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THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 14 October 1961

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 At #2 this week is John Leyton’s ‘Wild Wind’:

Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):
8 October; the Berlin Wall story continues: ‘The first of at least 134 residents of East Berlin escaped to the West through a manhole that led to an underground sewer that ran underneath the Berlin Wall. West German students Dieter Thieme and Detlef Girmann organized the Unternehmen Reisebüro, also called the “Girmann Group”. The operation lasted for four nights until East German police learned what was happening and closed off the route.’
10 October: ‘The United Kingdom began negotiations with the six-member European Economic Community to seek membership in the Common Market, with an opening speech in Paris by Prime Minister Edward Heath.’
    On the same day: ‘All 260 residents of the South Atlantic island of Tristan da Cunha were evacuated by two small fishing boats, following a volcanic eruption on destroyed the crayfish canning factory that was the source of many islanders’ livelihood. The group then spent the night on Nightingale Island, a 0.75 square mile patch of rock, 13 miles away, to await the arrival of the Dutch liner Tjisadane, which took them to South Africa.’

11 October, Vietnam War: ‘The United States presence in South Vietnam was increased as President Kennedy authorized the deployment of an entire U.S. Air Force unit, the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron, to fly combat missions from the Bien Hoa Air Base.’
13 October: ‘Prince Louis Rwagasore, the popular eldest son of King Mwambutasa and who had been selected by the new legislature to be the first Prime Minister of Burundi in advance of the African nation’s independence from Belgium, was assassinated. Rwagasaore was dining with his cabinet at a restaurant on Lake Tanganyika, when he was killed by a single shot fired by Jean Kageorgis, a Greek national. “Perhaps no other event has weighed more heavily on the destinies of Burundi,” noted one historian, adding that “many believe that if only fate had given him a chance, he might have spared his nation the traumas that would soon tear it apart.”‘
14 October: ‘For twelve hours, all commercial flights in the United States and Canada were grounded in order to conduct the NORAD exercise Operation Sky Shield II. Starting, as scheduled, at 1:00 pm Washington DC time, civilian airline flights were halted and military planes conducted an exercise simulating a foreign bombing attack on North American targets. Commercial flights were allowed to take off again twelve hours later. It was the longest scheduled halt of air traffic in United States history, exceeded only by the emergency grounding following September 11, 2001.’
UK chart hits, week ending 14 October 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint’s labour-of love compilation


Walkin’ Back To Happiness

Helen Shapiro



Wild Wind

John Leyton

Top Rank


Michael Row The Boat

The Highwaymen




Billy Fury



You’ll Answer To Me

Cleo Laine



Wild In The Country / I Feel So Bad

Elvis Presley




The Shadows



Sucu Sucu

Laurie Johnson



Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank



Connie Francis



Get Lost

Eden Kane



You Don’t Know

Helen Shapiro




Frank Sinatra



Hats Off To Larry

Del Shannon



Who Put The Bomp

The Viscounts



Michael Row The Boat / Lumbered

Lonnie Donegan



Sucu Sucu

Nina and Frederik



My Boomerang Won’t Come Back

Charlie Drake



Bless You

Tony Orlando



Hard Hearted Hannah / Chilli Bom*Bom

The Temperance Seven



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