December 1st, 2014

Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s (1952 - 2014)

It's the 1st of December!


It's Christmas no.1's time!

I love UK Christmas No1s and have collected them all over the years on 78rpm, 45rpm and in recent years on CD.

As I haven't posted these songs on my journal for a couple of years so I thought it was time to post them again.

Where ever possible I will try to find the original video, but obviously a lot of early TV footage of songs has been destroyed or lost.
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1952

Al Martino - Here In My Heart

"Here in My Heart" was written by Pat Genaro, Lou Levinson, and Bill Borrelli, and published in 1952.

The song sung by Al Martino made history as the first number one on the UK single chart on 14 November 1952. It remained in the top position for nine weeks, setting a record for the longest consecutive run at number one, a record which, over 60 years on, has only been beaten by five other tracks.

By staying at number one until 1953, "Here in my heart" became the first UK Christmas No.1 and Martino secured for himself the record of being the only performer to have a number one hit in the entire year of 1952. No subsequent act has ever dominated the top spot so entirely in any later year.

The track was Martino's only UK number one hit. His subsequent releases failed to reach the top of the chart, and his final UK chart appearance was in 1973, when a reissue of "Spanish Eyes" reached the top five.

My love of collection the UK Christmas no1s actually started on the 24th November 1993 when I was set a sponsored challenge by a local radio station to find as many of the songs as I could in 30 days! The songs I had collected in the 30 days would be played on the Christmas Eve afternoon show and for every 78, 45, Cassette or LP recording that was broadcast (this was obviously before CDs, Mp3s or the internet!) the radio station would donate some money to charity.

This song was played on the radio show from a cassette of Al Martino's Greatest Hits Album. I found the single at a record fair a few years later for £4.
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1953

Frankie Laine - Answer Me

"Answer Me" was originally written in 1952 (with German lyrics, under the title "Mütterlein" by Gerhard Winkler and Fred Rauch. The English lyrics were written by Carl Sigman in 1952).

After the song was recorded by Frankie Laine in 1953, the "religious" version was banned by the BBC after complaints. Nevertheless it still reached number one on the UK Singles Chart, after another version was written by Sigman in which, instead of directing the question to God about why the singer has lost his love, the lyric is addressed directly to the lost lover. In the new lyric, "Answer me, Lord above..." is changed to "Answer me, oh my love..." with other appropriate changes. The new song, entitled "Answer Me, My Love," was again recorded by Laine, but became a bigger U.S. hit for Nat King Cole in 1954.

A friend kindly gave me this song on 7inch single in 1993. She had kept it from her childhood, even though she had never really liked it and had never played it!
Blue Red

63 UK Christmas No.1s - 1954

Winnifred Atwell - Let's Have Another Party

"Let's Have Another Party" was a 1954 ragtime composition, which became a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart for the pianist Winifred Atwell. It is a composite of several pieces of music, and was a follow up to Atwell's successful hit "Let's Have a Party" of the previous year.

The music was written by Nat D. Ayer, Clifford Grey, James W. Tate, Ray Henderson, Mort Dixon and others. It was produced by Johnny Franz and first entered the UK chart on 26 November 1954 for an eight-week run, spending five of those weeks at number one. The medley included parts of the following tunes:

"Another Little Drink Wouldn't Do Us Any Harm"
"Broken Doll"
"Bye Bye Blackbird"
"Honeysuckle and the Bee"
"I Wonder Where My Baby is Tonight"
"Lily of Laguna"
"Nellie Dean"
"The Sheik of Araby"
"Somebody Stole My Gal"
"When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin' Along)"

Atwell was the first black person to have a number one hit in the UK.

I just really love this recording!  - it's so bad, it's great!  This record was one of the last ones that I added to my Christmas No1's collection having searched for it for about 10 years. I found it in an old market in Glasgow on a 78 record for 20p but at that time didn't have a record player that could play 78's. About 4 years ago I finally found a 7inch version at a local car boot sale for 5p. Notice the brill electric guitar bit in the middle!!

I've actually got this one loaded on my MP3 player on my favourites playlist so I can listen to it all year round :)