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Look back at the end of year charts in the 1950s and, despite what you may like to think, you won’t find a nation in thrall to rock’n’roll. Sure, Elvis Presley was massive. But across both the US and the UK (which was always much more conservative anyway), it was relatively slim pickings for the kings, princes and queens of rockabilly. Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Paul Anka were much more likely to be regularly spinning on those all-new, all-exciting radiograms, and although the spurt in the growth of the single – the vibrant, some say “pure” rock’n’roll format – certainly helped young rockers, their craft was still largely a cult concern. ‘Gentler’ music was still the order of the day. In the UK, at least, the whole Top 10 LPs of the 1950s (bar one Elvis compilation and Lonnie Donegan’s Showcase) were musical soundtracks – South Pacific, The King & I, West Side Story, Oklahoma! et al…

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