Recovered Ken Dodd Show and more BBC radio shows

8 Responses

  1. Stevie says:

    ‘according to recent history falsification’ What do you mean by that? From Me To You has always been their first number one in the official charts

    • admin says:

      The first U.K. chart of record sales was produced 14th November 1952 by the New Musical Express (N.M.E.) which is therefore the longest established chart. In the N.M.E. chart of 1963 “Please Please Me” was the Beatles’ first single to reach the top spot on 22nd February where it remained for 2 weeks. It also topped two other charts which were the ones people relied on back in the sixties, the Melody Maker charts and the Disc charts.
      However, from 10th March 1960, the music industry started to compile its own chart in a publication called “Record Retailer”. This was a trade publication as used by record shops and the music industry which later became “Music Week”. For a couple of years from it’s inception this chart was not the most widely accepted chart and was largely overlooked by the record buying public who, on the whole, still relied on the ever-present N.M.E., Melody Maker and Disc listing. But when Guinness Book of Records started to compile what they were to call the “official” British music charts, they were able to buy the “Record Retailer” charts cheap. In this chart The Beatles reached number 2 on the 2nd March 1963 but were kept off of number 1 by Frank Ifield’s third consecutive chart-topper “Wayward Wind”.
      The choice of this chart as the one used for “official” purposes is slightly unfortunate, because in the hit parades of NME, Melody Maker and Disc “Please Please Me” was number 1, and therefore the Beatles FIRST number one. As predicted by George Martin after the recording session.

      • Shad Radna says:

        The spiel they keep reading out on Radio 4 Extra actually says that in 1963 the band had their first number one in the singles chart, and then released their debut album. So they’ve been avoiding strongly associating the season with From Me To You.

      • James P says:

        A very comprehensive and well-explained account. It is indeed a falsification since it presents the Record Retailer as the ‘official’ chart, which it was not then.

        Another reason for Guinness adopting the RR charts from 1960 is that they went slightly deeper to a top 50 and so included more records. Hence, the simple answer is that there was no ‘official’ chart until February 1969 and it is indeed false to claim otherwise.

        Each main chart had its strengths and weaknesses, sample size against hyped records, and one result of the decision to follow RR was to ignore the success of high selling EPs. On the flip side Lady Madonna did not make number 1 in all the charts.

        If we follow the tenets of ‘historicism’, viewing history from the eyes of the people from the past, that it would be highly inaccurate to pretend that Please Please Me was not a number one as viewed by the Beatles and everyone associated with them.

  2. Kevin says:

    I’ve always felt the hullabaloo about charts and hits and Number One’s to be beside the point, frankly. So what? Does your regard for a song depend on what a “chart” tells you? or what other people are buying or not buying? And will it matter years down the road?

    Record charts are a hype invented by the record biz to keep consumers mesmerized and pliable.

    • James P says:

      You know, I totally agree with this. Personally, I care nothing for the charts and take very little interest in them. But it is more than a little irritating to find that Tim Rice and Guinness could decide, in 1977, that the Beatles (and other artists like the Rolling Stones) suddenly were not entitled to a number one hit record. It’s like someone retrospectively deciding that the Wanderers did not win the 1876 cup final. As a historian, it annoys me. It’s an approach that falsely tries to impose a presentism on the past…

  3. James P says:

    Just to quickly add that at least we have Mark Lewisohn (amongst others) to point out that Please Please Me was number 1 in most charts. As a 15 year old I read the 1978 reprint of Hunter Davies’ Beatles biography which clearly presented PPM as a number 1, so it puzzled me that Guinness ignored this. I think it was the Beatles Chronicle in 1992 which finally published the Beatles records in all the contemporary charts.

  4. Charles_I says:

    The David Frost interview is not available outside the U.K. Oof.

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