Number 45 – 55

Here’s songs 45-55 on the 2018 Great 88:


“Heartbeat” by Buddy Holly (1958)

“Heartbeat” was the second to last of Holly’s singles to be released during his lifetime. It was a minor hit in the United States, reaching number 82 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.  The single had more chart impact in the UK, reaching number 30 in January 1959 and again upon its reissue in April 1960.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey



“It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” by Buddy Holly (1959)

This was recorded in mid-October 1958 in New York City. Paul Anka wrote it specifically for Holly. He donated his royalties from the song to Holly’s wife. He said: “‘It Doesn’t Matter Anymore’ has a tragic irony about it now, but at least it will help look after Buddy Holly’s family. I’m giving my composer’s royalty to his widow – it’s the least I can do.”

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #77 (2016)



“Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson (1958)

This was written by a teenage Sharon Sheeley when she was still attending high school in Newport Beach. The result: she became the first female writer to compose an American #1 without any help from a male partner. 

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #87 (2014)



“Bird Dog” by The Everly Brothers (1958)

This hit the charts two years after Elvis Presley compared his lover to a whiny canine in the #1 hit “Hound Dog.” The harmonizing duo maintained that Elvis, who burst on the scene while they were still trying to land a record deal, wasn’t an influence on their country-flavored rock and roll tunes. Don Everly explained in 1998: “Elvis didn’t have the kind of voice I liked, nor a sound I liked. I was listening to Ray Charles, Brownie McGhee & Sonny Terry, and Bo Diddley.”

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey



“A Teenager in Love” by Dion and the Belmonts (1959)

This song about a schoolboy with a delicate heart was written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Like Dion & The Belmonts, Pomus and Shuman were from New York City. Other songs they wrote include “Save the Last Dance for Me,” “Let’s Live For Today” and “This Magic Moment.”

2017:  #77 Highest Ranking:  #12 (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.”

2017:  #20, Highest Ranking:  #20 (2017)



“Sea of Love” by Phil Philips with the Twilights (1959)

Two other versions of this song entered the US Top-40. First, Del Shannon hit #33 in 1984, then The Honeydrippers took it to #2 in 1984. The Honeydrippers were a pet side project of Robert Plant’s, scratching his itch to have an R&B band. They were made up of Led Zeppelin alumni Plant and Jimmy Page, Yardbirds alumnus Jeff Beck, Nile Rodgers from the band Chic (Yowza, yowza, yowza!), and Paul Shaffer (Late Night with David Letterman bandleader). 

2017:  #21, Highest Ranking:  #14 (2016)


“Stay” by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs (1960)

The song was written by Williams in 1953 when he was 15 years old. He had been trying to convince his date not to go home at 10 o’clock as she was supposed to. He lost the argument, but as he was to relate years later, “Like a flood, the words just came to me.”  It became a hit after being put on a demo recording by the group seven years later.

2017:  #8, Highest Ranking:  #8 (2017)



“Maybe Baby” by The Crickets (1958)

“Maybe Baby” was recorded at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, Oklahoma in the wee hours of September 29, 1957, while Buddy Holly and The Crickets were on a tour and played that same night, at Oklahoma City Municipal Auditorium with the Show Of Stars ’57.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #33 (2013)


“Lucille” by Little Richard (1956)

This song began as a ballad Richard wrote called “Directly From My Heart to You,” which he recorded as a member of The Johnny Otis band in 1955. “Directly From My Heart to You” was released by Peacock Records as a B-side, and when Little Richard recorded for Specialty Records in September 1955, he tried recording the song for his first album. It didn’t make the cut, but Richard’s career took off, and when he needed another single in 1957, he revived the song, but gave it the sound that made him a star, speeding up the tempo considerably.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  First year on survey



“Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry (1958)

This song is based on Berry’s life. It tells the tale of a boy with humble beginnings with a talent for guitar. Some details were changed: Berry was from St. Louis, not Louisiana, and he knew how to read and write very well. He graduated from beauty school with a degree in hairdressing and cosmetology.

2017:  #37, Highest Ranking:  #27 (2016)


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

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