Ivor Novello Awards – The 1950s

In this series, we’ll roll all the way back to the mid-1950s, when the Ivor Novello Awards began. Check back every week or so to see a new decade!

Ivor Novello Awards 1956

The Ivor Novello Awards began on 11th March 1956 at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London.

  • The Year’s Most Popular Song: Ev’rywhere, written by Tolchard Evans and Jack Fishman. Also nominated: A Blossom Fell, by Howard Barnes, Harold Cornelius and Dominic John
  • The Year’s Outstanding Popular Song: In Love For The Very First Time, by Paddy Roberts and Jack Woodman. Also nominated: Man In A Raincoat, by Warwick Webster
  • The Year’s Outstanding Comedy Song: Got’n Idea, by Paddy Roberts and Jack Woodman. Also nominated: The Income Tax Collector, by Michael Flanders and Donald Swann
  • A Personal Special Award: Haydn Wood
  • The Year’s Most Effective Musical Play Score: Salad Days, by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade. Also nominated: The Water Gipsies, by Vivian Ellis and A.P. Herbert
  • The Year’s Outstanding ‘Swing’ Composition: Big City Suite, by Ralph Dollimore. Also nominated: Fanfare Boogie, by Max Kaye and Brian Fahey
  • The Year’s Outstanding Piece of Light Orchestral Music: The Dam Busters, by Eric Coates. Also nominated: John and Julie. by Philip Green
  • Outstanding Services in the Field of Popular Music: Jack Payne

Ivor Novello Awards 1957

The second ceremony was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme on 8th April 1957, with performances by The Stargazers, Harold Smart, Matt Monro, The Show Band Singers and Johnny Dankworth and His Orchestra.

  • The Best Selling and Most Performed Song of the Year: My September Love, written by Tolchard Evans and Richard Mullan. Also nominated: Out of Town, by Leslie Bricusse and Robin Beaumont
  • Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: By the Fountains of Rome, by Norman Newell and Mátyás Seiber. Also nominated: My Unfinished Symphony, by Milton Carson
  • The Year’s Outstanding Novelty Song: Nellie The Elephant, by Ralph Butler and Peter Hart. Also nominated: Lift Boy, by Ken Hare, Ron Goodwin and Dick James
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in ‘Rhythm’ Style: Itinerary of an Orchestra, by Johnny Dankworth and Dave Lindup. Also nominated: Experiments with Mice, by Johnny Dankworth
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: The Westminster Waltz, by Robert Farnon. Also nominated: Toyshop Ballet, by A.P. Mantovani
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  • The Year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Score of a Stage Play, Film, TV Programme or Radio Production: The March Hare, by Philip Green. Also nominated: You Are My First Love, by Paddy Roberts and Lester Powell
  • Outstanding Personal Services to Popular Music: A P Mantovani

Ivor Novello Awards 1958

  • The Best Selling and Most Performed Song of the Year: We Will Make Love, by Russ Hamilton. Also nominated: I’ll Find You, by Tolchard Evans and Richard Mullan
  • Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: A Handful of Songs, by Lionel Bart, Michael Pratt and Tommy Steele. Also nominated: Your Love Is My Love, by Johnny Brandon
  • The Year’s Outstanding Novelty Song: Three Brothers, by Paddy Roberts. Also nominated: Water, Water, by Lionel Bart, Michael Pratt and Tommy Steele
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in ‘Rhythm’ Style: Overdrive, by Tommy Watt. Also nominated: Skiffling Strings, by Ron Goodwin
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: Elizabethan Serenade, by Ronald Binge. Also nominated: The Streets of Sorrento, by Tony Osborne
  • The Year’s Outstanding Score of a Stage Play, Film, TV Programme or Radio Production: Free As Air, by Dorothy Reynolds and Julian Slade. Also nominated: The Tommy Steele Story, by Lionel Bart, Michael Pratt and Tommy Steele
  • Outstanding Personal Services to British Popular Music: Ted Heath

Ivor Novello Awards 1959

The fourth ceremony took place at the BBC Television Theatre, London on 25th May 1959, broadcast on BBC Television, with Eric Robinson conducting the Concert Orchestra, led by David McCallum.

  • The Best Selling and Most Performed Song of the Year: Trudie, written by Joe Henderson. Also nominated: You Need Hands, by Max Bygraves
  • Most Outstanding Song of the Year, Musically and Lyrically: The Wind Cannot Read, by Peter Hart There Goes My Lover, by Leonard Taylor and Harold Shaper
  • The Year’s Outstanding Novelty Song: I’m So Ashamed, by Ken Hare. Also nominated: The Army Game, by Pat Napper and Sid Colin
  • The Year’s Outstanding Composition in Jazz or Beat Idiom: The Colonel’s Tune, by Johnny Dankworth. Also nominated: Rock Bottom, by Tommy Watt and Jock Bain
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Composition: Lingering Lovers, by Ron Goodwin. Also nominated: Melody From The Sea, by Donald Phillips
  • The Year’s Outstanding Contribution to the Score of a Stage Play, Film, TV Programme or Radio Production: Theme Music for ‘Inn of the Sixth Happiness’, by Malcolm Arnold. Also nominated: Josita, by Philip Green
  • Outstanding Services to British Popular Music: Billy Cotton

Further Reading