Our Top 10 Singles from the 50s
Here at Seacroft Holiday Village, we have a number of breaks featuring the fantastic hits on the 1950s. The decade of Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Frank Sinatra, the 1950s are perhaps best known for its rock and roll, blues, and swing artists – but it’s difficult to assign any one genre to the 50s. The electric guitar became more popular, and this loaned itself to the rock and roll movement, particularly the style of iconic artists like Chuck Berry. Here, we list our top singles from the 50s!
Billy Eckstine – My Foolish Heart
An American jazz and pop singer, Billy Eckstine’s ‘My Foolish Heart’ was one of the early popular singles from the 50s. Known for hits such as his Grammy Hall of Fame recording “I Apologize”, Billy Eckstine released his last album in 1986 before his death in 1993 at age 78.
Jimmy Young – Too Young
A cover of the popular Nat King Cole song, Sir Jimmy Young was a popular singer, DJ, and radio personality. Having hits in the 50s, Jimmy Young was best known for his show on BBC Radio 2 which he retired from at the end of 2002, and wrote a weekly column for the Sunday Express until 2014, before his death last year in 2016.
Vera Lynn – Auf Widerseh’n Sweetheart
Wideley known as “the Forces’ Sweetheart”, Vera Lynn is an English pop singer and actress who rose to popularity during the Second World War and remaining so afterwards, with hits such as “My Son, My Son” alongside “Auf Widerseh’n Sweetheart”. She released an LP in March 2017, 3 days before her 100th birthday, featuring her original vocals to new music.
Frankie Laine – I Believe
An American singer with a career that lasted for the best part of 75 years, Frankie Lane performed a variety of styles and genres, from theme songs for Western films to jazz and blues. A compilation of his hits reached number 16 in the British chart, four years after his death in 2007.
Eddie Calvert – Oh Mein Papa
A successful trumpeter in the 1950s, Eddie Calvert was an English musician had his first number one single with ‘Oh Mein Papa’ in 1954. With his individual style, Eddie Calvert became well-known on radio and television, but by the 1960s the trumpeter’s popularity faded, and in later years moved to South Africa where he later died in 1978.
Slim Whitman – Rose Marie
Known for his country and western music style, singer-songwriter Slim Whitman was easily recognisable for his yodelling and smooth, high voice. Having toured with Elvis Presley in the 1950s, Slim Whitman was once known as America’s “Favorite Folk Singer”, and George Harrison from the Beatles named Whitman as one of his early influencers, and was one of Michael Jackson’s ten favourite vocalists, and lands him a place on our top singles from the 50s.
Johnnie Ray – Just Walkin’ In the Rain
A very popular singer in the 50s, Johnny Ray was widely recognised as one of the forerunners of what later became rock and roll. Partially deaf, Johnnie Ray began singing at the age of 15 and performed until 1989, before his death in early 1990. The song 1982 “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners features a lyric mentioning the singer, and footage of him arriving in London in 1954 was used in the music video.
Paul Anka – Diana
Still performing today, Paul Anka became famous in the late 50s for his hit song “Diana”, having subsequent hits in the 60s and 70s. With acting roles in films such as The Longest Day, Girls Town, and Captain Ron, Paul Anka has also starred as himself in popular TV programs such as The Simpsons, That ‘70s Show, and Gilmore Girls.
Perry Como – Magic Moments
A singer and television personality, Perry Como’s career lasted more than 50 years. Nicknamed “Mr. C’, Perry Como sold millions of records and hosted a musical variety show on TV, hosting the Kraft Music Hall variety program until 1967.
Cliff Richard & The Drifters – Living
Perhaps one of the most well-known names on this list, Cliff Richard is still performing today, albeit and as solo artist. It is here that Cliff Richard got the stage name Cliff Richard, and performed with the Drifters, later named The Shadows. Cliff Richard’s career started to become separate from his backing band in the late 50s.
So there you have it, our top singles from the 50s! But there are far too many to list in one article. Click here to go to our Top Singles of the 60s!