What was the number one song in the UK on 28th June 1957?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

Lonnie Donegan is number one for the second time in 1957, with a double-sided single- Puttin’ On the Style and Gamblin’ Man. They stayed at number one for 2 weeks.

Ooh, I’m reviewing, not one, but two songs today and it had to be bloody Lonnie Donegan, didn’t it.

So, first we have Puttin’ On the Style. Any song that starts with the line “Sweet sixteen, goes to church just to see the boys…” can understandably leave one feeling a little nervous. However, Lonnie sings about several different characters that are “puttin’ on the style”. Along with the young girl, he also sings about a young man and a preacher who are all basically just showing off or to put it more profoundly putting on a front to impress people and make them like or respect them. It’s an observational song and is typical of Lonnie’s style. I’m not a Lonnie fan, so this song doesn’t really do it for me, but I can imagine if you are a fan of his- this might be one of your favourites.

Next we have Gamblin’ Man. It’s a mess of song. As always, it’s feet stomping fast with jangling banjoes. I got a headache from just listening to it once and Lonnie repeats that he’s a gambling man so many times throughout the song, you start to get the impression he’s using this song as some kind of cathartic act.

Wikipedia

Puttin’ On the Style: Vernon Dalhart recorded “Puttin’ On the Style” in December of 1925 and by 1926 it was a popular hit. The song was collected in the Catskills by Norman Cazden from Ernie Sagar in 1945 showing that it had entered oral tradition. Another version has also been collected from oral tradition in West Virginia. “Puttin’ On the Style” was a 1957 hit for skiffle artist Lonnie Donegan. It was recorded live at the London Palladium and released as a double A-side along with “Gamblin’ Man” and reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in June and July 1957, where it spent two weeks in this position. It was Donegan’s second consecutive No. 1 in the UK and the UK’s first double-sided chart topper. It was the last UK chart-topper to be solely issued in 78rpm format, as Pye Nixa did not release it on 7″ single at the time (although it was later re-released as a 7″).

Gamblin’ Man: It was a 1957 hit single for skiffle artist Lonnie Donegan. It was recorded live at the London Palladium and released as a double A side along with “Puttin’ On the Style”. It reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in June and July 1957, where it spent two weeks in this position. This was the last UK number 1 to be released on 78 rpm format only, as 7′ vinyl had become the norm by this time. The original Pye Nixa does not exist on 7″ format.

“Gamblin’ Man” was written by Woody Guthrie and Donegan, and produced by Alan Freeman and Michael Barclay.

Lyrics

Puttin’ On the Style:

“Sweet sixteen, goes to church just to see the boys
Laughs and screams and giggles at every little noise
Turns her face a little and turns her head awhile
But everybody knows she’s only putting on the style
That’s what all the young folks are doing all the while
And as I look around me, I’m sometimes apt to smile
Seeing all the young folks putting on the style
Young man in the hot-rod car, driving like he’s mad
With a pair of yellow gloves he’s borrowed from his dad
He makes it roar so lively just to see his girlfriend smile
But she knows he’s only putting on the style
That’s what all the young folks are doing all the while
And as I look around me, I’m sometimes apt to smile
Seeing all the young folks putting on the style
Preacher in the pulpit roars with all his might
Sing Glory Hallelula with the folks all in a fright
Now you might think he’s satan that’s coming down the aisle
But it’s only our poor preacher, boys, it’s putting on his style
That’s what all the young folks are doing all the while
And as I look around me, I’m sometimes apt to smile
Seeing all the young folks putting on the style
That’s what all the young folks are doing all the while
And as I look around me, I’m sometimes apt to smile
Seeing all the young folks putting on the style
That’s what all the young folks are doing all the while
And as I look around me, I’m sometimes apt to smile
Seeing all the young folks putting on the style”

Gamblin’ Man:

“I’ve gambled down in Washington
And I’ve gambled up in Maine
I’m going down into Georgia
To knock down my last game
I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man
I’m a gamblin’ man
Well I’d not been in Washington
Many more weeks than three
When I fell in love with a pretty little girl
And she fell in love with me
I’m a gamblin’ man
I’m a gamblin’ man
I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man
I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
I’m a gamblin’ man
I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
I’m a gamblin’ man, man, man
I’m a gamblin’ man
She took me in her parlour
Cooled me with her fan
She said oh mother mother
I’m in love with a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
He’s a gamblin’ man
She said oh daughter, daughter
How could you treat me so
Leave your poor old mother
With that gambler go
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
Hey a gamblin’ man
I would not marry a farmer
He’s always in the rain
I’d rather marry a gamblin’ man
With a gold watch and chain
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man
And I would not marry a railroad man
Here’s the reason why
I’ve never known a railroad man
Wouldn’t tell his wife a lie
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man man man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
He’s a gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man
How about Jimmy
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man
How about
I hear that train a-coming
Coming round the curve
Whistling, a-screaming
straining every nerve
A gamblin’ man man man
A gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man
He’s a gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man, man, man
A gamblin’ man”

The Playlist

Relive, enjoy and share every song and keep following Talk About Pop Music for more Number One posts!

Every UK Number One Song

Do you remember these songs?

If you enjoy what you read on this site – feel free to donate and show your support…click to donate any amount you like, every little helps – and don’t forget to download the App!

Looking for the perfect gift for a music lover like you – check out My First Record for a poptastic present!

Advertisements