Rock Around the Fifties – Top Selling Songs of the 1950’s

Do you remember the 50’s?  Do I remember?  No – Yet, the 50’s were the best time of my life.  I didn’t work, I didn’t go to school, I didn’t have to do anything… except eat, drink, fill my diaper, and cry (I was born in June of ’59 – I know… I’m ancient).

At any rate, here are the top selling songs of my birth decade (pay special attention to 1959) as determined by the RIAA and NEA.  This list reads like the soundtrack to American Graffitti or Happy Days (thinking particulary about Rock Around the Clock, Blueberry Hill, At the Hop, and Yakety Yak).

The top selling song of the decade?  Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and his Comets (bonus trivia- Bill Haley started out as a yodeling cowboy singer and was not the first to record Rock Around the Clock):

The Top Selling Songs of the 1950’s:

Nat King Cole – Mona Lisa – 1950
Patti Page – The Tennessee Waltz – 1950
Roy Rogers/Dale Evans – Happy Trails – 1951
Les Paul & Mary Ford – How High the Moon – 1951
The Weavers – On Top of Old Smoky – 1951
cast recording – The King and I – 1951
Hank Williams – Your Cheatin’ Heart – 1953
The Chordettes – Mr. Sandman – 1954
Erroll Garner Trio – Misty – 1954
The Modern Jazz Quartet – Django – 1954
The Penguins – Earth Angel – 1954
Joe Turner – Shake Rattle and Roll – 1954
Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley – 1955
Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons – 1955
*Bill Haley & the Comets – Rock Around the Clock – 1955
Al Hibbler – Unchained Melody – 1955
George Beverly Shea – How Great Thou Art – 1955
Mary Lou Williams – Zodiac Suite – 1955
Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line – 1956
Doris Day – Que Sera Sera – 1956
Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill – 1956
The Five Satins – In the Still of the Night – 1956
Little Richard – Tutti Frutti – 1956
Frankie Lymon & Teenagers – Why Do Fools Fall in Love – 1956
Carl Perkins – Blue Suede Shoes – 1956
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel – 1956
Elvis Presley – Hound Dog/Don’t Be Cruel – 1956
Muddy Waters – Got My Mojo Workin’ – 1956
cast recording – My Fair Lady – 1956
Harry Belafonte – Banana Boat (Day-O) – 1957
Sam Cooke – You Send Me – 1957
Danny & The Juniors – At the Hop – 1957
The Everly Brothers – Wake Up Little Susie – 1957
Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue – 1957
Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire – 1957
Johnny Mathis – Chances Are – 1957
cast recording – West Side Story – 1957
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode – 1958
The Champs – Tequila – 1958
The Coasters – Yakety Yak – 1958
Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues – 1958
Connie Francis – Who’s Sorry Now – 1958
The Kingston Trio – Tom Dooley – 1958
The Platters – Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – 1958
Louis Prima & Keely Smith – That Old Black Magic – 1958
Ritchie Valens – Donna/La Bamba – 1958
cast recording – The Music Man – 1958
Ray Charles – What’d I Say – 1959
Dave Brubeck – Take Five – 1959
Bobby Darin – Mack the Knife – 1959
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue – 1959
The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes for You – 1959
Wilbert Harrison – Kansas City – 1959
Johnny Horton – The Battle of New Orleans – 1959
The Isley Brothers – Shout – 1959
Marty Robbins – El Paso – 1959

As a bonus Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison (a musical influence on the Beatles):



9 responses to “Rock Around the Fifties – Top Selling Songs of the 1950’s

  1. I love the music… although it was a bit before my time…..

    There are some great songs. We were at Disneyland a couple of weeks ago and the house band at the Golden Horseshoe Revue played The Battle of New Orleans (the number one song in 1959) and dedicated it to the Brits who were in the audience (kind of funny if you know the song).
    I was young myself, but got into music by the time I was about five.

  2. Lots of greats here. I’ve never been much into 50’s popular music…but then I see this list and I think maybe I like it more than I realized!

    Some are timeless.

  3. Pingback: rock around the clock by bill haley | Bookmarks URL

  4. Ok, this was waaay before my time :o)…but I love anything by Nat King Cole. His voice is so smooth and awesome!

    Yes… Standards and the origins of Rock! Great decade.

  5. Pingback: Rock Around the Fifties - Top Selling Songs of the 1950’s |

  6. Never heard most of them. Now I have the list will download one by one.

    There are many good songs, but a few are very dated. I hope you like them.

  7. My mother has a story about Rock Around the Clock that I just love. She says it was in some movie, and everyone in the movie theater got up and started dancing in the aisles! I just love the idea of a song that is so upbeat people can’t help dancing to it.

    How great is that? Thanks for sharing it. I wonder if the movie was Blackboard Jungle?
    I love music – I wander around with a soundtrack in my head most of the time.
    Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

  8. Pingback: Rock Around the Fifties - Top Selling Songs of the 1950’s - Over 50 Music |

  9. Yep, Rock Around the Clock was in Blackboard Jungle. And Bill Haley was an old man; 30 years old when this was number one!

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