Here’s songs 45-55 on the 2017 Great 88:
“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.
2016: #33, Highest Ranking: #17 (2012)
“Pretty Little Angel Eyes” by Curtis Lee (1961)
When Curtis Lee and co-writer Tommy Boyce first performed the song for their publisher, he wasn’t impressed. “I thought I told you to write me a hit!” He said again. But Boyce and Lee were convinced that they had written a hit and decided to play it for their publisher’s girlfriend, who immediately loved the song. She convinced her boyfriend that they had a smash on their hands and he finally gave the green light for Curtis to record the tune.
2016: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #74 (2015)
“Only You (And You Alone)” by The Platters (1955)
Platters bass singer Herb Reed recalled how the group hit upon its successful version: “We tried it so many times, and it was terrible. One time we were rehearsing in the car … and the car jerked. Tony went ‘O-oHHHH-nly you.’ We laughed at first, but when he sang that song—that was the sign we had hit on something.”
2016: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #24 (2014)
“She Cried” by Jay and the Americans (1962)
The Lettermen released a cover version of the song in 1970 that reached #6 on the Adult Contemporary charts. The song also went to #73 on the Billboard Hot 100 the same year. A cover version by The Shangri-Las, (“He Cried”), peaked at #65 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the spring of 1966, with “Dressed in Black” as the B-side.
2016: not on survey, Highest Ranking: First year on survey
“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: #17 Highest Ranking: #17 (2016)
“Today I Met the Boy I’m Gonna Marry” by Darlene Love (1963)
In the mid-1980s she portrayed herself in the Tony Award-nominated jukebox musical Leader of the Pack, which featured the iconic rock and roll songs written by Ellie Greenwich, many of them for the young Love. Leader of the Pack commenced as a revue at the Greenwich Village nightclub The Bottom Line, with Paul Shaffer as the musical director. That led to her annual appearances on the Christmas edition of Late Night with David Letterman.
2015: not on survey, Highest Ranking: First year on survey
“Angel Baby” by Rosie and the Originals (1961)
Rosie Hamlin wrote this when she was 14 years old. It began as a poem about a boyfriend, and was based on “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” by The Penguins. Rosie had some experience as a singer with a local band, getting the job by telling them she was 16.
2016: #37, Highest Ranking: #37 (2016)
“That’ll Be the Day” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)
Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison, the drummer on the Crickets, saw John Wayne’s movie, “The Searchers”. In the movie, Wayne keeps replying “That’ll be the day” every time another character in the film predicts or proclaims something will happen when he felt it was not likely to happen. The phrase stuck in Jerry’s mind, and when they were hanging out at Jerry’s house one night, Buddy looked at Jerry and said that it sure would be nice if they could record a hit song. Jerry replied with, “That’ll be the day,” mocking John Wayne in the western.
2016: #2, Highest Ranking: #2 (2016)
“Why Do Fools Fall in Love” by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (1956)
The single was released in January 1956 to avoid the Christmas rush. The group was not notified that it was released – they found out when a group member heard a classmate singing it at school.
2016: #36 Highest Ranking: #10 (2015)
“Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley and His Comets (1955)
Most people didn’t know what Rock And Roll was when this was released, so the record company had a hard time describing the song. The label on the single called it a “Novelty Foxtrot.”
2015: #44, Highest Ranking: #26 (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: #16, Highest Ranking: #15 (2012)
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