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Sixties Pop Music Chart Statistics and Trivia

Who was the most successful singles chart artist of the 60s?

The Beatles?  or Elvis?  or maybe Cliff Richard?

You're getting warmer.....
the slightly amazing answer is the great

Hank B.Marvin

who had 303 weeks on chart with The Shadows, 328 weeks with The Shadows
backing Cliff Richard and 9 weeks as a duet with Cliff on ' Throw Down A Line ' -
All together, a grand total of 640 chart weeks!

Now read on for more crucial sixties music trivia and a few notable dates and events in the pop industry's history

Records 'Banned' by the BBC      Crucial Sixties Music Trivia       'I Wish I Hadn't Said That'

The History of the Pop Record Charts      Notable Music Industry Dates   The Christmas Number Ones

sixties charts
Crucial Sixties Music Trivia

Only 4 artists hit the singles chart every year of the decade: Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Jim Reeves

The only artist to achieve a top ten singles hit in every year was Cliff Richard

There were 187 No.1 singles by 113 different acts

13 acts had a total singles chart life of 1 week at No. 50

Of the Sixties singles chart toppers, only Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley and The Bee Gees also had No. 1 hits in the Seventies

Elvis and Cliff are the only artists to have had No.1 singles hits in the 50's 60's and 70's

Only Gerry and The Pacemakers reached No.1 with their first two singles, going on to make it 3 in a row

No.1 on the very first singles chart listing of the decade was
Emile Ford and The Checkmates with ' What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For '

No. 1 on the last singles chart listing of the decade was Rolf Harris with ' Two Little Boys '

Only 3 acts had at least 10 hit singles, 10 hit LP's and 10 hit EP's:
Cliff Richard (92 total), Elvis Presley (86 total) and The Beatles (48 total)

Prior to the EP chart listings, extended play records were listed on the singles chart, assuming sales were sufficient to register.
On the demise of the EP chart this practice was reinstated until February 1969 at which time EPs were no longer included

The No.1 record on the first EP chart was Cliff Richard's 'Expresso Bongo'

The only record ever to enter the EP chart at No.1 was Cliff's 'Expresso Bongo' on the very first chart.
Two titles managed to enter at No.2: Long Tall Sally (The Beatles) and Four Tops' Hits (The Four Tops)

Only ten titles managed to enter the EP chart in a top ten position during the decade

The No.1 record on the very last EP chart was 'Beach Boy Hits'

Only Elvis Presley had titles listed in both the first and last EP charts produced - something to do with his initials, maybe?

Joan Baez had more EP chart weeks than any other solo female artist

The Beatles sold many more records than any other act during the decade but did not stay in the charts for very long
because of the speed of the sales hence their unexpectedly low performance in the chart statistics

No.1 position on all three charts ( LP, EP and Singles ) in the same week was achieved 25 times during the Sixties,
but by only four different acts! The Shadows ( 1 ) Elvis Presley ( 1 ) The Rolling Stones ( 2 ) and The Beatles ( 21 times! )

The best position reached by any of Johnny Mathis' four EP chart entries was No. 17

Other than 'Various Artists' titles, no fewer than 39 acts had success in the EP chart without a single entry
in the Singles chart, including Paddy Roberts, whose two EPs both reached No.1

The shortest lived record label was the Joe Meek-owned ' Triumph ' label which only lasted for a few months
during 1960 but still managed to produce a top ten single with Michael Cox's 'Angela Jones'

From April 1965 to November 1968 no instrumental single reached No.1

The only U.S. act to reach No.1 on the singles chart during 1963 was Elvis Presley and stayed there for only a single week

The highest total of weeks on the singles chart for any act in one year was achieved by Engelbert Humperdinck in 1967.
He spent 97 weeks on the chart, helped immensely by 'Release Me' which, incredibly,
stayed on the top 50 singles chart listing for a total of 56 weeks from January 26th 1967!

Frank Sinatra's 'My Way' single notched up a total of 122 weeks on chart, entering or returning no less than nine times!

Keith West, whose solitary single hit 'Excerpt From A Teenage Opera' reached No.2 was, at the time, a member
of a band called 'Tomorrow'. The band were never heard from chart-wise and neither was the opera
after a follow-up track named 'Sam' failed to chart

The only act to appear in the 'Top Ten Acts' list during every year of the decade was Cliff Richard

In 1961 Frank Sinatra formed REPRISE records which he sold to Warner Brothers in 1963,
becoming Vice President and Consultant to the Warner Brothers Picture Group

The first gold disc to be presented by EMI to a classical artist was awarded to Yehudi Menuhin in 1961
by Sir Joseph Lockwood to celebrate an unbroken association lasting over 30 years

During the Sixties The Beatles achieved 17 No1 singles, 10 No1 albums and 8 No1 EPs

The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus with their 1968 No.19 single 'Quick Joey Small' were actually comprised
of 8 groups! These were: Ohio Express and 1910 Fruitgum Company (who both had hits in their own right),
plus Music Explosion, Lt.Garcia's Magic Music Box, Teri Nelson Group, Musical Marching Zoo, JCW Rat Finks
and St.Louis Invisible Marching Band. Their shows were staged as a circus, complete with circus acts!

In 1964 Singles cost 6s 5d (32p) and LPs cost 1-15s-0d (£1.75p)

1962 Record Sales in the UK: 78s 1,944,000 45s 55,239,000

1968 Record Sales in the UK: 78s 206,000 45s 49,161,000 LPs 49,184,000

The best year for singles saw sales of 72,841,000

The Troggs' 'Wild Thing' was produced in one take during 15 spare minutes at the end of a recording session

During October 1969 the same record occupied two chart positions! Je t'aime by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg
on the Fontana label was banned by The BBC. It was withdrawn and re-released on the Major Minor label while
original copies were still selling like hot cakes in the shops. As a separate release, it had to be logged on the chart.

Finally ( at the moment ), I just thought you'd like to know that the Dave Clark Five generated cash to pay for
an early studio session by Dave Clark doing two days of crashing cars as stunt man in an Adam Faith film!

A Few Notable Dates in the Record Industry 1948 - 1969

The Forties


Dr. Peter Goldmark and William Bachman of the American Columbia Co developed the long playing vinylite 331/3 rpm
microgroove disc in the late 1940s. It was announced to the press at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York on
Friday 26th June 1948 in both 10" and 12" formats. The machines to play them were manufactured by the
Philco Radio and Television Company of Philadelphia

January 1949
RCA announced the first release of 45 rpm 7" vinyl discs which gave the same playing time as the larger 78 rpm discs

June 1949
Columbia issued 7" 331/3 rpm discs with normal-sized centre holes

The Fifties

June 1950

Decca issued the first LPs on the U.K. market, made of 'GEON', a tradename form of vinylite

November 1952
The first singles record chart was produced by the New Musical Express

October 1953
'Optional' removable centres appeared in 45 rpm discs, allowing them
to be used on the 'Victory' autochanger and later on other makes of jukebox

September 1954
'Gruve-Gard' was introduced in America by RCA Victor, where the centre and edge of a disc are thicker
than the playing area, reducing scuff marks during handling and when used in an autochanger

June 1958
First U.K. release of stereo discs made by PYE records

The Sixties

Early in the 60s the 10" record format was dropped by all the major
record companies, leaving the 12" 331/3 rpm and 7" 45 rpm as standards

19th February 1960

EMI's last new coarse-groove 78 rpm record was issued - 'Rule Britannia' / 'Royal Event' by Russ Conway

9th June 1960
Bing Crosby was presented with a platinum disc by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce for estimated
sales of 200 million records. To that date he had recorded 2600 singles and 125 LPs

February 1961
All EMI 78 rpm discs were deleted with the exception of royal recordings and the
'History of Music in Sound' series. These eventually disappeared on 23rd March 1962

June 1962
DGG ( Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft ) merged with Philips on a 50/50 basis, retaining both record labels

Philips introduced the musicassette ( compact cassette )

American Columbia material ( marketed at first by 'Oriole' ) was launched independently in the U.K. on the CBS label.
Because of the still-current use of the trademark 'Columbia' outside of America by EMI, all American Columbia
recordings were exported under the CBS ( Columbia Broadcasting System ) logo

1st July 1965
EMI Records Ltd and The Gramophone Co Ltd merged, trade continuing under the name EMI Records

Raymond M.Dolby opened a laboratory in London to develop and produce his noise reduction system

RCA opened an independent distribution, recording and ( later ) manufacturing operation in the UK as RCA Great Britain Ltd.

Some great reported 'quotes' for you, which come under the general heading of

'I wish I hadn't said that ...'

" The rest of the group is fine but the singer will have to go"

( Eric Easton taking over as The Rolling Stones' manager in 1962 )

"We don't like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out"

( Mike Smith, Decca A&R manager, turning The Beatles down in 1962 )

"You ain't goin' nowhere son. You oughta go back to drivin' a truck"

( Jim Denny of The Grand Ole Opry, firing Elvis after just one performance in 1954 )

"She's one of the worst singers I've heard"

(Cilla Black recalls the late Cavern DJ Bob Wooler offering his comment to
John Lennon and Brian Epstein, watching one of her early Cavern performances)

Records  by the B.B.C.

Of course, as the B.B.C. has never admitted to having an official 'banned' list, a more accurate title
for this section would be 'Records the B.B.C. Didn't Play A Lot For Their Own Reasons' !

And those 'reasons' were many and varied. Curiously though, considering all the protests and such during the period,
not one record was 'banned' for 'political content' during the Sixties, although many have been before and since.
Some of the 'bans' were not total, just restricting daytime play and, in most cases, have subsequently been lifted.
There may have been additional ones locally, or for very limited periods before being modified, as there were
quite a few which would have been 'borderline' on many counts.

Made You - Adam Faith - 1960
Lewdness and sexual content

Tell Laura I Love Her - Ricky Valance - 1960
Explicit death lyrics

Night Of The Vampire - The Moontrekkers - 1961
Too morbid and scary

Tribute To Buddy Holly - Mike Berry and The Outlaws - 1961
Morbid concern for the dead

Hall Of The Mountain King - Nero and The Gladiators - 1961
Some dubious reason regarding words in the spoken intro

My Little Ukelele - Joe Brown and The Bruvvers - 1963
The lyrics to this George Formby re-make were considered 'too risque'

The Sect Sing Sick Songs
(e.p.) - Downliners Sect - 1965
Morbid and in poor taste (containing 'I Want My Baby Back')

I Can't Control Myself - The Troggs - 1966
Lewdly suggestive sounds by Reg Presley

They're Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaaa - Napoleon XIV - 1966

Making fun of mental illness

Jackie - Scott Walker - 1967
References to 'authentic queers'

Let's Spend The Night Together - The Rolling Stones - 1967
Alleged to promote promiscuity

It Would Be So Nice - Pink Floyd - 1968
For advertising ('Evening Standard was eventually changed to 'Daily Standard')
It is worth noting that many song lyrics have been 'bleeped' or slightly modified over the years to gain airtime

Je T'Aime (Moi Non Plus) - Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg - 1969 (also 1974!)

Suggestive sounds and dubious colloquial expressions (although in French!)
This song was played on TOTP, but only an instrumental version by 'Sounds Nice'

Wet Dream - Max Romeo - 1969
I think this one is possibly self-explanatory!

The Christmas Number Ones

  1952 Al Martino Here In My Heart
1953 Frankie Laine Answer Me
1954 Winifred Atwell Let's Have Another Party
1955 Dickie Valentine Christmas Alphabet
1956 Johnnie Ray Just Walkin' In The Rain
1957 Harry Belafonte Mary's Boy Child
1958 Conway Twitty It's Only Make Believe
1959 Emile Ford & The Checkmates What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
1960 Cliff Richard & The Shadows I Love You
1961 Danny Williams Moon River
1962 Elvis Presley Return To Sender
1963 The Beatles I Want To Hold Your Hand
1964 The Beatles I Feel Fine
1965 The Beatles Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
1966 Tom Jones The Green Grass Of Home
1967 The Beatles Hello Goodbye
1968 The Scaffold Lily The Pink
1969 Rolf Harris Two Little Boys
1970 Dave Edmunds I Hear You Knockin'
1971 Benny Hill Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
1972 Little Jimmy Osmond Long Haired Lover From Liverpool
1973 Slade Merry Xmas Everybody
1974 Mud Lonely This Christmas
1975 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody
1976 Johnny Mathis When A Child Is Born (Soleado)
1977 Wings Mull Of Kintyre / Girls' School
1978 Boney M Mary's Boy Child-Oh My Lord
1979 Pink Floyd Another Brick In The Wall
1980 St Winifred's School Choir There's No One Quite Like Grandma
1981 The Human League Don't You Want Me
1982 Renee & Renato Save Your Love
1983 The Flying Pickets Only You
1984 Band Aid Do They Know It's Christmas?
1985 Shakin' Stevens Merry Christmas Everyone
1986 Jackie Wilson Reet Petite
1987 The Pet Shop Boys Always On My Mind
1988 Cliff Richard Mistletoe & Wine
1989 Band Aid II Do They Know It's Christmas?
1990 Cliff Richard Saviours' Day
1991 Queen Bohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives
1992 Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You
1993 Mr Blobby Mr Blobby
1994 East 17 Stay Another Day
1995 Michael Jackson Earth Song
1996 Spice Girls 2 Become 1
1997 Spice Girls Too Much
1998 Spice Girls Goodbye
1999 Westlife I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun
2000 Bob The Builder Can We Fix It?
2001 Robbie Williams & Nicole Kidman Somethin' Stupid
2002 Girls Aloud Sound Of The Underground
2003 Michael Andrews featuring Gary Jules Mad World
2004 Band Aid 20 Do They Know It's Christmas?

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