A History of Pop Music – 1957

Featured Song: – Buddy Holly – That’ll Be The Day

This is a series of articles looking at pop music from 1955 when in my opinion proper pop music began up to 1999 when they stopped making it. One article for each year.

I am only going to select one featured song for each article, which makes it hard. I am going to try and select a different artist for each year.

For many people, and I include myself, you tend to still like the tunes you heard during childhood, which your parents often played. So rather than just pick the top 10 hits of each year, I shall let you know what they were, but also the tunes of that year not necessarily in the top 10 or so, what were in my view classics.  I also add a couple of events in history for that year, it helps bring back memories, and hopefully happy ones.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

So on we go with memories from 1957: (Thank you Wiki)

What was I doing in this year?  – I was 1, so probably not much apart from eating and sleeping.  I think this part of my life is returning.

Prime Minister – Anthony Eden (Conservative) (until 10 January), Harold Macmillan (Conservative) (starting 10 January)

16 January – The Cavern Club opens in Liverpool as a jazz club.

16 February – the “Toddlers’ Truce” (an arrangement whereby there were no television broadcasts between 18:00-19:00 to allow parents to put their children to bed) is abolished.

6 March – Ghana becomes independent of the United Kingdom

1 April – the BBC’s Panorama current affairs television programme presented by Richard Dimbleby broadcasts a spaghetti tree hoax report purporting to show spaghetti being harvested in Switzerland, believed to be the first April Fool’s Day joke on television

14 May – end of petrol rationing following the Suez Crisis

1 June – the first Premium Bond winners selected by the computer ERNIE

27 June – a report by the Medical Research Council reveals that there is evidence to support a link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer

6 July – future members of The Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney first meet as teenagers at a garden fête at St. Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool, at which Lennon’s skiffle group, The Quarrymen, is playing. (Yes, they will be featuring in articles for later years)

20 July – Prime Minister Harold Macmillan makes an optimistic speech to his fellow Conservative Party members at Bedford, telling them that “most of our people have never had it so good

31 August – The Federation of Malaya becomes independent from Britain

4 September – publication of the Wolfenden report recommending “homosexual behaviour between consenting adults in private should no longer be a criminal offence”.

11 October – Jodrell Bank Observatory becomes operational

28 October – Today first broadcast as a daily early-morning topical radio show on the BBC Home Service; it will still be running 60 years later.

8 November – an inquiry into last month’s fire at Windscale nuclear power plant blames the accident on a combination of human error, poor management and faulty instruments

25 December – the Royal Christmas Message is broadcast on television with the Queen on camera for the first time

The Top 10 Singles with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Hits of 1957
   1 Pat Boone Love Letters In The Sand
   2 Paul Anka Diana
   3 Elvis Presley All Shook Up
   4 Tab Hunter Young Love
   5 Harry Belafonte Island In The Sun
   6 Elvis Presley Teddy Bear
   7 Johnny Ray Yes Tonight Josephine
   8 Pat Boone Don’t Forbid Me
   9 Nat ‘King’ Cole When I Fall In Love
   10 Harry Belafonte Mary’s Boy Child

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known as Buddy Holly, was an American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a central and pioneering figure of mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, and he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school. He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group “Buddy and Bob” with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band’s style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records.

Holly’s recording sessions at Decca were produced by Owen Bradley. Unhappy with Bradley’s control in the studio and with the sound he achieved there, he went to producer Norman Petty in Clovis, New Mexico, and recorded a demo of “That’ll Be the Day”, among other songs. Petty became the band’s manager and sent the demo to Brunswick Records, which released it as a single credited to “The Crickets”, which became the name of Holly’s band. In September 1957, as the band toured, “That’ll Be the Day” topped the US “Best Sellers in Stores” chart and the UK Singles Chart. Its success was followed in October by another major hit, “Peggy Sue”.

More writings on this song here: More on That’ll be the day

In my view the best songs of the year, after the featured track are:

Jackie Wilson – Reet Petite

Little Richard – “Long Tall Sally” – from “Don’t Knock The Rock”

Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (Steve Allen Show – 1957)

Little Richard – Lucille

Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers – I’m Not A Juvenille Delinquent

Everly Brothers – Wake Up Little Susie

Elvis Presley – All Shook Up

Johnnie Ray — Yes Tonight, Josephine

Nat King Cole – When I Fall in Love

Hat tips to:

http://www.uk-charts.top-source.info/  These give the top 100 selling charts for each year

http://www.everyhit.com/chart1.html   These give the top 10 songs for each year

https://www.youtube.com/  You know them.

Next time, 1958.

© Phil the test manager 2018

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