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A unique collection representative of the golden age of the single record

A unique collection representative of the golden age of the single record, from November 1952 to December 1992,
every number one hit in its original format, some rare 45s and 78s, some very collectable 12-inch singles and picture discs, 684 number one hits in total, make this the ultimate jukebox collection

Until November 1952, the popular music charts, as it was, had reflected the sale of both sheet music and shellac 78 rpm records. In November 1952, the music paper 'The New Musical Express' published the very first singles' chart made up of purely record sales. That chart was the first breath of what was to become Pop Culture. A revolution led by liberated teenagers, stepping out from the austerity of post-war Britain.

For the vendor, this collection has been a lifetime's work:

'My collection was fuelled by my grandmother taking me, in 1963 as a three-year-old, into Woolworths in Maldon High Street to buy my very first single - 'She Loves You' by The Beatles.

As a young child I played my parents' discs on our little record player, some 78s and some 45s. If not listening to those over and over again, I would be listening to Radio Caroline or Radio Luxembourg on our transistor radio.

The first ever number one was from my parents' collection - 'Here in My Heart' by Al Martino. This was standard crooning fare and much of the early charts was similar, not yet teenage driven, but reflective of the older generation. Artists such as Perry Como, Guy Mitchell and Frankie Laine were among those first hits, these on shellac 78s, as were most of the first 50 number ones. The first number one to be available on 45 was released on the Decca label in July 1954 - 'Cara Mia' by David Whitfield.

Naturally, those early days were full of firsts:

the first female artist (No. 2) Jo Stafford - 'You Belong To Me';
the first British act and first group, The Stargazers - 'Broken Wings' (No. 7);
the first instrumental with 'Moulin Rouge' by Mantovani (No. 11), and
the first black artist, Winifred Atwell - 'Let’s have another party' (No. 26).

Things changed almost overnight and the crooners' days were finally numbered when, on 25 November 1955, Bill Haley and his Comets made number 1 with 'Rock around the Clock' (No. 39).

July 1957 saw a young man called Elvis hit the top spot with his number one, 'All Shook Up' (No. 62), being his first of seventeen chart-toppers.

'That Will Be The Day' by The Crickets is in the collection (No. 64), which also contains the 1959 hit, 'The Day the Rains Came', with an extremely rare sleeve signed by the artist, Jane Morgan (No. 79).

Included is Cliff Richard's 'Living Doll' (No. 88) and 'From Me to You' (No. 151), the first of eleven consecutive releases from The Beatles to reach the top spot. The only band able to throw down a challenge to the all-conquering mop tops, the Rolling Stones, have 'It's All Over Now' (No. 173), with Tamla Motown arriving in 1966 with 'Reach Out' from The Four Tops hitting the pinnacle (No. 225).

The first hit of the 1970s was Edison Lighthouse with 'Love Grows' (No. 281). The first ever picture sleeve was Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix (No. 293), followed shortly after by the arrival of glam rock in the guise of T. Rex with 'Hot Love' (No. 298).

Abba's first chart-topper came with 'Waterloo' (No. 348), one of many Eurovision Winners to get the number one spot. The first disco hit was George McCrae's 'Rock your Baby' (No. 353), while Michael Jackson's first appearance was alongside The Jacksons singing 'Show You the Way to Go' (No. 407).

The first 12-inch single was Boney M's 'Rivers of Babylon' (No. 423). The first ever picture disc number one was for 'Are Friends Electric?' by Tubeway Army (No. 439) with the first coloured vinyl being 'Message in a Bottle' by The Police (No. 443).

Madonna, the most successful ever female artist, had her first number one with 'Into the Groove' (No. 554). The Bee Gees had their fifth number one 'So You Win Again' (No. 599) exactly twenty years after their first, 'Massachusetts' (No. 238). The same feat was replicated when the England Football Team hit the top spot with 'World in Motion' (No. 646), the previous having been 'Back Home' (No. 286) in 1970.

The last song in this collection is 'I Will Always Love You' by Whitney Houston (No. 684). It sat at the top for ten weeks and fittingly brings this rare compilation to a close.'

A chart of sorts still continues to this day, but after 1992 the charts included cassette tapes, then CDs, and now of course downloads. This collection, therefore, represents the 'golden years', a time when a large part of the population regularly listened to the weekly countdown, eagerly anticipating a new number one. What magical memories are reflected in this special lot.

Take advantage of our Sworders Delivery Service. Please see 'Shipping estimate' below.

Estimated at £20,000 - £30,000

Condition report

The dimensions for the collection are as follows:

Box 1: 63 x 21 x 46cm

Box 2: 34 x 19 x 33cm

Box 3 and 4: 35 x 29 x 34cm

All heavy and full.


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Auction: Into the Groove, Tue, 9th Jul 2019


5 July 2019 9am - 5pm
7 July 2019 10am - 1pm
8 July 2019 9am - 5pm
9 July 2019 from 9am

Removal of Lots

Please note that all lots should be removed by 5pm on Friday 12 July 2019.  Furniture lots remaining after this date will be removed to Perry Removals, Chapel End, Broxted, Essex CM6 2BW.  Removal will be at a cost of £20 per lot and storage will be charged at £2 per lot, per day.



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