BuzzJack
Entertainment Discussion

Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register | Help )

Latest Site News
> -
4 Pages V   1 2 3 > »   
Reply to this topicStart new topic
> One Week Wonders in the UK Chart (so far covering 1952-1955), An ongoing journey through the shortest lived of chart hits
Track this topic - Email this topic - Print this topic - Download this topic - Subscribe to this forum
DanChartFan
post Oct 22 2019, 01:50 AM
Post #1
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


As chartologists we often spend a lot of time discussing the biggest selling hits, or those that spent the longest in the charts. Or perhaps those hits that 'would have been' number ones if a chart rule had've been different, or if a different chart source had been used for a certain time period. We also, of course, spend time each week looking at the newly released charts.

But it occured to me that sometimes it can be more interesting for nostalgia purposes, or to better understand the past, to look at the more obscure details, rather than always rehashing the most well-known and well worn facts and stories, and if we're going for the obscure, then why not go the whole hog and look at the very obscurest chart hits, the ones that spent a single solitary week in the charts and were never seen (or more accurately heard from) again. Sometimes these were minor releases from otherwise major stars (in the 50s these could simply be the 'other side' of a major hit), some others were knock-off versions of hits that charted for longer in a more well-known version. At the other extreme sometimes the week of chart action represents the only week that that chart act ever appeared on the chart.

This then is the journey I propose we go on. I intend to plod along from the first chart in 1952 to within a few weeks of whatever the current date will be when/if I get that far, and detail those chart entries each week that never got another week of chart action ever. I intend to be a bit liberal with regard to what constitutes the same single, so that if a song later charted as a remixed, re-issued or re-recorded version then I will generally consider that to be the same song having further chart action and thus not include it here, though if the act is slightly different (say an old hit has been reversioned with an additional act or acts added/featured) then I probably will still include it if it only charted for a week. I also intend to be as accurate as possible in terms of sourcing the charts etc. I have already done the basic research for the 50's, using the NME chart book, and am in the process of checking against the OCC website, just to catch any re-emergences that may have happened in the download/streaming eras (probably only xmas-based tracks, but you never know). I will use the Record Retailer Top 50 through to 1978 (I believe there is a xmas week in the 60s where Record Mirror published a new chart and RR didn't, so that should be referred too as well), then move to the full 75 from 1978-1983. I'm undecided on whether or not to move to the Top 100 from 1983-1991, as I believe the OCC versions are compressed, as are all publically available sub 75 positions in that era. The OCC also has a Top 100 from February 1994, so we'll have to make a judgement on that too nearer the time, as I don't know if those sub 75s are compressed or uncompressed (or change between the two at different times between then and the download era). I do also have the Chartwatch books from 1995 to 2001, and gather that they use the uncompressed top 200s until May 2001, so may refer to the 75-100 portion of those. I'll have to see what will both make sense and be reasonably manageable to actually compile the ongoing list from.

I'll begin with the 1952 hits as a taster, and to see if this is something people are interested in (whilst accepting that admittedly popular music circa 1952 is unlikely to be in and of itself of great interest to many people, but remember it's just the start of what I hope will be an ongoing, ever evolving list of one week wonders).

The first chart, 15th November 1952, actually yields the first two one week wonders, although this is rather unfair to both, as had the NME chart begun earlier then they would have achieved more weeks and not be here, but we have to start somewhere right?

So at number 10 we have Vera Lynn - Auf Wiedersehen (Sweetheart)


Auf Wiedersehen (Sweetheart) had actually been selling well during June and July of 1952, being the UK's bestseller for several weeks during that time, if 'The Missing Charts' by Steve Waters is referred to. It took over the unofficial top spot from the next one-week wonder on our list, which had it's only week in the NME chart at #12 in the same week. That single was Walkin' My Baby Back Home by Johnnie Ray.


Week two, 22/11/1952, and we probably have our first genuine one week wonder, or at least we have one that doesn't feature in the 'Missing Charts' books, suggesting it had no 'previous' as it were in terms of sales/popularity. The single in question is actually by the first NME charttopper, Al Martino, and is at number 9 in the week he was enjoying his 2nd week at the top. The one week wonder is Take My Heart.


And that's it for 1952, except for a technicality. The chart of 20th December 1952 was followed by a week where a new chart was not compiled, meaning that most chart sources, whether books or online databases, count the same chart as applying for two weeks. This means that there are two new entries in that chart that only get a second week on chart by virtue of that convention, as they only actually charted in one compiled chart, it just happened to be one that was 'repeated' by chartologists to plug a gap. These two records are added here as a sort of bonus, as we can't be sure if they would have got a genuine second week had a chart been compiled, or whether they are saved from one week wonder status purely by happening to chart in the week in question.

At #8 was Bing Crosby - Silent Night

I'm actually suprised that it doesn't seem to have re-emerged at any point in the download or streaming era, given the wholesale invasion of the charts at christmas by even the most obscure christmas hits. Also it appears from searching youtube that there are multiple recordings of this song by Bing, and can only take this youtube accounts word for it that they have uploaded the 1952 version (or indeed that a specifically 1952 version even existed), so do let me know if I have linked the wrong version.

At #10 was Jo Stafford with Jambalaya

This song was of course later made popular by The Carpenters.

And that really is it for 1952. Feel free to post corrections and additions to the thread as I go along (though I'd prefer not to be overtaken, so stick to the period already covered by the thread). Let me know which of the 1952 one week wonders you liked or disliked, and whether (or not) you'd be interested in this as an ongoing thread/project.


This post has been edited by DanChartFan: Thursday, 06:00 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
dobbo
post Oct 22 2019, 10:03 AM
Post #2
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Members
Posts: 20,457
Member No.: 20,053
Joined: 4-November 13
   No Gallery Pics
 


A very interesting and insightful topic!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jade
post Oct 22 2019, 10:20 AM
Post #3
Mrs Brayden Smith <333
*******
Group: Buzzjack's Sweetheart
Posts: 34,786
Member No.: 12,810
Joined: 18-January 11
 


I love this idea! Shall make sure to follow along biggrin.gif
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post Oct 22 2019, 10:24 AM
Post #4
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 28,344
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


A true piece of chart geekery. What’s not to like?
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
E L Rollo
post Oct 22 2019, 10:24 AM
Post #5
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Members
Posts: 4,107
Member No.: 23,961
Joined: 3-January 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


Keep going with this. I will certainly be interested. From the late 70s onwards,there are likely to be some songs that I will know.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Robbie
post Oct 22 2019, 01:20 PM
Post #6
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Members
Posts: 2,713
Member No.: 366
Joined: 4-April 06
   No Gallery Pics
 


A very interesting idea for a thread! Sounds good to me.

To answer a question in your first post: the 76 to 100 part of the Top 100 Singles charts on the OCC website are the "compressed" version (that is, exclusion rules as per 1983-91 applied) from 12 February 1994 to 16 April 2005. From 23 April 2005 downloads were incorporated into the chart and the old exclusion rules were dropped though of course new exclusion rules did get introduced.

What isn't in the OCC archive are positions 76-100 from April 1991 to January 1994. While it looks like the full top 100 charts from April 1991 to August 1992 are now unobtainable (unless someone can get access to the BPI library as they do have them) I do have positions 76-100 (again with exclusion rules being applied) from September 1992 to January 1994. If you haven't got them and want them then let me know and I can direct you to a thread at ukmix where I posted them...
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post Oct 22 2019, 01:56 PM
Post #7
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 28,344
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


Given the number of exclusion rules in place now, not to mention ACR, there seems no reason to exclude positions 76-100 at any other time.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
M4NG0
post Oct 23 2019, 08:55 PM
Post #8
BuzzJack Platinum Member
******
Group: Members
Posts: 10,878
Member No.: 151
Joined: 10-March 06
 


This is a great idea but I don't think it will get interesting for most people until at least the 70s or maybe 80s.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Steve201
post Oct 23 2019, 11:15 PM
Post #9
Shakin Stevens
*******
Group: Members
Posts: 25,765
Member No.: 5,138
Joined: 29-December 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


Great idea!

I'm very interested by the two week Wonder for Bing Crosbys version of 'Silent Night'. I imagine it depends on which day Christmas fell in December 1952 to guess whether it would have sold well enough to gain a second week.

On the song itself - which is the defining version and which versions have charted throughout the OCC records? I usually hear this version (as well as a video they play on MTV) and probably the Michael Buble version each year these days.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Suedehead2
post Oct 28 2019, 08:55 PM
Post #10
BuzzJack Legend
*******
Group: Admin.
Posts: 28,344
Member No.: 3,272
Joined: 13-April 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Steve201 @ Oct 23 2019, 11:15 PM) *
Great idea!

I'm very interested by the two week Wonder for Bing Crosbys version of 'Silent Night'. I imagine it depends on which day Christmas fell in December 1952 to guess whether it would have sold well enough to gain a second week.

On the song itself - which is the defining version and which versions have charted throughout the OCC records? I usually hear this version (as well as a video they play on MTV) and probably the Michael Buble version each year these days.

Surely the definitive version should be in German.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 1 2019, 10:39 PM
Post #11
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(Steve201 @ Oct 23 2019, 11:15 PM) *
Great idea!

I'm very interested by the two week Wonder for Bing Crosbys version of 'Silent Night'. I imagine it depends on which day Christmas fell in December 1952 to guess whether it would have sold well enough to gain a second week.

On the song itself - which is the defining version and which versions have charted throughout the OCC records? I usually hear this version (as well as a video they play on MTV) and probably the Michael Buble version each year these days.


Well Steve there are actually five versions of Silent Night that have charted over the years, so by way of a bonus feature, here is a Silent Night top 5 pop pickers, though only the Bing Crosby version above is potentially elligible for our main list.

At 5th place is this sublime version by Sinead O'Connor which peaked at number 60 in December 1991


For 4th place we go from the sublime to, if not the ridiculous at least to the very different, with this punk version by The Dickies in December 1978, which peaked at number 47.


Up to 3rd place and we find a rather chilling version by Simon and Garfunkel, which was released as part of a double a side for xmas 1991, having been tracks from one of their albums. This Simon and Garfunkel version feature them singing the carol whilst a news bulletin from 3rd August 1966 fades up.


Number 2 is the Bing Crosby version mentioned and linked above, which, as mentioned, peaked at number 8 for just the two weeks, one of which was a repeated chart rather than a newly calculated chart.

That just leaves number one in your Silent Night chart, which is another double A side, this time paired with a track called Cat Among The Pigeons. I entered the chart at number two in w/e 3rd December 1988 and was by Bros.


I'm actually suprised that no version of Silent Night has reentered the Official Top 100 in the download/streaming era. Looking at the UK Spotfy Top 200 chart for xmas day 2018, which was almost exclusively Xmas songs, I can find three versions of Silent Night, in the following order, Michael Buble at #117, Mariah Carey at #153 and Bing Crosby at #190. The first two are probably helping their respective Xmas albums in the albums chart, even if they have not charted as an indidivual track in the Official Top 100 Singles Chart.

Again, as a reminder, only Bing's version is potentially elligible for our main list, the others having indisputably spent additional weeks in the chart.


This post has been edited by DanChartFan: Nov 1 2019, 10:41 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 1 2019, 11:24 PM
Post #12
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


And on with 1953

The first one week wonder of 1953 was called Glow Worm, and was by the Mills Brothers. It charted at number 10 on 10/01/1953. The Mills Brothers were originally four actual brothers, but one of them, John Jr, had passed away aged just 25 in 1936, and was then replaced by his father, John Sr. Apparently their recordings have since been lost in the fire in 2008 that destroyed a vast number of masters by a large number of artists. The Mills Brothers entire chart career in the UK is literally just this one week, though in the US they were much more successful.


You wait for a one week wonder to occur, then two come along at once! It's strange how they have been mostly happening in pairs so far, with a particular chart either containing two one-week wonders, or none. Anyway we go down one place to number 11 on the same chart and find an alternative version of a more successful hit, a common occurence in the early years of the charts. In fact there were two versions that charted higher at around the same time. The song in question is 'Faith Can Move Mountains', which peaked highest, at #7, for Johnnie Ray and the Four Lads, on the Columbia label. The second versions was Capitol's version, by Nat 'King' Cole, which peaked at #10. These versions had 3 and 4 weeks on chart respectively. The version we are interested in here is on the Decca label (which seems to be something of a recurring theme for 1953 one week wonders), and is by one-time Radio 2 favourite Jimmy Young.


One week later, on 17th January 1953, again at #11 we have bandleader Ted Heath and his music, with a tune called Vanessa.


This post has been edited by DanChartFan: Nov 1 2019, 11:34 PM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jade
post Nov 1 2019, 11:40 PM
Post #13
Mrs Brayden Smith <333
*******
Group: Buzzjack's Sweetheart
Posts: 34,786
Member No.: 12,810
Joined: 18-January 11
 


None of that trio of songs are grabbing me that much really tbh (I do like the rat in the top left corner of the Mills Brothers embed though) - hoping for some better discoveries soon as I do really like some 50s stuff. Especially instrumentals like 'Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White' and Winifred Atwell's fabulous piano tunes.

The Vera Lynn song is probably my favourite of the thread so far.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 1 2019, 11:59 PM
Post #14
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


On to the 20th February 1953, and to the chart debut of an artist who would go on to top the charts. This single, which charted at #12, was the third version of Broken Wings to hit the charts. The most sucessful version was a charttopper for the Stargazers on the Decca label, and there was also a version on HMV's label, by Art and Dotty Todd, which peaked at number 6. But the version which joins our list is strangely also on the Decca label, which seems a bit bizarre as the label is essentially competing with itself, and potentially transferring some sales from the charttopping version to the minor version, but these were different times, and I guess the label was making money either way. This third version introduced the UK chart watching (and listening) public to Dickie Valentine.


Charting at #11 on 7th March 1953 is Joni James, with a song called Why Don't You Believe Me?. She escapes being the second act on our list to have a UK chart career of only one week, as she managed to gain one more week in 1959, with another single.


Also at #11, but on 21st March 1953, is Frankie Laine, with a song called the Girl In The Wood. I can see from Steve Waters' Missing Charts book that it must have been released around about September 1951, so I'm not quite sure how it came to trouble the NME chart in March 1953. It was the last of only two Columbia releases by Frankie Laine to chart on the NME chart. His next chart entry, now on the Phillips label, was the chart busting hit I Believe, which broke records for the length of time it spent at the top of the charts.


This post has been edited by DanChartFan: Nov 2 2019, 12:03 AM
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Bré
post Nov 2 2019, 12:07 AM
Post #15
Mr Jade Lauren Williams <333
********
Group: Moderator
Posts: 88,221
Member No.: 8,300
Joined: 14-February 09
 


I'll try and make sure to keep up with this thread but there isn't too much to say about these obscure 50s songs, gonna be a while before you get to songs that many people are going to care about - still an interesting and ambitious thread idea!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
E L Rollo
post Nov 2 2019, 12:13 AM
Post #16
BuzzJack Gold Member
*****
Group: Members
Posts: 4,107
Member No.: 23,961
Joined: 3-January 17
   No Gallery Pics
 


When I first started looking at 50s charts,I thought the Conservative Party leader Ted Heath had a previous career as a bandleader. It was a while before I realised they were different people.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Jade
post Nov 2 2019, 12:25 AM
Post #17
Mrs Brayden Smith <333
*******
Group: Buzzjack's Sweetheart
Posts: 34,786
Member No.: 12,810
Joined: 18-January 11
 


Joni James has a lovely voice - I think that's my new favourite of the thread so far! Something I really enjoy about the 50s is the amount of classy vocalists in the chart. The Frankie Laine song is good too - I only knew 'I Believe', 'Hey Joe' and 'Answer Me' by him and I like all three in addition to this one, so he seems cool.

That version of 'Broken Wings' didn't do much for me - I do know and enjoy The Stargazers' version though. 'I See The Moon' is their best in my opinion though, pretty zany *.*

(yes don't mind me discovering pretty much everything here, my knowledge of the 50s is mostly artists who have #1s or #2s and I'm enjoying expanding that!)

Loving the commentary so far! The chart geekery is most pleasing.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 2 2019, 12:30 AM
Post #18
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


Staying with 21st March 1953, and moving down to #12, we find a tune with it's roots in 1940, in a piece by Duke Ellington sideman Johnny Hodges. Apparently this particular track, Night Train, by trombonist Buddy Morrow, was sometimes the soundtrack for burlesque striptease!


On 4th April 1953 a duet charted at #12, between two future chart toppers, Doris Day and Johnnie Ray. The song was 'Ma Says, Pa Says'.


Two weeks later, 18th April 1953, the same two artists charted another one week wonder, this time at #11. There something a little odd going on here though, as on closer inspection both duets have the same catalogue number, as they were in fact different sides of the same disc! Chart rules at the time meant that each sale in any of NME's chart return shops had to be logged under the side that was actually requested at the counter, and that both sides could thus chart separately of each other. Since the chart saw these singles as being separate, then so do I, and thus this duo achieve two one week wonders in a fortnight with either side of the same disc. The side that achieved it second was called A Full Time Job.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 2 2019, 12:32 AM
Post #19
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


QUOTE(E L Rollo @ Nov 2 2019, 12:13 AM) *
When I first started looking at 50s charts,I thought the Conservative Party leader Ted Heath had a previous career as a bandleader. It was a while before I realised they were different people.


Ha! I thought the same thing for a long time too!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
DanChartFan
post Nov 2 2019, 01:17 AM
Post #20
BuzzJack Enthusiast
****
Group: Members
Posts: 714
Member No.: 3,866
Joined: 8-July 07
   No Gallery Pics
 


Our next trio of one week wonders are, for the first time, all from the same chart week, 6th June 1953, the week of the Queen's coronation. I think it's amazing that although this thread will (if it gets that far) span a fairly huge number of minor hits, over a period of nearly 70 years, nonetheless all of them have happened during the reign of just one monarch.... But on with our trio.

The first one was at #7, and was a second chart version of In A Golden Coach, a song directly about the Coronation, which was already charting in a version by Billy Cotton and his band. Again the one week wonder version is by Dickie Valentine, and again Decca are for some reason competing with themselves by releasing both versions. Possibly the in-house competition had more effect this time, as Billy had dropped to #7 in the week that Dickie entered at #8, but then the following week Dickie's version vanished from the charts, whilst Billy's shot up to #3. The Dickie version achieves the highest peak so far for a one week wonder, and despite my research having already reached the 60s I haven't yet found one with a higher peak.


The second one is the fourth single to chart for forces sweetheart Vera Lynn, The Windsor Waltz, which spent it's one chart week at #11. I suspect, from the Windsor connection, that this was also related in some way to the Coronation, but I can't find any mention of this anywhere, so perhaps any such connection was just in the mind of the sudden (comparative) rush of purchasers in that week?


Finally at number 12 is an alternative version of I'm Walking Behind You by Dorothy Squires, on the Polygon label, which was set up by Leslie Clark so he could control the distribution of his daughter, Petula's, recordings. The more well known version on HMV, by Eddie Fisher and Sally Sweetland, was at #6 in that same week, and would go on to top the charts.
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post


4 Pages V   1 2 3 > » 
Reply to this topicStart new topic

1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:


 

Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 14th November 2019 - 03:48 AM