Musical Diary: September 1963

September 1963 was a significant month for this boy from Northern Ireland; The Boom Boom Room opened in Belfast, with comperes David Jacobs and Pete Murray, and artists Freddie & The Dreamers and Tommy Roe.

It was also the night I met my future wife Rose-Marie who was there with her friend Joyce, and today we are still together after 52 years of happy marriage.

Before 1963 it was unthinkable, the spectre of American records in the UK charts on the 7th. There are only four in the top twenty, The Surfaris’, instrumental “Wipe Out” #12, “I Want To Stay Here”, by Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme #13, The Crystals’, “Da Doo Ron Ron” #16, and “Devil In Disguise” by Elvis Presley #20.

On the 14th Lennon & McCartney wrote “I Want to Be Your Man”, while The Rolling Stones waited to record it. Lennon and McCartney had also written Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas first two hits “Do You Want To Know A Secret”, and now “Bad To Me”. Their other hits included “I’ll Keep You Satisfied”; “I Call Your Name”; “From A Window”; “Little Children” and “Trains And Boats And Planes”. The Dakotas also had an instrumental hit “The Cruel Sea”. On the 16th The Beatles’ “She Loves You”, is released by the Swan Label in the USA, following rejection by EMI’s American affiliate Capital Records.

On the 26th on the day her first record was released, Cilla Black, (formerly Priscilla White) a former cloakroom girl at The Cavern club, Liverpool, makes her TV debut on Ready Steady Go. The single “Love Of The Loved” was given to her by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Cilla was the 2nd biggest selling music star from Liverpool with hits like, “Don’t Answer Me”; “Anyone Who Had A Heart”; “You’re My World”; “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”; “I Only Live To Love You”; “Baby I’m Yours”; “Alfie”; “A Fool Am I”; “It’s For You”; “Step Inside Love”and “What Good Am I?”

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Bulleting up the charts in Australia is Jimmy Little’s “Royal Telephone” it will reach number one in November; Jimmy Little was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1999.

Number one in Australia with their second record, “Bombora”, coupled with “Greensleeves”, The Atlantics have been around beachside suburbs since 1961 with a line-up, drummer Peter Hood, and guitarists Theo Penglis and Jim Skiathitis, and bassist Bosco Bosanac, and in 1965 they were joined by vocalist Johnny Rebb. Their big break came on the TV talent show New Faces in 1962 when they were voted the most promising group. With most groups in Australia, like The Statesmen, Jimmy D & The Starlighters, The Midnighters, The Telstars, The Dave Bridge Trio, The Joy Boys and The Denvermen copying The Shadows or The Ventures, The Atlantics had an advantage with two lead-guitarists in their band. Their first record “Moon Man” backed with “Dark Eyes” was not too successful but it did enough to get them a CBS Records contract.

It seems the Australian audience have more sense than their UK compatriots, because Helen Shapiro’s double sided number one “No Trespassing / Not Responsible” failed to make the top 50 in the UK.

The top ten in Australia in September 1963

1. Bombora – The Atlantics

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2. Not Responsible / No Trespassing – Helen Shapiro

3. Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah – Allan Sherman

4. 55 days At Peking – Rob E G

5. Painted Tainted Rose – Al Martino

6. If I Had A Hammer – Trini Lopez

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7. Wipeout / Surfer Joe – The Surfaris

8. Easier Said Than Done – The Essex

9. Devil In Disguise – Elvis Presley

10. Lucky Lips – Cliff Richard & The Shadows

The number ones in Australia in September 1963

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7th 14th 21st – Bombora – The Atlantics

28th – Not Responsible – Helen Shapiro

In the UK   

7th – Bad To Me – Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

14th 21st 28th – She Loves You – The Beatles

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In the USA  

7th 14th – My Boyfriend’s Back – The Angels

21st 28th – Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton

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