EVERY UK NUMBER ONE SONG: ‘Just Walkin’ in the Rain’ – Johnnie Ray

What was the number one song in the UK on 16th November 1956?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

Good ole Johnnie is back. Back again. This time with Just Walkin’ in the Rain, which was number one for 7 weeks.

I can see why this was number one for quite a few weeks. It’s a nice, little catchy song that is very easy listening. It does have whistling throughout it though, which I can imagine may have got a tad annoying after a few weeks of it being number one. However, I quite like this one. Well done, Johnnie.


“Just Walkin’ in the Rain” is a popular song. It was written in 1952 by Johnny Bragg and Robert Riley, two prisoners at Tennessee State Prison in Nashville, after a comment made by Bragg as the pair crossed the courtyard while it was raining. Bragg allegedly said, “Here we are just walking in the rain, and wondering what the girls are doing.” Riley suggested that this would make a good basis for a song, and within a few minutes, Bragg had composed two verses. However, because Bragg was unable to read and write, he asked Riley to write the lyrics down in exchange for being credited as one of the song’s writers.

Bragg and his band, the Prisonaires, later recorded the song for Sun Records and it became a hit on the US Billboard R&B chart in 1953. However, the best-known version of the song was recorded by Johnnie Ray in July 16, 1956 on the label Columbia Records; it reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and No. 1 on the UK Singles Chart for seven weeks. It became a gold record. Ray initially disliked the song, but sang it based on the recommendation of Mitch Miller. Ray’s version featured the backup male vocals of the Ray Conniff Singers as well as a whistler.


“Just walking in the rain
Getting soaking wet
Torturing my heart by trying to forget
Just walking in the rain
So alone and blue
All because my heart still remembers you
People come to their windows,
They always stare at me
Shaking their heads in sorrow
Saying, Who can that fool be
Just walking in the rain
Thinking how we met
Knowing things have changed
Somehow I can’t forget.”

The Playlist

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Every UK Number One Song

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