Here’s songs 45-55 on the 2020 Great 88:
“Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino (1956)
This was written by Vincent Rose, Al Lewis and Larry Stock for the 1940 Western The Singing Hill before they decided it was good enough to be released commercially. The song was used in the movie, where it was heard for the first time performed by Gene Autry.
2019: #15, Highest Ranking: #3 in 2017
“Sealed With a Kiss” by Brian Hyland (1962)
This archetypal American high-school teen love song was composed by Gary Geld and lyricist Peter Udell. The duo began their writing partnership in the early sixties and wrote over 100 songs together. One of their first songs was this, which they wrote in 1960 and was a hit for Brian Hyland two years later.
2019: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #27 in 2017
“Claudette” by Everly Brothers (1958)
This song was written by Roy Orbison as a rocking tribute to his wife Claudette. It was the first major songwriting success for the then unknown Big O, who subsequently terminated his contract with Sun Records and affiliated himself with the Everly’s publisher, Acuff-Rose Music.
2019: #69, Highest Ranking: #69 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.
2019: #76, Highest Ranking: #61 in 2018
“It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty (1958)
Conway Twitty was US singer Harold Lloyd Jenkins. He changed his name in 1957 upon signing with Sun Records (although nothing was released) and the next year he switched to MGM with whom he recorded this. He changed his musical style to country in 1965 and scored 41 chart toppers on the Country charts before dying from cardiac arrest in 1993.
2019: #32, Highest Ranking: #8 in 2013
“A Wonderful Dream” by The Majors (1962)
The Majors were an American R&B and doo-wop group from Philadelphia. The vocal ensemble formed in 1961, and featured as its lead singer Ricky Cordo, who was noted for his prominent falsetto. The group was noticed by producer Jerry Ragovoy, who produced their hit single “A Wonderful Dream”, released in 1962 on Imperial Records. It would be the first of three charting hits for the group.
2019: not on survey, Highest Ranking: first time on survey
“My True Story” by The Jive Five (1961)
The single was the biggest hit for the group on both the R&B and pop charts. “My True Story” made it to number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and was number one on the R&B Sides chart for three weeks. Lead singer Eugene Pitt co-wrote the song.
2019: #6, Highest Ranking: #3 in 2016
“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.
2019: #73, Highest Ranking: #25 in 2018
“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.”
2019: #71, Highest Ranking: #54 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.”
2019: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #24 (2014)
“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” by Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)
Radio stations found all kinds of reasons not to play this song: It was too suggestive, he cursed on it, (“We-e-ll-a” sounded like “We-hella”), he sounded black (most stations didn’t play songs by black artists). Still, the song sold well in the southern United States, but it wasn’t until Lewis’ TV debut on The Steve Allen Show on July 28, 1957 that it became a national hit and sold over 6 million copies. The song also generated a lot of controversy, as the lyrics are rather lascivious and quite shocking coming from a singer from the Bible Belt.
2019: #27, Highest Ranking: #15 in 2017
Listen to “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM on 88.1 FM on Long Island or by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org, via the TuneIn app. or the WCWP app on your iPhone or Android device. You can also follow us on Twitter. and on the Facebook groups for the show and WCWP.
It’s Saturday nights with. . .