Number 56 – 66

Here’s songs 56-66 on the 2018 Great 88:


“A White Sport Coat and a Pink Carnation” by Marty Robbins (1957)

Robbins rwrote the song in approximately twenty minutes while being transported in a standard automobile.  He is said to have had the inspiration for the song while driving from a motel to a venue in Ohio where he was due to perform that evening. During the course of the journey, he passed a local high school, where its students were dressed ready for their prom.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  first time on survey



“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.

2017:  #15 Highest Ranking:  #15 (2017)



“Blue Monday” by Fats Domino (1956)

“Blue Monday” is originally written by Dave Bartholomew, and first recorded by Smiley Lewis in 1954.  It was later popularized in a recording by Fats Domino in 1956, with the songwriting credit was shared between Bartholomew and Domino. Most later versions have credited Bartholomew and Domino as co-writers. 

2017:  #26, Highest Ranking:  #26 (2017)



“A Thousand Stars” by Kathy Young and the Innocents (1960)

 Kathy Young rose to stardom in 1960, when producer Jim Lee of Indigo Records chose a Sun Valley-based band, The Innocents, to sing back-up vocals for her on a cover version of The Rivileers’ 1954 recording of “A Thousand Stars”. Two years earlier Lee had organized The Innocents for an appearance on Wink Martindale’s pop music TV show.

2017:  #23, Highest Ranking:  #23 (2017)



“Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)” by The Impalas (1959)

The Impalas recorded for Hamilton Records and were found by songwriters Artie Zwirn and Aristides “Gino” Giosasi, who wrote the song “Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)”. In 1959 disc jockey Alan Freed heard the group, added his name as a writer of the song and got them a deal with MGM Records subsidiary label Cub. The song sold over one million copies, earning gold disc status.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #53 (2016)



“Think It Over” by The Crickets (1958)

Buddy Holly and The Crickets were the first big-name white group to play the Apollo Theater in Harlem. They were booked there in 1957 by a promoter who assumed they were black (this happened from time to time, since most acts were heard long before they were seen). Their show went over well.

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



“Tonight Tonight” by The Mello-Kings (1957)

Originally named the Mellotones, the group was signed to the Herald label. “Tonite Tonite” was written by Billy Myles, a staff composer for the label. The group was forced to change its name after the single’s release, as another group had already claimed Mellotones. The record lasted only ten weeks in the US pop, and the group was never able to repeat this success.

2017: #73  Highest Ranking:  #69 (2015)


“The Wayward Wind” by Gogi Grant (1956)

According to eminent author Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles performed The Wayward Wind live from 1960 through 1961 (in Hamburg and Liverpool and elsewhere). It is unclear whether the lead vocal was by John Lennon or Paul McCartney or both. No recorded version is known to survive. Lewisohn believes that the Gene Vincent 1958 record is the basis of the Beatles version but it may have also been the Tex Ritter one.

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



“Come Softly to Me” by The Fleetwoods (1959)

Originally “Come Softly,” the title of this song was changed because Dolphin (later Dolton) Records owner Bob Reisdorff feared that AM radio DJs would think it to be too suggestive. He was being extra-cautious, Dolphin Records was formed by the Seattle DJ for the sole purpose of distributing Fleetwoods records.

2017:  not on survey, Highest Ranking:  #78 (2014)


“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 and scored 41 chart toppers on the Country charts before dying from cardiac arrest in 1993.

2017:  #16, Highest Ranking:  #8 (2013)



“Sea Cruise” by Frankie Ford (1959)

The song was originally recorded by Huey Smith and the Clowns, but Frankie Ford’s lead vocal replaced Huey Smith’s while the group was on tour. Smith was furious when he heard the finished product. It was credited to Frankie Ford with Huey “Piano” Smith and The Clowns.

2017:  #38, Highest Ranking:  #38 (2017)


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

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