Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Top Single: This Week in 1960

The No. 1 single 45 years ago today was "It's Now or Never" by Elvis Presley. I didn't know this until I looked it up, but "It's Now or Never" is Elvis's biggest-selling single, with total international sales topping 20 million. That paid for a lot of peanut butter and bacon sandwiches at Graceland.

This song had legs, as the saying goes. In America, it became No. 1 on August 15, 1960, and stayed at the top for five weeks in a row, finally getting knocked off by Chubby Checker's "The Twist." In Britain, "It's Now or Never" stayed at No. 1 for eight weeks.

The song had a more adult, operatic sound than anything Elvis had sung up to this point. It was based on "O Sole Mio," an Italian song written in 1901 and made popular by Mario Lanza. It was reported to be Elvis's personal favorite of all his songs, beating out even "Do the Clam."

What other songs were topping the chart at this time? He's the rest of the Top Five the week of August 15, 1960:

2. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini -- Brian Hyland
3. I'm Sorry -- Brenda Lee
4. Only the Lonely -- Roy Orbison
5. Walk, Don't Run -- Ventures

5 comments:

nightfly said...

I've read somewhere that the take used on the record was "live in studio," albeit not the first take - the producers didn't want to lose time if that last high note proved outside of his range, but Elvis is reported to have said, "If I can't sing it straight through I'm not singing it."

Nettie said...

Ohh, Itsy Witsy Yellow Polka Dot Bikini-I love that song. And not just from the yogurt commercials.

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