A history of what happened in music and books on 14th April, 20th Century (revised and edited)


Most UK number one 45s from April 14th are lost in the mist of once popular music. Who could forget . . .? or . . .?Anyone recall . . .? I remember 1952 well though  - “Unforgettable”  by Nat King Cole. Before ploughing the years to see what turns up, here’s a quick forward-winder that one group was number one on April 14th for two years running in 1981/82. The same phenomenon happened in 1989/90 and 1994/1995 Who were they? I hear myself ask. Unfortunately, the law of chronology means that I will have to wait for the answer . . . “The Grapes of Wrath” was published on 14th April 1939. One of the best novels I’ve read and probably one of the great American novels of the 20th Century, so good it was banned from many USA libraries.


Nothing else happened until the century turned 60 and Lonnie Donegan started telling lies about his dad being a bin man – he was actually a professional violinist. Then Elvis told the truth about not having a “Wooden Heart”.  In 1962 The Shadows stepped out with “Wonderful Land”  and 1963 and 1964 belonged to Gerry . . .  and The Beatles with “How Do You Do It” and “Can’t Buy Me Love” and in ’66 The Spencer Davis Group won the World Cup for Birmingham with “Somebody Help Me”. Frank & Nancy got together for “Something Stupid” in ’67 and Cliff Richard gave“Congratulations” in 1968. Desmond Dekker sang ‘me ears are alive’ in 69 and was incorrectly heard as the “Israelites” and that was the 60s.


T-Rex got the 70s off to a bang with Hot Love in 1971. Then there was a rest from noteable  no.1s from 14/4/1970s until Knowing Me Knowing You by The Alan Partridge Family in 1977.


The Grantham Snatcher was at number 10 in 1980 and The Detroit Spinners were number 1 with “Working My Way Back to You”. And then on April 14th 1981 and 1982 the number one spot was sat on for two years by Bucks Fizz with “Making Your Mind Up” and “My Camera Never Lies”.  Bowie changed his tunes in 1983 with “Let’s Dance”. George Orwell’s 1984 was published in 1949 but probably not on 14th April.  Madonna straddled the 80s and 90s with “Like a Prayer” and “Vogue” -  number ones in ’89 and 90’ and Take That doubled up with “Everything Changes” and “Back for Good”  which were number ones on April 14th in 1994 and 1995. All of these facts are true unless the internet people got them wrong. “It’s Like That” by Run DMC  & Jason Nevins  was number one on April 14th 1999.