Retro Dee is a regular contributor to The Grooveyard’s website, writing about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s. Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.
Hi there folks, Retro Dee here and once again WCWP’s The Grooveyard has brought us another swell song survey! This one was the Annual “LOVE” Song Survey. It was the FIFTH annual Love Song Survey on The Grooveyard, but the first one for me. When it was announced in January, I was excited to find that D.J. Alan Seltzer and The Grooveyard had another survey in store for us so soon in 2019!
If you read my post on The Great 88, my picks this time might surprise you. Rather than just vote for all my favorite songs, I decided to do something different this time. I decided to keep within the Love Theme of the survey. True, all these songs are about love, but what I did was choose the ones that I felt were the most romantic songs listed on the poll.
Voting that way was not an easy decision, folks! I’m VERY faithful to my favorite musician of all time, Buddy Holly, so to not vote for “That’ll Be The Day” was tough. It’s probably my favorite song, and shunning it this time felt strange, but there was a method to my madness. I couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t vote for it this time simply because I don’t feel that it was one of the most romantic songs on the list. After all, the lyrics give us the following scenario: Girl threatens to leave Boy. Boy says Girl’s threat is just a lie because if she leaves him, he’ll die. So what we have is a sort of a psychological manipulation thing. And call me crazy, but messing with your lover’s head is not romantic. It might be fun sometimes, but it’s not romantic. So I boxed myself into a little corner and the only way out was to stick to my guns and NOT vote for my favorite song.
After four weeks of voting, the polls closed. Then, on Saturday night, February 16, 2019, the results of the 5th Annual Love Song Survey were unveiled by D.J. Alan Seltzer. The Countdown consisted of the Top 40 songs in the order they were voted for by listeners.
So what did I pick? I only chose 12 songs total this time (voters could pick up to 20).
Here are my 12 picks, in the order they came in on the countdown:
💕 #N/A “Whispering Bells” by The Del-Vikings
This song didn’t make the countdown this time, but it was played during the show as a dedication. You don’t get more 1950’s than this song. The first time I heard it, I started to have flashbacks to something… I don’t quite know what. I joke that this is my “past life” song. I don’t believe in that stuff, but if I did, I think my last time around I was about sixteen when I was listening to this song, sitting in a parked ’55 Buick Special over-looking the town on an overcast evening in June with my fella’s arm around me. Or maybe we were at a picnic. Yeah, definitely a picnic. Whatever the case, this song sure brings lovely visuals to my mind as I listen to those Whispering Bells.
💗 #33 “Everyday” by Buddy Holly
Well, you didn’t think I’d leave him out entirely, did ya? This is one of the two songs I picked by Buddy this time on the survey… “Everyday” is romance in its purest, most simple form. My favorite line is “Everyone said go ahead and ask her…” Ah, I can just picture a cute, slightly awkward teen-aged boy getting a gentile nudge from his family and friends to go ahead and ask that sweet gal for a date. He approaches her as she sits there with her cardigan draped over her shoulders. She smiles shyly, pretending that she doesn’t know what he’s about to ask… and… uh… Wait. What were we talking about again? Oh yeah, the song! I love it. Buddy Holly was adorable. And so is this song.
💖 #27 “Twilight Time” by The Platters
I almost didn’t pick this song because it’s very cliched 1950’s-romantic, but then I ended up picking it because of that very reason. “Twilight Time” was recorded by several other artists, but The Platters version is the most popular. It’s also the one you’ll find at diner juke boxes everywhere.
🐧 #26 “Earth Angel” by The Penguins
“Enchantment Under The Sea Dance! Be There or Be Square!” That was what the poster at Hill Valley High said in the classic 1985 film, Back to the Future. The famous scene at the dance featured this song. The Penguins OWN this hit (despite that the Crew-Cuts covered it) To me this survey was all about romance in The Best Era Ever, and I think this song is definitive of that.
💋 #25 “(Til) I Kissed You” by The Everly Brothers
I think this is the one that made me “fall in love” with Don and Phil. It celebrates the simple beauty of a kiss in a playful, upbeat tune featuring Don and Phil’s signature harmonization (which, I believe, no other artists could ever compare to.) We all remember those special kisses that stand out in our memory above all the rest. The ones that took our breath away and remain in our minds and hearts forever. Don Everly went the extra mile and wrote a song about one of his for our listening enjoyment. Aww. Thanks, Don.
💔 #18 “All I Have To Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers
This song is sad. But it’s also incredibly romantic. One of the first hits for brothers Don and Phil Everly in the year 1957, this beautifully harmonized tune has spanned decades in popularity. Funny enough, I used to hate this song. Yes I know, unbelievable right? But that was when I was young and dumb and knew nothing about music. I also think it made me a bit blue… But now I can listen to it every single day of my life and never, ever get tired of it. How ’bout that? When you listen to the lyrics of this song, you’ll know that the fella is not in the best situation. He obviously lost her somehow, but the way he is pining for her is so beautiful and honest, that it just melts your heart… Sometimes we want someone so bad, but it’s against all odds– impossible even — to have that person. In that case, all we can do is dream. Heck, if that’s all I can do, I’d be glad to do it with Don and Phil. Wait, that sounded bad… But I think I’ve made myself clear. So let’s move on.
💍#16 “Let It Be Me” by The Everly Brothers
I don’t like this song on its own— the only time I ever want to hear it is if it’s coming out of Don and Phil’s cute little mouths. The Everly Brothers were the first to make it a major hit, but there are like 100 other versions of it that came afterwards that (in my humble opinion) just don’t make the grade. This song is probably a wedding favorite, although I never go to weddings, so I’m really just surmising. Getting back to my original point, this is a very different song without the Everly boys. It’s like the difference between a cashmere sweater and a green windbreaker. Before Don and Phil recorded it, one of them should have said: “Remember, ladies and gentlemen, we are professionals. Don’t try this at home.”
💞 #11 “Come Go With Me” by The Del-Vikings
Hm, if I’m remembering right, (and I know that I am), this was the Number One song on 2018’s Great 88 Countdown! It clearly earned its title. I’ve probably stated before (so please bear with me) that I love its carefree sound: it’s like a kiss floating on a summer breeze. It’s doo-wop at it’s finest! Wah-wah-wah-wahhhh….
🌹#9 “True Love Ways” by Buddy Holly
Recorded less than 3 months before his death, Buddy Holly wrote this song for his bride. In my Great 88 Picks post, I said how beautifully bittersweet and romantic this song is, so I won’t go through all that again. Though, I’ll tell ya… it’s a real hard song to sing unless you have a fantastic range like Buddy did (I don’t!) I often find myself changing keys in the middle of the song or else my voice cracks on those high notes. Good thing I don’t have a dog.
⭐ #3 “Little Star” by The Elegants
This song is so cute and sweet, what more do you need? D.J. Alan Seltzer named one of his parakeets after this song, which is rather cute and sweet as well. This little star of a song made it all the way to Number 3 this year and it definitely deserves it.
🌊 #2 “Sea of Love” by Phil Phillips
This song made it to Number 2 last year on The Grooveyard’s 2018 Summer Song Survey and it made it to Number 2 on this year’s Love Song Survey! I think it’s just beautiful. A musical masterpiece with a gentle melody that builds to a crescendo, “Sea of Love” is another slow-dancing and sweet romancing must-have hit from the 1950’s decade.
💓 #1 “In The Still Of The Night” by The Five Satins
When I heard this song on the Oldies station as a teenager, I distinctly remember thinking that I was living in the wrong time. Maybe I was. Or maybe I just fail to find songs by groups like Limp Bizkit romantic. Whatever the case, this is a 1950’s staple song in the Romance Department… And I’m definitely not the only one who thinks so, because it made it to Number One on this year’s Love Song Survey!
So there you have it! My 12 picks! I had to refrain from picking more of my favorite Everly Brothers songs such as “When Will I Be Loved”, “Cathy’s Clown”, “So Sad”, and “Walk Right Back”. Sure, I could have picked all Everly Brothers songs, but that would have been a tad too political. But I probably would have voted for “Devoted To You”. Unfortunately, I had never heard it until The Grooveyard show that aired on January 26th, 2019. Alan Seltzer played it as part of the Six Pack honoring Phil Everly’s January Birthday. I had already started voting in the survey and I didn’t want to change my votes… but man! It’s a beautiful song, if not a bit 70’s sounding. Once again Don and Phil have made me weak in the knees. What’s a gal to do?
But now as we come to the end of this reveal, I must address the perpetual question:
What Happened to Peggy Sue?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m obsessed (for lack of a better word) with Peggy Sue. I mean, not with her, specifically, but with the song and what the song represents: The Fabulous Fifties and the epic era of Early Rock n Roll.
But here’s the shocker: I didn’t vote for it this time. Why? Because to me it just didn’t fit the Love Theme as well as some of the others on the list. But don’t worry, Peggy Sue. I’d still vote for you for Prom Queen! 👑
Okie dokie, that’ll be it for this year’s Love Song Survey! Thanks for reading!
For a full list of the songs on this countdown PLUS their video clips, check out WCWP’s Grooveyard Site HERE.
Retro Dee writes about the Fifties at Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever, and contributes to The Grooveyard every Wednesday.
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