ALBUM CHART HISTORY
Researched and written by Sharon Mawer
Between January and September 1962, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard spent 30 weeks at no.1. The year began with Elvis' Blue Hawaii at the top, his 6th no.1 LP and the second best seller of the year. Blue Hawaii spent 18 weeks at no.1 and 10 weeks at no.2, a total that could not be bettered this year. The film soundtrack produced memorable hits such as Can't Help Falling In Love and Rock A Hula Baby, but also was filled with throwaway tracks simply because of their Hawaiian flavour, Aloha Oe, Ku U I Po, Hawaiian Sunset and Hawaiian Wedding Song. The story is a little weak too as Elvis's films became more and more so throughout the 1960s. Elvis plays Chad Gates, an ex GI (sounds familiar) from Hawaii and wants nothing more than to hang out with his friends and girlfriend on the beaches even though his father wants him to begin work at The Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company.
By the end of June, he had his 7th no.1 LP, Pot Luck which with 6 weeks at the top, became the 4th best seller of 1962. Pot Luck, released during the height of his popularity was not an album that would have sold so well in any other era. The number one single She's Not You is included as is Suspicion, a track that would have to wait a further 14 years to receive a release on single. Also on Pot Luck was the usual mixture of ballads That's Someone You Never Forget and Fountain Of Love and the rockin side of Elvis on Kiss Me Quick and Steppin Out Of Line
Also with 6 weeks at no.1 and the 3rd best seller of the year was Cliff Richard & The Shadows soundtrack to the film The Young Ones. Cliff plays the part of Nicky Black, a teenager who, along with his friends, attempt to save their youth club from being turned into an office block by his father, played by Robert Morley. To help raise the money needed, Cliff and his friends, played by the individual members of the Shadows, record a song and get it played on the local radio station. This was Cliff's third film following Serious Charge and Expresso Bongo and the first to have a full LP soundtrack, as opposed to just a four track EP. The film was marketed as the first film ever to have three top 10 hits, The Young Ones, When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart and The Shadows instrumental The Savage. There was also an 8 minute vaudeville style medley of songs, music and jokes on What D You Know We've Got A Show.
Elvis also re-issued his second HMV LP Rock n Roll No.2 on his current label RCA, reaching no.3 as it had done first time around in 1957 and Cliff Richard also peaked at no.3 with the LP 32 Minutes And 17 Seconds. Having released an LP titled for its release date on his birthday, Cliff now released one titled after its running time which was quite long for LPs in 1962 and therefore worth drawing attention to. The album opens with the hit single It'll Be Me and goes through Shadows originals So I've Been Told, I'm Walkin The Blues, Turn Around and I'm On My Way and cover versions of Blueberry Hill, Spanish Harlem and Falling In Love With Love.
Also enjoying their second no.1 on their own were The Shadows with Out Of The Shadows which spent 5 weeks at no.1 during 1962 in three separate runs and ended the year as the seventh best seller. The Shadows continued to attempt to appeal to the same audience as Cliff Richard, a more mature listener who had grown away from basic Rock n Roll. Out Of The Shadows contained mostly instrumental guitar work by Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch on tracks such as Spring Is Nearly Here, Tales Of A Raggy Tramline and a cover of the Ventures Perfidia. There is a drum solo by Brian Bennett on Little B and tracks with harmony vocals, sounding not unlike The Kingston Trio on The Bandit and Are They all Like You.
In December, the third no.1 LP from the George Mitchell Minstrels, On Stage With The George Mitchell Minstrels moved up to the top and in the final week of the year, the original Black & White Minstrel Show returned to the top, nearly one and a half years after it first hit no.1. On Stage With was recorded in the same format as the previous two LPs, with 6 medleys of 46 songs, all with linking themes, The States medley including The Yellow Rose Of Texas, Georgia On My Mind, Stars Fell On Alabama and Carry Me Back To Old Virginny, Your Requests medley with Home On The Range, Sonny Boy and Mockin Bird Hill, Down Memory Lane including You Are My Sunshine, Memories Are Made Of This and Where Or When and Long Long Ago medley with the World War 1 songs Meet me Tonight In Dreamland, Pack Up Your Troubles and Till We Meet Again.
For the sixth time in seven years since the charts began, the best selling LP of the year was a film soundtrack, in 1962 it was West Side Story, the Romeo & Juliet tale set in modern day America with the street gangs the Jets and the Sharks. West Side Story spent 13 weeks at no.1 and 18 weeks at no.2 during 1962 and was joined in the top 10 in March by the Broadway Cast recording, reaching a peak of no.3, three years after first hitting the chart. The classic story of Romeo & Juliet set among the New York street gangs starred Natalie Wood as Maria and Richard Beymer as Tony with first class performances by Russ Tamblyn, George Chakaris and Rita Moreno and dealt with the sensitive subject matter of racism and intolerance in an inner city. The songs from the original stage musical are all kept intact, including the ballads Maria, Tonight, There's A Place For Us, One Hand One Heart and the lively dance numbers America, The Jet Song and the novelty Gee Officer Krupkie. Although the LP spent 13 weeks at no.1 in the UK spread over 7 months, in the US it was one of the most successful albums ever with 54 weeks on top of the charts, 12 on the mono chart but an astonishing 53 weeks on the stereo chart.
After two volumes of the Best Of Barber & Bilk, they joined forces with one of the other leaders of the revival in interest in the British traditional jazz movement of the early 1960s, Kenny Ball, and this time the Best Of Ball Barber & Bilk made it all the way to no.1, Acker Bilk, the last of the trio enjoying an extended run in the singles chart with Stranger On The Shore and took its parent LP to no.6 in July, while the soundtrack to the film It's Trad Dad reached no.3. Having mentioned the early careers of Barber and Bilk in previous years, the trad jazz movement was also populated by Kenny Ball, born in Ilford Essex in 1930 and was the trumpet player and leader of his own band Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen. The Best Of Ball Barber And Bilk featured traditional jazz versions of Tuxedo Ray, When The Saints Go Marching In, Hawaiian War Chant, I Love You Samantha from High Society and even The Teddy Bear's Picnic. Stranger On The Shore was one of the biggest hit singles of 1962, a number 1 in the USA, and although only a no.2 in the UK, it remained on the chart for over a year, a longevity record at the time. The LP, a very traditional, light orchestral LP, led by the sound of Acker Bilk's clarinet on evergreens such as Carolina Moon, Sentimental Journey and even Braham's Lullaby and Greensleeves. It's Trad Dad was the film that cashed in on this short lived explosion of traditional jazz and Dixieland that climbed into the pop charts in the early 1960s. Directed by Richard Lester and starring Helen Shapiro as a character named Helen, Craig Douglas as Craig, Acker Bilk and John Leyton who along with Gene Vincent and Del Shannon attempt to fight the local council's ban on music, which the kids answer by staging a trad jazz concert.
With music dating further back than the jazz LPs were two albums by Dorothy Provine with songs featured on the TV series The Roaring Twenties, both in the top 10 at the same time in March, last year's original The Roaring Twenties joined by The Vamp Of The Roaring Twenties. Also influenced by music from that decade was the Temperance Seven with the Temperance Seven 1961, reaching a peak of no.8 in February 1962. The Temperance Seven, led by Alexander Hitchcock Galloway and inspired by the comedy of The Goons, were formed in 1957 and were a group more interested in the comedy and music hall routine side of their act rather than the jazz roots of many of the members and despite the serious nature of some of the songs, Galloway would interject most with sound effects and talking through a brass megaphone. Most famous songs on their LP Temperance Seven 1961 included Pasadena with its several false endings, Chili Bom Bom, Kaiser Drag and thei number one single You're Driving Me Crazy, a cover of Guy Lombardo's 1930 hit.
The only LP to stop at no.2 during 1962 without reaching the very top was Helen Shapiro's Tops With Me, her only chart LP which peaked just behind Blue Hawaii in the last week of March. She was born in Bethnal Green, London in 1947 and even at school had a distinctive deep mature voice. At her music school evening classes, she drew the attention of Norrie Paramor who heard a tape of her singing and would not believe she was only 14 years old, until he had seen her singing live. In 1961 she achieved two no.1 singles, the ballad You Don't Know and Walkin Back To Happiness which was the complete opposite. She won the leading role in the film It's Trad Dad, but the hits were already drying up and EMI arranged one final tour of England where the support act was another new act they had just signed, The Beatles. They wrote the song Misery for her to sing, but EMI refused to record her singing it, thus denying her the opportunity to become the first artist to cover a Lennon-McCartney song. Her only chart LP, Tops With Me is primarily a cover versions LP of recent hits including Are You Lonesome Tonight, Lipstick On Your Collar, You Got What It Takes, A Teenager In Love, Sweet Nuthins, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and Beyond The Sea, all sung in the style of her own hit singles which had made her name which the rich, deep voice, so unexpected for a 14 year old. Although it was commonplace in 1962 not to include hit singles on albums, perhaps she would have hit no.1 had the two giant singles from the previous year been included.
Newcomers to the album charts in 1962 included Joe Brown with the no.3 Picture Of You, Ray Charles with one of the biggest US albums of the year Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music, Karl Denver with Wimoweh and Bobby Vee with Take Good Care Of My Baby and Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets. Which peaked at no.4 this year but eventually reached no.2 at the beginning of 1963. Joe Brown was one of the new guitar stars to emerge in England in the early 1960s along with Billy Fury. Born in Lincolnshire but known as a cheerful Cockney in the Tommy Steele mould, Picture Of You was his biggest hit single, the rest of the LP filled with show business tunes and novelty songs, The Surrey With The Fringe On Top, I'm Henery The Eighth, English Country Garden and What A Crazy World We're Living In.
Ray Charles style of music was impossible to define. One album would be undoubtedly blues, the next would be R&B (Rhythm and Blues), the next soul and yet another contemporary jazz. Born in Georgia in 1930 and blinded by Glaucoma when he was six, he studied classical piano at the Florida state school for the blind and deaf. His early performances were criticized in the same way as Pat Boone's as being sanitised and watered down versions of the originals but he began to record, arrange and produce his own songs and the style was all his own. His first hit was the emotional and personal and far from sanitised cover of Frankie Trumbauer's Georgia On My Mind. His 18th LP changed direction again and introduced a mix of Country and Western and soul which he called Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music. This album included his only UK no.1 single, a cover of Don Gibson's I Can't Stop Loving You and a selection of cover versions songs ranging from the 1930s to the present from country artists including Floyd Tillman's It Makes No Difference To Me Now, Eddy Arnold's You Don't Know Me, Hank Williams' Half As Much, You Win Again and Hey Good Lookin, all of the songs unrecognisable from their country roots and transformed into soul classics.
Karl Denver developed a mixed style of country and folk music and added his distinctive yodelling, soon to become even more popular via the singer Frank Ifield. Born Angus McKenzie in Glasgow, he learned how to play authentic country music in Nashville before being deported from the USA, having outlasted his stay. Back in Britain, he got his break on the Jack Good TV show follow up to Oh Boy, Wham and went on tour with fellow performers from the show Jess Conrad and Billy Fury. His biggest hit was the Zulu folk song Wimoweh, the basis for another hit song at the time, The Lion Sleeps Tonight and he based his only chart LP around this track along with other songs in a similar style, Rose Marie, Mexicali Rose, Blue Yodel T For Texas and Marcheta, Bobby Vee was born Robert Thomas Velline in North Dakota in 1943 and formed a local trio called the Shadows and were playing small local venues when they were asked to fill in for Buddy Holly on the Winter Dance Party tour when Holly was killed in the plane crash. He achieved a few top hits in 1961 with lightweight pop songs Rubber Ball, More Than I Can Say, How Many Tears Tske Good Care Of My Baby and Run To Him, the latter two appearing on his debut LP. By the end of the year, he had been invited to join the Crickets on their LP Bobby Vee Meets The Crickets, opening with the old Buddy Holly number Peggy Sue and going through a set of Rock and Roll standards Bo Diddley, Sweet Little Sixteen, Lucille and The Girl Can't Help It.
The original stars of the LP charts, Frank Sinatra, Lonnie Donegan and Nat King Cole were all in the top 10 charts of 1962, Frank Sinatra with the LPs Sinatra And Strings and I Remember Tommy, Lonnie Donegan, now that his singles career was finished, charted with a retrospective collection of hit singles on the Golden Guinea label, Golden Age Of Donegan and Nat King Cole with the album Nat King Cole Sings And The George Shearing Quintet Plays. Sinatra And Strings was a ballads LP with some tracks from Sinatra's early career era including All Or Nothing At All, Night And Day, Stardust, It Might As Well Be Spring and Prisoner Of Love and the more contemporary hit, Misty. I Remember Tommy was a tribute to the band leader Tommy Dorsey who gave Sinatra his first big break and gave him lead singer billing on his hits in the mid 1940s. All of the tracks are rerecorded although almost without exception, are inferior to the originals. Songs include I'm Getting Sentimental Over You, It Started All Over Again, I'll Be Seeing You and two of Frank Sinatra's US number hits from the mid 1940s, There Are Such Things and In The Blue Of Evening. Nat King Cole had been absent from the top 10 LP charts since his first hit and no.1 Love Is The Thing, five years ago and for an adult audience, he teamed up with the George Shearing Quintet for an album of intimate piano playing in the background with a simple bass and drums on most of the tracks including September song, Pick Yourself Up, Beautiful Friendship, I'm Lost, Guess I'll Go Back Home and a hit single Let There Be Love.
After the success of Oliver, Lionel Bart's next musical was released and the London Cast recording of Blitz reached no.7 in the LP charts. Oliver was set in the 19th century and for his follow up, Lionel Bart, looked to the more recent past of World War 2 and the home front in England. For a stage show, the sets were elaborate, including replicas of Victoria Station, Petticoat Lane and Bank tube station and told the story of Mrs Blitztein and Alfie Locke who run adjacent stalls in Petticoat Lane market and their children Carol and Georgie who fall in love but are separated by the onset on war. Georgie is injured in the war and comes home only to find that Carol has been blinded during an air raid. A subplot features Carol's brother Harry who deserts the army. The evacuation scene where the young children in the show are sent away to the country cheerfully singing We're Going To The Country, is possibly too recent and close to the truth to be regarded as entertainment. Vera Lynn specially recorded the song The Day After Tomorrow for the show and it was featured as the cast listen to the radio. Other tracks, all sung with an exaggerated cockney accent included Who's This Geezer Hitler, Leave It To The Ladies, As Long As This Is England, Petticoat lane On A Saturday Aint So Nice, and a reprise of the cast singing The Day After Tomorrow.
On the singles chart, the twist was all the rage but the only LP with a twist theme to make it to the top 10 was Duane Eddy's Twistin And Twangin, an album filled with every track mentioning the twist somewhere or at least featuring Duane Eddy's distinctive guitar playing set to a twistable beat, including Miss Twist, Sugartime Twist, Walkin n Twistin, Moanin n Twistin, Country Twist, Dear Lady Twist, Twisting Off A Cliff and of course The Twist and Let's Twist Again. The originator of the dance craze, Chubby Checker was left languishing at nos.13 and 17 with his two 1962 LPs, Twist With Chubby Checker and For Twisters Only. Another US hitmaker associated with the twist was Joey Dee & The Starliters who hit no.2 in America with Doin The Twist At The Peppermint Lounge, but failed to chart in the UK.
US no.1 LPs that failed to chart in the UK included Mitch Miller's latest singalong album Holiday Sing Along With Mitch, Henry Mancini's soundtrack to the film Breakfast At Tiffany's, although Danny Williams had hit no.1 in the singles chart with one of its main songs Moon River, Peter Paul & Mary with their eponymous debut LP and the comedy LP, Allan Sherman-My Son The Folk Singer. Vaughn Meader's First Family parody of the Kennedy family spent 12 weeks at no.1 in the USA but could get no higher than no.12 in Britain. Also in the US top 3 were Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd with Jazz Samba, David Rose-Stripper And Other Fun Songs For The Family, The Kingston Trio-College Concert, Nat King Cole's Ramblin Rose and the Broadway Cast recording of the show Camelot. There were 12 number one singles in 1962 in the UK and only three of the artists did not cross over to the LP charts, one novelty hit by Mike Sarne and Wendy Richard and two instrumentals by B Bumble & The Stingers and The Tornadoes.
NUMBER OF TOP 10 ALBUMS - 39
NUMBER OF #1 ALBUMS - 8
Top albums of 1962
1 Soundtrack - West Side Story
2 Elvis Presley - Blue Hawaii
3 Cliff Richard & Shadows - Young Ones (Soundtrack)
4 Elvis Presley - Pot Luck
5 Soundtrack - South Pacific
6 Kenny Ball-Chris Barber-Acker Bilk - Best Of Ball Barber & Bilk
7 Shadows - Out Of The Shadows
8 George Mitchell Minstrels - Black And White Minstrel Show
9 Lonnie Donegan - Golden Age Of Lonnie Donegan
10 Shadows - Shadows
(c) 2007 Text: Sharon Mawer / Contact: Sharon Mawer
(c) 2007 All chart information: The Official UK Charts Company