1950s

In the US singles charts, the decade of the 1950s, even more than the 1940s can be split into two with a dominant style of music, completely different in the first half to that which dominated the second half. The 1940s began with big bands, full orchestras with vocalists at the front being the focal point of the band. By the end of the war, most of the orchestras had either disbanded or been supplanted by the singers who became more famous than their backing orchestras. There were exceptions like Bing Crosby who started out as the featured vocalist of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra but even by the early-1930s he was making a name for himself in the industry as a vocalist who didn’t really need a backing orchestra. Frank Sinatra on the other hand was very much part of the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and didn’t start to enjoy solo success until 1943 and the strike by the American Federation of Musicians that lasted for two years and was another major factor in wiping out the dominance of the large orchestras. The 1950s began with solo singers, mainly singing ballads like Bing Crosby who had ten top ten singles although he failed to add to his total of number ones, Perry Como had twenty-five hits and eight no.1s putting him in fourth place overall with fourteen chart toppers, Eddie Fisher had twenty-four hits and was one of the most successful artists in the first half of the decade with four number ones, Patti Page was only two behind with twenty-two hits and also four no.1s, Kay Starr had fourteen hits including two no.1s as did Nat King Cole, Doris Day had ten hits and did add two number ones,. Rosemary Clooney had just seven hits but four of them were no.1, similar to Tony Bennett’s chart performance with seven hits and three number ones, Jo Stafford had twelve hits and two number ones, Frank Sinatra had thirteen hits, only one of which reached no.1, Teresa Brewer had eight hits and two number ones, Tony Martin had nine top ten hits, Vic Damone and Joni James had seven, Don Cornell had six and Andy Williams five. There were also newcomers in the early-1950s who sang in a new emotional style that was very different to the preceding decade, Frankie Laine had twelve hits, Guy Mitchell had nine hits including two no.1s as did Johnnie Ray but only one no.1 and Georgia Gibbs had six hits including two no.1s.

The 1950s saw the cessation of separate charts for juke box plays and disc jockey airplay on radio as on the week of the 4th of August 1958, the singles chart was unified for the first time since early 1944. The Juke Box chart was discontinued in June 1957 and the Disc Jockeys chart in in July 1958. Billboard paved the way for this by introducing a Top 100 chart which counted sales of individual songs from November 1955 and in the second half of 1958 this ran alongside the best sellers chart which had been in existence since 1940, indeed the Top 100 ran into October 1958, two months after the introduction of the Hot 100 which contained elements of sales and the other criteria. After the Top 100 was discontinued, the Hot 100 ran as the only pop singles chart and it remained that way with various changes regarding eligibility for the rest of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first.

There were still plenty of room for hit singles by large orchestras such as Ray Anthony who achieved ten top ten singles, Les Baxter with eight including two no.1s, Hugo Winterhalter with eight, Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians with seven including one no.1, taking his overall total to fifteen, Gordon Jenkins and Ralph Flanagan with six each, Vaughn Monroe with five and Percy Faith with two no.1s from four hits. There were a new breed of vocal harmony groups, The Four Lads had thirteen hits, The Ames Brothers eleven including three no.1s, The Four Aces with ten and two no.1s, The Hilltoppers with nine and female vocal groups also proved successful, The McGuire Sisters with five hits including two no.1s and The Chordettes with four, but the biggest harmony group was actually a duo, Les Paul & Mary Ford with Mary Ford singing with herself in a process called multi-tracking and they enjoyed thirteen hits including two number ones with guitarist Les Paul having a further five hits.

The biggest change in the pop charts possibly the most profound change ever, occurred in 1955 with the entry into the mainstream of Rock and Roll and a new way of singing that relied more on personality and production than just being tuneful with good melodies. Rock and Roll had been around for a while mainly sung by black African-Americans but crossed over into the pop charts in 1955 when Bill Haley & His Comets took Rock Around The Clock to no.1. It was to be Haley’s only no.1 and he only achieved four hits before being overtaken as the King of Rock and Roll by the younger and much more charismatic Elvis Presley in 1956. Between 1956 and 1959, Elvis achieved twenty hits, twelve of which were number ones, putting him in fifth place overall in just four years. This opened the door to the charts for many Rock and Roll style artists like Fats Domino who achieved nine hits, Chuck Berry with five, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard all with three and other artists such as Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Johnny & Hurricanes. Sassy female singers also broke through like Gale Storm with six hits and Connie Francis with five. What really opened the chart door for black Rock and Roll artists though was a wholesome white singer, Pat Boone who had sixteen hits including five number ones, most of them cover versions of black hits that had previously been successful on the specialist black Rhythm & Blues charts with Pat Boone singing them in a toned-down way that was acceptable to white middle class parents of teenagers who had their first opportunities to seek out and listen to the more exciting and raw originals. Elvis Presley didn’t tone down his recordings and was by far the most successful artist of the whole decade.

Another offshoot of Rock and Roll was the doo-wop sound of young black groups who found a way into the charts. The Platters had six hits of which four were number ones and the Coasters also had six top ten hits, The Crew Cuts five and The Diamonds three. There were also a new breed of teenage singers voicing their concerns about being young and in love with all the emotional turmoil that time of life brings. Ricky Nelson had eleven top ten hits, Frankie Avalon and the Everly Brothers seven with two and three no.1s respectively, Paul Anka had five with two number ones and Bobby Darin four, although his number one hit Mack The Knife was as far removed from teenage love as was possible.

There were one hundred and fifty-two number one singles during the decade of the 1950s and only three were number ones by two different artists compared to seven in the previous decade, Butterfly by Andy Williams and Charlie Gracie, The Third Man Theme by Anton Karas & Guy Lombardo and Young Love by Tab Hunter and Sonny James. Ninety-one of the 152 were by male solo singers or named males with a backing band or orchestra, twenty-four were by women and thirty-seven were by groups or duets. The nationalities of the artists that topped the charts during the decade was as dominated by Americans as always, Laurie London and Vera Lynn were from the UK, Perez Prado was from Cuba, Anton Karas from Austria, Domenico Modugno from Italy and Percy Faith, Guy Lombardo, Crew Cuts and Paul Anka were all born in Canada, leaving one hundred and forty from the USA. Now that there had been a complete decade of charts in the UK, thirty-three of the no.1 singles topped the charts in both the US and the UK.

Comedy songs at no.1 during this decade included Johnny Standley’s It’s In The Book, Stan Freburg’s St George And The Dragonet, Phil Harris’ The Thing, Sheb Wooley’s The Purple People Eater and one would probably have to include the two Ros Bagdasarian number ones under the names of The Chipmunks and The Music Of David Seville. Other comedy records in the top ten included Mel Blanc’s I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat, Andy Griffith’s What It Was Was Football, Nervous Norvus’ Transfusion, Buchanan & Goodman The Flying Saucer and John Zacherle The Cool Ghoul Dinner With Drac.

In terms of the composers of the number one singles, the partnership of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller was top of the list with five chart toppers, followed by Sammy Fain with four, nine composers with three each and sixteen with two no.1s each. From the list of all-time top composers with the most no.1 singles since 1930, the only one of the top ten to score a further chart-topper during the 1950s was Sammy Cahn.

The album charts in the USA were very messy or perhaps it was that Billboard didn’t take albums as seriously as singles. The charts started the decade as they had been throughout the 1940s, a top ten with some joint positions, in the case of the first chart of 1950, three albums sharing position no.7 and seven of the top ten being Christmas records, at no.1 as always, Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas. The year before however, albums had changed from only being available as box sets of singles, given the name albums because they looked like a set of photograph albums, to being also available on the newly invented format of long-playing discs made of vinyl PVC rather than shellac, with grooves much closer together to fit more music onto one disc and with a spin speed of 33⅓rpm. It was noticeable that in many cases, different styles of music would sell better on this new format rather than the old 78rpm box sets and so on the week of the 22nd of July 1950, Billboard began to publish to separate album charts, one for the old style box sets of packages of singles either at the speed of 78rpm or another new invention, the vinyl 45rpm 7 inch disc. The other album chart was specifically reserved for sales of the 33⅓ long-playing discs and immediately the divergence was obvious with twenty-one positions on the two charts (there were two no.10s on the box set chart) and twenty different albums filling both charts. The only album that was on both charts was the Soundtrack to Annie Get Your Gun, no.4 as a box set of singles and no.8 as a long-player. Even the Broadway Cast recording of South Pacific which had sold so well throughout 1949 and early 1950, mainly as a singles box-set was no.1 on the long-playing 33⅓ chart and nowhere on the box set chart, the top position on that chart being Ralph Flanagan Plays Rodgers And Hammerstein II For Dancing. For the next three years, the charts continued, sometimes with different albums topping each format, Doris Day & Harry James’ Young Man With A Horn, Mario Lanza’s Because You’re Mine, the Soundtrack to the film Merry Widow and Benny Goodman & His Orchestra Trio & Quartet’s 1937-8 Jazz Concert No.2 all had long runs on the 33⅓ long-player chart while the Soundtrack to Annie Get Your Gun, Mario Lanza’s The Toast Of New Orleans, Liberace At The Piano and Eddie Fisher’s I’m In The Mood For Love were most successful on the box sets chart.

There were still plenty of room for hit singles by large orchestras such as Ray Anthony who achieved ten top ten singles, Les Baxter with eight including two no.1s, Hugo Winterhalter with eight, Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians with seven including one no.1, taking his overall total to fifteen, Gordon Jenkins and Ralph Flanagan with six each, Vaughn Monroe with five and Percy Faith with two no.1s from four hits. There were a new breed of vocal harmony groups, The Four Lads had thirteen hits, The Ames Brothers eleven including three no.1s, The Four Aces with ten and two no.1s, The Hilltoppers with nine and female vocal groups also proved successful, The McGuire Sisters with five hits including two no.1s and The Chordettes with four, but the biggest harmony group was actually a duo, Les Paul & Mary Ford with Mary Ford singing with herself in a process called multi-tracking and they enjoyed thirteen hits including two number ones with guitarist Les Paul having a further five hits.

The biggest change in the pop charts possibly the most profound change ever, occurred in 1955 with the entry into the mainstream of Rock and Roll and a new way of singing that relied more on personality and production than just being tuneful with good melodies. Rock and Roll had been around for a while mainly sung by black African-Americans but crossed over into the pop charts in 1955 when Bill Haley & His Comets took Rock Around The Clock to no.1. It was to be Haley’s only no.1 and he only achieved four hits before being overtaken as the King of Rock and Roll by the younger and much more charismatic Elvis Presley in 1956. Between 1956 and 1959, Elvis achieved twenty hits, twelve of which were number ones, putting him in fifth place overall in just four years. This opened the door to the charts for many Rock and Roll style artists like Fats Domino who achieved nine hits, Chuck Berry with five, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard all with three and other artists such as Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and Johnny & Hurricanes. Sassy female singers also broke through like Gale Storm with six hits and Connie Francis with five. What really opened the chart door for black Rock and Roll artists though was a wholesome white singer, Pat Boone who had sixteen hits including five number ones, most of them cover versions of black hits that had previously been successful on the specialist black Rhythm & Blues charts with Pat Boone singing them in a toned-down way that was acceptable to white middle class parents of teenagers who had their first opportunities to seek out and listen to the more exciting and raw originals. Elvis Presley didn’t tone down his recordings and was by far the most successful artist of the whole decade.

Another offshoot of Rock and Roll was the doo-wop sound of young black groups who found a way into the charts. The Platters had six hits of which four were number ones and the Coasters also had six top ten hits, The Crew Cuts five and The Diamonds three. There were also a new breed of teenage singers voicing their concerns about being young and in love with all the emotional turmoil that time of life brings. Ricky Nelson had eleven top ten hits, Frankie Avalon and the Everly Brothers seven with two and three no.1s respectively, Paul Anka had five with two number ones and Bobby Darin four, although his number one hit Mack The Knife was as far removed from teenage love as was possible.

There were one hundred and fifty-two number one singles during the decade of the 1950s and only three were number ones by two different artists compared to seven in the previous decade, Butterfly by Andy Williams and Charlie Gracie, The Third Man Theme by Anton Karas & Guy Lombardo and Young Love by Tab Hunter and Sonny James. Ninety-one of the 152 were by male solo singers or named males with a backing band or orchestra, twenty-four were by women and thirty-seven were by groups or duets. The nationalities of the artists that topped the charts during the decade was as dominated by Americans as always, Laurie London and Vera Lynn were from the UK, Perez Prado was from Cuba, Anton Karas from Austria, Domenico Modugno from Italy and Percy Faith, Guy Lombardo, Crew Cuts and Paul Anka were all born in Canada, leaving one hundred and forty from the USA. Now that there had been a complete decade of charts in the UK, thirty-three of the no.1 singles topped the charts in both the US and the UK.

Comedy songs at no.1 during this decade included Johnny Standley’s It’s In The Book, Stan Freburg’s St George And The Dragonet, Phil Harris’ The Thing, Sheb Wooley’s The Purple People Eater and one would probably have to include the two Ros Bagdasarian number ones under the names of The Chipmunks and The Music Of David Seville. Other comedy records in the top ten included Mel Blanc’s I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat, Andy Griffith’s What It Was Was Football, Nervous Norvus’ Transfusion, Buchanan & Goodman The Flying Saucer and John Zacherle The Cool Ghoul Dinner With Drac.

In terms of the composers of the number one singles, the partnership of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller was top of the list with five chart toppers, followed by Sammy Fain with four, nine composers with three each and sixteen with two no.1s each. From the list of all-time top composers with the most no.1 singles since 1930, the only one of the top ten to score a further chart-topper during the 1950s was Sammy Cahn.

The album charts in the USA were very messy or perhaps it was that Billboard didn’t take albums as seriously as singles. The charts started the decade as they had been throughout the 1940s, a top ten with some joint positions, in the case of the first chart of 1950, three albums sharing position no.7 and seven of the top ten being Christmas records, at no.1 as always, Bing Crosby’s Merry Christmas. The year before however, albums had changed from only being available as box sets of singles, given the name albums because they looked like a set of photograph albums, to being also available on the newly invented format of long-playing discs made of vinyl PVC rather than shellac, with grooves much closer together to fit more music onto one disc and with a spin speed of 33⅓rpm. It was noticeable that in many cases, different styles of music would sell better on this new format rather than the old 78rpm box sets and so on the week of the 22nd of July 1950, Billboard began to publish to separate album charts, one for the old style box sets of packages of singles either at the speed of 78rpm or another new invention, the vinyl 45rpm 7 inch disc. The other album chart was specifically reserved for sales of the 33⅓ long-playing discs and immediately the divergence was obvious with twenty-one positions on the two charts (there were two no.10s on the box set chart) and twenty different albums filling both charts. The only album that was on both charts was the Soundtrack to Annie Get Your Gun, no.4 as a box set of singles and no.8 as a long-player. Even the Broadway Cast recording of South Pacific which had sold so well throughout 1949 and early 1950, mainly as a singles box-set was no.1 on the long-playing 33⅓ chart and nowhere on the box set chart, the top position on that chart being Ralph Flanagan Plays Rodgers And Hammerstein II For Dancing. For the next three years, the charts continued, sometimes with different albums topping each format, Doris Day & Harry James’ Young Man With A Horn, Mario Lanza’s Because You’re Mine, the Soundtrack to the film Merry Widow and Benny Goodman & His Orchestra Trio & Quartet’s 1937-8 Jazz Concert No.2 all had long runs on the 33⅓ long-player chart while the Soundtrack to Annie Get Your Gun, Mario Lanza’s The Toast Of New Orleans, Liberace At The Piano and Eddie Fisher’s I’m In The Mood For Love were most successful on the box sets chart.

The biggest albums of the period between 1950 and 1953 were successful on both formats with very long runs at no.1 for the Soundtrack to Three Little Words, Yma Sumac Voice Of The Xtabay, Mario Lanza In Selections From The MGM Motion Picture The Great Caruso and Sings Christmas Songs all appearing at the top of both charts. The real giants of the period with multiple weeks at no.1 were also successful across the formats. The film soundtracks to Show Boat and An American In Paris spent nineteen and sixteen weeks respectively at no.1, Danny Kaye’s soundtrack to Hans Christian Andersen had seventeen at the top and the longest running no.1 albums were Jane Froman’s With A Song In My Heart with twenty-five weeks at no.1 as a box set and twenty-three as a long-player and Jackie Gleason’s Music For Lovers Only with twenty-two weeks on top of the box sets chart but only ten at no.1 as a long-player.

Then suddenly, on the weeks of the 29th of August 1953, with no warning and no explanations, Billboard stopped publishing an album chart of any sort. Jackie Gleason was no.1 on both charts and would never know if his statistics would have improved even more had there been a chart. It returned on Christmas week, a unified chart with no distinction between the formats and Arthur Godfrey at no.1 with a compilation from his TV show, Christmas With Arthur Godfrey. This was only a one-off event and the chart was not published again for most of January 1954, returning at the end of that month with Jackie Gleason’s Music For Lovers Only enjoying another run at the top, making one assume that he would have had several more weeks at no.1 between September and December 1953. By March 1954 the Soundtrack to The Glenn Miller Story was no.1, but this was music that had featured in the film and wasn’t actually the original Glenn Miller Orchestra recordings. That album was superseded by Glenn Miller Plays Selections From The Film The Glenn Miller Story with exactly the same track listing, but this time, the original recordings.

Throughout 1954 and 1955, the chart was published on alternate weeks with another three Jackie Gleason albums reaching the top, Tawny, Music Martinis And Memories and Lonesome Echo, Sammy Davis Jr hit no.1 with Starring Sammy Davis Jr but the longest running no.1s of this period were thirty-six weeks for Mario Lanza Sings The Hit Songs From The Student Prince And Other Great Musical Comedies and Eighteen weeks for Doris Day with songs from another film soundtrack, Love Me Or Leave Me.

Sometimes the album chart missed more than one week, there was only one chart in August 1955 and December 1955, again with no explanations as to why a chart was not published on the missing weeks. Doris Day was no.1 at the beginning of December and when the chart returned after a seven-week absence at the end of January 1956, yet another film soundtrack was at the top, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s first collaboration Oklahoma. There was only one week, the final weeks of January and February and it wasn’t until the end of March that Billboard decided to publish a weekly album chart with no breaks, beginning with Harry Belafonte at no.1 for six weeks with Belafonte and thirty weeks with Calypso. There was only one album chart for a further four months as in July, Billboard introduced a Disc Jockeys chart in the same way that there had been a separate disc jockey chart for singles since 1945. It had been noted that many radio stations were playing full albums rather than just singles and Billboard wanted to track the plays that these albums received. Once again there was a divergence between the two charts albeit not as much as had been the case when the chart had been split by format and revolution speed, four albums appeared in both charts on the week of the 21st of July 1956, Elvis Presley’s debut album Elvis Presley, the Broadway Cast recording of My Fair Lady, Harry Belafonte’s Calypso and at no.1 on the disc jockeys’ chart was Frank Sinatra’s Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, an album that never climbed higher than no.2 on the sales chart. The style of music favoured by disc jockeys tended to be more jazz, dance and middle-of-the-road easy listening than was actually selling in stores. The Jonah Jones Quartet, June Christy and Peggy Lee had several hit albums each that disc jockeys played more than people bought, Lester Lanin & His Orchestra had three albums peak at no.2 and Lester Lanin Goes To College at no.1, Ray Anthony & His Orchestra hit no.1 with Young Ideas as did Glen Gray & The Casa Loma Orchestra with Sounds Of The Great Bands, Billy Vaughn Plays The Million Sellers and Ray Conniff & His orchestra topped the disc jockey album charts with S’Marvelous and Concert In Rhythm. Although one of Johnny Mathis’ biggest albums was a hit on the sales chart, Johnny’s Greatest Hits, he had four further no.1s on the disc jockey charts only, Wonderful Wonderful, Heavenly, Warm and Swing Softly, the Four Freshmen and the Four Lads enjoyed hit albums as did Perry Como and Pat Boone on the disc jockey chart. Frank Sinatra’s a Swingin’ Affair peaked at no.2 on the sales chart but spent nineteen weeks at no.1 played by disc jockeys.

The concept of this chart was quite short lived however and by December 1958 Billboard discontinued it and now it was back to one unified chart with a large variety of genres reaching the top, Van Cliburn was a classical pianist who hit no.1 with Tchaikovsky Concerto No.1, Mitch Miller & The Gang brought two medley singalong albums to the top, Sing Along With Mitch and Christmas Sing Along With Mitch, Henry Mancini took the jazz soundtrack to the TV series Peter Gunn to no.1 and the Kingston Trio arrived with their debut album The Kingston Trio, a selection of revived folk songs. Frank Sinatra had yet another no.1 album, Sings For Only The Lonely and the Broadcast Cast recording of yet another Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, Flower Drum Song was no.1 early in 1959.

Billboard couldn’t publish a unified chart for long and by the end of May 1959, there were two charts, split again by a new innovative technological invention, stereophonic sound. Until 1959 and even after this, all albums and singles had been recorded and released in mono only but with the invention of stereo, it opened new doors for how music could be presented and provided the listener at home with an even more pleasurable experience. On the week of the 25th of May 1959, there were again two charts, one for stereo recordings and one for mono. On the first weeks, there were five albums that sold well enough to appear on both charts with Van Cliburn and another classical album by Antal Dorati & the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra on the stereo chart only along with four soundtracks to Gigi, Around The World In 80 Days, Oklahoma and the newly issued on stereo South Pacific. South Pacific dominated the new stereo chart from July, it hit no.1 and remained at the top for the rest of 1959, while on the mono chart, another two Kingston Trio albums The Kingston Trio At Large and Here We Go Again saw out the decade.

Taking the decade as a whole, there wasn’t quite the split in the style of music after 1955 compared to before 1955 in the album charts. There were a total of eighty-three number one albums over the various charts with Frank Sinatra the most successful artist with six number ones and two artists sharing the next best spot with five no.1s each, Mario Lanza and Johnny Mathis. There were also three artists who each achieved four number one albums, two of them being as far removed from Rock and Roll as was possible, Doris Day and Jackie Gleason, the third being Elvis Presley. The Kingston Trio had three chart topping albums and there were six artists who each achieved two no.1s, Harry Belafonte, Eddie Fisher, Arthur Godfrey, Mantovani and Mitch Miller. Of the eighty-three no.1 albums, fifty-two were by men or orchestras led by males and only six were by women, four by Doris Day plus Jane Froman and Yma Sumac, four were by groups, three Kingston Trio albums and The Four Freshmen and the rest were either film soundtracks or Broadway Cast recordings. The nationalities of the artists at no.1 were not very diverse with Mantovani giving Italy two number one albums, Yma Sumac one for Peru and every other artist was from the USA.
On the same date on Christmas week 1953 that the album chart returned after a four-month break, Billboard published for the first time an EP chart. Initially this was a replacement for the box sets of singles album chart that had been stopped in August 1953 as the term EP had become to mean an extended set of songs on a number of discs and the majority of them had exactly the same track listings as their corresponding albums and would have charted on the 45rpm/78rpm chart had it still existed. Instead there was now an EP chart which followed a very similar pattern at first to the album charts. Firstly, the artists that succeeded on the EP chart very usually the ones who had also charted albums and secondly the EP chart was only published on the weeks when an album chart was. That was until November 1955 when without warning, the EP was discontinued and didn’t return until October 1957, by which time, the definition of an EP had changed and now they were usually double-sided discs with just four sings, the same as the definition of an EP in Europe.

Over the period of the 1950s, between 1953 and 1959 there were one hundred and seventy-five EPs that hit the chart, twenty-five of which reached no.1 and here the EP charts began to more resemble the singles rather than albums charts as the artist with the most no.1 EPs was Elvis Presley with five, followed by Tennessee Ernie Ford and Ricky Nelson with four each and then Johnny Mathis with two. EPs could spend long periods at no.1 more like albums, Elvis Presley’s King Creole was no.1 for thirty weeks and Jailhouse Rock for twenty-eight weeks giving Elvis a grand total of sixty-seven weeks at the top. Apart from his five number ones, he also achieved a further nine hit EPs, a total not bettered by anybody during the 1950s. Frank Sinatra had nine hits but only one of them, In The Wee Small Hours hit the very top, Nat King Cole had nine hit EPs but none of the hit the top, Jackie Gleason had eight hits, again with just one no.1, the EP version of his biggest album Music For Lovers Only, Pat Boone also had eight with one number one a duet recording with his wife Shirley with the EP Side By Side, five hit EPs were achieved by Johnny Mathis, Glenn Miller and Ricky Nelson four of which had reached the no.1 position, four hits each were achieved by Perry Como, the Four Freshmen, Liberace, Roger Williams and Tennessee Ernie Ford, all four of whose EPs were no.1s. In terms of weeks at no.1, Mario Lanza was second only to Elvis Presley, thanks to his forty-two weeks at the top for the EP Sings The Hit Songs From The Student Prince and Doris Day had nineteen week at the top with Love Me Or Leave Me. Of the twenty-five no.1 EPs, twenty-one were by men, only Doris Day and Shirley Boone represented the women and there was one film soundtrack to The Glenn Miller Story and one Broadway Cast recording of what else but South Pacific.

In November 1952 in the UK, the New Musical Express contacted just 20 shops to determine a top twelve which due to joint positions, actually consisted of fifteen records. Whereas the charts prior to this were compiled from information received from all the major record companies which records they were selling to each shop and the re-orders received which covered both the scenarios of initial placement of orders and re-orders meaning the shops were either running out or running low on stocks of specific records. This method would have course have covered all shops selling records, next just a select twenty. Thus began the official UK singles chart, probably not even as accurate as the Colin Brown charts that ran between 1940 and 1952 but it is we have, so until such time it is possible to prove these charts are less accurate than something else, the company tasked with producing the weekly charts, The Official Charts Company will continue to regard these positions as canonical. This summary of the UK singles charts of the 1950s will cover the period of the NME official charts between 1952 and 1959, the years 1950-1952 have already been included as part of the summary of the 1940s as the methodology used was different to compile the charts in the two periods.

During this period, there were four hundred and ninety-nine top ten hits of which ninety-four records reached no.1. Of those the gender split was less biased towards male singers than in the USA with sixty-five men and nineteen women hitting the top. There were also ten groups and they have not been separated depending on their membership and personnel. Americans still dominated the number one position with fifty-eight of the ninety-four being from the USA, thirty home grown acts from the UK, Winifred Atwell with two from Trinidad and one each from Canada, Cuba, Italy and Saint Lucia.

There was a four-way tie at the top of the list of artists with the most no.1 singles, two of the old style singers, pre-Rock and Roll Frankie Laine and Guy Mitchell and as one would expect, the other artist with four number ones was Elvis Presley. Frankie Laine had sixteen top ten hits including the longest running no.1, eighteen weeks at the top for I Believe, Guy Mitchell’s four number ones came from eleven top ten hits, Elvis Presley had eighteen top ten hits which not only included the four no.1s but also six records that peaked at no.2. Johnnie Ray had three number one singles from ten hits but these four were the only artists to achieve more than two no.1s, although there were no fewer than eighteen artists who achieved two chart-toppers during the 1950s.
Trinidadian pianist Winifred Atwell took both Let’s Have Another Party and Poor People Of Paris to number one, the first a medley and the second not, among eleven top ten hits. Another pianist Russ Conway also recorded several medleys among his six hits and his two no.1s, Side Saddle and Roulette were not. Yet another instrumentalist had two no.1s, Eddie Calvert with Oh Mein Papa and Cherry Pink And Appleblossom White, this time on the trumpet. These six tunes plus Mantovani & His Orchestra’s The Song From The Moulin Rouge and Perez Prez Prado & His Orchestra’s version of Cherry Pink And Appleblossom White were the only eight instrumentals to top the chart during the 1950s, not including Lord Rockingham’s XI Hoots Mon which wasn’t strictly an instrumental. This total would only have increased by two had the early years of the 1950s been included with a second no.1 by Perez Prado and Bill Snyder His Piano & Orchestra both in 1950. Perry Como hit no.1 twice with Don’t Let The Stars Get In Your Eyes and Magic Moments out of ten hits, Bobby Darin’s two no.1s were both in 1959, Dream Lover and Mack The Knife as was Cliff Richard & The Shadows with Living Doll and Travellin Light, the first when they were still called The Drifters, Lonnie Donegan & His Skiffle Group hit the top with Cumberland Gap and the double A side Gamblin’ Man/Putting On The Style from eleven hits, Eddie Fisher’s no.1s were both in 1953, Outside Of Heaven and I’m Walking Behind You from a total of eight hits, both of Tennessee Ernie Ford’s top ten hits went to no.1 Give Me Your Word and Sixteen Tons, Dickie Valentine hit no.1 twice in 1955 with The Finger Of Suspicion and Christmas Alphabet and he had a further six hits, Jimmy Young also hit the top twice in 1955 with Unchained Melody and The Man From Laramie, David Whitfield had a total of eleven top ten hits, his chart toppers being Answer Me and Cara Mia. One early vocal group The Stargazers hit the top with Broken Wings and I See The Moon.

Apart from the pianist Winifred Atwell, there were four female singers who achieved two no.1 singles in the 1950s, Rosemary Clooney hit with This Ole House and Mambo Italiano, Doris Day had seven top ten hits and two no.1s Secret Love and Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera), Connie Francis’ no.1s were both in 1958, Who’s Sorry Now and the double A side Carolina Moon/Stupid Cupid and Key Starr hit with Comes A Long A Love and Rock And Roll Waltz. Buddy Holly had one no.1 credited to the group The Crickets That’ll Be The Day and one solo It Doesn’t Matter Anymore but that was two months after his death.

With one chart-topper, I’ll Be Home from ten top ten hits was Pat Boone, Dean Martin had nine hits and his sole no.1 was Memories Are Made Of This, three artists had eight hits, Bill Haley & His Comets, Ruby Murray and Frankie Vaughan, their no.1s being Rock Around The Clock, Softly Softly and The Garden Of Eden respectively, four artists had one no.1 from six top ten hits, Paul Anka, The Everly Brothers, Al Martino and Frank Sinatra, no.1 singles being Diana, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Here In My Heart and Three Coins In The Fountain and there were a two further artists with five hits including one no.1, Ronnie Hilton and Tommy Steele with No Other Love and Singing The Blues.

Nat King Cole had ten top ten hits but climbed no higher than no.2, three times, Bing Crosby had six hits, his biggest being the no.3 Isle Of Innisfree, Max Bygraves and Little Richard had five top tens with no.2 being their highest position with Meet Me On The Corner and Baby Face, as did Joan Regan with her biggest single being the no.3 hit If I Give My Heart To You.

As previously mentioned, the longest running no.1 was Frankie Laine’s I Believe with eighteen weeks at the top. In second place with Eleven weeks at no.1 was Slim Whitman’s Rose Marie and then ten weeks at no.1 for David Whitfield’s Cara Mia. There were four records that had nine weeks at the top, Al Martino’s Here In My Heart, the very first no.1 of this period, Doris Day’s Secret Love, Eddie Calvert’s Oh Mein Papa and Paul Anka’s Diana. Only two records had eight weeks at no.1, Frankie Laine’s Answer Me and Perry Como’s Magic Moments and there were four hits with seven weeks at the top, Harry Belafonte’s Mary’s Boy Child, The Everly Brothers All I Have To Do Is Dream, Elvis Presley’s All Shook Up and Johnnie Ray’s Just Walking In The Rain. In terms of sales, most of the bigger selling singles occurred in the second half of the decade, once teenagers started to buy records and Rock and Roll changed the dominant style of music in the charts. Although it only had five weeks at no.1, the biggest selling single in the UK was Rock Around The Clock by Bill Haley & His Comets. Numbers two and three on the decade end chart were the long running no.1s Diana and Mary’s Boy Child. No.4 for the decade was the final number one single Emile Ford & The Checkmates’ What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For, no.5 was Elvis Presley’s – Jailhouse Rock and no.6 was the penultimate chart-topper, What Do You Want by Adam Faith. Cliff Richard & The Drifters’ Living Doll was the seventh best seller of the decade and Elvis had his second entry in the year end top ten with All Shook Up. The best-selling single that hadn’t hit no.1 was Pat Boone’s Love Letters In The Sand and rounding off the top ten was the posthumous no.1 It Doesn’t Matter Anymore by Buddy Holly.

With the UK album charts beginning in July 1956, there is only three and a half years of data to look at the decade of the 1950s. During this period there were seventy-one albums that reached the chart which was a top ten only and seventeen that hit no.1 ten of which were artist albums, three by Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, Sinatra with Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, This Is Sinatra and A Swingin’ Affair, spending fourteen weeks at the top across the three titles and Presley with Rock n Roll, Loving You and King Creole, spending eleven weeks at the top. Tommy Steele had two chart topping albums, The Tommy Steele Story and The Duke Wore Jeans and the only other artists to hit no.1 for just one week was Bill Haley & His Comets with Rock n Roll Stage Show and Nat King Cole with Love Is The Thing. The Broadway Cast recording of My Fair Lady went to no.1 and remained at the top for nineteen weeks and the other six chart-topping albums were all film soundtracks, Carousel with six weeks, Oklahoma with three, The King And I with forty-eight weeks at the top, High Society with one and Pal Joel with eleven. The other soundtrack was of course the fourth chart topper with music by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, South Pacific which had sixty weeks of its total of one hundred and fifteen at no.1 in the 1950s from November 1958, through until the very end of the decade.

There were a total of ten film soundtracks that hit the charts during the decade, the six number ones, plus The Eddy Duchin Story, The Pajama Game, Gigi and Porgy And Bess. The artists mentioned earlier, Frank Sinatra had twelve chart albums in the 1950s, three no.1s and three no.2s and Elvis Presley had nine hit albums, three no.1s and 2 no.2s. With three hit albums each were Bill Haley & His Comets, Perry Como and Russ Conway. Two albums each hit the top ten by Lonnie Donegan, Duane Eddy, Johnny Mathis, Cliff Richard and Mel Torme. Buddy Holly hit with The Buddy Holly Story and the Crickets with The Chirping Crickets and there were hit comedy albums by The Goons, Tom Lehrer, Paddy Roberts and Peter Sellers, jazz by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald and easy listening orchestral albums by the 101 Strings and Mantovani.

Some statistics regarding the successful artists of the 1950s USA

Artists with most no.1 singles 1950s
Elvis Presley 12
Perry Como 8
Pat Boone 5
Rosemary Clooney, Eddie Fisher, Patti Page, Platters 4
Ames Brothers, Tony Bennett, Everly Brothers 3
Andrews Sisters, Paul Anka, Frankie Avalon, Les Baxter, Teresa Brewer, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Percy Faith, Fleetwoods, Fontane Sisters, Four Aces, Georgia Gibbs, Guy Mitchell, Les Paul & Mary Ford, McGuire Sisters, Perez Prado, Jo Stafford, Kay Starr 2

Artists with the most weeks at no.1 1950s singles
Elvis Presley 68
Patti Page 35
Perry Como 30
Tony Bennett 24
Pat Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Les Paul & Mary Ford 20
Eddie Fisher, Jo Stafford 19
Kay Starr 16
McGuire Sisters 14
Nat King Cole, Gordon Jenkins, Weavers 13
Guy Mitchell 12
Ames Brothers, Teresa Brewer, Percy Faith, Four Lads, Anton Karas, Guy Lombardo, Perez Prado, Johnnie Ray 11
Eileen Barton, Everly Brothers, Platters 10
Crew Cuts, Bobby Darin, Georgia Gibbs, Kitty Kallen 9
Les Baxter, Red Foley, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Gogi Grant, Bill Haley 8
Andrews Sisters, Chordettes, Danny & Juniors, Four Aces 7
Frankie Avalon, Tommy Edwards, Tab Hunter, Joni James, Dean Martin, Mitch Miller, Sheb Wooley 6

Support orchestras and featured vocalists most no.1 singles 1950s
Hugo Winterhalter 7
Jordanaires 6
Mitchell Ayres, Billy Vaughn 5
Percy Faith 4
Archie Bleyer, Ray Charles Singers, Jack Pleis, Jack Rael, Paul Weston 3
Buddy Cole, Ray Conniff, Don Costa, Peter De Angelis, Stan Freeman, Gordon Jenkins, Glenn Osser, Hugo Peretti, Roy Ross 2

Composers with most no.1 singles 1950s
Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 5
Sammy Fain 4
Ross Bagdasarian, Otis Blackwell, Boudleaux Bryant, Pee Wee King, Bernie Lowe, Kal Mann, Bob Merrill, Redd Stewart, Paul Francis Webster 3
Richard Adler, Paul Anka, Sammy Cahn, Ric Cartey, Ray Evans, Al Hoffman, Carole Joyner, Anton Karas, Jimmy Kennedy, Jay Livingston, Geoffrey Parsons, Elvis Presley, Chilton Price, Buck Ram, Jerry Ross, John Turner 2

Singles with the longest runs at no.1 1950s
Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra & Weavers – Goodnight Irene 13
Patti Page – The Tennessee Waltz 13
Jo Stafford – You Belong To Me 12
Anton Karas – The Third Man Theme 11
Elvis Presley -Don’t Be Cruel/Hound Dog – 11
Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians – The Third Man Theme 11
Johnnie Ray & Four Lads – Cry 11
Les Paul & Mary Ford -Vaya Con Dios 11
Eileen Barton – If I Knew You Were Comin’ Id’ve Baked A Cake 10
Guy Mitchell – Singing The Blues 10
Kay Starr – Wheel Of Fortune 10
McGuire Sisters – Sincerely 10
Patti Page – I Went To Your Wedding 10
Percy Faith & His Orchestra – The Song From Moulin Rouge 10
Perez Prez Prado & His Orchestra – Cherry Pink And Appleblossom White 10
Tony Bennett – Because Of You 10
Bobby Darin – Mack The Knife 9
Crew Cuts – Sh Boom 9
Elvis Presley – All Shook Up 9
Kitty Kallen – Little Things Mean A Lot 9
Les Paul & Mary Ford – How High The Moon 9
Vera Lynn – Auf Wiedersehen Sweetheart 9
Ames Brothers -You You You 8
Bill Haley & His Comets – We’re Gonna Rock Around The Clock 8
Eddie Fisher – Oh My Papa 8
Elvis Presley Don’t Be Cruel 8
Elvis Presley- Heartbreak Hotel 8
Gogi Grant – The Wayward Wind – 8
Nat King Cole – Mona Lisa 8
Patti Page – The Doggie In The Window 8
Perry Como – Wanted 8
Perry Como – If 8
Red Foley – Chattanoogie Shoe Shine Boy 8
Rosemary Clooney – Come On A My House 8
Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons 8
Tony Bennett – Rags To Riches 8

Artist with most no.2 singles 1950s
Elvis Presley 4
Four Lads, Patti Page, Les Paul & Mary Ford 3
Ray Anthony, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Everly Brothers, Gaylords, Joni James, Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchell, Ricky Nelson, Johnnie Ray, Frank Sinatra, Weavers 2

Support orchestras and featured vocalists most no.2 singles 1950s
Mitch Miller, Nelson Riddle 4
Norman Luboff 3
Archie Bleyer, Ray Charles Singers, Ray Conniff, Frank DeVol, Ray Ellis, Jordanaires, Glenn Osser, Jack Rael, Vic Schoen, Paul Weston 2

Composers with most no.2 singles 1950s
Jerry Leiber, Al Stillman, Mike Stoller 3
Robert Allen, Bennie Benjamin, Irving Berlin, Sammy Cahn, Al Hoffman, George Vaughn Horton, Carl Jularbo, Harry Warren, George David Weiss 2

Most top ten hits singles 1950s
Perry Como 25
Eddie Fisher 22
Patti Page 21
Les Paul 18
Elvis Presley 17
Pat Boone 16
Frank Sinatra, Kay Starr, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Nat King Cole 13
Frankie Laine, Jo Stafford 12
Ricky Nelson 11
Ames Brothers, Four Aces,,Guy Mitchell, Hilltoppers, Johnnie Ray, Ray Anthony, Tony Martin 9
Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Fats Domino, Teresa Brewer, Everly Brothers, Four Lads, Frankie Avalon, Hugo Winterhalters Orchestra, Joni James, Les Baxter, Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone 7
Coasters, Don Cornell, Gale Storm, Georgia Gibbs, Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians, Platters 6
Chuck Berry, Connie Francis, Dinah Shore, Fontane Sisters, Gordon Jenkins, McGuire Sisters, Paul Anka, Vaughn Monroe 5

Artists with most no.1 albums 1950s
Frank Sinatra 6
Mario Lanza, Johnny Mathis,5
Doris Day, Jackie Gleason, Elvis Presley 4
Kingston Trio 3
Harry Belafonte, Eddie Fisher, Arthur Godfrey, Mantovani, Mitch Miller 2
Artists with the most weeks at no.1 1950s albums
Frank Sinatra 61
Mario Lanza 59
Doris Day 37
Harry Belafonte 36
Jackie Gleason, Elvis Presley 29
Jane Froman 25
Kingston Trio 19
Danny Kaye 17
Johnny Mathis 16
Eddie Fisher 15
Harry James 12
Glenn Miller, Mitch Miller 11
Henry Mancini 10
Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman 8
Van Cliburn 7
Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr, Yma Sumac 6

Albums most weeks at no.1
Mario Lanza – Sings The Hit Songs From The Student Prince And Other Great Musical Comedies 36
Cast – South Pacific 34
Soundtrack – South Pacific 31
Harry Belafonte – Calypso 30
Jane Froman – With A Song In My Heart 25
Jackie Gleason – Music For Lovers Only 22
Soundtrack – Show Boat 19
Frank Sinatra – A Swingin Affair 19
Doris Day – Love Me Or Leave Me 18
Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me 18
Danny Kaye – Hans Christian Andersen 17
Soundtrack – An American In Paris 16
Glenn Miller – Glenn Miller 16
Kingston Trio – The Kingston Trio At large 15
Eddie Fisher – I’m In The Mood For Love 14
Doris Day & Harry James – Young Man With A Horn 12
Cast – My Fair Lady 15
Cast – The Music Man 12
Soundtrack – High Society 12
Soundtrack – Three Little Words 11
Glenn Miller – Glenn Miller Plays Selections From The Film The Glenn Miller Story 11
Mario Lanza – Mario Lanza In Selections From The MGM Motion Picture The Great Caruso 10
Soundtrack – The Glenn Miller Story 10
Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley 10
Soundtrack – Around The World In 80 Days 10
Elvis Presley – Loving You 10
Henry Mancini – The Music From Peter Gunn 10
Soundtrack – Annie Get Your Gun 8
Benny Goodman – 1937-8 Jazz Concert No.2 8
Soundtrack – Oklahoma 8
Nat King Cole – Love Is The Thing 8
Mitch Miller -Sing Along With Mitch 8
Bing Crosby – Merry Christmas 7
Van Cliburn – Tchaikovsky Concerto No.1 7
Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin Lovers 7
Frank Sinatra – The Voice Of Frank Sinatra 7
Frank Sinatra – Sings For Only The Lonely 7
Mario Lanza – The Toast Of New Orleans 6
Yma Sumac – Voice Of The Xtabay 6
Sammy Davis Jr – Starring Sammy Davis Jr 6
Harry Belafonte – Belafonte 6
Soundtrack – Gigi 6

Artists most no.2s albums 1950s
Frank Sinatra 6
Lester Lanin 3
Doris Day, Percy Faith, Les Paul & Mary Ford, Jackie Gleason Johnny Mathis 2

Most top ten albums 1950s
Frank Sinatra 14
Jackie Gleason 11
Johnny Mathis 9
Mantovani, Mario Lanza 8
Doris Day, Elvis Presley 7
Eddie Fisher, Glenn Miller, Harry Belafonte, 5
Billy May, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Kingston Trio, Lawrence Welk, Paul & Mary Ford, Mitch Miller, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Tennessee Ernie Ford 4
Arthur Godfrey, Benny Goodman, Bing Crosby, Four Freshmen, General Douglas MacArthur, Michel Legrand, Pat Boone, Percy Faith, Ray Anthony, Stan Kenton 3

Artists no.1s EPs 1950s
Elvis Presley 5
Tennessee Ernie Ford Ricky Nelson 4
Johnny Mathis 2
Artists no.1s EP weeks at no.1
Elvis Presley 67
Mario Lanza 42
Ricky Nelson 22
Doris Day 19
Glenn Miller 15
Tennessee Ernie Ford 12
Johnny Mathis 10
Henry Mancini 9
Pat & Shirley Boone Jackie Gleason 8

EPs most weeks at no.1
Mario Lanza – Sings The Hit Songs From The Student Prince 42
Elvis Presley – King Creole Vol 1 30
Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock 28
Doris Day – Love Me Or Leave Me 19
Glenn Miller – Glenn Miller Plays Selections From The Film The Glenn Miller Story 15
Ricky Nelson – Ricky Sings Again 11
Johnny Mathis – Heavenly 9
Henry Mancini – The Music From Peter Gunn 9
Tennessee Ernie Ford – Hymns 8
Jackie Gleason – Music For Lovers Only 8
Pat & Shirley Boone – Side By Side 8
Soundtrack – The Glenn Miller Story 8
Ricky Nelson – Songs By Ricky 7
Elvis Presley – Loving You 5

Artists no.2s EPs 1950s
Jackie Gleason 4
Elvis Presley 3
Duana Eddy 2

These statistics cover the charts published in Billboard Magazine, singles retail sales, singles most played on juke boxes, singles most played by jockeys/on the air, Top 100, Hot 100, albums 45 & 78rpm, albums 33⅓rpm, albums stereo, albums mono, albums most played by disc jockeys.

Some statistics regarding the successful artists in the 1950s UK

Artists no.1s singles 1952-1959
Frankie Laine, Guy Mitchel,l Elvis Presley 4
Johnnie Ray 3
Winifred Atwell, Eddie Calvert, Rosemary Clooney, Perry Como, Russ Conway, Bobby Darin, Doris Day, Lonnie Donegan, Eddie Fisher, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Connie Francis, Cliff Richard, Shadows, Stargazers, Kay Starr, Dickie Valentine, David Whitfield, Jimmy Young 2

Weeks at no.1 1952-1959
Frankie Laine 32
Elvis Presley 18
Doris Day 15
Guy Mitchell 14
Eddie Calvert, Perry Como 13
Connie Francis, David Whitfield 12
Johnnie Ray 11
Al Martino 9
Tennessee Ernie Ford, Cliff Richard, Shadows, Slim Whitman 11
Paul Anka,,Al Martino 9
Winifred Atwell 8
Harry Belafonte, Lonnie Donegan, Everly Brothers, Tab Hunter Stargazers, Jimmy Young 7
Russ Conway, Bobby Darin, Emile Ford, Ronnie Hilton, Dickie Valentine 6

Support 1952-1959
Johnny Douglas, Paul Weston 4
Ray Conniff, Percy Faith, Jordanaires, Wally Stott, Hugo Winterhalter 3
Buddy Cole, Frank Cordell, Leroy Holmes, Joe Lipman, Geoff Love, Norman Luboff, Mitch Miller, Norrie Paramor, Jack Pleis, Bob Sharples 2
Composers 1952-1959
Bob Merrill, Carl Sigman 4
Paul Anka, Burt Bacharach, Otis Blackwell, Boudleaux Bryant, Hal David, Melvin Endsley, Ray Evans, Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto Harbach, Jay Livingston, Louiguy, Fred Rauch, Paddy Roberts, Trevor Sandford, Ted Snyder, Gerhard Winkler 2

Singles longest running no.1s
Frankie Laine – I Believe 18
Slim Whitman – Rose Marie 11
David Whitfield – Cara Mia 10
Al Martino – Here In My Heart 9
Eddie Calvert – Oh Mein Papa 9
Doris Day – Secret Love 9
Paul Anka – Diana 9
Frankie Laine – Answer Me 8
Perry Como – Magic Moments 8
Tennessee Ernie Ford – Give Me Your Word 7
Johnnie Ray – Just Walking In The Rain 7
Tab Hunter – Young Love 7
Elvis Presley – All Shook Up 7
Harry Belafonte – Mary’s Boy Child 7
Everly Brothers – All I Have To Do Is Dream/Claudette 7
Guy Mitchell – Look At That Girl 6
Stargazers – I See The Moon 6
Ronnie Hilton – No Other Love 6
Doris Day – Whatever Will Be Will Be (Que Sera Sera) 6
Connie Francis – Who’s Sorry Now 6
Connie Francis – Carolina Moon/Stupid Cupid 6
Cliff Richard & Drifters – Living Doll 6
Emile Ford & Checkmates – What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For 6

Artists no.2s singles 1952-1959
Elvis Presley 6
Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Everly Brothers, Frankie Laine, Dean Martin Guy, Mitchell 3
Lonnie Donegan, Frank Sinatra 2

Support no.2s 1952-1959
Jordanaires, Mitch Miller 4
Billy Vaughn 3
Gus Levene, Jack Pleis, Nelson Riddle 2

Composers no.2s 1952-1959
Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller 3
Boudleaux Bryant, Dorian Burton, Charlie Chaplin, Edward Heyman, Mario Panzeri, Eugene Randolph, Paul Francis Webster, Victor Young 2

Artists most no.1 albums 1950s
Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra 3
Tommy Steele 2

Artist albums weeks at no.1 1950s
Frank Sinatra 14
Elvis Presley 11
Tommy Steele 7

Albums weeks at no.1
Soundtrack – South Pacific 60
Soundtrack – The King And I 48
Broadway Cast – My Fair Lady 19
Soundtrack – Pal Joey 11
Frank Sinatra – A Swingin’ Affair 7
Elvis Presley – King Creole 7
Soundtrack – Carousel 6
Frank Sinatra – This Is Sinatra 4
Tommy Steele – The Tommy Steele Story 4
Frank Sinatra – Songs For Swingin’ Lovers 3
Soundtrack – Oklahoma 3
Elvis Presley – Loving You 3
Tommy Steele – The Duke Wore Jeans 3

Artists albums no.2s 1950s
Frank Sinatra 3
Elvis Presley 2
Most top 10 albums
Frank Sinatra 12
Elvis Presley 9
Perry Como, Russ Conway, Bill Haley & Comets, Tommy Steele 3
Lonnie Donegan, Duane Eddy, Johnny Mathis, Cliff Richard, Mel Torme 2

These statistics cover the period between the 15th of November 1952 to the end of 1959. The charts used were published in The new Musical Express, Melody Maker, Record Mirror.

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