Peak UK Chart Position: #1 in March 1981.

Happy 69th birthday to Michael Barratt, born in Cardiff, Wales, and generally known to one and all as Shakin’ Stevens. He has, to date, scored 33 UK top forty hits, either solo or in a duet, with four of them getting to number one. That stat does not include the likes of “Merry Christmas Everyone” which has entered the top forty for the last ten consecutive years at Christmas. He has most recently released his twelfth studio album, entitled “Echoes Of Our Times”, which was released in September 2016. He has a country-wide tour planned for April and May of this year.

Quick facts:

  • Shaky was the UK’s biggest-selling singles artist of the 1980s, and also spent more weeks in the charts than any other artist during the decade.
  • “This Ole House” was written by Stuart Hamblen, and originally topped the charts both sides of the Atlantic in 1954 for Rosemary Clooney.
  • It was number 29 in the UK this week in 1981 for Shaky, but went on to top the charts for three weeks, becoming the fourth best-seller of the year.
  • His other chart-toppers, other than his festive staple mentioned above, were “Green Door” in 1981, and “Oh Julie” in 1982.
  • “This Ole House” was re-released as the double-A side of his 2005 hit “Trouble” (a cover of the song by Pink), on the back of his appearance – and subsequent victory – on ITV’s ‘Hit Me, Baby, One More Time’.

Here is a Top of the Pops performance of the track from December 28th 1989, which was a special show looking back at the 80s.

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