Here’s songs 34-44 on the 2021 Great 88:
“Mr. Lee” by The Bobbettes (1957)
In 1959, the Bobbettes recorded the sequel to this song, “I Shot Mr. Lee” (which revealed what the group really felt of him) but it remained unreleased. When Atlantic released them from their contract, they signed with a small label called Triple-X, where they rerecorded it and it reached #52 in the US. Atlantic responded to its release by releasing their original version of it.
2020: not on survey, Highest Ranking: first time on survey
“Then He Kissed Me” by The Crystals (1963)
By July 1963, Phil Spector had already made the Hot 100 with seven chart hits that he produced. He successfully ended his partnership with Lester Sill and began his marriage to Annette Merar. Shortly after his marriage, Spector traveled to New York looking for a song to follow up on The Crystals success with “Da Doo Ron Ron.” “Then He Kissed Me” was the perfect song for the group and Phil put together one of his most extravagant productions for the record.
2020: #83, Highest Ranking: #12 in 2013
“A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” by Marty Robbins (1957)
Robbins rwrote the song in approximately twenty minutes while being transported in a standard automobile. He is said to have had the inspiration for the song while driving from a motel to a venue in Ohio where he was due to perform that evening. During the course of the journey, he passed a local high school, where its students were dressed ready for their prom.
2020: #18, Highest Ranking: #18 in 2020
“Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers (1960)
Inspired by one of Don Everly’s ex-girlfriends, this song is about a guy Cathy dumps. He tries to be strong, but everyone knows him as “Cathy’s Clown” because she treated him so bad.
2020: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #18 in 2013
“Searchin’” by The Coasters (1957)
Paul McCartney chose “Searchin’” as one of his must-have songs in a 1982 broadcast of the BBC radio show Desert Island Discs. The Beatles also picked this song to audition for Decca records in 1962.
2020: #5, Highest Ranking: #5 in 2020
“Sixty Minute Man” by Billy Ward and the Dominos (1951)
Billy Ward and His Dominoes were a big deal in the 1950s, being one of the best-selling acts of that decade and having three Billboard Top-40 hits by the end of the decade. It was an integrated group, named for the black and white on dominoes. Billy Ward, who played piano for the group, lived to the ripe old age of 80.
2020: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #22 in 2015
“Oh Boy!” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)
Holly and The Crickets performed this on their second and final Ed Sullivan Show appearance on January 26, 1958. Sullivan was not happy with the song selection, as he considered it too raunchy, but Holly insisted on performing it. Possibly in retaliation, Sullivan introduced him as “Buddy Hollet,” and Holly can be seen trying to turn up his guitar, which had been set too low. While most musical guests were given 2 songs, Holly got just the one.
2020: #41, Highest Ranking: #18 in 2018
“Be Bop a Lula” by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps (1956)
Recorded in Nashville on May 4, 1956, this was released as the B-side of Vincent’s first single, a provocative number called “Woman Love.” Radio stations in the United States wanted nothing to do with “Woman Love,” and the BBC banned it, so Capitol flipped the sides and put out “Be-Bop-a-Lula” as the A-side; for some reason the scandalous “Woman Love” was deemed inoffensive when relegated to a B-side.
2020: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #35 in 2018
“Earth Angel” by The Penguins (1954)
The song was recorded in June 1954, and released in September. It was issued as the B-side of another song called “Hey Senorita,” but DJs flipped the record and “Earth Angel” was deemed the A-side. It was a huge hit, and landed The Penguins a major label record deal with Mercury Records. The Penguins never had another hit, although a re-release of “Earth Angel” bubbled under at #101 in 1960.
2020: #81, Highest Ranking: #2 in 2018
“Bristol Stomp” by The Dovells (1961)
“Bristol Stomp” was written by Kal Mann and Dave Appell, two executives with the Cameo-Parkway record label. It was originally recorded by a group from Bristol, Pennsylvania, Terry and the Appeljacks (Terry Appel was the son of Dave Appel). The recording by Terry and the Appeljacks made neither the Billboard Hot 100 nor the “Bubbling Under” charts.
2020: #29, Highest Ranking: #29 in 2020
“All I Have to Do Is Dream” by Everly Brothers (1958)
Chet Atkins played tremolo-style guitar chords on the song, providing an interesting musical backing to the Everly Brothers’ unique vocal harmonies.
2020: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #7 in 2013
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