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1/14/1956
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist


#1 .. 2 / 8 Memories Are Made of This---------------Dean Martin
#2 .. 1 / 11 Sixteen Tons----------------------Tennessee Ernie Ford
#3 .. 3 / 14 I Hear You Knocking---------------------Gale Storm
#4 .. 5 / 21 Moments to Remember---------------------The Four Lads
#5 .. 8 / 11 Love & Marriage-------------------------Frank Sinatra
#6 .. 4 / 6 The Great Pretender---------------------The Platters
#7 .. 13 / 17 Only You--------------------------------The Platters
#8 .. 10 / 17 He--------------------------------------Al Hibbler
#9 .. 21 / 4 Rock and Roll Waltz---------------------Kay Starr
#10 .. 9 / 8 Band of Gold----------------------------Don Cherry
#11 .. 12 / 11 It's Almost Tomorrow-----------The Dream Weavers
#12 .. 16 / 5 Teenage Prayer--------------------------Gale Storm
#13 .. 7 / 23 Autumn Leaves---------------------------Roger Williams
#14 .. 18 / 6 Dungaree Doll---------------------------Eddie Fisher
#15 .. 22 / 11 Only You--------------------------------The Hilltoppers
#16 .. 15 / 7 Lisbon Antigua--------------------------Nelson Riddle
#17 .. 14 / 7 Angels in the Sky-----------------------The Crew-Cuts
#18 .. 24 / 11 Cry Me A River--------------------------Julie London
#19 .. 19 / 6 Are You Satisfied-----------------------Rusty Draper
#20 .. 29 / 9 It's Almost Tomorrow--------------------Jo Stafford

 

The early 1950's music charts were dominated by traditional vocalists, harmony groups and orchestral instrumentals. Some rhythm and blues and country singles sporadically crossed over to the pop chart. 1956 was the first year in which the new sound of rock and roll would achieve wide spread success. But in the first month of the new era, it was an old school crooner who scored the first new #1 of 1956. "Memories Are Made of This" was a song very much at home in the early fifties, but it did have some leanings toward the new sound, with the steady beat and backing vocals. It was written by Terry Gilkyson who would later have a top ten hit with the Easyriders, "Marianne." As a matter of fact the Easyriders sang backup on "Memories." Replacing Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" which had held the top spot on Billboard seven weeks, "Memories" would have a five week run of its own.

The rest of this early chart from 1956 can best be described as a remnant of the early fifties as well, with crooners Frank Sinatra, Don Cherry, and Al Hibbler,and the harmony group The Four Lads placing records in the top ten. Gale Storm managed to parlay her television stardom ("My Little Margie" and "Oh, Suzanna") into a successful singing career with two records in the top twenty.

The January 14th chart gave a nod to the trend that was coming as two Platter's records made the top ten. The Platters were one of the more mellow rhythm and blues groups. Their hit, "Only You" was a re-recording of an earlier release. "The Great Pretender" would eventually become their first number one in February.

Kay Starr's "Rock and Roll Waltz" and Nelson Rddle's "Lisbon Antigua" would also eventually achieve a number one ranking.

 

In other news:

  • Michigan State defeated UCLA 17 - 14 in the Orange Bowl
  • A fire damaged the top part of the Eifel Tower
  • Horatio, Riggs, and Thelma were born*
  • "Guys & Dolls" was #1 at the box office
  • Elvis Presley's first record for RCA, "Heartbreak Hotel" was released
  • Abigail Van Buren first publishes "Dear Abbey"

*"Horatio" = David Caruso

*"Riggs" = Mel Gibson

*"Thelma" = Geena Davis

"The Lieutenant Wore Skirts" was a popular movie in January of 1956. It starred Tom Ewell and Sheree North. Can you identify the supporting role actress pictured here with Ewell? -- she would later play Anita in "West Side Story."
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