November 1961: Big Bad John reaches Number 2 in Top Ten

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Pic: EIL

Some time in the latter part of 1961 we bought a record player, because from this month on I have a distinct memory of having new singles in the house. These were mostly bought in Brendons, Gerrards Cross’s finest (and only) record shop, which was in Packhorse Road next to Woolworth’s. There is very little about the store on the web, but it has a listing on the British Record Shop Archive website, which is where I found these paper bags and receipts.

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The Francis Frith website has this picture of Packhorse Road from the early 1960s. Brendons and Woolworths were on the left hand side. The shop with the awning may well be Woolworths.

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Pic: Francis Frith Collection

I believe that the first record I ever bought was, for some reason, Sucu Sucu. This was a folky/dancey number which was a hit in 1961 for several different artistes, including the Laurie Johnson Orchestra and Nina & Frederick. I don’t know which version came into our possession. However, almost immediately afterwards we definitely acquired Big Bad John by the country singer Jimmy Dean, and played that incessantly.

More to follow

With The Beatles

The Beatles carried on performing in venues in and around Liverpool throughout November 1961.
However, a significant event occurred on 9 November when Brian Epstein went to see them play a lunchtime concert at the Cavern Club, and went backstage to meet them. According to this article on the Beatles Bible website he was recognised by the band, with George Harrison opening the conversation by asking: “And what brings Mr Epstein here?”

The month’s UK Top Tens

2 November 1961

1. Walking Back To Happiness: Helen Shapiro
2. Wild Wind: John Leyton
3. When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart: Cliff Richard
4. His Latest Flame/Little Sisters: Elvis Presley
5. Bless You: Tony Orlando
6. You’ll Answer to Me: Cleo Laine
7. Hit The Road Jack: Ray Charles
8. Mexicali Rose: Karl Denver
9. Sucu Sucu: Laurie Johnson Orchestra
10. You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby: Bobby Darin

9 November 1961

1. His Latest Flame/Little Sisters: Elvis Presley
2. Walking Back To Happiness: Helen Shapiro
3. When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart: Cliff Richard
4. Big Bad John: Jimmy Dean
5. Wild Wind: John Leyton
6. Hit The Road Jack: Ray Charles
7. The Time Has Come: Adam Faith
8. Take Five: Dave Brubeck
9. Mexicali Rose: Karl Denver
10. Bless You: Tony Orlando

16 November 1961

23 November 1961

30 November 1961

Films released this month

The Helions
King of Kings
Pit and the Pendulum

Source: filmdates.co.uk

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