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Amazing Facts About Music

The Invention of the Record

The very first record was created way back in 1857 by a French scientist called Leon Scott. He was able to record sound onto paper which had been blackened with black candle wax. This amazing invention was known as a “phonoautograph”.

Twenty years later Thomas Edison created the phonograph when he recorded sound onto wax cylinders. Then in 1887, ten years later, Emil Berliner adapted Edison’s idea to put sound on to a flat wax disc and the LP was born.

The UK Singles Chart

The UK singles chart began in 1952, the first number one was Here In My Heart by Al Martino and it remained at number one for nine weeks. The New Musical Express (better known now as NME) is a popular UK music magazine, published weekly since March 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart. In the 1970s it became the best-selling British music magazine.

The Music Cassette

The cassette tape was original used for recording dictations in offices however in 1964 it was started to be used to bring music to the public. Between the early 1970s and the late 1990s, the cassette was one of the two most common formats for prerecorded music alongside the LP. The compact disk was released in 1983 and by the early 1990’s sales of CDs had overtaken that of cassettes.

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UK Number Ones

The song ‘Spirit In The Sky’ has been number one in the UK on three occasions by three different artists. Norman Greenbaun, who wrote the song, released the original in 1970, followed by Doctor and the Medics version in 1986. Gareth Gates reached the number one spot with it in 2003.

Frankie Laine’s ‘I Believe’, went to number one on three separate occasions and for 18 weeks in total during 1953.

The Jackie Wilson song ‘Reet Petite’ was originally released in 1957 but did not reach number one in the UK charts until 1986. 29 years and 42 days after the original release.

The Beatles song ‘With A Little Help From My Friend’ also reached number one in the UK three times, although not by the Beatles themselves. Firstly for Joe Cocker in 1968, then by Wet Wet Wet in 1988. Finally hitting the top spot again for Sam and Mark in 2004.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by Queen has reached the number one spot in the UK in four different years. Originally released in 1975, it reached the top spot in November and was still there in early 1976. After lead singer, Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, the song was re-released, hitting number one in December of that year and holding on until late January of 1992.

Most Singles in the Top 75

The cast of ‘Glee’ have been making headlines ever since the show launched in May 2009. They hold the record for most Top 75 singles in a year, after hitting 45 last summer. But Michael Jackson managed 27 in one week (21 solo, five with the Jackson 5 and one with sister Janet), following his death in June 2009.

The Youngest and Oldest Chart Toppers

Jimmy Osmond became the youngest UK chart topper in 1972 with ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’ at just 9 years old. Louis Armstrong is the oldest solo artist reaching number one at 67 years old with ‘What A Wonderful World’. Tom Jones reached number one in 2009 when a Comic Relief cover of ‘Islands In The Stream’ hit number one, he was 68 years old.