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Rock Island Line – Lonnie Donegan

Lonnie Donegan took this track into the UK top 10 for six weeks in 1956.

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Sixty years ago this week, Rock Island line by Lonnie Donegan reached its highest position of number 8 in the UK singles chart. It had entered the top 20 four weeks previously at number 17 and broke into the top 10 two weeks later. After one week at its peak position, the song spent three of the next eight weeks in the top 10 and then left the chart. It returned on two occasions in 1956 for another nine weeks in the top 30.

Rock Island line was released on the Decca record label and was the first of seventeen UK top 10 hits for Lonnie Donegan. The original version of the song was recorded by John Lomax in 1934. A recording by Stan Freberg & His Skiffle Group also entered the UK chart in 1956, peaking at number 24.

More music from Lonnie Donegan


UK singles chart for the week ending 4 February 1956

  1. Sixteen tonsTennessee Ernie Ford

  2. The ballad of Davy CrockettBill Hayes

  3. (Love is) the tender trapFrank Sinatra

  4. Love and marriageFrank Sinatra

  5. The ballad of Davy CrockettTennessee Ernie Ford

  6. Rock-a-beatin’ boogieBill Haley and His Comets

  7. Love is a many-splendored thingFour Aces

  8. Rock Island lineLonnie Donegan

  9. Pickin’ a chickenEve Boswell

  10. Robin HoodGary Miller

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