Top 10 Songs of the 1950’s

The Top 10 Songs of the 1950’s are a mixture of sweet melody and the origins of Rock N’ Roll. Poodle Skirts sway to the Top 10 songs on jukeboxes in every malt shop across the country as “Squares” and “Drapes” face off. This article will list the Billboard Top Ten Songs for every year of the 1950’s as well as offer a few music history tidbits from the gone but never forgotten era.

Billboard Top Ten Songs of 1950
1. Daddy’s Little Girl – Mills Brothers
2. Mona Lisa – Nat King Cole
3. Music! Music! Music! – Teresa Brewer
4. The Tennesse Waltz – Patti Page
5. A Bushel and a Peck – Perry Como and Betty Hutton
6. Rag Mop – Ames Brothers
7. If I Knew You Were Comin’ I’d Have Baked A Cake – Eileen Barton
8. Harbor Lights – Sammy Kaye
9. Goodnight, Irene – Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers
10. I Wanna Be Loved – the Andrews Sisters

“Guys and Dolls” opens on Broadway in 1950.
Patti Page becomes the first artist to have a Number One record on the Pop, R&B and Country charts concurrently.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1951
1. Mockingbird Hill – Patti Page
2. Cry – Johnny Ray
3. Too Young – Nat King Cole
4. Cold, Cold Heart – Tony Bennet
5. Come On-a My House – Rosemary Clooney
6. Because of You – Tony Bennet
7. Sentimental Journey – Les Brown & the Ames Brothers
8. That’s My Boy – Stan Freburg
9. Be My Love – Mario Lanza
10. Sixty Minute Man – Billy Ward and His Dominoes

Walt Disney’s “Alice In Wonderland”, released in 1951, brought us such children’s hits as “All in a Golden Afternoon”, “I’m Late,” and “The Unbirthday Song,”
Singer Dinah Shore begins her first tv show, The Dinah Shore Show, in November.

Billboard Top Ten Songs of 1952
1. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
2. Blues In the Night – Rosemary Clooney
3. High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me) – Frankie Lane
4. You Belong To Me – Jo Stafford
5. It’s In The Book – Johnny Standley
6. A Guy Is A Guy – Doris Day
7. Please, Mister Sun – Johnny Ray
8. Wheel of Fortune – Kay Starr
9. Heart and Soul – Four Aces
10. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Guy Mitchell

On March 21st, 1952 the first ever reported Rock and Roll riot breaks out at Alan “Mondog” Freed’s “Moondog Coronation Ball” in Cleveland, Ohio.
On October 7, 1952 “Bob Horn’s Bandstand” has its first broadcast on a local Philadelphia, Pennsylvania station. It is later renamed “American Bandstand”.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1953
1. That’s Amore – Dean Martin
2. The Doggie In The Window – Patti Page
3. Vaya Con Dios – Les Paul & Mary Ford
4. Your Cheatin’ Heart – Hank Williams
5. Rags To Riches – Tony Bennett
6. I’ve Got The World On A String – Frank Sinatra
7. You Belong To Me – Jo Stafford
8. I Believe – Frankie Laine
9. South Of The Border – Frank Sinatra
10. Stranger In Paradise – Tony Bennett

Elvis first visit to a recording studio was in the summer of 1953 where he recorded “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”.
Frank Sinatra began recording at Capital Records in 1953.
On a sad note, country legend Hank Williams passed away this year on January, 1st.

Billboards Top Ten Songs of 1954
1. Shake Rattle and Roll – Bill Haley and The Comets
2. Young At Heart – Frank Sinatra
3. Sh-Boom (Life Could Be A Dream) – The Crew-Cuts
4. Mambo Italiano – Rosemary Clooney
5. Mr Sandman – The Chordettes
6. Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight – Spaniels
7. Stranger In Paradise – Tony Martin
8. Three Coins In The Fountain – Al Alberts & Four Aces
9. Oh! My Papa – Eddie Fisher
10. Naughty Lady of Shady Lane – Ames Brothers

In 1954 Bill Haley and His Comets recorded the song “Rock Around the Clock”, which was later used as the theme song for the movie “The Blackboard Jungle.
Two major events in Elvis Presley’s life happened in 1954. On July 5 he had his first commercial recording session at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee and on October 16 he made his first appearance on a radio program in Shreveport, Louisiana called the Louisiana Hayride.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1955
1. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White – Perez Prado
2. Sincerely – the McGuire Sisters
3. Rock Around The Clock – Bill Haley & His Comets
4. Sixteen Tons – Ernie ‘Tennessee’ Ford
5. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing – Four Aces
6. The Yellow Rose of Texas – Mitch Miller
7. Ballad of Davey Crockett – Bill Hayes
8. Autumn Leaves – Roger Williams
9. Let Me Go Lover – Joan Weber
10. Dance With Me Henry (Wallflower) – Georgia Gibbs

On January 14, 1955, Alan “Moondog” Freed, produces the first Rock N’ Roll concert in New York.
On October 15th, 1955 future star Buddy Holly open for Elvis in a concert as part of a local duo called “Buddy and Bob”.
Other future legends that started their career this year were: Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and John Coltrane.

Billboard Top Ten Songs of 1956
1. Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
2. Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
3. Singing The Blues – Guy Mitchell
4. The Wayward Wind – Gogi Grant
5. Heartbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
6. Rock and Roll Waltz – Kay Starr
7. The Poor People of Paris – Les Baxter
8. Memories Are Made Of this – Dean Martin
9. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
10. My Prayer – the Platters

Buddy Holly’s first recording session for Decca Records take place in Nashville, Tennessee on January 26th, 1956.
On January 28, 1956.Elvis Presley debuts on national television on “The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show” and then he signs a three picture deal with Paramount Pictures on April 6th.
On July 9 1956 “American Bandstand” with Dick Clark as host airs.
The start of other musical careers that are contributed are attributed to 1956 are: Aretha Franklin, Gene Vincent, The Coasters, Charlie Rich, Bobby Darin and Willie Nelson.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1957
1. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
2. Love Letters In The Sand – Pat Boone
3. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
4. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear – Elvis Presley
5. April Love – Pat Boone
6. Young Love – Tab Hunter
7. Tammy – Debbie Reynolds
8. Honeycomb – Jimmie Rodgers
9. Wake Up Little Susie – the Everly Brothers
10. You Send Me – Sam Cooke

“Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que SerÃ?¡, SerÃ?¡)” sung by Doris Day in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “The Man Who Knew Too Much”wins the Academy Award for Best Song in 1957.
On January 6, 1957 Elvis Presley made his last appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show.
Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, under the name “Tom and Jerry” begin their recording career with Sid Prosen of Big Records.
On March 19, 1957 Elvis Presley purchases “Graceland” in Memphis, Tennessee.

Billboard Top Ten Songs of 1958
1. At The Hop – Danny and the Juniors
2. It’s All In The Game – Tommy Edwards
3. The Purple People Eater – Sheb Wooley
4. All I Have To Do Is Dream – the Everly Brothers
5. Tequila – the Champs
6. Don’t – Elvis Presley
7. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) – Domentico Modugno
8. Sugartime – the Mcguire Sisters
9. He’s Got The Whole World (In His Hands) – Laurie London
10. The Chipmonk Song – The Chipmonks

On March 24 1958 Elvis Presley enters the U.S. Army.
The Bee Gees and Marvin Gaye began performing in 1958.
On February 14, 1958 the Iranian government bans Rock N’ Roll claiming that the music is against the concepts of Islam and is also a health hazard.

Billboard Top 10 Songs of 1959
1. Mack The Knife – Bobby Darin
2. The Battle Of New Orleans – Johnny Horton
3. Venus – Frankie Avalon
4. Stagger Lee – Lloyd Price
5. The Three Bells – The Browns
6. Lonely Boy – Paul Anka
7. Come Softly To Me – the Fleetwoods
8. Smoke Gets In Your Eyes – the Platters
9. Heartaches By The Number – Guy Mitchell
10. Sleep Walk – Santo & Johnny
11. Kansas City – Wilbert Harrison
12. A Big Hunk O’ Love – Elvis Presley
13. Mr. Blue – the Fleetwoods
14. Why – Frankie Avalon
15. The Happy Organ – Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez

As we come to the end of an era, three major players in shaping the decade, as well as the Top 10 Songs of the 1950’s, also perish. On February 3rd, 1959 Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. Richardson “The Big Bopper”, die in a plane crash in Iowa. The world was mourning as they faced the societal changing years ahead, the 1960’s.

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