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UK charts 1956-1969 in the national press

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  • #76
    Sunday charts are confusing and I'll be glad when we reach that stage of the story. On Sunday May 19, 1963, for example, the People has a Melody Maker Top 10 but the Mirror has the same chart but as a Top 20.
    Last edited by Satchmo76; Thu March 16, 2023, 23:47.


    • #77
      My memory may be playing tricks again, but I recall being surprised by a Sunday Mirror NME chart placing My Cherie Amour at number one.


      • #78
        Yes, August 17, 1969. No. 1 with NME in the Sunday Mirror and No. 2 with Melody Maker in The People

        16 is a typo: should be The Dells.
        Last edited by Satchmo76; Fri March 17, 2023, 00:36.


        • #79
          These are some national and local papers using Melody Maker in August 1969:

          Daily Telegraph Tuesdays
          The People Sundays, interim
          Newcastle Evening Chronicle Saturdays
          Bucks Examiner Fridays


          Sunday Mirror
          Western Daily Press Thursdays
          Newcastle Journal Fridays
          Lincolnshire Echo Fridays
          Stoke Evening Sentinel, Saturdays

          Derby, Bristol, Grimsby, Thanet, Heywood, Lichfield, Walsall and Birmingham all had papers whose charts were supplied by local dealers.

          Of course another interesting feature of this month is two banned records in the Top 20: Je T'aime and Wet Dream.


          • #80
            Interesting to see how some of the local papers reflected the charts... and that's a great detail about My Cherie Amour - a Number One of sorts!

            As for the Sundays, I'm unearthing lots of new information, including one or two surprises. It's a bit of a tangled picture at times with papers being bought, sold and closed, and indeed, there was a period between 1962 and 1964 when the Sunday Pictorial / Mirror (it was renamed in '63) and the People both ran an MM chart, either as a 10 or 20. The Sunday Mirror switched to NME late in 1964.

            All my research into the Sundays should be landing week-by-week once I've finished with the dailies by mid-April. Sorry it's taking a while but I'm trying to add lots of new detail to my existing research.


            • #81
              My Cherie Amour is the only Sunday 'surprise' number one I recall, so there may not be another of that ilk. It didn't reach the top or runner-up position in any final chart, and peaked at only 4 on BMRB.

              At the end of the thread an overall newspaper timeline would provide a useful summary.

              ​And although the contents have already been reported here, it would be good to see the original Daily Mirror 1-Dec-64 'Big Chart Battle' report.


              • #82
                Agreed, I haven't seen any other Sunday-only No1, so Stevie's record is probably unique, but I will keep a lookout. I've got a colour-coded timeline that's building up nicely and will post it here when all the papers are researched. It should help get a sense of the charts' prominence in the press at any given time.

                I'll upload the famous Patrick Doncaster report from MM HQ shortly...


                • #83
                  New Note.jpeg
                  Attached Files


                  • #84
                    Sorry - that doesn't look very readable. You'll see it more clearly here...



                    • #85
                      The report begs the question how MM, using postal returns, could calculate an up-to-date chart on Monday whilst RR, using the same method, could only calculate an out-of-date chart on Tuesday.

                      When the RR guy compiled his chart that week he would have seen the MM and NME charts in the press, yet he still put The Beatles in at only 5. 2 weeks earlier MM had justified not putting Little Red Rooster in at 1, as it was to do so later with Day Tripper, but I am not aware of RR ever giving an explanation of why it did not put The Beatles in at 1 at the height of their fame. But I can see why no newspaper would want to use their chart.


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by Splodj View Post
                        The report begs the question how MM, using postal returns, could calculate an up-to-date chart on Monday whilst RR, using the same method, could only calculate an out-of-date chart on Tuesday.
                        One explanation I read about somewhere (just going off the top of head here now) was that at some point in time (probably 1960-63 when RR was only using 30 shops) RR needed an extra day in order to settle their ties and apply their tie-breakers. Per my post elsewhere from multiple Alan Smith findings, RR had about 5 different tie-breaking methods. One (and maybe more) involved phoning certain record shops after the preliminary RR chart was compiled, to get actual sales of certain specific tied records, and this took them an extra day to finish = Tuesdays. Just guessing, this extra day may have extended beyond 31 Dec 1963 as well, till they got things better sorted, and their larger sample size of 75-85 kicked in, which supposedly began (per Alan) with 1964.


                        • #87
                          Reveille published the sheet music chart in 1956 (this one is 8.6.56). I believe this was the same chart played by Radio Luxembourg (Pete Murray 11 pm Sundays):

                          Last edited by Satchmo76; Fri March 24, 2023, 00:13.


                          • #88
                            That's a great find... Reveille was massively popular through the fifties and sixties and part of the Mirror Group, so this chart would have been widely seen. It's said John Lennon bought his first guitar from an ad in Reveille in 1957, so it's probably a chart he saw too.

                            I'm hoping to upload the next part of the Newspapers series today... and there's some fascinating stuff from the Sun archives...


                            • #89
                              UK CHARTS IN THE NATIONAL PRESS 1956 - 1969

                              PART FIVE – THE SUN

                              Charts used:

                              Sept 15 – Oct 20 1964: Melody Maker (typically Tuesdays)

                              Oct 27 1964 – July 11 1967: unique Sun Averaged Chart (typically Tuesdays)

                              From Nov 18 1969: Melody Maker (typically Tuesdays)

                              Having acquired the Daily Herald as part of its purchase of Odham’s Press in 1961, the Mirror group had a problem. At around 1.3 million, Herald circulation was falling and it was essentially competing for readers with its new stablemate, the fast-growing Daily Mirror. Both papers had similar, broadly Labour politics (the Herald had previously been part-owned by the TUC), but the Mirror group had made a promise not to close the Herald and trying to do so would have caused crippling industrial action.

                              Its answer: to reinvent the Herald as The Sun with a less overtly political, more aspirational tone in tune with the increasingly positive mood of the times, and aimed at a younger audience.

                              History has judged this first incarnation of the Sun harshly, and its true the paper lost readers through the decade, selling just under a million copies by the time it was sold to Rupert Murdoch in 1969.

                              But it did have some excellent writers and an eye for an unusual angle – and that’s very definitely reflected in its charts coverage, including the ONLY averaged chart attempted by a UK national newspaper at any time during the fifties and sixties.

                              Sun Launch Sep 15 1964.jpg

                              The Sun, September 15, 1964

                              In its very first issue, the Sun continued the Herald’s use of the Melody Maker chart, albeit with a top-line and photo based on Herman’s Hermits' arrival at No 1 in NME.

                              Within weeks, The Sun made its big charts move, unveiling the new “definitive” Sun chart, compiled from the charts of the NME, Melody Maker, Disc and Record Retailer, the latter two publications rarely represented in the national press at all. Clearly, the Sun was using a points methodology of some kind, and their results equate pretty closely the Top of the Pops / Pick of the Pops chart from that week.

                              Sun Oct 27 1964.jpg

                              The Sun October 27, 1964

                              Noticeably, the Sun chart had a tie at Number Four between Matt Monro and the Searchers. In trying to replicate their results, it’s worth bearing in mind that the Sun was almost certainly using the Monday release of the NME chart, which had a few differences to the final version published in the magazine. If anyone wants to run the numbers, Matt was No 4 and the Searchers No 5 in the “provisional” NME chart, published on Monday that week by the Liverpool Echo and used by Billboard magazine dated Nov 14. In the NME’s final, Thursday version of the chart, Matt was No 5 and the Searchers No 8.

                              A month later, the Sun – no longer with a particular affinity to any of the charts – published its famous charts investigation, using its own one-off sample of shops and actual sales figures.

                              1964 red rooster investigation.jpg

                              The Sun, November 25, 1964

                              It’s noticeable that this piece does not mention the new Sun averaged chart, but given that the latest listing, published the previous day, had the Supremes rather than the Rolling Stones at Number One, perhaps the paper didn’t want to highlight the discrepancy

                              Sun Nov 24 1964 copy.jpg

                              The Sun, November 24, 1964

                              The paper continued with its averaged chart for almost three years, with Melody Maker, NME and Disc used routinely, but Record Retailer/Mirror less reliably included, presumably because its chart wasn’t made available in time.

                              Towards the end of the averaged chart’s life, a sense of amused exasperation about the discrepancies it had to balance began to feature in the commentary. Here’s how they summarised one week when the various charts gave us three Number Ones:

                              Sun April 4 1967.jpg

                              The Sun, April 4, 1967

                              The Sun’s averaged chart made its final appearance in the paper on July 11, 1967. After this date, it occasionally ran news reports about which record was at Number One, but the coverage was patchy, and sometimes didn’t even mention the magazine being used as the source.

                              In 1969, it had become clear IPC was ready to sell the Sun and ultimately, it was acquired by Rupert Murdoch, to be relaunched as a tabloid in November 1969. And when that happened, a regular chart service was reintroduced in the form of the Melody Maker Top 20.

                              The Sun newspaper would never be the same again, but at the point of its relaunch, it had reverted to the chart it originally used from 1956, when it was a very different product indeed, the Daily Herald.

                              Apologies for the poor quality of some of the scans - this source
                              material is very variable in resolution.


                              • #90
                                A very interesting overview of the charts used in The Sun in the 1960s.

                                Record Retailer finally gets namechecked as a source chart though reading between the lines, in reality it's being used simply because the chart is printed in Record Mirror.


                                • #91
                                  This shows why the BBC could not copyright their concept. The idea of calculating a composite chart by adding together the positions and then ordering was too obvious. Pop Weekly had a similar composite chart.

                                  The Sun were disadvantaged by not having the final NME chart in their composite, and both they and the BBC were held back by the RR drag factor. So in the week after The Sun discovered Little Red Rooster was number one RR did finally put it there, when denying I Feel Fine it's entry at the top.

                                  I presume a survey of that size was contracted out to a marketing company. The big omission in the survey's covering article is that they do not mention the possible explanation that NME had included advance orders the previous week.


                                  • #92
                                    These newspaper articles are thoroughly entertaining and I again thank you for posting these. Fascinating to see that The Sun attempted their own composite chart too, they probably just got the idea for this from the BBC's own system. Interesting too the article raising questions about the accuracy or lack of it in store returns and how open it was to manipulation. That is why composite has to be better than any individual chart as it lessens the impact of any singular chart inadequacies. Keep on keeping on Dalanj.
                                    To The Definitive Music Paper Chart


                                    • #93
                                      April 4, 1967, was a very MOR Top 10. Was all pop radio before Radio 1 more like Radio 2?


                                      • #94
                                        You're so right about the '67 chart. Never mind the summer of love and all that, it was a stellar year for MOR. At least there were the pirates, with Radio London in particular taking a much more pop-focussed approach to their playlist (and their own chart, which generally filtered out the Secombe-type records).

                                        Thanks for the positive feedback and observations - much appreciated. There are a couple more daily papers to go, then on to the Sundays...


                                        • #95
                                          Originally posted by Satchmo76 View Post
                                          April 4, 1967, was a very MOR Top 10. Was all pop radio before Radio 1 more like Radio 2?
                                          Before Radio 1, there was the BBC Light Programme (very much like the version of Radio 2 of 1967) or pirate radio (nothing like the version of Radio 1 of 1967).


                                          • #96
                                            I've actually got a bit of audio from an old reel-to-reel of the Radio Caroline South countdown for the week following that April 4th chart. Presenter is Tom Edwards. Dated Sat, April 15, 1967.

                                            Does go to show that even in this golden era, some distinctly MOR stuff - the Dubliners, anyone? - was getting aired by the pirates.

                                            Audio is uploaded here if you'd like to hear how the Caroline chart sounded that Saturday afternoon in April 1967...



                                            • #97
                                              You seem to have had better reception of Caroline than the Light Programme! April 67 is when John Peel was introducing progressive music into his late night show on Radio London and creating a new sound for British radio that was neither Top 40 nor MOR.

                                              The Sun of 24-Nov-64 says in Disc the Supremes and the Stones shared the top spot, but in the final Disc chart the Stones held it alone. So Disc also produced a chart on Monday that was 'interim'.

                                              Looks like sometimes Record Retailer got their chart to The Sun on Monday and sometimes not. I reckon the Radio 1 rundown was timed for Tuesday lunchtime to give them all time to make final adjustments early Tuesday morning.


                                              • #98
                                                Excellent spot re the Disc chart… first evidence I’ve seen that they too had a provisional version that was made available on Mondays…

                                                Caroline sounded pretty good on the tape as I believe it was recorded in East Anglia … the POTP was an attic find courtesy of a relative, and recorded goodness knows where and how!


                                                • #99
                                                  I notice The Sun left ties unbroken.

                                                  Was RR's inclusion in The Sun composite chart intermittent or did it end permanently after a while? If the latter this might indicate that The Sun decided to exclude it. I can imagine how they would have found the drag effect irritating in particular on the number ones. As we know, the BBC mitigated the adverse RR effect on its chart by introducing a special 'ignore the maverick RR position' rule for its number ones.


                                                  • I'm afraid I don't have an exact date when Record Retailer ceased to play into the Sun chart. I noticed it become a bit patchy in 1965, and I don't have any examples where it was used from 1966 onwards. I'm sure your theory is right and a decision was taken focus on NME, MM and Disc, thus ensuring a more dynamic final chart. Here's an example from October 5, 1965 of all four charts being used, and a tie being declared at No 9. I haven't been able to figure out their exact methodology, but in this particular week, the Sun chart exactly mirrors the Pick of the Pops / Top of the Pops composite, with the exception of Sandie Shaw and Nini Rosso sharing No 9 in Disc while appearing at No 9 and No 10 respectively on the BBC's listing.

                                                    Sun 1965.jpg

                                                    Attached Files