Here’s songs 45-55 on the 2021 Great 88:
“Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” by Darlene Love (1963)
In the mid-1980s she portrayed herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack, which featured the iconic rock and roll songs written by Ellie Greenwich, many of them for the young Love. Leader of the Pack commenced as a revue at the Greenwich Village nightclub The Bottom Line, with Paul Shaffer as the musical director. That led to her annual appearances on the Christmas edition of Late Night with David Letterman.
2020: #60, Highest Ranking: #50 in 2017
“When” by The Kalin Twins (1958)
The Kalin Twins were the first act with twins to make the Top 10 in the US or UK. The next group to do it was The Bee Gees, whose first American Top 10 was “I’ve Gotta Get A Message To You” in 1968. In the UK, it was the #1 “Massachusetts” in 1967.
2020: #62, Highest Ranking: #14 in 2019
“Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon (1962)
Chuck Barris wrote a song about an amusement park and it was suggested he use the name of an amusement park as the title. One night he was in Manhattan when he looked toward the New Jersey Palisades Cliffs, on which the amusement park sat. That was when inspiration hit and the title was added.
2020: #85, Highest Ranking: #2 in 2012
“Be My Baby” by The Ronettes (1963)
This was written by the songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, who were married at the time. As was his custom, Phil Spector also took a songwriting credit on the track. Barry and Greenwich had a remarkable run of hits in 1963 and 1964, including “Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Chapel Of Love,” “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” and “Leader of the Pack.” They divorced in 1965 but kept working together; one of their post-divorce accomplishments was producing Neil Diamond’s early recordings.
2020: #10, Highest Ranking: #1 in 2019
“Think It Over” by The Crickets (1958)
Buddy Holly and The Crickets were the first big-name white group to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They were booked there in 1957 by a promoter who assumed they were black (this happened from time to time, since most acts were heard long before they were seen). Their show went over well.
2020: #52, Highest Ranking: #52 in 2020
“Whispering Bells” by The Dell-Vikings (1957)
Joan Baez released a version of the song featuring Paul Simon on her 1989 album Speaking of Dreams. It was produced by Simon. He later featured the song on the re-release of his album, Graceland.
2020: #48, Highest Ranking: #25 in 2018
“Only You (And You Alone)” by The Platters (1955)
Platters bass singer Herb Reed recalled how the group hit upon its successful version: “We tried it so many times, and it was terrible. One time we were rehearsing in the car … and the car jerked. Tony went ‘O-oHHHH-nly you.’ We laughed at first, but when he sang that song—that was the sign we had hit on something.”
2020: #46, Highest Ranking: #24 in 2014
“My Special Angel” by Bobby Helms (1957)
Helms’ first single in 1957, titled “Fraulein”, went to No. 1 on the country music chart and made it into the Top 40 on the Billboard Best Sellers in Stores chart. Later that same year, he released “My Special Angel”, which also hit No. 1 on the country charts and entered the Top 10 on Billboard‘s pop music chart, peaking at No. 7.
2020: #57, Highest Ranking: #57 in 2020
“A Hundred Pounds of Clay” by Gene McDaniels (1961)
In the early 60s, the BBC banned the song and wouldn’t allow British radio stations to play it. The controversy arose not from the fact that it was a religious song, but because the censors interpreted the song as suggesting women were created simply to be sexual beings, and the BBC felt something that was considered blasphemous should not air to avoid controversy.
2020: #84, Highest Ranking: #7 in 2018
“Bird Dog” by The Everly Brothers (1958)
This hit the charts two years after Elvis Presley compared his lover to a whiny canine in the #1 hit “Hound Dog.” The harmonizing duo maintained that Elvis, who burst on the scene while they were still trying to land a record deal, wasn’t an influence on their country-flavored rock and roll tunes. Don Everly explained in 1998: “Elvis didn’t have the kind of voice I liked, nor a sound I liked. I was listening to Ray Charles, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, and Bo Diddley.”
2020: #44, Highest Ranking: #44 in 2020
“It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” by Buddy Holly (1959)
This was recorded in mid-October 1958 in New York City. Paul Anka wrote it specifically for Holly. He donated his royalties from the song to Holly’s wife. He said: “‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ has a tragic irony about it now, but at least it will help look after Buddy Holly’s family. I’m giving my composer’s royalty to his widow – it’s the least I can do.”
2020: #47, Highest Ranking: #47 in 2020
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