The 50’s saw a new era of music coming to the UK. Elvis Presley, Cliff Richard and Frankie Laine all had huge hits in the nineteen fifties with songs such as “All Shook Up” and “Living Doll”. We take a look at music from the 50’s as part of our Bygone Christmas series.
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Music In Britain was mainly jazz, swing and traditional pop until mid-50’s when American rock ‘n’ roll began to impact the music scene. In 1952 the official record chart in the United Kingdom was established.
Percy Dickins phoned a sample of around 20 shops and asked for a list of the best-selling songs. These results were then complied to give a Top 12 chart which was published in New Musical Express on the 14th November 1952, where the number one single was “Here in My Heart” by Al Martino, unlike today where we have a Radio 1’s Top 40 chart.
Gone were the days of the big radio sets and in came the smaller, Gramophone record players which were much easier to store, they had built in speakers. To play music on these, you would need to buy an LP record. These were fairly heavy for their size but were prone to scratches and were roughly around 10-inch (25cm) format in size.
Elvis Presley had hit the music scene and with it saw some of his biggest hits released in this decade. Songs such as Jailhouse Rock, Heartbreak Hotel and Hound Dog were all released and went to number one. In October 1957 Elvis released his very own Christmas album, naming it Elvis’s Christmas Album and featured songs such as Blue Christmas, I’ll Be Home For Christmas and White Christmas.
The music scene at Christmas saw the release of some of today’s most popular songs. Songs such as Frosty The Snowman, Silver Bells, It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus, Jingle Bell Rock, Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Santa baby have all stood the test of time and continue to be popular at Christmas, often being re-release by today’s musicians such as Michael Buble and Lady Gaga.
What do you remember about the music in the 1950s? Comment below and let us know as our ByGone Christmases series continues.