Number 23-33

GROOVEYARD 88_FINAL 2

Here’s songs 23-33 on the 2016 Great 88:

#33

“A Hundred Pounds of Clay” by Gene McDaniels (1961)

The song reached #3 on the Billboard chart and #11 on the R&B chart in 1961.  It was also featured in the 1987 movie The Year My Voice Broke.

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #17 (2012)

#32

“Little Darlin’ ” by The Diamonds (1957)

It was written by Maurice Williams with both melody and doo-wop accompaniment strongly emphasizing the clave rhythm. It was first recorded by Excello Records in January 1957 and quickly released as a rhythm-and-blues song by Williams’ R&B group, The Gladiolas.

2015:  #55, Highest Ranking:  #4 (2014)

#31

“The Wah-Watusi” by The Orlons (1962)

There were three songs about the Watusi dance. This was the second song and biggest hit about the dance. The first was “The Watusi” (by the Vibrations, US #25), and the third was “El Watusi” (by Ray Barretto, US #17).

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

#30

“Up on the Roof” by The Drifters (1963)

First recorded by Little Eva, this breezy summertime song evokes the high-rise apartments in American cities where urban dwellers could escape from the stresses of daily living by climbing onto the tar “beaches” on the roofs of their buildings. 

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #51 (2014)

#29

“I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos (1959)

This song was written by Henry Warren and Al Dubin. The first recording was probably made by Ben Selvin in 1934. The Flamingos recorded it in 1959 for the musical Dames starring Joan Blondell, and it also appeared on the American Graffiti soundtrack from 1973.

2015:  #5, Highest Ranking:  #5 (2015)

#28

“Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley (1956)

This was written by Otis Blackwell, a songwriter who came up with a lot of hits for Elvis. In addition to this, he also wrote “Return to Sender,” “All Shook Up,” and “One Broken Heart for Sale” for Elvis. He also wrote “Fever,” which was made famous by Peggy Lee, and “Great Balls Of Fire” for Jerry Lee Lewis. Blackwell died in 2002 at age 70.

2015: #17, Highest Ranking:  #17 (2015)

#27

“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry (1958)

This song is based on Berry’s life. It tells the tale of a boy with humble beginnings with a talent for guitar. Some details were changed: Berry was from St. Louis, not Louisiana, and he knew how to read and write very well. He graduated from beauty school with a degree in hairdressing and cosmetology.

2015:  #50, Highest Ranking:  #50 (2015)

#26

“Louie Louie” by The Kingsmen (1963)

This was  written by an R&B singer named Richard Berry in 1955. With his group The Pharaohs, he was also the first to record it, and it got some airplay in some cities in the Western US when it was released in 1957. Various garage bands heard it and started covering the song, until it became a phenomena with the Kingsmen’s version.

2015:  #81, Highest Ranking:  #56 (2014)

 

#25

“Blueberry Hill” by Fats Domino (1956)

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin performed this song on December 10, 2010 at a charity event in front of an audience of international film and television celebrities. Videos of his performance quickly went viral worldwide. Putin’s spokesman said the former KGB chief learned the lyrics to the song as part of his English language studies.

2015:  #32, Highest Ranking:  #32 (2015)

#24

“He’s So Fine” by The Chiffons (1963)

In 1971, George Harrison released “My Sweet Lord,” which prompted Bright Tunes Music, which owned the publishing rights to “He’s So Fine,” to sue for plagiarism, as the songs were musically similar. The case wasn’t heard until 1976, as Bright Tunes had gone into receivership. Harrison proved that he was not trying to copy “He’s So Fine,” but the judge ruled that his intent was irrelevant, as he copied the distinct musical patterns in the song.

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #19 (2013)

 

#23

“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.”

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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