What was the number one song in the UK on 19th December 1958?

By Hayley Beasley Dye

American singer Conway Twitty (or Harold Lloyd Jenkins, which was his actual name), was number one for 6 weeks with It’s Only Make Believe.

It’s Only Make Believe is a very Elvis-esque warbler. This song crescendos in a kind of desperation about his hopes and dreams about his love until Twitty exclaims int hat emotional warble of his that everything is just make believe. It’s effective and nicely done, but it’s not the most wonderful 50s song I’ve heard. I might go as far as saying it’s a tad forgettable. If this was a school report, I would mark it ‘good try, could do better’. Oh and choosing Twitty as your stage name, I would’ve said was slightly ill advisable.

Wikipedia

“It’s Only Make Believe” is a song written by Jack Nance and American country music artist Conway Twitty, and produced by MGM Records’ Jim Vienneau, released by Twitty as a single in July 1958. The single topped both U.S. and the UK Singles Chart, and was Twitty’s only #1 single on the pop charts of either country. On a segment of Pop Goes The Country, Twitty states the single was a hit in 22 different countries and sold over 8 million copies. It is believed that Twitty wrote his part of the song while sitting on a fire escape outside his hotel room, to escape the summer heat, in Hamilton, Ontario. Twitty had gone to Canada on the advice of another American singer, Rompin’ Ronnie Hawkins, because Hawkins had told Twitty that Canada was the ‘promised land’ for music.

Twitty recorded many subsequent versions of “It’s Only Make Believe”, including a 1970 duet with Loretta Lynn on their very first collaborative album, We Only Make Believe. Twitty joins in on the last verse in a 1988 uptempo cover by Ronnie McDowell, which was a #8 hit on the country music charts. Additionally, Twitty contributed to an alternative cover by McDowell.

Lyrics

“People see us everywhere
They think you really care
But myself I can’t deceive
I know it’s only make believe
My one and only prayer is that some day you’ll care,
My hopes, my dreams come true, my one and only you.
No one will ever know how much I love you so
My only prayer will be someday you’ll care for me
But it’s o-only make believe.
My hopes, my dreams come true, my life I’d give for you,
My heart, a wedding ring, my all, my everything.
My heart I can’t control, you rule my very soul,
My only prayer will be someday you’ll care for me
But it’s o-only make believe.
My one and only prayer, is that some day you’ll care,
My hopes, my dreams come true, my one and only you
No one will ever know how much I love you so
My prayers, my hopes, my schemes, you are my every dream
But it’s o-only make believe (Make believe)”

The Playlist

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Every UK Number One Song

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