November fourteenth is a big day in the history of music called light: that’s when New Musical Express first released a hit list. The paper’s staff asked twenty British record shops in the autumn of 1952 to compile a list of the twelve most popular songs. The summary was published on the eighth page of the newspaper, and the bestsellers were as follows: 1. Here in My Heart (presenter: Al Martino), 2. You Belong to Me (Jo Stafford), 3. Somewhere Along the Way (Nat King Cole), 4. Isle of Innisfree (Bing Crosby), 5. Feet Up (Guy Mitchell), 6. Half As Much (Rosemary Clooney), 7. Forget Me Not (Vera Lynn), 8. Sugar Bush (Doris Day) , Frankie Lane), 9. Blue Tango (Ray Martin), 10. Auf Wiedersehen (Vera Lynn), 11. Cowpunchers’s Cantata (Max Bygraves) and Because You’re Mine (Mario Lanza), 12. Walkin ‘My Baby Back Home (Johnnie Ray). Two years later, the NME published a list of twenty, which Maurice Kinn bought for a thousand pounds and first launched on 7 March 1952 in its new form. (Before that, from 1946, the organ saw the light of day as a Musical Express.) Kinn first threw big by persuading Radio Luxembourg to use the New Musical Express lists. The other milestone innovation was the NME Awards ceremony, first held at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 1953. Winners were announced in five categories in the first year and sixteen in the second. Elvis Presley and John Peel won the most, twenty-six times; the latter was a legendary figure on BBC1 from 1967 until his death in 2004 as a producer, disc jockey, journalist-radio reporter. Cliff Richard has won the Beatles eight times, but the members of the fabulous Liverpool quartet have not made records together for a decade. The weekly was edited by Andy Gray (1957–1972) in the first half of 1966, when he reached 306,881 copies. Herb Alpert, Fontella Bass, Spencer Davis, Ken Dodd, Gene Pitney, Otis Redding and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich flourished on the first cover of Sixty-Six. A list of 30 was made that year, with the first in January being Spencer Davis Group Keep on Running. About those times, the Swedish Aftonbladet wrote: “For the young soul in love, the magazine seemed more important in its best days than life itself.” The Top Ten of the Sixties was Painted: 1. A Day in the Life (Beatles, 1967), 2. Be My Baby (Ronettes, 1963), 3. Good Vibrations (Beach Boys, 1966), 4. All Along the Watchtower ( Jimi Hendrix, 1968), 5. Leader of the Pack (Shangri-Las, 1965), 6. I’m Waiting for the Man (Velvet Underground, 1967), 7. Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones, 1968), 8 .Suspicious Minds (Elvis Presley, 1969), 9. Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan, 1965), 10. I Heard It Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye, 1968). In the last, by the sixties, Rolf Harris, the leader of the list at the end of December, had a sad military song called Two Little Boys, which in January 1970 was replaced by Reflections from Marmalade. Around the time, Gemini lived here from the British paper, because the solo guitarist Zoltán Kékes started to run the newspaper, and the band renewed its repertoire every week based on its hit list. The ensemble held a twelve-hour concert of the biggest international rock and beats of the sixties in the Buda Youth Park. The newspaper had almost “religious” followers at the time of “those beautiful days”, but an online version was launched in vain towards the end of the century, and then the merger with Melody Maker took place at the turn of the millennium, in 2012 the number dropped to 27,650 . Two years later, only 15,830 units were sold, although they were already sold for free at the time. As the contemporary press stated, “The rebels are lost, the arithmetic has won.” In 2018, the Guardian wrote, on the one hand, that “the New Musical Express had had a golden age,” and on the other, it stated, “The paper is now an insignificant shadow of itself.” The last printed copy was published on March 9 of the year. But the newspaper remained in my hearts. Beyond Here in My Heart, which topped the pioneering list for no less than nine weeks. (Nice word)
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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