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The Uk’s Top Recordings for these years

1959  1960  1961  1962  1963  1964  1965

1966 1967  1968  1969  1970  1971  1972

1973  1974  1975  1976  1977  1978  1979

1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986

1987  1988 1989  1990  1991  1992  1993

1994  1995  1996  1997  1998  1999 2000

2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007

2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013  2014

Playing on this page Jukebox the UK’s Top 50 singles for the year 1959, also the yearly position the recording’s achieved for the year.

1959 Events

This was the day Buddy Holly died

February 3.  Buddy Holly and two other rock singers died early on this day when a small plane carrying them crashed near Mason City, Iowa, in the United States.  Holly, who was 22, toured Britain the previous year backed by the Crickets with whom he had recorded hits such as ‘That’ll be the Day’ and ‘Rave on’.

Henry Cooper is new Empire champ

January 12. Despite the badly cut eye that had become almost a hallmark of Henry Cooper’s boxing career the 24 year-old from South London won his first title. It came after a frustrating year in which he lost three championship fights in a row. On this night , after 15 punishing rounds at Earl’s Court, he scored a well-deserved points victory over Blackpool’s Brian London, to become British and Empire heavy-weight champion.

At the time of his death he was performing solo, and was en route to a show that night in North Dakota along with Richie Valens and J.P. ‘Big Bopper’ Richardson.  Both these singers had hits - Valens with ‘Donna’ and the Big Bopper with ‘Chantilly Lace’ - but is is Holly who will be most widely missed.  He was the first pop star both to compose most of his own hits and to arrange them. His backing of guitars and drums - without brass - also pioneered a new sound.

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UK warns Iceland on Cod War tactics

May 6. Britain protested to the Icelandic Government today over the increasingly violent methods being used against her trawlers in the Cod War.

Iceland’s gunboats have now started firing live shells to drive off the British trawlers - last Thursday one missed the Hull fishing boat, Arctic Viking by just three yards.  Around 20 shots were fired, but the British vessel turned towards the gunboat and chased her.

The note, delivered to the Foreign Ministry in Reykjavik, also protests at the ‘dangerous manoeuvres’ by the Icelandic coastguard ship, Maria Julia, which nearly collided with the British destroyer, Contest, during a recent incident.

The British protest went on to say that the Government took a ‘very serious view’ of the shooting incident.  It said the actions of the Icelandic ships were ‘dangerous and unseamanlike’ and went beyond the measures necessary to identify the British vessels involved.

Meanwhile the Commons is putting pressure on the Government for firmer action against what one MP described as a ‘flagrant breach of diplomatic law

Billie Holliday has sung her last blues

July 17. Billie Holliday, one of the greatest ever singers of the blues, died today, aged only 44. With her personal emblem, the gardenia in her hair, and a voice that thrilled every devotee.  Holliday delighted a world-wide audience with her interpretations of a particularly American art form.

But singing as she did came from real experience, and Holliday’s life with it’s feckless lovers, it’s bouts of heroin addiction and it’s professional ups and downs, gave her, in the end too much source material

Errol Flynn buckles last swash at 50

October 14. Errol Flynn, the hellraising Hollywood swashbuckler who died today at only 50, was the son of a professor at London University and began acting at Northampton Rep.

He went to Hollywood in 1935 and made a name as Captain Blood and Robin Hood.  His reckless ways often landed him in court and in the newspapers, accused of seducing under-age-girls.  He also featured in many a nightclub brawl.

It was not his fault that Hollywood made him win the war in Burma practically single-handed. In private when sober, Flynn could be charming, modest and witty. ‘ The rest of my life will be devoted to women and litigation’ he said.

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