Title:Polka Dotted Poliwampus
A Polka Dotted Poliwampus is an eater of a Purple People Eater, what else? This recording was released as an answer to Sheb Wooley's smash hit of 1958, The Purple People Eater. Clint Miller recorded Marguerite Johnson's novelty composition for the ABC Paramount label with Don Costa's orchestral arrangement. The recording did not chart but Clint Miller had a Cash Box Top 50 hit, Bertha Lou earlier in 1958.
Title:When You Walk in the Room
Artist:Jackie De Shannon
Jackie De Shannon started writing songs in 1960 with Sharon Sheely. Brenda Lee recorded their Dum Dum, So Deep and Heart in Hand. Jackie's first big hit was her own composition When You Walk in the Room, recorded in 1963. Her version of other composers' songs, Needles and Pins and What the World Need Now is Love topped the Canadian charts. In 1969 she recorded her most successful composition, Put a Little Love in Your Heart.
Title:What Have They Done to My
What have they done to Melanie's Song? You be the judge. Sydney disc jockeys from radio 2SM led by John Torv recorded this cover version with orchestra. Ian MacRae, Mike Webb, Dave White, John Burnley, Grahame Roberts, George 'Groover' Wayne, Greg Rees and Keith Harris were credited on the label with the producer Bruce Brown for Col Joye's recording company ATA.
Following two huge hits, a third release Get Him charted in some parts of Australia. The Exciters, a girl group previously known as The Masterettes, were renamed by Jerry Leiber in 1962 and given the Bert Russell song Tell Him which they recorded for United Artists. They followed with Ellie Greenwich's He's Got the Power and also recorded the original version of her Do-Wah-Diddy, a hit later for Manfred Mann.
The first of two Australian Parlophone singles for English comedian Lance Percival. In this recording, a man and wife have a difference of opinion about their holiday on the French Riviera. At the café (cayf) the man declares, "Frogs on my knife, we'd be better off in Blackpool", but his wife doesn't agree and leaves with the garçon. Accompaniment directed by Johnnie Spence.
--For more--see The Beetroot Song
Title:Jingle Bell Rock
One of the best known Christmas rock and roll songs although the style was more rockabilly. Bobby Helms, from Indiana recorded the song in 1957 and many singers covered it. The original was issued in Australia before Christmas 1958 becoming popular again in the mid 1990's. Bobby Helms was otherwise known for his rendition of Jimmy Duncan's composition My Special Angel.
Release:16 December 1970
Just like Jose Feliciano, we "wanna" wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of our hearts. Puerto Rican, Feliciano wrote the song in a mix of Spanish and English for Christmas 1970 and it is now in the top 25 most played Christmas songs around the world. The song has been covered by many artists including Boney M, Celine Dion, Voodoo Glow Skulls and David Hasselhoff.
Title:Home of the Brave
The first record played by Mark Gould on his premier show 30 years ago. The song was composed by the legendary husband and wife song-writing team, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. It dealt with the subject of tolerance and non-comformity and came in the era of protest songs. Jody Miller from Pheonix, Arizona was well-known to Australian audiences with her 1964 hit He Walks Like a Man.
Title:If My Pillow Could Talk
Connie Francis was the foremost female chart performer of the fifties and sixties. She signed to MGM records in 1955 and recorded a duet with Marvin Rainwater in 1957, The Majesty of Love. At the insistence of her father she recorded the 1923 song Who's Sorry Now and it became her first solo hit. Connie performed If My Pillow Could Talk on Ed Sullivan's TV show in April 1963.
Title:The Witch's Twist
Mandrake was session guitarist Vinnie Rogers who sang, played drums, bass and guitar. He hand-crafted guitars, sometimes from specially sought lumber. There were two singles released on Coronet, Lost Love / All I Do Is Dream of You following The Witch's Twist. The American Columbia single Thank Goodness It's Friday / Queen of Sheba was not released in Australia.
Title:On Top of Spaghetti
Tom Glazer's novelty hit was sung to the tune of On Top of Old Smoky, a traditional American tune successfully recorded by the Weavers in 1951. Tom worked in the recorded music section of the Library of Congress and in addition to recording folk songs he composed and recorded a number of children's songs. Many of his recordings for children were of an educational nature.
Title:The End of the Pub With No
Artist:Johnny (Tex) Croft
Writer:Parsons - Hutton
Johnny (Tex) Croft was an Australian country music singer from Perth. He sometimes recorded songs with his wife, Mary. This rare "answer song" single was a slightly more uptempo variation of the Slim Dusty hit A Pub With No Beer and was one of several failed attempts by other artists to cash in on the success of that record.
Release:11 January 1963
Hear ye! Hear ye! Tommy Roe's recording of Town Crier followed his smash hit Sheila and a revival of a 1958 hit Susie Darlin' (Robin Luke). It was the flip side of Rainbow, a song written and recorded by Russ Hamilton in 1957 and came from the talented pens of Howard Greenfield and Kenny Karen. Despite radio airplay it failed to chart but Tommy Roe had later big hits including Party Girl, Sweet Pea, Hooray for Hazel and Dizzy.
Title:The Cat Came Back
New Zealand country singer Tex Morton came to Australia as a 19-year-old. He won a radio talent quest in Sydney and was offered a contract with Regal Zonophone records which was renewed for seven years until 1943. He was billed as the Yodelling Boundary Rider. The Cat Came Back was a 19th century children's song with new words supplied by Harry S. Miller. We dedicate it to the feline survivors of our recent bushfires.
Title:North to Alaska
Johnny Horton's first country music hit was Honky-Tonk Man
in 1956 and he topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959 with The Battle of New Orleans
. North to Alaska
was a song about the Klondike gold rush of the 1890's. It made No.2 on the 2UE Top 40 (10 Dec 1960) and was the title track to the movie of the same name starring John Wayne as Sam McCord and teenage idol, Fabian as Billy Pratt.--more--
Writer:B. Randel-B. Charles
The group was formed in 1962 by two brothers, Beau and John Charles and named after Knickerbocker Road near their hometown in New Jersey. Other members of the quartet varied over the years until they found Buddy Randell (ex Royal Teens) and drummer, Jimmy Walker . Their 'Beatles-sounding' recording Lies was a sure-fire hit in 1966. One Track Mind and Chapel in the Pines followed but were not as popular.
Artist:Al Casey with the K.C.Ettes
Lee Hazlewood combined two popular styles of the time, hootenanny and surfing, to create Surfin' Hootenanny for Arizona guitarist Al Casey. It was recorded for Stacy Records of Chicago in June 1963 with a studio vocal backing. The disc made No.2 on the Sydney Top 40 chart of 13th September 1963 and was listed for 12 weeks. A follow-up, Guitars, Guitars, Guitars failed to chart.
Writer:Chet Clark-Bob Wilkie
Bryan Davies made his radio debut in Sydney in 1955 and his TV debut in 1960. A year later he recorded a very successful cover version of Mark Wynter's English hit Dream Girl
. Not long after the release of Tenpin Bowling
, he was asked to host his own national television show on the ABC. A meeting with Norrie Paramor in Australia led to his recording Raincoat in the River
and Tell the Other Guy
for Columbia records in England in 1964.
Title:I've Lost the End of My Yodel
English comedian, actor and recording artist, Charlie Drake made his debut in the 1950's. He is best known for his 1961 recording My Boomerang Won't Come Back
. There were several singles released on Australian Parlophone including Naughty
and finally, I've Lost the End of My Yodel
. In the late sixties Drake made a successful TV series The Worker
and he turned to serious acting in the 1980's.
--For more--see I Bent My Assegai
Title:When You're Not Near
Writer:Robert E.G. Porter
Rob E.G. was born in Sydney and began in show business in 1959 by playing the steel guitar. His first recording was an instrumental version of Your Cheatin' Heart for the Rex label. Early in 1964 a local disc jockey, John Thompson heard him sing When You're Not Near at a live show and convinced him to record it. Rob was a reluctant singer but eventually put it down on the Festival label in June 1964. It made No.7 on Sydney's Top 40.
was written by Barry Mann and Art Kaplan and recorded by Buddy Knox with the Johnny Mann Singers for Liberty Records (U.S.A). Buddy Knox gained fame in 1957 when he wrote and performed Party Doll
which eventually sold more than ten million copies. Buddy Knox secured a two year contract with Roulette in 1957 and signed to Liberty in 1960.
--more-- Somebody Touched Me or A Lover's Question
Chubby Checker's first hit was a cover version of The Twist
, recorded in 1959 but taking 14 months to make the charts. The Twist
started a run of dance crazes in the early sixties. In 1963 after many hits, Chubby's recording of the Bill Brock composition, Black Cloud
made No.35 on the Sydney Top 40. Two further hits followed, namely Loddy Lo
and Hey Bobba Needle
--See also--Limbo Rock
;Reggae My Way
; The Hucklebuck
Title:Pepino the Italian Mouse
Writer:Allen - Merrell
Lou Monte's first hit was a revival of the 1917 jazz standard Darktown Strutter's Ball
but sung in Italian style and released here on HMV 78rpm in June 1954. It was followed by his first Top 40 hit, Lazy Mary
on RCA in 1958. Pepino the Italian Mouse
was recorded for Reprise and became Lou's first million seller. There was a sequel in 1963 Pepino's Friend Pasqual (The Italian Pussy-Cat)
Title:Magic Star (Telstar)
Release:1 February 1963
Joe Meek's multi million selling instrumental Telstar was inspired by the launch of the communications satellite of the same name in July 1962. Meek wrote words and a vocal version was issued on Decca (U.K.) by Kenny Holliday later in 1962 but it was an American cover version by country singer Margie Singleton that became popular early in the following year. It made No.36 in Sydney 23rd March 1963.
Title:I Call My Woman Hinges
Cause She's Something to
Artist:Steve and the Board
Steve and the Board was an Australian pop band active in 1965 and 1966. They recorded for the Everybody's and Spin labels with an initial recording The Giggle-Eyed Goo!
Lead singer Steve Kipner went to England with Steve Groves (ex-member of The Kinetics
) and formed the group Tin Tin
, famous for the hit song Toast and Marmalade for Tea
(The Brave Engineer)
Writer:T. Lawrence Seibert
The song about the tragic train crash that took Casey Jones' life in 1900. Casey's friend Wallace Saunders wrote the first song but the vaudeville team Newton and Seibert later re-wrote it. Country music singer, Eddy Arnold, an RCA recording artist since 1944 had a popular version in the fifties. A television series starring Alan Hale as Casey Jones followed.
Artist:The Joy Boys
The Joy Boys started in 1957 and included the three Jacobsen brothers, Kevin, Keith and Colin (vocalist Col Joye), John Bogie, Tony Buchanan and until 1961, Dave Bridge. They recorded for Festival records until Colin and Kevin Jacobsen created the ATA label in 1966. San Juan was recorded by The Champs in the early sixties and was written by Baker Knight, composer of the 1959 hit The Wonder of You.
American rhythm and blues artist Fats Domino released 32 singles on the London label in Australia beginning in 1956, four of them were exclusively 78 rpm and Blueberry Hill was the biggest seller. With his switch from Imperial to ABC Paramount in the U.S. there were 8 Ampar singles released from 1963 to 1967. Lazy Lady was listed at No.69 of 80 predictions for Sydney's Top 40 on 10th April 1964.
Title:Ole King Cole
Artist:Billy Crash Craddock
Crash Craddock began recording for a small North Carolina record label in 1957. Despite his switch to Columbia, he had little success in the U.S. but became very popular in Australia with his No.1 hit Boom Boom Baby in 1959. Four of his Coronet (Columbia) releases made our top ten. Ole King Cole was one of two Mercury singles released in 1961. Singles followed on various labels including another Top 40 hit Rub It In (1974).
Title:Flipped Over You
Artist:Paul and Paula
Texas college students Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson sang on a local radio station in 1962 as Ray and Jill. They signed a contract with Mercury records and recorded Hey Paula
as Paul and Paula. Several singles followed including the successful Young Lovers
. In Australia after their best seller Hey Paula
, Flipped Over You
was the second most successful single reaching No.7 on Sydney's Top 40 on 1st November 1963.
Title:I'll Take You Where the
The Drifters were formed in New York in 1953 by vocalist Clyde McPhatter as his backing group. After McPhatter's departure in 1954 other vocalists including Johnny Moore, Ben E. King and Rudy Lewis took the lead. The first of five Top 40 hits in Sydney was Save the Last Dance for Me
(1960) and finally Like Sister and Brother
See Saturday Night at the Movies
Title:Buttons and Bows
Artist:Tommy Bruce with The
The song was written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans in 1947 for the Bob Hope movie The Paleface. Tommy Bruce was a Londoner who had chart success with a rock and roll version of Fats Waller's Ain't Misbehavin' in 1960. Buttons and Bows was released more than two years later and was not as successful. Listen for the jew's harp in the accompaniment.
Writer:Bruce Woodley-Hans Poulsen
Melbourne singer, guitarist and songwriter Hans Poulsen co-wrote Boom-Sha-La-La-Lo with Bruce Woodley of The Seekers. It was Poulsen's first single for Fable Records, there being two earlier Parlophone singles. It reached No.7 on Sydney's Top 40 chart on 16th and 23rd July 1970 and was listed for 18 weeks. Light Across the Valley followed in October 1970 but failed to chart.
Title:Just For Kicks
After his novelty hits for Parlophone Records, Mike Sarne wrote, produced and directed a number of films, including Myra Breckinridge
(1970). Sarne was of Czechoslovakian descent born in London. His third single, Just for Kicks
, describes a burn-up on his bike while his bird hangs on in fright as he does a ton (100 mph) on the M1. It was No.22 of 80 predictions for the Sydney Top 40 for five weeks.
-- see Code of Love
Title:Three Little Fishes
The second of two Coronet singles for Buzz Clifford, the first being his million-selling hit Baby Sittin' Boogie
which was featured earlier. Three Little Fishes
a wartime favourite written by Sam Dowell, was a big hit in 1939 for Kay Kyser. Buzz Clifford wrote a number of songs in the later sixties and seventies and some were recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Leon Russell, Lou Rawls and Petula Clark.
Title:A Lover's Concerto
In 1966 Claremont housewife, Elva Miller became the biggest off-key singing sensation since Florence Foster Jenkins. Capitol Records heard her demo of Downtown and encouraged her to record an album. Two of the album tracks, Downtown and A Lover's Concerto were issued as a single. Within a month she appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, she met Nancy Sinatra and received a congratulatory telegram from Elvis Presley.
Title:Break Away (From That Boy)
Writer:Louis Al-Marcus F.Mathis
Brothers Dean and Mark Mathis and friend Larry Henley (The Newbeats) sent a demo recording of the song Bread and Butter to Hickory Records in 1964 and it became their first hit. They followed with Everything's Alright and then Break Away (From That Boy) which made No.4 on Sydney's Top 40 on 24th Feb 1965, one month after their tour of Australia with The Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison and Ray Columbus.
A folk rock trio from the U.S.A. formed in the sixties by Bob Kimmel, Kenny Edwards and Linda Ronstadt. They signed a contract with the Capitol label in 1966 and released two albums before their hit single, Different Drum. Written by Michael Nesmith of The Monkees, it was a track from the second album, slightly shortened for the single. The song was originally recorded by The Greenbriar Boys in 1966.
Johnny Crawford from Los Angeles, California started his recording career in 1961 with Daydreams
and followed with Cindy's Birthday
, Your Nose Is Gonna Grow
and Petite Chanson
. A total of eleven of his singles were released in Australia in the sixties, four of them making the Sydney Top 40. Cindy's Birthday
reached No.21 on 11 August 1962 and was listed for eight weeks.
Title:Can't Wait For September
A Harry Vanda and George Young (Easybeats) composition recorded by Erl Dalby with the band Earl's Court from Wollongong. By the time the recording was due for release, the band had broken up and Erl's manager arranged for him to sing with Sydney band, Pyramid. The recording was released as Can't Wait for September by Pyramid featuring Erl Dalby. It made No.8 in Sydney (17th January 1971).
Title:I Gotta Be True
Artist:Johnny Devlin and the Devils
Johnny Devlin was born in New Zealand in 1938 and performed with family members as The Devlin Family. In 1956 he began doing Elvis songs in small towns near his home, performing in Auckland the following year. His first recording Lawdy Miss Clawdy
was released in June 1958 on the local Prestige label. Devlin's own composition I Gotta Be True
was recorded in Sydney, Australia.
For more see Lonely Boy
Title:The Bonnie and Clyde
Artist:The New Vaudeville Band
The New Vaudeville Band was created in 1966 as a twenties-style band to perform Geoff Stephens anachronistic song Winchester Cathedral. The recording became a multi-million seller and a touring band was created with Alan Klein as vocalist. They had a few more hits, namely Peek-A-Boo, There's a Kind of Hush and Finchley Central but the novelty had well worn off by the time The Bonnie and Clyde was released.
Title:Somewhere There's Love
Margaret Whiting from Detroit, Michigan was a popular songstress of the forties, introducing the hits That Old Black Magic, My Ideal and Moonlight in Vermont. She was also the daughter of song writer Richard Whiting who composed the twenties hit Ain't She Sweet. In 1966 she recorded Somewhere There's Love and The Wheel of Hurt for London Records (U.S.A.).
Writer:Tony Withers-John Laws
The song was written by Sydney disc jockeys, John Laws and Tony Withers. With the accompaniment of The Versatiles and The Graduates, it was John Laws' first single for the Rex label. There were four earlier Festival singles, the first a cover of Rubin Luke's Susie Darlin' in 1958. His first Top 40 hit was Someone New in 1959. I Remember was listed for six weeks on Sydney's Top 40 and made No.28 on 16th April 1960.
Title:You're the Reason
The song was co-written by Edwards, Imes-Fell and Henley and performed by Bobby Edwards and the Four Young Men for Crest Records. It made No.3 on Sydney's Top 40 in December 1961 and was re-issued on Festival (FK-129) in 1962. Bobby Edwards came to notice on recording a cover version of Tex Ritter's Jealous Heart in 1959 for the Manco label, having earlier recorded Don't Hold Me to a Vow under his real name Bobby Moncrief for D records.
Title:Monster in Black Tights
Artist:Screaming Lord Sutch
David Sutch changed his name by deed poll to Screaming Lord Sutch. Not only a rock musician, he also started a number of political parties, contesting 40 elections over more than 34 years. With the help of producer Joe Meek, he recorded Till the Following Night (1961) and Jack the Ripper (with the Savages in 1963). Monster in Black Tights was his first single in Australia released to coincide with his tour of the country in July 1964.
Title:Follow Your Drum
Writer:John D. Loudermilk
English pop singer Don Fardon formed "The Sorrows" in 1963 and they were signed to Pye Records. They disbanded in 1966 but the following year, Don was handed a John D. Loudermilk song about a Cherokee Indian reservation which he recorded. It sold ten million copies but Don made no money from it. He recorded another Loudermilk song, Follow Your Drum which made No. 21 in Sydney for 2 weeks in April 1972.
Title:Clap Your Hands
The second recording for the Beau-Marks in 1959, their first being Rockin' Blues
released under their former name The Del-Tones. The release of Clap Your Hands
was delayed by 10 months for reasons unknown and became a smash hit in Canada, New Zealand and Australia in 1960. In Sydney it made No.1 for two weeks in late August. Billy, Billy Went A-Walking
(1960) and Little Miss Twist
(1962) followed but neither was a hit.
Title:Book of Love
The song was written in 1957 by three members of "The Monotones" who had the original hit in 1958. Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich under their recording name "The Raindrops", revived it in 1964 for Jubilee Records (U.S.A.). The Raindrops had several single releases in 1963 and 1964, including What a Guy, The Kind of Boy You Can't Forget and That Boy John but none made Sydney's Top 40.
Title:Cry Softly Lonely One
Roy Orbison began in 1956 with Sun Records of Memphis, Tennessee and formed a songwriting collaboration with fellow Texan, Joe Melson in 1957. They were successful in 1960 with Only the Lonely beginning a run of hits for the Monument record label. In 1965 he transferred to M-G-M for which his first single was Ride Away. Cry Softly Lonely One was also the title of an album he started working on as early as 1965 and was eventually released in 1967.
Title:The Pied Piper
Artist:Crispian St. Peters
Crispian St. Peters was born in Kent, England in 1939. At age 16 he began live performances with a group called "The Hard Travellers". In 1965 he recorded his first disc for Decca, At This Moment /You'll Forget Me, Goodbye
, self compositions which he performed on UK television shows. Later that year he recorded You Were On My Mind
which became a Top 10 hit in Britain and he successfully followed up with The Pied Piper
(Sydney Top 40: No.26, 6th July 1966).
Title:Everyday I Have to Cry
Artist:Barry Gibb and The Bee Gees
Written by Arthur Alexander and first recorded by Steve Alaimo in 1963, Everyday I Have to Cry
, was the 7th of 11 Leedon singles for the Bee Gees in Australia. Robin Gibb sang lead vocal for the first time and his twin brother Maurice played the organ on the recording. Barry Gibb was separately named on the label although he was one of the trio. The Bee Gees first recording was The Battle of the Blue and the Grey / The Three Kisses of Love