Chapters

Paul Anka - You Are My Destiny. Second million seller for this artist.

Toni Arden - Padre. Only million seller for this female vocalist.

Frankie Avalon - Dede Dinah. First mill
ion seller for Avalon born Frank Avallone on 18 September 1940 in Philadelphia. Avalon first appeared on TV as a child prodigy on Jackie Gleason's TV show.
Chuck Berry - Sweet Little Sixteen. Fifth million seller for Berry was followed by another rock n' roll all-time classic Johnny B. Goode.

Big Bopper - Chantilly Lace. Born J.P. Richardson on 24 October 1930 in Sabine Pass, Texas, Big Bopper first became a disc jockey whilst at school. In 1954 he started writing songs and as a professional DJ he broke the record for marathon broadcasting spending a continuous 122 hours and 8 minutes in front of the microphone. He was heard by a talent scout for the Starrite Publishing company who signed him to a contract and after listening to an audition tape asked him to record his own composition, 'Chantilly Lace.' Released in August 1958 it sold a million before the end of the year. The following year Big Bopper went on tour with Ritchie Valens and Buddy Holly and all three (the father, son and the holy ghost as Don McLean referred to them in his tribute song 'American Pie') were tragically killed in an air crash near Fargo, North Dakota on February 9 1959.

Pat Boone - A Wonderful Time Up There b/w It's Too Soon To Know. Tenth gold for Boone, followed by his eleventh Cherie, I Love You.
James Brown and The Famous Flames - Try Me (I Need You). Second million seller for Brown.

The Champs - Tequila. This enduring instrumental spent five weeks at number one in the USA. Grammy Award winner for best rhythm and blues recording of 1958.

The Chantels - Maybe. Achieved gold years after the group split up.

The Chordettes - Lollipop. Second million seller for this group.

Jimmy Clanton - Just A Dream. First million seller for Jimmy but not the last for 1958. A Letter To An Angel also went gold.

The Coasters - Yakety Yak. Another Lieber and Stoller composition that went gold for this group.

Cozy Cole - Topsy. William 'Cozy' Cole is universally considered to be one of the most perfect drummers jazz has ever produced.

Perry Como - Catch A Falling Star b/w Magic Moments. 16th million seller for Perry who went on to have two other gold discs in 1958; Kewpie Doll and I May Never Pass This Way Again.

Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra - Tea For Two Cha Cha. A bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Crescendos - Oh, Julie. Only million seller for this group.

The Crests - Sixteen Candles. Only million seller for this group.

The Crickets - Maybe Baby. Second million seller for The Crickets.

Bobby Darin - Splish Splash. First million seller for Bobby, born on 14 May 1936 in The Bronx. His father died a few months before he was born and he was raised by his mother and elder sister. At school he graduated with honours and won a scholarship to college, by which time he could play piano, drums, guitar, bass and vibraphone. He soon began playing local nightclubs and in 1956 wrote his first composition 'My First Love' with Don Kirschner. A contract with Decca followed but nothing materialised for two years until he wrote 'Splish Splash' with Jean Murray. In 1960 he married the actress Sandra Dee and by now he was one of the highest paid performers in the USA making and writing records, appearing on TV and acting in the movies. This song won him 'The Best New Singer' and 'The Best Record' awards for the year 1958. He sold over seven million records in his lifetime, which ended prematurely on 20 December 1973 at the age of 37.

Bobby Day - Rockin' Robin. Only million seller for this artist born Robert Byrd.

The Diamonds - The Stroll. Third million seller for this group.

Fats Domino - Whole Lotta Lovin'. 21st million seller for Fats.

Duane Eddy with The Rebels - Rebel Rouser. First million seller for the man with the 'twangy' guitar sound.

Tommy Edwards - It's All In The Game. Originally written in 1912 by Gen. Charles Gates Dawes who went on to become Vice President of the United States under the Coolidge Administration (1925-29). He called his simple melody 'Melody In A Major' and it was in 1951 that lyricist Carl Sigman wrote words for it under the title 'It's All In The Game'.

The Elegants - Little Star. Only million seller for this group.

Everly Brothers - All I Have To Do Is Dream b/w Claudette. Third million seller for the Everly's was the timeless classic 'All I Have To Do Is Dream' which was written by Boudleaux Bryant. The double-a sided composition was written by Roy Orbison. The next Everly's release was another double-a; Bird Dog b/w Devoted To You, and the single that gave them no trouble in becoming their fifth million seller was Problems.

Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Know. The first (solo) gold disc for Connie who's real name is Constance Franconero from New Jersey, born on 12 December 1938. From the age of four she played accordion and appeared on vaudeville theatre and local radio shows. By the age of 11 she was on juvenile TV in 'Startime' which led to a four year engagement. At the age of 17 she was signed to MGM Records before having this, her first big hit. Through the 1950s and 1960s she became the biggest female recording artist selling no fewer than 35 million records worldwide and was a major star not just in the USA and the UK but also in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan where she recorded records in their native tongue. She is the only recording artist in history with 10 solo discs which sold a million apiece within two years. This record topped the UK charts for 6 weeks.

Don Gibson - Oh Lonesome Me b/w I Can't Stop Loving You. Both songs were self-penned compositions and a chain of country hits followed.

Billy Grammer - Gotta Travel On. Only million seller for this artist who is the founder of the Grammer Guitar, considered one of the finest examples of this instrument on the market.

Bobby Helms - Jingle Bell Rock. Seasonal song which took five years to achieve gold status.

Buddy Holly - It Doesn't Matter Any More. Second million seller for Holly. Written by Bobby Darin.

Mahalia Jackson - He's Got The Whole World In His Hands b/w I Believe. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 26 October 1911, Mahalia Jackson would come to be known as the 'Queen of Gospel.' She began singing in her father's church at the age of 5 and at the age of 16 her parents moved to Chicago where she was put to work as a maid, nurse and laundress. She continued singing in churches and was offered a job with the Earl Hines band but declined to join them on religious grounds. Instead she joined the Greater Salem Baptist Church Choir where a gospel quintet was immediately formed round her. Together, the choir went on tour and when not touring Mahalia continued to work and save until she eventually could afford to open a beauty salon and later still a flower shop as well as branching out into real estate. She recorded her first gospel songs in 1935 and by 1949 she had her first gold record, becoming famous in black religious circles throughout the world. She sang 'He's Got The Whole World In His Hands' at the Newport Festival on Rhode Island in 1958 and in March the recording was released as a double-a sided single with 'I Believe'. The (first) song is a traditional gospel number and this arrangement was adapted by British band-leader Geoff Love. In the 1960s she allied herself with the civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and was present on 28 August 1963 when 200,000 people marched through Washington in the biggest ever demonstration for the cause of freedom. Mahalia sang in front of them. She also sang, most poignantly, 'Precious Lord' at King's funeral in 1968 after he had been struck by an assassin's bullet. In the last few years of her life a series of heart attacks robbed her of her fine voice, although she still continued to perform but with less power. Even though she never made a pop song and refused to perform at nightclubs, when she died on 27 January 1972 her estate was estimated at $1 million.

The Kalin Twins - When. Only million seller for the twins.

The Kingston Trio - Tom Dooley. Grammy Award winner for Best Country-And-Western Recording 1958.

Brenda Lee - Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree. First million seller for the artist known as 'Little Miss Dynamite'.

Peggy Lee - Fever. Sultry rendition of this song gave Lee her third gold disc.

Jerry Lee Lewis - Breathless. A good title for Lewis and one that best described his act. He followed it with High School Confidential.

Little Anthony and The Imperials - Tears On My Pillow. Sole million seller for this combo.

Little Richard - Good Golly, Miss Molly. Another classic rocker and Richard's seventh million seller.

Laurie London with Geoff Love and his Orchestra. - He's Got The Whole World In His Hands. Young Laurie London was 13 when he recorded this Geoff Love adaptation of an old gospel song.

Robin Luke - Susie Darlin'. Only million seller for this artist.

McGuire Sisters - Sugartime. Second million seller for the sisters.

Clyde McPhatter - A Lover's Question. Second million seller for this artist.

Dean Martin - Return To Me. Third million seller for Dean and quickly followed by Volare.

The Monotones - Book Of Love. Only million seller for this group.

Ricky Nelson - Believe What You Say. Ricky's fourth gold which was followed by his fifth Poor Little Fool and sixth Lonesome Town.

Patti Page - Left Right Out Of Your Heart. 14th million seller for Patti.

The Platters - Twilight Time. Fourth million seller for The Platters, followed by Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, which was written by famed composer Jerome Kern.

The Playmates - Beep, Beep. Novelty song about a small car trying to overtake a bigger one!

Elvis Presley - Don't b/w I Beg Of You. Big year for Elvis kicked off with this double-a side and continued with; Wear My Ring Around Your Neck; King Creole (EP); Hard Headed Woman; and his 22nd million seller I got Stung -he'd only been around for two years!

Ray Price - City Lights. Second million seller for Price.

Louis Prima with his band and Keely Smith - That Old Black Magic. Louis Prima and Keely Smith were husband and wife at the time this recording was made and went gold.

Jimmy Rodgers - Secretly. Fourth million seller for Jimmy.

Jack Scott - My True Love b/w Leroy. First million seller for Scott with two songs written by him.

David Seville and his Orchestra. - Witch Doctor. First million seller for David but by no means the last. Born Ross Bagdasarian in Fresno, California on 27 January 1919 David started his showbiz career as an actor. In 1958 he wrote this novelty song having been inspired by the title of a book 'Duel With The Witch Doctor'. (Having previously co-written a hit record for Rosemary Clooney -'Come On-A My House'). He recorded an orchestral track at half speed and played it back at full speed doing likewise with the word 'Witch Doctor' to get a distinctive sound. He took the tape to Liberty Records who were so impressed that they had it out in the shops within 24 hours of hearing it. It sold one-and-a-half million! For Christmas, David went back into the recording studio and wrote a song, making the singers animals. He played around with various distorted speeds until he was happy with the sound. When it was finished he decided that the vocal track sounded as though it were being sung by Chipmunks. So, titling it The Chipmunk Song he put the record out and it became the fastest selling record of all time, selling three-and-a-half million in five weeks! The Chipmunks names; Theodore, Simon and Alvin were taken from three of Liberty Records chiefs.

The Silhouettes - Get A Job. Only million seller for this group was one that they wrote themselves. Revived in the 1980s and used in an advertisement promoting employment.

Dodie Stevens - Pink Shoelaces. This million seller for Dodie was recorded when she was 11 years old.

The Teddy Bears - To Know Him Is To Love Him. This sole million seller for the trio consisting of Annette Bard, Marshall Lieb and Phil Spector was written by Spector who was inspired by an engraving on his father's tombstone which read 'To Know Him Was To Love Him'. Spector was only nine-years old when his father died and in 1953 the family moved to California. It wasn't until 1958 that Spector one day found himself humming a tune and quite naturally put the words to it, substituting the 'Was' on the gravestone to the 'Is' that finally became the title. Spector later became a record producer and owner of his own label where he discovered numerous other groups including The Ronettes. In 1969 he was employed by The Beatles to mix their album 'Let It Be', although not to the approval of Paul McCartney who has since been very critical of the resulting LP. John Lennon stayed loyal to Spector until the mid 1970s when he and Spector allegedly fell out over Lennon's 'Rock n' Roll' album. On November 22 2004 Spector was charged with and found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in the California state prison system.

Ritchie Valens - Donna b/w La Bamba. Donna was Valen's own composition like his first song, 'Come On, Let's Go', which sold 750,000 copies. This double-a sided disc was his sole million seller, his young life being taken away the very next year in the same plane crash that took Big Bopper and Buddy Holly. A film of his life La Bamba was made in 1987.

Roger Williams - Till. Second million seller for Williams.

Chuck Willis - What Am I Living For? The only million seller for this artist. Voted the best rhythm and blues disc of 1958.

Sheb Wooley - The Purple People Eater. Sole million seller for Sheb who went on to appear in over 50 movies as well as play the role of Pete Nolan in the U.S. TV series 'Rawhide.. '