Retro Dee writes about music, fashion and other trends of the 1950s on this site. Check out her blog, Retro Dee’s Guide to the Best Era Ever here, and her column here every Wednesday.
Hello folks and Welcome another edition of “Retro Dee Reveals”!
Once again it’s time to reveal my picks for the latest survey by The Grooveyard! And that survey is none other than The 6th Annual Love Song Survey hosted by D.J. Alan Seltzer on WCWP’s 88.1 FM!
For this survey, there were two categories: Songs from the 1950’s and Songs from the 1960’s. Listeners could vote up to 10 songs in each category. By all rights, I should’ve only been voting in the 1950’s survey, since I’m pretty much married to the 1950’s. But this time I just couldn’t help but vote for 5 songs in the 1960’s category too.
So here are the 15 songs I picked and where they ended up on the 6th Annual Grooveyard Love Song Survey:
#N/A “Peggy Sue” – Buddy Holly (1957) Oh, Peggy Sue, what happened to you? I voted everyday, gal! And you still didn’t show up on the countdown. It actually surprises me since it’s the only song of Buddy’s that didn’t make it this time.
#N/A “Destination Love” – Bobby Curtola (1963) Something possessed me to write this song in and make it one of my votes. I just kinda got to like this happy little tune, after hearing it a lot on Malt Shop Favorites. It also makes me think of Josh Gates’ “Destination Truth” which preceded the far better “Expedition Unknown”. As far as this song NOT making the countdown, you could call it “Explanation Unknown”.
#38 “So Sad” – The Everly Brothers (1961) This pretty song reminds us that love is not always HAPPY. Love can also be SAD… At the risk of sounding like a skit from Sesame Street, I’ll stop here.
#36 “That’ll Be The Day” – The Crickets (1957) Last year, I didn’t vote for this song in this particular survey. Although it’s one of my very favorite songs of all time, I felt it just wasn’t all that romantic. Even so, I decided to vote for it this year, because it’s still technically a love song, and it’s so great that I couldn’t stomach snubbing it again.
One morning, I was scrolling through Instagram. Someone was advertising a dress for Valentine’s Day. Their post said: “Let Cupid’s arrow pierce your heart in this dress…”
And that’s when it hit me!
“That’ll Be The Day” mentions Cupid in the second verse!
HELLO?! What could be more synonymous with Valentine’s Day than Cupid?
I listen to this song all the time. I sing it all the time. Yet, I never made the connection before. And there I was last year saying this song has little to do with a Valentine’s Day themed song survey. Sigh… I wonder what else I’m overlooking. I scare myself sometimes… Well, with the mention of Cupid himself, I think it should have done better, but I’ll have to settle for #36.
#34 “Devoted To You” – The Everly Brothers (1959) “I’ll never hurt you / I’ll never lie / I’ll never be untrue…” Are these just empty promises from the Everlys? Fine, I’ll take them!
As The Grateful Dead once said: “If this ain’t the real thing, it’s close enough to pretend…” Let’s pretend, boys. 😉
#32 “Dream Lover” – Bobby Darin (1959) More pretending and dreaming with Bobby Darin’s classic hit. I think this is a great one for the Love Song Survey.
#24 “Poetry In Motion” – Johnny Tillotson (1960) Oh my God, I love this song! I first heard it on a huge 120 hit compilation of songs that came on 4 CDs. It got stuck in my head, then I started to like it. Then I voted for it. Then it made #24 on this year’s Love Song Survey. Now that’s poetry in motion.
#23 “Whispering Bells” – Del Vikings (1958) You will soon learn that I vote for this song in every single survey, no matter what time of the year, rain or shine. This is the perfect 1950’s tune that defines the whole era.
#21 “Til I Kissed You” – The Everly Brothers (1959) “Things have really changed since I kissed ya / My life’s not the same now that I’ve kissed ya…” Don Everly wrote this after necking with some gal in Australia. Did you know that in Australia, it’s perfectly fine for a gal to ask a guy out? Always has been. Do that in the United States and you’re marked for life as Ugly Betty, no matter how cute you actually are. But in Australia, you get to make out with one of the Everly Brothers and have a whole song written about it. So it’s got me thinking: Down Under’s where it’s at!
#20 “Everyday” – Buddy Holly (1957) Romance and innocence are encapsulated in this tender song written by Charles Hardin, which was actually Buddy Holly’s first and middle given name. But I’m sure you knew that. And you probably also know what a lovely little song this is… But beware. If you happen to be listening to it on a device such as a laptop and you have it on full blast, the musical solo in the middle is painful. It gets amplified to a pitch that could shatter glass! Don’t believe me? Do it. I dare you. I double DOG dare you! (But don’t say I didn’t warn ya!)
#18 “Earth Angel” – The Penguins (1954) Prom Night ’55. They wrote the book on romance. “Earth Angel” flies in at #18 on this year’s Love Song Survey.
#16 “All I Have To Do Is Dream” – The Everly Brothers (1958) Okay I’ve already talked about how I used to not like this song, but now I do and blah blah blah… so I won’t mention it again. This perennial favorite made it to #16 on this year’s Love Song Survey and that’s pretty good. It was written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and is still, after all these years, fabuleux.
#13 “Let It Be Me” – The Everly Brothers (1960) Them again. Who keeps voting for The Everly Brothers? Oh, that’s right. ME. 🙂 Yes, I love Don and Phil and it’s no secret. Here’s another romantic fantasy brought to you by the best duo ever to grace the music industry.
#7 “True Love Ways” – Buddy Holly (1960) I thought this might make it all the way to Number One, but by #7, I realized that it wouldn’t. You want romance? This is it. No one knew romance like Buddy Holly. No one could sing like him either. What a gem he was. Gone too soon, but not before sharing his phenomenal gift with the world.
#3 “Come Go With Me” – Del Vikings (1957) Not only is this one of my very favorite songs, it’s also the fastest song that I can manage to dance to. Am I really that bad of a dancer? Yes. Yes I am. This is my highest ranked vote for this year’s Love Song Survey.
So you want to know what #1 is? I’m not gonna tell ya! You’ll have to check it out HERE on The Grooveyard’s web site where videos of all the songs that made the countdown are posted in the order of the way they were voted for.
Thanks for reading, folks. See you next time and as Taffyta Muttonfudge would say, “Stay Sweet!” 🍭
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Retro Dee, many thanks for another great post. But my all-time favorite love song of this era is The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes For You”. When it opens with those guitar-only chords and segues then into a dream-like combo of piano and other musical instruments, I am already in Love Heaven. One of the most beautiful covers of any song of any era. Thanks again, and stay sweet! Best, Arline.