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by Tom Eames
Here we go then - the 1960s! Possibly the best decade for music, but all the decades had their own special something. 1960 introduced the first 'Top 40' charts. The year started with four more weeks at No. 1 for Emile Ford & The Checkmates with "Why Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For". Michael Holliday then had a week at the top with "Starry Eyed", followed by "Why" by Anthony Newley, the fourth best charting act of the year, and the eleventh best charting song.
One of the stars of the year, was Adam Faith who ended up as the second best charting act of the year. "Poor Me" spent a week at the top, and was Britain's first No. on the Record Retailer chart, in the first top 50. Johnny Preston had two weeks at the top with "Running Bear", with backing vocals from Big Bopper and George Jones. Lonnie Donegan then had four weeks at the top with pub favourite, "My Old Man's A Dustman". Anthony Newley had another No. with "Do You Mind', which was followed by the fifth charting song of the year, Everly Brothers' "Cathys Clown" which spent seven weeks at the top.
The second posthumous No. went to Eddie Cochran, after he was killed in a car crash, with "Three Steps To Heaven". Other big songs around were "Handy Man" by Jimmy Jones which never got to the top but was the seventh best charting song of the year, and "Theme From A Summer Place" by Percy Faith, the sixth, which hit No. 2 and spent 30 weeks in the chart. Also, the amazing feat of Jim Reeves' "He'll Have To Go", which only got to No. 12, but stayed in the charts for 30 weeks and was the eighth best charter of the year.
Jimmy Jones did get to No. 1 however, when "Good Timin" hit the top for three weeks. Johnny Kidd & The Pirates had one week at the top, but is the tenth charter of the year, and is a rock and roll classic. Sadly, Kidd passed away in 1966 in a car crash. Cliff Richard had a brilliant year as "Please Don't Tease" had three weeks at the top, and was the fourth charter of the year.
Cliff was also the No. 1 charting artist of the year, with other hits including, "Voice In The Wilderness", "Nine Times Out Of Ten" and "Fall In Love With You". Cliff was toppled by chart mates, The Shadows, who got their first No. 1 with "Apache", which is considered possibly the best instrumental of all time, and stayed there for five weeks. It is also the third charter of the year. One hit wonder Ricky Valance hit the top spot with "Tell Laura I Love Her", a song about a man who died in a motor race crash. It was banned by the BBC because they didn't approve of songs that mentioned death, but Radio Luxembourg helped it get to No. 1. This was overturned by the second charter of the year, "Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison, a song which was originally turned down by Elvis and The Everly Brothers.
A year wouldn't be right without Elvis getting to No. 1 would it? "Its Now Or Never" hit the top towards the end of the year, and stayed there for eight weeks. The Christmas No. 1 went to Cliff Richard, who had one week at the top with "I Love You". Other big songs of the year are, "As Long As He Needs Me", the best charting song of the year, which spent five weeks at No. 2 and 22 weeks altogether.
Duane Eddy & The Rebels did well with "Because They're Young", Brenda Lee's "Sweet Nothins", "Way Down Yonder In New Orleans" by Freddy Cannon, "Cradle Of Love" by Johnny Preston, "Ain't Misbehavin'" by Tommy Bruce, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" by Rolf Harris, "Little White Bull" by Tommy Steele, "Standing On The Corner" by The King Brothers, "Save The Last Dance For Me" by The Drifters, the funny "Goodness Gracious Me" by Peter Sellers & Sophia Loren, plus "What Do You Want" by Adam Faith.
Here are the 20 best charting singles of the year:
Here are the ten most successfully charting artists of 1960: