NME Publishes First UK Singles Chart
The 14th of November 1952 AD
Though it's journalists will hate the thought, the NME is a British institution . Founded in March 1952 when entrepreneur Maurice Kinn bought Musical Express and Accordion Weekly (how we miss it) and transformed the publication into New Musical Express.
Seeing what US magazine Billboard was doing with its chart, co-founder Percy Dickins decided to follow suit. With a non-too-scientific survey of selected record stores around the country conducted over the phone Dickins compiled a Top 12 that was announced to the world on November 14 1952: in October 1954 this became the Top 20, and in April 1956 the Top 30.
And what gems were to be found on that first chart? Al Martino was at the top with Here in My Heart. Vera Lynn occupied a quarter of the places with Forget Me Not, Homing Waltz, and Auf Wiedersehen. And who can forget that legend of the music world Max Bygraves with his Cowpuncher’s Cantata at number 11? Actually probably everybody.
The NME only lost its place as the official provider of the singles chart in 1960, and is still a part of the life of every teenager and student serious about music, and quite a few several years beyond that period of life.
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