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British Chartbusters of the 60s & 70s

1961

The British charts of 1961 remained the personal domains of the two heart-throbs Elvis and Cliff:

 

  • Elvis Presley had the year's biggest number one with "Wooden Heart" during the Spring. He had three other massive hits "Are You Lonesome Tonight" (number two disc of the year), "Surrender" (the year's fourth biggest single) and "His Latest Flame" each hitting the number one spot for many weeks. By comparison, the title song of his film "Wild in the Country" was a failure - although still a top ten hit.

30 Elvis Number One Hits Elvis Hits
  • Cliff Richard and the Shadows take a creditable second place without ever hitting the top spot. Cliff had a series of top five placings with numbers like "Theme for a Dream", "Gee Whiz it's You", "A Girl Like You" and "When the Girl in Your Arms is the Girl in Your Heart". The Shadows were also regulars in the top ten with "FBI", "Frightened City" and "The Savage" while "Kon-Tiki" managed to be a number one in some charts.

46 Cliff hits, double CD Cliff's Greatest Hits
  • In third place overall was Helen Shapiro who was only 14 when her first record "Don't Treat Me Like a Child" was a top five hit. This was quickly followed by two big number one discs "You Don't Know" - the fifth biggest hit of the year - and then "Walkin' Back to Happiness."

The Essential Collection, Helen Shapiro, 30 tracks Buy the Greatest Hits
  • Still making a major impact were the Everly Brothers. Their number one hits of 1962 were "Walk Right Back" and "Temptation".

|50 Everly tracks, double CD Everly Brothers Hits
  • The number five slot for 1961 belonged to 18 year old American, Bobby Vee, who had five successive top ten hits in the UK in 1961 without ever making it quite as big as he did in the USA. His biggest success was "Take Good Care of My Baby" and his first UK hit "Rubber Ball" had to contend with a big-selling cover version from Marty Wilde.

The Essential & Collectable Bobby Vee, 50 tracks, double CD Bobby Vee Hits
  • The other major acts of 1961 included an American quartet of male soloists including Del Shannon, whose first hit was the huge seller "Runaway" - the number three disc of 1961. He managed top ten success with follow ups "Hats Off to Larry" and "So Long Baby". The other American guys were Bobby Darin whose big chart successes were "Lazy River" and "Multiplication"; Neil Sedaka whose best seller was "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen"; and Brian Hyland who managed top five performances with "Ginny Come Lately" and "Sealed With a Kiss".

54 tracks, double CD incl Runaway - Del Shannon, Sealed With A Kiss - Brian Hyland Buy the Greatest Hits
  • And there was a quartet of young male singers from Britain led by John Leyton who had a number one with "Johnny Remember Me" and almost made the top spot again with follow up "Wild Wind"; Billy Fury (real name Ronald Wycherly) who never quite made the number one spot but came close with "Halfway To Paradise" and "Jealousy"; Eden Kane with his chart topper "Well I Ask You" and still making the top ten regularly was Adam Faith whose big numbers in 1961 were "Who Am I" and "The Time Has Come".

Billy Fury, The 40th Anniversary Anthology, double CD 63 tracks Billy Fury Greatest Hits

 

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