December 4th, 2017

Blue Red

65 years of UK Christmas No1s - 1961

Danny Williams - Moon River

"Moon River" is a song composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics written by Johnny Mercer. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song for its first performance by Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. It also won Mancini the 1962 Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Mercer the Grammy Award for Song of the Year.

It became the theme song for Andy Williams, who recorded it in 1961.

Mercer and Mancini wrote the song for Audrey Hepburn to fit her vocal range. Initially, the lyrics started, "I'm Holly, like I want to be / like Holly on a tree back home ..."; however, they were later changed to fit the theme of the film Breakfast at Tiffany's.

This version by the South African singer Danny Williams reached the number one in the UK in the final week of 1961.

My parents had this single, so it had always been around the house as I was growing up. I did eventually buy another copy of it at a later date from a record fair for £2, as our family copy was wellworn from being played so often.
Blue Red

65 years of UK Christmas No1s - 1962

Elvis Presley - Return To Sender

"Return to Sender" is a 1962 hit single recorded by American singer Elvis Presley and published by Elvis Presley Music. The song was written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell.

Presley performed "Return to Sender" in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!. It featured Presley's longtime cohorts Barney Kessel on electric guitar, Tiny Timbrell on acoustic guitar, Ray Siegal on Double bass, D.J. Fontana on drums, Dudley Brooks on piano, Boots Randolph on baritone saxophone, and the Jordanaires on backing vocals.

The song peaked at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, and number 2 on the American Billboard singles chart. It was the first Christmas number one in Ireland, as the Irish Charts had been founded in October 1962.

I can't say I'm a right big fan of Elvis' music. I don't hate it but I also don't get what all the fuss is about him or his music! But I have to say that I have always liked this song and it is probably my favourite Elvis song. I actually think I bought this single as a teenager when he died in 1977.
Snow sunset

65 years of UK Christmas No1s - 1963

The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand

"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963. It was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.

With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group's first million seller "She Loves You", their previous UK single, which was having a resurgence of popularity following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" stayed at number one for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.

It was also the group's first American number one, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 18 January 1964 at number forty-five. By 1 February it held the number-one spot, and stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by "She Loves You", a reverse scenario of what had occurred in Britain. It remained on the US charts for a total of fifteen weeks. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" became the Beatles' best-selling single worldwide. In 2013, Billboard Magazine named it the 44th biggest hit of "all-time" on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.