‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 26 August 1961

 At #4 this week is Shirley Bassey's 'I Reach For the Stars' (the B side is 'Climb Every Mountain':


Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

20 August: The Berlin crisis deepens. President Kennedy sends 1,500 troops to West Berlin to show support for the inhabitants. The soldiers are greeted there by Vice-President Lyndon Johnson.
Report in Montreal's 'The Gazette,' 21 August 1961

22 August: soldiers at the Antifaschistischer Schutzwall (the 'Anti-Fascist Protection Wall') are ordered to shoot people trying to flee East Berlin. The first such casualty comes two days later.

23 August: the USA launches its first 'space platform', Ranger 1, as the start of a Moonshot program. A rocket fails and the machine fails to reach high orbit; it falls back to Earth a week later, burning in the air. 

26 August: Burma (now Miyanmar), independent from Great Britain since 1948amends its constitution to declare Buddhism as the nation's official religion. This attempt to enforce Theravada Buddhism (the religion of c. 90% of the population) on everyone 'failed due to protests by religious minorities'. 
    The military later stages a socialist coup d'état in March 1962 and rules directly or indirectly from then on, with a new Constitution from 1974. 
    From 1988 the situation becomes more fluid, with pro-democracy movements combating State repression. 
    The military junta dissolves in 2011 but in January 2021 there is another military coup d'état, overturning the rule of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD), which won by a landslide (again) in the 2020 general election. 
    BBC news updates for Miyanmar are here: 


UK chart hits, week ending 26 August 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm

1

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank

2

You Don't Know

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

3

Well I Ask You

Eden Kane

Decca

4

Reach For The Stars / Climb Every Mountain

Shirley Bassey

Columbia

5

Halfway To Paradise

Billy Fury

Decca

6

Romeo

Petula Clark

Pye

7

A Girl Like You

Cliff Richard and The Shadows

Columbia

8

Time

Craig Douglas

Top Rank

9

Hello Mary Lou / Travellin' Man

Ricky Nelson

London

10

You Always Hurt The One You Love

Clarence 'Frogman' Henry

Pye

11

Temptation

The Everly Brothers

Warner Brothers

12

Don't You Know It

Adam Faith

Parlophone

13

Quarter To Three

The U.S. Bonds

Top Rank

14

Baby I Don't Care / Valley Of Tears

Buddy Holly

Coral

15

Pasadena

The Temperance Seven

Parlophone

16

Marcheta

Karl Denver

Decca

17

Runaway

Del Shannon

London

18

Cupid

Sam Cooke

RCA

19

Weekend

Eddie Cochran

London

20

Ain't Gonna Wash For A Week

The Brook Brothers

Pye

20

Too Many Beautiful Girls

Clinton Ford

Oriole


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