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Vintage Video #1's: The Everly Brothers Top the Pop and Country Charts Sixty Years Ago Today

by VVN Music

On this day sixty years ago (October 14, 1957), the Everly Brothers hit number 1 on not just the Pop, but also the Country Singles chart.

"Wake Up Little Susie", written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant who wrote so many of the duo's hits, was their third single and second to reach the top two in the U.S. after "Bye Bye Love". It would spend one week at the top on the Pop chart, seven weeks on the Country Singles and, two weeks later (October 28), would go to number 1 on the R&B Singles where it would stay a week.

The run on the Country Singles would be during an approximately two year period when the traditional country artists would be pushed to the side and replaced by the burgeoning rockers. Up until February of 1956, the top of the country charts were regularly held by artists like Webb Pierce, Eddy Arnold, Hank Snow and Carl Smith.

Then, on February 25, 1956, a young Elvis Presley hit number 1 with "I Forgot to Remember to Forget". Presley would be in the number 1 spot on the Country Singles for 28 weeks through December 1957 with "Heartbreak Hotel", "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You", "Don't Be Cruel", "Teddy Bear" and "Jailhouse Rock".

During the same time, the Everly Brothers would be at the top of the Country Singles for 20 weeks with four different songs. Throw in four weeks for Jerry Lee Lewis and early rockers dominated the Country charts more than half the time.

Interestingly, Country artists crossed over to the Pop charts often during this period, too, with such songs as "Sixteen Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, "Singing the Blues" by Marty Robbins, "Young Love" by Sonny James, "Gone" by Ferlin Husky and "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)" by Marty Robbins.

Here are the Everly Brothers on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1957:

The top five selling singles this week in 1957:
  1. Wake Up Little Susie - Everly Brothers
  2. Honeycomb - Jimmie Rodgers
  3. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
  4. Tammy - Debby Reynolds
  5. Diana - Paul Anka
The top five selling Country singles this week in 1957:
  1. Wake Up Little Susie - Everly Brothers
  2. Jailhouse Rock - Elvis Presley
  3. Fraulein - Bobby Helms
  4. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On - Jerry Lee Lewis
  5. My Shoes Keep Walking Back to You - Ray Price