A History of Pop Music – 1963

Featured song: The Beatles – Please, Please Me

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 1963: (Thank you Wiki)

This year was the Profumo scandal and Beatlemania.

What was I doing in this year?  – I was 7.  I remember coming home from school and watching Tingha & Tucker (the two little bears). My elder sisters taught me how to put a finger in each side of my mouth and stretch it, then say Tingha and Tucker (sniggerz). I also remember being allowed to stay up and watch Sunday Night at the London Palladium as the Beatles were on!  It was very cold, dad moved the black & white telly up to their bedroom, and the paraffin heater, and we all sat huddled watching the show.

TV programmes included:

World In Action, Ready Steady Go, Dr Who.


Prime Minister – Harold Macmillan (Conservative) (until 19 October, retired hurt), Alec Douglas-Home (Conservative) (starting 19 October)

January–April – Winter of 1963: The UK experiences the worst winter since 1946–1947.  Low temperatures keep snow lying around until early-April in some areas.

11 January – Musical film Summer Holiday starring Cliff Richard premieres in London.

29 January – Charles de Gaulle, President of France, vetoes the UK’s entry into the European Economic Community.

14 February – The Labour Party elects 46-year-old Huyton MP, Harold Wilson as its new leader and Leader of the Opposition. Missing out in the leadership contest is Cardiff South East MP James Callaghan.

27 March – Chairman of British Railways Dr. Richard Beeching issues a report calling for huge cuts to the UK’s rail network. This is expected to result in the closure of more than 2,000 railway stations as well as the scrapping of some 8,000 coaches and the loss of up to 68,000 jobs.

6 April – Polaris Sales Agreement with the United States, leading to commencement of construction of nuclear submarine facilities at Faslane Naval Base.

7–13 May – The last servicemen are released from conscription as National Service ends.

5 June – Profumo affair: John Profumo, Secretary of State for War, admits to misleading Parliament and resigns over his affair with Christine Keeler.

8 June – Profumo affair: Stephen Ward charged with living on immoral earnings.

17 June – The Profumo affair has done the Conservative government no favours in the opinion polls, which continue to show that a Labour victory would be inevitable in a general election

12 July – Pauline Reade, 16, is reported missing on her way to a dance in Gorton, Manchester, the first victim of the Moors murders.

8 August – the Great Train Robbery takes place in Buckinghamshire.

5 September – Christine Keeler is arrested for perjury. On 6 December she is sentenced to nine months in prison.

12 September – The Beatles reach No 1 for the second time, with the single “She Loves You” (released on 23 August).

2 October – Ford Motor Company begins production of its Ford Anglia car at their new Halewood Body & Assembly plant on Merseyside.

18 November – The Dartford Tunnel opens – still waiting for it to be free.

23 November First episode of the long-running BBC Television science fiction series Doctor Who is broadcast.

30 November – After an unbroken 30-week spell at the top of the UK Albums Chart, The Beatles album Please Please Me is knocked off the top of the charts by the group’s latest album With the Beatles (released on 22 November). – Awesome stuff, especially in those days.

21 December – First episode of the seven-part serial The Daleks broadcast in the Doctor Who series, introducing the alien Daleks (revealed fully in the following week’s episode).

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

Top Hits of 1963
   1 The Beatles From Me To You
   2 The Beatles She Loves You
   3 Roy Orbison In Dreams
   4 The Springfields Island Of Dreams
   5 Gerry & The Pacemakers How Do You Do It?
   6 Ned Miller From A Jack To A King
   7 Wink Martindale Deck Of Cards
   8 Cliff Richard & The Shadows Summer Holiday
   9 Frank Ifield Confessin’
   10 Andy Williams Can’t Get Used To Losing You

Very difficult choice as ever to make for 1963 as the featured song, could have been any of the Beatles songs for this year, but this was the title track off the No 1 album.

Roy Orbison came close, as did Cliff & The Shadows with Summer Holiday, as I remember my mum taking me and my sisters to see it, then buggering off to play bingo, we had to wait half an hour after the film finished before she picked us up, and it was cold. Naughty mummy.

The tune: Please, Please Me was the debut studio album by the Beatles. Parlophone rush-released the album on 22 March 1963 in the UK to capitalise on the success of the band’s singles “Please Please Me” (number 1 on most charts, although only number 2 on Record Retailer, later the UK Singles Chart) and “Love Me Do” (number 17). The album topped Record Retailer’s LP chart for 30 weeks, an unprecedented achievement for a pop album at that time.

More writings on this song here: More on Please, please me

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

The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand along with From me to you and She Loves you (Link above)

Dave Clark Five – Glad All Over – Go on, stamp your feet!

Gerry & The Pacemakers – You’ll Never Walk Alone

The Ronettes – Be My Baby

The Crystals – Da Doo Ron Ron

Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons – Walk Like a Man – I can hear you going “oooo weeee ooo wee ooo ooo ooo hoo, Yeahhhhh”

Duane Eddy – Dance with the guitar man

Brian Poole and The Tremeloes – Do You Love Me

Joe Brown – That’s What Love Will Do – I have always like Joe Brown

Kathy Kirby – Secret Love – Lovely voice.

Dusty Springfield – I Only Want To Be With You

The Hollies – Searchin’ – Early stuff, they just go better and better.

The Bachelors – Charmaine – Stalwarts of many a TV show, I liked their stuff.

Leslie Gore – It’s My Party

The Searchers – Sweets For My Sweet

Billy J Kramer With The Dakotas – Do You Want To Know A Secret

Roy Orbison – Blue Bayou

The Crystals – Then he kissed me

Freddie & the Dreamers – I’m Telling You Know – Go on, do the high leg kicking dance, dare you.

Freddie & the Dreamers – If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody

Elvis Presley – (You’re The) Devil in Disguise

The Searchers – Sugar And Spice

Jim Reeves – Welcome To My World

Gerry and the Pacemakers Live – I Like It

Bobby Vee – The Night Has A Thousand Eyes

Peter, Paul and Mary – Blowing in the Wind

Fun song: Freddie & the Dreamers – You Were Made For

29 songs for 1963 in my favourite lists, these articles are taking long and longer to write, but what fun!

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, 1964.

© Phil the test manager 2018

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