The UK singles chart, as we know it, started on the 15th November 1952. Previous to this any number ones were based on sheet music sold.
The first ever number one was “Here In My Heart” by Al Martino and entered the charts on 15th November 1952. It remained at number one for 9 weeks and it was therefore also the first ever Christmas chart topper
This song is easy listening, big band swing at it’s best. What a voice! I try to imagine how much simpler life was back when this was number one.
Nice one Al, you started off the Christmas Number Ones – from the heart and that’s what Christmas should be all about!
“Answer Me” by David Whitfield was Number One on 7th November 1953 and it remained at number one for 1 weeks. It then returned back to Number One for Christmas.
I really hope he got his Christmas answer and it was the present that he was hoping for.
“Let’s Have Another Party” by Winifred Atwell was Number One on 4th December 1954 and stayed there for five weeks and was the Christmas Number One of that year. Not a very festive tune but it will still get you dancing after a few alcoholic beverages around the Christmas tree.
Winifred was a ragtime superstar and was the first black person to have a UK number one and is still the only female instrumentalist to do so.
“Christmas Alphabet” by Dickie Valentine was Number One on 17th December 1955 and stayed there for three weeks and was the Christmas number one song in this year. The first Christmas themed song to be number one at Christmas – oh, how I miss that.
Gather around the Christmas tree and let’s sing together…C is for…
…what do you mean it’s only November and you don’t have your tree up yet – SCROOGE!
“Just Walkin’ In The Rain” by Johnnie Ray was Number One on 17th November 1956 and stayed there for seven weeks and was the Christmas Number One of this year.
Credited as being the Grandfather of Rock & Roll I challenge you to try to listen to this song without whistling along.
“Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafontewas Number One on 23nd November 1957 and stayed there for seven weeks and no surprise it was the Christmas Number One of this year.
With a voice as smooth as silk Harry is making me feel all Christmassy inside. This makes me wish I could experience a good old fashioned Christmas when it wasn’t all about money and presents. When it was cold outside, snow was falling and everyone was laughing around the tree. Maybe that never actually happened and I’m getting confused with old movies but I can dream.
“It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty was Number One on 20th December 1958 and stayed there for five weeks to be the Christmas Number One of this year.
I know it was Christmas and all that but the only thing I can think is “poor man’s Elvis”.
“What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?” by Emile Ford & The Checkmates was Number One on 19th December 1959 and stayed there for six weeks to be the Christmas Number One of this year.
It’s not very Christmasy but I’m sure there are a lot of office Christmas parties where people are making eyes at people they shouldn’t be (and possibly more). Just remember people – it’s only kissing that’s allowed under the mistletoe!
Well, that’s the fifties all done stay tuned for the contenders for this year’s chart topper!
Keep a look out for our other festive decades and don’t forget to listen to the entire playlist.
Let us know your favourite Christmas number one!
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