John McCullagh January 31, 2007
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They were the best of times: they were the worst of times …


SONG TITLE                                                    ARTIST                           WEEKS @ 1     WHEN?

Poetry in Motion

Johnny Tillotson

2

12 Jan

Are you lonesome tonight?

Elvis Presley

4

26 Jan

Sailor

Petula Clarke

1

23 Feb

Walk Right Back

Everly Brothers

3

2 Mar

Wooden Heart

Elvis

6

23 Mar

Blue Moon

The Marcels

2

1 May

On the Rebound

Floyd Cramer

1

18 May

You’re driving me crazy

Temperence Seven

1

25 May

Surrender

Elvis

4

1 June

Runaway

Del Shannon

3

29 June

Temptation

Everly Bros

2

20 July

Well I ask you

Eden Kane

1

3 Aug

You don’t know

Helen Shapiro

3

10 Aug

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

4

31 Aug

Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey

1

21 Sept

Kon Tiki

Shadows

1

5 Oct

Michael, row the boat ashore

The Highwaymen

1

12 Oct

We had nothing! There was rampant unemployment and great poverty. But we had music. And what music!

Just to list the Number One Hits of 1961 brings so many memories flooding back. The memories will vary between individuals, so we’ll stick to the songs and the artists, in our comments here.

Every song here, you could sing along with! Every word is clear. Every tune is catchy. There were the old timers from the 50’s, like the Everlys, the Marcels, even Elvis, whose boom time was just happening!

There were hark-backs to a former age, Floyd Cramer’s tinkling ivories reminding us of the Winifred Atwell days – and the Temperance Seven of the age of Trad jazz. Imagine any more modern group boasting of its ‘temperance’!

There was room for all the exciting new, young voices, like Del Shannon (one of my own favourites), Helen Shapiro, John Leyton and Eden Kane.

Even for the gospel folk of the Highwaymen, at the top spot too! And for the song from the stage show, with Shirley Bassey rendering Climb Every Mountain.

Petula Clarke’s Sailor is even yet a great cabaret favourite. And the Shadows were out-selling their leader Cliff Richard.
 


The Beatles and the Stones hadn’t yet been heard of.

AHH! If only we could go back ….

And spare ourselves all our former mistakes ….