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Hits That Missed

The UK Bubbling Under Chart


Colin Driscoll

The 1950s and early '60s were a period of unprecedented change on the British music scene, witnessing the emergence of trad jazz, skiffle, folk and rock'n'roll, a renaissance of Irish and Scottish music, and a gradual fading of the influence of operatic balladeers, crooners and the big band sounds of the post-war years. The market was awash with great records, many of which sold well but failed to get into the charts. Until now, there has been no way of knowing which records these were, or how close they came to becoming hits.

This unique book documents – for the first time anywhere – all those singles and albums that 'bubbled under' the UK hit parade between June 1954 and March 1961. As no Bubbling Under chart was ever published in the UK, the author has specially compiled one from record dealers' returns of the time. As an added bonus, the pre-chart histories of hit records are also included.

A goldmine of information, it is sure to be an invaluable resource for music fans, record collectors, researchers and historians for years to come.


"In the fifties, the 'hit parade' was just that - the guide to what was happening and what mattered in popular music. So a book covering what lay beneath the Top 20 charts between 1954 and 1961 must appeal to anyone with an interest in the groundbreaking and bone-shaking music that still matter for old rockers sliding down the razor blade of life...  If you want to find out more about the context of popular music in the fifties, then this should satisfy any appetite... This is a book for browsing, where the famous rub shoulders with the obscure and forgotten; as a reminder of an era when the single record was a potential passport to stardom, this is ideal. Equally, it offers many delights for the vinyl equivalent of the trainspotter. Of course, it was a long time ago, but the music's still largely available, so why not immerse yourself and bubble under for a while!"  Now Dig This

"A detailed and impressive work of research that reminds us of just how close some jazz legends came to gaining chart status." Jazz Journal

"Colin Driscoll has performed a miracle of accuracy in putting everything in its rightful place in this unique page-turner of a music reference book. Highly recommended. 10/10"  markwatkinsreviews.tumbler.com

"Brilliant research... by Colin Driscoll. Music historians, UK Music fans and the army of music nerds out there will want to check this out." Blues & Rhythm


Published: 28 February 2019

ISBN: 978-0-9562679-9-3

Format: Paperback

Edition: First

Extent: 428 pages

Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm

RRP: £23.99

Our price: £21.99 + p&p

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Hits That Missed