THEN 1956

Various Artists
FORMAT: Audio CD - 1 Disc
Release date: 15 Nov 2010

"This is the latest in the 'British Hit Parade' compilation series compiled and annotated by Dave McAleer, a man who knows all about the musical facts and figures-and more." BLUES AND SOUL MAGAZINE


CAT No: FVCD076UPC TEXT: 5055311000763

Full details

1956 – now that’s what we call a year of music transition. It was the first year that rock ’n’ roll really made its mark, with the old guard having to fight off an army of pretenders led by Elvis Presley and Bill Haley. Alongside all the year’s UK No.1s, this collection includes many of 1956’s most unforgettable records and songs, from both the ballad and beat sides of the battle. 1956 was also the year that Lonnie Donegan kick started the skiffle craze with Rock Island Line and playgrounds rang to the sound of The Ballad Of Davy Crockett.

Like its predecessors, THEN 1956 is not constrained by chart position or label in its aim of presenting the most memorable sounds of the year. It is compiled and annotated by eminent chartwatcher Dave McAleer, who works on the Virgin Book of British Hit Singles & Albums.

Dave’s sleeve notes spend as much time recalling the news events of the year as they do exploring the musical highlights. 1956 was the year that Burgess and Maclean both resurfaced in the Soviet Union, the Suez Crisis brought home that Britain was no longer a superpower, TV viewers could watch their first Winter Olympic Games, “ban the bomb” protestors marched from Aldermaston to London, Arthur Miller married Marilyn Monroe (“Egghead Weds Hourglass”), and Grace Kelly tied the knot with Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

If you are looking to build up a library of the most enduring British hits from each year, THEN is the series for you. If you are looking for a souvenir of a particular year – to remember a birth, a first kiss, or a wedding – THEN will provide the soundtrack to those memories.



  1. Memories Are Made Of This (Dean Martin)
  2. Sixteen Tons (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
  3. Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera) (Doris Day)
  4. The Poor People Of Paris (Winifred Atwell)
  5. True Love (Bing Crosby)
  6. Love And Marriage (Frank Sinatra)
  7. A Woman In Love (Frankie Laine)
  8. No Other Love (Ronnie Hilton)
  9. Zambesi (Lou Busch)
  10. Walk Hand In Hand (Tony Martin)
  11. It's Almost Tomorrow (The Dream Weavers)
  12. Lay Down Your Arms (Anne Shelton)
  13. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett (Bill Hayes)
  14. Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) (Perry Como)
  15. Just Walking In The Rain (Johnnie Ray)
  16. I'll Be Home (Pat Boone)
  17. A Sweet Old Fashioned Girl (Teresa Brewer)
  18. Singing The Blues (Guy Mitchell)
  19. The Green Door (Frankie Vaughan)
  20. Rock And Roll Waltz (Kay Starr)
  21. See You Later, Alligator (Bill Haley & His Comets)
  22. Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)
  23. Rock Island Line (Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group)
  24. Why Do Fools Fall In Love (Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers)
  25. The Great Pretender (The Platters)
  26. Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
  27. Blueberry Hill (Fats Domino)
  28. Rock With The Caveman (Tommy Steele & The Steelmen)
  29. Be-Bop-A-Lula (Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps)
  30. Hound Dog (Elvis Presley)