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Wayne’s Music 11/12 February 2012.  The Hot Hits from 1961.

 

Many Tears Ago          Connie Francis was the most popular singer on the planet in January 1961.  
What A Party               another headliner of the era was fats Domino, who was winding down the gilt-edged dynasty he had set up at Imperial records as far back as 1949. 
Bangers And Mash               producer George Martin was having a lot of fun in the recording studio with Peter sellers and Sophia Loren The Coffee Song                  about the time Frank Sinatra became Chairman Of The Board at reprise records, it was felt that he needed a song on the charts, so one he had recorded in 1946 was re-percolated with Johnny Mandell’s orchestra
Shine                who would have thought that a lad from Lincolnshire would become a “Cockney Rebel” … it happened to Joe Brown when he was knocking around Old Kent Road and Old Swarby Road  looking for his next hit song. 
Goody Goody              Helen Shapiro was a schoolgirl star in 1961, and at just 15 years of age made it clear she could sing jazz and blues as well as the frothy pop numbers she was famous for. 
The World In My Arms                 a lot of money was invested in a Broadway Musical starring Nat King Cole and Barbara Mcnair, but the recordings from the show were more successful than the actual stage production apparantley.
September In The Rain                this is still my favourite version of  “September In The Rain” from The Queen Of The Blues, Dinah Washington, who recorded this exactly a year before it became an International Hit .                                          
First taste Of Love               writers Doc Pomus and Phil Spector got together early in ’61 to inscribe yet another slice of social grace in the form of this song for Ben E King.           
Samantha                  the advent of the trad jazz boom that gathered pace during the early weeks of 1961 caught everyone by surprise.  The music was in total contrast to everything else that was happening.  Kenny Ball and The Jazzmen started a lengthy hit trail with their update of “Samantha”.                            
I’ll get By                            put Shirley Bassey in a recording studio, with anyone, and you’d be almost guaranteed a hit record … in this case she’s with The Williams Singers and The Geoff Love orchestra.
This Is It           Adam faith with John Barry -  for a while it seemed as though this combination was putting out a hit record every week.
Bambino          The Springfields had such an impact on the British pop scene in the early 60s, yet the group was only in existence for less than three years. 
Are You Sure             The Alisons sang this on the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961, it came in second (don’t ask me who won that year, probably Luxemborge – that country usually did quite well in those days). 
Sad Movies                   Sue Thompson, despite the fact that she was in her mid 30s at the time – but her young sounding voice was teenage friendly.                   
C’est Si Bon     there are many versions of this song, straight versions and parodies, even Conway twitty attempted a purring version a la Eartha Kitt.                            
More Money For You And me – Medley -         The Four Preps spoofing the hits songs of their day in a performance at their old Hollywood High School in 1960.
Little Sister                  Elvis with a doubled sided hit “Latetst Flame” and “Little Sister”. 

Wayne’s Music Sunday 12 February 2012.  Hot hits of 61.  PART ONE.

 What To Do                Long before the full inventory of Buddy Holly recordings had been discovered after his death, Coral records were relying upon the small stash of demos Holly had recorded at his Greenwich Village apartment.  What they found was just Buddy’s voice and an acoustic guitar, so they had to overdub studio players.
Creole Jazz                 The bowler-hatted clarinetist Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz band in their trade-mark striped waistcoats had a host of Chart makers in 1961 
Fools Rush In            the old 1940 song by Rube Bloom and Johnny Mercer took on a totally new mood when Brook Benton and Producer Belford Hendricks upped the tempo somewhat in this 1961 version.                             
Sucu Sucu                   the strangely-named duo “Ping Ping & Al Verlaine “ – the latter was a Belgium based bandleader who styled himself on the Cuban orchestra leader Perez Prado and his recordings of rhumbas and Cha-Chas.  
My Kind Of Girl                   When Matt Monroe wasn’t driving double-decker buses he voiced demos for Toff Music in London’s Tin Pan Alley.  This was all happening when he was just plain ordinary Terry Parsons, but pianist Winifred Atwell insisted on a name change – Matt was borrowed from her journalist friend, and Monroe happened to be her Father’s first name.  Producer George Martin immediately saw great potential in Monroe’s voice – the rest is pop music history.

PART TWO

Amor Amor                the bossa nova rhythms were starting to enter the pop music sphere when Ben E King cooed “Amor” under the watchfull eyes of producers/writers Jerry leiber and Mike Stoller.
Wooden Heart              Elvis, signaled his departure from his military encampment at the US Army base in Friedberg, West Germany when he recorded this song for the paramount film G I Blues 
My Boomerang Won’t Come Back                  The future producer of The Beatles, George Martin was still knocking out the novelties at EMI in 1961 which included a series of hits by the slapstick comedian Charlie Drake.                             
Theme For A Dream           Cliff Richard And The Shadows with the 12th single.
Chili Bom Bom                   The Temperance Seven were an arty bunch – led by Paul Macdowell who was a member of The Oxford University Student Dramatic Society  - the august membership included many names who would become famous, including future “Monty Python” heroes Michael Palin and Terry Jones.           
Where The Boys Are            Connie Francis hits the silver screen in a film about college co-eds on their spring holiday and the romantic interludes they get into – innocence personified perhaps, but it was 1961 and one of the best things about it all was the title song written by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield.                           
Why Can’t You                  Clarence Frogman Henry in September 1961.
  I Count The Tears               he only spent a short time as the lead singer in The Drifters – but I still tend to rate Ben E King as THE voice of the Drifters, despite the fact that he sat in on just four of the group’s recording sessions.                                
Long Time Boy                   Baroness and Baron  Van Pallandt who started singing together at 4 years of age – for 20 years they lost contact until they reunited in 1960, married and had three children, and a successful singing carerer as Nina and Frederik,. 
Whispering Hope                here’s a Jim Reeves excursion into the white gospel field in 1960, four years into his tenure with RCA Victor Records.                                   
There’s A Hole In My Bucket                   Harry Belafonte with Odetta on a return visit to Carnegeie Hall … Martin Luther King anointed Odetta “The Queen Of American Folk Music”.        
Emotions            a powerful ballad about adult situations sung by a 15 year old … but even at that tender age, Brenda Lee was becoming one of the world’s top female vocalists.          
You’ll Answer to me                    Cleo Laine singing Pop music?  Well – yes Britain’s First lady of jazz drifted into the pop field occasionally.  
How Wonderful To Know          Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr
True Love                 Terry Lightfoot, from Potters Bar Hertfordshire, with his New Orleans Jazzmen, he made regular appearances on The “Morecombe And Wise Show” and that certainly helped his popularity.                                         
My Blue Heaven                 here’s a reinvigoration of a song Frank Sinatra first released in 1950.  He often returned to the songs he loved, providing there was a new arrangement on offer.  In this case, it came during the recording of the album “Sinatra’s swingin’ Session” with Nelson Riddle in April 1961.                       
Someday You’ll be Sorry     Kenny Ball and The Jazzers registered no less than 12 Top 30 entries in 1961 
The Great Snow man  Bob Luman, the former baseball star who became the King Of The Rockabillys … he was still in the US Army when this song was released in 61.               
The Writing On The Wall             Tommy Steele with a song he recorded about the time he was making the transition from Rock Star to “all-round entertainer.                           
You’ll never Know              Shirley Bassey with The Rita Williams Singers.