12 Days of Greats


Here’s the 12 songs that just missed the 2019 Great 88, featured in our annual “12 Days of Greats”:


“Dim Dim the Lights” by Bill Haley and His Comets (1955)

Even Though Haley had already chalked up several hits, including the original chart run of “Rock Around The Clock,” “Crazy Man Crazy,” and “Shake, Rattle and Roll,” this is one of his most significant recordings as it was the first R&B song recorded by a white artist to cross over to the R&B charts. American DJ Alan Freed hailed it as “the grand daddy song of rock n’ roll.”

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first year on survey


“So Much in Love” by The Tymes (1963)

The Tymes were a vocal group from Philadelphia comprised of George Williams, George Hilliard, Al “Ceasar” Berry, Norman Burnett and Donald Banks. “So Much In Love” was the first song they ever recorded.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #53 (2015)


“Heart and Soul” by The Cleftones (1961)

“Heart and Soul” is a popular song, with music by Hoagy Carmichael and lyrics by Frank Loesser, published in 1938.  Two different cover versions charted in 1961, with The Cleftones reaching #18 and Jan and Dean reaching #25. 

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #53 (2014)


“Volare” by Bobby Rydell (1960)

This was the first foreign-language single to top the singles charts in the rock era. Billboard magazine declared Domenico Modugno’s original version  #1 for the year 1958.  Along with Bobby Rydell, Dean Martin (1958), Bobby Rydell and Al Martino (1975) hit the charts with versions with English lyrics written by Michael Parish.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #13 (2012)


“Jennie Lee” by Jan and Arnie (1959)

Jennie Lee (real name: Virginia Lee Hicks) was an exotic dancer famous for her twirling tassels. The band saw her perform at the Follies Burlesk theater in Los Angeles, and decided to write a song about her. The “bomp bomp bomp” chant that can be heard throughout the song was inspired by what the audience sang while she was on stage.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey


“The Angels Listened In” by The Crests (1959)

The Crests were an American doo-wop group, formed by bass vocalist J. T. Carter in the mid-1950s. Their most popular song, “16 Candles”, rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959, selling over one million copies, earning a gold disc. The interracial group had three African American members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian American.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #19 (2017)


“It’s Not for Me to Say” by Johnny Mathis (1957)

“It’s Not for Me to Say” is a 1957 popular song with music by Robert Allen and lyrics by Al Stillman. It was written for the 1957 movie Lizzie (starring Eleanor Parker), and was sung by Johnny Mathis[ in the film.  Mathis’ recording of the song, arranged by Ray Conniff, was the most successful version, reaching number 5 on the Billboard Top 100 singles chart.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


“Honky Tonk” by Bill Doggett (1956)

Honky Tonk” is a rhythm and blues instrumental written by Billy Butler, Bill Doggett, Clifford Scott, and Shep Shepherd. Doggett recorded it as a two-part single in 1956. It peaked at number two for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, and was the biggest R&B hit of the year, spending thirteen non-consecutive weeks at the top of the charts.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


“Topsy (Pt 2)” by Cozy Cole (1958)

The recording contained a long drum solo and was one of the few drum solo recordings to make the charts at Billboard magazine. The single was issued by Love Records, a small record label in Brooklyn.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


“Kiddio” by Brook Benton (1960)

“Kiddio” is a 1960 R&B/pop song written by Brook Benton & Clyde Otis and released as a single by Brook Benton. The song was first recorded and released in 1957 by Teddy Randazzo while both he and Benton recorded for RCA’s Vik label.  Randazzo’s version is featured in the 1957 movie, “Mister Rock and Roll.”

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


“Try the Impossible” by Lee Andrews and the Hearts (1958)

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Lee Andrews & the Hearts among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


“Ahab the Arab” by Ray Stevens (1962)

Clyde the camel was named by Stevens after former Drifters lead singer Clyde McPhatter. For several years in the late 1990s and early 2000s Stevens released albums and video entertainment under the label Clyde Records (complete with camel-shaped logo).

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First time on survey


Check out all the songs that made the Great 88 here. You can also see the first round results here.

WCWP logo newJoin us  for “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM.  We count down the Grooveyard Top Ten songs from the date in history at 8 PM, and your requests on the Grooveyard Party Hour at 9 PM.  Hear us on 88.1 FM on Long Island, by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org or via the TuneIn app.  or the 88.1 FM button on the WCWP app for Android or iPhones.  You can also follow us on Twitter.

It’s Saturday nights with. . .

“The Grooveyard”

…Where Oldies Come Alive!


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