List of Billboard number-one country songs of 1956

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A dark-haired man wearing dark clothing, performing on stage to a crowd, many of whom are stretching out their arms towards him
The early recordings of "King of Rock 'n Roll" Elvis Presley were successful on the country charts, and he achieved four number ones on the best sellers chart in 1956.

In 1956 Billboard magazine published three charts covering the best-performing country music songs in the United States. At the start of the year, the charts were published under the titles Most Played in Juke Boxes, Best Sellers in Stores, and Most Played By Jockeys, with the genre denoted in an overall page heading. With effect from the issue of Billboard dated June 30, the genre was added to the specific titles of the charts, which were thus published as Most Played C&W in Juke Boxes, C&W Best Sellers in Stores, and Most Played C&W By Jockeys, the C&W standing for "country and western". All three charts are considered part of the lineage of the current Hot Country Songs chart, which was first published in 1958.[1]

The number one positions on both the juke box and best sellers charts were dominated by Elvis Presley, who spent a total of 26 weeks in the top spot on the best sellers listing and 28 weeks (including one tied with another song) atop the juke box chart with four different singles. Presley achieved his first chart-topper in February when he reached the number one spot on the best sellers chart with "I Forgot To Remember To Forget". The song was the final single which he recorded for Sun Records, the label for which he had honed his early rockabilly style.[2] After he signed for new label RCA Victor, his recordings began to show more of a pop music influence, but continued to appear on the country charts,[2] and one week after "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" was replaced at number one, Presley regained the top spot with "Heartbreak Hotel", which remained atop the listing for 17 consecutive weeks. "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" was the first chart-topper for Presley, who would go on to be regarded as the most successful and influential recording artist of all time and feted as the "King of Rock and Roll".[2][3]

Presley's songs were less successful on the jockeys chart: "Heartbreak Hotel" was his only number one on the airplay-based listing. During the second half of the year, the jockeys chart was dominated by "Crazy Arms" by Ray Price, which spent 20 weeks at number one, one week short of the record for the most weeks spent atop one of Billboard's country charts by a single song.[4] Despite its popularity on the radio, Price's song spent only one week at number one on the juke box chart. In addition to Presley, four other artists reached number one for the first time, two of whom were among his fellow members of the so-called "Million Dollar Quartet" of early rock and roll stars:[5] Carl Perkins gained his first country chart-topper with a song which would go on to be considered a rock and roll standard,[6] "Blue Suede Shoes",[7] and Johnny Cash achieved the first of his thirteen country number ones when he topped the jockeys chart with "I Walk the Line",[8] a track which Rolling Stone magazine ranked as the greatest country song of all time in 2014.[9] Red Sovine and The Louvin Brothers also achieved their debut chart-toppers in 1956.[10][11]

Chart history

Most Played (C&W) in Juke Boxes

A dark-haired man holding a microphone
Carl Perkins (pictured in 1977) topped the juke box chart with the rock and roll standard "Blue Suede Shoes".
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 7 "Love, Love, Love" Webb Pierce [12]
January 14 "Sixteen Tons" Tennessee Ernie Ford [13]
January 21 [14]
January 28 [15]
February 4 [16]
February 11 [17]
February 18 [18]
February 25 "Why Baby Why" Webb Pierce and Red Sovine [19]
March 3 "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" Elvis Presley [20]
March 10 [21]
March 17 [22]
March 24 [23]
March 31 [24]
April 7[a] "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis Presley [25]
"Blue Suede Shoes" Carl Perkins
April 14 "Blue Suede Shoes" Carl Perkins [26]
April 21 [27]
April 28 "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis Presley [28]
May 5 [29]
May 12 [30]
May 19 [31]
May 26 [32]
June 2 [33]
June 9 [34]
June 16 [35]
June 23 [36]
June 30 [37]
July 7 [38]
July 14 [39]
July 21 "I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash [40]
July 28 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [41]
August 4 "I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash [42]
August 11 "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" Elvis Presley [43]
August 18 "I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash
August 25 [44]
September 1 [45]
September 8 [46]
September 15 "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog"[b] Elvis Presley [47]
September 22 [48]
September 29 [49]
October 6 [50]
October 13
October 20 [51]
October 27 [52]
November 3 [53]
November 10 [54]
November 17 [55]
November 24 "Singing the Blues" Marty Robbins [56]
December 1 [57]
December 8 [58]
December 15 [59]
December 22 [60]
December 29 [61]

a. ^ Two songs tied for number one.
b. ^ Double A-sided single. Billboard showed "Hound Dog" as the "leading" side on the September 15 and September 22 charts, but otherwise listed "Don't Be Cruel" first.

(C&W) Best Sellers in Stores

A dark-haired man wearing a cardigan sweater, smiling broadly
Marty Robbins ended the year at number one on the best sellers listing.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 7 "Sixteen Tons" Tennessee Ernie Ford [12]
January 14 [13]
January 21 [14]
January 28 [15]
February 4 [16]
February 11 [17]
February 18 [18]
February 25 "I Forgot To Remember To Forget" Elvis Presley [19]
March 3 [20]
March 10 "Why Baby Why" Webb Pierce and Red Sovine [21]
March 17 "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis Presley [22]
March 24 [23]
March 31 [24]
April 7 [25]
April 14 [26]
April 21 [27]
April 28 [28]
May 5 [29]
May 12 [30]
May 19 [31]
May 26 [32]
June 2 [33]
June 9 [34]
June 16 [35]
June 23 [36]
June 30 [37]
July 7 [38]
July 14 "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" Elvis Presley [39]
July 21 [40]
July 28 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [41]
August 4 [42]
August 11 [43]
August 18
August 25 [44]
September 1 [45]
September 8 [46]
September 15 [47]
September 22 [48]
September 29 "Don't Be Cruel" / "Hound Dog"[a] Elvis Presley [49]
October 6 [50]
October 13
October 20 [51]
October 27 [52]
November 3 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [53]
November 10 [54]
November 17 "Singing The Blues" Marty Robbins [55]
November 24 [56]
December 1 [57]
December 8 [58]
December 15 [59]
December 22 [60]
December 29 [61]

a. ^ Double A-sided single.

Most Played (C&W) by Jockeys

A black-haired man wearing a dark jacket
Ray Price's "Crazy Arms" spent 20 weeks at number one on the jockeys chart.
Issue date Title Artist(s) Ref.
January 7 "Sixteen Tons" Tennessee Ernie Ford [12]
January 14 "Love, Love, Love" Webb Pierce [13]
January 21 "Sixteen Tons" Tennessee Ernie Ford [14]
January 28 [15]
February 4 "Love, Love, Love" Webb Pierce [16]
February 11 "Why Baby Why" Webb Pierce and Red Sovine [17]
February 18 [18]
February 25 "Love, Love, Love" Webb Pierce [19]
March 3 "Why Baby Why" Webb Pierce and Red Sovine [20]
March 10 [21]
March 17 "I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby" The Louvin Brothers [22]
March 24 [23]
March 31 "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis Presley [24]
April 7 [25]
April 14 [26]
April 21 [27]
April 28 [28]
May 5 [29]
May 12 [30]
May 19 [31]
May 26 [32]
June 2 [33]
June 9 [34]
June 16 [35]
June 23 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [36]
June 30 [37]
July 7 [38]
July 14 [39]
July 21 [40]
July 28 [41]
August 4 [42]
August 11 [43]
August 18
August 25 [44]
September 1 [45]
September 8 [46]
September 15 [47]
September 22 [48]
September 29 [49]
October 6 [50]
October 13
October 20 [51]
October 27 "I Walk the Line" Johnny Cash [52]
November 3 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [53]
November 10 "Singing the Blues" Marty Robbins [54]
November 17 "Crazy Arms" Ray Price [55]
November 24 "Singing the Blues" Marty Robbins [56]
December 1 [57]
December 8 [58]
December 15 [59]
December 22 [60]
December 29 [61]

See also

References

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2005). Joel Whitburn's Top Country Songs: 1944-2005. Record Research. p. ix. ISBN 9780898201659.
  2. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Elvis Presley Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  3. ^ "Elvis: Remembering the King - 40 years on". BBC. August 16, 2017. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  4. ^ Whitaker, Sterling (August 1, 2013). "Florida Georgia Line set all-time chart record with 'Cruise'". The Boot. Townsquare Media. Retrieved May 11, 2018.
  5. ^ "The Million Dollar Quartet / Elvis Presley / Jerry Lee Lewis / Carl Perkins / Johnny Cash". AllMusic. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
  6. ^ Hall, Michael K. (2005). Crossroads: American Popular Culture and the Vietnam Generation. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 68. ISBN 9780742544444.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 243. ISBN 0823076326.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 67. ISBN 0823076326.
  9. ^ "100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ Manheim, James. "Red Sovine Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved September 27, 2018.
  11. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1996). The Billboard Book of Top 40 Country Hits. Watson-Guptill. p. 190. ISBN 0823076326.
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