Thursday 23 November 2017

How Ken Dodd almost pipped Beatles in the pop stakes

Ken Dodd. Photo: Getty Images
Ken Dodd. Photo: Getty Images

Andy McSmith in London

They called them the Swinging Sixties, so it comes as no surprise that there are four Beatles singles in the top five in a new compilation of the best-selling singles of the decade.

But what song is up there at No 3 with the Fab Four? Could it be 'Not Fade Away', the first big hit for the Rolling Stones? Or 'River Deep, Mountain High', which launched the fabulous career of Tina Turner? Or 'Purple Haze', or 'Whiter Shade of Pale', or 'You'll Never walk Alone', by Gerry and the Pacemakers, which became the anthem of Liverpool FC?

Actually, none of the above even made the Top 20. In at No 3 is 'Tears' by Ken Dodd, a comedian best remembered for his Diddy Men, his tickling stick, and his aversion to paying tax.

Because, in the 1960s, it was not only the young, the turned on, and the groovy who bought records. Mums and dads would treat themselves occasionally to a seven-inch piece of vinyl.

The first Beatles single not to top the charts, 'Strawberry Fields Forever', in 1967, was beaten into second place by a song called 'Release Me' by Engelbert Humperdinck.

The list was compiled by the Official Charts Company, collating data from 1 January 1960 to 31 December 1969, for a Radio 2 programme yesterday, presented by Tony Blackburn. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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