Music of the 60s

Find Your Favorite Song 

 

MUSIC OF THE 60s
  • There were 203 songs that hit #1 in this 10-year period.
  • Only four groups or individuals had 5 or more #1 hits during this period:
    • The Beatles (18)       The Supremes (11)        Elvis Presley (6)    The Rolling Stones (5)
  • The two songs with the longest runs at #1 (9 weeks) were:
    • Hey Jude (Beatles)                                  Theme from “A Summer Place” (Percy Faith)
  • Runner-ups were (at 7 weeks)
    • I Want to Hold Your Hand (Beatles)
    • I Heard it Through the Grapevine (Marvin Gaye)
    • Tossin’ and Turnin’ (Bobby Lewis)
    • I’m a Believer (The Monkees)
  • Some of the #1 spots were achieved by names that you may not remember
    • Joe Dowell (Wooden Heart)
    • Archie Drell and the Bells (Tighten Up)
    • Larry Verne (Hey Mr. Custer)
    • Zager & Evans (In the Year 2525)
 
1960s Number 1 Hits
DATE WEEKS TITLE ARTIST
1/4/1960 2 El Paso Robbins, Marty
1/18/1960 3 Running Bear Preston, Johnny
2/8/1960 2 Teen Angel Dinning, Mark
2/22/1960 9 Theme From “A Summer Place” Faith, Percy
4/25/1960 4 Stuck on You Presley, Elvis
5/23/1960 5 Cathy’s Clown Everly Brothers
6/27/1960 2 Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool Francis, Connie
7/11/1960 1 Alley-Oop Hollywood Argyles
7/18/1960 3 I’m Sorry Lee, Brenda
8/8/1960 1 Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini Hyland, Brian
8/15/1960 5 It’s Now or Never Presley, Elvis
9/19/1960 1 Twist, The Checker, Chubby
9/26/1960 2 My Heart Has a Mind of its Own Francis, Connie
10/10/1960 1 Mr. Custer Verne, Larry
10/17/1960 3 Save the Last Dance for Me Drifters
10/24/1960 1 I Want to Be Wanted Lee, Brenda
11/14/1960 1 Georgia on My Mind Charles, Ray
11/21/1960 1 Stay Williams, Maurice, & the Zodiacs
11/28/1960 6 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Presley, Elvis
1/9/1961 3 Wonderland by Night Kaempfert, Bert
1/30/1961 2 Will You Love Me Tomorrow Shirelles
2/13/1961 2 Calcutta Welk, Lawrence
2/27/1961 3 Pony Time Checker, Chubby
3/20/1961 2 Surrender Presley, Elvis
4/3/1961 3 Blue Moon Marcels
4/24/1961 4 Runaway Shannon, Del
5/22/1961 1 Mother-in-Law K-Doe, Ernie
5/29/1961 2 Travelin’ Man Nelson, Ricky
6/5/1961 1 Running Scared Orbison, Roy
6/19/1961 1 Moody River Boone, Pat
6/26/1961 2 Quarter to Three Bonds, U. S.
7/10/1961 7 Tossin’ and Turnin’ Lewis, Bobby
8/28/1961 1 Wooden Heart (Muss I Denn) Dowell, Joe
9/4/1961 2 Michael Highwaymen
9/18/1961 3 Take Good Care of My Baby Vee, Bobby
10/9/1961 2 Hit the Road Jack Charles, Ray
10/23/1961 2 Runaround Sue Dion
11/6/1961 5 Big Bad John Dean, Jimmy
12/11/1961 1 Please Mr. Postman Marvelettes
12/18/1961 3 Lion Sleeps Tonight, The Tokens
1/13/1962 2 Twist, The Checker, Chubby
1/27/1962 3 Peppermint Twist – Part I Dee, Joey, & the Starliters
2/17/1962 3 Duke of Earl Chandler, Gene
3/10/1962 3 Hey! Baby Channel, Bruce
3/31/1962 1 Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You Francis, Connie
4/7/1962 2 Johnny Angel Fabares, Shelley
4/21/1962 2 Good Luck Charm Presley, Elvis
5/5/1962 3 Soldier Boy Shirelles
5/26/1962 1 Stranger on the Shore Bilk, Acker
6/2/1962 5 I Can’t Stop Loving You Charles, Ray
7/7/1962 1 Stripper, The Rose, David
7/14/1962 4 Roses Are Red (My Love) Vinton, Bobby
8/11/1962 2 Breaking Up is Hard to Do Sedaka, Neil
8/25/1962 1 Loco-Motion, The Little Eva
9/1/1962 2 Sheila Roe, Tommy
9/15/1962 5 Sherry Four Seasons
10/20/1962 2 Monster Mash Pickett, Bobby “Boris”, & the Crypt Kickers
11/3/1962 2 He’s a Rebel Crystals
11/17/1962 5 Big Girls Don’t Cry Four Seasons
12/22/1962 3 Telstar Tornadoes
1/12/1963 2 Go Away Little Girl Lawrence, Steve
1/26/1963 2 Walk Right In Rooftop Singers
2/9/1963 3 Hey Paula Paul & Paula
3/2/1963 3 Walk Like a Man Four Seasons
3/23/1963 1 Our Day Will Come Ruby & the Romantics
3/30/1963 4 He’s So Fine Chiffons
4/27/1963 3 I Will Follow Him March, Little Peggy
5/18/1963 2 If You Wanna Be Happy Soul, Jimmy
6/1/1963 2 It’s My Party Gore, Lesley
6/15/1963 3 Sukiyaki Sakamoto, Kyu
7/6/1963 2 Easier Said Than Done Essex
7/20/1963 2 Surf City Jan & Dean
8/3/1963 1 So Much In Love Tymes
8/10/1963 3 Fingertips – Part 2 Wonder, Stevie
8/31/1963 3 My Boyfriend’s Back Angels
9/21/1963 3 Blue Velvet Vinton, Bobby
10/12/1963 5 Sugar Shack Gilmer, Jimmy, & the Fireballs
11/16/1963 1 Deep Purple Tempo, Nino, & April Stevens
11/23/1963 2 I’m Leaving it up to You Dale & Grace
12/7/1963 4 Dominique Singing Nun
1/4/1964 4 There! I’ve Said it Again Vinton, Bobby
2/1/1964 7 I Want to Hold Your Hand Beatles
3/21/1964 2 She Loves You Beatles
4/4/1964 5 Can’t Buy Me Love Beatles
5/9/1964 1 Hello, Dolly! Armstrong, Louis
5/16/1964 2 My Guy Wells, Mary
5/30/1964 1 Love Me Do Beatles
6/6/1964 3 Chapel of Love Dixie Cups
6/27/1964 1 World Without Love, A Peter & Gordon
7/4/1964 2 I Get Around Beach Boys
7/18/1964 2 Rag Doll Four Seasons
8/1/1964 2 Hard Day’s Night, A Beatles
8/15/1964 1 Everybody Loves Somebody Martin, Dean
8/22/1964 2 Where Did Our Love Go? Supremes
9/5/1964 3 House of the Rising Sun, The Animals
9/26/1964 3 Oh, Pretty Woman Orbison, Roy
10/17/1964 2 Do Wah Diddy Diddy Manfred Mann
10/31/1964 4 Baby Love Supremes
11/28/1964 1 Leader of the Pack Shangri-Las
12/5/1964 1 Ringo Greene, Lorne
12/12/1964 1 Mr. Lonely Vinton, Bobby
12/19/1964 2 Come See About Me Supremes
12/26/1964 3 I Feel Fine Beatles
1/23/1965 2 Downtown Clark, Petula
2/6/1965 2 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling Righteous Brothers
2/20/1965 2 This Diamond Ring Lewis, Gary, & the Playboys
3/6/1965 1 My Girl Temptations
3/13/1965 2 Eight Days a Week Beatles
3/27/1965 2 Stop! In the Name of Love Supremes
4/10/1965 2 I’m Telling You Now Freddie & the Dreamers
4/24/1965 1 Game of Love Fontana, Wayne, & the Mindbenders
5/1/1965 3 Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter Herman’s Hermits
5/22/1965 1 Ticket to Ride Beatles
5/29/1965 2 Help Me, Rhonda Beach Boys
6/12/1965 1 Back in My Arms Again Supremes
6/19/1965 2 I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) Four Tops
6/26/1965 1 Mr. Tambourine Man Byrds
7/10/1965 4 Satisfaction, (I Can’t Get No) Rolling Stones
8/7/1965 1 I’m Henry VIII, I Am Herman’s Hermits
8/14/1965 3 I Got You Babe Sonny & Cher
9/4/1965 3 Help! Beatles
9/25/1965 1 Eve of Destruction McGuire, Barry
10/2/1965 1 Hang on Sloopy McCoys
10/9/1965 4 Yesterday Beatles
11/6/1965 2 Get Off My Cloud Rolling Stones
11/20/1965 2 I Hear a Symphony Supremes
12/4/1965 3 Turn! Turn! Turn! Byrds
12/25/1965 1 Over and Over Clark, Dave, Five
1/1/1966 2 Sounds of Silence, The Simon & Garfunkel
1/8/1966 3 We Can Work It Out Beatles
2/5/1966 2 My Love Clark, Petula
2/19/1966 1 Lightnin’ Strikes Lou Christie
2/26/1966 1 These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ Nancy Sinatra
3/5/1966 5 Ballad of the Green Berets, The Sadler, SSgt Barry
4/9/1966 3 Soul and Inspiration, (You’re My) Righteous Brothers
4/30/1966 1 Good Lovin’ Rascals, Young
5/7/1966 3 Monday, Monday Mamas & the Papas
5/28/1966 2 When a Man Loves a Woman Sledge, Percy
6/11/1966 2 Paint It Black Rolling Stones
6/25/1966 2 Paperback Writer Beatles
7/2/1966 1 Strangers in the Night Frank Sinatra
7/16/1966 2 Hanky Panky James, Tommy, & the Shondells
7/30/1966 2 Wild Thing Troggs
8/13/1966 3 Summer in the City Lovin’ Spoonful
9/3/1966 1 Sunshine Superman Donovan
9/10/1966 2 You Can’t Hurry Love Supremes
9/24/1966 3 Cherish Association
10/15/1966 2 Reach Out, I’ll Be There Four Tops
10/29/1966 1 96 Tears ? & the Mysterians
11/5/1966 1 Last Train to Clarksville Monkees
11/12/1966 1 Poor Side of Town Rivers, Johnny
12/3/1966 3 Winchester Cathedral New Vaudeville Band
12/10/1966 1 Good Vibrations Beach Boys
12/31/1966 7 I’m a Believer Monkees
2/18/1967 2 Kind of a Drag Buckinghams
3/4/1967 1 Ruby Tuesday Rolling Stones
3/11/1967 1 Love is Here and Now You’re Gone Supremes
3/18/1967 1 Penny Lane Beatles
3/25/1967 3 Happy Together Turtles
5/13/1967 4 Somethin’ Stupid Sinatra, Nancy, & Frank Sinatra
5/13/1967 1 Happening, The Supremes
5/20/1967 4 Groovin’ Rascals, Young
6/3/1967 2 Respect Franklin, Aretha
7/1/1967 4 Windy Association
7/29/1967 3 Light My Fire Doors
8/19/1967 1 All You Need is Love Beatles
8/26/1967 4 Ode to Billy Joe Gentry, Bobbie
9/23/1967 4 Letter, The Box Tops
10/21/1967 5 To Sir With Love Lulu
11/25/1967 1 Incense and Peppermints Strawberry Alarm Clock
12/2/1967 4 Daydream Believer Monkees
12/30/1967 3 Hello Goodbye Beatles
1/20/1968 2 Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) Fred, John, & His Playboy Band
2/3/1968 1 Green Tambourine Lemon Pipers
2/10/1968 5 Love is Blue Mauriat, Paul
3/16/1968 4 Dock of the Bay, (Sittin’ on) The Redding, Otis
4/13/1968 5 Honey Goldsboro, Bobby
5/18/1968 2 Tighten Up Bell, Archie, & the Drells
6/1/1968 3 Mrs. Robinson Simon & Garfunkel
6/22/1968 4 This Guy’s in Love With You Alpert, Herb
7/20/1968 2 Grazing in the Grass Masekela, Hugh
8/3/1968 2 Hello, I Love You Doors
8/17/1968 5 People Got to Be Free Rascals
9/21/1968 1 Harper Valley P.T.A. Riley, Jeannie C.
9/28/1968 9 Hey Jude Beatles
11/30/1968 2 Love Child Ross, Diana, & the Supremes
12/14/1968 7 I Heard it Through the Grapevine Gaye, Marvin
2/1/1969 2 Crimson and Clover James, Tommy, & the Shondells
2/15/1969 4 Everyday People Sly & the Family Stone
3/15/1969 4 Dizzy Roe, Tommy
4/12/1969 6 Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In 5th Dimension
5/24/1969 5 Get Back Beatles
6/28/1969 2 Love Theme From “Romeo & Juliet” Mancini, Henry
7/12/1969 6 In the Year 2525 (Exordium and Terminus) Zager & Evans
8/23/1969 4 Honky Tonk Woman Rolling Stones
9/20/1969 4 Sugar, Sugar Archies
10/18/1969 2 I Can’t Get Next to You Temptations
11/1/1969 1 Suspicious Minds Presley, Elvis
11/8/1969 3 Wedding Bell Blues 5th Dimension
11/29/1969 1 Come Together Beatles
12/6/1969 2 Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye Steam
12/20/1969 1 Leaving on a Jet Plane Peter, Paul & Mary
12/27/1969 1 Someday We’ll Be Together Ross, Diana, & the Supremes

 

 

     20 Favorites

Here is list of top 20 representative songs for the decade of the 1960s.  20 were chosen because that’s about an hour’s worth and should fit on a CD.

Here are the guidelines used:
—Each artist (or group) can only be represented by one song 
—Overall popularity (number of hits during the 60s) is an important factor, but it needs to be weighed against the popularity of individual songs (or, your perception of the popularity…) 
—The representative song of a given group must have hit #1 
—Reluctantly, artists who peaked in the 50s, are generally excluded 
—I have tried (really) to choose the best representative songs, not necessarily my favorites… 
—The results (alphabetically by artist):

Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine In (The 5th Dimension) 
This has often been used as a theme song for our generation, so it seems appropriate to include it here.  It’s hard not to like this song.

                   I Get Around (The Beach Boys) 
We could argue forever about which Beach Boys song to choose.  They had 26 hits in the 60s, half of which were in the top 10.  “I Get Around” and “Good Vibrations” sold the most copies, but the former peaked at #1 right as we graduated, and no song of theirs was on the charts longer.

               Hey Jude (The Beatles) 
No Beatles song was on the chart longer nor held the #1 position longer.  It has also been selected as the number one song of all time among numerous listener surveys.  The runner-up for our purposes would be “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”

              I Can’t Stop Loving You (Ray Charles) 
While I personally prefer “Hit the Road Jack,” this song was Ray’s only Gold album, and it was on the charts (and at #1) longer than any of his others.  Ray’s massive contributions to music mandate his inclusion here.

             The Twist (Chubby Checker) 
Jeez, how can you leave off a song which rises to #1 twice!  And we did know how to Twist, didn’t we?!

              Teen Angel (Mark Dinning) 
How can we have a 60s hit list without a tear-jerker…

            Runaround Sue (Dion) 
It may have been his only #1 hit, but it sure was memorable.  Admittedly, this one could be replaced with others.

               Light My Fire (The Doors) 
The Doors were one of the most memorable groups of our times, even though they only had 2 #1 hits in the 60s.  The “long” version of this song with its extended instrumental section is always a treat to hear.

                Theme From “A Summer Place” (Percy Faith and His Orchestra) 
Looking back, it’s hard to believe that a dreamy orchestral piece like this tied for the longest at #1 in the 60s; but it happened, and we loved it!

                 Rag Doll (Four Seasons) 
Their only Gold record in the 60s.  How can we forget their falsettos?

                 I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) (Four Tops) 
It’s a tossup between this and “Reach Out, I’ll Be There” …

                 Monday, Monday (The Mamas & The Papas) 
As long as you didn’t try to make sense of the lyrics, this was a great song from a memorable group. 

                  Hey Paula (Paul and Paula) 
This is one of those rare one-hit groups with a really memorable song.  Singing to each other really worked here.

                  Are You Lonesome Tonight? (Elvis Presley) 
Leaving Elvis out would be worse than leaving out the Beatles!  His “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956 is often attributed as the start of Rock ‘n Roll.  In the 60s, this song was at #1 the longest for him and was hauntingly beautiful.

                 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (The Righteous Brothers
Have you heard this song this week yet?  It is certainly one of the most played songs of all time and thus belongs on our list.

                Satisfaction (I Can’t Get No) (The Rolling Stones) 
They pushed the limits on lyrics (do you remember what was controversial about this song?) and were the “bad boys” of their time.  And they’re still around!  They had 18 hits in the 60s, starting in 1964.

                 Leader of the Pack (Shangri-Las) 
I never liked this song much myself, but it sure was memorable!  Rhmmm-rhmmm.  They actually had 5 other top-40 songs, two in the top-10.

                  Soldier Boy (The Shirelles) 
Unfortunately, this brings back memories of another event we will always associate with the 60s:  the Vietnam War, and friends and classmates we lost there.  I think it is the most memorable of the Shirelle’s six top-10 hits.

                  When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge) 
Like “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,” this song just never dies.  It is one of the most played songs of all time.  It went Gold, but none of his other 4 songs made it into the top 10.

                  Baby Love (The Supremes) 
Finally, we can’t leave this super “girl group” off our list, can we?  This song stayed at #1 longer than the rest.

         Hey, you say, where are the Everly Brothers.  They peaked in the 50s, with only 1 #1 hit in the 60s (Cathy’s Clown).  Hard choices had to made to leave out Connie Francis, The Animals (The House of the Rising Sun was their only #1 hit), The Byrds, Del Shannon, Marvin Gaye, The Box Tops, and others.  Sorry, “Purple People Eater” (by Sheb Wooley) was a 1958 #1 hit!

 

   QUIZ 
Just for fun, who sang these #1 songs, all of which were the only #1 hits in the 60s by the artist?  5 points apiece.  Do you pass, class?  (Scroll down for the answers.)

  1. 96 Tears
  2. Sugar Sugar
  3. Hey Baby
  4. Teen Angel
  5. Michael
  6. Alley-Oop
  7. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini
  8. Mother-In-Law
  9. Green Tambourine
  10. Grazing in the Grass
  11. Love is Blue
  12. Winchester Cathedral
  13. Poor Side of Town
  14. The Ballad of the Green Berets
  15. Sukiyaki
  16. If You Wanna Be Happy
  17. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
  18. Deep Purple
  19. So Much In Love
  20. Calcutta

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A little more …

Almost there …

Here we are!

Quiz Answers

  1. 96 Tears (? & the Mysterians)
  2. Sugar Sugar (The Archies)
  3. Hey Baby (Bruce Channel)
  4. Teen Angel (Mark Dinning)
  5. Michael (The Highwaymen)
  6. Alley-Oop (The Hollywood Argyles)
  7. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (Brian Hyland)
  8. Mother-In-Law (Ernie K-Doe)
  9. Green Tambourine (Lemon Pipers)
  10. Grazing in the Grass (Hugh Masekela)
  11. Love is Blue (Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra)
  12. Winchester Cathedral (The New Vaudeville Band)
  13. Poor Side of Town (Johnny Rivers)
  14. The Ballad of the Green Berets (Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler)
  15. Sukiyaki (Kyu Sakamoto)
  16. If You Wanna Be Happy (Jimmy Soul)
  17. Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (Steam)
  18. Deep Purple (Nino Tempo and April Stevens)
  19. So Much In Love (The Tymes)
  20. Calcutta (Lawrence Welk)

How’d you do?! 

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