1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology
Before the Flood: 1950-1955
 
1950 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955
  January
1 The Middlesex Hospital, Mortimer Street, Soho, London: Stephen Morgan Fisher. Organist, keyboardist: The Private Eyes, The Beat Circuit, The Soul Survivors, The Love Affair
6 London: Britain recognizes the communist government of China
12 Thames Estuary: British submarine, HMS Truculent sinks after a collision with a Danish tanker killing 60.
21 London: George Orwell (47) dies
22 London: George Formby re-records his hit songs from the 30s (e.g., "When I'm Cleaning Windows")
27 Bradford, Yorkshire: Michael Jackson [Love Affair]
   
  February
2 Bloomsbury, London: Steven Richard Hackett. Guitar, vocal: Canterbury Glass, Sarabande, Quiet World, Genesis
3 London: Atomic scientist, Klaus Fuchs arrested for espionage
22 Washington, D.C.: Senate Foreign Relations Committee begins investigating Joseph McCarthy's allegations concerning communists in the State Department
23 Britain: Labour wins general elections
26 Strathaven, Lanarkshire: Music Hall star Harry Lauder dies
 
  Other February Artifacts
  Chicago: Muddy Waters records "Rollin' Stone"
   
  March
8 Moscow: Marshal Voroshilov states that the USSR has atomic bombs
12 Sigginston, Wales: Air crash kills 80 — world's worst air disaster
28 Nashville: Hank Snow records "I'm Moving On"
 
  Other March Artifacts
  Chicago: Muddy Waters records "Rollin' and Tumblin'"
   
  April
19 London: dock strikes
Sir Stafford Cripps forcasts a budget surplus
24 British ports: Government deploys troops to load/unload ships
27 London: Britain recognizes the state of Israel
   
  May
1 London: End of dock strike
7 Edgware, Middlesex: Stephen ("Steve") John Ellis. Vocals; Love Affair.
14 Leamington Spa, Warkwickshire: Arthur ("Art") Grant. Bass, vocals: The Edgar Broughton Band
20 Warwick, Warkwickshire: Stephen Alexander Broughton. Drums, vocals: The Edgar Broughton Band
26 Britain: End of petrol rationing
   
  June
6 Washington: Truman signs $3,121,450,000 Foreign Aid Authorization Bill
8 West Germany: Britain, France, and the US grant right to determine foreign policy
17 New York City: FBI agents question Julius Rosenberg about espionage for the USSR
25 Korea: North Korea invades South Korea
27 New York City: The UN votes to assist South Korea
28 Seoul, Korea: North Korean forces capture the South Korean capital
30 Washington, D.C.: US agrees to give military and economic aid to South Korea
 
  Other June Artifacts
  UK: Josh White begins concert tour
   
  July
1 Churchill warns of World War III
25 London: UK publishes civil defense pamphlet on atomic warfare
26 Korea: Britain, Australia, and New Zealand send troops for United Nations
   
  August
25 Washington: Truman deploys Army to seize control of the nation's railroads to thwart a strike
   
  September
9 Britain: Soap rationing ends
26 Seoul, South Korea: United Nations troops recapture the South Korean capital from the North Koreans
 
  Other September Artifacts
  London: George Martin meets with Oscar Preuss about becoming his assistant at Parlophone Records
   
  October
1 Korea: UN & South Korean troops cross 38th parallel
19 Pyongyang, North Korea: United Nations forces enter the North Korean capital
   
  November
1 Eniwetok, Marshall Islands: The United States secretly explodes the first hydrogen bomb
2 George Bernard Shaw dies
4 Rome: European Cnvention on Human Rights creates the European Court of Human Rights to implement the Genocide Convention. Britain signs the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights.
5 Korea: MacArthur warns that Chinese troops are prepared to the war on the side of N. Korea
24 BBC-TV, CH1: Pet's Parlour debuts featuring Petula Clark and guests.
26 Korea: China enters the Korean conflict, launching a counter-offensive against soldiers from the United Nations
27 New York City: First Beijing representatives arrive at the UN
30 Washington: Truman announces that the US reserves the right to use atomic weapons in the Korean conflict
   
  December
13 Washington-London: US-UK announce end of Marshal Plan aid to UK by 1 Jan '51
16 Washington: Proclamation of state of emergency in the US to combat Communism
 
  Other 1950 Artifacts
  Fullerton, California: Fender introduces its Esquire and Broadcaster (later renamed theTelecaster for copyright reasons) electric guitars. These are the first "Spanish" style guitars by Fender, who had already been producing electric "Hawaiian" lap steel guitars.
  Back to Index
 
1951 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955  
  January
2 London: Britain ends diplomatic relations with Nationalist China
3 Seoul, Korea: Evacuation as North Korean & Chinese troops advance
   
  February
23 Britain: Labour wins general election, retaining only a 6-seat majority
27 Washington: Congress ratifies the 22nd Amendment limiting Presidents to 2 terms
 
  Other February Artifacts
  Fullerton, California: Fender renames its Broadcaster theTelecaster for copyright reasons.
   
  March
6 London: Ivor Novello Davies (58), dramatist and composer, dies
14 South Korea: UN forces recapture Seoul
   
  April
5 New York City: Julius & Ethel Rosenberg convicted of revealing nuclear secrets
11 Washington: Truman announces dismissal of MacArthur
16 English Channel near Alderney: Submarine HMS Affray sinks after its snorkle breaks from metal fatigue
22 Beckemham, Kent: Peter Frampton
29 Cambridge: Ludwig Wittgenstein (62), Austrian-born philosopher, dies
   
  May
3 South Bank, London: The Festival of Britain opened
12 Eniwetok Atoll: The first hydrogen bomb was tested
18 New York City: The United Nations moves to its permanent home and out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, New York
25 Foreign service officials, Burgess and Maclean, disappear from their posts
   
  June
7 London: Burgess and Maclean indicted as spies
16 Portland Harbour: The submarine HMS Sidon sinks after a torpedo explosion
21 Abadan: Iran seizes British refineries
   
  July
9 London-Berlin: Formal termination of state of war between Great Britain and Germany
13 Los Angeles: Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951), Austrian composer, dies
20 Jerusalem: Abdullah (1882-1951), King of Jordan 1946-51, assassinated
 
  Other July Artifacts
  London: The Festival of Britain includes a "monster" jazz concert in the Royal Festival Hall.
   
  August
16 Britain: Steel rationing re-imposed
   
  September
4 SanFrancisco: President Truman appears in first coast-to-coast American broadcast at the Japanese peace treaty conference
8 London-Tokyo: Britain terminates state of war with Japan
48 countries recognize Japan's sovereignty
27 London: George VI undergoes lung surgery
 
  Other September Artifacts
  London: "Big" Bill Broonzy performs a series of concerts
   
  October
8 Montreal: Princess Elizabeth arrives for Canadian tour
16 Suez: British troops occupy strategic points along the canal
25 Britain: Conservatives win national elections
27 London: Winston Churchill returns as Prime Minister
 
  Other October Artifacts
  London: Watson and Crick begin their modelling of the structure of DNA at Cavendish Laboratory
   
  November
7 Britain: Bank lending rate raised from 2% to 2.5%
10 US: Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins
27 New York-Pyonyang: UN and North Korea announce truce
28 Leicester: Lynton Guest [Love Affair]
 
  Other November Artifacts
  Fullerton, California: Fender introduces its Precision Bass, the first solid-body electric bass
   
  December
3 Suez Zone: British and Egyptian forces clash
 
  Other December Artifacts
  London: Trade in foreign exchange renewed (after 12 years)
  Cairo: Egypt declares a state of emergency. The Egyptian government recalls their ambassador from the UK.
 
  Other 1951 Artifacts
  Britain: Introduction of the General Certificate of Education
London: Alfred Hitchcock: Strangers on a Train [Swank Motion Pictures]
  Chicago: Muddy Waters records "Honey Bee"
  Back to Index
 
1952 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955  
  January
8 Washington-London: US and Britain agree on mutual consent before launching a nuclear attack on the USSR
21 Bradford, Yorkshire: Michael "Mick"Jackson. Guitar: Love Affair
26 Southgate, North London: Maurice Bacon. Drums: Love Affair
   
  February
6 Sandringham, Norfolk: George VI dies
8 London: State funeral for George VI
Kenya: Elizabeth becomes queen while on international tour
21 Britain: End of identity cards
26 London: Churchill announces that Britain has developed its own atomic bomb
   
  March
25 US, Britain, and France reject soviet proposal for unified Germany
   
  April
22 US, Nevada: first nuclear explosion shown on live network television
   
  May
2 London: British Overseas Air Service begins first commercial jet service
21 London: Conservatives win motion to de-nationalize the trucking industry
   
  July
23 Cairo: The Free Officers Movement overthrows King Farouk's monarchy and his British advisors, installing Muhammad Naguib first as Prime Minister and then, as President. The new government promises to respect British citizens and their possessions.
   
  August
13 Los Angeles: Willie Mae Thornton records Lieber and Stoller's "Hound Dog"
   
  September
2 Britain signs treaty controlling the shipment of strategic materials
6 Montreal: Canadian television broadcasting begins
8 New York City: Ernest Hemingway publishes The Old Man and the Sea
   
  October
  London: EMI issues records in both 45 and 33 1/3 rpm formats
   
  November
1 Enewetak, Marshall Islands: The US secretly detonates hydrogen bomb
4 London: Elizabeth II opens parliament
Britain secretly detonates its first atomic bomb
5 US: Dwight D. Eisenhower elected President of the United States
14 New Musical Express: First British charts. Based on sales at 20 outlets.
  Al Martino: "Here in My Heart" [UK#1 for 9 weeks]
Vera Lynn: "Forget Me Not" [Decca F 9985, chrts, UK#5]
Max Bygraves: "Cowpuncher's Cantata" [HMV B 10250, chrts, UK#6]
Ray Martin: "Blue Tango" [Columbia DB 3051, chrts, UK#8]
Vera Lynn: "Homing Waltz" [Decca F 9959, chrts, UK#9]
Vera Lynn: "Auf Wiedersehen" [Decca F 9927, chrts, UK#10]
   
  December
5-8 London: Dense fog/smog stops traffic and kills about 4,000 people
12 Winifred Atwell: "Britannia Rag" [Decca F 10015, chrts, UK#11]
19 Mantovani: "White Christmas" [Decca F 10017, chrts, UK#6]
Tony Brent: "Walkin' to Missouri" [Columbia DB 3147, chrts, UK#9]
29 New Orleans, USA: Ken Colyer arrested for overstaying his visitor's visa. He had been writing to Melody Maker and reporting for the BBC.
 
  Other 1952 Artifacts
  Lonnie Johnson visits Britain for performances
  Kalamazoo: Gibson introduces its Les Paul electric guitar
Chicago: Muddy Waters records "She Moves Me" (US R&B #10)
  Back to Index
 
1953 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955  
  January
1 Canton, Ohio: Hank Williams dies of a drug and alcohol overdose en route to a concert
2 Tony Brent: "Make It Soon" [Columbia DB 3187, chrts, UK#9]
7 Tony Brent: "Walkin' to Missouri" [Columbia DB 3147, rechrts, UK#7]
  Washington: Harry Truman confirms the development of a hydrogen bomb
9 Winifred Atwell: "Britannia Rag" [Decca F 10015, rechrts, UK#5]
Jimmy Young: "Faith Can Move Mountains" [Decca F 9986, chrts, UK#11]
16 Jo Stafford: "You Belong to Me" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Ted Heath: "Vanessa" [Decca F 9983, chrts, UK#11]
20 Washington: Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes President of the USA
23 Kay Starr: "Comes A-Long A-Love" [UK#1 for 1 week]
30 Eddie Fisher: "Outside of Heaven" [UK#1 for 1 week]
31 Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex Counties: Widespread flooding from a storm kills 307.
   
  February
1 Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK: Continued widespread flooding from a storm kills 1,835 in Holland and another 28 in Belgium in addition to British losses.
4 Britain: End of sweets rationing
6 Perry Como: "Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes" [UK#1 for 5 weeks]
12 Britain and Egypt sign agreement providing independence of Sudan in 1956
13 The Stargazers: "Broken Wings" [Decca F 10047, chrts, UK#1]
20 Dickie Valentine: "Broken Wings" [Decca F 9954, chrts, UK#12]
28 London: Watson and Crick piece together the structure of DNA
   
  March
5 Moscow: Marshal Stalin dies
6 Moscow: Malenkov named Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR
13 Guy Mitchell : "She Wears Red Feathers" [UK#1 for 4 weeks]
Lita Roza: "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window" [Deca F 10070, chrts, UK#1]
Dickie Valentine: "All the Time and Everywhere" [Decca F 10038, chrts, UK#9]
24 London: Queen Mary dies
31 New York City: Dag Hammarskjöld endorsed as Secretary General of the UN by the Security Council
   
  April
3 Frank Chacksfield's Tunesmiths, featuring Jack Jordan, clavioline: "Little Red Monkey" [Parlophone R 3658, chrts, UK#10]
7 New York City: UN General Assembly elects Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden, secretary-general
8 London: A Central Line Underground train collides with another train near the Stratford Station, killing 11.
10 The Stargazers: "Broken Wings" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Johnston Brothers: "Oh Happy Day" [Decca F 10171, chrts, UK#4]
17 Lita Roza : "(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window" [UK#1 for 1 week]
24 Frankie Lane: "I Believe" [UK#1 for 9 weeks]
  London: Winston Churchill knighted
27 London: House of Commons passes bill denationalizing the trucking industry
   
  May
1 Billy Cotton and His Band, with Doreen Stephens: "In a Golden Coach" [Decca F 10058, chrts, UK#3]
5 UK: End of iron and steel rationing
8 UK: Labour gains seats in municipal elections
15 Muriel Smith: "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" [Philips PB 122, chrts, UK#3]
Winifred Atwell: "Coronation Rag" [Decca F 10110, chrts, UK#5]
22 Frank Chacksfield: "Terry's Theme from 'Limelight'" [Decca F 10106, chrts, UK#2]
25 Frenchman Flat, Nevada: US successfully tests first atomic artillery shell
29 Mantovani: "Moulin Rouge" [Decca F 10094, chrts, UK#1]
  Mount Everest, Nepal: Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tensing Norkay of Nepal reach the summit
   
  June
2 London: Coronation of Elizabeth (first televised coronation)
5 Dickie Valentine: "In a Golden Coach" [Decca F 10038, chrts, UK#7]
Dorothy Squires: "I'm Walking behind You" [Polygon P 1068, chrts, UK#12]
15 Vera Lynn: "Windsor Waltz" [Decca F 10092, chrts, UK#11]
17 East Berlin: Demonstrations against soviet-backed government
19 New York: The execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
26 Eddie Fisher (featuring Sally Sweetland): "I'm Walking behind You" [UK#1 for 1 week]
28 New York City: Clyde McPhatter and the Drifters record "Money Honey"
 
  Other June Artifiacts
  Memphis: Truck driver Elvis Presley records a demo at the Memphis Recording Service
   
  July
2 Heyford: USAF bomber crashes
3 Frankie Laine: "I Believe" [UK#1 for 6 weeks]
Ted Heath: "Hot Toddy" [Decca F 10093, chrts, UK#6]
18 BBC-TV: The Quartermass Experiment debuts, a science fiction series about British scientists investigating alien contact
26 Cuba: Fidel Castro attempts a revolution
27 Korea: armistice agreement
   
  August
8 The United States and South Korea sign a mutual security pact
12 Kazakhstan: The Soviet Union secretly tests its first hydrogen bomb
14 Mantovani: "Moulin Rouge" [UK#1 for 1 week]
21 Frankie Laine: "I Believe" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
Jimmy Young: "Eternally" [Decca F 10130, chrts, UK#8]
25 Winifred Atwell: "Flirtation Waltz" [Decca F 10161, chrts, UK#10]
   
  September
11 Guy Mitchell: "Look at that Girl" [UK#1 for 6 weeks]
12 UK: End of sugar rationing
25 Winifred Atwell: "Flirtation Waltz" [Decca F 10161, chrts, UK#10]
 
  Other September Artifacts
  Moscow: Kruschev appointed 1st Secretary of the Central Committee
   
  October
2 David Whitfield: "Bridge of Sighs" [Decca F 10129, chrts, UK#9]
16 David Whitfield: "Answer Me" [Decca F 10192, chrts, UK#1]
23 Frankie Lane: "Hey Joe" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
Mantovani: "Swedish Rhaspsody" [Decca F 10168, chrts, UK#2]
Ted Heath: "Dragnet" [Decca F 10176, chrts, UK#9]
   
  November
6 David Whitfield: "Answer Me" [UK#1 for 1 week]
9 London: Britain condemns Israel for Palestinian massacre
New York City: Author-poet Dylan Thomas (39) dies
13 Frankie Lane: "Answer Me" [UK#1 for 1 week]
20 Lee Lawrence: "Crying in the Chapel" [Decca F 10177, chrts, UK#7]
21 London: Weiner, Oakley and Clark release their article, "The Solution of the Piltdown Problem," officially announcing the Piltdown Man forgery. The journal, Nature publishes the article the next week.
23 Elizabeth and Phillip begin world tour
27 The Beverley Sisters: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" [Philips PB 188, chrts, UK#6]
   
  December
4 Winifred Atwell: "Let's Have a Party" [Philips PB 213, chrts, UK#2]
Ray Martin: "Swedish Rhapsody" [Columbia DB 3346, chrts, UK#4]
5 London-Tehran: Britain and Iran resume diplomatic relations
10 Stockholm: Churchill wins Nobel Prize for Literature
11 Frankie Lane: "Answer Me" [shared UK#1 for 1 week]
David Whitfield: "Answer Me" [shared UK#1 for 1 week]

David Whitfield: "Rags to Riches" [Decca F 10207, chrts, UK#3]
Joan Regan: "Ricochet" [Decca F 10193, chrts, UK#8]
18 Frankie Lane: "Answer Me" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Eddie Calvert: "Oh Mein Papa" [Columbia DB 3337, chrts, UK#1]
Billy Cotton and His Band, with the Mills Girls and the Bandits: "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" [Decca F 10206, chrts, UK#11]
 
  Other 1953 Artifacts
  RCA choses not to renew its distribution agreement with EMI. Decca and RCA reach a separate agreement.
  Aldous Huxley experiments with mescaline
Ian Fleming publishes his first Bond book, Casino Royale
  The first commercial 2 and 3-track stereo tape machines
  Back to Index
 
1954 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955  
  January
4 Memphis: Elvis Presley meets Sam Phillips
8 Eddie Calvert: "Oh Mein Papa" [UK#1 for 9 weeks]
15 Ken MacKintosh: "The Creep" [HMV BD 1295, chrts, UK#10]
21 Connecticut, US: The US launches the 1st nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus
23 Billie Holiday begins her first European tour
29 Frankie Vaughan: "Istanbul" [HMV B 10599, chrts, UK#11]
   
  February
12 Frank Chacksfield: "Ebb Tide" [Decca F 10122, chrts, UK#9]
Ted Heath: "Skin Deep" [Decca F 10246, chrts, UK#9]
15 Joe Turner records "Shake, Rattle, and Roll"
19 The Stargazers: "I See the Moon" [Decca F 10213, chrts, UK#1]
Norman Wisdom: "Don't Laugh at Me" [Columbia DB 3133, chrts, UK#3]
David Whitfield: "The Book" [Decca F 10242, chrts, UK#5]
25 Egypt: Nasser assumes full powers of Prime Minister
   
  March
1 Washington: US Atomic Energy Commission announces explosion of a hydrogen bomb
12 The Stargazers: "I See the Moon" [UK#1 for 1 week]
19 Alma Cogan: "Bell Bottom Blues" [HMV B 10653, chrts, UK#4]
25 Indiana: RCA begins manufacturing color television sets
   
  April
9 The Stargazers: "Happy Wanderer" [Decca F 10259, chrts, UK#12]
12 New York: Bill Haley and His Comets record "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock"
16 Doris Day: "Secret Love" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Ruby Wright: "Bimbo" [Parlophone R 3816, chrts, UK#7]
23 The Stargazers: "I See the Moon" [UK#1 for 1 week]
30 Johnnie Ray: "Such a Night" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Billy Cotton and His Band, with the Bandits: "Friends and Neighbours" [Decca F 10299, chrts, UK#3]
   
  May
6 Oxford: Roger Bannister breaks the four-minute mile with 3:59.4
7 Doris Day: "Secret Love" [UK#1 for 8 weeks]
14 Joan Regan: "Someone Else's Roses" [Decca F 10257, chrts, UK#5]
Max Bygraves: "Heart of My Heart" [HMV B 10654, chrts, UK#7]
17 Washington: US Supreme Court rules in "Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka" that racially segregated public schools are inherently unequal
 
  Other May Events
  Kingsway Hall Studios, London: Decca makes its first stereo recordings
   
  June
7 New York: Bill Haley and His Comets record "Shake, Rattle, and Roll"
9 Washington, D.C.: Joseph Welch, special counsel for the US Army, asks Senator Joseph McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?" after McCarthy accused a young assistant of Welch of being a communist. The audience applauded. This event marks the beginning of McCarthy's decline.
11 Petula Clark: "The Little Shoemaker" [Polygon P 1117, chrts, UK#7]
18 David Whitfield and chorus with the Mantovani Orchestra: "Cara Mia" [Decca F 10327, chrts, UK#1]
   
  July
2 David Whitfield and chorus with the Mantovani Orchestra: "Cara Mia" [UK#1 for 10 weeks]
5 Memphis: Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, and Bill Black record three songs for Sam Phillips
7 Memphis: Elvis Presley makes his radio debut on station WHBQ with "That's All Right (Mama)"
13 Decca, West Hampstead, London: Lonnie Donegan records "Rock Island Line" and "John Henry" during a break in a recording session with Chris Barber's band. Barber plays bass and Beryl Bryden plays washboard. Decca will release the recording as part of Barber's New Orleans Joys LP. They will later release "Rock Island Line" as a single in December 1955.
19 London: J. R. R. Tolkein publishes the first volume of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.
23 Winifred Atwell: "Rachmaninoff's 18th Variation on a Theme by Paganini (The Story of Three Loves)" [Philips PB 234, chrts, UK#9]
30 London: Royal assent confirms the Television Act 1954 passed by Parliament permitting the creation of an independent commercial television network and the Independent Television Authority to regulate broadcasting.
   
  August
11 Vietnam: The French government and the Communist Vietminh begin a formal peace Indochina, ending more than seven years of fighting and recognizing North Vietnam
24 London: Parliament appoints a committee to examine the laws governing homosexuality and prostitution
  The "Communist Control Act" goes into effect, banning the Communist Party in the United States
27 Alma Cogan: "Little Things Mean a Lot" [HMV B 10717, chrts, UK#11]
 
  Other August Artifacts
  Elvis Presley, "Blue Moon of Kentucky" / "That's All Right Mama" [US release; recorded 5 July; UK release in 11/56]
   
  September
4 Sea of Japan: USSR shoots down US surveillance aircraft
10 Kitty Kallen: "Little Things Mean a Lot" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Max Bygraves: "Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea" [HMV B 10734, chrts, UK#7]
17 Frank Sinatra: "Three Coins in the Fountain" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
24 Ronnie Harris: "Story of Tina" [Columbia DB 3499, chrts, UK#12]
   
  October
1 Joan Regan: "If I Give My Heart to You" [Decca F 10373, chrts, UK#3]
8 Don Cornell: "Hold My Hand" [UK#1 for 4 weeks]
15 Vera Lynn: "My Son, My Son" [Decca F 10372, chrts, UK#1]
Billie Anthony: "This Ole House" [Columbia DB 3519, chrts, UK#4]
18 Industrial Development Engineering Associates, Indianapolis, Indiana: first commercial transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, announced. Available for sale in November for $49.95.
30 Royal Festival Hall, London: N.J.F. Traditional Jazz Concert. Lonnie Donegan performs of "I Don't Care Where They Bury My Body" and "Digging My Potatoes" with Chris Barber, Pat Halcox, Jim Bray, and Ron Bowden.
  Elvis Presley: "Good Rockin' Tonight" / "I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine" [US release]
   
  November
5 Vera Lynn: "My Son, My Son" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
Joan Regan and the Johnston Brothers: "Wait for Me, Darling" [Decca F 10362, chrts, UK#18]
Dickie Valentine: "Endless" [Decca F 10346, chrts, UK#19]
12 David Whitfield: "Santo Natale" [Decca F 10399, chrts, UK#2]
18 Ray Charles: "I Got a Woman" [recording made]
19 Don Cornell: "Hold My Hand" [UK#1 for 1 week]
26 Rosemary Clooney : "Hold My Hand" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Winifred Atwell: "Let's Have Another Party" [Philips PB 268, chrts, UK#1]
Ronnie Hilton: "I Still Believe" [HMV B 10785, chrts, UK#3]
   
  December
2 Washington: US Senate votes to condemn Joseph McCarthy
3 Winifred Atwell: "Let's Have Another Party" [UK#1 for 5 weeks]
Ruby Murray: "Heartbeat" [Columbia DB 3542, chrts, UK#3]
Alma Cogan: "I Can't Tell a Waltz from a Tango" [HMV B 10786, chrts, UK#6]
10 Big Ben Banjo Band: "Let's Get Together No. 1" [Columbia DB 3549, chrts, UK#6]
Ronnie Hilton: "Veni Vidi Vici" [HMV B 10785, chrts, UK#12]
17 Dickie Valentine with the Stargazers: "Finger of Suspicion" [Decca F 10394, chrts, UK#1]
Bill Haley and His Comets: "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" [Brunswick 05338, charts, UK #4]
Dickie Valentine: "Mr Sandman" [Decca F 10415, chrts, UK#5]
 
  Other 1954 Artifacts
  End of rationing
Ian Fleming publishes Live and Let Die
  Brooklyn, NY: Gretsch introduces its Duo-Jet electric guitar
Fullerton, California: Fender introduces its Stratocaster electric guitar
Corinth, Mississippi: Wurlizer introduces its Model 100 electric piano
Chicago: Muddy Waters records "I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man" (US R&B #8), "I Just Wanna Make Love to You" (US R&B #4), "I'm Ready" (US R&B #5), and "Got My Mojo Working"
  Back to Index
 
1955 1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955  
  January
7 Dickie Valentine with the Stargazers: "Finger of Suspicion" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Bill Haley and His Comets: "Rock Around the Clock" [Brunswick 05317, first chart entry]
14 Rosemary Clooney: "Mambo Italiano" [UK#1 for 1 week]
19 Dickie Valentine: "Finger of Suspicion" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
  Washington: Dwight D. Eisenhower makes first televised presidential press conference
21 Suzi Miller and the Johnston Brothers: "Happy Days and Lonely Nights" [Decca F 10389, chrts, UK#14]
Max Bygraves: "Mr. Sandman" [HMV B 10801, chrts, UK#16]
  NME: EMI purchases Capitol Records
28 Ruby Murray: "Softly, Softly" [Columbia DB 3558, chrts, UK#1]
Frankie Vaughan: "Happy Days and Lonely Nights" [HMV B 10783, chrts, UK#12]
 
  Other January Artifacts
  Elvis Presley: "Milk Cow Blues Boogie" [US release]
   
  February
4 Rosemary Clooney: "Mambo Italiano" [UK#1 for 1 week]
Ruby Murray: "Happy Days and Lonely Nights" [Columbia DB 3577, chrts, UK#5]
  NME: circulation exceeds 100,000
11 Ray Burns: "Mobile" [Columbia DB 3563, chrts, UK#4]
David Whitfield with chorus and the Mantovani Orchestra: "Beyond the Stars" [Decca F 10458, UK#8]
Mantovani and his Orchestra: "Lonely Ballerina" [Decca F 10395, chrts, UK#16]
17 London: Britain announces ability to make hydrogen bombs
18 Ruby Murray: "Softly, Softly" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
Dickie Valentine: "A Blossom Fell" [Decca F 10430, chrts, UK#9]
Petula Clark: "Majorca" [Polygon P 1146, chrts, UK#12]
25 NME: Pye and Polygon announce merger
   
  March
1 London: Churchill informs the House of Commons of the USSR's hydrogen bomb
3 Washington: US confirms immediate retaliation if USSR launches a nuclear attack against Britain
4 Ruby Murray: "Let Me Go, Lover" [Columbia DB 3577, chrts, UK#1]
The Stargazers: "Somebody" [Decca F 10437, chrts UK#20]
11 Tennessee Ernie Ford: "Give Me Your Word" [UK#1 for 7 weeks]
Ronnie Hilton: "A Blossom Fell" [HMV B 10808, chrts, UK#10]
18 Ruby Murray with Anne Warren: "If Anyone Finds This, I Love You" [Columbia DB 3580, chrts, UK#4]
25 Joan Regan: "Prize of Gold" [Decca F 10432, chrts, UK#6]
   
  April
4 Glasgow: Johnny Ray opens his British tour
5 London: Churchill resigns as PM
6 London: Sir Anthony Eden becomes PM
8 Eddie Calvert: "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" [Columbia DB 3581, chrts, UK#1]
15 Bill Haley and His Comets: "Mambo Rock" [Brunswick 05405, charts, UK #17]
18 Princeton, New Jersey: Albert Einstein dies
19 London: Britain announces reductions in the basic income tax rate
22 Frankie Vaughan: "Tweedle Dee" [Philips PB 423, chrts, UK#17]
29 Perez Prado: "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
  NME: Decca acquires the Essex, Bethlehem, and Marquee labels
   
  May
5 West Germany a sovereign state
6 Jimmy Young: "Unchained Melody" [Decca F 10502, chrts, UK#1]
Joan Regan: "Open Up Your Heart" [Decca F 10474, chrts, UK#19]
11 Tony Bennett: "Stranger in Paradise" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
13 Eddie Calvert: "Stranger in Paradise" [Columbia DB 3594, chrts, UK#14]
14 Warsaw, Polland: 8 Communist bloc countries, including the Soviet Union, sign the "Warsaw Pact" ("Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance")
19 Pye-Nixa, Marble Arch, London: Lonnie Donegan records "Midnight Special," "New Burying Ground," "Worried Man Blues," and "When the Sun Goes Down" with Dick "Cisco" Bishop, Chris Barber, Pete Korrison, Jim Bray, and Bob Watson.
23 National Amalgamated Stevedores and Dockers go on strike
  Elvis Presley: "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone"/"Baby Let's Play House" [US release]
27 Eddie Calvert: "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
Alma Cogan: "Dreamboat" [HMV B 10872, chrts, UK#1]
David Whitfield: "Mama" [Decca F 10515, chrts, UK#12]
Cyril Stapleton: "Elephant Tango" [Decca F 10488, chrts, UK#19]
   
  June
3 Dickie Valentine: "I Wonder" [Decca F 10493, chrts, UK#4]
Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson: "Sing It with Joe" [Polygon P 1167, chrts, UK#14]
The Stargazers: "Crazy Otto Rag" [Decca F 10523, chrts, UK#18]
22 Kalamazoo, Michigan: Gibson and inventor Seth Lover file a patent for the PAF (humbucker) pickups.
24 Jimmy Young: "Unchained Melody" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
   
  July
1 Ruby Murray: "Evermore" [Columbia DB 3617, chrts, UK#3]
Malcolm Vahghan: "Every Day of My Life" [HMV B 10874, chrts, UK#5]
8 David Whitfield: "Ev'rywhere" [Decca F 10515, chrts, UK#3]
9 Bertrand Russell and 9 scientists urge banning the bomb
15 Alma Cogan: "Dreamboat" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
18 Anaheim, California: Disneyland opens
29 Slim Whitman: "Rose Marie" [UK#1 for 11 weeks]
Eddie Calvert: "John and Julie" [Columbia DB 3624, chrts, UK#6]
 
  Other July Artifacts
  Chess Records, Chicago: Chuck Berry records "Maybellene"
   
  August
26 Ray Burns with the Coronets: "That's How a Love Song Was Born" [Columbia DB 3640, chrts, UK#14]
Ronnie Hilton: "Stars Shine in Your Eyes" [HMV B 10901, chrts, UK#13]
28 Money, Mississippi: Emmett Till is abducted from his uncle's home after he had allegedly whistled at a white woman; authorities find his body three days later
 
  Other August Artifacts
  Elvis Presley: "Mystery Train" [US release]
   
  September
2 Joe "Mr Piano" Henderson: "Sing It Again with Joe" [Polygon P 1184, chrts, UK#18]
9 The Stargazers: "Close the Door" [Decca F 10594, chrts, UK#6]
  London: Britain announces home rule for Cyprus
14 New Orleans: Little Richard records "Tutti Frutti"
Fats Domino: "Ain't That a Shame" [US release; enters UK charts on 25 January 1957]
16 Jimmy Young: "The Man from Laramie" [Decca F 10597, chrts, UK#1]
22 London: Associated-Rediffusion begins local broadcasting
23 Cyril Stapleton Orchestra featuring Julie Dawn: "Blue Star (The Medic Theme)" [Decca F 10559, chrts, UK#2]
Alma Cogan: "Banjo's Back in Town" [HMV B 10917, chrts, UK#17]
24 London: Associated Television Network Limited (ATV) begins local broadcasting
 
  Other September Artifacts
  City of London becomes "smokeless zone"
   
  October
7 The Johnston Brothers : "Hernando's Hideaway" [Decca F 10608, chrts, UK#1]
Lita Roza: "Hey There" [Decca F 10611, chrts, UK#17]
13 San Francisco: Alan Ginsberg and other "Beat" poets read works at the Six Gallery
14 Slim Whitman: "Rose Marie" [UK#1 for 11 weeks]
Bill Haley and His Comets: "Rock around the Clock" [Brunswick 05317, re-enters charts, UK #1]
Ruby Murray: "I'll Come When You Call" [Columbia DB 3643, chrts, UK#6]
Alma Cogan: "Go on By" [HMV B 10917, chrts, UK#16]
  NME: Ban on US-UK band exchanges lifted
21 Gary Miller: "Yellow Rose of Texas" [Nixa N 15004, chrts, UK#13]
The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, Conductor W/Cdr. A.E. Sims, O.B.E.: "The Dambusters March" [HMV B 10877, charts, UK #18]
   
  November
4 Winifred Atwell: "Let's Have a Ding Dong" [Decca F 10634, chrts, UK#3]
Don Lang: "Cloudburst" [HMV POP 115, chrts, UK#16]
11 Johnston Brothers: "Hernando's Hideaway" [UK#1 for 2 weeks]
Ronnie Hilton: "Yellow Rose of Texas" [HMV B 10924, chrts, UK#15]
The Stargazers: "Twenty Tiny Fingers" [Decca F 10626, chrts, UK#4]
18 Max Bygraves: "Meet Me on the Corner" [HMV POP 116, chrts, UK#2]
25 Bill Haley and His Comets: "Rock around the Clock" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
Dickie Valentine: "Christmas Alphabet" [Decca F 10628, chrts, UK#1]
Petula Clark: "Suddenly There's a Valley" [Pye Nixa N 15013, chrts, UK#7]
David Whitfield with chorus and the Mantovani Orchestra: "When You Lose the One You Love" [Decca F 10627, chrts, UK#7
The Coronets: "Twenty Tiny Fingers" [Columbia DB 3671, chrts, UK#20]
 
  Other November Artifacts
  King's Road, Chelsea, London: Mary Quant and Alexander Plunket-Greene open their clothing and accessories shop, "Bazaar"
   
  December
1 Montgomery, Alabama: Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat
2 Lee Lawrence: "Suddenly, There's a Valley" [Columbia DB 3681, chrts, UK#14]
Frankie Vaughan: "Seventeen" [Philips PB 511, chrts, UK#18]
9 Harry Secombe: "On with the Motley" [Philips PB 523, chrts, UK#16]
16 Dickie Valentine: "Christmas Alphabet" [UK#1 for 3 weeks]
Dickie Valentine: "Old Pianna Rag" [Decca F 10645, chrts, UK#15]
Alma Cogan: "Twenty Tiny Fingers" [HMV POP 129, chrts, UK#17]
Anne Shelton: "Arrivederci Darling" [HMV POP 146, chrts, UK#17]
23 Alma Cogan: "Never Do a Tango with an Eskimo" [HMV POP 129, chrts, UK#6]
Jimmy Shand: "Bluebell Polka" [Parlophone F 3436, chrts, UK#20]
Jimmy Young: "Someone on Your Mind" [Deca F 10640, chrts, UK#13]
30 The Johnston Brothers: "Join in and Sing Again" [Decca F 10636, chrts, UK#9]
Big Ben Banjo Band: "Let's Get Together Again" [Columbia DB 3676, chrts, UK#18]
 
  Other December Artifacts
  Decca releases Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" / "John Henry" and "Midnight Special" /
"New Burying Ground"

Other 1955 Artifacts
Chicago: Lauren Hammond introduces the Hammond B3 electronic organ
Switzerland: Studer introduces its A37 and B37 professional studio tape recorders
London: Ian Fleming publishes Moonraker
 
1950 | 1951 | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955
 
20s, 30s, 40s 1956
1960s British Rock and Pop Chronology
This site is a living document. I welcome corrections and suggestions. Gordon Thompson, Department of Music, Skidmore College
Copyright © 1995 17 November, 2007 ; Gordon Thompson