Number 56 – 66

Here’s songs 56-66 on the 2020 Great 88:


“Chances Are” by Johnny Mathis (1957)

Mathis was the king of make-out music. Around the release of Johnny’s Greatest Hits, a promotional billboard overlooking Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles proclaimed, “Feel like making love? Try Johnny Mathis. Millions have.”  In the 1982 movie Diner, set in 1959, Eddie (Steve Guttenberg), Shrevie (Daniel Stern), and Modell (Paul Reiser) get into an argument when one of them compares Mathis to Frank Sinatra. It finally comes down to Modell asking, “Who do you make-out to? Sinatra or Mathis?” Eddie begrudgingly replies, “Mathis.”

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #20 in 2014


“Let the Good Times Roll” by Shirley and Lee (1956)

The song was covered by Sonny & Cher (as Caesar and Cleo in 1964), Harry Nilsson on the album Nilsson Schmilsson (1971), The Youngbloods on the album Good and Dusty (1971), and was on English rock band Slade’s third album titled Slayed? which was released in November 1972.  It also appeared on a 2018 TV commercial for Walmart.

2019:  not in survey, Highest Ranking:  #14 in 2014


“Hey Little Girl” by Dee Clark (1959)

Clark embarked on a solo career in 1957, initially following the styles of Clyde McPhatter and Little Richard. When Little Richard temporarily abandoned his music career to study the Bible, Clark fulfilled Richard’s remaining live dates and also recorded with his backing band, the Upsetters.

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey


“Wipe Out” by The Surfaris (1963)

After thinking about calling this song “Stiletto” (with the sound of a switchblade knife opening the song), The Surfaris decided to crack a half-broken 2-by-4 over the microphone and call the song “Wipe Out.” It was the group’s producer/manager Dale Smallin who performed the famous Witch Laugh at the beginning of the song, which he added just for fun, as no one expected the song to be more than just a throwaway B-side.

2019:  #88, Highest Ranking:  #88 in 2019


“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.

2019:  #14, Highest Ranking:  #14 in 2019


“Sea of Love” by Phil Philips with the Twilights (1959)

Philips was trying to impress a girl named Verdie Mae Thomas, and since he was good with a guitar, he decided to do it with a song. In the Billboard Book of One Hit Wonders, Phillips is quoted as saying: “I had my guitar, so I went and wrote this song, ‘Sea of Love.’ You see, she really didn’t believe in me. But I felt if I could sing about it – a sea of love where it’s quiet and peaceful – I could really show her how much I loved her and cared for her.”

2019:  #30, Highest Ranking:  #14 in 2016


“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.

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #50 in 2017


“Easier Said Than Done” by The Essex (1963)

The Essex were active-duty members of the United States Marine Corps at the time, as was Bill Linton, who wrote the song with Larry Huff at the request of Essex member Walter Vickers. Linton said the song’s rhythm was inspired by the sound of the Teletype machines in the communications office at Camp Lejeune

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey


“It’s All in the Game” by Tommy Edwards (1958)

This is the only #1 hit ever written by a US Vice President. It was composed in 1911 by then-banker Charles Gates Dawes, who became VP under Calvin Coolidge in 1925. The lyrics were added in 1951 by the Brill Building songwriter Carl Sigman, who also changed the song’s name to “It’s All in the Game.”

2019:  #28, Highest Ranking:  #20 in 2017


“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 Billboards pop music chart, peaking at No. 7.

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey


“Over the Mountain, Across the Sea” by Johnnie and Joe (1957)

Johnnie Louise Richardson  and Joe Rivers  began singing together in 1957 and released several singles on Chess Records, which were leased from J & S Records, to whom the duo were under contract. Richardson was the daughter of the J&S label owner, Zelma “Zell” Sanders, who had been a touring member of The Hearts

2019:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey

Check out all the songs that made the 2020 Great 88 here. You can also see the first round results here.

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, 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. . .

“The Grooveyard”

…Where Oldies Come Alive!

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