Number 12-22


Here’s songs 12-22 on the 2016 Great 88:


“You Were Mine” by The Fireflies (1959)

The Fireflies were an American doo-wop group from Long Island from the late 1950s to early 1960s. They were one of the first groups in which all band members both sang and played instruments. In addition, The Fireflies were the first all white vocal harmonizing group to appear at The Apollo Theater

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first year on survey


“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.

2015:  #40, Highest Ranking:  #8 (2013)


“The Loco-Motion” by Little Eva (1962)

One day Carole King came up with a melody that her husband, Gerry Goffin thought sounded like a locomotive, and when he saw Eva dancing with their daughter to the tune, he got the idea to make the song about a brand new dance – The Loco-Motion. He wrote the lyrics and they brought Eva–their babysitter–to the studio and had her record the song as a demo – they were hoping Dee Dee Sharp would sing it. Their producer Don Kirshner thought Eva’s vocal was just fine, so they named her Little Eva and had her record the song.

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #45 (2012)


“Earth Angel” by The Penguins (1954)

One of the most popular Doo Wop songs of all time, “Earth Angel” was just the second Doo Wop song to hit the Top 10 on the Pop charts, following the Chords’ “Sh-Boom.”

2015:  #12, Highest Ranking:  #12 (2015)


“Duke of Earl” by Gene Chandler (1962)

Vee Jay bought the master tapes to Duke of Earl and wanted to release it immediately, but Nat Records did not want the Dukays’ name on the record.  The producers then offered Eugene Dixon a choice: Start a solo career with “Duke of Earl” and be replaced as lead singer of the Dukays by a man named Charles Davis, or stay with the Dukays and have Davis start HIS solo career with “Duke of Earl.” Chandler chose option #2 with the blessings of the group.

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #16 (2012)


“Little Star” by The Elegants (1958)

This was the only hit for this Staten Island group, heard here with the unreleased demo version of the song. They adopted the name after a member saw a billboard ad for Schenley’s Whiskey — the ad had the phrase “liquor of elegance.” 

2015: not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #38 (2014)


“Peggy Sue” by Buddy Holly (1957)

Holly wrote this about Peggy Sue Gerron, who was dating Holly’s drummer with The Crickets, Jerry Allison. Holly was not involved with Peggy Sue, but liked the name for the song. Allison and Peggy Sue eventually got married, but divorced 11 years later.

2015:  #51, Highest Ranking:  #15 (2012)


“Runaround Sue” by Dion (1961)

In a 2009 interview with Blueswax, Dion revealed that his wife tells people this song is about her, even though she knows it isn’t. Said Dion: “She goes around telling everybody, ‘Yeah, I’m Runaround Sue.’ I said, ‘Why do you tell people that?’ She says, ‘They remember me.’ She said, ‘If I don’t tell them that, they won’t remember me.'”

2015:  #14, Highest Ranking:  #6 (2012)



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

Phil Phillips was born John Phillip Baptiste in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and in 1958 he was working there as a bellhop. There was a girl named Verdie Mae Thomas who he was trying to impress, 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.”

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey


“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” by The Tokens (1961)

This was popularized in the 1930s by South African singer Solomon Linda, who recorded it in 1939 with his group, The Evening Birds. Apparently they were a bold bunch, and got the idea for this from when they used to chase lions who were going after the cattle owned by their families.

2015:  #3, Highest Ranking:  #3 (2015)



“A Teenager in Love” by Dion and the Belmonts (1959)

This song about a schoolboy with a delicate heart was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Like Dion & The Belmonts, Pomus and Shuman were from New York City. Other songs they wrote include “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Let’s Live For Today” and “This Magic Moment.”

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first year on survey

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

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