Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29, 1960

February 29, 1960: 

Here is the first of our brand new LEAP YEAR SUPER CHARTS
(courtesy of Randy Price)

 (click to enlarge)

We're saluting The Top Ten Hits on this date, 1960, in this installment of our VERY Special Forgotten Hits Leap Year Countdown!

10. Running Bear - Johnny Preston: 
Here is yet another '60's Chart Classic that rarely receives airplay today. Johnny Preston topped the Pop, Country and R&B Charts with this one.  And DIDJAKNOW? that those background Indian sounds were actually performed by The Big Bopper (who wrote this tune) and his label mate, Country Legend George Jones!  How the heck does oldies radio ignore a classic like THIS one!!!  

9. Let It Be Me - The Everly Brothers: 
The Everly Brothers were the first Dynamic Duo of The Rock Era ... by Leap Year Day, 1960, they had already scored THREE #1 Records!
"Let It Be Me" became their EIGHTH Top Ten Hit in just three years ... and while they may have been the ones who recorded it first, it has gone on to become one of the most covered "duets" ever written ... next to their OTHER big smash, "All I Have To Do Is Dream", of course!!! Their impact was everlasting ... and the influence of The Everly Brothers is still heard in music today.   

8. Baby, You Got What It Takes - 
Brook Benton and Dinah Washington: 
Speaking of "killer" duets, "Baby, You Got What It Takes" has got to be another one of the greatest duets ever captured on wax. (Brook Benton and Dinah Washington were BOTH successful recording artists on their own for Mercury Records when they teamed up in 1960 to cut a couple of duets for the label. Brook being "in her spot" is one of the highlights of this record!)   

7. Wild One - Bobby Rydell: 
Bobby Rydell was one of the earliest stars of "American Bandstand" and the Cameo / Parkway label ... an overnight Teen Idol Sensation ... and he's STILL out there performing in Teen Idol / Boys of Bandstand Shows to this day!  "Wild One" was the second of his six Top Ten Hits.    

6. Beyond The Sea - Bobby Darin: 
This was Bobby Darin's follow up hit to last year's Record Of The Year, "Mack The Knife", which we told you about earlier today in our 1956 Leap Year Chart.  "Beyond The Sea" did nearly as well, becoming another one of Bobby's "signature" tunes, ultimately peaking at #6, and it seems to be every bit as popular today, some 52 years later! (In the past few years alone, it was used over the closing credits of the Walt Disney movie smash "Finding Nemo", as sung by British popster Robbie Williams ... ... and then was the title track of the Kevin Spacey film of Darin's life ... it was also incorporated into a key episode of the television series "Lost" right around the time our 2008 Leap Year Countdown rand ... and was recently used in a commercial for Carnival Cruises, too ... amongst several others!) 
Both songs ("Mack The Knife" and "Beyond The Sea") came from Bobby's "That's All" pop standards album, released right at the peak of his rock and roll career ... an album that ALL of his friends and advisers told him NOT to make, convinced it would be the equivalent of career suicide to change musical genres when his career was already rocking and rolling along in such high gear. Exactly the opposite happened ... Darin's career SKYROCKETED from there and today he is regarded as one of the most versatile artists and entertainers of all time.
(With SO many Bobby Darin fans on the list, we just HAD to feature THIS one!!!)  

5. What In The World's Come Over You - Jack Scott: 
Singer / songwriter / guitarist Jack Scott (he changed his name from Giovanni Dominico Scafone, Jr. ... go figure!) first hit the pop charts in 1958 with his two-sided hit "My True Love" / "Leroy".  Both sides of that record made The Top 40 Chart, with "My True Love" going all the way to #3 and "Leroy" peaking at #25. Seven other Top 40 Hits followed: "With Your Love" (#28, also 1958), "Goodbye Baby" (a #8 hit in 1959), "The Way I Walk" (#25, also 1959), today's #5 Countdown Hit, "What In The World's Come Over You" (which was in its peak week back on February 29, 1960), "Burning Bridges" (#3, 1960, and covered by a number of artists over the years), "Oh Little One" (#34, 1960) and "It Happened Yesterday" (#28, 1960). After his pop chart hits stopped in 1961, Scott pursued a country career ... but never came close to reaching the success he enjoyed earlier in his pop career. By the late '70's / early '80's, he was back performing his hits as part of an oldies show touring package. Jack Scott is one of those names that comes up often as yet another GLARING omission repeatedly overlooked by The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.     

4. Teen Angel - Mark Dinning: 
Mark Dinning hit #1 on both the Billboard and the Cash Box Charts with this one! "Teen Angel" was one of the first (and most famous and successful) teen tragedy songs ever released ... and has gone on to become an oldies classic.  

3. Handy Man - Jimmy Jones: 
Jimmy Jones had back-to-back Top 3 Hits in 1960 with "Handy Man" and "Good Timin'".  "Handy Man" would go on to become a Top 40 Hit all over again ... TWICE!!! Del Shannon took it back up the charts (with a nearly identical remake in 1964) to #19 ... and James Taylor had a pretty big hit with it, too, when he recorded it in 1977!  (James' slowed-down version climbed all the way to #2, besting Jimmy Jones' original chart showing!)

2. He'll Have To Go - Jim Reeves: 
One of Country Music's all-time biggest recording artists, Jim Reeves crossed over in a BIG way in 1960, scoring a #2 Hit with "He'll Have To Go".  (In fact, it was pretty much a one-two punch ... an answer song by Jeanne Black, "He'll Have To Stay" ... released literally right on the heels of the Jim reeves hit ... went all the way to #4!  We recently featured BOTH of these tunes in our brand new SOUND ADVICE column!) Reeves hit Billboard's Country Chart an incredible 80 times ... and, what may be MOST amazing about that feat, is the fact that HALF those hits were released AFTER he died in a plane crash in 1964!!!) His other big pop hit was "Four Walls", which peaked at #11 in 1957. 

***1***  Theme From "A Summer Place" - Percy Faith: 
Percy Faith's Movie Theme (from the Motion Picture "A Summer Place", starring Troy Donahue and the soon-to-be Mrs. Bobby Darin, Sandra Dee) topped the pop charts for an incredible TEN WEEKS in 1960 and went on to become the biggest single of the year.  (To this day, it remains the biggest #1 Instrumental Hit of The Rock Era!)  It was Percy's second #1 Record ... he first topped the charts in 1953 with "Song From 'Moulin Rouge'" ... and, 50-plus years later, "Theme from 'A Summer Place'" is STILL one your all-time favorite instrumentals ... in a Forgotten Hits Poll a few years back, "Theme from 'A Summer Place" placed second, behind only "Sleep Walk" as our readers' all-time favorite instrumental track.  And, it came in SIXTH as your Favorite Summer Song of All-Time, too!  Even today it seems like you can't turn on the TV without hearing it being used in some type of movie or ad campaign!