WHAT’S HAP­PEN­ING IN 1959?

Practical Classics (UK) - - MEMORY LANE -

IN THE NEWS

Two enor­mous in­ter­na­tional news sto­ries with a long and tragic his­tory be­gan as far back as 1959: the first large ac­tion of the Viet­nam war takes place and the first hu­man death we can re­li­ably at­tribute to HIV / AIDS oc­curs in the Congo. Back home in Bri­tain, Ernest Marples opens the first sec­tion of the M1, along with the M45 and M10 (now part of the A414).

AT THE FLICKS

Univer­sal­in­ter­na­tional has its big­gest suc­cess yet with a movie most of us have for­got­ten – Op­er­a­tion Pet­ti­coat. A WWII com­edy set on a sub­ma­rine? Tricky to pull off, un­less you have Cary Grant and Tony Cur­tis di­rected by Blake Ed­wards. But then ev­ery­thing dis­ap­pears un­der the cloud of dust left by Ben-hur, the most ex­pen­sive movie yet made ($15m) and win­ner of 11 Os­cars.

IN THE CHARTS

The usual late­fifties sus­pects: Elvis, Buddy, Cliff, er… Russ Con­way. Shirley Bassey scored a big hit with As I Love You and an­other with Kiss Me Honey Honey Kiss Me, and she wasn’t the only fe­male artist shift­ing records: Con­nie Fran­cis made a mas­sive splash with Lip­stick On Your Col­lar but Jane Mor­gan, the Bev­er­ley Sis­ters, Sarah Vaughan, Ruby Wright and Joan Re­gan all took on the fel­las with suc­cess.

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