What was the number one song in the UK on 25th November 1955?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

American rock ‘n’ roll band, Bill Haley and His Comets were at number one with Rock Around the Clock for 3 weeks and then again from 6th January 1956 for 2 more weeks.

For me, Rock Around the Clock is synonymous with the 50s. I hear the start of this song and immediately imagine a 1950s dance floor filling up with Teddy Boys and ladies in big skirts jiving along. This word gets banded about far too much, but it really is a classic. It marked the beginning of teenage rebellion. It is also worth noting that James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause film also came out in 1955. It must have been an exciting time, especially for the youth of the 50s. What is particularly great about Rock Around the Clock is that it still sounds great today. It has transcended generations and will be known as one of the most important popular songs to ever be recorded.

Wikipedia

“Rock Around the Clock” is a rock and roll song in the 12-bar blues format written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter being under the pseudonym “Jimmy De Knight”) in 1952. The best-known and most successful rendition was recorded by Bill Haley & His Comets in 1954 for American Decca. It was a number one single on both the United States and United Kingdom charts and also re-entered the UK Singles Chart in the 1960s and 1970s.

It was not the first rock and roll record, nor was it the first successful record of the genre (Bill Haley had American chart success with “Crazy Man, Crazy” in 1953, and in 1954, “Shake, Rattle and Roll” sung by Big Joe Turner reached No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart). Haley’s recording nevertheless became an anthem for rebellious 1950s youth and is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture around the world. The song is ranked No. 158 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Although it was first recorded by Italian-American band Sonny Dae and His Knights on March 20, 1954, Myers claimed the song had been written specifically for Haley but, for various reasons, Haley was unable to record it himself until April 12, 1954.

The original full title of the song was “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!”. This was later shortened to “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock”, though this form is generally only used on releases of the 1954 Bill Haley Decca Records recording; most other recordings of this song by Haley and others (including Sonny Dae) shorten this title further to “Rock Around the Clock”.

In 2018, it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”

Lyrics

“One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock
Five, six, seven o’clock, eight o’clock, rock
Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, rock
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
Put your glad rags on, join me hon’
We’ll have some fun when the clock strikes one
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, we’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
When the clock strikes two, three and four
If the band slows down we’ll yell for more
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
When the chimes ring five, six and seven
We’ll be right in seventh heaven
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, we’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
Oh, when it’s eight, nine, ten, eleven too
I’ll be goin’ strong and so will you
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, we’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
When the clock strikes twelve we’ll cool off then
Start rockin’ ’round the clock again
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight
We’re gonna rock, rock, rock, ’til broad daylight
We’re gonna rock, we’re gonna rock around the clock tonight”

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Every UK Number One Song

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