December 22, 2017

635 Gerry and the Pacemakers “How Do You Do It” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” 1963

“Signed by Beatles manager Brian Epstein in 1962, Gerry and The Pacemakers made their name with ballads like ‘How Do You Do It,’ ‘I Like It,’ ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey,’ ‘Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying’ and more. Their biggest hit was the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ originally from Rodgers & Hammerstein musical ‘Carousel,’ which had enthralled the group’s lead vocalists and co-founder, Gerry Marsden, when he first saw the film in his youth. The Pacemakers’ rendition of that song has been the anthem of the crowds at Liverpool Football Club for three decades; it is played before kick-off every Saturday, is inscribed on the club gates and has remained the Pacemakers’ most popular concert request” (PR Newswire, 11/17/2011).

Gerry and the Pacemakers “How Do You Do It”

Gerry and the Pacemakers “You'll Never Walk Alone”

634 Freddie (1936-2006) and the Dreamers “I’m Telling You Now” 1963

Freddie And The Dreamers had been traveling the live circuit since 1959 and—though they came from Manchester—rode into the charts on the back of the Merseybeat boom. Having seen the Beatles perform If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody in The Cavern, Freddie and co purloined the arrangement for their own recording, which took them to No 3 in the singles chart in 1963. From here, the group made an easy transition as a family entertainment group, with appearances in UK pantomimes and the US charts. In fact, they proved so popular stateside that Chubby Checker released Do The Freddie in 1965, cashing in on singer Freddie Garrity’s renowned hyperactive stage antics” (Ian Shirley, Record Collector, 2013).

Freddie and the Dreamers “I’m Telling You Now”

633 The Four Seasons “Walk Like a Man” 1963

“Fans noticed the distinctive harmonies and, in particular, Valli’s trademark falsetto, forever cementing the group’s name as one of rock and roll’s most enduring entertainers. Unlike other acts in the 1960s, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons not only survived the British invasion and the Beatles, but continued to crank out hits along the way” (Louisville Magazine, Nov 2007).

The Four Seasons “Walk Like a Man”

632 The Five Du-Tones “Shake a Tail Feather” 1963

“Formed in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, around 1957…Originally a doo-wop group, the Five Dutones moved to Chicago in the early 60s. Their exhilarating single ‘Shake A Tail Feather’ was released in 1963. Later revived by James and Bobby Purify and Mitch Ryder, this definitive early version was a US top 30 R&B hit. James West died of a heart attack in 1963 and was replaced by David Scott. The Five Dutones recorded a total of nine singles, most of which were based on local dance crazes” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

The Five Du-Tones “Shake a Tail Feather”

631 Bob Dylan (1941- ) “Masters of War” 1963

Dylan “begged and borrowed from the established ballad styles of the past…But the stories he told in his songs had nothing to do with unrequited Appalachian love affairs or idealized whorehouses in New Orleans…They went right to the heart of his decade’s most recurring preoccupation: that in a time of irreversible technological progress, moral civilization has pathetically faltered” (Younger Than That Now: The Collected Interviews with Bob Dylan, 2004). 

Bob Dylan “Masters of War”

December 8, 2017

630 Bob Dylan (1941- ) “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” 1963

“I agonized about making a record, but I wouldn’t have wanted to make singles, 45s—the kind of songs they played on the radio…I had no song in my repertoire for commercial radio anyway. Songs about debauched bootleggers, mothers that drown their own children, Cadillacs that only got five miles to the gallon, floods, union hall fires, darkness and cadavers at the bottom of rivers weren’t for radiophiles” (Bob Dylan, Chronicles, Volume One, 2004). 

Bob Dylan “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right”

629 Bob Dylan (1941- ) “Blowin’ in the Wind” 1963

“I’m not sure people understood a lot of what I was writing about. I don’t even know if I could understand them if I believed everything that has been written about them by imbeciles who wouldn’t know the first thing about writing songs. I’ve always said the organized media propagated me as something I never pretended to be” (Bob Dylan, Inspirations, 2005). 

Bob Dylan “Blowin’ in the Wind”

628 Bob Dylan (1941- ) “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall” 1963

“I’ll tell you how I come to write that [A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall]. Every line in that really is another song. Could be used as a whole song, every single line. I wrote that when I didin’t know how many other songs I could write. That was during October of last year and I remember sitting up all night with a bunch of people someplace. I wanted to get the most down that I knew about into one song, so I wrote that. It was during the Cuba trouble, that blockade, I guess is the word. I was a little worried, maybe that’s the word” (Jonathan Cott, ed., Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, 2006).

Bob Dylan “A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall”

627 The Drifters “On Broadway” 1963

“Faye Treadwell inherited the job of managing the group from her husband and fought numerous legal battles in order to hang on to the rights to a name that became, in effect, a franchise. In the 1960s, when the group’s reputation was riding high with such hits as Save the Last Dance for Me and Under the Boardwalk, several outfits calling themselves the Drifters toured the US and Europe…It was such apparent abuses of what would now be called intellectual property that Treadwell spent much of her life attempting to counter. The confusion was intensified by complicated bloodlines which entitled some of the splinter groups to a moral share of the trademark. Black vocal groups were frequent victims of this form of counterfeiting, and others to suffer included the Coasters, the Temptations and the Isley Brothers” (Richard Williams, The Guardian, 6/15/2011). 

The Drifters “On Broadway”

626 The Dave Clark Five “Glad All Over” 1963

“The DC5 began as a fairly ordinary American-styled 1950’s rock group in London that underwent a series of personnel changes before settling on the core quintet of Mike Smith (lead vocal and organ), Denis Payton (saxophones, harmonica, and guitar), Lenny Davidson (lead guitar), Rick Huxley (bass) and the leader on drums and vocal. While comparisons with the Beatles are inevitable, the musical style of the two groups was quite distinct” (John Clark, Notes, March 2015). 

The Dave Clark Five “Glad All Over”

December 1, 2017

625 Vic Dana (1942- ) “More” 1963

“As a young boy, Dana trained as a dancer, and at the age of 11 was spotted, performing in Buffalo, by Sammy Davis Jnr. Influenced by Davis, the Dana family moved to California, where young Dana worked on his dancing and also studied singing. In 1960, he toured as a solo act, appearing on the same bill as the Fleetwoods, and then signed for the same record company, Dolton” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006).

Vic Dana “More”

624 The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me” 1963

“Female pop culture had a particular trashiness all its own. In the early sixties, women who made it to the pop charts were expected to radiate a single overriding characteristic: innocence. Girl groups such as the Shirelles, the Angels, and the Crystals wore starched skirts and impeccably manicured do’s and came in convenient matching sets of three, four, or five…But the world changed. In 1963 the number-one crush of all time, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated, and American girlhood suffered a fierce collective heartbreak…Overnight, the girl groups grew up into swinging, single pop chicks with a wilder, woozier kind of bedroom angst” (Karen Schoemer in Trouble Girls: The Rolling Stone Book of Women in Rock, 1997). 

The Crystals “Then He Kissed Me”

623 The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home)” 1963

“Production teams tinkered with a formula for mass-market success: Fewer moving parts onstage, lots of well-crafted hooks and cute, carbonated lyrics. The result: the girl-group sound. Not that it was bad; it was delicious. Girl groups offered the record bin equivalent of those heavily frosted Kellogg’s variety packs devoured by sixties pre-teens…Their ranks were drawn almost exclusively from high school girls in urban areas whose other options held little promise” (Gerri Hirshey, We Gotta Get Out of This Place: The True, Tough Story of Women in Rock, 2001). 

The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron”

622 James Cleveland (1931-1991) and the Angelic Choir “Peace Be Still” 1963

“Cleveland joined the westward migration of gospel artists…Once in southern California, Cleveland opted not to enter the world of popular music or work to make gospel more contemporary-sounding. Instead, he looked back to a childhood spent singing in the choirs of Thomas Dorsey…He began recording with the First Baptist Church Choir of Nutley, New Jersey, using the massed voices of the choir as a single instrument. In 1963, Cleveland and the choir released Peace Be Still, a landmark live recording that would eventually sell more than a million copies” (Robert Darden, People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music, 2004). Listed on the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

James Cleveland and the Angelic Choir “Peace Be Still”

621 James Cleveland (1931-1991) and the Angelic Choir “The Lord Brought Us Out” 1963

“At on point in Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s prophetic The Future of the Race, the two great African-American historians present a short list of the ‘most profound black cultural products’ African Americans have given the modern world. This list includes John Coltrane’s sax solos, James Baldwin’s essay, and ‘James Cleveland’s gut gospels’” (Robert Darden, People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music, 2004).

James Cleveland and the Angelic Choir “The Lord Brought Us Out”

November 27, 2017

620 The Chiffons “One Fine Day” 1963

“The Chiffons were a New York City version of the Shirelles. They were several years younger than the New Jersey group, and they began their career with a version of the Shirelle’s ‘Tonight’s the Night.’ Like the Shirelles, the Chiffons had sass…Most of the girl groups were in their mid to late teens…They were thrilled to be chosen to record the songs, impressed by studio routines and the mysterious paraphernalia, awed and intimidated by the grownup producers, and starry-eyed with the glamour of the music. They believed the lyrics they sang” (Aida Pavletich, Sirens of Song: The Popular Female Vocalist in America, 1982).   

The Chiffons “One Fine Day”

619 The Chantays “Pipeline” 1963

“Brian Carman had a guitar—a $40 Mongomery Ward’s Airline that he bought with his mom’s credit card. And he had a little group called the Chantays—five guys from Santa Ana High School who thought they could maybe play for dances at the community centre. One afternoon in 1961, he and his pal Bob Spickard got together and traded licks after school. By the end of the day, they had composed what would become one of Southern California’s most recognizable musical exports—an instrumental anthem to riding the waves and living the life, a hard-driving song that begins with a dive-bombing set of notes cherished by virtually every kid who has picked up a guitar in the past six decades…Although the Chantays became known for surfing instrumentals, Carman was not an avid surfer” (Steve Chawkins, Toronto Star, 3/14/2015). 

The Chantays “Pipeline”

618 The Centurians “Bullwinkle II” (on Surfer’s Pajama Party) 1963

“Anyone who has seen Quentin Tarantino’s films will be well aware of the masterful and unique way the director uses music. But the Hollywood hero doesn’t fly solo when it comes to picking—and clearing—the tracks in his movies. That’s the job of his trusted sync stalwart, Mary Ramos, who has been working with Tarantino ever since she took a role as music coordinator for his classic Pulp Fiction (1994)…As she later explained, Tarantino’s penchant for searching out the obtuse and the outrageous has made her life rather difficult at times” (Emma Griffiths, Music Week, 5/9/2014). 

The Centurians “Bullwinkle II”

617 Johnny Cash (1932-2003) “Ring of Fire” 1963

“Written by June Carter and Merle Kilgore, ‘Ring of Fire’ was originally intended for June’s sister Anita…The song’s inspiration is surely that of June falling hook, line and sinker for Johnny (around 1962 when the song was written)” (Stephen Miller, Johnny Cash, 2003). 

Johnny Cash “Ring of Fire”

616 The Beatles “Please Please Me” 1963

“The McCartney home always had a piano of World War I vintage because Paul’s father Jim (1902-76), the son of a brass band’s tubist, had been a musician, playing trumpet and piano in leading semiprofessional local bands…While none of the Beatles received any sort of formal instruction in an instrument, theory, or composition, Paul’s home was musically richer than that of the others; he has said, ‘I had a little bit more knowledge of harmony through my dad. I actually knew what the word harmony meant” (Walter Everett, The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul, 2001).

The Beatles “Please Please Me”

November 17, 2017

615 The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” 1963

The American TV correspondent Alexander Kendrick said the Beatles “‘symbolize the 20th century non-hero, as they make non-music, wear non-haircuts and give non-mersey.” However, Bob Dylan “recalled, ‘Everybody else thought they were for the teenyboppers, that they were gonna pass right away. But it was obvious to me that they had staying power. I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go” (Mark Hertsgaard, A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles, 1995). 

The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand”

614 The Beatles “Money (That’s What I Want)” 1963

In 1960, the Beatles were signed “to a stand at one of the clubs on Hamburg’s famous Reeperbahn. It was a big break, the Beatles thought. None of The Beatles had been out of the country before, and the prospect of a ‘tour’ of the Continent overwhelmed them. This was the big break; they felt perched on the brink of fame…Instead they found a sleazy string of strip clubs in one of the wildest and wickedest cities on the Continent. It was a port: Vice was a major industry and there was a tradition of organized crime. The five young Britons were set down in Hamburg and told to play rock and roll” (William McKeen, The Beatles: A Bio-Bibliography, 1989). 

The Beatles “Money (That’s What I Want)”

613 The Beatles “She Loves You” 1963

“Beatlemania descended on the British Isles in October 1963, just as the Christine Keeler-Profumo scandal fizzled out. It didn’t lift for three years…” The Beatles performed at the London Palladium on October 13. “The front page of every newspaper next day had long news stories and large pictures of the hysterical crowd scenes. The stories weren’t about how well or how badly the group had played their songs, but simply about the chaos they had caused” (Hunter Davies, The Beatles, 1996). 

The Beatles “She Loves You”

612 The Beatles “Twist and Shout” 1963

A hit song for the Isley Brothers in 1962. “A raver with a scorching lead vocal from Lennon, ‘Twist and Shout’ was the Beatles’ concert closer until 1964, when McCartney’s rendition of ‘Long Tall Sally’ would usurp that honor. From that point on, a truncated version of ‘Twist and Shout’…would often open the show. Thus there are many more live recordings of Beatle performances of ‘Twist and Shout’ than of any other song” 

“In records to come, [recording manager George] Martin would have a much more obvious role than he does in Please Please Me. However, it is for this album that he makes his greatest contribution as their producer. For he let the Beatles have their own way. Instead of handing them certain ready-made hits, he allowed them to develop more deeply by recording their own material” (Walter Everett, The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul, 2001)

The Beatles “Twist and Shout”

611 The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There” 1963

“The song was one of the very earliest Lennon-McCartney compositions, written when John was still attending art college and Paul the Liverpool Institute…The two budding songwriters had skipped school one day and repaired to Paul’s house to work on the song, recalled McCartney. ‘I remember I had the lyrics “just 17, never been a beauty queen”—which John, it was one of the first times he ever went, What? Must change that…’” (Mark Hertsgaard, A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles, 1995). 

The Beatles “I Saw Her Standing There”

November 10, 2017

610 The Beach Boys “Surfer Girl” 1963

“If Brian Wilson represented the musical heart of The Beach Boys, then Dennis Wilson [1944-1983] was the band’s spirit.” When asked about the mediocre quality of a 1983 concert performance of “Surfer Girl,” music critic David Leaf said, “Brian, I don’t know why, but it was on that song that I missed Dennis the most. You know, the way he stands at the microphone, with his hand in his ear, his eyes closed, singing and swaying with the music” (David Leaf in Back to the Beach, 1997). Dennis Wilson drowned a few weeks after the concert. 

The Beach Boys “Surfer Girl”

609 The Beach Boys “In My Room” 1963

“When Dennis, Carl and I lived in Hawthorne as kids we all slept in the same room.” Brian Wilson taught them how to harmonize “Ivory Tower.” “We then sang this song night after night. It brought peace to us. When we recorded ‘In My Room’…we sounded just like we did in our bedroom on all those nights” (Keith Badman, The Beach Boys, 2004). 

The Beach Boys “In My Room”

608 The Beach Boys “Surfin’ U.S.A.” 1963

The song “owed itself to a number of influences, including Chuck Berry, Chubby Checker, and Judy Bowle’s little brother, Jimmy….‘Surfin’ U.S.A.’ became the Beach Boys’ first Top 10 single. The original pressing listed me as the sole writer, but once it became a hit Chuck Berry claimed the melody was his, an inadvertent copy of ‘Sweet Little Sixteen.’ There are plenty of musicologists who’d argue otherwise. Perhaps feeling pressured and wanting to avoid trouble, my dad gave Berry the copyright without ever informing me. But what I didn’t learn for more than twenty-five years is that he also gave away my royalties for writing the lyrics, which clearly weren’t Berry’s” (Brian Wilson, Wouldn’t It Be Nice, 1991). 

The Beach Boys “Surfin’ U.S.A.”

607 The Beach Boys “A Young Man Is Gone” 1963; The Four Freshmen "Their Hearts Were Full of Spring" 1961

“Formed at Arthur Jordan Conservatory of Music…in 1948, the Four Freshmen were a groundbreaking vocal group who influenced…the Beach Boys and countless other close-harmony outfits…They won the DownBeat readers poll in 2000 for Best Vocal Group, over 50 years since they were formed” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). The quartet’s “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring” and their top hit “Graduation Day” were staples of Beach Boys concerts. 

The Beach Boys “A Young Man Is Gone”

The Four Freshmen “Their Hearts Were Full of Spring”

606 Tommy Roe (1942- ) “Sheila” 1962 and “Everybody” 1963

“Like most of the big names in the music business, Felton [Jarvis] was a true eccentric who even set up a traditional Indian wigwam in the middle of the big, wide open recording studios at RCA. Every time you went into to see Felton at RCA, you had to sit down on the floor of his wigwam before you could talk business…Felton also discovered and recorded a rising young pop singer named Tommy Roe…the day before Felton brought Tommy down from Nashville, Dan and I locked the studio doors behind us and stayed up all night smoking cigarettes, drinking beer and writing a song called ‘Everybody.’ We were convinced Tommy Roe would cut it the very next day and sure enough he did” (Rick Hall, Terry Pace, The Man from Muscle Shoals: My Journey from Shame to Fame, 2015)

Tommy Roe “Sheila”

Tommy Roe “Everybody”

November 3, 2017

605 The Angels “My Boyfriend’s Back” 1963

Songwriter Richard Gottehrer “grew up in the Bronx listening to Alan Freed play R&B records on a transistor radio. Trained as a pianist from the age of six, he caught the blues bug early on, and by the age of 13, he was banging out rock ‘n’ roll numbers with a band of classmates at school dances. After earning a History degree at Adelphi University and spending a year or two at law school, Gottehrer realized that his passion for rock ‘n’ roll was not about to abate.” Gottehrer and his writing colleagues, Robert Feldman and Jerry Goldstein, started their own production company so the Angels could record their song, quitting April/Blackwood Music who “thought that ‘Boyfriend’ was a perfect song for their very popular girl group, The Shirelles” (Gary Eskow, Mix, September 2005). 

The Angels “My Boyfriend’s Back”

604 Dionne Warwick (1940- ) “Don’t Make Me Over” 1962

“Warwick’s recording debut as a solo artist was in August, 1962, singing ‘Don’t Make Me Over.’ Her last name (Warrick) was misprinted on the record label as Warwick. The record was a hit. In 1963, Burt Bacharach persuaded actor Marlene Dietrich, then starring in a show at the Olympia Theater in Paris, to invite Warwick to perform. Warwick left college and went to Paris. There, with Dietrich’s help, Warwick learned how to dress and move on stage. She was so successful in Paris that the French press called her ‘The Black Pearl.’ Warwick was the first African American female contemporary music artist to achieve stardom in Europe” (Marcia Dinneen, Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia, 2016). 

Dionne Warwick “Don’t Make Me Over”

603 Bobby Vinton (1935- ) “Roses are Red (My Love)” 1962

Stanley Robert, stage name Bobby Vinton, was born in Canonsburg, PA. “His father led a band, and Bobby Vinton had visions of working with a big band even as the genre faded into nostalgia. He earned a degree at Duquesne in musical composition while supporting himself in various bands. By the end of his matriculation, he could play piano, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, drums, and oboe. An appearance by his band on Guy Lombardo’s TV show earned him a four-week run on the program, which in turn got him a contract with Epic Records” (Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 2001).

Bobby Vinton “Roses are Red (My Love)”

602 The Tornados “Telstar” 1962

“In 1962, we splashed out six shillings and eightpence to buy ‘Telstar’,  a single  by the Tornados. It went to number one and stayed thee for weeks, and became the first British record ever to top the American charts. We bought it because it sounded electronic, like nothing we had heard before…It comes to no surprise to me to learn that Joe Meek, the composer of ‘Telstar’, was tone deaf…He was of an excitable disposition, to put it mildly, and tyrannized the groups with which he worked” (Michael Portillo, New Statesman, 7/11/2005). 

The Tornados “Telstar”

601 The Tornadoes “Bustin’ Surfboards” 1962

“Though the named popular genre Surf Music is not the first, most important, or necessarily best music associated with surfing, it did mark a key moment in the history of surfing as a global cultural practice: the shift of the cultural center of surfing from Hawai’i to California. Thus Surf Music stands as an icon of a watershed moment in the reinvention of surfing…For some surfers the music became and remained an anthem of their youth, but for others then and since it created a problematic popular image of surfing frozen in time while their surfing community moved on and changed” (Timothy Cooley, Surfing About Music, 2014).

The Tornadoes “Bustin’ Surfboards”

October 27, 2017

600 Dee Dee Sharp (1945- ) “Mashed Potato Time” 1962

“While [Bobby] Rydell was matched with [Chubby] Checker in a pairing of white and black teen idols, the new twist king also interacted with a female dance song queen, North Philadelphian Dione LaRue, who was transformed from a church vocalist in a home where dancing was forbidden into Dee Dee Sharp…Dee Dee and Chubby quickly became the king and queen of dance songs” (Victor Brooks, Last Season of Innocence: The Teen Experience of the 1960s, 2012). 

Dee Dee Sharp “Mashed Potato Time”

599 Pete Seeger (1919-2014) “Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is A Season)” 1962

“ABC-TV launched a new series, Hootenanny, to showcase folk-revival artists such as the New Christy Minstrels and Judy Collins. Pete Seeger would’ve seemed an obvious choice for an appearance - he was the living embodiment of folk music in America - but ABC would not book him. In May 1963, Hootenanny producer Richard Lewine insisted the show's refusal had nothing to do with a blacklist. ‘Pete Seeger,’ Lewine said, ‘just can't hold an audience.’ … ABC later offered to reconsider booking Seeger if he would sign a loyalty oath. The embargo of Seeger did the show damage: Baez, Dylan and Peter, Paul and Mary all refused to appear on Hootenanny as a result, and the show went off the air in 1964” (Mikal Gilmore, Rolling Stone, 2/27/2014). 

Pete Seeger “Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is A Season)”

598 Neil Sedaka (1939- ) “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” 1962

“during Sedaka's first flush of success, a controlling mother and her boyfriend squandered close to half a million dollars of the singer's fortune while giving him a pittance of an allowance, even when he was as old as 23” (Record Collector, Dec. 2013). 

Neil Sedaka “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do”

597 David Rose (1910-1990) and his Orchestra “The Stripper” 1962

“In 1958, the British composer of light instrumental music David Rose had written ‘The Stripper’ as the theme song for the popular television show Burlesque. But ‘The Stripper’ did not become a hit until…Los Angeles DJ Robert Q. Lewis played and replayed ‘The Stripper’ on his show on WKHJ…’The Stripper’ was, you could say, a musical version of a striptease gimmick. It quickly became the new soundtrack for striptease, surpassing the Tin Pan Alley and blues standards that strippers had favored” (Rachel Shteir, Striptease: The Untold History of the Girlie Show, 2004). 

David Rose and his Orchestra “The Stripper”

596 The Rooftop Singers “Walk Right In” 1962

“Cashing in on the folk music revival of the early 60s, the Rooftop Singers were a trio specifically assembled for the purpose of recording a single son, ‘Walk Right in’, originally recorded in 1930 by Gus Cannon And The Jugstompers. Erik Darling (1933-2008), who formed the group, had “replaced Pete Seeger in the Weavers in 1958, remaining with them for four years” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

The Rooftop Singers “Walk Right In”

October 20, 2017

595 Smokey Robinson (1940- ) and the Miracles “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” 1962

“We set out to…make music for people of all races and nationalities. Not to make black music—we just wanted to make good music that would be acceptable in all circles.… All we were doing, man, was just putting good songs on good tracks, songs that anybody could relate to.… We had good, solid songs that would fit your particular life situation if you were white or Oriental or Chicano or whatever you happened to be” (Smokey Robinson, qtd. in Contemporary Black Biography, 2005). 

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me”

594 Cliff Richard (1940- ) and the Shadows “The Young Ones” 1962

The song is the title track to the film, “The Young Ones,” starring Cliff Richard. “Cliff, like his character in the film, Bongo Herbert, became a pioneer of melding rock ‘n’ roll with traditional popular music, allowing him an extended career as more than simply a rock ‘n’ roll singer” (K. J. Donnelly, Journal of Popular Film & Television, Winter 1998). 

Cliff Richard and the Shadows “The Young Ones”

593 Elvis Presley (1935-1977) “Good Luck Charm” 1962

“when he was doing the stuff with these Nashville pickers, the creativity wasn’t there. They would sit around and read music or do that crude numbers thing [a rough chord chart and musical shorthand known as the Nashville Numbers System], and that’s the way it would come out. And because there was no real creativity, after a while, Elvis just lost his fire in the studio” (Alanna Nash, Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations from the Memphis Mafia, 1995). 

Elvis Presley “Good Luck Charm”

592 Gene Pitney (1940-2006) “Only Love Can Break a Heart” 1962

“In 1961, had to know how to sing. You couldn't just caterwaul, mewl or look pretty and hope for the best from the recording engineer; you had to have a real voice. Nowhere was the competition fiercer than on street corners and subway platforms in the Northeast, where turf battles were fought daily with rhythm and pitch and harmony and the neighborhood referees had ears tougher than those of any ‘American Idol’ panel. The singers left standing, boy-kings like Dion, Frankie Valli and Lou Christie, had serious vocal chops, usually fermented in rampant hormones, two-pack-a-day habits and residual hot-dog brine. Gene Pitney was the David among these Goliaths. He grew up not in the city but in the Connecticut exurbs. His hair was always neatly combed. He went to college. He married his longtime sweetheart and stayed married to her. He looked as if he'd be more comfortable in a choir than on a rock-'n'-roll tour bus. But when he opened his mouth to sing, the playing field was leveled” (Rob Hoerburger, New York Times Magazine, 12/31/2006).

Gene Pitney “Only Love Can Break a Heart”

591 Bobby Pickett (1938-2007) and the Crypt-Kickers “Monster Mash” 1962

Novelty songwriter Gary Paxton (1939-2016) “produced Monster Mash for Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, a Boris Karloff imitator…Paxton added such atmospheric sound effects as a creaking door, created by pulling a nail from a piece of wood, and bubbling laboratory noises. Within two months the record had sold a million and by Halloween 1962 it had reached No 1 in the US…it was reissued several times and—though it was initially banned by the BBC as ‘too morbid’—reached No 3 in Britain in 1973” (The Daily Telegraph (London), 7/30/2016). 

Bobby Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers “Monster Mash”

October 13, 2017

590 Peter, Paul and Mary “Lemon Tree” 1962

“by the time that [Manager Albert] Grossman “and Peter [Yarrow] (1938- ) went looking for Mary [Travers] (1936-2009), they found Paul [Stookey] (1937- )working as her accompanist. Eventually the three singers met in Mary’s apartment to see what they sounded like. ‘It was seven months before we came out in our first gig,’ says Mary. ‘Seven miserable, beautiful months! Rehearsal after rehearsal, wrong notes, bad tempers, oh, sure we fought, but everybody does, just like a family, but with this underlying love for each other. Then at the end, everything made sense”(Alfred Aronowitz, Marshall Blonsky, Saturday Evening Post, 5/30/1964).

Peter, Paul and Mary “Lemon Tree”

589 Peter Yarrow (1938- ), Paul Stookey (1937- ) and Mary Travers (1936-2009) “If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)” 1962

Peter Yarrow: “Sure, some critics call us commercial…It would be hypocritical for us to sing any other way than we do. We’ve got only three things to contribute: our musical taste, our regard for the folk tradition and our ability to communicate something in our singing. If they want to call us show biz, then let ‘em call us show biz. But if we’re show business, we’re something different, we’re show business with morals”  (Alfred Aronowitz, Marshall Blonsky, Saturday Evening Post, 5/30/1964). 

Peter, Paul and Mary “If I Had a Hammer”

588 Paul and Paula “Hey Paula” 1962

“The story is that Ray Hidebrand (1940- ) and Jill Jackson (1942- ), two young students at Howard Payne College, drove to Fort Worth from Brownsville and showed up at the studio on a day when the scheduled singer didn’t show. They played Major Bill Smith their song ‘Hey Paula’; Smith decided to record it on the spot, and issued it on Le Cam credited to ‘Jill and Ray.’ Mercury Records picked it up for national distribution on their Philips subsidiary but decided to change their names to ‘Paul and Paula’” (Martin Kohout, The Handbook of Texas Music, 2012). 

Paul and Paula “Hey Paula”

587 The Orlons “The Wah-Watusi” 1962

“The Orlons formed in 1960 in Philadelphia. Stephen Caldwell (1942- ) said he got his introduction to music at church, singing in choirs starting at an early age. He and original members Rosetta Hightower (1944-2014), Shirley Brickley (1944-1977) and Marlena Davis (1944-1993) all grew up in the same neighborhood. ‘We used to sing together during parties at each other’s houses,’ Caldwell said. The girls, along with Brickley’s sisters Audrey and Jane, had started an all-girl group called Little Audrey and the Teenettes in the early 1950s. However, the Brickley’s mother wouldn’t let Audrey sing in a club, so she and Jean left. Shirley Brickley, Davis and Hightower joined up with Caldwell and set out to make it big” (Kristen Gaydos, The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, PA), 10/30/2014). 

The Orlons “The Wah-Watusi”

586 Chris Montez (1943- ) “Let’s Dance” 1962

“One of my first regional hits was a ballad, and I really wanted to do that style; the ‘Let’s Dance’ situation didn’t feel right to me at first. There was a female bass player [Carol Kaye] and that made me uncomfortable. I’d never seen one before. So I said to her, ‘I want that bouncy bass sound like Ritchie Valens,’ and she said, ‘I just did his whole album.’ I said ‘You gotta be kidding,’ and I just fell into the groove. I’d never heard of a Mexican rocker before Ritchie Valens, and I want to emulate him to the fullest” (Brett Milano, Offbeat, Oct. 2013). 

Chris Montez “Let’s Dance”

October 6, 2017

585 Little Esther Phillips (1935-1984) “Release Me” 1962

“Born Esther Mae Washington in Galveston, Texas and raised in the Watts area of Los Angeles, she made her musical debut at 12 on an amateur night show at the Barrel House, an L. A. Club operated by rhythm ‘n’ blues promoter Johnny Otis. Her only singing experience had been in the sanctified church but her sister and friend wanted money to buy some white port and lemon juice, the drinking rage in Watts in 1948…Otis was so impressed he allowed her to tag along with his troupe when they were cutting a record. There was some space and time left over so Otis improvised a tune about lady bears in the forest which Esther sang on the spot. They made only one take and the song Double Crossing Blues, sold a million, launching the bright-eyed youngster on an unexpected career as an entertainer” (Phyl Garland, Ebony, Oct. 1972).  

Little Esther Phillips “Release Me”

584 Little Eva (1943-2003) “The Loco-Motion” 1962

“Perhaps the most famous babysitter in the history of rock’n’roll, Little Eva got her big break when her songwriting employers asked her to record one of their songs. Eva Narcissus Boyd was born in 1945 in Bellhaven, North Carolina, and had 15 brothers and sisters. She moved to New York to complete her education. Eva became the regular babysitter for Louise Goffin, daughter of songwriters team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin…Carole King was working out a song on the piano one day when Eva began a dance step, giving Gerry Goffin the idea for some lyrics. The result was a dance song, The Loco-Motion” (The Herald (Glasgow), 4/14,2003). 

Little Eva “The Loco-Motion”

583 The Limeliters “Those Were the Days” 1962

“Founded in 1959, the Limeliters—comprising Glenn Yarbrough on vocals and guitar, Alex Hassilev on vocals and Lou Gottlieb on vocals and bass—was a contemporary folk group in the tradition of the Kingston Trio. Known for their burnished tight harmonies, sophisticated if nontraditional arrangements and witty onstage banter, the Limeliters were wildly successful. Amid the folk revival of the 1960s, they appeared often on television and in live performance, sold records by the hundreds of thousands and became millionaires in the bargain…In 1963, Mr. Yarbrough, restless, left the Limeliters, and the group disbanded. An ardent sailor, he intended to spend the next decade at sea but was persuaded by his record label, RCA Victor, to record solo albums instead” (Margalit Fox, The New York Times, 8/13/2016). 

The Limeliters “Those Were the Days”

582 Janis Joplin (1943-1970) “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do” 1962

“Janis liked the excitement of life on the edge, living between the known and unknown. Where Port Arthur may have formed her impulses, only in Austin did she get to test her wings and practice her style. Austin tutored her in performing, gave her the necessary support and recognition, and shaped her Texas-style public satire. Janis’s life in Austin was the proper jumping-off point for her” (Laura Joplin, Love, Janis, 2005). 

Janis Joplin “What Good Can Drinkin’ Do”

581 The Isley Brothers “Twist and Shout” 1962

“The Isleys’ second hit, in 1962, was ‘Twist and Shout’ (later popularized by The Beatles); the next notable event in the band’s history was the addition, in 1964, of a hot young guitarist who went by the name of Jimmy James. This, of course, was Jimi Hendrix, who recorded his first sides with the Isleys” (Blair Jackon, Mix, 2003).

The Isley Brothers “Twist and Shout”

September 29, 2017

580 Frank Ifield (1937- ) “I Remember You” 1962

“Birmingham is not famous for producing country singers but Frank Ifield was the exception to the rule. The man with the distinctive yodel in his voice was Coventry born, Birmingham raised and Australian bred…Frank demonstrated his abilities as a singer at an early age. As a schoolboy he used to lead the community singing in the bomb shelters during the blitz. By the time he was 13, he was already a seasoned performer and acted as a barker outside Australian tent shows and circuses…He unique yodel was a throwback to when he had a milk round in Moseley as an eight-year-old. He would walk round and call ‘Milki-lay-etee’ to attract householders’ attention” (Sunday Mercury, 2/14/1999). 

Frank Ifield “I Remember You”

579 Brian Hyland (1943- ) “Sealed With a Kiss” 1962, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini” 1960

Born in Queens, New York, “Brian Hyland was one of the better pop singers of the early 1960s, despite the fact that his first hit was the dire Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Bikini. He compensated that youthful faux pas with the superb Ginny Come Lately, Sealed With A Kiss, and Warmed over Kisses. A big country and folk music fan, in 1963, right at the height of the pop successes, he recorded COUNTRY MEETS FOLK, an excellent collection of country and folk songs” (Maverick, Dec. 2008). 

Brian Hyland “Sealed With a Kiss”

Brian Hyland  “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini”

578 Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins (1912-1982) “Mojo Hand” 1962

“He made a lot of money and spent it, gambling (he was a terrible gambler) and drinking (he was a good drinker, buying rounds for his buddies in the Third Ward). He was the king of Dowling Street, and he reveled in his fame. Much to the frustration of his record companies, he hated to fly and didn’t want to go on package tours. He was comfortable at home, living in a rooming house, working juke joints and icehouses, and cavorting with gamblers and hustlers” (Texas Monthly, June 2007). 

Sam “Lightnin” Hopkins “Mojo Hand”

577 John Lee Hooker (1912/17?-2001) “Boom Boom” 1962

Hooker “exchanged his acoustic guitar for an electric one given to him by blues performer T-Bone Walker. He went on to merge his laid-back Delta style with more visceral urban rhythms…With the rise in popularity of folk music in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, Hooker reached new audiences by toning down him amplification and playing an acoustic guitar more frequently. He was hailed as a great country blues musician, performing in coffeehouses, on college campuses, and at folk festivals in the United States and Europe…When British rock groups…identified Hooker as an influence and recorded his songs, his music reached an even wider audience” (Michael Adams, Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia, 2016). 

John Lee Hooker “Boom Boom”

576 Vince Guaraldi (1928-1976) Trio “Cast Your Fate to the Wind” 1962

“Following high school, Guaraldi attended San Francisco State College from 1948 to 1949, according to school records. In 1949 he joined the Army and worked as a cook on a ship during the Korean War. Around 1952 he came down an illness so deathly, ‘they measured him for a casket,’ said his son. Back in America, Guaraldi worked in a printing press in San Francisco and almost ruined his future career. ‘He almost accidentally cut his finger off. From then on he was a musician’” (Pete Barlas, Invester’s Business Daily, 12/23/2010). 

“In 1962, San Francisco pianist Vince Guaraldi put out a single, a jazz version of a samba from the movie ‘Black Orpheus.’ It didn’t get far until disc jockeys started playing the B side, which became a hit and snared him a Grammy” (National Public Radio, Fresh Air, 2012). 

Vince Guaraldi Trio “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”

September 22, 2017

575 The Four Seasons “Big Girls Don’t Cry” 1962

“Inspired by fellow New Jersey native Frank Sinatra, [Frankie] Valli (1934- ) took his distinctive voice and started his career in the early 1950s. After establishing one of the entertainment industry’s most notable partnership with songwriter Bob Gaudio…Valli joined the Four Seasons and started racking up hits. Just after performing their song ‘Sherry’ on American Bandstand, the group witnessed a meteoric rise to fame and never looked back” (Louisville Magazine, Nov 2007).

The Four Seasons “Big Girls Don’t Cry”

574 The Four Seasons “Sherry” 1962

Frankie Valli (1934- ): “I think [back on] all of the things I did as a kid, how hard it was getting into the business. I did everything in my power…I worked construction. I went to school to learn to be a hairdresser. I worked at a wholesale florist, where I delivered to florists all over New Jersey. I’d come home and go to to work down at the Shore. The early jobs, I remember, were $5, $6 a night. And I lived in the projects right until the time I became successful. It wasn’t easy, but I was really determined. Just before ‘Sherry,’ I thought that was it. I said to myself, ‘If this doesn’t happen, I don’t know what I’m going to do.’ I was at that crossroads of life” (Wayne Robins, Billboard, 9/7/2013).

The Four Seasons “Sherry”

573 Shelley Fabares (1944- ) “Johnny Angel” 1962

“The Donna Reed Show producer asked Shelley Fabares, who played the part of a teenage daughter, if she would like to sing on an upcoming episode. Shelley replied, ‘Sorry, I can’t sing.’ Weeks later he approached her and asked her to sing. She shook her head no. Then the producer said “Would you like to return to the show next season?’ ‘Oh yes,’ the precocious star answered. ‘Then SING!’ the producer announced. The song taped soon thereafter was titled, ‘I’m Going Steady With a Dream,’ and was UPS’d off to a recording company. This resulted in Shelly recording ‘Johnny Angel,’ that became number one in the nation” (Robert Smith, Total Health, Dec/Jan 1996). 

Shelley Fabares “Johnny Angel”

572 The Exciters “Tell Him” 1962

“Formed in the Jamaica district of Queens, New York City, this aptly named group, which included sole male Herb Rooney alongside Breda Reid, Carol Johnson and Lillian Walker, first came to prominence with the vibrant ‘Tell Him’, a US Top 5 hit in 1962…the single’s energy established the pattern for subsequent releases. ‘Do Wah Diddy Diddy’ (later a hit by Manfred Mann) and ‘He’s Got the Power’ took elements from both uptown soul and the all-female group genre” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

The Exciters “Tell Him”

571 Bob Dylan (1941- ) “Song to Woody” 1962

“I feel lucky just to know Woody. I’d heard of Woody, I knew of Woody. I saw Woody once, a long, long time ago in Burbank, California, when I was just a little boy. I don’t even remember seeing him, but I heard him play. I must have been about ten. My uncle took me. It stuck in my mind that he was Woody, and everybody else I could see around me was just everybody else” (Jonathan Cott, ed., Bob Dylan: The Essential Interviews, 2006). 

Bob Dylan “Song to Woody”

September 1, 2017

570 The Drifters “Up On the Roof” 1962

The song was written by “the noted husband-wife songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin.” Born Carole Klein (1942- ) in Brooklyn, “she delved a little deeper than her classmates into the roots of rock, finding a strong interest in the still submerged rhythm & blues stylings that were mainly restricted to the black population…After marrying young lyricist Gerry Goffin (1939-2014), she became part of a writing team that soon won the attention of New York publishers. Using the pen name Carole King, by the time she was 20 she and Gerry already had a reputation as songwriting greats of the future” (Encyclopedia of Pop, Rock, and Soul, 1974). 

The Drifters “Up On the Roof”

569 Skeeter Davis (1931-2004) “The End of the World” 1962

“Wholesomeness was Skeeter Davis’s stock-in-trade. A devout Southern Baptist, she took her religious beliefs seriously and refused to perform at venues which sold alcohol. She was a stalwart of the Grand Ole Opry, the live radio show which was broadcast from Nashville, but in 1973 she was suspended from the show after she voiced her support for religious crusaders who had been arrested in the town…In 1993 Skeeter Davis published her autobiography, Bus Fare to Kentucky. In it she revealed that her childhood had been overshadowed by the murder of her grandfather by an uncle, and by her parents’ alcoholism and her mother’s attempted suicide” (The Daily Telegraph (London), 10/4/2004).  

Skeeter Davis “The End of the World”

568 Dick Dale (1937- ) and the Del-Tones “Miserlou” 1962

Miserlou is a folk song. Its origins are claimed by many countries, but Dick Dale’s family was from Lebanon. He learned the song from his uncles, who played it on the oud.” Dale said, “the word miserlou is an Arabic name. It means the Egyptian. And the song itself is an actual Egyptian folk song…And then when we went to California, you know, I got my first guitar. But I was using this Gene Krupa rhythm on the guitar to make it sound full” (Hansen Liane, Weekend Edition Sunday (NPR), 2010). 

Dick Dale and the Del-Tones “Miserlou”

567 The Crystals “Uptown” 1962

“The female artists on [Phil Spector’s] label were treated with less respect. The Crystals, five young girls from Brooklyn, started out singing the songs they recorded, but were soon cheated out of royalties when Spector hired a session singer, Darlene Love…for a flat studio fee. The girls had to tour and front No. 1 hits that they had not even recorded, yet couldn’t leave Spector because he owned their name. Fostering an air of insecurity and dependency, he played one artist off against another” (Lucy O’Brien, She Bop II: The Definitive History of Women in Rock, Pop and Soul, 2002). 

The Crystals “Uptown”

566 Sam Cooke (1931-1964) “Bring It On Home to Me” 1962

“This was the closest Sam had come to the classic gospel give-and-take he had once created with [fellow Soul Stirrer] Paul Foster…What comes through is a rare moment of undisguised emotion, an unambiguous embrace not just of a cultural heritage but of an adult experience far removed from white teenage fantasy” (Peter Guralnick, Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke, 2005). 

Sam Cooke “Bring It On Home to Me”

August 25, 2017

565 The Contours “Do You Love Me” 1962

“Discovered by Berry Gordy, the Contours were formed in the early ‘60s, as one of Motown’s first recording acts. Shortly thereafter, Gordy wrote ‘Do You Love Me’ for the group, which…went on to become the fastest-climbing Motown hit of all time. It shot to the No. 2 record in America slot in 1962…the use of ‘Do You Love Me’ on the ‘Dirty Dancing’ soundtrack catapulted it onto the charts yet again—25 years after it first took the nation by storm” (Katie McDowell, The Dominion Post (Morgantown, WV), 10/4/2007). 

The Contours “Do You Love”

564 Ray Charles (1930-2004) “I Can’t Stop Loving You” 1962

The album Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music “is an extraordinary work of art…Invading white country music, a musical world proud of its redneck roots, was something pop-jazz singers didn’t do” (Michael Lydon, Ray Charles: Man and Music, 1998). 

Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You”

563 Gene Chandler (1937- ) “Duke of Earl” 1962

“Chandler vividly recalls how that period-piece song came into existence by accident, when he was singing with a vocal group called the Dukays. ‘We were clowning around,’ he said, ‘going up the scales to open up our throats before rehearsal.’ He and his fellow Dukays would sing ‘do, do, do, do,’ elevating their voices each time. In a moment of frivolity, Chandler added an ‘Earl’ for group member Earl Edwards. One thing led to another, and soon they were singing ‘Duke, duke, duke, duke of Earl,’ prompting a quickly penned song pitched to their record label, which chose to release another Dukays song, ‘Nite Owl,’ instead. ‘I didn’t know what a million-seller was,’ recalled Chandler, who was 20 at the time. But he had a good feeling about ‘Duke of Earl,’ so he released it as a solo artist instead, and the rest was (a prosperous) history, for which he was generous with his earnings” (Scott Tady, The Beaver County Times (PA), 12/12/2014). 

Gene Chandler “Duke of Earl”

562 The Cascades “Rhythm of the Rain” 1962

“Formed in the late 50s in San Diego, California…They were discovered at a club called the Peppermint Stick in 1962 and signed to Valiant Records. Their first single, ‘Second Chance’, failed but ‘Rhythm Of The Rain’ became a soft rock classic that still received radio airplay in the 90s…They disbanded in 1969, with only one original member remaining at that time” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

The Cascades “Rhythm of the Rain”

561 Booker T and the MGs “Green Onions” 1962

“One of the most commercially successful and important acts to emerge from the fertile Memphis musical soil was Booker T. and the MGs, whose 1962 instrumental hit ‘Green Onions’ set the tone for much of that which followed. This original ‘super group’ was composed of organist Booker T. Jones (1944- ), guitarist Steve Cropper, drummer Al Jackson, and bassist Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn. Each of the members is a famed Memphis studio musician with dozens of hit record sessions…Booker T. Jones attended Indiana State University, but returned to Memphis, becoming a staff musician for Stax in 1960. His musical skills are not limited strictly to organ, for which he is best known, but his association with the MGs was predated by an earlier band, the Mar-Keys, which also featured Jones, Cropper, and Dunn” (Scott Faragher, The Hammond Organ: An Introduction to the Instrument and the Players Who Made It Famous, 2011). Listed on the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Booker T and the MGs “Green Onions”

August 18, 2017

560 The Blossoms “He’s a Rebel” 1962

“Darlene Love’s was the unmistakable voice cutting through Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound, although she was uncredited on her biggest hit, ‘He’s a Rebel,’ by the Crystals. A vocalist with the Blossoms and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans, Love also released some solo recordings, including one that would become her signature, ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),’ in 1963.” Love said, “I know we were the first black background group. Because mostly, the people that were doing sessions, they weren’t groups. They just hired a soprano, alto and tenor or whatever. But we were literally a group doing background…We worked for Dionne Warwick for 10 years. That was where we had most of our growing up—learning what you do and what you don’t do, how you take care of business, how you talk to people, how you deal with people” (Roger Catlin, The Washington Post, 12/15/2016). 

The Blossoms “He’s a Rebel”

559 The Beatles “Love Me Do” 1962

Little Richard: “Nobody knew [The Beatles] but their mothers. I thought they were a very good group when they performed with me at the Star-Club in Hamburg, but I never thought they were a hit group…They were singing my music and Chuck Berry’s and some of Elvis’s. They would sing ‘Love Me Do’ every night, ‘cause it was going to be their first record. It was really something else when they shook the world” (David Pritchard, Alan Lysaght, The Beatles: An Oral History, 1998). 

The Beatles “Love Me Do”

558 The Beatles “(P.S.) I Love You” 1962

When American rock & roll appeared in England in the mid 50s, “All the Beatles, like millions of lads of the same age, were affected. They all have the same sort of memories, of groups springing up in every class at school and in every street at home. There were overnight about a hundred dances in Liverpool with skiffle groups queuing up to perform. It was the first time for generations that music wasn’t the property of musicians. Anyone could get up and have a go. It was like giving painting sets to monkeys. Some of them were bound to produce something good sometime” (Hunter Davies, The Beatles, 1978). 

The Beatles “(P.S.) I Love You”

557 The Beach Boys “Surfin’ Safari” 1962

“The first song on the first side of their first album didn’t tell a literal truth about the lives of the young men singing it—no one save the drummer was ever likely to go surfing with anyone at any time under any circumstances—but there’s truth in the voices. It crackled through the guitars and drums, and in 1962 it spoke not just to kids in Los Angeles, but also in hundreds of far-flung, landlocked cities” (Peter Carlin, Catch a Wave, 2006).  

The Beach Boys “Surfin’ Safari”

556 John Barry (1933-2011) and his orchestra “James Bond Theme” 1962

“Before Dr. No, the most significant musical hit to have originated in a spy film was Doris Day’s ‘Que Ser Sera’ for the 1957 Alfred Hitchcock The Man Who Knew Too Much. But the use of the electric guitar connected a new generation of movie goers to the films they often saw in drive-in theatres on weekends, a generation defining itself by the sounds of rock and roll. As a result, the Clifford Essex Paragon De Luxe, the guitar Vick Flick played for the original ‘James Bond Theme,’ is now appropriately on display in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” (Jack Becker, et al, James Bond in World and Popular Culture, 2011).

John Barry and his orchestra “James Bond Theme”

August 4, 2017

555 Joan Baez (1941- ) “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” 1962

“I had an affair with a girl when I was twenty-two. It was wonderful. It happened, I assume, after an overdose of unhappiness at the end of an affair with a man, when I had a need for softness and understanding. I assume that the homosexuality within me…saved me from becoming cold and bitter toward everyone” (Joan Baez, And a Voice to Sing With, 1987). 

Joan Baez “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You”

554 Herb Alpert (1935- ) and the Tijuana Brass “The Lonely Bull” 1962

Alpert “was working in the makeshift recording studio in his garage one day in 1962 when he happened on something interesting; he discovered that he could add a new dimension to his sound by recording a second trumpet part directly on top of the original…When the two parts were combined slightly out of synchronization, another effect was produced, which he called a ‘Spanish flair.’” Inspired by a bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico, he added the “flair” and bullfight atmosphere to “a friend’s instrumental composition called ‘Twinkle Star,’ which he then retitled ‘The Lonely Bull’”(Ben Edmonds, Linda Paulson, Contemporary Musicians, 2005).

Herb Alpert (1935- ) and the Tijuana Brass “The Lonely Bull”

553 Bobby Vee (1943-2016) “Take Good Care of My Baby” 1961

“Born Robert Thomas Velline on April 30, 1943, and raised in Fargo, Vee famously got his big break under tragic circumstances at the age of 15 in 1959. He and his band, the Shadows, were recruited to fill in for Buddy Holly at the Moorhead stop of the Winter Dance Party Tour the night after Holly died in a plane crash outside of Clear Lake, Iowa. Vee’s career soon rocketed after that as he earned teen idol fame and landed 38 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 between 1959-1970…he famously remained a humble, hard-working Midwesterner who settled into a quiet life in St. Joseph, Minn., with his wife of more than 50 years, Karen…Bob Dylan said that Vee was “the most beautiful person I’ve ever been on stage with” (Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune—Minneapolis, October 24, 2016). 

Bobby Vee “Take Good Care of My Baby”

552 The Tokens “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” 1961, The Weavers “Wimoweh” 1952, Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds “Mbube” 1939

Solomon Linda (1909-1962) “and his boys were given a one-off chance to record a song on the only recording equipment in all of Sub-Saharan Africa in 1939…Linda was paid ten shillings, and the song became a hit in Africa, though it was beyond unlikely that it would someday become known in every corner of the world.” Ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax shared the record with Pete Seeger, whose mistranslated “Wimoweh” was recorded by the Weavers in 1952. Because of Seeger’s leftist politics, “the song disappeared from the airwaves, as did Seeger for years to come. A decade later, four Jewish teenagers from Brooklyn calling themselves the Tokens discovered a dusty copy of the Weavers’ near-hit record in the collection of a group member’s older brother” (Robert Zieger, OAH Magazine of History, April 2010). 

The Tokens “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”

The Weavers and Gordon Jenkins & his Orchestra “Wimoweh”

Solomon Linda and the Evening Birds “Mbube”

551 The Shirelles "Mama Said" 1961

Susan Douglas wrote: “The most important thing about this music, the reason it spoke to us so powerfully, was that it gave voice to all of the warring selves inside us struggling, blindly and with a crushing sense of insecurity, to forge something resembling a coherent identity…In the early 1960s, pop music became the one area of popular culture in which adolescent female voices could be clearly heard” (O’Brien, She Bop II, 2002).

The Shirelles "Mama Said"

July 28, 2017

550 Del Shannon (1934-1990) “Runaway” 1961

“He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan and grew up in the nearby small town of Coopersville. He learnt to play the ukulele and guitar and listened to country music, citing Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell and Hank Snow as particular favourites. During the late 1950s, before he became an international pop star, Del played in various bands around Battle Creek, Michigan. Adopting the name Charlie Johnson and fronting the Big Little Show Band, he would play a mix of country, pop, and rock’n’roll songs” (Maverick, April 2010). 

Del Shannon (1934-1990) “Runaway”

549 The Revels “Comanche” 1961

“While The Sentinals and The Impacts were probably the best-known surf bands from the [San Luis Obispo] county, local surf music began with The Revels…The Revels started out of San Loui Obispo High School in the mid-1950s. And while they are often considered a ‘pre-surf’ band, decades later, they would gain surf music notoriety when their song ‘Commanche’ appeared in Quentin Tarantino’s movie ‘Pulp Fiction’” (Patrick Pemberton, The Tribune,, 3/1/2012). 

The Revels “Comanche”

548 The Regents “Barbara Ann” 1961

“A rock ‘n’ roll vocal group from the Bronx, New York, USA. The Regents were part of the explosion of Italian-American vocal groups from the New York area who made their impact during the early 60s, before the British invasion and the rise of self-contained bands made them passé…They first recorded a demo of ‘Barbara-Ann’, but when no company showed interest in the song they broke up” (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

The Regents “Barbara Ann”

547 Jimmy Reed (1925-1976) “Bright Lights, Big City” 1961

“Dazzled by the streetlights of many a Southern city while he was on a brief tour, Reed was struck with lyrics; words and images just seemed to manifest. He could hardly see in front of him as he sped down the road in his car, saying ‘these lights sure is bright.’ And the basis of a song emerged…The fascination with Wolf, Muddy, and even John Lee Hooker is their mannishness, the inherent meanness in their delivery. In short, they presented themselves as badasses, whether this was true or not. Conversely…Reed could have been the guy who sidled up to the bar and drank a couple of beers with you—and often was” (Will Romano, Big Boss Man: The Life and Music of Jimmy Reed, 2006). 

Jimmy Reed “Bright Lights, Big City”

546 Jimmy Reed (1925-1976) “Big Boss Man” 1961

“Because Reed’s epilepsy medicine was a depressant, when combined with alcohol it made the poor man dazed at times. Many Reed fans had no knowledge of his medical problem; they thought some of his whacky behavior could be chalked up to alcohol abuse, or worse. The truth is, Reed preferred to stay drunk most of the time because he thought it would keep his epileptic seizures at bay” (Will Romano, Big Boss Man: The Life and Music of Jimmy Reed, 2006). 

Jimmy Reed “Big Boss Man”

July 21, 2017

545 Elvis Presley (1935-1977) “Can’t Help Falling in Love” 1961

“After seeing Blue Hawaii, moviegoers left theaters talking about ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ The number immediately became the favorite of hundreds of thousands of fans. Most were unaware that it had been designated the lesser of the two songs on Elvis’s latest record” (Ace Collins, Untold Gold: The Stories Behind Elvis's #1 Hits, 2005). 

Elvis Presley “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

544 Elvis Presley (1935-1977) “Little Sister” 1961

Presley’s RCA recording engineer, Bill Porter, said the song was a classic even before they finished the final take. Competition from Presley’s films and from the other side of the song’s record (“His Latest Flame”) lowered projected sales (by Presley’s standards) (Ernst Jorgesen, Elvis Presley: A Life in Music, 1998). 

Elvis Presley (1935-1977) “Little Sister”

543 The Paris Sisters “I Love How You Love Me” 1961

The song was recorded by Phil Spector, who along with the Paris Sisters expected generous royalty checks when the song became a hit. However, record owner Lester Sill told them that the production costs were too high. When the Sisters vehemently objected, Sill said “the Paris Sisters destroyed themselves, because they got very salty with me and no one else wanted to record ‘em. I loved the Paris Sisters but I don’t think anyone could’ve made hits with ‘em but Phil” (Mark Ribowsky, He’s a Rebel, 1989). 

The Paris Sisters “I Love How You Love Me”

542 Roy Orbison (1936-1988) “Crying” and “Running Scared” 1961

“Lacking the charismatic good looks of Elvis Presley or the other teen idols of the early 1960s, he increasingly adopted a solitary and mysterious posture, often dressing in black outfits on stage and wearing dark glasses for most public appearances. In the mid-1960s, he had a featured role in the film The Fastest Guitar Alive but made no further attempts to pursue a film career” (American National Biography, 2010). 

Roy Orbison “Crying”

Roy Orbison “Running Scared”

541 Ricky Nelson (1940-1985) “Travelin’ Man” 1961

Father Ozzie Nelson “unconsciously invented the conceptual music video…Instead of having Rick and the band simply stand up and sing the song on the TV program, Ozzie went to work in the editing room and superimposed some stock travelogue footage over Rick’s face as he sang ‘Travelin’ Man,’ a rudimentary model of music videos twenty years before they exploded on the music scene” (Joel Selvin, Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation, 1990). 

Ricky Nelson “Travelin’ Man”

July 14, 2017

540 Ricky Nelson (1940-1985) “Hello Mary Lou” 1961

“His guitarist, James Burton, wrote himself into the vocabulary of his instrument…The musicianship of Rick’s early band was renowned among other musicians. When Bob Dylan first looked for a band to back his electric folk rock, he sought out Rick’s old musicians” (Joel Selvin, Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation, 1990). 

Ricky Nelson “Hello Mary Lou”

539 The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman” 1961

“When The Marvelettes appeared on American Bandstand, all of Inkster, Michigan was watching. Inkster High School even cancelled its football game, for once shining a light on the girls instead of the boys. Nervous to be talking to Dick Clark, Wyanetta [Cowart], when asked about the group’s origins, told him that ‘Detroit is 30 miles outside of Inskster’” (Gayle Wald, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Sept. 2012). 

The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman”

538 The Mar-Keys “Last Night” 1961

The band, originally called the Royal Spades, was formed by a group of students at Messick High School in Memphis, Tennessee. After their hit, “Last Night,” debuted, the name was changed to Mar-Keys, a modification of “Marquis” when a band member pointed out that “People around here don’t read French.” The record became the basis for “what became known as the Stax sound” (Rob Bowman, Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records, 1997).

The Mar-Keys “Last Night”

537 The Marcels “Blue Moon” 1961

Tenor “Bingo” Munday “and his friends formed the Marcels, named after a stylist haircut, in 1959 while students at Allegheny High School on the North Side, inspired by groups like the Harptones, the Cadillacs and the Spaniels…As legend has it, the day he heard it, New York DJ Murray the K played ‘Blue Moon’ 26 times in a four-hour show. In March 1961, the song knocked Elvis Presley off the top of the Billboard chart, becoming the first No. 1 rock n’roll hit out of Pittsburgh” (Scot Mervis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1/24/2017). 

The Marcels “Blue Moon”

536 Bobby Lewis (1933- ) “Tossin’ and Turnin” 1961

“One of the realities of the emergence of the rock and roll genre in 1955 or 1956 was the pace of rise to stardom and fall to nonentity was much more frenetic than in the Big Band era of the forties and the adult pop sound of much of the fifties…The much more adolescent-based rock audience was far more fickle, and even top stars who did not die in plane crashes or car wrecks saw their popularity diminish in an amazingly brief time frame. Thus many of the most successful artists during the summer of 1961 had almost totally disappeared by the summer of 1963” (Victor Brooks, Last Season of Innocence: The Teen Experience in the 1960s, 2012). 

Bobby Lewis “Tossin’ and Turnin”

July 7, 2017

535 Curtis Lee (1939-2015) “Pretty Little Angel Eyes” 1961

“Handsome and photogenic, Lee had a vocal approach close to the teen idols of the period.” His top hit was a result of producer Phil Spector’s “deft handling of the instrumental support” and incorporating “strong doo-wop riffing from an R&B vocal group, the Halos.” Lee never had another hit after Spector was dropped from Dune Records (The Encyclopedia of Popular Music, 2006). 

Curtis Lee (1939-2015) “Pretty Little Angel Eyes”

534 Gladys Knight (1944- ) and the Pips “Every Beat of My Heart” 1961

“Her parents were singers in the Wings Over Jordan gospel choir. She began singing gospel music at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church and had her first recital in 1948...In 1952, Gladys entertained her family by singing with ten-year-old brother Merald (known as ‘Bubba’), sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest at Bubba's 10th birthday party. Another cousin, James ‘Pip’ Wood later suggested that they turn professional. He lent the group his nickname to The Pips” (Marilyn Williams, Linda Paulson, Contemporary Musicians, 2005). 

Gladys Knight and the Pips “Every Beat of My Heart”

533 The Kingston Trio “Where Have All the Flowers Gone” 1961

Pete Seeger’s song was inspired by a Ukrainian folk song in the novel And Quiet Flows the Don. He “sang it once in a medley of short tunes (released on a fascinating though obscure disc, ‘Rainbow Quest’) and forgot about it. But a song is like a child; once it gets out into the world on its own, it often surprises the parent” (David Dunaway, How Can I Keep From Singing: Pete Seeger, 1981).  

The Kingston Trio “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”

532 The Kingston Trio “Pastures of Plenty” 1961

“They had the perfect combination of charm, wealth, security, and modesty…professionals yet with youthful zest; a refreshing alternative to the scruffy, rebellious, lewd rock and roll singers, according to the mass media. Thrilled by their style and songs, teenage fans consumed their records and packed the auditoriums” (Ronald Cohen, Rainbow Quest, 2002). 

The Kingston Trio “Pastures of Plenty”

531 Freddie King (1934-1976) “Hide Away” 1961

“As far as he’s concerned, he’s just a straight blues singer and liked nothing better than reminiscing about the good old Chicago days when there was a blues joint on every corner…He once liked nothing better than the chance for a guitar battle, but became notorious for the speed with which he dispatched opponents. This caused lesser men to hurriedly leave the stage as soon as they saw his bulk heave into sight” (Mike Leadbitter, Blues Unlimited, 1974). 

Freddie King “Hide Away”

June 30, 2017

530 Ben E. King (1938-2015) “Stand By Me” 1961

“‘He was one of the greatest singers of all time,’ says Steve Van Zandt. ‘He carried on the gospel soulfulness of Sam Cooke and had a really unique sound’...the Beatles and the British Invasion squeezed singers like King down the charts. ‘He wasn't the least bit bitter about that,’ says Van Zandt. ‘He was literally the nicest guy in the world’ (Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 6/4/2015). Listed on the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress.

Ben E. King “Stand By Me”

529 Chris Kenner (1929-1976) “I Like It Like That” 1961

“‘I always wondered why Chris had them hits,’ said Kenner’s booking agent in 1982. ‘He couldn’t sing, he couldn’t dance, he dressed raggedy, he didn’t have any showmanship.’…Kenner’s career suffered when [recording partner Allen] Toussaint was drafted into the army in 1963…He squandered a great deal of money and wound up doing prison time in Angola after being sent up on a statutory rape charge” (Jeff Hannusch, Offbeat, 2006). 

Chris Kenner “I Like It Like That”

528 Ernie K-Doe (1933-2001) “Mother-in-Law” 1961

“Born Ernest Kador Jr. in the city's Charity Hospital, K-Doe authored his hit single and other lively R&B tracks for local Minit Records, but a follow-up smash proved elusive. While he maintained a hometown profile as a hardworking performer in the James Brown/Joe Tex mold, K-Doe was best known for years as a DJ on New Orleans' WWOZ. There, his lunatic manner, unique lexicon and stream-of-consciousness raps cemented his status as a NoLa institution. Megalomania, alcoholism and a propensity for professional bridge-burning left him virtually homeless by the late '80s” (Ben Sandmel, Kirkus Reviews, 2012). 

Ernie K-Doe “Mother-in-Law”

527 Elmore James (1918-1963) “Shake Your Moneymaker” 1961

“Elmore James is one of the foremost architects of the electric blues and rhythm-and-blues music emerging from postwar Chicago, and he may well be the most influential electric slide guitarist in blues history. He played with great virtuosity, embellished by his fierce, heartfelt vocals…He was also an accomplished bandleader. His Broomdusters band was perhaps second only to the Muddy Waters bands among Chicago electric blues groups” (Howard Bromberg, Salem Press Biographical Encyclopedia, 2009). 

Elmore James “Shake Your Moneymaker”

526 Howlin’ Wolf (1910-1976) “The Red Rooster” 1961

He was named after President Chester Alan Arthur who “had helped desegregate New York’s streetcars and railroads. The child’s maternal grandfather gave him the nickname ‘Wolf’—as part of a recurring family jest, derived from the Little Red Riding Hood story”  (Ted Gioia, Delta Blues, 2008).

Howlin’ Wolf “The Red Rooster”

June 23, 2017

525 The Highwaymen “Michael Row the Boat Ashore” 1961

Lead singer “David Louis Fisher was born in 1940 in New Haven, Connecticut. He formed the Academics, a vocal group in the doo-wop style of the mid-1950s, while still at school. Drawn to folk music after hearing Pete Seeger and the Weavers, he formed the Highwaymen in 1958…The group was initially called the Clansmen, and Fisher later confessed that in their naivety, they had been unaware of the racist connotations the name had in the South. Once this was pointed out, they turned for inspiration to Alfred Noyes's 1906 poem The Highwayman” (The Times London, May 15, 2010). 

The Highwaymen “Michael Row the Boat Ashore”

524 Carolyn Hester (1937- ) “She Moves Through the Fair” 1961

Born in Waco, Texas, Hester learned her craft from musicians such as Johnny Giles and folk recordings at public libraries. She was a friend of Buddy Holly, who helped arrange some of her music and surprised her in a 1958 London concert by bringing her onstage to play piano. “By the age 21, Hester was the leading lady of the folk circuit” (C. Ross Burns, East Texas Historical Journal, Fall 2013). 

Carolyn Hester “She Moves Through the Fair”

523 Slim Harpo (1924-1970) “Rainin’ in My Heart” 1961

“On top of being a musician and business owner, Harpo strived to be a good father and family man, even through the lean times. Often Harpo was forced to work straight jobs, including operating a trucking business. ‘He worked hard,’ says [Harpo’s stepson, William Gambler]. ‘He was always looking for a way to make things better for us.’ Still, despite the financial hardships, day jobs and grueling gig schedule, Harpo loved what he did—playing the swamp blues and representing his hometown—and that enthusiasm rubbed off on those around him” (Ryan Whirty, Louisiana Life, Jan/Feb 2010).

Slim Harpo “Rainin’ in My Heart”