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Billboard Top 20, 5/1/1956
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist

#1 .. 2 / 10 Heartbreak Hotel----------------Elvis Presley
#2 .. 3 / 9 Hot Diggity----------------Perry Como
#3 .. 1 / 13 The Poor People of Paris----------------Les Baxter
#4 .. 5 / 10 Blue Suede Shoes----------------Carl Perkins
#5 .. 4 / 21 Lisbon Antigua----------------Nelson Riddle
#6 .. 9 / 7 Magic Touch----------------The Platters
#7 .. 10 / 11 A Tear Fell----------------Teresa Brewer
#8 .. 6 / 16 No, Not Much----------------The Four Lads
#9 .. 7 / 14 I'll Be Home----------------Pat Boone
#10 .. 12 / 7 Rock Island Line----------------Lonnie Donegan
#11 .. 8 / 13 Why Do Fools Fall In Love--Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
#12 .. 19 / 7 Ivory Tower----------------Cathy Carr
#13 .. 21 / 4 Moonglow And Theme From Picnic---Morris Stoloff
#14 .. 20 / 5 Long Tall Sally----------------Little Richard
#15 .. 18 / 6 Ivory Tower----------------Otis Williams & The Charms
#16 .. 35 / 4 Moonglow and Theme From Picnic---George Cates
#17 .. 11 / 19 Rock and Roll Waltz----------------Kay Starr
#18 .. 15 / 8 Theme From Man With the Golden Arm--Richard Maltby Orchestra
#19 .. 14 / 9 Eddie My Love----------------Fontane Sisters
#20 .. 16 / 10 Why Do Fools Fall In Love-----------Gale Storm

 

On May 1st, Carl Perkins' "Blue Suede Shoes" peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top 100 chart (it would reach #2 on the Jukebox chart). It is ironic that at the same time, Elvis Presley had his first number one record, "Heartbreak Hotel." While Elvis's career was taking off into the stratosphere with his new contract at RCA, Sam Phillips at Sun Records was thinking he'd be okay with his new star, Perkins. But it wasn't to be. Perkins would never come close to his success with "Blue Suede Shoes." Elvis also recorded "Blue Suede Shoes" and performed it on national television. Originally released as part of an EP ("extended play" record with four cuts, two on each side), it would eventually be released as a single in September (#20). Perkins was in a car accident in March and it prevented him from promoting his career with television or public appearances. The result was that most people identify "Blue Suede Shoes" with the by far better known Presley.

"The Poor People of Paris," "Hot Diggity," "Lisbon Antigua," and "Rock and Roll Waltz" were all former number ones in the top twenty the week of May 1st, while "Moonglow/Theme From Picnic" by Morris Stoloff was on its way to the top.

To use the current vernacular, rock and roll music was going "viral" in 1956, but it still had a minority representation in May as the only top ten song other than "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Blue Suede Shoes" in the genre was the doo-wop sound of The Platters with "Magic Touch."

Also, you might notice multiple recordings of the same song: "Moonglow" and "Why Do Fools Fall in Love." That was a common occurance in the mid 1950's.

In other news:

  • Needles won the Kentucky Derby
  • La Toya Jackson was born
  • Annette Funicello was the most popular Mousketeer
  • The U.S. exploded its first airborne hydrogen bomb
  • Columbia Records announced it would no longer produce 78 rpm records
  • Montgomery Clift, after a 3 year absence, returned to Hollywood to start production on "Raintree County."
  • Play-Doh was first marketed
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Can you guess what the top movie of May, 1956 was?
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