Every No.1 in the 1960s  is listed from all the nine diferent magazine charts! 
 Sixties chart expert ALAN SMITH tells the story behind every record paper of that decade, and lists every No.1 single in each chart in chronological order.
We start with the ever popular NME and then move onto a couple of the smaller lesser known ones, Merseybeat/Music Echo. You'll note that several record topped the chart in this magazine that did not do so in the accepted Record Retailer listing. Among the ones that reached the top in Merseybeat/Music Echo were tracks by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Gene Pitney, The Fortunes, Manfred Mann and Twinkle, while The Who and The Hollies can feel doubly unlucky having both scored two No.1s on this chart that did not reach the summit on the so-called "official" chart .
Number ones on Top Pop & Music Now  (listed below) that are now not considered chart toppers were by Free, Kenny Rogers, Stevie Wonder, Deep Purple, Herman's Hermits, Robin Gibb, The Bee Gees and even The Tremeloes '(Call Me) Number One' reached No.1.
If any of these acts, or their fans, claim these are No.1s they are right aren't they? I hope you've made a mental note of these as we'll be asking questions later!!!




New Musical Express evolved from Accordion Times and Musical Express (1946-1948) Then Musical Express (1948-1952). The revamped New Musical Express as part of its new outlook began displaying Britain's first ever Record chart on 15 November 1952. (the papers publishing date was 14 November).


The NME (As it became known) was very much aimed at the average fan in the street. It started to overtake the Melody Maker by the late 1950s mostly due to it not being anywhere as hostile to the emerging "Rock N' Roll" music sweeping both the United States and the UK. The NME had been reticent to cover Rock and Roll at first, but finding that articles, particularly about the music's greatest star; Elvis Presley; sent sales soaring, it soon embraced the trend.


By the 1960s its populist style had made it the clear leader in terms of sales from its competitors. By 1964 sales were around 300.000 which was an astronomically high figure! The paper was selling more than all its other rivals combined. In 1964 owner Maurice Khinn sold his shares to the IPC publishing group making the NME a sister paper to its major competitor, Melody Maker.


The paper became the `bible` for artists and management in this era as it carried such influence in pop circles. This authority made its charts a very powerful force in the industry with virtually every artist and manager eagerly trying for a feature or interview with the paper.


By the late sixties the paper started to lose touch with music trends. The editorial staff were rather elderly for a music paper; and though age should never be a barrier to the enjoyment of music, it did leave staff at the paper rather out of their depth with the late 1960s early 1970s music scene.


The `Heavy and Progressive` mode of music, circa 1968 to 1971 caught the paper flatfooted as of how to cover it. A fine young writer, Ian Macdonald was recruited late in 1967 to help out. Up until then the papers editor, Andy Gray had been the sole album reviewer (under the pseudonym of Alan Evans). The massive surge in LP releases of what could be some very complex and convoluted works made the reviewing task impossible for one man.


The paper rarely went past 16 pages in content size, which by 1969 was seen as too brief to cover the quickly expanding music scene.


By 1970 the paper was losing readers at an alarming rate as many music fans wanted more from a music paper than artist's favourite foods, colours or girls. In 1971 the paper was overtaken by Melody Maker and the new progressive paper Sounds.


In a drastic move to save the paper, Andy Gray left, with his job as editor taken over by long term staffer Alan Smith. Smith was only a stop-gap. His main function was to recruit many radical young writers from what was termed the `Underground Press`. Names such as Charles Shaar Murray, Nick Logan,Tony Tyler, Nick Kent, Mark Farren etc were now contributing to a radically altered paper. In February 1972 Alan Smith handed over to Ian Macdonald who steered the paper to renewed interest by fans in its anarchic irreverent style.


The paper really scored with its close identification of the "Punk-New Wave" movement of 1976- 77. In this period the paper really had its hand on the `pulse` of the new direction in music.


The paper has never looked back. Today it is the `Last man standing` as all its old rivals have gone. Though sales are not what they were, the paper, now in tabloid size, is still marching on.


      New Musical Express Chart History.


The early years of the chart were compiled by advertising manager Percy Dickins along his normal duties of gathering advertisers to the paper. Mr Dickins worked from a master list of 53 willing record outlets, from these he would choose about 15 to 25 depending on time allowed each Monday to phone for a list of each stores twenty best selling records. He would rotate the stores used within the 53 never using exactly the same stores each week.


The stores though keeping precise internal sales figures would however relay the top sellers as a list which Mr Dickins would give 20 points to the top seller, 19 to second best and so on. He would then tally up the points to give the chart placings. In the late fifties as more and more stores came into the scheme the work was allocated to one of the new opinion polling agencies who phoned around 70 to 80 stores.


By the early to mid sixties the paper had reverted to using its own staff for phoning led by Fiona Foulgar; helped by up to five staffers. By the 1970s Karen Walter and Fred Dellar helped with these duties.


The maximum figure that the NME sample reached in the boom sales period of the sixties was 150. It was reduced down to exactly 100 in 1972 up to when the MRIB chart was used on 14 May 1988.


The size of displayed chart in 1952 was a top 12. It would often be larger due to the unusual method of dealing with tied positions e.g. a joint no2 instead of being followed by no 4 would be followed by no 3! This method was soon changed. On 2 October 1954 the chart expanded to a top 20. It became a top 25 for the Christmas sales of week ending 31 December 1955, resuming top 20 size the following week until 14 April 1956 when it grew to a published top 30. The NME chart stayed this size until 23 April 1983 when it became a top 50. This is how it stayed up to the MRIB listing of 14 May 1988, which too was a top 50 in size.


The NME chart became the most referred to and quoted chart of the fifties. It still carried a lot of influence well into the nineteen sixties though by then the Melody Maker chart was a serious rival. The chart was displayed in some national and many more regional newspapers. It was also used throughout the 1950's and 1960s by Radio Luxembourg.


The drawbacks of the NME chart were that for many years B-sides would be included as well as the splitting of double `A` sides, which impeded many other titles from entering. The chart also included LPs even after it ran its own LP chart from June 1962. It had a high reliance on advance order figures which caused the chart to register some records at higher first week entries than pure sales across the counter tallying. A perfect example of this is The Rolling Stones "Little Red Rooster" an instant number 1, but only entering in the 20s of two rival charts. Worst was the practise of `chart hyping`. The NME chart as it was so influential, was a major target and was subject to these machinations for a time in the sixties.


The NME chart never separated tied positions so it has the highest proportion of joint placings of the major charts including eleven joint number 1 records from 1952 to 1966.


On 14 May 1988 the NME stopped compiling its own chart and began running the Music Research Information Bureau top 50 thereby ending the longest independently compiled chart service.




 Date       Title        Artist (Brackets)   Weeks At No 1


30 January Starry Eyed      (Michael Holliday)      1

 6 February      Why      (Anthony Newly)    4

 5 March    Poor Me        (Adam Faith)       2

19 March   Running Bear    (Johnny Preston)   1

26 March  +My Old Man's A Dustman      (Lonnie Donegan)       +4

23 April     Do You Mind?       (Anthony Newley)       1

30 April     Cathy's Clown        (Everly Brothers)   9

  2 July       Good Timing   (Jimmy Jones)      3

23 July       Please Don't Tease   (Cliff Richard)     4

20 August   Apache    (Shadows)   6

 1 October   Tell Laura I Love Her      (Ricky Valance)   2

15 October  Only The Lonely       (Roy Orbison)      

 5 November     + It's Now Or Never    (Elvis Presley)   +9





   Date   Title   Artist (BracketsWeeks At No 1

 7 January   Poetry In Motion    (Johnny Tillotson)   3

28 January  Are You Lonesome Tonight?   (Elvis Presley)       5

 4 March    Walk Right Back    (Everly Brothers)     3

25 March    Wooden Heart      (Elvis Presley)       2

 8 April      Are You Sure?      (Allisons)      1

15 April       Wooden Heart      (Elvis Presley)        1

22 April       Are You Sure?      (Allisons)      1

29 April       You're Driving Me Crazy      (Temperence Seven)       1

 6 May      Blue Moon    (Marcels)      2   

20 May       Runaway       (Del Shannon)       1

27 May      +Surrender     (Elvis Presley)       +4  

24 June       Runaway       (Del Shannon)       3

15 July       Temptation    (Everly Brothers)     1

22 July       Well I Ask You      (Eden Kane)    2

 5 August   You Don't Know    (Helen Shapiro)       3

26 August   Johnny Remember Me     (John Leyton)        1

 2 September    *Johnny Remember Me     (John Leyton)       

       *You Don't Know    (Helen Shapiro)     =1

 9 September      Johnny Remember Me     (John Leyton)        2

23 September     Wild In The Country      (Elvis Presley)       1

30 September     Johnny Remember Me     (John Leyton)        1

 7 October Michael (Row The Boat)   (Highwaymen)      1

14 October      Walkinn' Back To Happiness      (Helen Shapiro)      4

11 November    His Latest Flame      (Elvis Presley)       3

 2 December   *Tower Of Strength   (Frankie Vaughn)      

     *Take Good Care Of My Baby    (Bobby Vee)        =1

 9 December     Tower Of Strength   (Frankie Vaughn)    3

30 December    Moon River     (Danny Williams)   1


The other NME No.1s for the decade will appear in December




 Merseybeat started on 13 July 1961 as a bi-weekly publication. It started to publish a top 20 chart in 1963, but was still only published on alternate weeks. It was only a regional paper at first, covering the Liverpool and North West England music scene. Editor was Bill Harry who was an enthusiastic supporter of local acts.

 Even before they became national favourites, the Beatles were extremely well known in the Merseyside region circa 1960 - 61. By early 1962 the paper was avidly reporting the hundreds of local groups who were becoming successful throughout the North of England.

 As the Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Searchers and the Mersey Beat sound swept the UK the papers sales soared. It was necessary to become a national publication to cater for demand.

Though Merseybeat became a national music paper in 1963 it was still a bi-weekly publication. It finally became a weekly in April 1964. By the autumn of 1964 Beatles manager Brian Epstein bought shares in the paper and an injection of finance. This enabled Merseybeat to start producing colour covers from December 3 1964, which gave it a very professional look

 As the `beat boom` died down in 1965 it was obvious that the `Mersey` sound was all but dead. As a national paper, Merseybeat changed title to Music Echo but still kept a Mersey Beat section devoted to Liverpool region acts on the back page.

 By 1966 sales were falling off rapidly and the paper was obviously doomed. Some form of `saviour` came when rival paper Disc incorporated Music Echo as part of an overhaul to colour. The new Disc And Music Echo was formed on 23 April 1966. That title lasted until 1972.

 Bill Harry did not join the new Disc And Music Echo, joining colour rival Record Mirror, writing a Liverpool region column through to late 1967.


       Merseybeat / Music Echo Chart History.

  On 24 April 1964 the paper and its chart became weekly. The top 20 did not publish `Last Week` figures to show where each records previous weekly placing was It was only based on about ten stores surveyed as there wasn't much money to finance a very thorough chart until Brian Epstein acquired a share in the paper in late September 1964.

 By December 1964 the paper produced the nations first top 100 chart. This appeared on 3 December 1964 and was based on approximately 40 to 50 postal returns. The paper underwent a change of title on March 6 1965 to Music Echo mainly because by then Merseybeat was becoming an out of date title.

 The top 100 chart would sometimes be reduced to a top 75 or 50 if Bank Holidays or lower sales dictated. The chart eventually reduced to regular top 50 size on 8 January 1966 due to lower sales levels of records.

 Merseybeat changed its date of publication at times during 1964 which caused its chart to be out of step with other lists, it finally stabilised on Friday publication (alongside most music papers) starting 2 January 1965. The paper ceased on 16 April 1966. It was incorporated into Disc which from 23 April 1966 became Disc And Music Echo.  Music Echo had also been the first music paper to publish a top 50 LP charts on 29 May 1965; pre-empting Record Retailers top 50 LP chart by almost a year.



Merseybeat No 1's- 24 Apr 64 to 16 April 66


   Date   Title  Artist (Brackets)    Weeks At No 1


24 April - Can't Buy Me Love - (Beatles)  1

 1 May - Don't Throw Your Love Away -  (Searchers)       2

15 May - Juliet - (Four Pennies)   1

22 May - You're My World - (Cilla Black)   5

25 June -  Here I Go Again -  (Hollies)     1

 2 July - +House Of The Rising Sun  -   (Animals)   +1

 9 July -  +Long Tall Sally E.P  -  (Beatles)   +1 

16 July -  It's All Over Now - (Rolling Stones)      1

23 July  - +A Hard Days Night -  (Beatles)    +4

20 August - Do Wah, Diddy-Diddy  -  (Manfred Mann) 3

10 September  - You Really Got Me - (Kinks) 2

24 September - Where Did Our Love Go -  (Supremes)    1

 1 October - I'm Into Something Good  -  (Hermans Hermits)     1

 8 October - Oh Pretty Woman -   (Roy Orbison)   6

19 November - All Day, And All Of The Night   - (Kinks)    1

26 November - +Little Red Rooster  -  (Rolling Stones)   +1

 3 December - +I Feel Fine - (Beatles)    +4




   Date    Title      Artist (Brackets)      Weeks at No 1

 2 January - Yeh Yeh - (Georgie Fame)    2

16 January - Terry - (Twinkle)    1

23 January - Go Now     (Moody Blues)      2

 6 February - You've Lost That Loving Feeling   (Righteous Brothers)     2

20 February - Tired Of Waiting For You    (Kinks)      1

27 February - I'll Never Find Another You       (Seekers)      2

13 March -  The Last Time    (Rolling Stones)    4

10 April   - The Minute You're Gone     (Cliff Richard)      1

17 April -  +Ticket To Ride          (Beatles)     +4

15 May   - King Of The Road      (Roger Miller)       2

29 May - Where Are You Now?     (Jackie Trent)       1

 5 June - Long Live Love    (Sandie Shaw)       1

12 June - The Price Of Love   (Everly Brothers)   2

26 June - Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere       (Who)    1

 3 July -  I'm Alive      (Hollies)       1

10 July - Looking Through The eyes Of Love   (Gene Pitney)   1

17 July - Mr Tambourine Man     (Byrds)      2

31 July - +Help         (Beatles)     +4

28 August - I Got You Babe    (Sonny and Cher)  1

 4 September  - I Can't Get No- Satisfaction   (Rolling Stones)    1

11 September  - I Got You Babe    (Sonny and Cher)   1

18 September  - *I Got You Babe     (Sonny and Cher)      

       *I Can't Get No- Satisfaction       (Rolling Stones) *=1

25 September - Tears       (Ken Dodd)    2

 9 October - If You Gotta Go, Go Now   (Manfred Mann)    2

23 October - Tears        (Ken Dodd)    2

 6 November - Here It Comes Again         (Fortunes)     1

13 November - Get Off My Cloud       (Rolling Stones)    1

20 November - My Generation     (Who)    2

 4 December  - The Carnival Is Over   (Seekers)      1

11 December - +Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out   (Beatles)     +5




   Date   Title    Artist (Brackets) Weeks at No 1

15 January - Keep On Running  (Spencer Davis Group)    3

 5 February - Michelle    (Overlanders)   2

19 February - These Boots Were Made For Walking (Nancy Sinatra)      2

 5 March  - Nineteenth Nervous Breakdown    (Rolling Stones)      1

12 March -  Sha La, La, La, Lee      (Small Faces)   1

19 March - I Can't Let Go     (Hollies)       1

26 March - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More    (Walker Brothers)   3

16 April - Somebody Help Me    (Spencer Davis Group)    1




                      TOP POPS/MUSIC NOW     


Top Pops began in May 1967 as a monthly paper, though sometimes it would appear every three weeks. The paper carried a colour cover, centre and pack pages. It had higher colour content than either Disc and Music Echo or Record Mirror.


Original editor was the noted author Colin Bostock-Smith. The paper also employed for its first ten issues writer Miranda Ward. Miranda was very much in touch with the music scene of 1967 and had a radio spot on the newly set up Radio One.


The paper went bi-weekly in publication in November 1967 and finally weekly in June 1968 on its 26 issue.


Colin Bostock-Smith resigned in mid 1968 due to editorial disagreement with the papers owner MP Woodrow Wyatt. The paper struggled for a while, but sales picked up in 1969. The change in the music scene away from pure chart music was noticed by the paper and it started to change its style to compliment this.


The paper was virtually alone in having a column by staffer "Waxie Maxie" (Max Needham) covering 1950s `Rock N' Roll` and the current `Rock Revivalist acts.


Album reviews became extensive and the outdoor festival events were avidly covered. From issue 89 the paper started calling itself Top Pops - Music Now with emphasis on the latter.


In March 1970 the paper underwent a full change to being titled Music Now and renumbering each issue from its first publication as Music Now edition number one from 21 March 1970.


The launch of the music paper Sounds which was aimed at the `Progressive` side of the music scene helped to undermine Music Now.  Sales started to fall quickly and by early 1971 the paper was in terminal decline. No known date of the final issue is known due to the scarcity of editions from this period. May 1971 has been mentioned as the final appearance of the paper. So far the latest edition held by the author is 27rth February 1971 which is where the chart ends.


Max Needham continued his "Maxie Waxie" column for a few years in Record Mirror.


The paper recruited talented record reviewer Karen De Groot


It only started to run a chart on 25 May 1968. The paper was still a bi-weekly then, but it went to a weekly issue on 22 June 1968. The chart was compiled by its first editor Colin Bostock-Smith from branches of WH Smith And Son after the paper gave advertising space to the firm. Bostock-Smith phoned to a dozen branches of Smiths for each list of best selling records. The paper became Top Pops-Music Now on 20 September 1969; it re-launched as Music Now on 21 March 1970, the size of sample expanded to between 30 to 40 stores. The paper ceased in May1971.



The answer to one hit wonders' Zager & Evans question was "no"

TOP POPS/MUSIC NOW No 1's 25 May 1968 to 27 February 1971

* Note!. The first two Bi-Weekly charts are included because it was only a very brief period.




   Date        Title                     Artist      Weeks At No 1

25 May - Young Girl -  Union Gap - 2 bi-weekly =  4

22 June - Jumping Jack Flash - Rolling Stones - 3

13 July - Baby Come Back - Equals - 2

27 Jul - Mony Mony - Tommy James and The Shondells - 2

10 Aug - Fire - Crazy World Of Arthur Brown - 1

17 Aug - Mony Mony - Tommy James and The Shondells -  2

31 Aug - I've Gotta Get a Message To You - Bee Gees - 1

  7 Sep -+Hey Jude - Beatles -+4

 5 Oct - Those Were The Days - Mary Hopkin - 5

 9 Nov - With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker - 2

23 Nov - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Hugo Montenegro - 2

 7 Dec - Lily The Pink -  Scaffold - 5




   Date           Title                 Artist     Weeks At No 1

11 Jan - Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da - Marmalade - 2

25 Jan - Albatross - Fleetwood Mac - 4

22 Feb - Half As Nice - Amen Corner - 2

  8 Mar - Where Do You Go To? - Peter Sarstedt - 2

22 Mar - I Heard It Through The Grapevine - Marvin Gaye - 4

19 Apr - The Israelites - Desmond Dekker - 2

26 Apr - Get Back - Beatles - 3

24 May - My Sentimental Friend - Hermans Hermits - 2

 7 Jun - Dizzy - Tommy Roe - 2

21 Jun - The Ballad of John and Yoko - Beatles - 2

 5 Jul - Oh Happy Day - Edwin Hawkins Singers) - 1

12 Jul - In The Ghetto - Elvis Presley - 1

19 Jul - Something In The Air - Thunderclap Newman) - 1

26 Jul - Honky Tonk Women - Rolling Stones - 2

 9 Aug - Saved By The Bell - Robin Gibb - 2

23 Aug - My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder - 1

30 Aug - In The Year 2525 - Zagar and Evans - 4

27 Sep - Don't Forget To Remember - Bee Gees - 1

 4 Oct - I'll Never Fall In Love Again - Bobbie Gentry - 2

18 Oct - J'Taime - Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg)  2

 1 Nov - Sugar Sugar - Archies - 2

15 Nov - Oh Well - Fleetwood Mac - 2

29 Nov - Call Me Number One - Tremeloes - 2

13 Dec - Ruby - Kenny Rogers and the First Edition) - 1

20 Dec - Two Little Boys - Rolf Harris - 6  




   Date                          Title           Artist - Weeks At No1   

 31 Jan - Reflections Of My Life - Marmalade - 1

 7 Feb -  Love Grows - Edison Lighthouse - 3

28 Feb - I Want You Back - Jackson Five - 3

21 Mar - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Simon and Garfunkel - 5

25 Apr - Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum - 4

23 May -  Back Home - England World Cup Squad - 1

30 May - Yellow River - Christie - 3

13 Jun - In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry - 4

11 Jul - All Right Now - Free - 4

 8 Aug - The Wonder Of You - Elvis Presley - 3

29 Aug - Tears Of A Clown - Smokey Robinson and The Miracles - 4

26 Sep -  Band Of Gold - Freda Payne - 5

31 Oct - Black Night - Deep Purple - 1

 7 Nov - Woodstock - Matthews Southern Comfort - 3

28 Nov - Indian Reservation - Don Fardon - 1

 5 Dec -  I Hear You Knocking - Dave Edmunds - 2

19 Dec - When I'm Dead And Gone - McGuinness Flint -    3



 9 Jan - Grandad - Clive Dunn - 3

30 Jan - My Sweet Lord - George Harrison)  up to 27 Feb.




The Record Mirror commenced on 17 June 1954. From 29 August 1959 it became Record and Show Mirror. Then from 18 March 1961 it became New Record Mirror. Finally from 16 November 1963 it reverted back to Record Mirror, which it stayed at until the papers demise on 6 April 1991. Record Mirror in the fifties also covered stage, film and television in its pages; pop music was only a part of this spectrum. Only in 1961 did the paper devote itself entirely to music.


The 1950's editions of the paper not only covered music, but Film, Television and Radio stars. The paper was a full entertainment guide. It was by far the best looking and set out paper of the time.


Unfortunately sales were not too good and by 1960 the paper re -launched as New Record Mirror now covering just pop music. The paper changed title again in 1962 to Record Mirror settling down in this incarnation.


Record Mirror prided itself on being the first with news on artists before they became popular. Its greatest scoop in this field was in early 1963 with a feature on the Rolling Stones. It could have been the first to do an article on the Beatles in October 1962 but did not use the interview due to the group not being sufficiently interesting to write about!


Record Mirror's Editor Peter Jones was very in touch with music trends of the sixties and often got good interviews with many pop acts. The paper was the first to feature a colour cover when on 16 November 1963 it featured the Beatles as its first colour cover picture.


The paper was only twelve pages in content and often printed text in very small type to compensate this lack of page content.


When Billboard Publications took the majority shareholding in late 1969 the paper changed to very expensive glossy paper. This did not reverse the sales dip it had suffered in the late sixties which left it just behind Disc and Music Echo in terms of the nations best selling colour music paper (NME and Melody Maker were always monochrome).


Record Mirror achieved good sales in the early 1970s by aligning closely with the `Glam - Glitter` Rock movement and Teenybopper music!

Record Mirror finally ceased in November 1989, the same week as sister paper Sounds.


       Record Mirror Chart History.



The paper became the second magazine to compile and publish a record chart on 22 January 1955. Unlike the New Musical Express who conducted a phone poll of retailers for a chart, Record Mirror arranged for its pool of retailers to send in a list of best sellers by post. The paper would finance the costs of this survey.


Record Mirror would actually print each shops list of top ten best sellers plus the name and address of each shop contributing. This now seems a very reckless thing to do, but back in 1955 the spectre of chart `hyping` was basically unknown. The paper recommended (later in the decade) that other papers producing charts do the same!   Record Mirrors first chart of 22 January 1955 was compiled from exactly 24 shops. As with NMEs method of tallying, Record Mirror would tot up points for placement to gauge a chart with 10 points for no1, 9 points for no2 and so on. By 1956 returns came from a higher number of shops (around 40) and by 1957 over 60 shops would be regularly contributing from a rotating pool of over 80.


The chart was a top 10 until 8 October 1955. It then became a top 20; which it stayed at until being replaced by the Record Retailer top 50.


By the late fifties the Record Mirror chart became a serious rival to the New Musical Express counterpart.

It proudly boasted its use by the majority of national newspapers. It also inaugurated the countries first Long Player chart, which commenced as a top five on 28 July 1956.


The early sixties saw fortunes change for the Record Mirror chart. It was by then receiving competition for publication in newspapers from Melody Maker and NME. It was also hit badly by the rise in postal costs of April 1961. Record Mirror had neither the financial backup nor staff levels to support the scope of chart they had been providing. The paper had decided to drop its printing of shops top tens and addresses in March 1961. By March the following year costs became too much and Record Mirror adopted publication of Record Retailers top 50 from 24 March 1962. Record Mirror never achieved sales levels of NME or Melody Maker; if it had, its own chart may have lasted many years longer.



Record Mirror No 1's 22 January 55 to 17 March 62


 * = Joint No 1


 + = Straight No 1


Note! A Print strike from 27 June to 8 August affected all papers except New Musical Express. However, Melody Maker, Record Mirror and Disc still compiled the charts in that period. They have recently surfaced and are now included in the listings.




    Date       Title      Artist    Weeks At No 1

22 January       Mambo Italiano   (Rosemary Clooney)    3

12 February     Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane      (Dean Martin)     1

19 February     Give Me Your Word   (Tennessee Ernie Ford)  3

12 March Softly, Softly      (Ruby Murray)      1

19 March Give Me Your Word   (Tennessee Ernie Ford)    7

 7 May    Stranger In Paradise     (Tony Bennett)       5

11 June   Unchained Melody      (Al Hibbler)   4

 9 July     Dreamboat        (Alma Cogan)       2

23 July    Rose Marie        (Slim Whitman)    10

 1 October      Cool Water        (Frankie Laine)       1

 8 October      The Man From Laramie      (Jimmy Young)       5

12 November   Rock Around The Clock      (Bill Haley and The Comets)     8





   Date    Title       Artist (Brackets)    Weeks At No 1

14 January      Sixteen Tons   (Tennessee Ernie Ford)       5

18 February    Zambezi        (Lou Busch)      2

  3 March      Memories Are Made Of This    (Dean Martin)    2

17 March      It's Almost Tomorrow      (Dream Weavers)       3

 7 April   Poor People Of Paris       (Winifred Atwell)      5

12 May   No Other Love        (Ronnie Hilton)       4

 9 June   I'll Be Home    (Pat Boone)       6

21 July   Why Do Fools Fall In Love   (Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers)   3

11 August      Whatever Will Be, Will Be      (Doris Day)       6

22 September   Lay Down Your Arms      (Anne Shelton)    4

20 October       Woman In Love       (Frankie Laine)    3

10 November   Just Walkin' In The Rain   (Johnnie Ray)    8





   Date     Title        Artist (Brackets)   Weeks At No 1

 5 January Singing The Blues   (Guy Mitchell)    2

19 January      Singing The Blues   (Tommy Steele)       1

26 January      Singing The Blues   (Guy Mitchell)    1

 2 February       Garden Of Eden       (Frankie Vaughn)       3

23 February      Young Love    (Tab Hunter)      7

13 April   Cumberland Gap      (Lonnie Donegan)      4

11 May    Butterfly        (Andy Williams)       4

 8 June     Yes Tonight Josephine      (Johnny Ray)     4

 6 July      Gambling Man       (Lonnie Donegan)      1

13 July     All Shook Up    (Elvis Presley)   7

31 August Diana      (Paul Anka)       8

26 October       That'll Be The Day   (Buddy Holly & Crickets)   4

23 November   Mary's Boy Child     (Harry Belafonte)      6





     Date       Title        Artist (Brackets)    Weeks At No 1

 4 January     Ma! He's Making Eyes At Me    (Johnny Otis Show)     2

18 January    Great Balls Of Fire    (Jerry Lee Lewis)       1

25 January    +Jailhouse Rock        (Elvis Presley)   +3

15 February    The Story Of My Life      (Michael Holliday)       2

 1 March       Magic Moments      (Perry Como)       7

19 April      Whole Lotta Woman   (Marvin Rainwater)      4

17 May Who's Sorry Now     (Connie Francis)   6

28 June All I Have To Do Is Dream (Everly Brothers)        8

23 August     When       (Kalin Twins)       5

27 September  Stupid Cupid/Carolina Moon      (Connie Francis)    5

 1 November   Bird Dog         (Everly Brothers)        3

22 November  Hoots Mon!     (Lord Rockingham's X1)      5

27 December  Its Only Make Believe       (Conway Twitty)    4




    Date       Title       Artist (Brackets)  Weeks At No 1

24 January  + I Got Stung/One Night    (Elvis Presley)       +5

28 February   Smoke Gets In Your Eyes      (Platters)       5

 4 April      Side Saddle    (Russ Conway)      2

18 April       It Doesn't Matter Any More     (Buddy Holly)       2

 2 May A Fool Such As I/ I Need Your Love Tonight    (Elvis Presley)   7

20 June      Roulette        (Russ Conway)      1

27 June      Dream Lover    (Bobby Darin)        5

1 August     Livin' Doll     (Cliff Richard)        4

29 August    Only Sixteen    (Craig Douglas)       7

17 October    Travelling Light       (Cliff Richard)       7

 5 December  What Do You Want   (Adam Faith)         5




   Date    Title      Artist (Brackets)   Weeks At No 1

 9 January     What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For? (Emile Ford)   2

16 January    Why?        (Anthony Newley)      6

 5 March       Poor Me      (Adam Faith)     1

12 March      Running Bear       (Johnny Preston)      2

26 March    +My Old Mans A Dustman     (Lonnie Donegan)    +5

30 April      Cathy's Clown     (Everly Brothers)      9

 2 July   Good Timin'      (Jimmy Jones)   4

30 July  Please Don't Tease       (Cliff Richard)   3

20 August     Apache      (Shadows)        6

 1 October     Tell Laura I Love Her   (Ricky Valance)       2

15 October    Only The Lonely    (Roy Orbison)   3

 5 November +Its Now Or Never       (Elvis Presley)        +9




    Date      Title    Artist (Brackets)     Weeks At No 1

 7 January     Poetry In Motion        (Johnny Tillotson)      3

28 January   Are You Lonesome Tonight   (Elvis Presley)   4

25 February   Walk Right Back    (Everly Brothers)       4

25 March     Wooden Heart      (Elvis Presley)   3

15 April       Are You Sure?      (Allisons)        2

29 April       *Wooden Heart    (Elvis Presley)

    *You're Driving Me Crazy    (Temperance Seven)       *=1

 6 May You're Driving Me Crazy      (Temperance Seven)    1

13 May      Blue Moon   (Marcels)        2

27 May      *Runaway    (Del Shannon)

       +*Surrender   (Elvis Presley)       *=1

 3 June   Surrender   (Elvis Presley)    4

 1 July   Runaway     (Del Shannon)    1

 8 July   Temptation         (Everly Brothers)      4

 5 August      Well I Ask You    (Eden Kane)     1

12 August     You Don't Know    (Helen Shapiro)      2

26 August     Johnny Remember Me    (John Layton)   5

30 September  Kon-Tiki     (Shadows)       1

 7 October     Michael Row The Boat   (Highwaymen)    1

14 October   Walkin' Back To Happiness   (Helen Shapiro)       4

11 November His Latest Flame   (Elvis Presley)    3

 2 December   Take Good Care Of My Baby (Bobby Vee)     1

 9 December   Tower Of Strength      (Frankie Vaughn)       4




    Date       Title    Artist (Brackets)   Weeks At No 1    

 6 January     Stranger On The Shore      (Acker Bilk)      2

20 January    The Young Ones      (Cliff Richard)   5

24 February    Rocka-Hula-Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love    (Elvis Presley)      4


From 24th March Record Mirror commenced publication of the Record Retailer top 50.







The Melody Maker was the earliest major British music paper. It started in January 1926 as a monthly publication, which primarily covered Jazz. It combined with the magazine Metronome from vol no 3 in March 1926. The title lasted to June 1927 when it became solely Melody Maker. On May 27 1933 the paper became a weekly. On December 1 1935 the paper again merged; this time with Rhythm VolX1 no 132. As Melody Maker Incorporating Rhythm.

With the onset of World War Two the paper reverted to a monthly publication due to staff call-ups. It managed to become a weekly again on 6 July 1940 but in a smaller A4 format. The paper expanded size a little after the war. On May 1952 it was back to title of Melody Maker.

By the early 1950s the paper was the clear sales leader, but trouble was around the corner. The rise of Rock and Roll was seen by the Melody Maker as a `stain` on the music industry. The paper adhered closely to Jazz and saw the new music as primitive and without worth. One reviewer, Steve Race, not only rounded Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog" but also questioned the intelligence of fans (and Melody Maker readers) who bought the record.

Soon Melody Maker had fallen behind its main competitor New Musical Express with both Record Mirror and the new paper Disc catching up quickly. The paper did slightly modify its hostility to Rock and Roll, but had alienated many readers.

Though the `Trad Jazz` boom of 1961-62 helped gain the paper some of its former readership, sales were collapsing by early 1963.

The rise of the Beatles and `Mersey beat` saw the paper determined not too make the same mistake with Rock and Roll, but sales were still falling. Ironically, the Beatles themselves admitted a preference to interviews by Melody Maker as its more `grown up` style of music reporting was more to their liking.

With sales still declining drastic action was needed. Editor Jack Hutton decided to alter the papers format to near broadsheet size (a little bigger than A3) and a new emphasis that concentrated more on pop music and the charts. Jazz coverage wasn't abolished, but it was no longer the prime subject for the paper. The new style Melody Maker appeared in late September 1963.

Many long standing Jazz advocating readers were outraged, but new `pop` fans were impressed. It was still a struggle though as new recruit (late 1963) writer Chris Welch once recounted that he wasn't certain his new job would last past six weeks, things were so balanced between survival and failure.

Luckily for him the paper climbed back to second place (behind runaway sales leader NME) by mid 1964. The mid to late 1960s were a good period for the paper. It was the only music paper to forecast `Psychedelic` music and the first to mention "Hippies" and "Flower Power".

The papers letter page often became something of a `Bear Pit` in the 1960s with some awfully arrogant and intolerant readers who only seemed to enjoy slating other fans music tastes; or worse still, virtual assassination jobs on many artists. The paper was the one that artists themselves wrote to, the most famous examples being Paul McCartney's "Limping Dog" letter of August 1970 (making clear The Beatles were not getting back together) and the violent (in words!) spat between McCartney and John Lennon in November and December 1971.

The paper was probably most renowned for its advertising section for musicians, which was situated towards the back of the paper. The Melody Maker `ads` section was the place to look for work or recruit musicians.

By 1967 the paper was in fine form. It gave clear coverage of the "Flower Power" scene and ran superb interviews with Beatles manager Brian Epstein (his last before his death) George Harrison and Ringo Starr that year.

Also in 1967 the paper was the only one to align itself with the plight of Rolling Stones member Mick Jagger and Keith Richard when both were jailed in the early summer that year. The paper roundly praised the Times newspaper for its leader concerning the case!

Melody Maker had by 1964 the highest page content of UK music papers; by 1969 it was reaching the 40 page content.

Melody Maker was the first to embrace the `Heavy and Progressive` scene of the late 1960s, early 1970s. Its success in this arena gave it the lead in sales over New Musical Express. Melody Maker was sales leader from late 1971 to mid 1975.
In August 1970 the paper lost some staff members who joined the new progressive music paper Sounds. It was feared that the paper might suffer due to the direct competition from Sounds, but under new editor Ray Coleman, the Melody Maker actually prospered. As mentioned, it became clear sales leader in the early to mid 1970s.

The Jazz content of the paper finally ceased in 1979, thereafter the paper concentrated solely on current pop trends.

The paper finally ceased at Christmas 2.000. Part of its features were incorporated into sister paper New Musical Express.

Melody Maker Chart History.

The papers first chart appeared on 7 April 1956 just after the paper returned from a print strike. This chart was a top twenty which appeared as part of the Song Sheet section which had been running sheet music lists (which continued until 1962) the chart was a phoned list which dealers would relay their top twenty best selling titles. As with other charts it was compiled on a points- per-place basis. The paper printed the shops and their addresses each week but unlike Record Mirror it didn't print shops individual lists.

The first chart was based on calls to 19 stores. The paper would rotate those premises it contacted even using stores from Northern Ireland -years before any other compiler used the province. Melody Maker was not as pop orientated as New Musical Express or Record Mirror in the Fifties. Its Jazz slanted august outlook meant that pop charts were only a minor consideration in its outlook by that period. However at the start of the nineteen sixties with pop music becoming more prominent in the entertainment media the paper moved to improve upon its chart service.

The change came between the weeks of 23 and 30 July 1960. Melody Maker changed from a phoned survey to a master list of around 150 record stores from which it financed the posting of around 110 of each shops best selling titles; again rotating shops used within the main list. The paper (from 30 July) no longer printed each shops address but did display that it sampled over 100 stores each week. The Melody Maker was now producing a chart, which was based on the largest sample of shops. The size of published chart changed; on 14 April 1962 it became a top 30, and on 15 September 1962 a top 50.

By 1963 the chart was based on around 150 shop returns (postal and phoned) and in May 1963 the paper discontinued its EP chart in order to concentrate more on the singles chart. It had now the advantage of superseding Record Mirrors Newspaper outlet for chart publication. By the mid 1960s Melody Makers chart was being published by a majority of UK papers and it also had a worldwide syndication, particularly in the United States. By 1967 the chart was being compiled by four staff members using a calculating machine as it now reached over 200 shops in range. The chart was under attack from people trying to `hype` record into it.
To counter this on 1 April 1967 the chart was reduced to a top 30 in size. A top 50 was still compiled in order to look for discrepancies but only the 30 top titles saw publication. The Melody Maker finally returned to a published top 50 singles chart on 14 January 1984. On 26 August 1967 sister paper Disc and Music Echo discontinued the bulk of its chart compiling and combined its remaining 50 phoned samples to Melody Makers. The papers then both published the combined survey of over 250, which was still seen as the Melody Maker chart With the onset of the `official` BMRB chart in 1969 Melody Maker and the rival NME chart lost some of their authority. Both were still seen as accurate guides well into the 1970s. As with NME, Melody Makers chart was discontinued in favour of MRIB's listing on 14 May 1988.



Disc along with its singles chart commenced on 1 February 1958. It was owned by the John Buchan publishing company who were better known for their popular series of football annuals.

The paper was the first British body to recognise and award gold and silver discs for sales achievements. A gold disc was earned for one million copies of a single sold; silver for a quarter of a million. The paper relied on the goodwill and trust of record companies in informing the paper when a record achieved such status. It was an uneven system. Some Record companies hardly bothered to involve themselves, others were very lax in notification, while some exaggerated achievements of records. Even worse was many instances of companies; either by mistake or deliberately, under logging artists sales.

Both Cliff Richard and The Beatles were later, after proper accounting to have sold more records in the 1960s than first announced. A particular example of a record being over accounted was `Sugar Sugar` by The Archies. This was announced a having sold one million units in the UK by early 1970. It was awarded a gold disc by Disc in February 1970. However recent calculations show the record fell short by over 100,000.

The paper was very much aimed at the teenage pop audience of the late 1950s and early 1960s. It vied with the New Musical Express in this arena coming very much second place to the NME.

There wasn't much to set the paper apart in the early 1960s from its competitors and it trailed in sales behind NME, Melody Maker, and Record Mirror. In 1964 a new record reviewer joined the paper, Penny Valentine. She proved to be a very astute forecaster of what would `hit` or `miss`. Many artists respected her perceptive column which was seen as important in helping records get publicity. The Beatles often dropped in to visit her at her desk, such was her popularity.

When the paper changed to colour cover on April 23 1966 (when becoming Disc and Music Echo) sales improved making it the rival to Record Mirror as best selling colour paper.

In 1966 IPC publications took control of the paper bringing it into the same family as NME and Melody Maker. Where as NME and Melody Maker were still fierce rivals, even though both were owned by the same company. Disc became very much a `sister` paper to Melody Maker. Both shared the same building in Fleet Street working closely together.

By 1969 Disc had overtaken Record Mirror as top selling colour paper and sales were very healthy. Sadly the paper suffered a loss of staff when the new progressive music paper Sounds was set up in 1970. Biggest loss was Penny Valentine. The paper was sold by IPC in 1975 to merge with Record Mirror.

Disc Chart History.

Disc ran a top 20 chart up until 6 October 1962. From this date it ran a top 30. On 29 February 1964 the paper decided to show readers when records achieved silver disc status by posting a black dot by the qualifying title alongside its position in the chart. No different distinction was made for gold discs, as they were so rare in the 1950s and 1960's. It would just be announced in the papers news page when this happened.

The paper did not carry an LP chart until 1966. This appeared when Disc incorporated Music Echo into its title on 23 April 1966. From that date Disc and Music Echo also ran a top 50 singles chart; this lasted to 1 April 1967 when the paper announced that due to the unreliability of the bottom section of the chart due to low sales figures; a top 30 only would be published. On 26 August 1967 Disc and Music Echo shared Melody Makers chart. Disc did add around fifty returns to the list, but it was seen as the Melody Maker chart. From 31 August 1975 Disc was incorporated with Record Mirror.


Record Retailer Chart History.

The Record Retailer chart which commenced on 12th March 1960 was the last of the major charts of the 50's & 60's. It originated from the independent trade magazine "Record Retailer". This had started as a monthly in August 1959; it changed to a weekly format in March 1960 in order to be more current with trade news.

Its chart came about because of the feedback received from sections of the business that saw how important other charts such as N.M.E and Melody Maker were becoming to the trade. The Retailer in its first weekly issue set up facilities for a chart from surplus subscription fees from its membership.

The record Retailer chart was a Top 50 in size which was then (1960) larger than any of the Music paper charts. However the actual sample was extremely small, at just 30 shops phoned every Tuesday by Editor Roy Parker and his secretary Ann Smith.

A count back system was devised to virtually eliminate tied positions. As with other charts; it was a point's based system. One misnomer is that it was the industry chart. This is not so; Record Retailer prided itself that it was independent from major Record Companies. It existed to serve the interests of independent record shops and to advise them on any dealings with the companies.
The chart was distributed to the member shops to display; only later around 1966 did record companies show much interest in it, particularly when it became a regular part of the calculations in the B.B.C's "Pick Of The Pops" and "Top Of The Pops" Top 20's. Previous to 1966, not every Record retailer chart was available for "Pick Of The Pops" due to its later day (Tuesday) of compilation.

The Record Retailer chart was audited from January 1963 by the firm of Chantey, Button and Co. Other charts too, had their audits. Record Retailer had its sample size expanded from January 1964. This now became postal returns (Similar to Melody Makers) of around 75 to 80 returns from a pool of 100. The chart often suffered from wildly fluctuating positions and was quite often at odds with other charts in its positions. It was discontinued when the British Market Research Bureau chart was introduced on February 15 1969.


Pop Weekly commenced (as a weekly publication) on the 1 September 1962.

The paper was run by the company responsible for the Elvis Presley Monthly magazine and also had the same editorial team (Albert Hand). It had previously been a monthly publication as Pop Monthl).

Pop Weekly was A5 in size and printed on glossy paper, it very much resembled a booklet in this format.

It sometimes featured incisive articles about the music industry. In late 1964 the paper ran a three part series on the various music and trade paper charts which were most informative.

Pop Weekly had some very `out-of-step` results in its popularity polls. One such in 1965 resulted in an Elvis Presley `B` side winning the best rated single of the year award!

Once the `pop boom` died down in 1965 the paper struggled to keep going. The overwhelming majority of its readership was avid Elvis Presley fans which tailed off a little as 1966 neared. By early 1966 sales were in steep decline. On the 12 February 1966 the paper combined with Show Monthly becoming Pop And Show Monthly with no charts printed.

Pop Weekly chart History.

Upon its first weekly edition on 1 September 1962 it commenced a top 30 singles chart. This chart was based on around 20 to 30 phone calls to shops. The magazine never produced a LP chart, so large selling LPs would sometimes be listed. This was similar to the practise in New Musical Express and Disc. From 13 November 1965 the chart became a top 10. On 27 November 1965 sales charts ended. From the next week; only a `readers write in` of favourite top 20 titles was printed until the papers conclusion on 12 February 1966.