Thursday, August 05, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 5 August 1961

 At #2 this week is Helen Shapiro (headed for the top spot next week):

Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

30 July: Tennessee's Bristol Motor Speedway hosted its first NASCAR event. 
    'Country music star Brenda Lee, who was 17 at the time, sang the national anthem and the field of 42 cars got underway. Jack Smith of Spartanburg, S.C. entered the record books as the first NASCAR winner. Unusually, he wasn't actually in the driver's seat when the car took the chequered flag – after 290 laps the extreme heat had taken its toll and blistered Smith's feet, so he turned over driving duties to Johnny Allen, of Atlanta, who finished the race as a relief driver.' 
    [Table of results here.]

31 July: IBM markets its revolutionary new typewriter, which instead of a host of individual 'typebars' uses a rotating 'golfball' with all the characters on its surface. 'Initially selling at $395, the Selectric soon became the most popular typewriter in the world, until superseded by the word processor,' says Wikipedia.

4 August: the 'Berlin Crisis' continues. At Vienna on 4 June, the leader of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev, had issued an ultimatum to France, Britain and the USA, demanding the withdrawal of their forces from West Berlin, giving them a deadline of 31 December. 
    Now he 'ups the ante' with... 'a "secret" speech at the Conference of first secretaries of Central Committees of Communist and workers parties of socialist countries for the exchange of views on the questions related to preparation and conclusion of German peace treaty. Describing his encounter with U.S. envoy John J. McCloy, he said, "I told him to let Kennedy know...that if he starts a war then he would probably become the last president of the United States of America." '
    The following day, 1,500 people flee from East Berlin into the Western sectors and Khrushchev gives his approval to East Germany's leader Walter Ulbricht to close off East Berlin with a barbed-wire fence. 

    Also on 4 August 1961: future President of the USA Barack Obama is born in Honolulu, Hawaii.

UK chart hits, week ending 5 August 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation


Well I Ask You

Eden Kane



You Don't Know

Helen Shapiro




The Everly Brothers

Warner Brothers


Halfway To Paradise

Billy Fury




The Temperance Seven



A Girl Like You

Cliff Richard and The Shadows




Del Shannon



Hello Mary Lou / Travellin' Man

Ricky Nelson




Petula Clark



Don't You Know It

Adam Faith



You Always Hurt The One You Love

Clarence 'Frogman' Henry




Craig Douglas

Top Rank


Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank


Baby I Don't Care / Valley Of Tears

Buddy Holly




Eddie Cochran



Quarter To Three

The U.S. Bonds

Top Rank



Karl Denver



Reach For The Stars / Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey




Elvis Presley



Runnin' Scared

Roy Orbison



Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sack

I've got every song. I can remember where I was for everyone of them.

Its kind of like the play Brigadoon. It opens up the past and you can no longer get to it. They were very fine times.

Sackerson said...

Hi Jim: yes, like old photos - or smells. How is this all stored in the brain ?

Sackerson said...

JD comments:

Yet again I can remember most of the songs on the list; I must be ancient. 'Point of order' as they say in Parliament: The US Bonds is actually Gary 'U.S.' Bonds, last seen in Blues Brothers 2000 as one of the Louisiana Gator Boys. My head is full of trivia :)

Gary Bonds is wearing the red shirt and is first voice at 0;24 secs

Sackerson said...

Wiggia comments:

Your Helen Shapiro piece reminded me of the fact she lived round the corner from in Clapton E5 London when i was still living at home and went to the same primary school, later in life in the late eighties we lived in a small village called Great Easton near Stansted And again she lived round the corner, not a lot of people know that and fewer care!

While on famous people I met or didn't in the case of Shapiro, I did meet Moira Stewart the newsreader, who was and still is a friend of my sister, she lived just up the road from us in Clapton, her father I believe left her and the mother a very handsome man in a double breasted suit, Moira went to school with my sister and I saw her a couple of times at our flat, beautiful face even as a young child and a smile that would melt an iceberg, not a lot of people know that either!

Sackerson said...

JD again:

"How is this all stored in the brain?" Before I was rudely interrupted by the NHS, I was reading or trying to read, this book by Dr Ian McGilchrist - It's a heavyweight book but fascinating in some of the details; 'language began as music' for example. There is also another book I have referred to in the past - 'Irreducible Mind' which is an easier read than McGilchrist's book but is full of radical ideas

And is the information stored in the brain? The idea known as the 'holographic universe' would indicate otherwise. Try this book for example, written in 1937 - (the reviews are a bit misleading)

"There are more things in heaven and earth etc etc....."