and Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames were at number 5 on their way to the top. The rest of that very hip Top Ten consisted of: “Downtown” (Pet Clark), “Walk Tall” (Val Doonican) “Somewhere” (PJ Proby) and from 6-10 came Gene Pitney, Cliff Richard, the Bachelors, Twinkle and Freddie & the Dreamers

Highest (indeed only) new entry (number 30) was “Et Meme” – Francoise Hardy

Not as swinging as we like to think then, although the next two number ones were bands who appeared at both the Rendezvous and the Birdcage – Georgie first, and then the (original) Moody Blues.


Author: pompeypop

University lecturer, longtime local musician and recently historian of popular music - especially in and around Portsmouth. My blog is entirely about that topic

6 thoughts on “It Was 60 Years Ago Today (and 50)

  1. Yeh yeh and Go Now were two of the best pop singles around.

    • And both of course (very good) covers of previous Black American recordings by respectively, Jon Hendricks and Bessie Banks. I always liked the original Moody Blues – one of the bands who covered that space across Chicago blues/R&B and early soul (including James Brown)

  2. In December 1955 Chuck Berry released the wonderful “Downbound Train” – it later surfaced on his first album “After School Session” which wasn’t released until 1957! I thought this song was a very suitable choice for those of us who were suffering hangovers on New Year’s Day…. not me of course. I don’t drink normally. Wish I did, I’d save money.

  3. Forgot to say….it was the B side of “No Money Down” and was released by the mighty Chess label on 78 rpm as well as on one of those new fangled 7″ 45 rpm singles.

  4. The personnel on these two tracks were Chuck Berry – vocals, guitar; Johnnie Johnson – piano; Willie Dixon – bass; Otis Spann – piano; Jimmy Rogers – guitar. On drums it was either Fred Below, Ebby Hardy or Jasper Thomas. Some band, huh?

  5. ****AND…….UNBELIEVABLY…….
    Some 89 yrs ago………………….First edition of Melody Maker was published in 1926…
    AND…..just 65 yrs ago Sam Philips opened the Memphis Recording Service , later to be Sun Studios in Memphis….UH HU !!!!!

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