Here’s songs 12-22 on the 2017 Great 88:
“Palisades Park” by Freddy Cannon (1962)
Chuck Barris wrote a song about an amusement park and it was suggested he use the name of an amusement park as the title. One night he was in Manhattan when he looked toward the New Jersey Palisades Cliffs, on which the amusement park sat. That was when inspiration hit and the title was added.
2017: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #2 (2012)
“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.
2017: #306 Highest Ranking: #30 (2016)
“The Twist” by Chubby Checker (1960 and 1962)
Hank Ballard & The Midnighters tried to get a Twist craze going with their original version of the song, doing the dance at their shows as they toured America (their dance was a little different, with band members lifting a leg to twist). It caught on in Philadelphia and in Baltimore, but was far from a national craze until Chubby Checker covered the song.
2017: #2, Highest Ranking: #2 (2017)
“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.
2017: #78, Highest Ranking: #78 (2017)
“Oh Boy!” by Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)
Holly and The Crickets performed this on their second and final Ed Sullivan Show appearance on January 26, 1958. Sullivan was not happy with the song selection, as he considered it too raunchy, but Holly insisted on performing it. Possibly in retaliation, Sullivan introduced him as “Buddy Hollet,” and Holly can be seen trying to turn up his guitar, which had been set too low. While most musical guests were given 2 songs, Holly got just the one.
2017: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #51 (2016)
“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.
2017: #49, Highest Ranking: #37 (2016)
“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).
2017: not on survey, Highest Ranking: #31 (2016)
“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.
2017: $41, Highest Ranking: #19 (2013)
“Duke of Earl” by Gene Chandler (1962)
Vee Jay bought the master tapes to Duke of Earl and wanted to release it immediately, but Nat Records did not want the Dukays’ name on the record. The producers then offered Eugene Dixon a choice: Start a solo career with “Duke of Earl” and be replaced as lead singer of the Dukays by a man named Charles Davis, or stay with the Dukays and have Davis start HIS solo career with “Duke of Earl.” Chandler chose option #2 with the blessings of the group.
2017: #39, Highest Ranking: #16 (2012)
“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.
2017: #48, Highest Ranking: #2 (2016)
“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” by The Shirelles (1961)
When first presented with the song, lead singer Shirley Owens (later known as Shirley Alston-Reeves) did not want to record it, because she thought it was “too country.” She relented after a string arrangement was added.
2017: #5, Highest Ranking: #5 (2017)
Join us for “The Grooveyard” following “Rick’s Redneck Ranch” each Saturday night at 7 PM. We count down the Grooveyard Top Ten songs from the date in history at 8 PM, and your requests on the Grooveyard Party Hour at 9 PM. Hear us on 88.1 FM on Long Island, by clicking the 88.1 FM link on wcwp.org or via the TuneIn app. or the 88.1 FM button on the WCWP app for Android or iPhones. You can also follow us on Twitter.
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