Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Countdown Continues

We're counting down The Biggest Hits of 1960 - 1963 this week in Forgotten Hits ... 

Today we pick up the countdown with #80 ...

#80 - Chain Gang - Sam Cooke  (1960)
One of my favorite artists of the late '50's and early '60's, gunned down WAY too soon.  The potential of what he might have become was never realized ... and that's just a shame. 

#79 - The Bristol Stop - The Dovells  (1961)
More Philly Sounds ... this time featuring Len Barry, who would score a HUGE solo hit in 1965 with "1, 2, 3".

#78 - Surf City - Jan and Dean  (1963)
These guys actually hit the charts before The Beach Boys did ... in fact, Brian Wilson helped write this one ... which launched a whole new surf music phase.

#77 - Ramblin' Rose - Nat "King" Cole  (1962)
A standard that performed well enough on the pop charts to earn the #77 position in our very special countdown.

#76 - If You Wanna Be Happy - Jimmy Soul  (1963)
One of the biggest novelty hits of the early '60's.  (Can "Mother-In-Law" be far behind?  Or, in the case, ahead???)

#75 - Hit The Road, Jack - Ray Charles  (1961)
A Ray Charles classic.

#74 - Handy Man - Jimmy Jones  (1960)
The original, Del Shannon-ish sounding hit before James Taylor slowed it down to a crawl in the '70's.  (Shannon would have his own hit with this four years later)

#73 - The Loco-Motion - Little Eva  (1962)
The #1 Hit for Carole King's baby-sitter.  (Go figure!)  Yet another Dance Craze tune that would go back to #1 by ... of all people ... Grand Funk Railroad in the 1970's!!!  (Never saw THAT one coming!!!)

#72 - Sheila - Tommy Roe  (1962)
The first chart-topper for our FH Buddy Tommy Roe, who did his part to keep the Buddy Holly sound alive in 1962.

#71 - I'm Leaving It Up To You - Dale and Grace  (1963)
Like the Tempo and Stevens hit "Deep Purple", resurrected in the '70's by Donny and Marie.  For whatever reason, these two duets seem to be forever linked.

#70 - Itsy Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini - Brian Hyland  (1960)
The very first 45 I ever bought with my own money ... and the song that launched the career of Brian Hyland. 

#69 - Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley  (1962)
The first of FIVE appearances by The King of Rock And Roll in our special countdown.  (And you guys thought he was just a '50's artist!!!)

#68 - Walk Right In - The Rooftop Singers  (1963)
We featured this one a week or two ago as part of our Salute to Folk Music of the '60's.

#67 - Quarter To Three - Gary "U.S." Bonds  (1961)
One of my least-favorite Gary Bonds songs ... but his all-time biggest hit.

#66 - Wipe Out - The Surfaris  (1963)
Catching a wave of the surf craze, this one resurfaced in 1966 and became a hit all over again.

#65 - Please Mr. Postman - The Marvelettes  (1961)
Our first Motown title ... but definitely not the last!

#64 - Surrender - Elvis Presley  (1961)
Elvis Is Back ... from the Army ... AND on our Top 100 Countdown!

#63 - Monster Mash - Bobby "Boris" Pickett  (1962)
A Halloween classic ... play this one alongside #55 in tomorrow's countdown and see what you think.

#62 - Alley Oop - The Hollywood Argyles  (1960)
A novelty classic ... and the song that launched WLS-AM 890 as a Top 40 / Rock Station here in Chicago back in 1960.

#61 - He's A Rebel - The Crystals  (1961)
Written by Gene Pitney, who inexcusably doesn't appear in this special countdown as an artist!

More tomorrow ... as the countdown continues.