Number 78 – 88


Here’s songs 78-88 on the 2016 Great 88:


“Money” by Barrett Strong (1960)

This was the only hit for Barrett Strong as an artist, but he wrote many classic songs with fellow Motown writer Norman Whitfield, including “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” “War” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Growing up, Strong was a member of a gospel group called The Strong Singers. He was just 18 when he recorded “Money.”

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


“Roll Over Beethoven” by Chuck Berry (1956)

Berry was careful to write lyrics that told a coherent story, which in this case follows a young many as he pursues his favorite music. Berry also took care to deliver his lyrics clearly so a wider audience could understand them. This helped him avoid the fate of many Little Richard songs: more popular, but sanitized covers by Pat Boone.

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


“Walk Like a Man” by Four Seasons (1963)

This was recorded under extraordinary circumstances – they recorded it in a burning building! According to guitarist Vinne Bell, their producer, Bob Crewe, locked the door to the studio (a standard practice on recording day), then after a while – and a couple of bad takes – the musicians smelled smoke and there was a pounding on the studio door. Crewe refused to unlock it, even though plaster was falling from the ceiling, because he wanted one more take to perfect the song. The musicians were afraid of electrocution as water leaked into the studio. The session ended when firemen axed open the studio door and knocked Crewe to the floor in the process.

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


“Maybellene” by Chuck Berry (1955)

There are a few different stories floating around about how the song got its name. Berry has said that Maybellene was the name of a cow in child’s nursery rhyme, but Johnnie Johnson recalled that there was a box of Maybellene mascara in the office, which gave Leonard Chess the idea for the title.

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


“Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry (1956)

Henry used his trademark croak to improvise the song “Ain’t Got No Home” one night in 1955. Chess Records’ A&R man Paul Gayten heard the song, and had him record it in Cosimo Matassa’s studio in September 1956.  The gimmick earned Henry his nickname of ‘Frogman’ and jump-started a career that endures to this day.

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


“Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley (1962)

This was Elvis’ most popular and famous “love song,” but it was not sung to his love interest in Blue Hawaii – It was sung to his grandmother on the occasion of her birthday. Elvis presented her with a music box, which she opened and it played the song, which Elvis then sang along with.

2015:  #9, Highest Ranking:  #9 (2015)



“(Love Is Like a) Heat Wave” by Martha and the Vandellas (1963)

Martha & the Vandellas became the first Motown group ever to receive a Grammy Award nomination when this song was nominated in 1964 for Best Rhythm & Blues Recording; it lost to Ray Charles’ hit “Busted.”

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


“Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

Like Lewis’ previous hit, “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” this contained a lot of sexual innuendo, which was shocking for a southern musician in 1957. Lewis grew up in a religious household and was conflicted over whether or not he should record this. He and Sun Records owner Sam Phillips argued as Phillips tried to convince him to sing it.

2015:  #57, Highest Ranking:  #52 (2014)



“Telstar” by The Tornadoes (1962)

This was the best-selling British single of 1962. It was also the first song by a British group to hit #1 in the US. This did not happen again until The Beatles “I Want To Hold Your Hand” in 1964.

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


“All I Have to Do Is Dream” by The Everly Brothers (1958)

Chet Atkins played tremolo-style guitar chords on the song, providing an interesting musical backing to the Everly Brothers’ unique vocal harmonies.

2015:  #41, Highest Ranking:  #7 (2013)



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

This song was written by the duo, Shirley Goodman and Leonard Lee.  Shirley later recorded the disco hit “Shame Shame Shame” as half of Shirley and Company. 

2015:  not in survey, Highest Ranking:  #14 (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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