Friday, March 05, 2010

Fifty years on...

It's 50 years since Elvis left the US army (making his only ever visit to the UK on the way home). I rather agree with John Lennon, who said that Elvis died when he joined the army, because his post-army career flatlined under the uninspiring guidance of Col Tom Parker. Crap movie followed crap movie and there were just glimpses of his talent now and then in his recorded output. There's an interesting article in The Guardian which is worth a look.
It's also 50 years since I first wrote down my personal top ten. This initial chart was a one off, but in May 1960 I began to update my top ten once or twice a week until December 1965. In all 918 singles entered my top ten, in 408 entries. Looking back, this initial personal top ten was a rather mixed bag, with some good records and some pretty awful ones, but in my defence I was still only 13 and the quality definitely improved as time went by.

So here is that first top ten: 1. Sweet Nuthin's - Brenda Lee; 2. String Along - Fabian; 3. Beatnik Fly - Johnny & the Hurricanes; 4. What In The World's Come Over You - Jack Scott (pictured a few years ago at Hemsby); 5. He'll Have To Go - Jim Reeves; 6. Who Could Be Bluer - Jerry Lordan; 7. Summer Set - Acker Bilk; 8. California Here I Come - Freddy Cannon; 9. This Love I have For You - Lance Fortune; 10. Cradle Of Love - Johnny Preston. With each entry I chose a 'Pick of the Week' which may or may not have been an entry in my personal hit parade. This week my 'pick' was Cathy's Clown by the Everly Brothers, which went on to be one of the biggest national hits ever.
*** Sadly there's a death to report - that of Ron Banks of the Dramatics, who has died aged 58. The Dramatics had a great run of soul hits on Stax in the early 70s including Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get, (1971), In the Rain (1972) and "Get Up and Get Down" (1972). A sad loss


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