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Whilst American performers and songs remained strong in the charts, British acts were making their mark.  The number one chart position was shared out equally between British and American acts in 1959, with each nation getting eight of the sixteen chart-toppers.  Cliff Richard, who had emerged in 1958, gained his first two number ones in this year.  The year also saw debut hits for Billy Fury and Adam Faith who both went on to considerable success during the first half of the 1960s.  1959 was also the most successful year for pianist Russ Conway, who enjoyed two number one hits out of five Top 10 chart entries.  The year witnessed the arrival of Craig Douglas, who enjoyed several hits into the first couple of years of the 1960s, mostly by recording covers of American hits.  Lonnie Donegan and Marty Wilde continued strongly with the careers they had begun earlier, with Wilde enjoying four Top 10 hits, and Donegan gaining five Top 20 hits.

Established Americans Elvis Presley, the Everly Brothers and Connie Francis continued their success with more hits in this year.  However, it was also a year of sadness, as in February, a plane crash in the USA took the lives of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and rising star Richie Valens.  A number of posthumous hits, including a number one, kept Buddy Holly's name at the forefront of pop music.  The writer of Holly's number one, Paul Anka, who had shot to fame in 1957 with his song "Diana", had a good 1959, with three Top 10 entries, although things fell away quickly as the 1960s opened.  The year also saw the emergence of singer-songwriter Neil Sedaka, who enjoyed considerable success for the first few years of the 1960s, and fellow New Yorker, Bobby Darin enjoyed two chart-toppers in 1959.

These are my personal favourite recordings from this particular year, listed in the order in which they entered the UK hit singles chart.  The early part of the list shows late 1958 entries which featured in the January 1959 charts, and may even have reached their peak in the early months of 1959. You may not agree with my choices, but these were UK chart hits* that had plenty of air play on the music radio stations of the day, such as Radio Luxemburg.

* One song in the list was not a hit in the UK - details given in song info.



Title: It's Only Make Believe
Artist: Conway Twitty
Writer(s): Jack Nance & Conway Twitty
Entered chart 14 Nov 1958; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 15. Was at no 1 from 19 Dec 1958 to 22 Jan 1959.

Conway Twitty (1 Sep 1933 - 5 Jun 1993) was born in the state of Mississippi, USA.  He began playing music at high school, and formed a band in the army during the early 1950s.  After leaving the army he pursued a musical career, changing his name, and spending time at Sun Studios in Memphis.  In 1958 he recorded this song for MGM which went to the top of the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.  After a few smaller pop hits he moved into Country Music in the mid-1960s and enjoyed massive success, achieving over 30 number ones in the US Country Chart by the 1980s.  He died whilst on tour, aged 59.
# Three other versions of the song have been in the UK Top 10 since 1959.  They are by Billy Fury (1964, number 10); Glen Campbell (1970, number 4), and Child (1978, number 10).


Title: Come On, Let's Go
Artist: Tommy Steele
Writer(s): Ritchie Valens & Bob Kuhn
Entered chart 14 Nov 1958; Highest Position: 10; Weeks on chart: 13; still on chart during January 1959.

Tommy Steele was born on 17 Dec 1936 in Bermondsey, London, England.  He took to performing after a spell in the merchant navy, and got a recording deal with Decca in 1956.  He is regarded as Britain's first Rock 'n' Roll star, having his first hit, "Rock With The Caveman" in October 1956.  By the following year he was making films, with two released in 1957 including the semi-biographical "The Tommy Steele Story".  His 1958 film was "The Duke Wore Jeans".  By the 1960s he was more of a film star than a Rock 'n' Roll performer.  His movies in the 1960s were more musical-style productions such as "Half A Sixpence (1967) and "Finian's Rainbow (1968).  He made eleven films for cinema release and two for TV only between 1957 and 1979.  From the 1980s to the 2010s he performed in several long-running stage musicals, often touring the UK with them.
# This song was written and recorded by American, Ritchie Valens who had the USA hit.  Steele's cover was the only version to chart in the UK at the time.  In 1987, American band Los Lobos recorded the song, and it reached number 18 in the UK charts.


Title: Tom Dooley
Artist: Kingston Trio
Writer(s): Traditional, arranged by The Kingston Trio
Entered chart 21 Nov 1958; Highest Position: 5; Weeks on chart: 14; still on chart during January 1959.

The Kingston Trio was formed in the San Francisco area, California, USA, and they began performing around 1957 as a folk group.  They were given a recording contract by Capital Records, and their first album was released in June 1958.  A track on the album, "Tom Dooley" was released as a single, which reached number one in the USA.  They continued successfully in the USA, but made little lasting impact in the UK.  With inevitable personnel changes over the years, the group, without any original members, continued performing into the 21st century.
# "Tom Dooley" is an old North Carolina folk song based on the 1866 murder of a woman named Laura Foster.  Confederate veteran Tom Dula (Dooley), Foster's lover and probable fiancé, was convicted of her murder and hanged on 1st May 1868.
# Lonnie Donegan recorded a cover version which entered the chart on the same date, peaking at number 3 and charting for 14 weeks.


Title: The Day The Rains Came
Artist: Jane Morgan
Writer(s): Carl Sigman, Gilbert Bécaud
Entered chart 5 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 16.  Reached No. 1 on 23 Jan 1959.

Jane Morgan was born on 3 May 1924 in Massachusetts, USA.  As a youngster she moved to Florida and began piano and singing lessons.  In 1948 she went to Paris, France and joined a dance band there.  She already spoke French, so was able to sing in their language, which helped her to become a cult star amongst the society people of Paris.  She returned to the USA in the early 1950s, and soon won a recording contract.  This song was her break-through, which had the same song on the B-side sung in French.  During the 1960s she recorded a number of albums and appeared on TV, as well as performing live in Las Vegas and other locations.  She retired from singing in 1973, but has performed at some benefit concerts since then, most recently in 2009.


Title: To Know Him Is To Love Him
Artist: The Teddy Bears
Writer(s): Phil Spector
Entered chart 19 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 2; Weeks on chart: 16.  Reached its peak in January 1959.

The Teddy Bears were a group formed by Phil Spector (born 26 Dec 1939 in New York City) after he graduated from high school in Los Angeles, Califormia, USA.  The lead singer was Annette Kleinbard, and drums were played by Sandy Nelson who would have few drum-based instrumental hits in the early 1960s.  The song went to number one in the USA, but follow-ups fared badly, and Spector broke up the band within a year.  He went on to become a famous record producer in the 1960s, inventing his "wall of sound" with groups The Crystals and The Ronnettes etc.  Annette Kleinbard changed her name to Carol Connors and became a successful song writer - mostly for film soundtracks.
# In 1965, Peter & Gordon reached number five in the UK charts with the song, although slightly changing the title and lyric to "To Know You Is To Love You".


Title: As I Love You
Artist: Shirley Bassey
Writer(s): Jay Livington & Ray Evans
Entered chart 19 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 19.  Was at No. 1 from 20 Feb 1959 for 4 weeks.

Shirley Bassey was born on 8 Jan 1937 in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales. She went on to become an international star with countless hit singles and albums throughout the world.  She began singing professionally in 1953, and performed up and down the UK.  She signed a recording contract in 1956, and had her first Top 10 hit in 1957 ("Banana Boat Song").  "As I Love You" was her first number one.  She had her own TV show during the 1970s, but during that decade, most of her recorded success was with albums rather than singles.  Since then she has performed in numerous live concerts in the UK, USA and Europe; and has continued performing into the 21st century.  By 2015 she had scored 33 hit singles and 39 hit albums.  She was honoured with a Damehood in 2000, and was back in the recording studios in 2014.
# The song was featured in a film titled "The Big Beat".  Bassey was not in the film.


Title: Kiss Me, Honey Honey, Kiss Me
Artist: Shirley Bassey
Writer(s): Michael Julien & Al Timothy
Entered chart 26 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 17.  Reached its peak in February 1959.

Although this record and the one above were issued several weeks apart by Bassey's record company, Philips, "As I Love You" was slow to take off.  So, Philips issued this single.  Bassey then performed "As I Love You" on TV which boosted sales of that recording.  As a result, the two records chased each other up the charts and eventually stood in the top three simultaneously in January 1959.  They were separate physical records with different catalogue numbers, not two sides of the same disc.  They presented two styles for the singer, with "As I Love You" being a romantic ballad, and "Kiss Me" being an up-tempo number.  These were her last hits for Philips, after which she moved to EMI's Columbia label.


Title: You Always Hurt The one You Love
Artist: Connie Francis
Writer(s): Allan Roberts & Doris Fisher.
Entered chart 26 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 13; Weeks on chart: 7.  Reached its peak in January 1959.

Connie Francis was born on 12 Dec 1938 in Newark, New Jersey, USA.  She participated in many talent contests as a young teenager, and even made some records, but did not score her first hit until 1958.  She often recorded older songs, but usually put a modern Rock 'n' Roll number on the B-side of the discs.  Her record success continued into the early 1960s, but she has continued  performing live, with some long breaks, into the 21st century.
# This song was a hit for the Mills Brothers in 1944, reaching number one in the USA charts.  It was also a hit in the UK charts for Clarence "Frogman" Henry in 1961, reaching number 6.


Title: Chantilly Lace
Artist: The Big Bopper
Writer(s): Jiles Perry Richardson (The Big Bopper's real name)
Entered chart 26 Dec 1958; Highest Position: 12; Weeks on chart: 8.  Reached its peak in January 1959.

The Big Bopper (24 Oct 1930 - 3 Feb 1959) was born in Texas, USA.  He became a radio disc jockey on a Texas radio station in 1949, and eventually rose to Programme Director. He was also writing songs for other acts, but was encouraged to record this one himself.  He had been calling himself The Big Bopper on his radio shows, and used the same name for the record.  It reached number 6 in the USA, and so he began touring with other Rock 'n' Roll artists.  He died in the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens on 3rd Feb 1959.
# The song was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis in 1972 and became a hit in the USA and in the UK, reaching number 33 in the British charts.


Title: Cannonball
Artist: Duane Eddy
Writer(s): Duane Eddy & Lee Hazlewood
Producer: Lee Hazlewood  (Hazlewood became Nancy Sinatra's producer and co-writer in the 1960s)

Entered chart 2 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 22; Weeks on chart: 4.

Duane Eddy was born on 26 Apr 1938 in Corning, New York, USA.  His family moved to Arizona when he was a young teen, and he started playing guitar with a friend when he was 16.  They got a few gigs on a local radio station, where Duane met Lee Hazlewood, who would help develop the "twangy" guitar sound that was Eddy's trademark.  He began recording in 1957, and his recording of "Rebel Rouser" became an international hit in 1958.  Eddy enjoyed numerous hit singles and albums during the 1960s, and has continued making live appearances into the 21st century.
# This follow-up hit to "Rebel Rouser" was again co-written and produced by Lee Hazlewood.


Title: Baby Face
Artist: Little Richard
Writer(s): Harry Akst & Benny Davis.
Entered chart 2 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 2; Weeks on chart: 15.

Little Richard (Richard Penniman) was born on 5 Dec 1932 in Macon, Georgia, USA.  Like so many singers from the South, Richard started his career by singing Gospel music.  He left his home in 1948 and began performing with various touring bands.  In the early 1950s he formed his own band and again began touring.  After meeting with record producers, he had his first hit record in 1956, and the hits continued through the 1950s.  This was his first hit with an old song, rather than a contemporary song written in the Rock 'n' Roll era, and was his final UK Top 10 hit.
# The song was published in 1926 and recorded by many artists of the time, including Al Jolson.  In 1962, American singer Bobby Darin had a Top 40 hit in the UK with his rendition of the song.  In early 1976, the group Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps reached number 12 in the UK with an instrumental version of the song.


Title: Heartbeat
Artist: Buddy Holly
Writer(s): Bob Montgomery & Norman Petty
Entered chart 16 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 30; Weeks on chart: 1.

Buddy Holly is one of the legendary early Rock 'n' Roll stars.  He was born in Lubbock, Texas, USA on 7 Sep 1936, and died on 3 Feb 1959.  He was highly influential to immerging musicians of the time, and his records are still widely played on radio stations throughout the world.  He had learned to play guitar whilst at school, and he formed a band after graduation.  The band played on local radio, and even provided the opening act for stars performing in Lubbock, including Elvis Presley.  He and his band moved to Nashville in 1956, and began making demo recordings, which led to a record contract.  Unusually for the time, his debut single was self-penned, and most of his output was written by Holly with contributions from band members and manager Norman Petty.  His career flourished with hit records and TV appearances during 1957 and 1958.  He died in a plane crash whilst on a tour of the USA, along with two other stars of the period.  This was the last Buddy Holly record to enter the charts in his lifetime.
# The song has charted in the UK for other artists.  It was a hit for the England Sisters in February 1960, reaching number 33, and in September 1975 Showaddywaddy took the song number 7.  In June 1992, Nick Berry's version, recorded for the Heartbeat TV series (in which Berry starred) reached number 2.


Title: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
Artist: The Platters

Writer(s): Jerome Kern & Otto Harbach
Entered chart 16 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 20.

The Platters formed in Los Angeles in 1952.  By 1955 they had their first hits in the USA, quickly followed by hits in the UK.  There were several personnel changes, even during their hits period.  Subsequently, changes have been frequent, and ex-members have formed new groups also called The Platters, which led to various legal challenges.  Such legal activity continued right up to 2014, even though most of the original members had died by then.  The current line up has no original members.  This recording was their only number one in the UK, and turned out to be their final visit to the UK Top 10.
# The song was written by the composers for their 1933 musical "Roberta" and was featured the 1935 film adaptation. This American standard has been recorded by numerous artists over the years.  Other hit versions in the UK charts are by Blue Haze (1972, number 32); Brian Ferry (1974, number 17); and John Alford (1996, number 13).


Title: I'll Be With you In Apple Blossom Time
Artist: Rosemary June.

Writer(s): Albert Von Tilzer & Neville Fleeson
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 14; Weeks on chart: 9.

There seems to be no biographical information about this American artist on the internet.  What is known is that she was a member of the Ray Charles Singers (nothing to do with the R&B singer) who were a group of mainly backing singers who also appeared on the Perry Como TV show in the 1950s, backing Perry.  Rosemary June was brought out from the group on one edition of the show, and given the chance to sing solo.  She made records during 1958, released in the UK on the Fontana label, but none appeared in the UK charts.  However, in early 1959, this record (on the Pye International label) took off in the UK, although it did not chart in the USA.  Further releases failed in the UK.
# The song was published in 1920.  The first significant recording of the song was made in 1937 by American clarinetist and band leader Artie Shaw, and the first hit recording was by The Andrews Sisters who reached number 5 in the USA during 1941.


Title: One Night
Artist: Elvis Presley

Writer(s): Dave Bartholomew, Earl King & Anita Steinman
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 12.

The King of Rock 'n' Roll (8 Jan 1935 - 16 Aug 1977) was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA.  He and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was 13 years old.  Soon afterwards he acquired his first guitar and began playing and singing.  He started his recording career at Sun Records in Memphis, USA.  It took several attempts to get Sun owner Sam Phillips to let Presley record, but eventually a session was arranged with guitarist Scotty Moore and upright bass player Bill Black providing backing.  The resultant track "That's Alright" was soon on local radio in Memphis, and it became a local hit.  Public performances followed, including numerous appearances on the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show which was broadcast to half the USA.  Eventually he became famous enough for RCA records to buy out his Sun contract and take him to Nashville, in 1956.  He rose to be arguably the biggest music star of the 20th century, with world-wide record sales of over one billion.  Also in 1956 Elvis made his movie debut in the film "Love Me Tender".  By the end of 1969 he had completed 31 films.  He made no more movies after that, instead concentrating on live concert performances, including many in Las Vegas.  His home in Memphis, "Graceland", is now a museum and major tourist attraction, and his recordings continue to be heard throughout the world.
# The song was originally written and recorded under the title "One Night (Of Sin)", and had been a hit for American Blues artist, Smiley Lewis in 1956.  Both Elvis and RCA Records were concerned about the suggestive lyrics. Elvis rewrote the lyric that might cause offence, changing "One night of sin is what I'm now paying for" into "One night with you is what I'm now praying for."  
# British band Mud recorded a version in 1975, which reached 32 in the charts.  The Elvis original was re-released in January 2005 and again went to number one.


Title: I Got Stung
Artist: Elvis Presley

Writer(s): Aaron Schroeder & David Hill
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 12.

This recording was a double A-side with record 15 above.  Whilst "One Night" is a sultry slow-tempo song, this number is an upbeat Rock 'n' Roll song.  This original recording was re-released in January 2005, again as a double A-side with "One Night", and again went to number one.


Title: Last Night On The Back Porch
Artist: Alma Cogan

Writer(s): Carl Schraubstader & Lew Brown
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 27; Weeks on chart: 2.

Alma Cogan (19 May 1932 - 26 Oct 1966) was born in east London, England.  She began singing when just 14.  By the early 1950s she was appearing regularly on the big radio shows of the time.  A recording contract followed and from 1954 to 1961 she had 21 hits.  Most of her hits were light novelty songs, and she became known as "The Girl with the Giggle in Her Voice".  In the late 1950s she frequently appeared on television, and became famous for her huge ball gowns which she designed herself.  By the early 1960s her popularity in the UK had dwindled, but she remained successful in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, and had several hits in those countries until 1965.   She died in 1966 from ovarian cancer at the age of 34.
# This song was first published in 1923, and was introduced in the Broadway revue "George White's Scandals".  It was recorded by acts of the day, including the Paul Whiteman Orchestra, in 1923.


Title: Problems
Artist: Everly Brothers

Writer(s): Boudleaux & Felice Bryant
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 12.

These two brothers had roots in American Country Music, but soon became major Rock 'n' Roll stars.  They were Don Everly (born 1 Feb 1937) and Phil Everly (19 Jan 1939 - 3 Jan 2014).  They moved to Nashville in 1955 and made a couple of recordings, but they did not enter the charts.  However, in early 1957 they signed with Cadence Records and recorded "Bye Bye Love" which it is said had been turned down by 30 other acts.  The recording reached number two on the USA pop charts and sold a million copies.  "Bye Bye Love" became their first hit in the UK too, peaking at number six.  After three years with Cadence they moved to Warner Brothers records and the hits continued. They amassed 29 hit singles by 1968, after which the hits stopped.  They both went solo in the 1970s after a falling out, and they did not speak to each other for some years.  However, they reunited in 1983 with a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and they made a number of concert tours into the 1990s.
# This song was written by the husband and wife team who provided a number hits for the brothers.


Title: High School Confidential
Artist: Jerry Lee Lewis

Writer(s): Ron Hargrave & Jerry Lee Lewis
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 12; Weeks on chart: 6.

Jerry Lee Lewis was born on 29 Sep 1935 in Ferriday, Louisiana, USA.  He is one of the great Rock 'n' Roll pioneers, and made his hit recordings at the legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee.  He is the only white early Rock 'n' Roll star to play piano rather than guitar.  His antics at the piano earned him the nickname "The Wild Man of Rock".   Personal-life controversy led to his May 1958 UK tour being cancelled after just three performances.  Nevertheless, there was still a market for his records in the following year.  He continued recording and touring, but In 1968 he turned to Country Music and enjoyed considerable success.  However, he returned to Rock 'n' Roll in the late 1970s, and toured with other artists of his era throughout the 1980s and 1990s.  He is still performing occasionally in the 21st century.
# This song is from the film of the same name.  It is a crime drama which features a cameo appearance by Jerry Lee Lewis, who opens the movie singing the song.  The full title of the song does not appear in the lyrics.  Instead, the phrase "High School Hop" is repeated many times.


Title: The World Outside
Artist: The Four Aces

Writer(s): Richard Addinsell with lyrics by Carl Sigman
Entered chart 23 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 18; Weeks on chart: 6.

The Four Aces were formed in Philadelphia, USA by lead singer Al Alberts in 1950.  They were a close-harmony quartet, who amassed a large number of hits in the USA during the 1950s.  They were sucessful in the UK as well, scoring seven hits, four of which made the Top 10.  This hit was their final visit to the UK charts.  Over the years, the original members have been replaced, and the current line-up has no original members, who all died between 2009 and 2013.
# The music was first published as an instrumental piece, called "The Warsaw Concerto".  It was written by the British composer, Richard Addinsell, for the 1941 British film "Dangerous Moonlight".  The lyrics were added later by American songwriter Carl Sigman.
# Two other versions were in the UK charts at the same time as The Four Aces hit.  They were by Ronnie Hilton who also peaked at number 18 with his recording, and Russ Conway, whose instrumental (piano) version reached number 24.


Title: (All Of A Sudden) My Heart Sings
Artist: Paul Anka
Writer(s): Harold Rome & Henri Laurent Herpin
Entered chart 30 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 10; Weeks on chart: 13.

Canadian Paul Anka was born on 30 Jul 1941, in Ottawa, Canada.  He went to New York at the age of 14 to audition for a record deal.  His first release, the self-penned "Diana" was a world-wide smash, and his career grew from there, becoming one of the biggest recording stars of the Rock 'n' Roll era.   He wrote most of his big hits himself, and he also wrote songs recorded by other performers including Buddy Holly, Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra.  He continued recording (mostly albums) and performing throughout the remainder of the 20th century, often in Las Vegas, and was working well into the 2000s.   In 2005 he issued an album, "Rock Swings", featuring big band arrangements of rock hits.  A follow-up in similar style, "Classic Hits, My Way", was issued in 2007.  His most recent album was released in 2013.
# This song dates from 1942, and is based on the French song "Ma Mie".  Other versions have been recorded by numerous artists, but none have been in the UK singles charts.


Title: A Pub With No Beer
Artist: Slim Dusty
Writer(s): Gordon Parsons, Dan Sheahan, Chad Morgan
Entered chart 30 Jan 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 15.

Slim Dusty (13 Jun 1927 – 19 Sep 2003), was an Australian country music singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, with a career spanning nearly seven decades.  He was born as David Gordon Kirkpatrick, near Kempsey, New South Wales, Australia - the son of a cattle farmer.  He adopted the stage name "Slim Dusty" in 1938 at 11 years of age.  In 1951, Dusty married singer-songwriter Joy McKean and, with her help, achieved great success around Australia.   McKean was Dusty's wife and manager for over 50 years.
# This Australian song was adapted by Gordon Parsons from the original poem "A Pub Without Beer" by Dan Sheahan of Ingham, North Queensland (originally from Ireland).


Title: Does Your Chewing Gum Loose It's Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight)
Artist: Lonnie Donegan
Writer(s): Billy Rose, Ernest Breuer, & Marty Bloom
Entered chart 6 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 12.

Lonnie Donegan (29 Apr 1931 - 3 Nov 2002) was born in Glasgow, Scotland.  His first interest was jazz, and in 1952 he formed his own jazz band.  He also performed with other jazz bands, notably Chris Barber's.  He was interested also in Blues and created a jazz-blues hybrid called Skiffle.  His first hit came in 1956 - "Rock Island Line" - a fast version of the Lead Belly blues number.  He became a popular performer, with many TV and concert appearances in the UK, and became known as The King of Skiffle.  Between 1956 and 1962 he had 32 hit singles.  Although the hits dried up in 1962, he continued performing to loyal fans, and also worked as a record producer at Pye Records.  He died from a heart attack at age 71.
# The song was written in 1924 as "Does The Spearmint Lose Its Flavor on the Bedpost Overnight?", and was recorded by popular acts of the day.  The title and lyrics of the Donegan version were changed from the original, as "Spearmint" is a registered trademark, and the BBC would not play songs that mentioned trademarks.  
# Unusually for the time, the track was recorded live at the New Theatre Oxford, in December 1958.  The record also reached number 5 in the USA during 1961.


Title: My Happiness
Artist: Connie Francis

Writer(s): Betty Peterson Blasco & Borney Bergantine
Entered chart 13 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 4; Weeks on chart: 15.

Connie Francis recorded many older songs, and this hit was yet another.  An unpublished version of the melody with different lyrics had been written by Borney Bergantine in 1933.  However, new lyrics were written by Betty Peterson Blasco in 1948, and a recording was in the USA charts that year.  Connie Francis' version was a major hit, selling over one million copies in the USA.


Title: Stagger Lee
Artist: Lloyd Price

Writer(s): Traditional, re-worked by Lloyd Price & Harold Logan 

Entered chart 13 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 7; Weeks on chart: 14.

Lloyd Price was born on 9 Mar 1933 in Louisiana, USA.  He began singing and playing piano at a young age. He made his first record in the early 1950s, and was at No 1 in the American R&B charts with "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" in 1951.  It was "Stagger Lee", however, that shot him to fame, reaching number one in the USA pop charts in late 1958.  Several hits followed into the early 1960s.  He is still occasionally performing, but is also running a southern-style food company.
# The song "Stagger Lee", also known as "Stagolee" and other variants, is a popular American folk song about the murder of Billy Lyons by "Stag" Lee Shelton in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, at Christmas 1895.  Shelton was charged, tried and convicted of the murder in 1897. He was pardoned in 1909, but returned to prison in 1911 for assault and robbery, and died in prison in 1912.
# The song was first published in 1911, and was first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians.  The song has been recorded by many artists over the years, but Price's version is the only one to reach the UK charts.


Title: Petite Fleur
Artist: Chris Barber's Jazz Band
Writer(s): Sidney Bechet (American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer)

Entered chart 13 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 24.

Chris Barber is a British jazz musician, bandleader and trombonist.  He was born on 17 Apr 1930 in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, and attended the Guildhall School of Music in London.  In 1953, Barber and Monty Sunshine (clarinet) formed a band, calling it Ken Colyer's Jazzmen, to capitalise on their trumpeter's recent band-playing in New Orleans. The group also included Lonnie Donegan.  Barber's big break-through came in 1959 when the band's version of "Petite Fleur", featuring the clarinet solo by Monty Sunshine, spent twenty-four weeks in the UK Singles Charts, and sold over one million copies.  He has never stopped playing, and has performed in concert into the 21st century.
# The music was written by Sidney Bechet and recorded by him in January 1952.  Barber's version was also a hit in the USA, reaching number 5.  Following Barber's hit, French lyrics were added, and the song was recorded by Petula Clark (in French) in 1964.
# The French phrase Petite Fleur means Little Flower.


Title: Gigi
Artist: Billy Eckstine

Writer(s): Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe

Entered chart 13 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 8; Weeks on chart: 14.

Billy Eckstine (8 Jul 1914 - 8 Mar 1993) was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.  He went to Chicago in 1939 and joined Earl Hines' Orchestra, staying with the band as vocalist and trumpeter until 1943.  He then formed his own band and scored a number of hit records.  He became a solo vocalist in 1947 and, with his rich baritone voice, went on to international stardom, performing and recording until the 1980s.  He returned to Pittsburgh after suffering a stroke in 1992, and died there when he was 78 years old.
# "Gigi" is the title song from the 1958 Academy Award-winning film, staring Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier with music by Lerner & Loewe.  It was sung by Louis Jourdan in the film.  It then went on to win the Academy Award (Oscar) for Best Original Song in 1958.  The song was recorded by a number of artists, but Eckstine's version was the only one to chart in the UK.


Title: Side Saddle
Artist: Russ Conway

Writer(s): Russ Conway (under his real name of Trevor Stanford)

Entered chart 20 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 30.

Russ Conway (2 Sep 1925 - 16 Nov 2000) was born in Bristol, England.  He joined the Royal Navy in 1942, remaining in service until 1955.  After the navy he began playing piano in night clubs, and during the day, worked as a rehearsal pianist for the stars.  This resulted in a recording contract, appearances on TV, and his becoming a major star during 1959.  His hits went on into the early 1960s, but he continued performing right up until his death.
# Conway composed this instrumental piano tune as part of the score for a television musical adaptation of "Beauty and the Beast".


Title: Wait For Me
Artist: Marion Ryan

Writer(s): Giovanni D'Anzi with English lyrics by Norman Newell (as David West)
Released February 1959 - not a hit in UK charts.

Marion Ryan (4 Feb 1931 - 15 Jan 1999) was born in Middlesbrough, England.  She began as the singer with the Edmundo Ros orchestra, and then sang with the Ray Ellington Quartet from 1953.  She became a TV star when she joined TV musical quiz show "Spot The Tune", in which she sang the first few words of a song that contestants had to identify.  The show ran for seven years from 1956.  A contract with Pye Records resulted in several record releases - mostly covers of American hits, but they were largely unsuccessful in the charts.  In 1967 she retired after her (second) marriage.  Her new husband was the millionaire impresario Harold Davison, who handled Frank Sinatra.  The couple moved to Florida in 1988, where she died eleven years later, at age 67.
# This Italian song ("Ti Diro" - I'll Tell You), with English lyrics, was a hit in the UK for Malcolm Vaughan in March 1959, who only reached number 13 with it, but stayed on the charts for 15 weeks.  It was Vaughan's last ever hit record.


Title: Tomboy
Artist: Perry Como
Writer(s): Joe Farrell and Jim Conway
Entered chart 27 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 10; Weeks on chart: 12.

Perry Como (18 May 1912 - 12 May 2001) was born in Pennsylvania, USA to Italian immigrants. In 1933 he took part in a talent spot, singing with a dance band and was immediately offered a job.  By 1943 he had his own radio show, and a recording contract with RCA.  The mid 1950s and 1960s saw him with hit records and his popular TV show that was broadcast in the UK as well.  His first run of hits continued until 1962, but he returned in 1971 with another series of hit singles, when he was nearly 60 years of age!  Como died in his sleep at his home in Jupiter Inlet Colony, Florida, USA six days before his eighty-ninth birthday.


Title: Manhattan Spiritual
Artist: Reg Owen & His Orchestra
Writer(s): Billy Maxted (American jazz pianist and composer)
Entered chart 27 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 20; Weeks on chart: 8.

Reg Owen (3 Feb 1921 - 23 May 1978) was a British musician and composer, born in east London, England.  He  began playing the saxophone at the age of 15, and in 1945 began arranging music for the bands of Ted heath and Cyril Stapleton.  He began writing film scores from 1957, and enjoyed this instrumental hit in 1959, which also charted in the USA, reaching number 10.  He relocated to Brussels, Belgium in 1961, working as a composer, conductor, and arranger in Europe.  He moved to Spain in the 1970s, and died in Málaga at the age of 57.


Title: The Love Game
Artist: The Mudlarks
Writer(s): Silversteed, May
Entered chart 27 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 30; Weeks on chart: 1.

The Mudlarks were a British family trio from Luton, England, comprising brothers Jeff Mudd (born 1935) and Fred Mudd (1937-2007), plus sister Mary Mudd (born 1939).  They were singing in local venues in 1958 when they were invited to appear on the BBC TV music show Six-Five Special.  Following the appearance they gained a recording contract with EMI.  Despite early promise, they only achieved three hit records between May 1958 and February 1959 - less than a year.  They continued making records into the 1960s, but none reached the charts.
# This was their third and final hit recording.


Title: It Doesn't Matter Anymore
Artist: Buddy Holly
Writer(s): Paul Anka
Entered chart 27 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 21.

This entered the charts in the wake of Holly's death in a plane crash on 3 February 1959.  Holly had been on tour in the USA with Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper who all perished in the accident.  It will never be known if the publicity surrounding his death led to the heavy sales of this record, but it was his first (and only) number 1 in the UK.  It peaked at number 13 in the USA.  Nevertheless, it is a very good, well produced record that has stood the test of time.
# The song was written especially for Holly by the successful singer-songwriter Paul Anka, after Holly had asked him for a song.   Following the tragedy, Anka donated his composer's royalty to Holly's widow.
# The B-side of the record was "Raining In My Heart" written by Felice & Boudleaux Bryant, who had penned many Everly Brothers hits.  This B-side track has appeared on a number of Holly's compilation albums.


Title: Maybe Tomorrow
Artist: Billy Fury
Writer(s): Billy Fury
Entered chart 27 Feb 1959; Highest Position: 18; Weeks on chart: 9.

Billy Fury (17 Apr 1940 - 28 Jan 1983) was born in Liverpool, England.  He bought his first guitar at age 14, entered talent contests, and by 1958 was writing his own songs.  He was spotted by impresario Larry Parnes, who put him on tour, and arranged a recording contract with Decca.  He also appeared on the TV pop show "Oh Boy!", and released this, his first record in 1959.  He went on to considerable success, and had amassed 26 hit singles by the end of 1966.  Heart problems, which he suffered from childhood, led to surgery in the early 1970s.  He did some touring and recording in the very early 1980s, but his heart problems worsened, and died in London in January 1983, aged just 42.  On 19 April 2003 a bronze statue of Fury was unveiled at the National Museum of Liverpool Life.


Title: Donna
Artist: Marty Wilde
Writer(s): Ritchie Valens
Entered chart 6 Mar 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 18.

Marty Wilde was born on 15 Apr 1939 in south London, England.  Whilst performing live in 1957 he was spotted and signed up to Philips records.  In 1958 he began appearing alongside Cliff Richard on the TV pop show "Oh Boy!", which brought him to the attention of a wider audience.  His first hit came in 1958 (see 1958, song 65), and more hits followed during the next couple of years, nearly all covers of American hits.  The hits dried up in the early 1960s, but he continued to perform on the oldies and nostalgia circuits into the 21st century, most recently in 2017.
# This song was written by Ritchie Valens, who had died in the plane crash that killed Buddy Holly.  Valens' recorded version was the hit in the USA, reaching number 2.  It also made the UK charts in March 1959, peaking at number 29.


Title: C'mon Everybody
Artist: Eddie Cochran
Writer(s): Eddie Cochran & Jerry Capehart
Entered chart 13 Mar 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 13.

Eddie Cochran (3 Oct 1938 - 17 Apr 1960) was born in Minnesota, USA, but moved with his family to California in the early 1950s.  He began playing music at high school, and writing songs with Jerry Capehart, who became his manager.  His first success came when he performed the song "Twenty Flight Rock" in the 1956 film "The Girl Can't Help It", prompting Liberty Records to offer him a recording contract.  More hits followed, but his career was cut short when he was killed in a road accident whilst on tour in England. 
# The song was recorded by the Sex Pistols in 1979, reaching number 3 in the UK charts.
The original Cochran version was reissued in the UK in 1988 following its use in a Levi 501 jeans advert on TV.  The reissue reached number 14 in the UK.


Title: Charlie Brown
Artist: The Coasters
Writer(s): Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Entered chart 27 Mar 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 12.

The Coasters were formed in October 1955 as a spin-off of the Robins, a Los Angeles-based rhythm and blues group.  The Coasters had a string of hits in the late 1950s - often with humourous overtones.   Their most memorable songs were written by the songwriting and production team of Leiber and Stoller.  The hits dried up in the 1960s, but various configurations of band members toured as The Coasters in the USA for several decades.
# The group had issued another Leiber & Stoller song in 1958 called "Sorry But I'm Gonna Have To Pass".  That was not a hit in the UK at the time, but it was reissued in April 1994 and finally reached the UK charts, peaking at number 41.


Title: By The Light Of The Silvery Moon
Artist: Little Richard
Writer(s): Gus Edwards & Edward Madden
Entered chart 3 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 17; Weeks on chart: 5.

By this time, Little Richard was already running out of steam in the charts.  He would have no more Top 10 hits in the UK.  See song 11 in this list for info about him.
# The song was published in 1909 and first performed on stage by Lillian Lorraine.  It was recorded in the same year by Billy Murray and Haydn Quartet.  Fats Waller recorded the song in 1942, as did Bing Crosby in the same year.


Title: It's Late
Artist: Ricky Nelson
Writer(s): Dorsey Burnette (Rockabilly singer and brother of Johnny Burnette who would have early 1960s hits)
Entered chart 17 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 20.

Ricky Nelson (8 May 1940 - 31 Dec 1985) was born in New Jersey, USA.  After a one-off recording in 1956, he signed a deal with Imperial Records and the hits started.  He also began TV appearances, and with Elvis Presley in the army from 1958 to 1960, Nelson had the opportunity to build a strong fan-base.  He died in a plane crash whilst on tour in the USA.
# The song was recorded by Shakin' Stevens in 1983, and he peaked at number 11 in the UK charts during April that year.


Title: Never Be Anyone Else But You
Artist: Ricky Nelson
Writer(s): Baker Knight

Entered chart 17 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 20.

This recording was part of a double A-side with song 39 above.
# Cliff Richard released a version on his album "Rock 'n' Roll Silver" in 1983, and again the following year on "The Rock Connection" album.
Some record charts of the time listed each side of the record separately, with different dates, highest positions and weeks on the chart.  However, as the songs were on each side of one physical disc, it is reasonable to show the data as identical.


Title: Venus
Artist: Frankie Avalon
Writer(s): Ed Marshall and Peter DeAngelis
Entered chart 24 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 16; Weeks on chart: 6.

Frankie Avalon was born on 18 Sep 1940 in Philadelphia, USA.  He was on American television playing  trumpet by the time he was 11.  Two singles showcasing Avalon's trumpet playing were issued on RCA Victor's "X" label in 1954.   It was In 1959 that he became a teenage heart-throb following the release of "Venus".  The song was an American number one for 5 weeks.  In the USA he had 31 hit singles from 1958 to late 1962.  Teamed frequently with Annette Funicello, Avalon starred in a number of popular beach-party comedy films during the mid-1960s.  The wholesome and romantic coupling of "Frankie and Annette" in summer movies such as "Beach Party" and "Beach Blanket Bingo" became iconic figures in American films during that era.  He still occasionally performs.
# The song was covered by Dickie Valentine in the UK, reaching number 20 in March 1959.


Title: A Fool Such As I
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Bill Trader
Entered chart 24 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 15.

This was Presley's seventeenth Top 10 single in the UK, and was issued whilst he was still serving in the US Army.  It was listed in the UK as a double A-side with "I Need Your Love Tonight". 
# The song was written in 1952, and was recorded by Hank Snow who took it to number 4 on the American Country Music charts in 1953.  A version by Jo Stafford reached number 16 on the USA pop chart in the same year.


Title: Come Softly To Me
Artist: The Fleetwoods
Writer(s): Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis & Gary Troxel (the members of The Fleetwoods)
Entered chart 24 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 8.

The Fleetwoods were a mixed-gender trio from Washington State, USA.  Comprising Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis & Gary Troxel, their first hit was this song, which went to number 1 in the USA.  Whilst they remain a one-hit wonder in the UK, they scored a total of eleven hits in America, with three of those making number 1.  They continued performing in to the 1970s, but two members retired from the act, leaving just Gretchen Christopher by the end of the 1970s.  She went on to form a new Fleetwoods act in the 1980s, but all three have released solo recordings.
# The song was originally titled "Come Softly", but it was thought that this might be considered risqué.  So the title was changed to "Come Softly to Me", although the title phrase never appears in the song's lyrics.

# Frankie Vaughan with The Kaye Sisters recorded a cover version which reached number 9 during April 1959.  In December 1972, The New Seekers issued their version which peaked at number 20 in the UK.


Title: I Go Ape
Artist: Neil Sedaka
Writer(s): Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield
Entered chart 24 Apr 1959; Highest Position: 9; Weeks on chart: 13.

Neil Sedaka was born on 13 Mar 1939 in Brooklyn, New York, USA.  He is an American pop singer, pianist, composer and record producer. Since his music career began in 1957, he has sold millions of records as an artist and has written or co-written over 500 songs for himself and others, collaborating mostly with lyricists Howard Greenfield and Phil Cody.  When Sedaka was 13, a neighbour heard him playing piano and introduced him to her 16-year-old son, Howard Greenfield, an aspiring poet and lyricist. They became two of the legendary Brill Building's composers in New York City.  Sedaka co-wrote several hit songs for Connie Francis as well as others, and began his own singing career in 1958.  His first UK hit was this song, which led to a run of Top 20 hits in the early 1960s.  After his rock 'n' roll style went out of fashion, he reinvented himself in the early 1970s with a series of ballads which charted between 1972 and 1975.  He continues to perform in concert in the USA and overseas in the 21st century.


Title: I've Waited So Long
Artist: Anthony Newley
Writer(s): Jerry Lordan (wrote several hits in the early 1960s, including for himself as a vocalist)
Entered chart 1 May 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 15.

Anthony Newley (24 Sep 1931 - 14 Apr 1999) was born in east London, England.  He started an acting career as a teenager, and made several films during the 1950s.  It was in one film, "Idol On Parade", a 1959 comedy, that he sang a few songs that launched him into a singing career, with a number of chart hits during the early 1960s.  He teamed up with Leslie Bricusse in the early 1960s and they began writing stage musicals together.  The first was "Stop the World - I Want to Get Off" in which Newley also performed, and which was a hit show in London and on Broadway.  This was followed by "The Roar of the Greasepaint - the Smell of the Crowd" (1965) and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), based on the children's book by Roald Dahl.  He also continued his acting career in film and on television, with some stage work through the 1970s and 1980s.  He died in Florida from cancer at age 67.


Title: May You Always
Artist: Joan Regan
Writer(s): Larry Markes & Dick Charles
Entered chart 1 May 1959; Highest Position: 9; Weeks on chart: 16.

Joan Regan (19 Jan 1928 - 12 Sep 2013) was born in Romford, Essex, England.  Her singing career began in 1953, when she made a demo record, and signed a recording contract with Decca Records, with whom she had six Top 20 hits.  The hit "May You Always" was with the HMV label, after which she signed with Pye Records and had a few more minor hits.  After her hits dried up she relocated to Florida, USA, and married a doctor there.  She had an accident in 1984 which left her paralysed and unable to speak, but she recovered after a year.  She returned to the UK in the 1990s and began performing again and recorded a couple of albums.  She died in 2013 at the age of 85.
# The song was a USA hit for the McGuire Sisters, whose version reached number 15 in the UK.


Title: Mean Streak
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Ian Samwell & Joseph Seener
Entered chart 8 May 1959; Highest Position: 10; Weeks on chart: 9.

Cliff Richard was born on 14 Oct 1940 in Lucknow, India, whilst his parents were working in that country.  He returned to England with his family in 1948.  He formed a band in 1957 and a year later he was chosen as a singer for the TV Rock 'n' Roll show "Oh Boy!".  His first hit came in 1958, which started a career that continued into the 21st century, with more than 130 hit singles and over 50 original albums, spanning 50 years plus.  In the early 1960s he also starred in several musical films, notably "The Young Ones" and "Summer Holiday".  He also achieved a number one single in five different decades, and is the most successful British recording artist of all time.
# The song was co-composed by Ian Samwell who had written Cliff's two 1958 hits.


Title: Roulette
Artist: Russ Conway

Writer(s): Russ Conway (under his real name of Trevor Stanford)

Entered chart 15 May 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 19.

This was pianist, Russ Conway's second number 1 hit of the year.  He had now become very popular with plenty of TV exposure, particularly on "The Billy Cotton Band Show", and was hitting number one in the Sheet Music chart as well.  He would have three more Top 10 hits during 1959.


Title: Guitar Boogie Shuffle
Artist: Bert Weedon

Writer(s): Arthur Smith

Entered chart 15 May 1959; Highest Position: 10; Weeks on chart: 9.

Guitarist, Bert Weedon (10 May 1920 - 20 Apr 2012) was born in East Ham, London, England.  He began learning classical guitar at the age of twelve, and decided to become a professional musician.  In his teens during the 1930s, he led groups such as the Blue Cumberland Rhythm Boys, and Bert Weedon and His Harlem Hotshots, before making his first solo appearance at East Ham town hall in 1939.  After the war he worked with a number of bands, but also worked as a session musician, backing several recording stars of the 1950s.  In 1957 he published his guitar tutorial guide "Play in a Day", which many subsequent stars have said helped them learn to play the instrument.  It sold a million copies.  In 1959 he was asked to record for the newly-launched Top Rank label, and this hit was one of eight hits he enjoyed until 1961.
# The instrumental was written and recorded by American, Arthur Smith in 1945 with the title "Guitar Boogie".  The style of the music was described as "hillbilly boogie", but by the mid 1950s it was being presented with a rock 'n' roll beat, and renamed "Guitar Boogie Shuffle".  A number of versions have been recorded over the years, but Bert's recording is the only one to reach the UK charts.


Title: Where Were You (On Our Wedding Day)
Artist: Lloyd Price

Writer(s): Harold Logan, John Patton & Lloyd Price

Entered chart 15 May 1959; Highest Position: 15; Weeks on chart: 6.

This was Lloyd Price's follow-up to "Stagger Lee".  It had a very similar sound, but did not manage to breach the Top 10.  Info about Lloyd Price is with song 25 in this list.
# The song has been covered by other artists, notably by Billy Joel, who recorded the song for the 1999 movie "Runaway Bride", starring Richard Gere and Julia Roberts.  Price's version is the only one to have reached the UK singles charts.


Title: If Only I Could Live My Life Again
Artist: Jane Morgan

Writer(s): L. Amade, P.Delanoe,
Gilbert Bécaud, E. Leighton
Entered chart 22 May 1959; Highest Position: 27; Weeks on chart: 1.

This was her follow-up to "The Day The Rains Came".  Unfortunately it fared badly in comparison to the previous chart-topper.  She had one more minor hit in 1960 before disappearing from the UK charts.  For info about Jane Morgan, see song number 4 in this list.


Title: Margie
Artist: Fats Domino

Writer(s): Benny Davis, Con Conrad & J Russell Robinson

Entered chart 22 May 1959; Highest Position: 18; Weeks on chart: 5.

Fats Domino ( 26 Feb 1928 - 24 Oct 2017) was born in New Orleans, USA.  His father and uncle were musicians and Domino learned to play piano at a young age.  He was seen by a band leader who invited Domino to join the band, and a recording contract followed in 1950.  Fats Domino (given the nickname Fats after Fats Waller) soon had a number of hits in the US R&B chart.  His records started appearing on the US pop chart from about 1956, and hits continued into the mid 1960s.  He continued performing and recording until the early 1980s, when he chose to retire to New Orleans.  His house was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when he was 77, following which he performed at a few benefit concerts to raise money for rebuilding the parts of New Orleans that were devastated by the hurricane.  He died of natural causes at age 89.
# This was his tenth hit in the UK charts, although only one had reached the Top 10.

# This song was published in 1920 and was named after the five-year-old daughter of singer and songwriter Eddie Cantor.  Cantor is credited with popularising the song with his 1921 recording.  The song has been featured in three movies, and has been recorded by numerous artists, including Bing Crosby and Duke Ellington.


Title: Poor Jenny
Artist: Everly Brothers

Writer(s): Boudleaux & Felice Bryant

Entered chart 29 May 1959; Highest Position: 14; Weeks on chart: 11.

Another song from the husband and wife songwriting team gave the Everly Brothers their second hit of 1959, although this one just missed out on a Top 10 placing.  September 1959 would see them back up at number 2, however.


Title: Dream Lover
Artist: Bobby Darin

Writer(s): Bobby Darin

Entered chart 29 May 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 19.

Bobby Darin (14 May 1936 - 20 Dec 1973) was born in New York City, USA.  Darin began writing songs in 1955, and wrote a few numbers for Connie Francis.  He also began arranging music for artists on Atlantic Records, with whom Darin had been signed.  This song was his first UK chart topper.  He remained very popular through the 1960s, although he would change musical direction a few times.  He made a number of successful recordings for a couple of years from 1959, featuring old songs with a big band backing.  In 1962 he joined Capitol Records to replace Frank Sinatra who had left to form his own record label.  This resulted in a few albums from Darin of standards and new ballads in a pseudo-Sinatra style.  However, in 1966 he returned to mainstream pop.  He had had a weak heart for most of his life, and he died following heart surgery at the age of 37.
# Darin had written this hit song himself (unusual at the time), and it has been recorded by numerous artists, mostly for albums.  Darin's version is the only one to have featured in the UK charts, and it has become a Rock 'n' Roll Love Song classic.  Neil Sedaka, who was not then widely known as a solo artist, played piano on this recording.


Title: A Teenager In Love
Artist: Marty Wilde

Writer(s): Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman

Entered chart 5 June 1959; Highest Position: 2; Weeks on chart: 17.

This was Marty's follow-up to his hit "Donna".  It turned out to be his biggest hit, reaching number 2 in the UK charts.  He has continued performing into the 21st century, and still sings "A Teenager In Love", even though he turned 75 years of age in 2014!
# This song was Wilde's cover of yet another American hit.  It was originally recorded by Dion & The Belmonts in March 1959, who reached number 5 on the USA charts, and number 28 in the UK.  In the UK, it was also covered by Craig Douglas who peaked at number 13.


Title: Personality
Artist: Lloyd Price

Writer(s): Harold Logan & Lloyd Price

Entered chart 12 June 1959; Highest Position: 9; Weeks on chart: 10.

A quick follow-up to his previous release which had only entered the UK charts on 5th May.  This was a bigger hit, giving him his second and last Top 10 entry in the UK.
# The song, again written by Price with his songwriting partner Harold Logan, was covered by Anthony Newley in the UK, who actually did better with it, reaching number 6 in the summer of 1959.  In 1974, it was recorded by child star Lena Zavaroni, who peaked at number 33 with her version.


Title: Peter Gunn
Artist: Duane Eddy

Writer(s): Henry Mancini

Entered chart 19 June 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 11.

This instrumental was Eddy's third UK hit and his first Top 10 entry.  Four more Top 20 hits came his way until April 1960 when he was back in the Top 10.
# This music was the theme music to an American TV crime drama series of the same title, which was never shown in the UK.  Although performed by the Henry Mancini Orchestra for the TV series and an album, the original hit single was recorded by the Ray Anthony Orchestra, which reached number eight in the USA charts in February 1959.  Eddy decided to record the theme for an album, but it was released as a single first in Australia, then in the UK, and finally in the USA where it peaked at number 27.  
# Eddy's 1959 version was the only one to chart in the UK until 1986, when Art of Noise covered it, featuring Duane Eddy in a brand new recording.  That single reached number eight in the UK charts.


Title: Battle of New Orleans
Artist: Lonnie Donegan

Writer(s): Jimmy Driftwood (American folk singer and composer, 1907-1998)

Entered chart 26 June 1959; Highest Position: 2; Weeks on chart: 16.

This was Donegan's follow-up to "Chewing Gum", and was a cover of the American hit by Johnny Horton which reached number one in the USA and number 16 in the UK.
# The recording by Johnny Horton repeats the phrase "bloody British" throughout the song.  Knowing that the BBC would never play a record which included profanity, Lonnie Donegan changed the lyric to "blooming British".  This was fine with the BBC and the Donegan record was duly played on BBC radio.
# The Battle of New Orleans was fought between 24 Dec 1814 and 8 Jan 1815, and was the final major battle of the British-American War of 1812-1815.  American soldiers, commanded by Major General Andrew Jackson, prevented an invading British Army, commanded by General Edward Pakenham, from seizing the city of New Orleans. The war finished shortly after, with the USA victorious.


Title: Lipstick On Your Collar
Artist: Connie Francis

Writer(s): Edna Lewis & George Goehring

Entered chart 3 July 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 16.

Her follow-up to the ballad "My Happiness" went one chart position better, and was her first Rock 'n' Roll Top 10 hit since "Stupid Cupid" in August 1958.
# The song has been recorded by many acts, including Helen Shapiro (1962) and Mud (1982), but no other versions have entered the UK singles charts.


Title: Living Doll
Artist: Cliff Richard

Writer(s): Lionel Bart  (became famous for writing the musical "Oliver!")

Entered chart 10 July 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 23.

This was Cliff's first number one.  He would have 14 number ones by 1999.  This release was a mellower song than his previous hard Rock 'n' Roll hits, and would set the trend for most of his singles to follow. 
# The song was written for Cliff's first film "Serious Charge", in which he had a small part, but he sang this song in the film.  The film version, however, is faster than the single release which was given a "country music" rhythm.  It sold a million copies and was the top-selling single of 1959.
# In 1986 Cliff re-recorded the song, along with the members of the cast of the TV sit-com "The Young Ones".  It was recorded for charity and again went to number 1.


Title: Lonely Boy
Artist: Paul Anka

Writer(s): Paul Anka

Entered chart 10 July 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 17.

This was Anka's second of his three Top 10 hits of 1959 - this one being the biggest.  It was also his second number 1 in the USA.
# Anka sang this song in the film "Girls Town", in which he appeared in his first acting role.


Title: Waterloo
Artist: Stonewall Jackson

John D. Loudermilk & Marijohn Wilkin
Entered chart 17 July 1959; Highest Position: 24; Weeks on chart: 2.

The Country Music singer Stonewall Jackson was born on 6 Nov 1932 in Tabor City, North Carolina, USA, although he grew up in Georgia, USA.  Stonewall is not a nickname or stage name; he was actually named after the Confederate General, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson.  After serving in the US Navy in the early 1950s he moved to Nashville, where he was able to develop a career as a Country singer.  He signed a recording contract in 1958, and enjoyed success in the USA Country charts.  He continues performing, and has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry during the 21st century.  Jackson lives on a farm in Tennessee, USA, and has a son called Stonewall Jackson, Jr.
# This single was the most successful of Jackson's career, spending five weeks at number 1 on the USA Country charts, and reaching number 4 on the American pop charts.


Title: A Big Hunk o' Love
Artist: Elvis Presley

Aaron Schroeder & Sid Wyche
Entered chart 24 July 1959; Highest Position: 4; Weeks on chart: 9.

Another big hit for Elvis who was still in the US Army, and which reached number 1 in the USA.  It was recorded on 10 June 1958 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA whilst Presley was on army leave. That was the last time he recorded until he left the army on 5 March 1960.  His next hit single in the UK would not come until April 1960.


Title: Someone
Artist: Johnny Mathis

Writer(s): Bill
Entered chart 7 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 15.

Johnny Mathis was born on 30 Sep 1935 in Texas, USA, but his family moved to San Francisco, where he grew up.  His father encouraged him to sing, and he was having voice lessons from the age of 13.  He began singing in clubs in 1955, and was soon given a recording contract.  His crooning style was very popular with the older generation, and TV appearances increased his popularity.  He issued dozens of albums of ballads and standards, as well as having some success in the singles market.  He has continued performing into the 21st century.
# The song was Mathis' second Top 10 hit in the UK, but it only reached number 35 in the USA.


Title: Only Sixteen
Artist: Craig Douglas

Writer(s): Sam Cooke (published under the pseudonym of Barbara Campbell - his second wife's name)

Entered chart 7 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 15.

Craig Douglas was born on 12 Aug 1941 on the Isle of Wight, England.  He was a milk delivery man (milkman) before he became a professional singer.  He had signed with the newly-launched Top Rank record company, and his first release was a cover of "Teenager in Love", but Marty Wilde had the bigger hit with that song.  This cover of Sam Cooke's song took him to the top of the charts, and gave him instant stardom.  He enjoyed seven Top 10 chart entries from 1959 to 1962, with a tally of 11 hits overall - mostly covers of American originals.  He has continued to perform in nostalgia shows and on cruise ships into the 21st century.
# The song was also covered at the time by Al Saxon who peaked at 24 in the UK charts, whilst the original Sam Cooke version reached number 23.  In 1976, American band Dr. Hook released a version which reached number 6 on the USA charts.  However, their overtly sexual rendition was deemed too much by the BBC who banned it.  The record failed to enter the UK charts.


Title: Tallahassee Lassie
Artist: Freddy Cannon

Writer(s): Mimi Picariello (Freddy Cannon's mother), Bob Crewe & Frank Slay

Entered chart 14 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 17; Weeks on chart: 8.

Freddy Cannon was born on 4 Dec 1940 in Massachusetts, USA.  He is said by some to the be last of the raw Rock 'n' Roll performers.  He learned to play guitar at a young age, and cut his first record in 1955 with a group called The Spindrifts.  His first solo success came with this song which had been written as a poem by his mother.  The record company called in the writing and production team of Bob Crewe and Frank Slay who composed the tune and rewrote some of the lyrics.  The single was a success in the USA, reaching number 6 on the charts and selling a million copies.  Released in the UK on the fledgling Top Rank label it peaked at number 17.  Cannon had a few more hits until 1962, and like many of his contemporaries, he continues to perform on the nostalgia circuits in the 21st century.
# The song was covered by Tommy Steele who went one better in the UK charts, reaching number 16 in August 1959.
# Tallahassee is the State Capital of Florida.  It is in the north of the state, near the Georgia border, and well away from the tourist centres of Orlando and Miami.


Title: China Tea
Artist: Russ Conway

Writer(s): Russ Conway (under his real name of Trevor Stanford)

Entered chart 21 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 5; Weeks on chart: 13.

Conway's follow-up to his two previous number ones did not do quite as well, but a Top 5 entry was respectable enough.  Again, he wrote this tune himself, and so enjoyed success in the sheet music chart as well.  Two more hits were yet to come in 1959.


Title: Mona Lisa
Artist: Conway Twitty

Writer(s): Ray Evans & Jay Livingston

Entered chart 21 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 5; Weeks on chart: 14.

This was Twitty's second (and final) Top 10 entry in the UK singles charts.  There had been a minor hit between, and two minor hits were to follow, but this was his last major hit in the UK.  He went on to forge a highly-successful career in American Country Music.  See song 1 in this list for info about him.
# The song was written for the 1950 film "Captain Carey", starring Alan Ladd.  The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song that year.  The song is usually associated with the singer Nat 'King' Cole, who was at number 1 in the USA charts for 8 weeks with his rendition in 1950.  This was before the UK charts began (in 1952), so he is not credited with having a British hit with the song.  Conway Twitty's Rock 'n' Roll-style version is the only one to have entered the UK charts.
# The title and lyrics refer to the renaissance portrait "Mona Lisa" painted by Leonardo da Vinci around 1506, and which has been on permanent display at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France since 1797.


Title: Here Comes Summer
Artist: Jerry Keller

Writer(s): Jerry Keller

Entered chart 28 Aug 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 14.

Jerry Keller was born on 20 June 1937 at Fort Smith, Arkansas, USA.  His family moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA when he was young, and he began singing at school.  He moved to New York in 1956, and began a songwriting career.  His big hit came in 1959 when his self-penned "Here Comes Summer" reached number 14 in the USA but went all the way to the top in the UK.  Keller was reported as saying that he would choose his follow-up with care, as he did not want to become a one-hit-wonder.  But that is exactly what happened on both sides of the Atlantic.  He continued with his songwriting, and co-wrote "Almost There", a successful single for Andy Williams in 1965.  In 1969 he wrote the English lyrics to "A Man and a Woman".  He also wrote music for films in the 1960s, and in the 1970s and 1980s he composed and sang jingles for TV adverts.
# In 1970, The Dave Clark Five issued their version of the song which peaked at number 44 in the UK charts. 


Title: Forty Miles of Bad Road
Artist: Duane Eddy

Duane Eddy & Al Casey ("session" guitarist)
Producer: Lee Hazlewood (Hazlewood became Nancy Sinatra's producer and co-writer in the 1960s)
Entered chart 4 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 11; Weeks on chart: 9.

This follow-up to "Peter Gunn" only just missed out on a Top 10 placing in the UK, but it reached number nine in the USA.
# The instrumental was co-written with Al Casey who played on many of Duane's early recordings, playing bass, rhythm guitar, and sometimes, piano.  He joined Duane's touring band, The Rebels, but for only a short time, as he wanted to remain in Phoenix, Arizona for session work.


Title: Plenty Good Lovin'
Artist: Connie Francis

Writer(s): Connie Francis

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 18; Weeks on chart: 6.

This release did not do so well for Connie Francis, following two Top 5 hits, but she had written the song herself, so perhaps it did not have the appeal of the previous hits.  One further hit was to come in 1959, and that would reach number 11.  But she would be back in the Top 10 in 1960.


Title: I'm Gonna Get Married
Artist: Lloyd Price

Writer(s): Harold Logan & Lloyd Price

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 23; Weeks on chart: 5.

Another song from Price, again written with Harold Logan.  This was his fourth hit in 1959, all written by Price and Logan.  However, there was a downward trend in chart position, with this one faring the worst.  Price would have one final minor hit on the UK charts in 1960.  For info about about Lloyd Price, see song 25 in this list.


Title: ('Til) I Kissed You
Artist: Everly Brothers

Writer(s): Don Everly

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 2; Weeks on chart: 15.

Back near the top of the UK charts, after the disappointment of their previous release (song 53 in this list).  It was also a break from their normal songwriters, Boudleaux & Felice Bryant, with Don Everly having written this one himself.  If anyone had had any doubts about Don's songwriting abilities, this proved them wrong.  This was their final hit of 1959, but plenty was to follow in 1960.
# The song has been recorded by several artists since, but none has entered the UK charts.


Title: Just A Little Too Much
Artist: Ricky Nelson

Writer(s): Johnny Burnett (He would have Top 10 hits in UK as a singer in 1960/1961)

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 11; Weeks on chart: 8.

This was his follow-up to "It's Late" which had been at number 3 earlier in the year.  This one just missed out on a Top 10 placing, and it was his last hit of 1959.  The following year, 1960, would be rather barren for Nelson - just two minor hits; the higher getting to number 30.  But he would be back in the Top 10 in 1961.
# The recording was a double A-side with "Sweeter Than You" which was listed separately in the charts, peaking at number 19.


Title: Peggy Sue Got Married
Artist: Buddy Holly
Writer(s): Buddy Holly

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 13; Weeks on chart: 10.

Another posthumous hit following Holly's death in a plane crash in February.  The song harks back to his 1957 hit "Peggy Sue".  Holly had recorded the vocal, accompanying himself on guitar, as a demo, in December 1958, at his New York apartment.  Coral, his record company, wanted to issue more Buddy Holly records, so his demo recording was augmented with instruments and backing vocals by studio musicians in June 1959.  More Buddy Holly recordings from various sources were issued over the following years, with three Top 10 entries in 1963.
A film called "Peggy Sue Got Married" was released in 1986.  It is an American comedy-drama starring Kathleen Turner.  The film features this Buddy Holly song, as well as other artist's hit songs from the same era, with original music by John Barry.


Title: Broken-Hearted Melody
Artist: Sarah Vaughan
Hal David & Sherman Edwards
Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 7; Weeks on chart: 13.

Sarah Vaughan (27 Mar 1924 - 3 Apr 1990) was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA.  She was interested in singing from an early age, and by her mid-teens, she was performing (illegally) in some of Newark's night clubs.  In 1943 she entered a talent contest in New York, which resulted in her being offered a job as singer with the Earl Hines Big Band.  She joined Billy Eckstine's new band in 1944, but she left him in 1945 to pursue a solo career.  Her style was more jazz-orientated rather than popular, but she still put hits on the pop charts.  From the 1960s she concentrated on recording albums, with plenty of live performances, and this continued for the next two decades.  She died from lung cancer in 1990 at the age of 66.


Title: Sal's Got A Sugar Lip
Artist: Lonnie Donegan
Writer(s): Jimmie Driftwood (American folk singer and composer, 1907-1998)

Entered chart 11 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 13; Weeks on chart: 4.

Donegan's follow-up to "The Battle of New Orleans" was a song by the same songwriter, namely Jimmie Driftwood, and the same American singer, Johnny Horton.  This time, Donegan had the charts to himself as neither the original version by Driftwood, nor the cover by Johnny Horton entered the UK charts.  Donegan gave the song a faster Skiffle arrangement, as opposed to the folk/country feel of the American versions.


Title: Sea Of Love
Artist: Marty Wilde
Phil Phillips & George Khoury
Entered chart 25 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 12.

His fourth consecutive Top 10 hit and his fourth cover of an American original.  This time it was Phil Phillips' USA number 1 hit that Wilde covered.  Sales for Wilde's version were so strong the Phillips' original did not chart at all in the UK.  It can be argued, however, that Wilde's cover was a better production with more of a Rock 'n' Roll feel, rather than the Phillips version that was more 'doo-wop' in style.
The song was revived in 1985 by the group The Honeydrippers, who peaked at number 56 in the UK, but climbed as high as number 3 on the USA charts.


Title: Mack The Knife
Artist: Bobby Darin
Kurt Weill & Bertolt Brecht
Entered chart 25 Sep 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 18.

This was his second successive number 1 hit in the UK.  But this was a change of musical direction.  He had begun with raw Rock 'n' Roll ("Splish Splash"), moved on to a Rock 'n' Roll love song ("Dream Lover"), and was now performing an older song with a big band backing.  Sounding more like a Frank Sinatra recording, this would set the trend for Darin over the next couple of years.  The record-buying public were happy with it though, giving him four Top 10 hits in this style over 1960-1961.
The song was written in 1928 (in German) for a musical called "The Threepenny Opera".  A successful English translation of the opera was introduced to the USA in 1954.  In 1956, a version of this song was recorded by Louis Armstrong, which peaked at number 8 in the UK charts.  It was re-released to compete with the Darin version in 1959, reaching number 24.  In 1960 Ella Fitzgerald peaked at number 19 in the UK with her rendition.  Much later, in 1984, British band King Kurt issued a version, and reached number 55 in the charts with it.


Title: Red River Rock
Artist: Johnny & The Hurricanes

Writer(s): Traditional, arranged by: Ira Mack, Tom King & Fred Mendelsohn (the band's management team)
Entered chart 9 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 16.

They were were an American instrumental Rock 'n' Roll band from Toledo, Ohio, USA.  They were led by saxophonist Johnny Paris (1940 - 2006), and included Paul Tesluk on Hammond organ.  They signed a recording contract and started live performances in 1959.  After a small USA-only hit, they recorded this tune which became a Top 5 hit on both sides of the Atlantic, and sold over a million copies.  They had a further three Top 10 hits in the UK with similar-sounding records.  Johnny Paris, with different band members, continued performing as Johnny & The Hurricanes at home and abroad until his death.
The song was originally called "Red River Valley", and is a traditional folk song which might have originated in Canada during the latter years of the 19th century.  One of the earliest recordings was made in 1926.  Singing cowboy, Gene Autry recorded the song for the 1936 film "Red River Valley".  Various recordings have been made down the years, mostly by American Folk and Country singers. 


Title: Travellin' Light
Artist: Cliff Richard

Writer(s): Sid Tepper & Roy Bennett (American songwriters who composed several Elvis Presley hits)
Entered chart 9 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 17.

This was Cliff's follow-up to "Living Doll".  It was a similar-sounding recording, and it too went all the way to number 1 in the UK.  The B-side was called "Dynamite", which was an old-style Rock 'n' Roll song that was listed separately in the charts, peaking at number 16.
# Both tracks were backed by the newly-named Shadows.  Previously they were called The Drifters, but that name was already in use by an American vocal group, and they changed the band's name to avoid confusion.


Title: Makin' Love
Artist: Floyd Robinson

Writer(s): Floyd Robinson
Entered chart 16 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 9; Weeks on chart: 9.

Floyd Robinson (10 Aug 1932 - 28 May 2016) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, and was an American Country Music singer, who had this one-off hit on both sides of the Atlantic.  He was interested in music from a young age, and whilst still in high school, he had a regular radio show on a Nashville radio station.  Along with his band, the Eagle Rangers, he also provided backing music for visiting Country Music singers, such as George Jones, Jim Reeves, and Eddy Arnold.  In the 1970s he tried his hand at religious music for children.  In the 1990s Robinson self-published two books, the instruction manual "Guitar Playing Made Easy" (1992), and the novel "The Guitar" (1994).  He remained active in the music industry until his death.
# In the USA, "Makin' Love" was considered by some to have suggestive sexual content, and many radio stations pulled it from the airwaves after only a few weeks.  Nevertheless, it still managed to reach number 20 in the American charts.  


Title: Sleep Walk
Artist: Santo & Johnny

Writer(s): Santo Farina, Johnny Farina & Ann Farina (sister)
Entered chart 16 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 22; Weeks on chart: 4.

Brothers Santo & Johnny were born in Brooklyn, New York; USA (Santo in 1937 and Johnny in 1941).  In the late 1940s their father paid for them to have guitar lessons.  Within two years Santo was playing a six-string steel guitar in a local band.  When he was 12, Johnny joined his brother, playing a normal electric guitar.  They began writing songs and came up with this instrumental in 1958.  It went to number 1 in the USA, but only reached the Top 30 in the UK.  Further releases were not very successful, but they toured the USA, Europe, and other parts of the world.  They made several records in Italy, and charted there into the 1970s.  In the 21st century Santo is semi-retired but Johnny tours and records new material with his own band.


Title: Somethin' Else
Artist: Eddie Cochran

Writer(s): Sharon Sheeley (his girlfriend) & Bob Cochran (his elder brother)
Entered chart 16 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 22; Weeks on chart: 3.

Cochran's follow-up to his Top 10 hit "C'mon Everybody" was somewhat disappointing, in not even reaching the Top 20.  In the USA it did even worse, peaking at number 58.  However, the song is now regarded as one of his classics.  More hits would follow in 1960 including a posthumous number 1.  For info about Cochran, see song 36 in this list.
# In 1979, a recording by the Sex Pistols with vocals by Sid Vicious reached number 3 in the UK charts.
# Sharon Sheeley also wrote the Ricky Nelson hit "Poor Little Fool". See 1958, song number 77.


Title: One More Sunrise (Morgen)
Artist: Dickie Valentine

Writer(s): Peter Moesser with English lyrics by Noel Sherman
Entered chart 23 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 14; Weeks on chart: 8.

Dickie Valentine (4 Nov 1929 - 6 May 1971) was born in London, England.  He was a major British singing star during the 1950s.  Indeed all his hit records were in that decade, with this hit being his final singles chart entry.  His tally of hits was 14, including six Top 10s and two number ones.  He had begun singing in the late 1940s, and was signed up as a singer with the Ted Heath Orchestra in 1949.  He enjoyed his early hits with that band, but he went solo in 1954 and had more hits - mostly covers of American originals.  Although the hits finished at the end of the 1950s, he remained a popular performer and had his own TV show in the 1960s.  Valentine was killed in the car he was driving in Wales; the crash also taking the lives of his pianist and drummer.  He was 41.
# The song was a German hit first, but after the English lyrics were written, several artists recorded the song.  Valentine's version was the only one to chart in the UK.  In the USA actress and singer Leslie Uggams had a small hit with the song sung in English, but it was the original German-language version, sung by Ivo Robić, that won out, reaching number 13 in the American charts.


Title: Put Your Head On My Shoulder
Artist: Paul Anka
Writer(s): Paul Anka
Entered chart 30 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 7; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was Anka's third and final hit of 1959 - all three having reached the Top 10.  1959 was also to be his final year as a major chart performer in the UK.  He would have three smallish hits in 1960 (highest reaching number 28), and no hits at all in 1961.  1962 would see him with a Top 20 entry, but it would be 1974 before he returned to the Top 10.  For more info about Paul Anka, see song 21 in this list.
# The song has subsequently been recorded by several artists, but Anka's original is the only one to have entered the UK singles charts.


Title: Mr Blue
Artist: Mike Preston

Writer(s): DeWayne Blackwell
Entered chart 30 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 12; Weeks on chart: 8.

Mike Preston was born on 14 May 1938 in east London, England.  His first career was as a boxer before he took up singing.  He appeared on TV shows in the late 1950s, and this song became his first hit record.  He had three further hits, but none rose higher than number 14 in the UK charts.  Subsequently he emigrated to Australia where he initially worked as a nightclub singer.  He then became a regular host on the TV show "Melbourne Tonight" in 1968.  He then moved into acting on Australian TV, appearing in drama series and soaps into the 1980s.  He has also appeared in films, including a role in "Mad Max 2" in 1981.
# The song was a number 1 hit in the USA for the Fleetwoods, who had previously topped the American charts with "Come Softly To Me" (song 43 in this list).  In the UK, the song was also covered by David MacBeth, who peaked at number 18 with his version.


Title: What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?
Artist: Emile Ford & The Checkmates

Writer(s): Joseph McCarthy, Howard Johnson & James V. Monaco
Entered chart 30 Oct 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 26.

Emile Ford (16 Oct 1937 - 11 Apr 2016) was born the island of St Lucia in the West Indies.  His mother and grandfather were musicians in St Lucia.  In the mid-1950s, Emile and his family relocated to the UK, and he attended a London technical college, where he learned to play a number of musical instruments.  He began singing in 1958, and made a few TV appearances.  He formed his backing band, The Checkmates, and together they won the Soho Fair talent contest in London during July 1959, which resulted in a deal with Pye Records.  This was his debut single which reached number 1, where it stayed for six weeks into 1960.  It remained on the singles chart for six months!  His hits continued until 1962.  In 1969, he set up a recording studio in Barbados, West Indies, with the help of his father, before moving to live in Sweden, where he developed a new open-air playback system for stage shows.
# The song was written in 1916, and the first recording was made by Ada Jones and Billy Murray in 1917.
# In 1987, the song was recorded by Shakin' Stevens.  His version entered the charts on 28 Nov 1987, and peaked at number five on the UK charts.


Title: Oh! Carol
Artist: Neil Sedaka

Writer(s): Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield
Entered chart 13 Nov 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 17.

Sedaka's second Top 10 hit of the year, has become one of his classic recordings.  Number three in the UK charts was as high as he ever got, and this track only made number 9 in the USA.  However, he did get three American chart toppers in later years.
# It is a well-known story that the song is about songwriter Carole King, who Sedaka had dated when still at high school.  Gerry Goffin, King's husband and songwriting partner, wrote the playful response "Oh! Neil", which Carole King recorded and released, although it was not a hit.


Title: Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat
Artist: The Avons

Writer(s): Bob Hilliard & Lee Pockriss  (Americans who wrote many popular songs of the 1950s and 1960s)
Entered chart 13 Nov 1959; Highest Position: 3; Weeks on chart: 13.

The Avons were a British pop vocal group, comprising Valerie Murtagh, born 1936, Willesden, London, England, and Elaine Murtagh, born 1940, County Cork, Ireland.  They were sisters-in-law, and began as  The Avon Sisters.  When Ray Adams, born 1938, Jersey, Channel Islands, joined the girls, they changed their name to The Avons.  They had three minor hits following this, but were never able to achieve the same success as their first record.  
# The three members went into songwriting, and composed "Dance On!", a number one instrumental hit for The Shadows in 1963, and a number 11 vocal hit for Kathy Kirby in the same year.  They also wrote "In Summer", a number five hit for Billy Fury in 1963 as well.
# In the USA, it was Paul Evans with The Curls who had the original hit, reaching number 9 there, and peaking at 25 in the UK.


Title: Snow Coach
Artist: Russ Conway

Writer(s): Russ Conway (under his real name of Trevor Stanford)
Entered chart 13 Nov 1959; Highest Position: 7; Weeks on chart: 9.

This was his fourth Top 10 hit of 1959, his most successful year in the UK charts by far.  He also hit the Top 10 later in November with another of his sing-along party medleys ("More and More Party Pops").  He enjoyed five hits during 1960, although none got higher than number 14.  He had a final Top 10 hit in 1961, and two minor hits in 1962.  He remained very popular in live performance and continued for three more decades.  For info about Russ Conway, see song 28 in this list.


Title: Rawhide
Artist: Frankie Laine

Writer(s): Ned Washington & Dimitri Tiomkin
Entered chart 13 Nov 1959; Highest Position: 6; Weeks on chart: 20.

Frankie Laine (30 Mar 1913 - 6 Feb 2007) was an American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career spanned 75 years, from his first concerts in 1930 to his final performance of the song "That's My Desire" in 2005.  He was born in Chicago, USA to Italian immigrants.  He began singing professionally in the early 1930s, but success was slow to come, and it was not until 1944 that he made his first record.  He joined Mercury records in the late 1940s and began having some hits, but it was when he joined Columbia Records (CBS) in 1951 that his career really took off.  In the UK from 1952 to 1959 he had 26 hit records, with 14 making the Top 10, and four going to number one.  He continued performing for several decades, and made more albums right into the 21st century.  He died from heart failure in 2007 at the age of 93.
# The song was the theme to the Western TV series "Rawhide" starring Eric Fleming and Clint Eastwood, which ran from 1959 to 1966.


Title: What Do You Want
Artist: Adam Faith

Writer(s): Johnny Worth (under pseudonym of Les Vandyke)
Entered chart 20 Nov 1959; Highest Position: 1; Weeks on chart: 19.

Adam Faith (23 Jun 1940 - 8 Mar 2003) was born in west London, England.  After various jobs behind the scenes in the film and TV industries, he cut his first record in 1958, but it made no impact on the charts.  Despite this he made a number of TV appearances, and in late 1959 he was given the chance to record the song "What Do You Want?", written by Les Vandyke, arranged by John Barry and produced by John Burgess.  This kicked off a career that saw him rise to be one of the top British musical stars of the early 1960s.  His first two hits went to number 1, and he had a further nine Top 10 hits by 1963, with a tally of 21 hits in all from 1959 to 1966.  After the hits dried up he moved into acting an became a popular actor in TV drama series ("Budgie" 1971-1972; "Love Hurts" 1992-1994), in several films, and stage plays from the late 1960s to his death.  He died in Stoke-on-Trent, England, whilst on tour with a stage play.
# The orchestration was arranged by John Barry who provided a distinctive pizzicato string backing which became a feature of Faith's first few hits.


Title: Among My Souvenirs
Artist: Connie Francis

Writer(s): Edgar Leslie & Lawrence Wright
Entered chart 4 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 11; Weeks on chart: 10.

This was Connie's fifth and final appearance in the charts of 1959.  Once more, it was an old song that she revived.  It just missed out on a Top 10 placing in the UK, but she got as high as number 7 in the USA with the record.  Another four hits were to follow in 1960.  For info about Connie Francis, see song 24 in this list.
# The song was written in 1927, and Paul Whiteman & His Orchestra had a USA hit with it in 1928.


Title: I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Artist: Johnnie Ray

Writer(s): Johnnie Ray
Entered chart 4 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 26; Weeks on chart: 6.

Johnnie Ray (10 Jan 1927 - 25 Feb 1990) was born in Dallas, Oregon, USA.  He was a heart-throb idol for screaming teenage girls long before the Rock 'n' Roll stars came along.  He had started singing on local radio at the age of 15, and he made his first record in 1951, but it was in 1952 that he recorded "Cry", with "The Little White Cloud That Cried" (which he wrote himself) on the B-side.  This recording went to number 1 in the USA and sold over two million copies.  This hit pre-dated the singles chart in the UK (November 1952), so is not shown as one of his hits in music listings.  From 1953, however, his singles were were climbing the UK charts, and by 1957 he had scored three number ones, and a further seven Top 10 entries.  He played to packed theatres when he toured the UK, even when his popularity was declining in America.  He continued performing until 1989, and died from liver failure the following year.  This recording was his final UK hit.


Title: Bad Boy
Artist: Marty Wilde

Writer(s): Marty Wilde
Entered chart 11 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 7; Weeks on chart: 8.

After four Top 10 entries which were covers of American hits, Wilde finally recorded an original song, and it was one that he wrote himself.  This gave him a fifth consecutive Top 10 hit.  Things did not go so well in 1960, however, when he had three hits, but  only one reached the Top 20.  1961 saw him back in the Top 10, but with another American cover.  His daughter, Kim Wilde, had a strong chart career in the 1980s, and Marty wrote or co-write several of her hits.  For info about Marty Wilde see song 35 in this list.


Title: Be My Guest
Artist: Fats Domino

Writer(s): Fats Domino, John Marascalco & Tommy Boyce
Entered chart 18 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 11; Weeks on chart: 13.

This was Domino's second best-performing record.  "Blueberry Hill" had reached number 6 in 1956, but no others got higher than this single.  His final UK chart appearance was to come in 1963.  See song 52 in this list for more info.


Title: Some Kind-A Earthquake
Artist: Duane Eddy

Writer(s): Duane Eddy & Lee Hazlewood
Producer: Lee Hazlewood
(Hazlewood became Nancy Sinatra's producer and co-writer in the 1960s)
Entered chart 18 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 12; Weeks on chart: 5.

This was his fourth instrumental hit of 1959, this time, written along with his original partner, Lee Hazlewood.  More hits were to follow over the next few years.  1959 also saw him have two albums in the album chart.  First was "Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel" which reached number 6 in the UK, in summer '59, then "Specially For You" also peaked at number 6 in the British album chart during the autumn of that year.  See song 10 for info about Duane Eddy.


Title: We Got Love
Artist: Alma Cogan

Writer(s): Bernie Lowe & Kal Mann
Entered chart 18 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 26; Weeks on chart: 4.

This was Alma's last hit of the 1950s, and pretty much the end of her chart career.  She had a further three minor hits over 1960-61, but this was nothing like the success at the peak of her career in the mid-1950s.  Over her chart career from 1954 to 1961 she had 21 hits, although only four reached the Top 10.  She continued performing on stage and TV until her untimely death, from cancer, in 1966 at the age of 34.  See also song 17 in this list.
# The song was a cover of the original American hit by Bobby Rydell, who peaked at number 6 with it in the USA.  Rydell had a few hits in the UK during the early 1960s.


Title: Reveille Rock
Artist: Johnny & The Hurricanes

Writer(s): Tom King, Johnny Paris & C. Conaster
Entered chart 25 Dec 1959; Highest Position: 14; Weeks on chart: 5.

The band's follow-up instrumental to "Red River Rock", which had reached number 3, did not do as well.  Nevertheless it did establish them in the UK and they went on to have three Top 10 entries during 1960.
# This instrumental is based on the United States Army bugle call, "Reveille", renamed "Reveille Rock".


Acts with most appearances in this list:

Connie Francis:  5
Elvis Presley:  4
Duane Eddy:  4
Lloyd Price:  4
Russ Conway:  4
Marty Wilde:  4

Composers with most appearances in this list:

Russ Conway:  4
Lloyd Price & Harold Logan:  4
Duane Eddy:  3
(All the above songs were written by the composers for themselves).
Paul Anka: 3

New Names in 1959
The following acts had their first hit(s) in 1959.  To qualify, the acts must have at least three entries in these lists.  One-hit Wonders do not qualify.

Billy Fury
Neil Sedaka
Anthony Newley
Craig Douglas
Johnny & The Hurricanes
Emile Ford & The Checkmates
Adam Faith


1958   1959   1960   1961   1962   1963   1964   1965   1966   1967   1968
Home Page   List of Acts


Comments and corrections to: mjs@onlineweb.com

Compiled September 2015.
Updated 05/12/2018