Number 56-66


Here’s songs 56-66 on the 2016 Great 88:


“Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran (1958)

This was supposed to be the B-side of “Love Again,” which was written by 17-year-old Sharon Sheeley. It was clear that this was the bigger hit, but Sheeley eventually became Cochran’s girlfriend. She was in the car when it crashed and killed him in 1960.

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


“One Fine Day” by The Chiffons (1963)

This was written by songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. It was intended for Little Eva, who was the babysitter for King and Goffin and had a hit the year earlier with their song “Locomotion.” Her voice did not sound right when they recorded it, so this went to The Chiffons. Carole King finally released her “official” version two decades later; her version reached #12 in the US.

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


“Donna” by Ritchie Valens (1959)

According to Donna Ludwig (who later became Donna Fox), Valens told her that he was writing a song about her, but the first time she heard it was on the radio in her car. Her girlfriends went justifiably crazy and got even more excited when the DJ played it again.

2015:  #58, Highest Ranking:  #45 (2014)


“Shout (Parts 1 and 2)” by The Isley Brothers (1959)

The Isleys wrote this on the spur of the moment at a Washington, DC, concert in mid-1959. As they performed Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops,” Ronald Isley ad-libbed, “WELLLLLLLLLLL… you know you make me want to SHOUT” and Rudy and O’Kelly joined in on the improvisation. The audience went wild and afterwards, RCA executive Howard Bloom suggested putting it out as their first RCA single.

2015:  #35, Highest Ranking:  #35 (2015)


“Love is Strange” by Mickey and Sylvia (1957)

This song was written by Bo Diddley, but he published it under the name of his wife, Ethel Smith, due to a legal dispute with his record company. His version can be found on I’m a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958. The song is about the complexities of love – how it can be addictive and lead to madness.  

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


“Poetry in Motion” by Johnny Tillotson (1960)

The song was written by Paul Kaufman and Mike Anthony, who said that the inspiration for it came from looking up from their work and seeing a procession of young ladies from a nearby school pass by on the sidewalk outside each afternoon. The recording session featured saxophonist Boots Randolph and pianist Floyd Cramer.

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


“The Great Pretender” by The Platters (1956)

You can hear a female voice harmonizing on this song. That would be Zola Taylor, who was brought in as the only female member of The Platters. She was Frankie Lymon’s second wife, and was portrayed in the movie Why Do Fools Fall In Love by Halle Berry.

2015:  #43, Highest Ranking:  #27 (2013)


“Our Day Will Come” by Ruby and the Romantics (1963)

Dionne Warwick recorded the original demo of the song for songwriter Bob Hilliard and she told him how much she liked it.  In 1982, the song was included as the only cover on her 1982 album Heartbreaker.

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



“You Send Me” by Sam Cooke (1957)

Cooke was signed to Specialty Records, which was a Gospel label. Cooke’s producer, Bumps Blackwell, brought this to Art Rupe, who owned the label. Rupe objected to the use of the choir on this track and was afraid it was too secular and would alienate the label’s Gospel fans. He offered Cooke a release from his contract in exchange for outstanding royalties. The song was passed to the Keen label where it sold over 2 million copies.

2015:  #78, Highest Ranking:  #31 (2014)


“The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” by Bobby Vee (1963)

Bobby Vee and a hastily-assembled band of Fargo, North Dakota, schoolboys calling themselves the Shadows volunteered for and were given the unenviable job of filling in for Buddy Holly and his band at the Moorhead, Minnesota engagement following the infamous plane crash that killed Holly.

2015:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #2 (2013)



“Rave On” by Buddy Holly (1958)

This was written by Sonny West, Bill Tilghman and Norman Petty and recorded in January 1958 at Petty’s New Mexico studio where Holly laid down most of his hits. Petty wanted to give it to another act, but Holly protested and persuaded the songwriters to let him record it.

2015:  #33, Highest Ranking:  #13 (2014)

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

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