Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Best of the Rest ... # 20 - # 1!

The Best Of The Rest ... Here are The Top 20 Hits of the '60's, based on chart information gathered in Dann Isbell's book "Ranking The '60's" ... available here through  
Click here: Ranking the '60s: A Comprehensive Listing of the Top Songs and Acts from Pop's Golden Decade: Dann Isbell: 9781492

#20 - Happy Together - The Turtles  (1967)  
Feel-Good Pop at its finest ... this song has kept The Turtles touring for nearly 50 years!   

#19 - Daydream Believer - The Monkees  (1967)  
One of their very biggest ... and a song that will make me miss Davy Jones every time I hear it for the rest of my life.

#18 - Crimson And Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells  (1969)  
One of your psychedelic favorites ... and my all-time favorite by the band.

#17 - Hello Dolly - Louis Armstrong (1964)  
If nothing else, this proves that virtually "Anything Goes" during the '60's ... a huge chart-topper at the height of The British Invasion for Ol' Satchmo!    

#16 - Get Back - The Beatles  (1969)  
Topped the charts for five weeks in '69.

#15 - Groovin' - The Young Rascals  (1967)  
The perennial summer favorite.   

#14 - The Letter - The Box Tops  (1967)  
Their very first chart hit topped the charts for four weeks in 1967.   

#13 - Ode To Billie Joe - Bobbie Gentry  (1967)  
Another tune that had the whole country talking ... just what was it that Billie Joe McAllister threw off The Tallahatchie Bridge???

#12 - In The Year 2525 - Zager and Evans  (1969)  
I can't wait until 2525 to see how many of these predictions they got right!  (I'll let you know in a few years!)

#11 - Honey - Bobby Goldsboro  (1968)  
One of the biggest hits of the decade ... yet probably one of the most-hated songs of all time!   

#10 - The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding (1968)  
Otis died in a plane crash before he ever got to see this record top the charts.  What a shame.   

#9 - Everyday People - Sly and the Family Stone  (1969)  
Sly Stone brought a whole new "funk" to the World of Soul when he launched The Family Stone in 1968.   

#8 - People Got To Be Free - The Rascals  (1968)  
Another hit for the no longer "Young" Rascals ... a political statement that topped the charts in '68.   

#7 - Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones  (1969)  
Yet another one of their timeless classics ... sounds just as good today as it did back in '69.

#6 - To Sir, With Love - Lulu  (1967)  
From the motion picture of the same name, in which she had a starring role.   

#5 - Love Is Blue - Paul Mauriat  (1968)  
The biggest instrumental on the list   

#4 - Sugar, Sugar - The Archies  (1969)   
Our FH Buddy Ron Dante hit a grand slam with this one ... a song discovered (and loved) by every generation since!

#3 - I'm A Believer - The Monkees  (1966)  
They had to promise songwriter Neil Diamond The Monkees' follow-up single, too, in order for him to give up this one to the Pre-Fab Four.  Without question, one of the biggest hits of the '60's.   

#2 - Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In - The Fifth Dimension  (1969)  
The '60's WAS the Dawning of the Age Of Aquarius ... this one's from the hit musical "Hair", which spawned several chart hits that year.  ("Good Morning Starshine", "Easy To Be Hard" and the title track along with THIS smash!    

#1 - Hey Jude - The Beatles  (1968)  
And before Ron Smith can ask "Does EVERY countdown have to end with The Beatles at #1?", the answer quite simply is ... YES!!!  #1 for nine consecutive week on The Billboard Chart, what else COULD it be???  (C'mon ... this IS the '60's we're talking about here!!!)  And still a fan favorite all these years later (although I have really gotten tired of the redundant way McCartney performs this one in concert ... c'mon ... we've seen it a zillion times already!!!)   

And there you have it ... The Top 100 Hits of the '60's ... as in "The Best Of The Rest"  

Scroll back to find these other countdowns:  
The Top 100 Biggest Hits, 1960 - 1963

The Top 100 Biggest Hits of the British Invasion, 1964 - 1965

The Top 100 Biggest Motown Hits of the '60's

And, anything that didn't make one of THOSE lists, can be found here on THIS one!!!   

Again, you can get the complete COMPOSITE list in Dann Isbell's excellent book, "Ranking The '60's", available here: Click here: Ranking the '60s: A Comprehensive Listing of the Top Songs and Acts from Pop's Golden Decade: Dann Isbell: 9781492   

We hope you have enjoyed our 60 Day Salute to the '60's ... thanks for stickin' with us!  

Friday, November 1, 2013

We've Reached The Top 40!

When you listen to today's version of Top 40 Radio you'll find that everything has a very similar sound ... almost like the music that makes it fits the "blend" or the "mix" of the station that's playing it ... or it simply doesn't get played. 

Such was NOT the case back in the '60's ... the most creative and inventive time in pop music history.   

One look at this countdown confirms that.   

We had country hits like "Harper Valley P.T.A." by Jeannie C. Riley, "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash and "Galveston" by Glen Campbell and "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller ... "Feel Good" Rock by the likes of The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Monkees and The Lovin' Spoonful ... hard rock and psychedelic rock by Steppenwolf, The Doors, Iron Butterfly and Deep Purple, played side by side with the bubble gum hits of The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Lemon Pipers and The Ohio Express.  Motown Soul by The Supremes, The Temptations and The Miracles ... and Southern Soul by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Booker T. and the MG's, Sam and Dave or Otis Redding.

Instrumental hits were topping the charts.  (When's the last time you heard a good instrumental hit played on contemporary radio?)  This countdown of 100 Hits features four of them ... by everybody from Paul Mauriat to Hugo Montenegro ... from Hugh Masekela to Henry Mancini ... we also enjoyed major hits by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Mason Williams and his "Classical Gas".

We had the Blue-Eyed Soul of The Rascals and The Righteous Brothers ... as well as the British Invasion sounds of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits and The Dave Clark Five.

Surf sounds by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean ... folk music by Peter, Paul and Mary ... folk rock by The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield ... incredible poets like Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson, who set their dreams to music.

Artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong ... and The Singing Nun, S/Sgt. Barry Sadler and The New Vaudeville Band ... could release a "fluke" record ... and still watch it top the charts ... and incredibly ALL of this great music was played side-by-side, all day long, without a moment's hesitation or reservation ... and somehow it ALL fit.

This countdown features The Association, The Four Seasons, The Box Tops and The Archies ... The Cowsills, The Mamas and the Papas, Dionne Warwick and The Strawberry Alarm Clock!  The Fifth Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone!  The Troggs ... and Lulu!!!  Sonny and Cher as well as Simon and Garfunkel!  "Bobby" Music by Bobby Goldsboro, Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Rydell and Bobbie Gentry!!!  An INCREDIBLE mix of music from a very special time.

This was the '60's ... and quite simply there's nothing else like it.

Enjoy the rest of the countdown!

#40 - Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeannie C. Riley  (1968)

A flash-in-the-pan novelty hit that had the whole country talking for a few weeks.  Actually, I'm surprised this one scored so high ... I seem to remember it being "here and gone" very quickly back in '68. (Of course being knocked out of the top spot by a record as huge as "Hey Jude" by The Beatles probably had something to do with that.)

#39 - Chapel Of Love - The Dixiecups  (1964)
Another timeless classic, this one's never grown old.

#38 - I Get Around - The Beach Boys  (1964)
Not ALL of America was left sitting on their collective hands during The British Invasion ... these guys were creating some of the biggest hits of their career!

#37 - (You're My) Soul And Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers  (1966)
Despite having two of the most-played records in the history of pop radio, The Righteous Brothers just missed making The Top 20 in this special countdown.  That's because these points were accumulated at the time these records were actually on the charts ... and not the 40-50 years since when airplay saturation has taken them to a whole new level.

#36 - Judy In Disguise - John Fred and the Playboys Band  (1968)
Which is also why this little ditty scored so high!

#35 - Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison  (1964)
Roy's name popped up a couple of times during our 1960 - 1963 Countdown ... this was his last really big hit of the '60's ... but it was a MONSTER!

#34 - Wedding Bell Blues - The Fifth Dimension  (1969)
Another group that crossed all borders ... racial and age demographics ... EVERYBODY loved The Fifth Dimension!

#33 - We Can Work It Out - The Beatles  (1966)
The Beatles started 1965 on top of the charts with "I Feel Fine" ... and finished it off on top with this one.  In between they also hit the #1 spot with "Ticket To Ride", "Help!" and "Yesterday"!!!  What a year!  It earned MOST of its points in 1966, however ... which is how "We Can Work It Out" is eligible for this countdown.

#32 - Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds  (1965)
The Byrds scored back-to-back #1 Singles with "Mr. Tambourine Man" (#94 on this list) and this one.

#31 - Mrs. Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel  (1968)
The biggest hit of their career would come in 1970 ("Bridge Over Troubled Water") ... but they still managed to place a couple of hits on this Top 100 Countdown of the '60's, too.

#30 - Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary  (1969)
One of the front-runners of The Folk Craze that consumed America in the early '60's, this would be their last major chart hit.  Written by a guy named John Denver ... who America wouldn't discover until a few years later when his career went through the roof!

#29 - There! I've Said It Again - Bobby Vinton  (1964)
This song ... and "Dominique" by The Singing Nun ... helped to keep "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen out of the #1 Spot on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart ... (Oh my God ... America SO needed The Beatles at this point!!!)  But Bobby was finally dethroned when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" burst on the scene ... and forever changed the way we heard music. 

#28 - Somethin' Stupid - Nancy and Frank Sinatra  (1967)
We've already seen Dad ("Strangers In The Night", #97) and Daughter ("These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", #54) in the countdown ... but this is the monster duet they cut together in 1967.  Politically incorrect then and now, it STILL managed to capture the hearts of America ... and the #1 Spot on The Billboard Chart!

#27 - Dizzy - Tommy Roe  (1969)
Our FH Buddy Tommy Roe had so many great hits in the '60's ... but this was the biggest ... a little dab of bubblegum took this track a long, long way back in 1969!

#26 - Windy - The Association  (1967)
This is the track that completes their trifecta ... a MONSTER hit during The Summer of Love, 1967.

#25 - Light My Fire - The Doors  (1967)
From that very same summer ... and the very definition of Classic Rock.

#24 - Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band  (1966)
And now for something COMPLETELY different ... but hey, we loved it.  This one got our parents back into the record stores ... but a lot of us kids liked it, too ... I know I sure did!

#23 - The Ballad Of The Green Berets - S/Sgt. Barry Sadler  (1966)
Released at a time when much of America was still in favor of The Viet Nam War, a trend that changed VERY quickly during the turbulent '60's.  Barry's "after life" didn't end so well ... you can read all about it here:  Click here: Forgotten Hits: Helping Out Our Readers: With Two Barry - Barry Big Number One Hits From The '60's!!!
You'll find the OTHER Barry mentioned in this article ... Barry McGuire ... holding down the #99 spot on this special countdown!

#22 - This Guy's In Love With You - Herb Alpert  (1968)
Alpert's Tijuana Brass scored hit after hit after hit in the '60's ... their albums regularly topped the charts ... but who knew this guy could sing???  The first time he did, his record went straight to #1!

#21 - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers  (1965)
The most-played record in the history of radio ... and what a monster it was ... and still is.  The best example one could ever offer of Blue-Eyed Soul. 

We wrap it all up tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... join us, won't you???

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Countdown Continues ... (#60 - #41)

#60 - Wild Thing - The Troggs  (1966)
Part of our DNA

#59 - Wooly Bully - Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs  (1965)
Two perfect examples of '60's Party Rock (later dubbed Frat Rock) ... the anthems don't get much bigger than these two ... "Wild Thing" and "Wooly Bully"! 

#58 - Young Girl - Gary Puckett and the Union Gaps  (1968)
This group appealed to both the kids AND their parents ... and, as such, carved out an incredible string of hits between 1967 and 1969 ... including five that made The Top Ten (and one more that just missed ... when "Don't Give In To Him" peaked at #11.)  

#57 - Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James and the Shondells  (1969)
Three of Tommy's hits made The Top 100.

#56 - Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam  (1969)
Perhaps the unlikeliest of hits to remain in our relative consciousness for over 40 years!  

#55 - Monday, Monday - The Mamas and the Papas  (1966)
Their first official #1 Record (although I always preferred "California Dreamin'" ... which was a HUGE record here in Chicago ... and record of the year according to WCFL!) 

#54 - These Boots Are Made For Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra  (1966)
The only Daddy - Daughter act to make our countdown ... both separately and together! 

#53 - Last Train To Clarksville - The Monkees  (1966)
These guys placed three records in The Top 100 as well ... this was their first big break-through hit. 

#52 - Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys  (1966)
Wow ... four in a row from 1966 ... and could you find four more diverse sounds?  

#51 - Something - The Beatles  (1969)
These one fell a few spots below its flip side.  

#50 - Respect - Aretha Franklin  (1967)
This record earned Aretha the R-E-S-P-E-C-T of critics and fans alike, who dubbed her "The Queen Of Soul" after a string of hits that continued well into the '80's.  

#49 - Love Theme from "Romeo And Juliet" - Henry Mancini  (1969)
Only one instrumental finished higher than this one ... and THAT one made The Top Five.  

#48 - Summer In The City - Lovin' Spoonful  (1966)
Year after year after year your All-Time Favorite Summer Song  

#47 - Come Together - The Beatles  (1969)
This is that flip side I was talking about four titles ago.  

#46 - Mr. Lonely - Bobby Vinton  (1964)
The Polish Prince had two of The Top 50 Hits in this special countdown  

#45 - 96 Tears - ? and the Mysterians  (1966)
One of your Top Five All-Time Favorite Garage Bands ... for all intents and purposes, a One Hit Wonder ... although they did record a couple of other memorable tunes in the '60's as well.

#44 - Tighten Up - Archie Bell and the Drells  (1968)
They not only sang ... but they danced just as good as they walked!  

#43 - Hello, Goodbye - The Beatles  (1967)
Another chart-topper for The Fab Four ... although I'll never understand why!  

#42 - Everybody Loves Somebody - Dean Martin  (1964)
Dino once boasted to anyone who would listen that his new record would knock The Beatles out of the #1 Spot ... and then it did!  "Everybody Loves Somebody" (one of Martin's theme songs ... he probably has three ... this one, "That's Amore'" and "Ain't That A Kick In The Head") displaced "A Hard Day's Night" at the top of the charts in the Summer of 1964.

#41 - Cherish - The Association  (1966)
Another group to score three hits in our Top 100 Countdown ... and all three were monsters.  We've already seen "Never My Love" at #74 ... now "Cherish", their first #1 Hit, at #41 ... and you'll find their biggest further up the countdown at #26.  

More tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ...  

Y'all come back now, ya'hear?!?!?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Countdown Continues (#80 - #61)

#80 - A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash  (1969)
Did it get any "funner" than this in 1969?

#79 - Green Tambourine - The Lemon Pipers  (1968)   
A #1 Bubble-Gum Hit     

#78 - Hanky Panky - Tommy James and the Shondells  (1966)
The first in a long string of hit singles for these guys.  (When is Tommy's movie going to come out?!?!?)

#77 - Hang On Sloopy - The McCoys (1965)
There was a brief period of time in the Summer of 1965 that this song was doing chart battle with The Righteous Brothers' hit "Unchained Melody".  This very well may have been the last battle on record between a Hatfield and the McCoys.  

#76 - Hair - The Cowsills  (1969)
I'll bet you didn't expect to see TWO Top 100 Hits by THESE guys in this countdown!  

#75 - Good Lovin' - The Young Rascals  (1966)
Their first chart-topper.  

#74 - Never My Love - The Association  (1967)
One of the Songs of Summer, 1967 ... The Summer of Love ... and still one of the most beautiful recordings ever made.

#73 - All You Need Is Love - The Beatles  (1967)
See what I mean!  

#72 - Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat and Tears  (1969)
One of those big hits for the group that, much like Creedence Clearwater Revival, got labeled "The Kings of #2" on the Billboard charts, despite reaching the top of the charts in the other trades.  

#71 - Theme from "Valley Of The Dolls" - Dionne Warwick  (1968)
A late-bloomer ... and originally the B-Side of Dionne's 1967 Hit "I Say A Little Prayer".

#70 - Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones  (1966)
You know how over time songs take on a certain connection to a specific event or film?  For me, this one will forever be related to the Keanu Reeves / Al Pacino movie "The Devil's Advocate" due to the closing scene and end credits, even though it came decades after.  

#69 - Those Were The Days - Mary Hopkin  (1968)
Things looked pretty promising for Apple Records when The Beatles' "Hey Jude" and Mary Hopkin's "Those Were The Days" started racing up the charts. 

#68 - Kind Of A Drag - The Buckinghams  (1966)
The first National #1 Hit for one of our local heroes. 

#67 - I Got You, Babe - Sonny and Cher  (1965)
In 1965 the rest of the world learned what "hippies" were!  (Sonny and Cher already knew ... in fact, they personified the image.  SO weird to see Sonny performing in a tux and Cher in beautiful gowns a few years later.)   

#66 - Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen  (1967)
A novelty hit that hung around the top of the charts for quite a while in late '66 and early '67.  

#65 - Incense And Peppermints - The Strawberry Alarm Clock  (1967)
The song voted by our readers as The #1 Psychedelic Song of All-Time.
(You can check out the complete list here):
Click here: Forgotten Hits - Top 20 Favorite Psychedelic Songs   

#64 - The Sounds Of Silence - Simon and Garfunkel  (1966) 
The Dynamic Duo scored their break-through hit with this one in early '66 when Columbia Records added an electric guitar and rock drums to their previously released folk track.  

#63 - Hello, I Love You - The Doors  (1968) 
A #1 Record ... trust me, they'll be back again before this countdown is over.

#62 - Rag Doll - The Four Seasons  (1964) 
One of my all-time favorites by The Jersey Boys.

#61 - This Diamond Ring - Gary Lewis and the Playboys  (1965) 
A #1 Hit ... and one of my all-time favorites of the '60's.  Written by Al Kooper ... who says that to this day he can't STAND the Gary Lewis version of his song!  (lol)

The countdown continues tomorrow in Forgotten Hits.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

THE BEST OF THE REST: Let The Countdown Begin

Here we go ... our final '60's Countdown ...  

#100 - A Lover's Concerto - The Toys  (1965)  
A touch of the classics ... on the pop charts!  

#99 - Eve Of Destruction - Barry McGuire  (1965)
One of the last folk protest songs to hit the charts ... but it was a biggie! 

#98 - Little Bit O'Soul - The Music Explosion  (1967)
One of my favorites at the time ... but held out of the top spot by The Association's smash "Windy".

#97 - Strangers In The Night - Frank Sinatra  (1966)
A #1 Hit for Ol' Blue Eyes ... a year later he'd top the charts again thanks to a duet he sang (some might argue somewhat inappropriately!) with his daughter.

#96 - Cry Like A Baby - The Box Tops  (1968)
The Box Tops hit The Top 40 seven times between 1967 and 1969!

#95 - Let's Hang On - The Four Seasons  (1965)
These guys made our 1960 - 1963 Countdown with their first three chart-toppers ... and they were STILL hitting the top of the charts several years later.

#94 - Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds  (1965)
Electrified Dylan ... he liked it so much, he plugged in himself!

#93 - Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf  (1968)
A '60's Anthem that we STILL hear at least a dozen times a week!  (Come to think of it, have you ever gone a day WITHOUT hearing it???)

#92 - When A Man Loves A Woman - Percy Slege  (1966)
A #1 Hit for Rock And Roll Hall Of Famer Percy Sledge ... no, I typed that right ... it just SOUNDS wrong!!!

#91 - Ruby Tuesday - The Rolling Stones  (1967)
The World's Greatest Rock Band, slowing things down in the early months of '67.

#90 - Leader Of The Pack - The Shangri-Las  (1964)
What a hit this one was!  It even inspired the parody "Leader Of The Laundromat" by our FH Buddy Ron Dante and The Detergents.  (You'll find Ron near the top of this countdown, too ... stay tuned!)

#89 - Help Me, Rhonda - The Beach Boys  (1965)
Still playing to packed houses 50 years later ... only now Al Jardine's touring as part of Brian Wilson's back-up band!

#88 - Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations  (1969)
A major hit YEARS before it showed up in "Something About Mary".  (What's that in your hair?)

#87 - Grazing In The Grass - Hugh Masekela  (1968)
A hit as both an instrumental for Hugh Masekela and as a vocal arrangement by The Friends of Distinction.

#86 - Little Green Apples - O.C. Smith  (1968)
A little corny then ... but a bit more heart-touching now that we're all so much older.

#85 - Li'l Red Riding Hood - Sam The Sham and the Pharaohs  (1966)
One of their best ... they did more than "Wooly Bully" (although you'd never know it by listening to the radio today).

#84 - Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Frankie Valli  (1967)
The hit that at the time only Frankie believed in ... but today considered a standard.

#83 - Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie  (1966)
Because one good falsetto deserves another.

#82 - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly - Hugo Montenegro  (1968)
Pass the spaghetti.

#81 - The Rain, The Park and Other Things - The Cowsills  (1967)
This one has turned into a timeless classic ... possibly more popular now than when it was out ... which is really saying something ... 'cause it was a HUGE hit then!

More tomorrow in Forgotten Hits.