!!Banned #1s Special!!

Having just covered the Daddy of all banned #1s, ‘Relax’, I thought I’d take a short pause to look at which of our 530 previous chart-toppers had been banned for one reason or another.

By ‘banned’ I mean ‘banned by the BBC’, as I think that’s probably the best barometer of overall public taste and opinion in the UK. And rather than divide the post by song titles, I’ve divided it by the reasons the records were banned. Starting with…

SMUT!!

Such a Night, by Johnny Ray – a #1 in 1954, and one of my favourite pre-rock chart-toppers. It was banned because of Ray’s ‘suggestive panting’, as he recalls a night of wild abandon with an unamed person. (Ray was gay, and so he technically sent an ode to gay sex to #1 a full thirty years before Frankie Goes to Hollywood.) Read my original post here.

Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus, by Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin – a strong contender for the most controversial #1 ever, alongside ‘Relax’. Leave it to a Frenchman to record this steamy slice. Rumour has it that the ‘suggestive panting’ here is an actual live orgasm, as the randy old goat defiled English rose Jane Birkin in the studio. (Gainsbourg denied this by claiming that if it had been live sex, then the record would have had to have been a long player… Ooh lalala!) Live or not, this record was so good it came twice. To the singles chart, that is… It originally made #2 in the spring of 1969, before being re-released in the autumn and reaching its ultimate climax. (Original post here.)

BLASPHEMY!!

Answer Me, by Frankie Laine / Hold My Hand, by Don Cornell / The Garden of Eden, by Frankie Vaughan – the fact that these three records were banned might sound completely ridiculous to modern ears. But in the 1950s people – or the Beeb, at least – blanched at the mere mention of Our Lord in a pop song. Frankie Laine made light of praying with the line Answer me, Lord above… (When David Whitfield came to record his own chart-topping version, he changed the words to Answer Me, Oh my love…) Don Cornell and Frankie Vaughan meanwhile compared acts of love to being in the Garden of Eden. Saucy stuff for the mid-fifties. Here’s Vaughan’s hit from 1957, which was actually a bit of a banger by pre-rock standards:

MURDER!! and PROSTITUTES!!

Mack the Knife, by Bobby Darin – originally written for Berthold Brecht’s ‘Threepenny Opera’ in the thirties, Bobby Darin’s recording is nowadays seen as the definitive version of ‘Mack the Knife’. No matter that the references to murder and prostitution were softened considerably – ‘cement bags’ and ‘scarlet billows’ for example – the BBC still thought it was a bit too heavy for radio.

DEATH!!

Tell Laura I Love Her, by Ricky Valance / Ebony Eyes, by The Everly Brothers / Johnny Remember Me, by John Leyton – One of the stranger musical movements of the 1960s was the popularity of ‘death-discs’ in the very earliest years of the decade. They usually involved a young couple, a tragic accident, and an untimely end… Three such ‘splatter platters’ made it to #1 in the UK, the best of which was the Joe Meek produced ‘Johnny Remember Me’. The BBC banned them on the grounds that they were ‘morbid’ – which I guess is true – and ‘nauseating’ – which is most definitely true in the case of the awful ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’.

FRIVOLITY!!

Nut Rocker, by B. Bumble & the Stingers – I’m stretching things a bit here, as this record was never actually banned. However, the BBC did put it to a review, as this 1962 #1 was a rock ‘n’ roll take on the march from Tchaikovsky’s ‘The Nutcracker’, and Auntie took a dim view of frivolous parodies of much more worthy classical pieces. In the end the board decided that the record was clearly of ‘an ephemeral nature’ and was ‘unlikely to offend reasonable people’. B. Bumble lived to sting another day. (Original post here.)

TEMPTING FATE!!

Space Oddity, by David Bowie – Bowie’s first chart hit was this classic, released just five days before the Apollo 11 mission launched in July 1969. The world was on tenterhooks, waiting to see if Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins would make it to the moon and back in one piece. The BBC felt that this song, in which a solitary Major Tom floats in his tin can towards oblivion, his circuits dead and something wrong, went against the optimistic public mood. The ban only lasted until the astronauts had splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. The single made #5, and eventually #1 when re-released in 1975. (Original post here.)

WAR!!

Waterloo, by ABBA – Yes. ‘Waterloo’ by ABBA has indeed been banned by the BBC. During the first Gulf War, it was one of sixty-seven songs banned from the airwaves for alluding, however obliquely, to military conflict. The idea that a metaphor involving a tempestuous romance and Napoleon’s last stand could unsettle the general public in a time of war seems laughable, but the Beeb played it safe. Also banned at the time were Blondie’s ‘Atomic’, Paper Lace’s ‘Billy – Don’t Be a Hero’ and… Desmond Dekker’s ‘Israelites’.

The BBC doesn’t officially ‘ban’ songs anymore, it just doesn’t play them. The last big controversy involved The Prodigy’s ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ in the late ’90s, which was only played as an instrumental. In recent years, controversy over radio stations editing, or not editing, a certain term from ‘Fairytale of New York’ has become something of a festive tradition in the UK. Last I heard, Radio 1 were playing an edited version, while Radio 2 were sticking with the original.

Any official ‘ban’ on a song nowadays would be quite pointless, with streaming services and YouTube at our fingertips, and the BBC seems to have given up its role as arbiters of public decency. Anyway, the fact that all these banned records made #1 anyway is probably quite telling. At best, a ban did very little. At worst, it actually boosted sales through all the people popping down HMV to see what all the fuss was about.

Next up, we return to the regular countdown, with a song about nuclear armageddon. That was never, as far as I’m aware, banned…

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Top 10s – The 1950s

Time for a Top 10… Usually I rank the ten best singles from a particular artist (last time it was The Kinks) but I thought I’d fiddle with my criteria a little, and rank my favourite #1 singles from an entire decade.

Starting with the singles chart’s very first decade. Back where it all began, when rock ‘n’ roll was but a twinkle in Elvis’s eye. The list is in chronological order – not ranked in order of preference – and to choose the songs I went back and read through my recaps to see which ones I dug at the time, live, as it were…

So, without further ado, the ten best #1 singles of the 1950s, according to me:

1. ‘Look at That Girl’, by Guy Mitchell – #1 for 6 weeks in Sept/Oct 1953

Only the 12th-ever number one single, from one of the decade’s biggest chart stars, and a runner-up in my first recap. This was the very first whiff of rock ‘n’ roll at the top of the UK charts (a very faint whiff, but still) and I think it appealed more than it probably should have because I’d waded through so much Eddie Fisher and Mantovani to get to it. Still, a catchy, upbeat tune. As I wrote in my original post:

“It sounds to me as if a battle is taking place here, between traditional easy-listening and the burgeoning rock ‘n’ roll movement. On the one hand you’ve got the usual twee backing singers and floaty trumpets, parping away at the end of each line; on the other you have the hand claps and the guitar solo.”

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2. ‘Such a Night’, by Johnnie Ray – #1 for 1 week in April/May 1954

Johnnie Ray was known for his emoting, which lent him two spectacular nicknames: ‘The Prince of Wails’ and ‘The Nabob of Sob’. But for his 1st of three #1s he was overcome with a slightly more enjoyable emotion… lust! By far the sauciest number one of the pre-rock era, I awarded it ‘Best Chart-Topper’ in my 1st recap. I’d go as far as saying it was the best #1 single ever… Until 1957 came along. My original post is here:

“…what makes it, and elevates it to a classic, are Ray’s vocals. Like Doris Day before him there’s an effortlessness to his voice that draws you in and yanks you along. But his voice is nothing like the clean-cut, honeyed tones of Miss Day. ‘Such a Night’ isn’t being sung here – it’s being ridden, it’s being humped… it’s being performed!”

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3. ‘Mambo Italiano’, by Rosemary Clooney & The Mellomen – #1 for 3 weeks in Jan/Feb 1955

I remember noting, back in the early days of the charts, that it felt like the girls were having all the fun. Guys were being boringly earnest – Al Martino, Eddie Fisher, David Whitfield all proclaiming overwrought, undying love over heavy orchestration. Meanwhile Rosemary Clooney, in her 2nd #1, was singing in cod-Italian about fish bacalao (which is Portuguese, but whatever.) It’s a song that resonates to this day, with a 00s remix and a 2011 pastiche by Lady Gaga. I named it a runner-up in my first recap:

“…while this is a mambo record, sung by an easy-listening singer-slash-actress, this is rock ‘n’ roll. It may be fun and funky, but it just about manages to retain an air of cool around all the silliness. While we were waiting for Bill Haley to come along and kick-off things off, the ideals and attitudes, if not the actual sounds, of rock ‘n’ roll were being sneaked in right under our noses.”

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4. ‘Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White’, by Perez ‘Prez’ Prado & His Orchestra – #1 for 2 weeks in April/May 1955

Another saucy slice of Latin pop, which I named the very best song in my 2nd recap! Again, my opinion of it was probably exaggerated because of all the pre-rock easy-listening mulch surrounding it. It is catchy, though. Just you try not swaying along. Can’t be done! I tried summing up the record’s appeal in my original post

“…it allows Janet and John from Southend to draw close and to feel one another’s bodies, taught and trembling from two and a half minutes of intense mambo.”

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5. ‘Dreamboat’, by Alma Cogan – #1 for 2 weeks in July 1955

The 3rd #1 from 1955, making it officially the best year of the decade… (Hmm…) ‘Dreamboat’ is just a spectacularly fun pop song, sung with a giggle and a wink by perhaps the biggest British female star of the pre-rock age. As I wrote at the time:

“…there isn’t much else to ‘Dreamboat’ -it’s a fun little ditty. Cogan sings it well, with the perfect pronunciation we’ve come to expect but also with a light, playful touch that’s been missing from many of the number ones so far.”

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6. ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’, by The Teenagers ft. Frankie Lymon – #1 for 3 weeks in July/Aug 1956

Regrets, I have a few… One of them being that I named this classic as a runner-up to Perez Prado in my 2nd recap. What was I thinking? ‘Cherry Pink…’ is great and all, but this is timeless. The first number one by kids, for kids – the Teenagers were all, you guessed it, teenagers – is one of the catchiest, golden pop moments of all time, let alone the decade. As I wrote

“… it’s just a great song. A summer smash. It oozes New York city: steam, water spraying from a sidewalk valve, the sun blasting down, the Jets and the Sharks… (I dunno. I grew up in small town Scotland.)”

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7. ‘That’ll Be the Day’, by The Crickets – #1 for 3 weeks in November 1957

Perhaps the most obvious choice of the ten… What else needs to be said. Press play, gasp at the spectacular intro, and enjoy two and a half minutes of rock ‘n’ roll perfection…

“…Buddy Holly’s voice dances and flirts – toys, almost – with the listener. He coos, he pauses, he growls… The Crickets play tightly, but also very loosely. There’s a great, rough-around-the-edges feel to this record that contrasts with the polished cheese of Paul Anka’s ‘Diana’, whose bumper run at the top this track ended.”

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8. ‘Great Balls of Fire’, by Jerry Lee Lewis – #1 for 2 weeks in January 1958

But… I didn’t name ‘That’ll Be the Day’ as one of the very best chart-toppers. Oh no. In my 3rd recap, that honour was reserved for The Killer. On any given day, I could wake up and prefer ‘Great Balls…’ to ‘That’ll Be the Day’, or vice-versa. What’s the point in debating?  These two records were nailed-on to make my 50’s Top 10. Pure rock ‘n’ roll greatness…

“…It’s just an absolute blitz, an assault on the senses, a two-minute blast which takes rock ‘n’ roll up another notch.”

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9. ‘Who’s Sorry Now’, by Connie Francis – #1 for 6 weeks in May/June 1958

A spot of schadenfreude in the decade’s sassiest #1 single. Connie got dumped, and is now taking great pleasure that the tables have turned on her ex in his new relationship. You had your way, Now you must pay, I’m glad that you’re sorry now… Who says girls in the 50’s were all sweetness and apple pie? The twang in her voice when she launches into the final verse is something to behold. As I wrote at the time…

“A lot of the female artists we’ve met previously on this countdown have been cute, and flirty, and fun to listen to – Kitty Kallen, Kay Starr, Winifred Atwell… But no girl has brought this level of spunk to the table.”

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10. ‘Dream Lover’, by Bobby Darin – #1 for 4 weeks in July 1959

Last up –  a record that encapsulates everything great about the 1950s, mixing rock ‘n’ roll with swing, doo-wop and a touch of pre-rock crooning, to create pop perfection. Another runner-up to Jerry Lee in my 3rd recap, but there’s no shame in that. In my original post, I wrote:

“…I don’t want to really write any more about this record. I want to leave it there. Minimalist. This is where easy-listening and pop collide to create a seriously classy song.”

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And there we have it! The ten best #1 singles of the 1950s!

60. ‘Yes Tonight, Josephine’, by Johnnie Ray

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Yes Tonight, Josephine, by Johnnie Ray (his 3rd and final #1)

3 weeks, from 7th – 28th June 1957

We’re picking up pace again with the 60th #1, after an ever-so-slight respite under the poppier grooves of Andy William’s ‘Butterfly’, as Johnnie Ray takes us a-rockin’ and a-rollin’ on his final (sob!) chart topper.

Promise me your lips are mine, Josephine tonight’s the time, I will squeeze and hold you tight, Pack each kiss with dynamite…

This is pure rock ‘n’ roll territory – squeezing (!) holding (!), dynamite kisses (!). I noted way back when, during the post on Ray’s first #1, ‘Such a Night’, that the raunchy lyrics and suggestive groaning would have been outrageous, and shocking, for the time. That was only three years ago – in May 1954 – but it already seems a long way off. By the summer of ’57, rock ‘n’ roll was here to stay and lyrics about ‘tonight being the night’ were very much par for the course.

Everything, Josephine, will be alright… I’m gonna give my lips to you, Don’t ask me if I want you ‘cos you know I do… Yes tonight, Josephine! Yes, tonight! Little imagination is required to imagine what will be happening ‘tonight’. Not a quiet game of Canasta, that’s for sure.

The rest of the lyrics are rather throwaway: I’ll be Jack and you’ll be Jill, I have loved you from the start, Kiss me quick – knock me out… I used the term ‘basic’ for the previous number one and I’m reluctant to use it again here BUT, as much as I love Johnnie Ray, this isn’t his most innovative recording. It’s fun, perky and a very worthy attempt at jumping on the rock ‘n’ roll bandwagon, but it’s not in the same league as ‘Just Walkin’ in the Rain’, which in turn was a step down from the seminal ‘Such a Night.’

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Ray, too, sings it like he is aware of this. He doesn’t give it quite the same oomph as his earlier chart toppers. And while I know I mention it every time our Johnnie comes up… he was, after all, gay. And, if you are as gay as the day, then you aren’t going to put as much into a song about a ‘Josephine’ as you would into a song about a ‘Jonathan’, are you? Maybe that’s got something to do with Ray’s somewhat detached performance here? Or maybe he knew it just wasn’t as good a song…?

The best thing here, by far, is the backing singers. Backing singers have played a huge part in the history of the UK’s earliest chart topping singles; much more of a role than they play these days (does anyone have backing singers anymore?) Anyway, whereas most backing singers have been there for some oohs, aahs and the occasional bum-de-dum, Ray’s backers give us a – wait for it: Yip-yip-way-pa-de-boom-diddy-boom-diddy! At least, I think that’s what they’re giving us. There’s no way to be completely sure. But it’s utterly glorious.

If we include ‘Just Walkin’ in the Rain’ and ‘Yes Tonight, Josephine’, then we have now had nine consecutive chart-toppers which have all been variations on a rock ‘n’ roll theme. Never before have we seen such consistency in terms of the genre and style of our number one hits. Plus, they have all been recorded by male soloists and they have all been pretty much the same length: the trusty 2.5-minute pop single has suddenly appeared over the past few months. Plus, if we extend the reach to include Frankie Laine’s ‘A Woman in Love’ – which wasn’t a rock song – then I cannot think of ten chart-toppers I have enjoyed discovering and listening to as much these most recent discs. A Magic 10! I know I’ve called out the more recent ones for being a little basic, and Tab Hunter’s ‘Young Love’ was super-soppy; but when I think back to the depths of the pre-rock days I’d be lying if I said I’m not glad they’re long behind us! As this is the 60th #1, a recap will be up next, so I don’t want to go into much more detail than this – suffice to say that, glancing ahead, the run of rockers is set to continue for a while and – to be honest – long may it last!

I’ll end, then, by giving Johnnie Ray a big send-off. Out of all the artists we’ve covered on this countdown, he’s the one I knew the best and had already listened to extensively. He’s great, and it’s a crime that he never gets included in the list of the great early rock ‘n’ rollers. Beyond the three songs that made it to the top of the UK Charts I’d strongly suggest clicking on the links below and enjoying: his huge breakthrough hit ‘Cry’, ‘Let’s Walk That-a-Way’ – a sparkly duet with Doris Day, his cover of ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’, and ‘You Don’t Owe Me a Thing’ – a track released in between his final two chart-toppers, during this glorious spring of rock ‘n’ roll.

His popularity waned dramatically from 1959 onwards, especially in his native US and, while the same fate befell many stars of the forties and fifties once Elvis and then The Beatles had come along, it also had a lot to do with Ray’s homosexuality becoming more and more of an open secret-slash-scandal. He was also an alcoholic, and his addiction spiralled during the leaner years. He died in 1990. Our friend Kay Starr spoke at his funeral, while Tony Bennett described him as the ‘Father of Rock and Roll’. I couldn’t agree more.

52. ‘Just Walkin’ in the Rain’, by Johnnie Ray

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Just Walkin’ in the Rain, by Johnnie Ray (his 2nd of three #1s)

7 weeks, from 16th November 1956 to 4th January 1957

And, just like that, we zoom to the end of 1956. And we are reacquainted with another artist whom we haven’t seen for a while…

The last time we met Johnnie Ray, he was snatching a week at number one with the superb ‘Such a Night’. I voted it as ‘Best Record So Far’ in an earlier recap, it was that good. But that was almost three years ago, in the spring of ’54. Ray stood out like a sore thumb – a groaning, pleading, cavorting thumb – amongst the frightfully proper records that were topping the charts back then. Now we’re in somewhat more relaxed, ever-so-slightly more liberal times, it’s no surprise that Johnnie’s back.

The first thing that hits you, as the needle drops, is the whistling. It’s a whistly record. The first record featuring whistling to top the UK Singles Chart. And it’s another simple record – just Ray’s voice, his backing singers, and a guitar. It crossed my mind that it might be a pastiche of ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, as the two songs do bear some similarities. ‘Singin’ in the Rain’s depressed, heartbroken brother perhaps?

Just walkin’ in the rain, Gettin’ soakin’ wet, Torturin’ my heart, By trying to forget…

The way Ray delivers that little ‘by’ is a thing of beauty. He barks it out, angry, heartbroken. You really believe him. As before, his voice makes the whole record. It’s not a regular voice, nor a technically perfect voice, but it is unmistakeable: raspy and croaky – he really does sound like man who’s been up all night, walking in the rain.

Anyway, his walk is a form of water-based therapy, perhaps, as he tries to get over his departed lover. Or maybe it’s water-torture, as there’s a masochistic edge to proceedings: People come to windows, They always stare at me, Shake their heads in sorrow, Sayin’ who can that fool be? He knows they’re watching, but he continues anyway. Lyrically, we are at a crossroads, in terms of male-recorded #1s. These the are self-flagellating lyrics that we have heard many, many times before, about how much pain he is in (see also ‘Here in My Heart’, ‘Outside of Heaven’, ‘Answer Me’, ‘Give Me Your Word’, I could go on…) BUT, unlike in those songs, there is no chance of a positive outcome here. Ray never mentions any hope that his love will return. He’s simply trying to forget. This, then, is more of the sugar-coated cynicism that started creeping into our chart topping records with ‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love’ back in the summer.

By the end of the song, Johnnie is weepin’ and a-wailin’ in superbly melodramatic fashion. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a crime that he gets looked over in the pantheon of rock ‘n’ roll pioneers/superstars. I can’t sing his praises highly enough. This is a great record (not as great as ‘Such a Night’, but still great). Of course, as I also mentioned in his earlier post, his being erased from the History of Pop Music had a lot to do with his homosexuality. And I did notice, the eagle-eared guy that I am, how there are no pronouns in this song. No hint as to the gender of his lost love….

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Johnnie Ray will appear one more time in this countdown – fairly soon, in fact – and so I will stop myself from going on too much about how amazing he was. (Though he was) And to finish I’ll address something that’s been bugging me for a while. At the top of each post I always include a picture of the record I’m going to be writing about. And they all look the bloody same. Black vinyl with a little disc circle of colour in the middle (and even that dash of colour is predictable: Phillips records are always blue, Capitol are black, Decca are navy…) I can never seem to find a picture of the record sleeve and, when I do (the jpg that headers Johnnie Ray’s earlier entry, ‘Such a Night’, for example) they are just as bland as the disc. You may have noticed that I sometimes include a picture that looks like it could be the record sleeve -I’ve included the one for ‘Just Walkin’ in the Rain’ above. That’s actually the sheet-music cover, a relic from the days before everyone had gramophones – they would buy the score and learn to play it themselves at home. There were even sheet-music charts before the NME started the record chart upon which this countdown is based. Even more frustratingly, it seems that LPs and EPs did get colourful covers in the 50s; it was only singles that were left to languish in boring, beige paper slips.

Anyway, the point of mentioning this is… I know it looks dull and I wish I could do something about it. I can’t wait for the days when artists and labels actually care about standing out on the shelves, and start including pictures of the band or, shock horror, an artistically though-out design on the cover. Though I fear that may be several years off…

19. ‘Such a Night’, by Johnnie Ray

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Such A Night, by Johnnie Ray (his 1st of three #1s)

1 week, from 30th April to 7th May 1954

For the first time since beginning this blog, we arrive at a song that I know. And I don’t mean ‘know’ in the way I’d heard ‘Secret Love’ without realising, or in the way I knew ‘I Believe’ because of it’s chart domination. I know this song, I actively listen to it, and I love Johnnie Ray.

It’s a jaunty (that word again), quick-tempo song with a simple enough riff and some ‘ooby dooby’s in the background. Nothing too unusual there. But what makes it, and elevates it to a classic, are Ray’s vocals. Like Doris Day before him there’s an effortlessness to his voice that draws you in and yanks you along. But his voice is nothing like the clean-cut, honeyed tones of Miss Day. ‘Such a Night’ isn’t being sung here – it’s being ridden, it’s being humped… it’s being performed.

Ray has help in this performance from some seriously risqué lyrics. This is the story – and let’s remind ourselves that we are writing here about a record that topped the charts in April 1954 – of a one-night stand.

            It was a night, Ooh what a night it was, It really was, Such a night… It was a kiss, Ooh what a kiss it was, It really was, Such a kiss…. Just the thought of her lips, Sets me afire, I reminisce and I’m filled with desire…

This is pretty saucy stuff right here. It starts out as a kiss in the moonlight, but suddenly…

            Came the dawn, And my heart and her love and the night was gone… But I’ll never forget that kiss in the moonlight, Ooh, such a kiss, Ooh, such a night!

It’s clever really. Obviously they couldn’t go writing a song with lyrics that touched on anything more than kissing, but are we really meant to believe that they just kissed all the way till sunrise? By the end, given the way Ray is ooh-ing and aah-ing, the answer is pretty obvious. Ain’t no kiss ever that good. The BBC, and various radio stations across the world, responded by banning the record. The first example, then, of a song’s infamy equalling a #1 hit? See also: Serge Gainsbourg, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, anything by Eminem…

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But wait, it gets even better. While the song is about a woman, and all the pronouns female, Johnnie Ray was gay. Those are gay ‘oohs’ and ‘aaahs’ and ‘mmms’, sitting at the top of the UK Singles Chart. In 1954. When that sort of thing was very much illegal, and gay men were being hunted, prosecuted and made to choose between jail or chemical castration. Now, that is something.

This is rock ‘n’ roll. OK, the music here is more jazzy, swing, whatever, but I am putting it out there that this is the first rock ‘n’ roll record to ever make the top of the charts. This is rock ‘n’ roll in all but name, surely? That’s what makes this idea of the pre-rock era so difficult to figure out, why it’s so hard to label this strange era in popular music.

Johnnie Ray will go on to hit the top spot a couple more times, so I will wait until then to write more about just how amazing he was, and how it’s a crime that he doesn’t sit alongside Elvis, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Buddy Holly et al in the pantheon of ’50s music greats (*spoiler alert* him being gay might have had a lot to do with this.) I will, though, take the chance to recommend Elvis’s own version of ‘Such a Night’, recorded several years later. Remember a few posts ago, when I said that drums rarely define a record? Well, the King’s version of this record is one of the exceptions.

But, for now, let’s end by simply being thankful that this gloriously raunchy track sneaked a week at #1, ghosting in amongst all the schmaltzy easy-listening that preceded and followed it. Ooh. Aah. Mmm. Yes!