Before The Beatles / Who Put The Bomp? 1960 – 1963


1960 - 1961


1 CHUCK BERRY / Let It Rock / Single A Side March 1960

2 CHARLIE RICH / Lonely Weekends / Single A Side March 1960

3 ELVIS PRESLEY / It Feels So Right / Elvis Is Back! May 1960

4 EVERLY BROTHERS / When Will I Be Loved / Single A Side May 1960

5 BILLY FURY / Turn My Back On You / The Sound Of Fury May 1960

6 THE HOLLYWOOD ARGYLES / Alley Oop / Single A Side May 1960

7 ART ADAMS / Dancing Doll / Single A Side May 1960

8 JOHNNY KIDD & THE PIRATES / Shakin’ All Over / Single A Side June 1960

9 ELVIS PRESLEY / A Mess Of Blues / Single A Side July 1960

10 VINCE TAYLOR & THE PLAYBOYS / Jet Black Machine / Single B Side August 1960

11 CHUCK BERRY / Jaguar And Thunderbird / Single A Side September 1960

12 ROY ORBISON / Blue Angel / Single A Side September 1960

13 DUANE EDDY & THE REBELS / Girl On Death Row / Single A Side September 1960

14 BILLY FURY / Wondrous Place / Single A Side September 1960

15 THE SHIRELLES / Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? / Single A Side November 1960

16 THE SHADOWS / Man Of Mystery / Single A Side November 1960

17 GENE VINCENT / Mister Loneliness / Single B Side February 1961

18 DEL SHANNON / Runaway / Single B Side February 1961

19 THE COASTERS / Little Egypt (Ying Yang) / Single A Side April 1961

20 THE QUOTATIONS / Imagination / Single A Side May 1961

21 ELVIS PRESLEY / Put The Blame On Me / Something For Everybody July 1961

22 THE CARNATIONS / Scorpion / Single A Side July 1961

23 BO DIDDLEY / Cadillac / Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger September 1961

24 LEE DORSEY / Ya Ya / Single A Side September 1961

25 DEL SHANNON / So Long Baby / Single A Side September 1961

26 JOHN LEYTON / Johnny Remember Me / Single A Side September 1961

27 DION / Runaround Sue / Single A Side September 1961

28 DICK DALE & HIS DEL-TONES / Lets Go Trippin’ / Single A Side September 1961

29 BARRY MANN / Who Put The Bomp? / Single A Side September 1961

30 THE SHIRELLES / Big John / Single A Side October 1961

31 JOEY DEE & THE STARLITERS / Peppermint Twist / Single A Side October 1961

32 THE GEE-CEES / Buzzsaw Twist / Single A Side October 1961

33 THE SYMBOLS / Do The Zombie / Single A Side November 1961

34 COMMONWEALTH JONES / Do Do Do / Single B Side December 1961


1962 - 1963


1 THE RIVINGTONS / Papa Oom Mow Mow / Single A Side January 1962

2 DEL SHANNON / Ginny In The Mirror / Single A Side February 1962

3 HASIL ADKINS / Chicken Walk / Single B Side March 1962

4 THE STARFIRES / Fender Bender / Single A Side April 1962

5 DEE DEE SHARP / Mashed Potato Time / Single A Side May 1962

6 RONNIE COOK & THE GAYLADS / Goo Goo Muck / Single A Side June 1962

7 THE SPARK PLUGS / Chicken / Single A Side July 1962

8 THE CRYSTALS / He’s A Rebel / Single A Side August 1962

9 THE BEACH BOYS / Surfin’ Safari / Single A Side August 1962

10 BETTY MCQUAID / Tongue Tied / Single A Side October 1962

11 THE CHANTAYS / Pipeline / Single A Side December 1962

12 THE CHIFFONS / He’s So Fine / Single A Side December 1962

13 DION / Ruby Baby / Single A Side January 1963

14 ROY ORBISON / In Dreams / Single A Side February 1963

15 FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS / Ain’t That A Shame / Single A Side March 1963

16 THE BEATLES / Baby Its You / Please Please Me March 1963

17 LONNIE MACK / Memphis / Single A Side April 1963

18 VITO & THE SALUTATIONS / Unchained Melody / Single A Side April 1963

19 RANDY & THE RAINBOWS / Denise / Single A Side May 1963

20 TOMMY JAMES & THE SHONDELLS / Hanky Panky / Single A Side May 1963

21 THE ROLLING STONES / Come On / Single A Side June 1963

22 JACK NITZSCHE / The Lonely Surfer / Single A Side June 1963

23 JAN & DEAN / Surf City / Single A Side June 1963

24 THE BUSTERS / Bust Out / Single A Side June 1963

25 AMERICAN TEENS / Shake Baby Shake / Single A Side July 1963

26 THE RONETTES / Be My Baby / Single A Side August 1963

27 THE JAYNETTS / Sally Go Round The Roses / Single A Side August 1963

28 THE KINGSMEN / Louie Louie / Single A Side September 1963

29 THE TRASHMEN / Surfin’ Bird / Single A Side October 1963

30 JACK SCOTT / Theres Trouble Brewin’ / Single A Side November 1963

31 DION DIMUCCI / Drip Drop / Single A Side November 1963

32 RONNIE HAWKINS & THE HAWKS / Who Do You Love? / Single B Side November 1963

33 THE BEATLES / You Really Got A Hold On Me / With The Beatles November 1963


  Nineteen hundred and sixty was supposedly one of the worst years that rock’n’pop ever went through. After the manic thrill of the fifties, everyone had gone to the moon. Elvis returned from the army with his balls removed. Little Richard had got religion, Chuck Berry was in jail for some offence with a teenage girl while Buddy Holly and soon Eddie Cochran were dead. It was a wholesale plague, a wipe out!

  Ofcourse, new teen idols came up to replace the gone heroes but inevitably they weren’t in the same class, just a continuation of highschool. Owing more to showbiz values than pure rock’n’roll, teen appeal was everything as talent took a back seat. There were the odd exceptions though. Unfairly dismissed as corny lightweights, Dion Dimucci, Del Shannon and pasty pug Roy Orbison proved to be genuine innovators, singing their own songs and playing their own guitars, moving rock’n’roll on. Pure pop, all of them. Britain too had its fair share of teen idols even if they were mostly shite. Billy Fury was top dog, cutting some cool self-penned rockabilly, but the best pre-Beatles British record by a wide margin was Johnny Kidd’s ‘Shakin’ All Over’. No-one else, not even mad Vince Taylor, got anywhere close.

  Amongst all the teen idols, rockabilly latecomers, doo-woppers and fading stars was a mish mash of new variations, sufficiently different to get regional, national or even global attention. From 1960, Southern California, with its never ending images of sun, sea and sand forged its own identity, separate from highschool and rooted in instrumental rock. Dick Dale sparked surf music by drenching his guitar in reverb, and suddenly surf groups started popping up all over, even in land locked urban hellholes like Minneapolis, which somehow spawned the immense Trashmen. However, the novelty value soon wore off and it was only with hugely talented vocal groups like the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean that the trend achieved long lasting recognition. 

  If the surf trend was a novelty, the dance craze phenomenon was more so, record companies always keen to capitalize on a quick fad. Dance records had once been a staple of rhythm and blues, but following Chubby Checker’s twist; the bomp, the hully gully, the zombie, the mashed potato and various chickens coined it in. These records were the gloopy epicentre of early sixties teen culture.

  Phil Spector knew a thing or two about teen culture as well, turning that intuition into monster records. In two years he went from small, Bronx runt to paranoid, demonic tycoon, his Wall Of Sound creating a vast, Wagnerian noise behind The Crystals and The Ronettes. Ofcourse, girl groups were a phenomenon in themselves, but Spector was more important than all of them. What he really signified was good news for talented losers, the revenge of the nerds. And he wasn’t alone as maverick producers like London’s budget version, Joe Meek, explored the possibilities of sound.

  In retrospect, the plethora of styles between the death of rock’n’roll and The Beatles was inevitable, mostly because youth culture is ephemeral and must change to stay alive. Girl groups, doo wop harmonies, pop craft, schmaltz and hard driving rock’n’roll all had a massive influence on the Fab Four, although those other mainstays of sixties rock, the Stones, were seemingly only touched by Chuck Berry and R&B. In the end, it was The Beatles simplicity and sheer force of personality that made them so attractive and took them onto global domination. Most everyone here became instantly obsolete and by the first days of 1964, the cultural axis had swung from America to Britain. The times they were a changin’.


August 2008