Number 12 – 22


Here’s songs 12-22 on the 2017 Great 88:


“Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley (1956)

This was originally recorded in a Blues style by Big Mama Thornton in 1953. Her version was a #1 R&B hit and by far her biggest success. Like many Blues musicians, she never made much money, but was a big influence on many singers who did.

2016:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #32 (2014)



“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:  #14, Highest Ranking:  #14 (2016)



“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.”

2016:  #23, Highest Ranking:  #23 2016)



“The Angels Listened In” by The Crests (1959)

The Crests were an American doo-wop group, formed by bass vocalist J. T. Carter in the mid-1950s. Their most popular song, “16 Candles”, rose to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1959, selling over one million copies, earning a gold disc. The interracial group had three African American members (one female), one Puerto Rican, and one Italian American.

2016:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey



“New Orleans” by Gary US Bonds (1960)

 Producer Frank  Guida chose Anderson’s stage name, U.S. Bonds, in hopes that it would be confused with a public service announcement advertising the sale of government bonds and thereby garner more radio airplay.  This was his first hit song.

2016:  #41, Highest Ranking:  #41 (2016)



“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.'”

2016:  #15, Highest Ranking:  #6 (2012)



“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.

2016:  #21, Highest Ranking:  #8 (2013)


“Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” by Jerry Lee Lewis (1957)

Radio stations found all kinds of reasons not to play this song: It was too suggestive, he cursed on it, (“We-e-ll-a” sounded like “We-hella”), he sounded black (most stations didn’t play songs by black artists). Still, the song sold well in the southern United States, but it wasn’t until Lewis’ TV debut on The Steve Allen Show on July 28, 1957 that it became a national hit and sold over 6 million copies. The song also generated a lot of controversy, as the lyrics are rather lascivious and quite shocking coming from a singer from the Bible Belt.

2016:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey



“I Wonder Why” by Dion and the Belmonts (1958)

 The song was used in the film A Bronx Tale, in the pilot episode of the television series The Sopranos, and in John Carpenter’s film adaption of Stephen King’s “Christine”

2016:  #7, Highest Ranking:  #7 (2016)


“Ain’t That a Shame” by Fats Domino (1955)

This was the first song to crossover from the R&B charts to the mostly white pop charts of the day. Like several other songs previously heard exclusively in black bars or nightclubs, this was covered by the crooning Pat Boone.  Boone’s cover was a huge hit, going to #1 on the US Pop charts and reaching #7 in the UK. This gave Domino’s original recording a boost, and helped it cross over.

2016:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #36 (2015)



“My True Love” by Jack Scott (1960)

Jack Scott ws born in Windsor, Ontario (Canada) and moved to a Detroit suburb when he was 10. He was the first white rock and roll star to come out of Detroit, Michigan. He was inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been called “undeniably the greatest Canadian rock and roll singer of all time.

2016:  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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