Your Hit Parade: 1958

The list of the ten most successful pop singles artists of 1958 includes Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Sam Cooke, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly & the Crickets; among the year's biggest hits were "At the Hop," "Tequila," and "Don't," not to mention novelties like "The Purple People Eater" and "The Chipmunk Song." But you won't find any of these artists or songs on the 1958 edition of Time Life Music's Your Hit Parade. In fact, of the 24 biggest hits of the year, only eight are included among the 24 selections on the album -- Tommy Edwards' "It's All in the Game," the Everly Brothers' "All I Have to Do Is Dream," the McGuire Sisters' "Sugartime," Laurie London's "He's Got the Whole World (In His Hands)," the Pérez Prado Orchestra's "Patricia," the Kingston Trio's "Tom Dooley," Perry Como's "Catch a Falling Star," and the Platters' "Twilight Time." Apparently, having started the Your Hit Parade series with 1940 (the actual Your Hit Parade radio series ran from 1935 to 1955), the compilers felt obliged to feature only music that wouldn't sound too out of place in an earlier era. While the Time Life albums covering the '40s and early '50s consist mostly of the year's biggest hits, with a few editorial substitutions thrown in, once the rock era commences, the country's most popular music gets ignored. Instead of Elvis Presley and his ilk, we get Pat Boone, Nat King Cole, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, Dean Martin, and Andy Williams. Every song on the album made at least the Top 20, and most made the Top Ten. As a collection of 1958's non-rock & roll music, this is an excellent album. As a representation of the biggest hits of the year, it's dire. ~ William Ruhlmann

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