MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS
This year continued from 1963 with the Merseybeat sound dominating the charts. It was also the year that the Beatles and many other British acts conquered America and started the so-called British Invasion of the USA charts. However, as the year progressed, so the Merseybeat groups began to wane, and a more general beat group scene emerged. New British groups that debuted on the charts in this year included Manfred Mann, The Animals, The Kinks, and Herman's Hermits.
1964 also saw the arrival of new female solo artists in the shape of Lulu, Sandie Shaw and Marianne Faithfull. Whilst the first two enjoyed success throughout the 1960s, unfortunately Marianne Faithfull's career was short lived, not helped by her addiction to drugs. These girls joined Cilla Black and Dusty Springfield in making the ladies a dominant force in the UK charts. By contrast there were few new male solo acts, which enabled singers who began several years earlier, such as Cliff Richard and Billy Fury to continue without much competition.
In addition to the new groups, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones tended to dominate the charts, although the Irish trio, the Bachelors achieved five Top 10 hits in this year. By and large the Americans had little success in the UK in 1964, although surfing group The Beach Boys had their first Top 10 hit, but it was 1966 before they had consistent success in the British charts. American girl group the Supremes had their first hits, introducing the Motown sound to the British public, although it took another couple of years for other Motown groups to appear frequently in the UK charts.
A new feature in pop music listening came by way of new pirate radio stations which began broadcasting from ships in the North Sea, to avoid the ban on radio broadcasting on land, apart from the BBC. The first was Radio Caroline, followed by Radio London ("Big L"), and then by many others around the shores of Britain, some broadcasting from abandoned wartime forts in the North Sea. They became very popular as they played the new hit records all day long, and introduced American ideas like the personality DJ and station identification jingles - and advertising! They only lasted until summer 1967 when the government made it illegal to advertise or work on these stations.
These are my personal favourite recordings from this particular year, listed in the order in which they entered the UK hit singles chart. 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, Radio Caroline and Radio London ("Big L").
* One song not a UK hit.
Title: Do You Really Love Me Too
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 his first record in 1959. He went on to considerable success, and had amassed 26 hit singles by the end of 1966, including eleven Top 10 entries. He never achieved a number one. 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: Don't Blame Me
Frank Ifield was born on 30 Nov 1937 in Coventry, England. After the war, he and his parents went to live near Sydney, Australia. He enjoyed singing, and by his late teens he was a popular performer in Australia. He decided to return to the UK in 1959. His first hit came in 1960 (see year 1960, song 15), but 1961 was blank so far as hits were concerned. But in 1962 he made a real chart breakthrough with his million-selling number one hit, "I Remember You", which remained at number one for seven weeks. That record made him a star, and he became famous for his yodeling style of singing. He had three further chart-toppers and a Top 10 hit by 1964 - all revivals of old songs. After that the hits tailed off as musical trends changed in the mid-1960s. He continued as a popular performer, however for many years, and in 1991 he reached the charts again with a new recording of "She Taught Me How To Yodel", which peaked at number 40 in the UK. He was still occasionally performing into the 21st century.
Title: Baby I Love You
were another of producer Phil Spector's groups (like the Crystals)
that he promoted and recorded with his "Wall of Sound"
production style which excited the British record buyers. From New York City, the Ronettes were lead singer Veronica Bennett,
later known as Ronnie Spector (10 Aug 1943 - 12 Jan 2022), her older sister
Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley. They had been
together since 1961 and had recorded for another company, without
success, before signing for Spector. They had four hit records
in the UK by the end of 1964, and toured the UK in that year as
well. From 1965 the Ronettes recorded numerous songs, but the
unpredictable Spector refused to release them. As a result,
the group faded from the charts. Ronnie had become close to
Phil Spector and moved in with him in 1964. They married in
1968, but divorced some six years later.
Title: As Usual
Brenda Lee was born on 11 Dec 1944 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She began singing at a very young age, and by the time she was 10 she was singing on local radio and TV, and at various events. In 1955 she made her first national TV appearance, and a recording contract followed in 1956. Her early recordings did not sell very well, but after some minor hits in the USA, her career took off in 1960 with the song "Sweet Nuthins" (her first UK hit), which was a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic in the spring of that year. She went on to have numerous hits - mostly in a Country-ballad style. After the pop hits dried up at the end of the 1960s, she successfully moved into mainstream Country Music, and had 33 entries on the USA Country charts. She is still occasionally recording and performing.
Title: I Think Of You
This was yet another group from Liverpool that joined all the others that were finding fame and fortune during 1963-64. This band had begun as the Mavericks in 1961, but changed their name in 1962 when they began appearing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. The two founding members were Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley. In 1963 they signed a recording contract with Fontana Records (all record companies were itching to sign new acts from Liverpool), and their first hit came in the autumn of that year. Their first and only Top 10 hit, "I Think Of You", came along early in 1964. Unfortunately, Kinsley left in February 1964 to form his own band. He was replaced, and the group enjoyed two Top 20 chart entries following this hit, but it tailed off after that, and their last appearance on the charts came in 1966. Just after that last hit, Crane and Kinsley got together again, this time as a duo called The Merseys, and they had one hit, "Sorrow", peaking at number 4 in spring 1966. See year 1966, song 39.
Title: Needles And Pins
The Searchers were one of several bands to immerge from the City of Liverpool and the Merseybeat scene. Their origins go back to 1959 and even earlier, with several members passing through various lineups. By 1962 the personnel had settled to a four-piece led by Mike Pender. Live work in Liverpool, England, led to a recording contract with Pye Records who had producer Tony Hatch available. Their first hit, "Sweets For My Sweet", climbed to the number one
spot in the summer of 1963, and set them on the road to stardom. They became one of the most successful of the Liverpool bands, scoring three number one hits and three additional Top 10 entries out of a total of 13 hits by the end of 1966. Unlike many of the other Merseybeat bands, the Searchers' chart toppers were covers of existing American songs rather than original material. However, as those songs were largely unheard in the UK, they were greeted as new by the record buyers.
Title: I'm The One
Gerry & The
Pacemakers were the second group of Merseybeat acts from Liverpool
(after the Beatles) to break into the big time, although they were
the first to reach number one in the UK charts. They were led
by Gerry Marsden (24 Sep 1942 – 3 Jan 2021, born in Liverpool,
England). The four Pacemakers included Gerry's brother Freddie
(1940 - 2006) who played the drums. The group had been
performing around Liverpool for some time, and were the second act
spotted and signed by manager Brian Epstein. He arranged a
record deal with EMI records, and Beatles producer, George Martin
also produced the recordings for Gerry & The Pacemakers.
They went on to enjoy enormous success in the UK and were the first
act to see their first three record releases reach number one.
That feat was not equaled until the 1980s when the band Frankie Goes
To Hollywood (also from Liverpool) did the same thing. Gerry
& The Pacemakers went on to have a total of nine hit singles,
six of which made the Top 10, including those chart toppers.
Like most other British hit-makers at the time, they also enjoyed
much success in the USA. However, their last hit came in late
1965, and by then their popularity was rapidly declining on both
sides of the Atlantic. They disbanded in October 1966.
However, in 1974, Gerry reformed the band, and they continued to
perform at home and abroad in sixties nostalgia shows until 2018.
The Bachelors were an Irish easy-listening harmony trio. The act comprised Conleth (Con) Cluskey (born 18 Nov 1941), Declan (Dec) Cluskey (born 23 Dec 1942), and John Stokes (born 13 Aug 1940), all from Dublin, Ireland. They began as The Harmonichords in 1957, and enjoyed much success in their native Ireland. When they were offered a recording contract by Decca Records in 1960, they were also asked to change the name of the group to the Bachelors. In this new guise they enjoyed considerable success during the 1960s, achieving 17 hit singles in the UK, eight of which made the Top 10. They even reached the Top 10 in the USA. This was all the more remarkable as they were very much a middle-of-the-road act, when the big names in pop and rock, such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many others were the flavour of the day. After the hits dried up, they continued successfully as a live act in cabaret and summertime seaside shows until 1984 when the two brothers split from John Stokes. After the split Con and Dec continued as a duo, billed as Con & Dec - The Bachelors, and were still performing in 2016. John Stokes has formed a new group called The Bachelors with John Stokes, who also continue to perform in local venues around the UK.
The record buyers of 1964 were somewhat confused by the name of this group which had the same name as the founder and leader of the band. Manfred Mann was born on 21 October 1940 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied music at University in South Africa, and worked as a jazz pianist at a number of clubs in Johannesburg from 1959 to 1960. In 1961 he moved to the UK and began work as a music journalist, as well as helping form a jazz band, in which he played keyboards. This evolved into the pop music five-piece which was named after Mann. In 1964 the group was asked to provide a new theme tune for the TV pop music programme "Ready Steady Go". This resulted in the song "5-4-3-2-1" which, with the help of the weekly television exposure, rose to number five in the UK charts. From 1964 to 1969 they enjoyed 17 hits, 13 of which were Top 10 entries, which included three number ones. The lead singer from 1964 to mid-1966 was Paul Jones, and from mid-1966 to 1969, the lead vocals were taken over by Mike d'Abo. Despite such a dramatic change, their success continued unabated with more Top 10s and another chart-topper. Mann decided to disband the group in 1969, so that he could move on to other projects. He had hits in the 1970s with a group named Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
Title: Candy Man
This five-piece band, fronted by Brian Poole, who was born on 3 Nov 1941 in east London, England, were a beat group that became very successful, even though they came from London rather than Liverpool. Most of the line up met at school and formed a band in their teens, whilst the fifth member joined a little later. They called the band The Tremeloes. They performed around various London venues and in 1962 gained a contract with Decca Records, who asked them to change their name to Brian Poole and The Tremeloes, as this style of naming was becoming popular. They had two Top 10 hits in 1963, including the number one "Do You Love Me" (1963, song 74). They had a total of eight hit singles, four of which made the Top 10 by the summer of 1965. In 1966 Poole and the Tremeloes split. Poole made a few solo recordings but the remaining four, as The Tremeloes, went on to considerable success, scoring ten hits, six of which made the Top 10 including their number one "Silence Is Golden" in 1967.
Title: Boys Cry
Eden Kane was born on 29 Mar 1940 in New Delhi, India, where his British parents were working as civil servants. His father died in 1954, so his mother took the whole family back to England. Based in Croydon, on the southern border of London, he began entering talent contests during the late 1950s. He was given a contract with Decca Records in early 1961, and his debut release, "Well I Ask You" (see 1961/43) went all the way to number one. He had a further four Top 10 hits, but then no more. Unusually, he had only a total of five hits, but all were Top 10 entries. After his chart success in Britain dried up, he moved to live in California, working as a record producer. He still lives in Los Angeles and is married to journalist Charlene Groman, the sister of actress Stefanie Powers. However, he still occasionally performs in sixties nostalgia shows in the UK.
Title: Anyone Who Had A Heart
Cilla Black (27 May 1943 - 1 Aug 2015) was born in Liverpool and joined the Merseybeat scene along with the many groups coming from that city in 1963, although she remained a solo performer. She got a job in the Cavern Club in the early 1960s, where the Beatles and others were performing and soon was able to get singing jobs in different venues in Liverpool. John Lennon introduced her to the Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who duly signed her up and arranged a recording contract with EMI and producer George Martin. Her first release peaked at a rather modest number 35 in the UK charts during autumn 1963. However, her next two releases both went to number one, and she enjoyed several Top 10 hits throughout the 1960s. In 1968 she began a TV variety show called "Cilla", which ran for eight series until 1976. In the 1980s and 1990s she was a TV game show host, and became one of the most popular personalities of the era. She died following a fall at her holiday home in Spain, aged 72.
On 16 January 2017 a bronze statue of Cilla Black was unveiled on Mathew Street in Liverpool,
outside the entrance of the Cavern Club where Black was discovered.
The Lonely One
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
Title: Stay Awhile
Dusty Springfield (16 Apr 1939 - 2 Mar 1999) was born in London, England. She began singing in the late 1950s, first with an all-girl group and then with her brother in the Folk group The Springfields. The trio enjoyed a couple of Top 10 hits, but in late summer 1963, Dusty went solo and began a very successful career throughout the 1960s, becoming one of the top vocalists of that decade. From 1963 to 1969 she enjoyed a total of 16 hits, ten of which made the Top 10 including her 1966 number one "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me". During the late 1960s she had her own TV series, and she made albums in the USA, where she had achieved three Top 10 hits as well. Things went quiet during the 1970s although she continued to record and perform. In 1987 she came back to prominence when she recorded new material with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys. The single "What Have I Done To Deserve This" reached number two - her first Top 10 hit since 1968, and the album from which it came reached the Top 20. She developed breast cancer in the mid-1990s, and died from the disease in 1999, aged 59.
Title: Let Me Go Lover
Kathy Kirby (20 Oct 1938 - 19 May 2011) was born in Ilford, Essex, England. She took singing lessons at a young age and became a singer with the Ambrose Orchestra in 1956. In the late 1950s and early 1960s she was a cabaret singer and enjoyed a great deal of success, although recordings made at that time did not enter the charts. Things changed in 1963 when she signed with Decca Records and began making regular TV appearances. Her first hit came in August 1963 with a vocal recording of the Shadows instrumental chart topper "Dance On". She then enjoyed two Top 10 hits over autumn 1963 and spring 1964, followed by two smaller chart entries in 1964 and 1965 respectively. In 1965 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest where she came second to Luxembourg. She continued as a live performer on TV and the stage through the 1970s, but retired from the business in 1983 when she was only 45. She lived a secluded life after that, and died in 2011 from a heart attack at the age of 72.
Title: Bits And Pieces
The Dave Clark Five was a beat group from Tottenham, north London, England. The band's origins go back to 1957, and several personnel changes were made before their hits began. By the time of this recording, the group had stabilised to have leader Dave Clark on drums, and Mike Smith on keyboards and lead vocals, plus three others on guitars and saxophone. Smith was also responsible for writing many of their hits, although Clark was always given joint composing credits. They became known for their "thump-thump" drumming style, and remained popular throughout the 1960s, with seven Top 10 hits to the end of 1969. The band also enjoyed success in the USA during the "British Invasion" years, where they had eight Top 10 hits. Dave Clark was a shrewd businessman, keeping the copyright on his recordings, which he re-released sparingly during the following decades.
Title: Dawn (Go Away)
The Four Seasons is a vocal group, characterised by the falsetto voice of Frankie Valli (born 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA). The group started as the Four Lovers, but they failed to make a breakthrough in the pop charts. In 1960, they changed their name to the Four Seasons, and began working with record producer Bob Crewe, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer. The rest of the band was Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals (also their songwriter), Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals. Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper. Other similar recordings followed and they managed to hit the charts through to 1966 despite the prominence of the British beat groups. They also had hits during the 1970s, including some solo recordings by Frankie Valli. The band is still performing (as of 2016), but with Valli as the only original member.
Title: Not Fade Away
The Rolling Stones debuted on the British charts in 1963, and started a career which challenged the Beatles for the "top band" accolade during the 1960s. The band comprised lead singer Mick Jagger (born 26 Jul 1943), guitarists Keith Richards (born 18 Dec 1943) and Brian Jones (28 Feb 1942 - 3 Jul 1969), bassist Bill Wyman (born 24 Oct 1936) and drummer Charlie Watts
(2 Jun 1941 - 24 Aug 2021). Their early hits were written by others, but Mick Jagger and Keith Richards soon began writing their own material, and most of their biggest hits were composed by Jagger and Richards. Brian Jones drowned in a swimming pool during 1969, and was replaced by Mick Taylor, formerly of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Taylor left in 1974 and was replaced by Ronnie Wood who remains in the band at the present time. Bill Wyman left in 1997 and has since toured and recorded with his own band. The Stones clocked up 15 hits during the 1960s, including eight number ones. Hits continued in the singles and album charts through the following decades up to the present time. They still embark on world tours in the 21st century, the most recent being a concert tour of Latin America in 2016, 53 years after their first hit.
Title: Just One Look
The Hollies was
a beat group from Manchester, England. It was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1962, and by early summer 1963 they had their first hit. In the autumn of that year they made their debut in the Top 10 with a recording of a former American chart topper, "Stay". This started a run of fifteen Top 10 hits by the end of the 1960s, and they continued successfully into the 1970s as well. At the time of this hit, the other three members were Eric Haydock, Tony Hicks, and Bobby Elliott. They became one of the most successful bands of the 1960s, although they only reached the top of the UK charts once in that decade. They finally broke into the USA charts in 1966, and enjoyed six Top 10 hits there. Some squabbles with their management led to the departure of bass guitarist Eric Haydock in 1966. Two years later, founding member Graham Nash left the group following the band's rejection of Nash's song "Marrakesh Express". Clark and the others wanted to continue recording mainstream pop material, so Nash decamped to California where he teamed up with guitarist Stephen Stills (formerly with Buffalo Springfield), and David Crosby (ex-Byrds singer & guitarist) to form one of the first
super groups, Crosby, Stills & Nash, which released "Marrakesh Express" as its debut single. In 1971, Alan Clarke also left to pursue a solo career, but he returned in 1973 when the band was enjoying success in the USA. With some changes of personnel, the group continued to perform through to the 1990s, mostly in the guise of a sixties revival group. Clarke finally retired in 2000, but the Hollies still perform on the nostalgia circuit.
Title: Little Children
Billy J Kramer was born on 19 Aug 1943 in Bootle, Liverpool, England. He began performing after he finished his education, and was soon spotted by Brian Epstein who was building a roster of artists from the Liverpool area, which already included the Beatles. Kramer had a backing group, but none of them were interested in going professional, so Epstein found another band to back him. They were the Dakotas from Manchester, who had a Top 20 instrumental hit in the summer of 1963. The new group was soon signed up with EMI records and producer George Martin. Their first release was a song written by the Beatles' Lennon and McCartney, and performed by them on their debut album "Please Please Me". The Beatles' version was not planned to be a single, so it went to Kramer. Billy J went on to record two further Lennon and McCartney songs which were both big hits during 1963. This was followed by two more hits in 1964 and one in 1965, after which Kramer did not appear in the singles charts again. He continued recording and performing on and off during the following decades, and as recently as 2012 he recorded a new album.
Title: Tell Me When
The Applejacks were a six-piece band from the Birmingham area of England with lead vocalist Al Jackson and female bass player Megan Davies. The nucleus of the band had formed in 1961, performing as The Crestas, but with new members they became the Applejacks in 1962. Their debut single "Tell Me When" was an instant hit, but follow-ups proved difficult. Only two Top 30 hits came after this, with 1965 releases having no success. In the later part of the decade they performed on cruise ships, but eventually disbanded.
Title: That Girl Belongs To Yesterday
Gene Pitney (17 Feb 1940 - 5 Apr 2006) was born in Hartford, Connecticut, USA. He formed a band whilst at high school and learned to play several instruments. He had a couple of small hits in 1961 and 1962, and had written hits for other performers, such as Bobby Vee, but it was in 1963 that his career took off in the UK. Pitney went on to considerable success, especially in the UK where he achieved ten Top 10 hits by the end of the 1960s. By contrast, he only had four Top 10 hits in his American homeland. His popularity continued through the following decades and he toured extensively. He never reached number one until his 1967 recording of "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart" was re-recorded as a duet with British singer Marc Almond, and the result topped the UK charts in 1989. He was on a tour of the UK in 2006, when he was found dead in his hotel room in Cardiff, Wales. His death was deemed to be due to a heart attack.
Title: My Boy
(6 Oct 1946 - 5 May 2020) was born on the island of Jamaica in the West Indies. She won a talent contest in Jamaica when she was twelve, and wishing to pursue a music career, she moved to Kingston,
Jamaica as a young teenager, living with relatives. She began recording in
1962, and came to the attention of Chris Blackwell, the owner of Island Records, who brought her to London where she recorded this hit song. TV appearances soon followed and she became a minor star in the UK. Unfortunately, only two small hits followed, and she was soon forgotten. She
continued to live in London, although in 2012 she briefly returned to Jamaica for a series of concerts.
She died in London from a stroke at the age of 73.
Title: A World Without Love
Peter & Gordon were British duo Peter Asher (born 22 June 1944) and Gordon Waller (4 Jun 1945 - 17 Jul 2009), who enjoyed chart success in the mid-1960s. Peter Asher (brother of actress Jane Asher) had been a child actor before embarking on a music career. Asher and Waller met at school and began singing together in the early 1960s. In 1963 Peter's sister Jane, began dating Paul McCartney. This brought the duo in contact with the Beatles, and Paul McCartney offered them this song, which he had written some years earlier. The song was an immediate success, reaching number one in the UK, the USA and elsewhere. They enjoyed seven hit singles and one hit album during the years 1964 to 1966. They disbanded in 1968 and Waller began a solo career which was only partly successful. He moved to the USA in the 1990s and started a publishing company. He died there from a heart attack, aged 64. Peter Asher moved into record production and artist management in the USA. He has been very successful and has managed and produced many top artists, in particular singer-songwriter James Taylor.
Title: I Believe
This was their follow-up to the January chart-topper "Diane" (song 8). They continued with revivals of old songs, which seemed to please their fans. The summer saw them issue their first album "The Bachelors and 16 Great Songs", which climbed to number two on the album chart, and remained on the chart for 44 weeks. Three more Top 10 hits came their way during 1964 - their most successful year in the charts.
Title: Mockingbird Hill
The Migil Five were a British Rhythm & Blues group whose only significant hit was a Blue Beat version of the song "Mockingbird Hill". The group began in north London in the early 1960s, and played a mixture of pop, R&B and Jazz music on the cabaret circuit until they were given a recording opportunity with Pye Records. Their first single, "Maybe", was released in 1963. Looking to reach a younger audience, they recorded their second single, "Mockingbird Hill", in a style then known as Blue Beat and later as Ska. It was released the same week as Millie Small's Blue Beat hit "My Boy Lollipop" (song 23). Their follow-up single, "Near You", reached number 31 on the UK chart, and the band released an album in 1964 as well.
Subsequent singles and an EP failed to make the British charts, and the group finally broke up in 1971.
Title: Good Golly Miss Molly
The Swinging Blue Jeans is a Merseybeat band from
Liverpool. The group's origins go back to the 1950s, but the members had stablised into a five-piece by 1963
when they were given a recording contract by EMI. Their first offering peaked at number 30 in the summer of 1963,
after which they became a quartet. The group was fronted by Ralph Ellis and Ray Ennis, and in late 1963 they hit the
big time with a recording of an American song from 1959, "The Hippy Hippy Shake" (1963, song 99). This
proved to be their biggest hit, although they did reach number three in the summer of 1964. After just five hits
Ralph Ellis left to try a solo career in 1966, and other personnel changes took place. They continued performing
in cabaret and on the nostalgia circuits well into the 21st century. In 2010 Ray Ennis announced his retirement
from performing. The band continues but with no original members.
The Mojos were another Merseybeat group from Liverpool, hoping to break into the big time. Unfortunately, this was their only significant hit recording. They had begun in 1962, but there were several personnel changes which did not help them to become an established band. More changes were made after their three hits, when they were joined by bassist Lewis Collins, who later found fame as the co-star in the TV series "The Professionals". He was present when they recorded subsequent singles, but none of those charted, and the band split up in 1966.
Buy Me Love
The Beatles were a pop group from Liverpool, England who became the most popular and well-known music group in the world during the 1960s. They also conquered America, becoming the biggest
band there. The members were John
Lennon (9 Oct 1940 - 8 Dec 1980), Paul McCartney (born 18 Jun 1942), George Harrison (25 Feb 1943 - 29 Nov 2001), and
Ringo Starr (born 7 Jul 1940). All four were born and raised in Liverpool, England. They began with live
performances in Liverpool, then Hamburg in Germany. Brian Epstein saw them, and offered to be their manager.
He arranged a record deal with EMI's Parlophone label, which had producer and arranger George Martin in charge.
During the following seven years, The Beatles and Martin crafted a string of new and innovative singles and albums
that kept them at the top of the charts worldwide, and inspired countless other musicians.
They went on to have 21 consecutive Top 4 singles from 1963 to 1970, with 17 reaching number one - eleven of
those consecutive. On the album front, they had eleven number one original studio albums, the biggest being
the 1967 concept album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which remained in the UK album chart for
149 weeks (nearly three years!). Their success led to more groups from Liverpool hitting the charts, and the
phrases Merseybeat and Beatlemania came into everyday use. However, internal differences between band members
led to the band's breakup in April 1970. All four members went on to have successful solo careers.
The Four Pennies was a group from Blackburn, Lancashire, England. They only came together in 1963, but quickly signed a recording contract with Philips Records. Their first release stalled at number 43, but their second recording "Juliet", went all the way to number one. Unfortunately they were unable to maintain this success. They followed with three Top 20 hits, two of which rose no higher than number 19. Their final single came in 1966, peaking at number 32, and the band broke up that year. They charted with one album, "Two Sides Of Four Pennies", which reached number 13 in the album chart in late 1964.
Throw Your Love Away
This was their
follow-up to "Needles And Pins" (song 6), and was their
third of three chart-toppers. Some minor personnel changes occurred
while this track was in the charts, but it did not slow the momentum,
as they reached the Top 10 again in the autumn of 1964 (song 78).
was born on 12 Dec 1940 in New Jersey, USA. After completing
high school, she went to a music college in Connecticut, and at the
same time, she got some work singing backing vocals for recording sessions in New York City. During one session, Warwick met Burt Bacharach, who hired her to record demos
of songs written by him and lyricist Hal David. This led to a
recording contract and a unique partnership with Bacharach and
David. Over the next several years 30 of her American Top 40
hits were written by Bacharach and David, which Bacharach mostly
arranged and produced. In the UK much of her output was
covered by British singers such as Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw and
Dusty Springfield. This limited Warwick to only three Top 20
hits during the 1960s, although she did have more hits in the
1980s. In the early 1970s Bacharach and David went their
separate ways, leaving Warwick to continue with new writers and
producers over the next decades. She was still recording well
into the 21st century.
Bubble (Toil And Trouble)
This was their follow-up to "5-4-3-2-1" (song 9), but it just missed out on a Top 10 placing. However, the band was building momentum, and by the summer of 1964 they were at number one (song 60). They were also on concert tours of the UK during 1964.
Let The Sun Catch You Crying
This was the
group's second hit of the year, and was another written by Gerry
Marsden. There was a slight downward trend in the chart peak
position of their singles, but this is one of their most famous
songs. It was also the song that broke them in the USA, where
it reached number four on the charts.
The Fourmost were a
Liverpool group, part of the Merseybeat scene, whose origins went back to the late 1950s, but the four members of the hit making
band were in place by the autumn of 1962. They performed around
Liverpool including the Cavern Club, and were seen and signed up
by Brian Epstein (Beatles manager) in mid 1963. He arranged
a recording contract with EMI records and producer George
Martin. John Lennon
and Paul McCartney had a huge number of songs available, which
they had written over several years. The song chosen for the
group's debut ("Hello Little Girl") was written by John Lennon in 1957. The
recording had the right sound for the time, and quickly climbed
into the Top 10. The Fourmost went on to have six chart hits
including two Top 10 entries by the end of 1965. The group
continued performing for several decades, although much of the
personnel changed several times. The current touring band
has no original members.
Roy Orbison (23 Apr 1936 - 6 Dec 1988) was born in Vernon, Texas,
USA. He started playing guitar as a child, and formed a high school band, playing mostly Country Music.
The band remained together and, called The Teen Kings", they began playing on local radio stations. At one
of those broadcasts, Johnny Cash was in the radio station, and suggested the group approached Sam Phillips at Sun Records
in Memphis, Tennessee. They duly went, and recorded a song called "Ooby Dooby" which reached number 59 in
the USA charts. He struggled with hits after that, and concentrated on songwriting. In 1960 he signed for
Monument Records, and very soon recorded his classic hit "Only The Lonely"
(year 1960, song 69 in these lists). More major hits followed during the 1960s, and he continued to tour during
the 1970s and 1980s. He died from a heart attack in 1988, following which recordings made earlier in the 1980s
began reaching the charts, including two Top 10 entries from 1989 to 1992.
This was Cliff's second of five Top 10 chart entries during this year. This slow ballad is of Italian origin with the original title of "L'Edera" (the ivy) that was a hit in Italy during 1958. The English lyrics were written especially for Cliff Richard.
This was the
follow-up to the group's first hit of the year, "Candy
Man" (song 10). It was also their fourth Top 10 entry,
but it would turn out to be their final appearance in the upper
echelons of the charts. Only three smaller hits came after
this, their last in 1965. As mentioned earlier, The
Tremeloes without Poole went on to great success in the latter
part of the 1960s, starting in 1967.
This was her follow-up to
"Anyone Who Had A Heart" (song 12), and was her second
of two chart toppers. She went on to have a further eight
Top 10 hits during the 1960s, and became one of the most popular
singers of that decade.
Rise And Fall Of Flingel Bunt
The Shadows were Cliff Richard's backing band, who were at first called
At the time of this hit, the members of the group were Hank B Marvin (born 28 Oct 1941), lead guitar, Bruce
Welch (born 2 Nov 1941), rhythm guitar,
Bennett (born 9 Feb 1940),
drums, and John Rostill (16 Jun 1942 - 26 Nov 1973), bass guitar.
Whilst remaining Cliff Richard's backing band for several years, The Shadows enjoyed considerable success
in their own right, and in the early to mid-1960s, were Britain's top instrumental group, achieving five
number one hits plus an additional nine Top 10 entries out of 24 hits in total during the 1960s. Not
content with that, they had more hits in the 1970s and early 1980s.
Particular Place To Go
Chuck Berry (18 Oct 1926 - 18 Mar
2017) was born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. He started performing in the early 1950s, and in 1955 began his recording
career with "Maybellene" which reached number one on the US R&B chart. By the end of the 1950s he
was an established star, and he had more hits during the 1960s.
He often courted controversy and had two spells in prison.
This never seemed to adversely effect his popularity, and he continued performing into the 21st century.
He died in March 2017 at the age of 90. In June 2017 a new album,
"Chuck", was released comprising new recordings made
over a few years, his first album of new material since 1979.
Lulu was born on
3 Nov 1948 near Glasgow, Scotland. She started singing at a
young age and by the time she was 13 she had a manager and was
singing with a band around Glasgow. Her manager took her to
London in early 1964 and arranged a recording deal with Decca
Records. Her debut single, "Shout", was an American
R&B song written by the Isley Brothers. It was an instant
hit, and Lulu's career took off from there. However, some of her
recordings with Decca did not sell as well as was hoped and she
missed the charts completely in 1966. So, in 1967 she moved to
EMI's Columbia label, and producer Mickie Most. This gave her
a new start, with hits for the rest of the 1960s. Lulu was given her own
BBC TV series in 1968, which ran annually until 1975. In 1969
she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest where she came
joint first with three other countries. She continued to
record and tour in the following decades, and in 1993 achieved her
first chart-topper when she duetted with boy band Take That on
"Relight My Fire". She was in the Top 10 again in
2002 when she duetted with Ronan Keating with the song "We've
Got Tonight". Recording and touring continued, and she
embarked on another concert tour of the UK during the autumn of
I Go Again
This was their
follow-up to "Just One Look" (song 19), which had reached
number two in March 1964. This was the third recording in a
run of seven consecutive Top 10 hits between November 1963 and
September 1965. During May 1964, their debut album, "Stay
With The Hollies" was peaking at number two.
Mary Wells (13 May 1943 - 26 Jul 1992) was born in Detriot, USA. She was brought up by a single mother, and her early life was difficult. She also suffered from a number of illnesses before she was twelve. By the time she was 17 she had decided that a musical career would take out of poverty. She approached Tamla Motown records which was just starting up in 1960, and she was rewarded with a contract. Her first single was a moderate success in the USA, but she was then teamed up with Smokie Robinson who wrote and produced several recordings which became USA-only Top 10 hits. Then in 1964 she recorded "My Guy" which finally introduced her to the UK charts. The recording went to number one in the USA and sold a million copies. Unfortunately, she left Motown later in 1964 over a contract dispute. She then recorded for a number of different labels, but was never able to match her early success. In 1990 she was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx, and she was forced to retire from singing. She died from the disease in 1992 at the age of 49.
P J Proby was
born on 6 Nov 1938 in Houston, Texas, USA. After he graduated
from high school, and deciding that he wanted a showbiz career, he
moved to Los Angeles to become an actor and recording artist.
He soon had bit-parts in a couple of films. He was introduced
to Liberty Records by Sharon Sheeley (1940-2002) who was a
songwriter (wrote songs for Ricky Nelson) and was Eddie Cochran's
former fiancée. His early recordings were unsuccessful, but
he did gain experience by recording demos for various stars of the
day. He was later introduced to Jack Good (producer of the
British TV show "Oh Boy!"), who took him to London, and
produced his first hits in the UK. His debut was "Hold
Me" which climbed to number three in the British charts.
Several hits followed during 1964 and 1965. However, during
two different energetic concert performances he split his trousers,
which led to him being banned by theatres and TV organisations.
This obviously restricted his chances of performing new records, and
his popularity waned. Nevertheless, he continued singing and
acting back in the USA for several decades with varying degrees of
success. In the 21st century he has been touring with sixties
nostalgia shows, and was performing in Scotland during 2017.
You See That She's Mine
This was their third Top 10 hit and the follow-up to "Bits And Pieces" which had been at number two in March 1964 (song 16). They were just as popular in the USA as they were at home at this time, and they made numerous American TV appearances. They were also riding high in the album chart during the early summer of 1964 with their LP "A Session With The Dave Clark Five".
them back into the Top 10 after their previous release "Good
Golly Miss Molly" (song 27) stalled at number 11.
However, this turned out to be their final Top 10 entry. Their
next hit did not come until early 1966, which peaked at number 31,
and was their last visit to the UK charts.
were specialists in reviving old songs, and this release was no
exception. It was their follow-up to "I Believe"
which had reached number two in spring 1964 (song 25). They
were now a major act in the UK with plenty of TV and live
appearances, including a summer season in Blackpool during 1964.
This was the duo's follow-up to "A World Without Love (song 24) which had been a number one hit in April/May 1964. This release only just breached the Top 10 which was probably disappointing. It was also their last hit of the year, with two releases in late summer and autumn failing to reach the UK charts, although both those singles made the Top 20 in the USA. However, they bounced back in 1965 with two UK Top 5 hits - both revivals of songs from the 1950s. (See also song 24).
Me With All Your Heart
Karl Denver (16 Dec 1931 - 21 Dec 1998)
was born in Glasgow, Scotland. He worked at sea for some
years, then lived in Nashville, USA, where he sang on local radio. Returning to the UK he
began performing at venues in the north of England. This led to a contract
with Decca Records, and this debut hit came along in 1961.
He had a unique style involving much falsetto yodelling. He achieved
four Top 10 hits into 1962, and several smaller hits until
mid-1964. He performed in cabaret after that and made a few
albums right up to 1993. He died from a brain tumour in December 1998, at the age of 67.
This was the
follow-up to their spring 1964 hit "Tell Me When" (song
21). Despite their Top 10 start, this recording only just
managed to reach the Top 20. This was all the more surprising
as the song was written by Paul McCartney. Their third
and final hit peaked at number 23 in the autumn of 1964, and then
they were gone from the UK charts. See song 21 for more info
about the band.
House Of The Rising Sun
The Animals were
a five-piece band from Newcastle, England. Their style was
Blues/R&B, and they, together with groups like the Rolling
Stones, revived old American Folk and Blues songs, and often
reintroduced them to the American record-buying public. The
Animals were formed in 1962 and comprised Eric Burdon (born 11 May
1941)(vocals), Alan Price (keyboards), Chas Chandler (bass), Hilton Valentine (guitar),
and John Steel (drums). They moved to London, and signed with
EMI's Columbia label and producer Mickie Most. They were
quickly assimilated into the British Beat music boom and became part
of the so-called British Invasion of the USA during the second half
of 1964. Their first release was a modest success, but their
follow-up, "The House Of The Rising Sun" was regarded as
adventurous, as is was a slow American Folk song running for four
and a half minutes. Despite the length of the recording, and
being totally different to the toe-tapping Merseybeat records, it
went all the way to number one in both the UK and the USA.
However, even by 1965, things were changing. Alan Price
decided to leave and form his own successful group. The
remainder of the band were getting unhappy with Mickie Most's choice
of songs, so left EMI and signed with MGM in the USA and Decca in
the UK, and re-titled themselves Eric Burdon & The Animals, in
1966. However, Burdon then started recording solo, and the
group disbanded that year. Burdon put together a new band,
still called Eric Burdon & The Animals, and they went on to have
success in the USA, but the only Top 10 hit in the UK, "San
Franciscan Nights", came in 1967. Various line-ups have
reunited over the decades for concerts and tours - the most recent
in 2008. In 2016 Burdon formed another Animals band. As
The Animals, they had six Top 10 hits plus the number one between
1964 and 1966 in the UK. As Eric Burdon & The Animals they
had six hits, one of which made the Top 10, in the UK between 1966
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.
Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself
This was her
third hit and the follow-up to "Stay Awhile" (song 14)
which charted in February 1964. She was now becoming
established as a major performer in the UK with TV and concert
appearances. She also toured Australia and New Zealand in 1964
along with other British acts of the time. She enjoyed another
Top 10 hit in the autumn of 1964 (song 88).
All Over Now
Stones enjoyed their first number one with this recording. It
was the follow-up to "Not Fade Away" which had peaked at
number three in March 1964. This began a run of five
chart-toppers up to the end of 1965. They had been touring in
the USA during June 1964 and heard this song being played in a radio
studio. Deciding it was just right for them, they immediately
recorded the song in Chicago at the Chess studios. Just one
month later it was in the charts.
This was his
third consecutive Top 10 recording of the year. The song is
taken from his 1964 musical film "Wonderful Life", which
was his third all-colour film, although it was not as well received
as his earlier two, "The Young Ones" and "Summer
Holiday". Nevertheless, he remained extremely popular at
this time, when most of his contemporaries from the late 1950s had
fallen by the wayside.
This was their
final Top 20 hit - three subsequent releases getting no higher than
number 22. For more info about the band see song number 5.
Teens were a British group from Weybridge, Surrey, England.
They were formed in 1962 but had numerous personnel changes even
before they had their debut hit "Tobacco Road".
Rather like the Beatles and others, they had been performing in
Hamburg, Germany, and had also been backing band for several
visiting American vocalists such as Carl Perkins and Chuck
Berry. They were spotted by Mickie Most at one of the concerts
who had them signed up to Decca Records, and produced their debut
single. It was a success, reaching the Top 10, as did their
follow-up. Unfortunately, only three minor hits followed that
before they disappeared from the charts. They have continued
to perform, with more personnel changes, having taken place.
The Beach Boys are an American band formed in California,
USA, in 1961. The group's original lineup comprised brothers
Brian (born 20 June 1942), Dennis (4 Dec 1944 - 28 Dec 1983), and Carl
Wilson (21 Dec 1946 - 6 Feb 1998); their cousin Mike Love (born 15 March 1941); and their friend Al
Jardine (born 3 Sep 1942). They began as a Surfing Rock group
on the west coast of America, with vocal harmonies that promoted the
Californian lifestyle of surf, cars and romance in the
sunshine. But with the increasingly complex writing and
production of Brian Wilson in the mid-1960s, they became one of the
the leading innovators of popular music. Their first
recordings from 1961 did not score in the UK, and many were not even
released in Britain. But in 1963, they had their first hit
("Surfin' USA"), although it peaked at a lowly number
34. Even their now-regarded classic hits of late 1964 to the
end of 1965 only achieved Top 30 status, until "Barbara
Ann" of February 1966 started a run of Top 10 hits, helped, no
doubt, by the airings given by the all-music pirate radio stations
of 1965-67. Regular hits continued until 1970, with sporadic
entries in the following decades.
Wah Diddy Diddy
This was their
third hit and the first of three chart-toppers in the UK, and it
established them as a major music group. It was also number
one in the USA, which made them part of the "British
Invasion" of the American music scene. Another Top 10 hit
came for the group in the autumn of 1964 (song 86).
Hard Day's Night
This was the
title song from their first film, and their fifth consecutive
chart-topper. The film was a great success, and was regarded
as ground-breaking at the time. It was in a semi-documentary
style, following the group through several days of work and running
from adoring fans, although it was all scripted. It was said
to be the inspiration for the Monkees' TV show in America.
I The Right
Just as the
Applejacks, with their female bass player, were fading from the
charts, along came the Honeycombs with a female drummer. This
excited the press once again and afforded the group useful publicity.
The Honeycombs were a five-piece group, founded in London, England
in 1963. The lead singer was Denis D'Ell (14 Oct 1943 - 6 Jul
2005) from east
London. Singer and drummer, Honey Lantree (28 Aug 1943 - 23
Dec 2018), came from west
London. Honey's brother John Lantree played bass. The
band played in clubs and pubs in north London, and met record
producer Joe Meek, along with songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley.
This resulted in Joe Meek recording the band and arranging a deal
with Pye Records. This debut hit went all the way to number
one in the UK charts, and it reached number five in the USA as
well. They then embarked on a long tour of the far east and
Australia, which left them unable to promote their next
releases. As a result, singles issued in autumn 1964 and
spring 1965 stalled at numbers 38 and 39 in the UK charts.
They did return to the charts in summer 1965 with a final hit that
reached number 12. They continued with live performances after
that, although three members left the group and had to be
replaced. They disbanded in 1967.
Kramer decided to return to the songs of Lennon and McCartney for this release, which was the follow-up to his chart-topper of February 1964, "Little Children" (song 20). This recording just made it to number ten, but it turned out to be his last visit to the Top 10 of the UK charts, only fourteen months after his debut hit reached number two. Just one more hit came after this, in May 1965, when he reached number 12 with a Bacharach & David song. His intervening release in autumn 1964 had failed to enter the UK charts, although it did reach number 67 in the USA. With the Dakotas he issued singles until 1967, but with no success. He released solo singles from 1968 to 1984, but none were hits.
Only Make Believe
revived this Conway Twitty hit from 1959, and made it back into the
Top 10 for the first time since the summer of 1963, although three
recordings in between did reach the Top 20. Only one more Top
10 came after this, in July 1965, followed by three smaller hits
until the summer of 1966. For more info on Billy Fury, see
Dave Berry was
born on 6 Feb 1941 in Sheffield, England. His first hit came
in 1963 - a cover of a Chuck Berry hit. It just scraped into
the Top 20, but by the summer of 1964 he was in the Top 10,
something he did twice more until the summer of 1966. His
stage act was unusual, with him being dressed entirely in black, and
writhing his body and caressing the microphone as he sang.
chart career lasted barely three years in the UK, he was very popular in the
Netherlands and Belgium, where he performed in concert and saw his recording "This Strange Effect" reach number one in
both countries during 1967. He has never stopped performing, and has
continued concert appearances well into the 21st century.
enjoyed two number ones earlier in this year, but from now on she
had to be content with Top 10 entries. She had a total of nine
such hits through to 1971. She was busy throughout the
remainder of the 1960s with TV appearances and live shows, including
a couple of summer seasons in Blackpool.
Really Got Me
The Kinks were a four-piece band formed in north London, England by the brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Ray Davies, born 21 June 1944, and Dave Davies, born 3 Feb 1947 were joined by Mick Avory on drums and Pete Quaife on bass to complete the original lineup. Ray had been at art school in the early sixties and had played guitar with different R&B bands in London. He joined the Ravens in 1962 which included his brother Dave on lead guitar and drummer Avory. They signed a contract with Pye Records, but changed their name to the Kinks with encouragement from their management. Their first two releases failed to chart, but this third single zoomed all the way to number one in the UK and was a Top 10 hit in the USA. They went on to enjoy twelve further Top 10 hits in the UK by 1970, including another number one in 1965 - all written by Ray Davies. The band continued recording and performing on and off over the following years, albeit with some personnel changes, but finally broke up in 1996. The Davies brothers have recorded solo albums, and some past members have regrouped for live performances as the Kast Off Kinks, until the present time.
Tears Go By
Marianne Faithfull was born on 29 Dec 1946 in Hampstead, north London, England. She had started singing Folk music in coffeehouses in early 1964, and got herself into the London music scene, where she met Andrew Loog Oldham who was the manager of the Rolling Stones. He saw her potential, and signed her up, including a recording contract with Decca. Oldham had been encouraging Jagger and Richards to start writing their own material, and "As Tears Go By", one of their earliest compositions was given to Marianne. The recording was her debut hit, and it began a run of four Top 10 hits. However, her career as a hit record artist barely lasted one year. Her final Top 10 hit came in July 1965, followed by just two small hits that peaked at 36 and 43. Despite having married in 1965 and given birth to a son, she began an affair with Mick Jagger, and she was soon better known as Jagger's girl friend than a singer. She became addicted to drugs in 1967, effectively ending her career. She gradually recovered from the addiction, and in 1979 returned to the lower reaches of the charts with an album and single. She has continued to record and perform, and she released a new album, backed by a concert tour in 2014.
Wouldn't Trade You For The World
The Bachelors were having a great 1964, and this was their fourth consecutive Top 10 entry of the year. A fifth recording entered the chart at the tail end of the year, and it too became a Top 10 hit.
The Zombies group was founded in 1961 in Hertfordshire, England. The two principal members were vocalist Colin Blunstone (born 24 June 1945) and keyboardist Rod Argent (born 14 June 1945), who were joined by three others. After winning a beat group competition, they signed with Decca Records, and recorded this debut single. It peaked at number 12 in the UK but reached number two in the USA, selling over a million copies. In Britain, they were unable to follow their initial success. The next release stalled at number 42 in the UK, but again, it was popular in America, where it peaked at number six in 1965. However, even in the USA their popularity waned and the group broke up in late 1967. Blunstone went solo, and he had a few smallish hits in the early 1970s. Rod Argent formed a new band simply called Argent, and he too had success in the early 1970s, in particular the Top 10 hit "Hold Your Head Up". There have been concert reunions in the 1990s and early 2000s, and Blunstone and Argent recorded a new album together in 2001. The Zombies reformed for more concerts from 2004; another album was recorded in 2015; and a tour of the USA began in 2017.
Into Something Good
were formed in Manchester, England in early 1964, with lead singer
Peter Noone (born 5 Nov 1947). (Noone was only 16 years old
when this hit entered the charts.) They quickly acquired a
manager who arranged a contract with EMI records and producer Mickie
Most. This, their debut single, a cover of an American song, rose up
the charts and was at number one by the end of September 1964. It
was released in the USA and reached number 13. They soon
became a major band on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK
they amassed ten Top 10 hits by 1970, and eleven in America by
1967. In the USA they issued several old music hall style
songs, such as "I'm Henry The Eighth I Am", which were very
successful there. Such recordings were not issued in the
UK. Noone left the band in 1971 for a solo career. The
remainder recruited a new lead singer and they have toured for many
years. Peter Noone only had one hit as a soloist, that was in
1971. Noone now tours as Herman's Hermits starring Peter
Noone. The rival group, with only one original member, tours
as Herman's Hermits.
After the failure of their previous release to enter the UK charts (song 17), they were back with a number two hit. They never had the same success in Britain as they did in the USA where they enjoyed 13 Top 10 hits during the 1960s. The hits dried up in 1967 in both countries, but the group came back in the 1970s with more hits. The band has gained more popularity in recent years due to the success of the musical "Jersey Boys", which traces their history and features their hit songs.
Gonna Be All Right
This was the
group's follow-up to "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying",
which had reached number six in the spring of 1964. This
recording was back to the toe-tapping catchy songs of Merseybeat,
but perhaps the magic was wearing off, as the single stalled at
number 24. This song was featured in the film
"Ferry 'Cross The Mersey", staring Gerry & The
Pacemakers. The title song was released in December 1964, and
it climbed up to number eight on the charts (see year 1965, song 3).
P J Proby had
his debut hit in May (song 45), and this follow-up reached the Top
10 of the UK charts as well. His trousers-splitting episode
did not come until January 1965, so he was enjoying concert and TV
appearances, and his fan base was growing. Another Top 10 hit
came in December this year (song 99).
Did Our Love Go
were the first Tamla Motown group to find lasting success in the
charts both in the UK and America. They epitomised the Motown
sound, and became one of the label's biggest acts. The vocal
trio comprised Diana Ross (lead singer, born 26 Mar 1944), Florence Ballard
(30 Jun 1943 - 22 Feb 1976) and Mary Wilson (6 Mar 1944 - 8 Feb
2021). They all came from the Detroit, USA area, where Motown
records was based. They began by providing back up to other
performers, but quickly gained a recording contract. Six
single releases between 1961 and 1963 failed to make the charts
anywhere, but in 1964 they recorded "Where Did Our Love
Go". The recording went to number one in the USA and
number three in Britain. They became so successful that their
first six releases in the USA went to number one, and they ended up
with eleven chart-toppers there by 1969. In the UK they only
had one number one ("Baby Love" - song 89), but amassed 18
hits by the end of the 1960s, seven of which reached the Top
10. However, by 1967, Florence Ballard had developed a drink
problem, and she arrived for recordings and live shows too drunk to
perform on some occasions. In that year she was replaced by Cindy Birdsong.
Things continued with this new set up until 1970 when Diana Ross
left to pursue a solo career. She was replaced by Jean Terrell.
This version of the trio did enjoy some success, with five of their
recordings hitting the UK Top 10 from 1970 to 1972. With some
more personnel changes, the trio continued recording, after 1972,
but with little chart success. They remained a popular live act,
however, continuing to 1977, when they performed their farewell
concert (in London), and then disbanded.
This was the
second of two chart-toppers for Roy Orbison in 1964.
"It's Over" (song 36) had reached number one in June this
year, making him the only American to have as many as two number
ones during 1964. He was in the Top 10 again from November
1964 with the Christmas song "Pretty Paper".
However, despite his popularity, in the following 1965, Orbison only
got as high as number 14 in the UK charts. 1966 saw him have
his final British Top 10 entry, although smaller hits continued
until 1969. He did return in the late 1980s and early 1990s
with several posthumous hits. For more info on Roy Orbison,
see song 36.
This follow-up to their big hit "The House Of The Rising Sun" (song 52) sounds like an old Blues song from the deep south of America given an R&B treatment, but is in fact newly written by two members of the group. Whilst not achieving the heights of the previous release, this was the first of six Top 10 hits by 1966. During the autumn of 1964, they were appearing in various concerts along with British and American stars of the time.
You Walk In The Room
had been in the charts in July 1964 with a song that peaked at
number eleven. But this recording had them back in the Top
10. With two chart-toppers, and another Top 20 hit in December
(song 97), 1964 was a very good year for them.
Matt Monro (1 Dec 1930
- 7 Feb 1985) was born in London, England. He began singing on talent shows while in the British Army in the early
1950s. He made some records in the mid-1950s, but none met with any success. In 1959 he was asked to record a demo
record for EMI, and when producer, George Martin heard the track, he arranged for Monro to record a new song, "Portrait
Of My Love". It reached number three on the UK charts and started his international career. He recorded several film
themes, but some like "Born Free" failed to enter the charts. He spent some time in America during the mid-1960s,
making albums of standards and new ballads, and was hailed as the new Frank Sinatra. He toured the world extensively,
especially during the 1970s and early 1980s. He died from liver cancer at age 54.
followed their May 1964 Top 5 release "Here I Go Again"
(song 43). They were enjoying considerable success at this
time, and were on package concert tours with other hit makers of the
day. For more info about the Hollies, see song 19.
Always Something There To Remind Me
Sandie Shaw was
born on 26 Feb 1947 in Dagenham, Essex, England. She became
one of the top British female stars of the decade, and was famous
for appearing on stage and TV in bare feet, as well as being something
of a 1960s fashion icon. She won a talent contest in 1963, and
was spotted by Adam Faith who recommended her to his agent, who took
her on and arranged a contract with Pye Records. Although her
first record failed to enter the charts, she was given this
Bacharach & David song as her second release, and it quickly
rose all the way to number one. She went on to have 17 hits by
the end of the 1960s - many of them written by Chris Andrews.
In 1967 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, and
became the first British winner of the annual event with
"Puppet On A String". The recording was a chart
topper in the UK and seven other countries. She took a back
seat in the music business during the 1970s but returned to the
charts in the 1980s with some smallish hits. Since then she
has been involved in various projects and has appeared on TV chat
and discussion shows.
Twelfth Of Never
Cliff was still
scoring Top 10 hits in this year, and the revival of this song saw
him comfortably in the upper part of the UK charts. This was
his follow-up to "On The Beach", from the film
"Wonderful Life", which had entered the charts in
July. He achieved a fifth Top 10 entry in December. This
recording was the 21st in a run of consecutive Top 10 hits that
began in 1960. However, that run came to an end in 1965.
Um Um Um Um Um
(28 Oct 1945 - 6 Aug 2020) was born in Manchester, England.
Fontana had begun his music career in 1961 with a band called The
Jets, but that did not develop. With an ad hoc group of
musicians, Fontana performed at the Oasis club in Manchester in
1963, and was promptly offered a contract with Fontana Records,
which was just a coincidence. The band was given the name the
Mindbenders, and off they all went to London. Their first two
recordings only just grazed the Top 50, but their third release gave
them their first Top 10 entry in the charts, a cover of the American
hit "Um Um Um Um Um Um". This was followed by
another Top 10 in early 1965, but the hits fell away after
that. Fontana was somewhat unpredictable, and had walked off
stage to leave the band to finish the set on more than one
occasion. The last time this happened, in October 1965, it was
the end of the partnership. However, Fontana continued as a
solo act and made some medium-sized hits during 1966, including the
number eleven hit "Pamela Pamela" late in that year.
Meanwhile the Mindbenders continued as well, and they enjoyed a
number two hit in early 1966, followed by three lesser
releases. Fontana continued to perform occasionally up
to the 2000s, but he died from cancer at the age of 74 in 2020.
Berries are a group formed in Birmingham, England in the late 1950s,
and they chose the name as many of the songs they performed were
Chuck Berry compositions. Their leader is guitarist Brian
Botfield, and by 1961 the band included six other members.
They embarked on a series of club engagements in Germany that year,
but there were several changes of personnel, although Botfield
remained. Upon their return to the UK they secured a recording
contract, but early releases failed to enter the charts. 1964
saw a change in fortune when they covered this American song.
It soon reached number three in the UK charts, and they had another
Top 10 entry in May 1965. Only three minor hits followed
however, and their final chart appearance came in 1966 with a song
that peaked at number 50. They then developed a cabaret act
which included some comedy routines, and they have continued to
perform until the present time. Some 20 musicians have been
members of the band over the years, and currently Brian Botfield
remains at the helm, with four others.
Val Doonican (3 Feb 1927 - 1 July 2015) was born in Waterford, Ireland. He was a rich-voiced crooner, who became known for his relaxed personality, his multicoloured sweaters and singing from a rocking chair. As well as performing ballads and Country music songs, he often sang Irish novelty songs such as "Paddy McGinty's Goat" and "O'Rafferty's Motor Car". He had left his native Ireland in 1951 and settled in England. He was part of a vocal quartet to start with but he went solo in 1962 and began appearing on TV. This led to him having his own TV series which ran annually from 1965 to 1985, and had audiences that reached 20 million on Saturday evenings. His first hit single came in 1964, followed by 13 hits until 1973, of which five reached the Top 10. He had five successive Top 10 albums during the 1960s, with more during the following decades. He retired officially in 1990, but performed occasionally up until 2009. He died in 2015 at the age of 88.
Manfred Mann followed
their chart-topper "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" with this offering
that reached number three. (Seems they were keen on nonsense
titles!) Their first album, "Five Faces Of Manfred
Mann", was also in the charts at this time. It peaked at
number three and remained on the album chart for 24 weeks.
They were still busy with concert appearances during the autumn of
1964. Their next hit came in January 1965. See song 9
for more info about the group.
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"). She enjoyed a string of hits during the 1960s,
and recorded three James Bond movie themes. She had her own TV series during the 1970s, and 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.
This was her third Top 10 hit, and the follow-up to "I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself" which had reached number three in the summer of 1964. Her next Top 10 hit did not come until July 1965, but her debut album "A Girl Called Dusty" was still in the album charts, where it had reached number six.
gained their only UK number one with this recording. It was
the follow-up to their debut hit "Where Did Our Love Go"
(song 75). This established the Motown sound in the UK which
would see several acts from Detroit feature in the British charts
over the following few years. It was a number one hit in the
USA as well, and the second in a run of five chart-toppers for the
group in America. They were back in the UK charts in January
1965. See song 75 for group info.
Day And All Of The Night
The Kinks saw
their follow-up to "You Really Got Me" (song 67), peak at
number two in the UK charts. Like its predecessor, it was a
Top 10 hit in the USA as well. They were back at number one in
early 1965, a year that saw them with three Top 10s in
addition. They were also on a package tour of the UK, along
with other bands, during November and early December 1964.
This five-piece band was led by
Freddie Garrity (14 Nov 1936 - 19 May 2006). Although they
were lumped in with the Merseybeat groups from Liverpool, they
actually came from Manchester. They were good musicians, but
were the jokers of the pack amongst the new groups to emerge in 1963,
performing silly dances on stage to their songs. They gained
nine hits between 1963 and 1965, four of them making the Top
10. Although they missed out on a top spot in the UK, they
did reach number one in the USA during 1965. In the early
1970s Garrity became a TV presenter of children's programmes, but
the group remained together (with some personnel changes) and they
continued performing until 2000 along with other bands of the
sixties. Garrity retired in 2001 due to health issues, and
died in 2006.
Gonna Be Strong
This was his
second Top 10 entry of the year. A single released in October
("It Hurts To Be In Love") only reached number 36 in the
UK charts. However, this song set him up for three Top 10 hits
Petula Clark was born on 15 Nov 1932 in Surrey, England.
She became a child star at the age of nine when she broadcast on
radio for the first time. This led to numerous singing
opportunities on wartime radio. In 1944 she was given her
first film role, and she had appeared in 14 films by 1950.
In the early 1950s she began making records, and her first hit
came in the summer of 1954 when she was 21 years old. Clark went on to become a major international star with numerous world-wide hits,
particularly in the 1960s with songs written and produced by Tony
Hatch. In the 1990s and 2000s she went into stage musicals,
both in the UK and America. She was still recording and
performing in the 2010s, and issued a new album in 2016.
Stones achieved their second number one with this reworking of an
American Blues song. It followed their chart-topper "It's
All Over Now" of summer 1964 (song 55). This was the
Stone's last number one that was not written by Jagger and
Richards. At this time they were on their second American tour
(the first was in June 1964) which saw them travel from California
in the west to Rhode Island in the east. They were back at the
top of the UK charts in March 1965.
This was the Beatles' follow-up to their summer chart-topper "A Hard Day's Night". The opening guitar sound was created when John Lennon leaned his electric guitar against an amplifier and Paul McCartney played a note on his bass, causing feedback. They liked the effect, and George Martin agreed to put it at the beginning of the recording. It is said to be the first time feedback was included on a commercial record. Their next hit, also number one, came in spring 1965.
Arms Can Ever Hold You
completed a run of five Top 10 hits during 1964 with this hit
the two years following, things slowed down in the charts for this
vocal trio, with only one Top 10 entry in each of the years 1965
and 1966. Two smaller hits in 1967 rounded off their chart
career. See song 8 for more info.
Have They Done To The Rain
The Searchers completed
the year with a Top 20 hit that was their fifth chart entry of
1964. Despite such a strong promise, with three number one
hits, 1965 brought just one Top 10 hit, and 1966 saw their final
chart appearances with two Top 50 hits. For more about the
band see song 6.
Could Easily Fall In Love With You
This completed his run of five Top 10 hits during the year of 1964. This was a remarkable achievement when considering the arrival of so many new acts on the charts, and Cliff had begun his chart career back in 1958. Things changed a little from 1965 until the end of the decade, when he still managed several Top 10 hits, but some recordings only reached the Top 30. For more info see song 13.
This was his
third in a hat-trick of Top 10 hits in 1964, which was his most
successful year. 1965 was bighted early on when
two different energetic concert performances he split his trousers,
which led to him being banned by theatres and TV organisations.
This crippled his career, and although he achieved one Top 10 hit in
1965, he faded away in the UK. See song 45 for more info.
Sandie Shaw's follow-up to her debut chart-topper reached number three in the UK charts. She went on to enjoy considerable success during the remainder of the 1960s, with two more number ones as well. See song 81 for more info.
Acts with most appearances in this list:
The Beatles only issued three singles in this year, which applies
also to most of the others acts with only three entries.
Composers with most appearances in this list:
Lennon & Paul McCartney: 8
New Names in 1964
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