Number 45 – 55

Here’s songs 45-55 on the 2019 Great 88:


“Be Bop a Lula” by Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (1956)

The phrase “Be-Bop-A-Lula” is similar to “Be-Baba-Leba”, the title of a No. 3 R&B chart hit for Helen Humes in 1945, which became a bigger hit when recorded by Lionel Hampton as “Hey! Ba-Ba-Re-Bop.” This phrase, or something very similar, was widely used in jazz circles in the 1940s, giving its name to the bebop style, and possibly being ultimately derived from the shout of “Arriba! Arriba!” used by Latin American bandleaders to encourage band members.

2018:  #35, Highest Ranking:  #35 in 2018


“I’ve Had It” by The Bell Notes (1959)

I’ve Had It” reached #6 on the U.S. pop chart and #19 on the U.S. R&B chart in 1959.  The song was ranked #62 on Billboard’s Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1959.

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


“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.

2017:  #68, Highest Ranking:  #28 in 2017


“Lonely Teardrops” by Jackie Wilson (1959)

This was written by the Detroit songwriting team who wrote Wilson’s first several hits – the duo of Tyran Carlo (the pen name of Wilson’s cousin Roquel Davis) and a pre-Motown Berry Gordy Jr. They co-wrote eight other songs for Wilson. At the time, Gordy was a struggling songwriter, but this song – his first Top-10 hit as a songwriter – gave him the confidence to rent a building in Detroit and start the Tamla label, which would become Motown.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #43 in 2016


“Blue Monday” by Fats Domino (1956)

“Blue Monday” is originally written by Dave Bartholomew, and first recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1954.  It was later popularized in a recording by Fats Domino in 1956, with the songwriting credit was shared between Bartholomew and Domino. Most later versions have credited Bartholomew and Domino as co-writers. 

2018:  #64, Highest Ranking: #26 in 2017


“Not Fade Away” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)

This was one of the first pop songs to feature the “Bo Diddley” sound, a series of beats (da, da, da, da-da da) popularized by Diddley, who used it on his first single, the egotistically named “Bo Diddley.”

2018:  #23, Highest Ranking:  #23 in 2018


“Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley (1956)

This was originally recorded in a Blues style by Big Mama Thornton in 1953. Her version was a #1 R&B hit and by far her biggest success. Like many Blues musicians, she never made much money, but was a big influence on many singers who did.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #22 in 2017


“Cathy’s Clown by Everly Brothers (1960)

This was the first Everly Brothers single for Warner Bros. Records. They signed with the label in 1960 after cranking out a string of hits for Cadence Records, which couldn’t afford to re-sign them. Warner Bros. launched in 1958 and was struggling – their only big hit was a novelty song by Edward Byrnes and Connie Stevens called “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb),” which hit #4 in 1959.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #18 in 2013


“Silhouettes by The Rays (1957)

In May 1957, songwriter Bob Crewe saw a couple embracing through a window shade as he passed on a train. He quickly set about turning the image into a song. Frank Slay, who owned the small Philadelphia record label XYZ with Crewe, added lyrics, and they soon had a complete song ready to record.

2018:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #7 in 2017


“The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant (1956)

According to eminent author Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles performed The Wayward Wind live from 1960 through 1961 (in Hamburg and Liverpool and elsewhere). It is unclear whether the lead vocal was by John Lennon or Paul McCartney or both. No recorded version is known to survive. Lewisohn believes that the Gene Vincent 1958 record is the basis of the Beatles version but it may have also been the Tex Ritter one.

2018:  #59, Highest Ranking:  #59 in 2018


“Fingertips Pt 2” by Little Stevie Wonder (1963)

An instrumental studio version of “Fingertips” was included on Wonder’s first album, The Jazz Soul Of Little Stevie, in September 1962. The song was written by the Motown writers Hank Cosby and Clarence Paul. This version of the song is much more mellow, jazzier and flute-heavy than the famous live version, which plays up the horns and harmonica.

2018:  #71, Highest Ranking:  #71 in 2018


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

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