A History of Pop Music – 1960

Featured song: Everly Brothers – Cathy’s Clown

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 we start the swinging 60’s.  A fabulous period in time.  My first memories start from here.

So on we go with memories from 1960: (Thank you Wiki)

What was I doing?  It may be false memory, but I am sure I remember some of the “Watch with Mother” series, which included:

Picture Book, Andy Pandy, Flower Pot Men, Rag, Tag and Bobtail and The Woodentops

Prime Minister – Harold Macmillan (Conservative)

The Royal Variety Performance in 1960 was televised for the first time in 1960,  ITV’s Lew Grade buying the rights to the show, was also the top show for 61, 62, 63 and 64.

January – state of emergency is lifted in Kenya – the Mau Mau Uprising is officially over.

19 February – the Queen gives birth to her third child and second son, the first child born to a reigning British monarch since 1857.

March Manchester City F.C. sign 20-year-old forward Denis Law for a national record fee of £55,000 from Huddersfield Town

14 March – Jodrell Bank Observatory makes contact with the American Pioneer 5 over a record-breaking distance of 407,000 miles

26 March – the Grand National is televised for the first time. The winner is Merryman II

16 April – The Times of London abandons use of the term “Imperial and Foreign News”, replacing it with “Overseas News”, and changes its house style from “to-day” to “today”.

17 April – American rock and roll singer Eddie Cochran, 21, is killed in a car crash in Wiltshire.

6 May – Princess Margaret marries photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey in the first televised Royal marriage

26 June – British Somaliland gains independence from the United Kingdom; five days later it unites with the former Italian Somaliland to create the modern Somali Republic

27 July – in a Cabinet reshuffle, Selwyn Lloyd is appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer and Lord Home becomes Foreign Secretary

16 August – Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.[23] The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia remain as British Overseas Territories.

17 August – The Beatles, a five-strong male band from Liverpool, perform their first concert under this name in Hamburg, West Germany.

10 September – ITV broadcasts the first live Football League match to be shown on television, and the last for 23 years.

15 September – the first traffic wardens deployed in London – Yay.

21 October (Trafalgar Day) – the Queen launches Britain’s first nuclear submarine, HMS Dreadnought, at Barrow-in-Furness

2 November – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the Lady Chatterley’s Lover case.

10 November – Lady Chatterley’s Lover sells 200,000 copies in one day following its publication since being banned since 1928

9 December – the first episode of soap opera Coronation Street, made by Granada Television in Manchester, is aired on ITV. Characters introduced in the first episode include Ken Barlow (William Roache), Ena Sharples (Violet Carson), Elsie Tanner (Pat Phoenix) and Annie Walker (Doris Speed). – I used to hate this, as once the theme tune came on I knew it was bedtime.

31 December – Last day on which the farthing, a coin first minted in England in the 13th century, is legal tender.

31 December  – The last man is called up for National Service, as Conscription ends.

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

Top Hits of 1960

   1 The Everly Brothers Cathy’s Clown
   2 Cliff Richard Please Don’t Tease
   3 Elvis Presley The Girl Of My Best Friend
   4 Jimmy Jones Handy Man
   5 Elvis Presley It’s Now Or Never
   6 The Shadows Apache
   7 The Drifters Save The Last Dance For Me
   8 Anthony Newley Why?
   9 Duane Eddy Because They’re Young
   10 Johnny Kidd Shakin’ All Over

This tune, Cathy’s Clown from the Everly Brothers is a classic.  The musicians included the Everlys on guitars, Floyd Cramer on piano, Floyd Chance on bass and Buddy Harman on drums.  The distinctive drum sound was achieved by recording the drums with a tape loop, making it sound as if there were two drummers

“Cathy’s Clown” was The Everly Brothers’ first single for Warner Bros., after they had recorded for Archie Bleyer’s Cadence label for three years. It sold eight million copies worldwide, spending five weeks at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and one week on the R&B chart.  It spent seven weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart in May and June 1960.  It was the Everly Brothers’ biggest-selling single and their third and final U.S. number 1 hit.

“Cathy’s Clown” was inspired by Ferde Grofé’s Grand Canyon Suite. It was a major influence on the Beatles, who — having “once toyed with calling themselves The Foreverly Brothers” – three years later re-created the song’s vocal arrangement on the song “Please Please Me”.

More writings on this song here: Cathy’s Clown

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

Roy Orbison – Only The Lonely

Jim Reeves – He’ll Have To Go

The Platters – Harbour lights

When Will I Be loved – The Everly Brothers

Johnny Preston – Running Bear

Eddie Cochran – Three Steps To Heaven

Tell Laura i love her – Ricky Valance

Lonnie Donegan – My Old Man’s a Dustman (Live in 1961, could not find a 1960)

Cliff Richard & The Shadows – Fall In Love With You

Brenda Lee – Sweet Nothin’s

Adam Faith – what do you want

Marv Johnson – You’ve Got What It Takes

Everly Brothers – Lucille

Elvis Presley – Stuck on you

Steve Lawrence – Footsteps

Neil Sedaka – Oh Carol

Tommy Steele – Little White Bull

Frankie Laine – Rawhide

Sam Cooke – Chain Gang

Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport by Rolf Harris (COUGH)

The play list gets longer. As a very young boy I liked the fun songs hence Lonnie Donegan and Tommy Steel.  I include Jim Reeves, I never really liked his songs that much as a youngster, but a few years ago I re-visited and I frequently play many of his songs now.  I was tempted to make him the featured song, but it’s not really pop music.  Roy Orbison came close as well, maybe another year.

Showaddywaddy will be appearing in the later 1970’s articles, I can see four of their songs in my list above that they will cover, and brilliantly as well.

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, 1961.

© Phil the test manager 2018

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