Monday, November 05, 2018

Personal top ten - March to October, 1960

In March, 1960, I compiled the first of over 400 personal top tens over the next nearly six years - my favourite ten records of the day, some of them hits, some of them rather less so. I was just coming up to my 14th birthday at the time, so my taste was not fully formed, although as time went on I became a lot more discriminating, with early soul and blues records competing with the pop sounds of the day. I still have these lists today - the early ones written unfortunately in colour pencil making them hard to read. Over the next few weeks I will be publishing these lists as a record of what my taste was at the time. I hope some readers will find it of interest - if they can read them.
Here are the first four 'hot tens' from early 1960. Number one has Brenda Lee at number one, with Fabian, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Jack Scott, Jim Reeves, Jerry Lordan, Acker Bilk, Freddie Cannon, Lance Fortune and Johnny Preston completing the ten. The second list, in April, sees new entries by Elvis, Fats Domino, Neil Sedaka, Adam Faith, Jimmy Jones and the Everly Brothers. The third list, on May 10, has new entries from the Four Preps, Marv Johnson, Duane Eddy, the Crickets, Billy Bland and Ernie Fields. The fourth, three days later, has new entries by Tommy Bruce, Eddie Cochran and Jerry Lordan. I also chose a 'pick' of the week' each time which usually, but not always, made it into the top ten. One that didn't was Cindy by Teddy Vann. I kept score by giving ten points for number one down to one point for number ten, with five points for a 'pick'.
New entries in list 5 are by Connie Francis and Jerry Wallace and the Four Preps were at number one; in list 6 a new entry by Connie Stevens and Ed Byrnes with Connie Francis moving to number one; in list 7 by Steve Perry (I didn't hear the Crests version I imagine) and Russ Conway (what was I thinking?) and in list 8 by Emile Ford, Paul Evans, the Crickets and Freddie Cannon, with Eddie Cochran at joint number one.
List 9 saw a new entry by Jimmy Jones which went to number one the following week; List 10 was the first appearance of Sam Cooke, who became my highest point scorer overall ('Wonderful World' was also the highest scoring record), Gene Vincent and Billy Fury; list 11 has Johnny and the Hurricanes and a re-entry by Billy Bland; list 12 has Pat Boone, Buddy Holly and a re-entry by Gene Vincent.
The next four lists had entries by Frank Sinatra (picking up his only point), Adam Faith, Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Michael Cox and the Hollywood Argylls. Some rather poor choices there (except the last). 
List 17 saw 'Wonderful World' return to number one and new entries by Eddie Hickey, Marv Johnson and Lloyd Price, with re-entries from Gene Vincent and Buddy Holly, there's a 'pick' by James Brown ('Think'); list 18 has new entries by Joe Brown and Ron Holden; list 19 the first appearance of Roy Orbison; and list 20 the Everly Brothers and Brook Benton and Dinah Washington, while 'Only The Lonely' takes over at number one. 
Moving on to list 21 there's a new entry by Johnny Kidd; list 22 has new entries by Hank Lochlin, Marv Johnson, Fat Domino and Johnny Preston; list 23 has Elvis ('Mess of Blues') while 24 has its B side.
New entries this time by Donnie Brooks in list 25; Connie Francis and re-entries by Fats Domino and Johnny Preston in list 26; Lloyd Price in list 27 with a re-entry by Buddy Holly; and Jimmy Jones in list 28.
In list 29 there were entries by Bob Luman, Emile Ford and the Piltdown Men, with a return by Ron Holden; list 30 has the Ivy Three, the Ventures and Acker Bilk; list 31 has Billy Fury and Johnny Burnette; and list 32 has Sam Cooke and the Everly Brothers. Jimmy Jones is at number one. 
New entries in list 33 were by Marv Johnson and Johnny and the Hurricanes; in list 34 and 35 there were no new entries; in list 36 Jackie Wilson and Garry Mills. Sam Cooke and the Everlies contested number one.
Finally, in the current batch, there are new entries for Bobby Vee and Fats Domino in list 37; a re-entry for Garry Mills in 38; Elvis, the Drifters, Buddy Holly, Shirley and Lee and Roy Orbison in list 39; and Mickey and Sylvia in list 40. Apologies again for the difficulty in reading these. They will gradually improve as a biro became my favoured writing implement.

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