Top Picture: The Guildhall before rebuilding
Second Picture: Alexandra Palace TV mast
Firstly welcome to Pat Russell who has just joined us.
The first quarter of the year 1960 was to turn out to be a very eventful and significant year musically, just take a look at what occurred that year.
In February the manufacturing of records changed dramatically when Columbia decided with the introduction of the 45rpm disc to stop the production of the 78rpm record. The artist who had the privilege of having his record become the last Columbia 10” 78rpm single was Russ Conway. The title of the record was ‘Royal Event’ a now long forgotten track but Columbia presented Russ Conway with a gold disc of the record to mark the occasion. Whilst in April RCA Victor Records announced that it would release all pop singles in mono and stereo simultaneously, being the first record company to do so. Elvis Presley's single, "Stuck on You," was RCA's first mono/stereo release.
The biggest star in the pop world made his one and only visit to the UK in March 1960. As a serving sergeant, he was only promoted to sergeant in January of that year, in the US Army the plane returning Elvis Presley back to the US to be demobed landed at Prestwick airport for 80 minutes just to refuel. This was the only time that Elvis ever set foot in the British Isles. A car soon whisked him away after he had had a very brief chat to a small group of reporters who were waiting at the airport. Elvis then made a flying visit to the nearby US bases’ NCO and teenage clubs. The visit allowed some of the local girls to actually glimpse him being only separated from him by a chicken wire fence several girls claimed that Elvis came over and kissed them, but this was treated with much scepticism by those at the back of the crowd. Elvis then reboarded the plane and disappeared off to the USA never to return to the UK. In April Elvis returned to Hollywood for the first time since coming home from Germany to film G.I. Blues.
Also in March Eddie Cochrane died in a car accident in which he and Gene Vincent were travelling. Eddie Cochrane and Gene Vincent were returning to London after a highly successful concert in the Hippodrome in Bristol when their Ford Consul taxi swerved and hit a lamppost on the A4 near Chippenham. One part of this tragic story is well know and has gone down as a pop legend and that is that the police cadet Dave Harman, who was later to become Dave Dee, was charged with taking care of Eddie Cochran’s guitar. But what is less well known is that three days earlier a young 13 year old lad called Mark Feld had carried that same guitar to Eddie Cochran’s waiting car, that lad became Marc Bolan!
In April the first fashion pair of Doc Martens boots went on sale.
The early 60s produced some of the best music of all time. Even today it is listened to not only by the 60s generation but by our children and grandchildren. Oldies stations playing the 60s are popping up everywhere. The music is as popular today as it was when we were kids.
On a more serious front. The last time Britain was hit by deflation was March 1960, when Cliff Richard was the latest pop sensation. He had already claimed the top singles spot with Living Doll. At the time, the average house price was £2,530, while a loaf of bread, which could finally be bought ready sliced, was the equivalent of 5p. A packet of 20 cigarettes would have set you back less than 25p in today’s money and a season ticket to see Manchester United, when Sir Matt Busby was manager and Sir Bobby Charlton a star player, cost £8.50. Mind you, the club paid its footballers a maximum wage of £50 a week.
Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had delivered his historically important Wind Of Change speech to the parliament of South Africa. But later in the year Macmillan’s slogan – ‘Most of our people have never had it so good’ – began to seem increasingly hollow to the average man in the street.
This was the year of the Cuba missile Crisis, when Kruschov pounded the table with his shoe and when Cliff Richard had his first Christmas number One and the Beatles were formed.
Ahhh! I must be getting old
Stay in touch,
News and Views:
Songwriter Robert Sherman, who with his brother Richard gave us such hits as Johnny Burnette's "You're 16," Hayley Mills' "Let's Get Together" and Annette's "Pineapple Princess" and "Tall Paul," died on Monday March 5 of heart failure in London at the age of 86. Together, they created the music for such Walt Disney productions as "Mary Poppins," "The Parent Trap," and "The Jungle Book" and non-Disney shows like "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
On this day 25th March 1960-1965
25/03/1960the number one single was Running Bear - Johnny Preston and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Wagon Train (ITV) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
25/03/1961the number one single was Wooden Heart - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Dickie Henderson Show (AR) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
25/03/1962the number one single was Wonderful Land - The Shadows and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was French Algerian War ends
25/03/1964the number one single was Little Children - Billy J Kramer and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was 10 found guilty of Great Train Robbery.
25/03/1965the number one single was The Last Time - Rolling Stones and the number one album was Rolling Stones Number 2 - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.