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Classical albums and soundtracks from the movies and Broadway dominated album sales. In September of 1958, "Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1" was the #1 album. Can you hear Chuck Berry? -- "roll over Bethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news!"

Billboard Top 40 for 8/18/1958
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist

#1 .. 2 / 3 Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu------------------Domenico Modugno
#2 .. 14 / 5 Little Star-----------------------------The Elegants
#3 .. 6 / 8 My True Love----------------------------Jack Scott
#4 .. 1 / 7 Poor Little Fool------------------------Ricky Nelson
#5 .. 10 / 6 Just A Dream----------------------------Jimmy Clanton
#6 .. 3 / 10 Patricia--------------------------------Perez Prado
#7 .. 5 / 9 When------------------------------------The Kalin Twins
#8 .. 8 / 8 Rebel Rouser----------------------------Duane Eddy
#9 .. 13 / 6 Fever-----------------------------------Peggy Lee
#10 .. 4 / 9 Splish Splash---------------------------Bobby Darin
#11 .. 15 / 5 Ginger Bread----------------------------Frankie Avalon
#12 .. 9 / 9 Willie and the Hand Jive----------------The Johnny Otis Show
#13 .. 7 / 8 Hard Headed Woman-----------------------Elvis Presley
#14 .. 16 / 5 Everybody Loves A Lover-----------------Doris Day
#15 .. 12 / 6 If Dreams Came True---------------------Pat Boone
#16 .. 18 / 5 Born Too Late---------------------------The Poni Tails
#17 .. 34 / 3 Bird Dog--------------------------------The Everly Brothers
#18 .. 11 / 12 Yakety Yak------------------------------The Coasters
#19 .. 21 / 5 Western Movies--------------------------The Olympics
#20 .. 37 / 3 Volare----------------Dean Martin

There were four #1 songs in the top ten of August 18th, 1958.    “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu” had just replaced “Poor Little Fool” in the top spot.  “Little Star” would take the #1 position the next week and “Patriia” had been the #1 song in July.  After giving way to The Elegants, Domenico Modugno would regain the top position the next week and eventually register five weeks as #1.  With 17 weeks in the top forty and 13 in the top twenty, the Italian import would score the most popularity points for 1958 and be the concensus #1 song of the year.  The song also did well in English versions as Dean Martin would make it a #12 record in 1958 while Bobby Rydell’s version would reach #4 in 1960 (both titled “Volare”). 

Three other records in the top twenty also claimed #1 credentials.  “Hard Headed Woman” and “Yakety Yak” were in the top position in July while “Bird Dog” was headed there in September.

One of the most recognizable records of the era was “Willie and the Hand Jive.”  Johnny Otis’s recording had peaked at #9 earlier in August and was ranked only #69 on the 1958 Billboard survey, but with its Bo-Diddly style guitar would stand the test of time and eventually be featured in the 1979 movie, “Grease.” 

Two artists who would be chart fixtures over the next several years had their chart debuts during the summer of 1958.  Bobby Darin’s “Splish Splash” had peaked at #3 and Duane Eddy’s “Rebel Rouser” was #6 in July.

And among all the great records mentioned above, we also heard Frankie Avalon’s “Ginger Bread” which did manage to crack the top ten at #9 in September.    

In other news:

Phyllis Fitzgerald divorced Rock Hudson

"The Vikings" was the #1 movie at the box office.

The quiz show scandal began as “Dotto” is cancelled amid rumors of improper procedures

The U.S. detonated a nuclear weapon at Johnston Island in the Pacific

Playwright Arthur Miller’s conviction of contempt during the House Committee on Un-American Activities was overturned by a U.S. court of appeals

The U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a District Court decision and ordered resumption of racial integration at Central High School in Little Rock

Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus said racial integration can never be constitutionally enforced on a school and called for a special session of the state legislature which gave the governor the power to close the state schools.

RCA announced it would issue stereo singles.

The USS Nautilus became the first vessel to cross the North Pole under water

“Lolita” was published in the U.S.

Madonna, Brenda Carlisle, and Michael Jackson were born.

Gladys Presley died

The U.S. postage stamp was increased from 3¢ to 4¢

The Canadian Football League played its first game

George Harrison joined The Quarrymen

"The Big Country" debuted. Can you guess which of its stars received an academy award for Best Supporting Actor? ... and does Gregory Peck's head seem unusually large in this poster?
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