Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Personal top ten - October 1960 to March 1961

When I compiled these personal top tens in the early sixties there was little opportunity to hear the new releases of the day. The only source was Radio Luxembourg, which I religiously listened to every evening. Most of the station's programmes were sponsored by the big four record companies - EMI, Decca, Philips and Pye - and many new releases got little or no air play, especially those by American artists. As a result, some of the records that made my top ten I may have chosen on the basis of a single listen, while others I didn't get to hear at all and therefore missed out on selection. 
In list 41 the number one was 'Devil or Angel' by Bobby Vee, and there were new entries by Freddie Cannon and Connie Francis. List 42 had a re-entry for Shirley and Lee's 'Let The Good Times Roll' and 43 a re-entry for Connie Francis. List 44 had new entries by Jimmy Jones, the Ventures and Bobby Darin.
In list 45 Chubby Checker's 'The Twist' made its first appearance and there was a new entry by Joe Jones. List 46 saw the arrival of Johnny Tillotson's 'Poetry In Motion' and new entries by Floyd Cramer and Bill Black's Combo; list 47 had new entries by Tracey Pendarvis and Johnny Preston; and list 48 saw a new entry by Fats Domino and yet another re-entry for Sam's 'Wonderful World'.
There was a new entry in list 49 for Paul Evans, who went on to make number one with 'Hushabye Little Guitar' and in list 50 there were entries from Fats Domino and Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. List 51 saw the first of many appearances by Dion, while list 52 had new entries by Bobby Rydell and Jackie Wilson. For some reason Eddie Cochran's 'C'mon Everybody' was a 'pick'.
The Christmas period of 1960 saw new entries by the Everly Brothers and Emile Ford (list 53); Ray Peterson and Bob Luman (list 54); Donnie Brooks (list 55) and, straight in at number one, Johnny Burnette (list 56).
The first week of 1961 saw a batch of new entries and the first use of a biro. In list 57 there were new entries by Bobby Vee, Elvis, Brenda Lee, the Crickets and Billy Fury's cover of 'A Thousand Stars'. List 58 had a new entry by Connie Francis; list 59 by Neil Sedaka, Duane Eddy and Johnny Horton; and list 60 by Sam Cooke.
Rosie and the Originals entered the top ten in list 61 and in list 62 there were new entries by the Piltdown Men and Billy Fury. There was also an appearance by Mike Berry's version of Will You Love Me Tomorrow: a few days later the Shirelles' original made it when I belatedly heard the best version of the song. The two versions fought it out over the following weeks.. Other new entries were Buddy Holly in list 63 and the Everlies and Marv Johnson in list 64.
In list 65 on February 3 - the second anniversary of Buddy Holly's death as I noted - there was the first appearance of Motown in the form of the Miracles' 'Shop Around' which went on to number one. List 66 had a re-entry by Elvis, list 67 a new entry by Johnny Preston and list 68 new entries by Johnny and the Hurricanes, the String-a-longs and the Drifters.
In list 69 there was an entry by the Everlies' B side 'Ebony Eyes'; list 70 had new entries by Brenda Lee, the Ventures, a re-entry by the Drifters and 'Once In A While' by the Chimes, which went on to become the biggest point scorer of the year. List 71 had an appearance by Elvis and list 72 saw new entries by Garry Mills, Bobby Rydell and Emile Ford.
There were new entries by Dion, the Piltdown Men and Gene Pitney in list 73; re-entries by Brenda Lee and Elvis and new entries by Bobby Rydell, Billy Fury and Fats Domino; no new entries in 75 and new ones by Jackie Wilson, Freddie Cannon and Roy Orbison in list 76.
Finally in this batch, in March, 1961 there were new entries by Jimmy Jones, Bobby Darin and Chubby Checker in list 77; a re-entry for Dion in list 78; new entries for Connie Francis, Fats Domino and Kokomo in list 79 and no new entries in 80. By this time, as will have become clear, there were fewer and fewer records by UK artists making it into the ten, despite the extensive air play given to many cover versions, a trend that became even more obvious in later months and years. More will follow soon.


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