Happy Easter everybody!
This is the first time that Easter has fallen on April 1st since 1956 ... so we thought we'd salute this unusual occurrence by taking a look back at the music scene back then.
(Normally on April Fool's Day ... which is ALSO today ... we either run a series of "fool" songs ... or some novelty tracks ... so if you feel like scrolling back and checking out some of our previous postings, please do ... but THIS year we wanted to do something to commemorate the fact that 62 YEARS have passed since we last had an April Fool's Easter!)
It was definitely a different time. Although the Top 20 included Rock and Roll Classics like "Blue Suede Shoes" by Carl Perkins, "Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" by The Teenagers, the top rated "rock and roll record" belonged to Kay Starr with "Rock And Roll Waltz"! (It sits at #3 for the third week in a row after topping the chart the week before that.)
Other classic '50's artists are also represented ... Pat Boone has hits at #5, #23 and #98 ...The Platters hold down #'s 11, 20 and 36 ... and Bill Haley and the Comets, Fats Domino, Little Richard and The Diamonds all have chart hits this week, as do Perry Como, Teresa Brewer, Mitch Miller, Lawrence Welk, Peggy Lee and Nat King Cole!
But the two biggest hits this week are both instrumentals ... Les Baxter's version of "The Poor People Of Paris" sits at #1 and Nelson Riddle's version of "Lisbon Antigua" holds down the #2 spot.
This was still the era where the song was often viewed more important than the artist ... thus we find multiple versions of the same titles charting at several positions spread throughout The Top 100.
Just a quick scan shows three versions of "The Poor People of Paris" and "Eddie My Love" ... plus two versions of "Lisbon Antigua," "Long Tall Sally," "Tutti Fruitti," "I'll Be Home," "Ivory Tower" and "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" ... and an incredible FIVE versions of "Moritat (A Theme from "The Three Penny Opera")," which would become a MUCH greater hit three years later when Bobby Darin recorded it as "Mack The Knife" ... you'll also find the Roger Williams version of "La Mer" at #71 ... Bobby Darin will take this one to the top of the charts as "Beyond The Sea" in 1960.
Check out this mega-early copy of our Super Chart ... I think this just may be the oldest chart we've ever featured!
Here are some of our essential favorites from April 1, 1956 ... a Baker's Dozen ... and all tunes worth remembering! (kk)