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.
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.