1959 Photo Gallery
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January 1959 - Los Angeles vocal group The Platters continue their chart success,  topping the Pop and R&B charts with "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes". In April they do it again with the single "Twilight Time".January 1959 - Phoenix, AZ guitar whiz Duane Eddy scores a Top Ten single with "Rebel Rouser" along with a Top Five album produced by Lee Hazelwood.January 1959 - New York City doo wop group The Crests go to #2 with the song "16 Candles".February 3, 1959 - A late night plane crash following a Feb. 2nd performance at Clear Lake, Iowa kills rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. February 1959 - Back from serving in the Korean War, New Orlean's Lloyd Price is back on the charts too, as he tops the Pop and R&B charts with "Stagger Lee". He would also hit #2 in July with the song "Personality".March 1959 - Charlotte, NC R&B singer Wilbert Harrison spends eleven weeks at #1 R&B, also hitting #1 Pop, with the Leiber and Stoller song "Kansas City".March 1959 - Los Angeles, CA vocal group The Coasters are back on the Pop Charts at #2 with the single "Charlie Brown". They continue their chart success in May and August with the Top Ten singles "Along Came Jones" and "Poison Ivy".February 1959 - "Lonely Teardrops" by Jackie Wilson tops the R&B charts for 7 weeks and hits #7 on the Hot 100.April 1959 - 16-year-old Philadelphia native Fabiano Anthony Forte, better known as Fabian, scores his second Top Ten hit with "Turn Me Loose" on Chancellor Records.April 1959 - Olympia, WA high school trio The Fleetwoods top the charts with their a cappella single "Come Softly To Me". May 1959 - " A Teenager In Love" the fifth single from Bronx, NY vocal group, Dion and the Belmonts, hits #5 US, #28 UK.June 1959 - Freddy Cannon of Lynn, MA  has his first hit with "Tallahassee Lassie" #6 Pop, #13 R&B, #17 UK.Congressional hearings are held to investigate "payola" in the music industry. Pioneering rock DJ Alan Freed gets fired from WABC New York as a result and his career never recovers.June 1959 - Newark, NJ native Connie Francis scores her third Top Ten hit with "Lipstick On Your Collar" which peaks at #5 US. July 1959 - "I Only Have Eyes For You" by Chicago, IL vocal group The Flamingos hits #11 on the Pop charts, #3 R&B and becomes one of Doo Wop's finest moments.August 1959 - Billings, Montana native Chan Romero releases the single "Hippy Hippy Shake" which doesn't do much in the US, but hits #3 in Australia.February 1959 - Ray Charles releases the single "What'd I Say" which goes to #1 R&B and becomes his first hit to crossover to the Pop Charts reaching #6 on the Hot 100. August 1959 - Atlantic artists The Drifters, with a new line up featuring Ben E. King hit #1 R&B and #2 Pop with "There Goes My Baby". September 1959 - After previously scoring Top 10 hits with "Splish Splash" and "Dream Lover" Bobby Darin switches to a more adult style and hits #1 with his cover of "Mack the Knife".September 1959 - Cincinnati, Ohio group The Isley Brothers make their first chart appearance with "Shout". The long running group would go on to chart in every decade into the 2000's.September 1959 - Instrumentals make an impact with Sandy Nelson's "Teen Beat", Santo & Johnny's (shown above) "Sleepwalk" and Johnny & The Hurricanes "Red River Rock" all enjoying chart success. August 1959 - Gretna, LA native Frankie Ford scores a Top 20 hit with his cover of Huey Piano Smith's song "Sea Cruise". December 1959 - (Above L to R: Dick Clark, Fabian, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon) Teen Idol Frankie Avalon has his second #1 hit of the year "Why". Teen idols dominate the late fifties and early sixties pop charts with stars like Fabian, Bobby Vee, Bobby Rydell, Brian Hyland, Paul Anka and others.December 1959 - Elvis Presley's former bass player Bill Black forms his own band and scores a #1 R&B, #17 Pop hit with the instrumental "Smokey Part 2".December 1959 - St.Lucia, West Indies musician Emile Ford and his band the Checkmates top the UK charts for seventeen weeks with their song "What Do You Want to Make Those Eyes at Me For?".December 1959 - As the decade ends, rock music has proven it is not a fad and is now the dominant musical style, accounting for 43% of all records sold. December 1959 - As the fifties end, teen culture has largely overtaken the music industry including record sales, jukebox sales and radio airplay.December 1959 - The popularity of rock music is worldwide and impacts movies, television, fashion, attitudes and language.  December 1959 - The Billboard Hot 100 and other music charts are racially integrated as the decade closes, with black and white artists scoring hits on both the Pop and R&B charts.
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