Roy Orbison, The Big O from Texas, took a break from the tear jerkers that were becoming his trademark to sing this differently paced ode to the working class man. It didn't quite take him back to his rockabilly roots, but itwas an important stepping stone on Orbison's road to success. It demonstates his versatility in being able to tackle such a different song to his usual fare, and turn it into the top selling song of the year.
Nat "King" Cole (real name, Nathaniel Adams Coles) conquered the pop charts in the 50s and early 60s as a warm-voiced singer of orchestrated ballads like "Mona Lisa" and "Unforgettable" and breezy, country-style sing-alongs like "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer" and this song. Less well known is the fact that he played a mean piano and led a swinging jazz trio from 1937 to 1955. Two and a half years after recording this song, his highest-charting pop single, Cole died of lung cancer in February 1965. Words and music by Noel Sherman / Joe Sherman.
A fun song about the birds and the bees which Darin wrote for the movie, Come September, in which he starred opposite Gina Lollobrigida, Rock Hudson and his wife-to-be, Sandra Dee. It was actually on the set of that film that Darin and Dee met and fell in love. Darin (May 14, 1936 December 20, 1973), was born Walden Robert Perciville Cassotto, and was a two-time Grammy award winning American singer, Oscar nominated actor and accomplished musician. Darin performed widely in a range of music genres, including pop, rock, jazz, folk and country. Although unknown to his public, his health was dangerously fragile and strongly motivated him to succeed within the limited lifetime he feared he would, and ultimately did, have.
4. Alley Cat - Bent Fabric
A catchy number that became a standard on instrumental albums for the likes of Bill Justin. It won the Grammy Award for Best Rock & Roll Recording, 1962. Bent Fabric is a man, not a piece of twisted cloth, a group or a nickname. His real name is Bent Fabricius-Bjerre, he a Danish piano player who wrote this under the pseudonym "Frank Bjorn." The Danish title of this piece is "Omkring et Flygel," which means "Around the Piano" and was the theme song of a popular Danish TV show of same name, hosted by Fabric. A later vocal version of the tune featured lyrics by Jack Harlen. hear the song online
The King always had a way with a ballad, and this, his show-closer for many years, proves it. Based on the French song, 'Plaisir D'Amour', and featuring Hawaiian-sounding guitar fills (Elvis insisted on recording this for his film, Blue Hawaii), it surrounds Elvis' quiet vocal majesty with an intense musical wonder, something many of his other ballads failed to do. This was Elvis' most popular and famous love song, but he didn't record it to sing his love interest in Blue Hawaii (Joan Blackman) - it was sung to his grandmother on the occasion of her birthday. Elvis presented her with a music box, which she opened and it played the song, which Elvis then sang along to. Elvis took 29 takes to record it, as he had difficulty getting his breathing right because of the slow tempo (later live recordings were sung much faster). The song was also used in the film Fools Rush In starring Matthew Perry (Chandler in Friends) & Selma Hayek.hear the song online
Claude King is a country singer from Louisiana who had this one huge mainstream hit. King co-wrote the song with Merle Kilgore, a country singer/songwriter who became known for writing hit songs for others, such as Johnny Cash's 'Ring Of Fire'. 'Wolverton Mountain' is about a young man who wanted to climb a particular mountain to win the heart of a lonely young girl who lived there, but who would face a formidable obstacle in her father, Clifton Clowers, in reaching her. The song is based on an actual person by that name in Arkansas and an actual place. There was an answer song, "(I'm The Girl On) Wolverton Mountain", released by JoAnn Campbell later the same year, that was covered by Australian songstress Dorothy Baker.hear the song online
Originally released in 1962 though not a hit until some years later, 'The Lonely Bull' was not only the musical debut of trumpeter Herb Alpert (right), but the first album and single released on A&M Records (the 'A' of A&M stands for Alpert, the 'M' is his business partner, Jerry Moss). "After experiencing my first bullfight in Tijuana, Mexico," Alpert recalls, "I was inspired to find a way to musically express what I felt while watching the wild responses of the crowd, and hearing the brass musicians introducing each new event with rousing fanfare". The excitement translated, and 'The Lonely Bull' was a stunning success, the album peaking at No.10 and remained on the album charts for three years.view the video online
The Tornadoes burst onto the record scene in 1962 with their massive instrumental hit 'Telstar' but their story began a little earlier, before that distinctive keyboard sound had been conceived by the maverick producer Joe Meek. Meek had brought the band together the previous year to provide backing for the numerous artists recording at his independent studio in North London. The first television pictures broadcast across the Atlantic on 11th July 1962 inspired Meek to create his greatest work as a tribute to the Telstar satellite which made the feat possible. This novelty record was intended to evoke the dawn of the space age, complete with sound effects that were meant to sound "space-like". A popular story at the time of the record's release was that the weird distortions and background noise came from sending the signal up to the Telstar satellite and re-recording it back on Earth. However, the effects were created in Meek's recording studio, which was a small flat above a shop in London. It has been claimed that the sounds intended to symbolize radio signals were produced by Meek running a pen around the rim of an ashtray, and that the "rocket blastoff" at the start of the record was actually a flushing toilet; the recording was made to sound exotic by playing the tape in reverse at various speeds. "Telstar"/"Jungle Fever" enjoyed international success; in America, The Tornados became the first British group to top the Billboard charts, with 'Telstar'. hear the song online
9. Stranger On The Shore (instrumental) - Mr Acker Bilk with the Leon Young String Chorale
Born in the country village of Pensfordin Somerset, England, Bernard Stanley Bilk (right) was soon nicknamed 'Acker', a Somerset term which means 'mate' or 'friend'. He dabbled with the piano as a youth but wound up teaching himself the clarinet whilst in solitary confinement during a spell in the Suez Canal zone in the Royal Engineers. He was in the Glasshouse because he had fallen asleep while on duty and was awaiting court martial. Upon his release, Bilk formed a band in Bristol and never looked back. Like the lads from Liverpool a few years later, he cut his music teeth working the clubs of Germany before returning to Britain and the big time. 'Stranger On The Shore' was a massive UK hit in late 1961; a year in which there were as many instrumental singles in release as vocal recordings. 'Stranger' was the first ever recording to be No.1 simultaneously in England and the US.view the video online
Formed initially as a backing band for Cliff Richard, The Shadows were first called The Drifters until finding out that there was already a thriving American band with that name. The group started recording and performing with Cliff Richard and released two singles in their own right in 1959 under their new name, The Shadows. In 1960, the band released 'Apache', an instrumental by Jerry Lordan. Four No.1 hit singles followed, together with several more as Cliff Richard's band. The band enjoyed more success throughout the next decade as Britain's most popular instrumental group. 'The Boys' is the title song from the soundtrack of the movie of the same name starring Richard Todd and Robert Morley.view the video online | slower version from the movie
Duane Eddy is best known for his twangy guitar and had a number of instrumental hits in the late 50's and early 60's. He is recognised as one of the top rock instrumental artists ever. In 1955, Eddy moved to Phoenix where disc jockey/music promoter Lee Hazlewood liked his work and the two began a long professional association. The pair worked to induce a new concept into Duane's guitar playing that came to be known as his twangy guitar. The single-note melodies, strong and dramatic, created on his trademark red Gretch guitar, would be combined with a blending of the bass strings with the sound amplified to produce the unique sound. Duane's second single, 'Rebel-Rouser', proved to be one of his biggest hits ever though many more, like 'Dance With The Guitar Man', were recorded between 1958 and 1963; fourteen of them became Top 40 hits. He had some excellent session musicians in his backup band, the Rebels, including Larry Knechtel on piano and Jim Horn and Steve Douglas on sax.hear the song online
Michigan born rocker Del Shannon had a string of hits in the late 50s/early 60s. This one, which appeared on his 1962 album, 'Little Town Flirt', failed to top the charts everywhere in the world except Australia, yet the title song from the album was not as big a hit down-under as it was elsewhere. The song tells a similar story to that told in the Claude King's 'Wolverton Mountain', but here it is set in Switzerland, and there is no grumpy father to contend with.hear the song online
'I've Been Everywhere', which lists dozens of Australian towns, was written by Geoff Mack and made popular by Australian singer Lucky Starr in 1959. It was later adapted using United States place names and as such was recorded first by Hank Snow (it was a No.1 Country Music hit in 1962), then by Lynn Anderson (1968); Asleep At The Wheel (1973); Johnny Cash (1996); the Countdown Singers; Chip Dockery; Ted Egan; the "Farrelly Brothers" from the television series The Aunty Jack Show (Australia 1974); John Grenell (NZ 1966); Rolf Harris (UK 1963); Clifton Jansky; Willie Nelson; and the Statler Brothers. A New Zealand version by John Hore (later known as John Grenell) with New Zealand place names was released in 1966.
One of America's early teen idols, Bobby Rydell (real name Robert Louis Ridarelli) originally played with Frankie Avalon in a band known as Rocco And The Saints. He was later signed with Cameo Records and became an international star in his own right. In 1962, he starred in the movie, Bye Bye Birdie, with Ann Margret and Dick Van Dyke. During the 1960s, Rydell had 34 top forty hits, including perhaps his most popular, the 1960 single, 'Wild One'. Other songs include 'Volare', 'Swingin' School', 'Kissin' Time', 'Sway', 'Forget Him' and 'The Cha Cha Cha'. His backing group was the motown quartet, The Orions.
15. Midnight In Moscow (instrumental) - Kenny Ball & his Jazzmen
Kenny Ball will always be associated with his huge 1961 trad jazz hit 'Midnight in Moscow'. Ball started playing trumpet when he was 15 and gained experience playing in various bands. In 1958, he formed his own group and quickly became a leader in Britain's traditional jazz movement. 'I Love You Samantha' was his first hit, and then came 'Midnight in Moscow' and 'So Do I'. hear the song online
16. If I Didn't Have A Dime (To Play The Juke Box) - Gene Pitney
Bert Russell and Phil Medley (the latter was one of The Righteous Brothers), who wrote the hit song 'Twist and Shout', also came up with this gem for Gene Pitney. He had arrived on the scene in the late 1950s as a gifted songwriter, capable musician and incredible singer. His dramatic tenor, given to piercing climaxes, was among the more remarkable voices of the age. He could deliver a rocker with panache, but he was best at putting across songs with a smoldering emotional core. This gentle song fits neither category but was still a bit hit, in spite of the guitar played in the introduction being out of tune.
A bright, bouncy No.1 hit from British pop star Cliff Richard and his backing group, The Shadows. 1962 was a big year for Cliff and 'The Shads', both together and alone. The song and movie The Young Ones was a No.1 hit for both of them, as was 'The Next Time'/'Bachelor Boy' and 'Do You Want To Dance?'. Then Cliff went off filming the movie Summer Holiday, which came out in 1963, and The Shadows went on to release two of their own chart toppers, 'Wonderful Land' and 'Dance On'. The song has been covered many times, a slower version by The Mama And The Papas, which appeared on their 1966 debut album, If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears, being the most memorable of these.
Vinton was signed by CBS (Epic) Records in 1960 as a bandleader. Two years and two failed LPs later, he was called to a meeting with label executives who wanted to drop him from the label. In the meeting, Vinton pointed out that his contract called for him to record and release two more songs. While everybody but the bandleader was out of the room conferring with their lawyers, Vinton listened to some rejected demo records and found a song that stopped him cold: 'Roses Are Red (My Love)'. When the executives returned to the meeting, Vinton persuaded them to allow him to sing it on the next, his final single - a song that he found literally on the trash heap. Vinton also recorded his next hit, 'Mr. Lonely', a song he co-wrote, in the same session, however it was mothballed by Epic Records for two years.hear the song online
Gene Pitney wrote the song and music publisher Aaron Schroeder sold it to both producers Phil Spector and Snuff Garrett, leaving each with the notion that they had the song "exclusively". Ironically Vicki Carr (for Garrett) and The Blossoms (for Spector) both recorded it on the same night but in different studios, even using some of the same musicians for their recording sessions. On The Blossom's version, Darlene Love sang lead and Bobby Sheen sang high tenor. Vicki's version died through lack of airplay because she was an unknown at that time, and The Blossoms went to No.1, but it was released as a Crystals single. Spector intended the song to be recorded by The Crystals, but they were over in New York at the time he got the OK to record it, and a group member refused to fly to Los Angeles immediately because of their fear of flying. Unwilling to wait for them, Spector roped in The Blossoms who were available and at hand. The Bloosoms were somewhat peeved when they were not credited with the recording, just as The Crystals were not impressed that it had been released under their name and without their permission, and none of them had performed on it. Blossoms member Fanita James recalls, "The follow-up to 'He's a Rebel' was supposed to be 'It's My Party.' Darlene sang lead; it was to be released under the Blossoms name. We learned it but we were doing it slow. But Phil never put it out. Then here comes Lesley [Gore] and, boy, was that a big record! Isn't that something?" hear the song online (The Crystals)
This number is arguably tighter, more original, and certainly more clever that The Four Season's other hit of 62, 'Sherry'. Cut through Frankie Valli's incredible falsetto and you find a solid examination of false bravado and emotional revenge facing teens on the cusp of adulthood. The song was inspired by a line in the B-movie, Suspect (1960), featuring John Payne. Composer/producer Bob Crewe, who co-wrote the song with group member and chief songwriter Bob Gaudio, was half-asleep when he heard this line from a blonde bombshell character who was just slapped by Payne. When she was asked what she thought about being slapped, she replied, "Big girls don't cry." Crewe jotted down the line, fell asleep, and wrote the song the next day.
Rob's (real name Robert George Porter) music career began in 1959 when he played the steel guitar on the instrumental hit 'Sleepwalk' for Santo and Johnny. Rob's first single, a cover of Hank Williams' 'Your Cheating Heart' enjoyed marginal success, but 'Whiplash', which he wrote and recorded for an Australian TV show, made the top ten. Just as his star was rising, Rob was involved in a car accident and received a serious spinal injury. He made a remarkable recovery, however, and returned to the studio to record what would be the first of a string of hits, 'Si Senor'. It made No.2 and charted for 19 weeks.
When Johnny O'Keefe recorded 'Sing' early in 1962, his popularity in Australia was at its zenith. His previous single, 'I'm Counting on You', had rocketed to the top of the charts as 'Sing' would also do, but Johnny's life was in crisis. Having collapsed in his hotel room in London from nervous exhaustion a year earlier, his inability to crack the US market was a major contributor to the nervous breakdown he suffered in April 1962 just as 'Sing' began to chart. O'Keefe was confined to bed for six months. Fortunately, he made a full recovery.
4. Southern 'Rora - Joy Boys
The Joy Boys was formed in 1957 by Kevin, the eldest of the three Jacobsen brothers. The third brother was no other than Colin, who is better known as Col Joy. The Joy Boys served a similar role for Col Joy as The Shadows did for Cliff Richard, providing a musical backing for the volalist, but recording their own projects too. Their first hit, released in March 1961, was called 'Istanbul'. 'Southern 'Rora', which was dedicated to the new Melbourne to Sydney express train, was Istanbul's follow-up single and became their biggest seller.
No other Australian recording artist can boast of a career that began at 15, and took him to be the the No.1 Recording star in Australia and New Zealand before he was 19, and by the age of 21, had produced 44 records and a number of hits in Australia, New Zealand and Britain. Ifield's story is the material of other people's dreams. He signed with EMI Australia in 1953 and released two successful singles including 'There's a Loveknot in My Lariat'. Soon after television came to Australia in 1956, he was hosting his own weekly show, Campfire Favourites. By 1959, he was appearing on all three of Sydney's TV channels. He went to London in 1959, and had his first hit with 'Lucky Devil'. In 1962 he hit the top of the charts with 'I Remember You', his most memorable recording, followed soon afterwards by 'Lovesick Blues', 'The Wayward Wind', 'Nobody's Darling But Mine', 'Confessin', and 'Waltzing Matilda'.
6. Wolverton Mountain - Kevin Shegog
Kevin Shegog was a popular country singer and songwriter, originally from Tasmania, who recorded prolifically for W&G in Melbourne. His version of Claude King's 'Wolverton Mountain' was a much-played track on Victorian radio, as was Shegog's classic self-penned record 'One Small Photograph' (1961). Other Australian artists who have recorded 'Wolverton Mountain' include The Singing Kettles, and independent country singer Steve O'Connor from Tatura, Vic, who had an international hit with his version in 2003.
'Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands' was the third single to be released by the Sydney-based Delltones. Shortly after its release, the band's lead vocalist, Noel Widerberg, was killed in a car accident at Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney, July 1962. At the time, it appeared as though the band's career was over, but with encouragement from friends, the surviving band members found a replacement - Colin Loughnam - and continued recording and performing until they split up in 1971. The song was written and first recorded by country singer and songwriter, known as Whispering Bill Anderson. He charted in Australia with Still (1963) and Mama Sang a Song (1962; Walter Brennan also had a charting version here).
Recorded in the same session as 'Si Senor' (see above) at Festival Sudios in Pyrmont, Sydney, '5-4-3-2-1-Zero' was released five months later in October 1962. It reached No.3 and stayed in the charts for 13 weeks.
9. Girl From Wolverton Mountain - Dorothy Baker
Jo Ann Campbell, a former drum majorette from Jacksonville, Florida, first recorded this answer to Claude King's 'Wolverton Mountain', in which Clifton Clowers' daughter sings from Wolverton Mountain in defiance of her father. Campbell is also remembered for the gloriously silly 'Kookie Little Paradise', her bigger hit in Australia. Dorothy Baker also recorded Kevin Shegog compositions 'Darling' (1963) and his classic 'One Small Photograph', recorded a popular cover version of this song. Numerous other 'answers' have been written and recorded. In one, by Tijuana Border, the obstacle to true love is a border river crossing instead of a mountainside. Another by Cliff Adams tells the story from old man Clowers' point of view.
Scottish born Betty McQuade migrated to Brisbane with her family at the age of eight. She won a talent quest at the age of 13, but almost immediately was badly injured in a car accident and contracted scarlet fever. It was not until 1960, at the age of 16, that she was able to attempt to fulfil her ambition - to make a record. She moved to Melbourne and released a string of singles, the first and most successful of which was a gutsy rendition of John D. Loudermilk's 'Midnight Bus'. It charted for 12 weeks, peaking at No.6. Though her subsequent recordings did not enjoy the same success, she remained popular, and maintained regular TV appearances. She moved back to Queensland in 1967 where she continued to sing at cabarets and clubs. Johnny Chester also recored a cover version. The song was written by John D Loudermille. Acording to Loudermilk: "In my hometown of Durham, the Midnight Bus, that's the way the kids used to elope. Now back before everybody had a car and those who either got pregnant or wanted to get married early, they just got on the bus and went down to South Carolina 'cause you could marry at 14 down there. So they'd get on the bus and get married and come back, the next day to tell all their friends, 'Look, we're married, ha ha!' " Hear the song online
Hits Songs of 1962
The Loco-Motion - Little Eva (right) Perhaps no babysitter in history got a bigger break than Eva Boyd, who baby sat for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Born in June 1943, Eva Narcissus Boyd moved from Bell Haven, North Carolina to the Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn, where she had relatives, at the age of 19. One of them knew the girl group, The Cookies, and suggested her as a stand-in, so whenever one of the Cookies couldn't get out of their high school class, Eva substituted for them. Since the work was sporadic, Eva often found herself babysitting for songwriters King and Goffin. Returning home one day they found her singing a song they had written for Dee Dee Sharp. They liked what they heard, so they rushed her into the studio, and King provided the backing vocals. Kylie Minogure revived the son two decades later, turning it into as No.1 hit again and launching her career as a singer. View the video online
Tell Him - The Exciters (right)
One-hit wonders The Exciters were originally a quartet of 17-year olds who were high school classmates in Queens, New York. The Exciters' first hit, produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was 'Tell Him'. The group's next single, the up-tempo 'Havin' My Fun' failed to chart and the Exciters moved over to Roulette Records. There they cut a remake of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers hit 'I Want You to Be My Boy' but it did nothing. The song was written by Bert Berns. The Exciters also recorded the original version of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" in 1963 but it failed to chart; it was covered shortly after by Manfred Mann, for whom it was an international hit. View the video online
I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
Having conquered (or, more accurately, assimilated) pop, gospel, blues, jazz, and R&B, Ray Charles turned to country for his smash LP, Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music. But when Tab Hunter decided to cut this 1957 Don Gibson hit with a Ray-like arrangement, Charles and ABC cut him off with an edited single. The result may be Ray's greatest success, if you award points for difficulty of attempt. The song appeared on the soundtrack of the movie Metropolis where it was used instead of sound effects in the film's final scene. View the video online
Big Bad John - Jimmy Dean
Originally performed by a singer named Jimmy Dean, who would later become a sausage entrepreneur, this song was composed by Dean and Roy Acuff. The song tells the story of a mysterious and quiet miner who earned the nickname 'Big John' because of his height, weight and muscular physique. There are varying accounts as to who was the inspiration for the character of Big John. Most tell of an actor or football player Dean knew who reminded him of a football player named John Mentoe. Country
singer Floyd Cramer (known for composing the 1960 instrumental piece "Last Date"), who was hired to play the piano on the song, came up with the idea to use a hammer and a piece of steel instead. This became a distinctive characteristic of the recording. Dean wrote the song on a flight from New York to Nashville because he realized he needed a fourth song for his recording session. Columbia Records was considering dropping Dean before the release of this single, as he hadn't had a hit in years. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and Best Male Solo Vocal Performance. Big Bad John was also the title of a 1990 television movie starring Dean. There are several known recordings of the song by Dean. The original, which included the line, "At the bottom of this mine lies one hell of a man - Big John", was deemed too controversial, so in the version that was most often heard on the radio, one could hear "At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man - Big John" instead. Its sequel, "The Cajun Queen", describes the arrival of "Queenie", Big John's Cajun Queen, who rescues John from the mine and marries him. Eventually, they have "one hundred and five grandchildren". View the video online
Devoted To You - Ray Brown & The Whispers (right)
A No.1 hit in Sydney, it was the first taste of success for a band which dominated the Australian surf music scene as The Nocturnes. In 1962, they acquired Ray Brown as their lead singer and began recording under the name, Ray Brown & The Whispers. They went on to become one of the most popular Australian bands of the British Invasion era. The song is a cover of a recording by Liverpool group, The Dennisons, who also had a hit with Rufus Thomas' "Walkin' The Dog" in 1964.
Spanish Harlem - Ben E King
Written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector, the song was King's first hit away from The Drifters, a group he had led for several years. Featuring Spanish guitar, marimba, and drum-beats, the song was a major hit. It was later ranked No.349 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Aretha Franklin released a cover version of it in the summer of 1971 which out-performed the original on the charts. Dr. John played keyboards on Franklin's version. The song was also covered by The Mamas and The Papas in 1966, and Slim Smith in 1968. Finally, Spector himself recorded a version of the song, which can be found on the Wall of Sound Retrospective album, released in 2006. View the video online
Surfin' - The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys had a slow start in Australia with this, their first single. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it was that group's first ever released single and it is therefore an important part of The Beach Boys' history. Back when the group was still unnamed and in the process of defining its sound and direction, were trying to think up ofthe boys sought something original and creative to write a song about. Brian Wilson recalls:"One day, my brother Dennis came home from the beach and said, 'Hey, surfing's getting really big. You guys ought to write a song about it." Surfing was the latest craze in California and Dennis himself was an avid surfer. Brian says, "I began noodling around the piano singing 'surfin', surfin', surfin''. It sounded stupid. But then Mike [Love] sang 'ba-ba-dippity-dippity-ba-ba.'
He was fooling around, trying to spark a new idea with the same bass sounds he'd sung countless times before. From some reason, though, this time when he sang I pounded out a few chords to accompany him and then he took up the chant I'd been singing, 'surfin', surfin''. Twenty seconds later, I had the opening for the song ... a couple of hours later, I finished the song and called it "Surfin' " ... thus was the surfing sound of the 1960s, and the accompanying 'Californian Dream' of 'suntanned bodies and waves of sunshine, Californian girls and beautiful coastline ...' created. View the video online
Take Good Care of My Baby - Bobby Vee
Bobby Bee followed up his hit single, "Run To Him", with this Carole King and Gerry Goffin composition. The song was covered by The Beatles as a rehearsal song on the album Decca Tapes. Dion also recorded a version, though it was not released as a single. 'Take Good Care' has also been covered by Smokie (Solid Ground, 1981) and Sasha (Dick This, 2003). Vee re-recorded the song as a ballad in 1973 on his album Ain't Nothing Like a Sunny Day (released under his real name, Robert Thomas Velline). His original version remains a staple of oldies radio stations. Hear the song online
A Swingin' Safari - Bert Kaempfert and his Orchestra
An instrumental composed by Bert Kaempfert in 1962, it was also recorded by Billy Vaughn whose version became a bigger hit in the U.S. where it reached No.13 on the Billboard charts. The composition features a distinctive main theme played on the tin whistle. It is perhaps best known as the original theme music to the television show, Match Game. Hear the song online
Turn Around, Look At Me - Glen Campbell
Before becoming a solo recording artist in his own right, Glen Campbell, joined by Hal Blaine on drums,and Carol Kaye on bass, formed what were known as the "Wrecking Crew" - the most famous group of session players ever assembled, who worked for producer Phil Spector at his Gold Star Studios, home to the Wall of Sound. They did backing for the Beach Boys on their Pet Sounds LP, and Campbell actually spent a few years as a member of that group, replacing Brian Wilson when they went on the road. Campbell was in great demand as a session musician in the 1960s. He is heard on some of the biggest-selling records of the era by such artists as Bobby Darin, Ricky Nelson, The Kingston Trio, Merle Haggard, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, The Association, Jan & Dean, and The Mamas & the Papas. Though this song, written by Jerry Capehart, was the first single to chart in the US for Campbell, it sold poorly in Australia and failed to chart. It was to be a few years before Campbell would make an impact on the Australian market. Other artists who have recorded this song include The Bachelors, The Vogues (their version charted in Austraia), The Bee Gees, and Esther Phillips. Hear the song online
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Neil Sedaka (right)
Described by All Music Guide as "two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic", the song was the first No.1 hit for Neil Sedaka in Australia. Originally an uptempo song, Sedaka re-recorded it as a ballad in 1975 and the new version peaked at No.8 in February of the following year. The song was later performed as a duet featuring Neil Sedaka and Norwegian singer Sissel Kyrkjebø (vocalist for the Titanic soundtrack). View the video online
Do You Love Me? - The Contours (right)
A hit single for The Contours on Motown's Gordy Records label in the US, this song was written and produced by Motown CEO Berry Gordy, Jr., "Do You Love Me" was the Contours' only Top 40 single. Notably, the record achieved this feat twice, once in 1962 and again in 1987. Berry Gordy wrote "Do You Love Me" with the intention that The Temptations, who at this time had no Top 40 hits to their name, would record it. However, when Gordy wanted to locate the group and record the song, they were nowhere to be found (the Temptations hadn't been made aware of Gordy's intentions, and had departed Motown's Hitsville USA studio for a local Detroit gospel music showcase). After spending some time looking for the Temptations, Gordy ran into The Contours (Billy Gordon, Hubert Johnson, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea, Sylvester Potts, and guitarist Hugh Davis) in the hallway. Wanting to record and release "Do You Love Me" as soon as possible, Gordy gave them his "sure-fire hit". The Contours, who were in danger of being dropped from the label after their first two singles ("Whole Lotta' Woman" and "The Stretch") failed to chart, were so elated at Gordy's offer that they immediately began hugging and thanking him. Like many American R&B songs of the 1960s, "Do You Love Me" was covered by a number of British Invasion groups. Two of these were Brian Poole and the Tremeloes and the Dave Clark Five, whose singles both charted well in Australia. The song has also been covered by The Sonics and, famously, Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. Hear the song online
Don't Break The Heart That Loves You - Connie Francis (right)
Written by Benny Davis and Ted Murray, "Don't Break the Heart That Loves You" was produced by Arnold Maxin and Danny Davis. Recorded by Francis at the urging of her father, her version went to No.1 in March 1962, becoming her third and final No.1 single. The ballad, recorded by Francis in two-part harmony with a spoken bridge, is a plea from a heartbroken lover who is trying to understand why her partner is going out of his way to treat her unkindly. Francis also had success in 1962 with "V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N", which was also a major hit. Hear The Lemon Sisters version online | View the video online
Johnny Angel - Shelley Fabares (right)
Not the hit in Australia that it was in the US, the song is an expression of a teenage girl's romantic longing for a boy who doesn't know she exists, to the point where she declines other boys' propositions for dates because she'd rather concentrate on the boy she loves. The song premiered on an episode of Fabares' sitcom, The Donna Reed Show, and was released on Columbia's Colpix Records label. The song also has a sequel entitled "Johnny Loves Me" (which tells the story of how the girl won Johnny's heart). Darlene Love and her group, The Blossoms, sang backup vocals on the track. Fabares is quoted as saying she was intimidated by Love's group and their "beautiful" voices and was terrified at the prospect of becoming a recording artist, as she did not consider herself a singer. Although Fabares' career as a singer came to an end (though her career as an actress stayed strong for three decades) within a few years of "Johnny Angel", being unable to come up with another Top 20 hit, the song has become an oldies radio airplay favourite. The Carpenters covered "Johnny Angel" in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album., Now and Then. Hear the song online
Love Me Do - The Beatles (right)
An early Lennon/McCartney song, principally written by Paul McCartney in 1958-59 while playing truant from school, it was this song that introduced the world outside of Liverpool, England, to The Beatles. Their first single, its release down-under was hardly a groundbreaking occasion - it failed to chart and received limited airplay. "Love Me Do" begins with bluesy harmonica played by John Lennon on an instrument he claimed to have stolen in Arnhem, Holland, then features Lennon and McCartney on joint lead vocals although McCartney handles the low solo vocal line on the song's title phrase when all the instruments go silent. Lennon had previously sung these sections, but this change in vocals was made when the harmonica part was added. When they recorded this on 4th September, The Beatles were very close to releasing another song as their first single. George Martin came to the recording session undecided as to what their first single should be. He got the band to record "How Do You Do It?," which was written by someone else, and felt to go with that song. Not pleased that their own composition had been dumped, The Beatles did some lacklustre takes of "How Do You Do It?" before they were allowed to record "Love Me Do." Eventually, Martin changed his mind and went with "Love Me Do." "How Do You Do It?" became a hit for Gerry And The Pacemakers in 1964. The Beatles recorded versions of this song with three different drummers. At their first Parlophone audition in June 1962, Pete Best was still their drummer. At the 4th September recording session, Ringo played the drums, but when George Martin decided this would be the single, he had them record it again a week later. On this occasion, he used a session drummer named Andy White and had Ringo play the maracas. Ringo was quite upset and felt real insecure at this, since The Beatles had just fired their previous drummer. The version with Ringo drumming was released as the single, but the version released on the album had Andy White's drumming. View the video online
Sealed with a Kiss - Brian Hyland (right)
This song, written by Peter Udell and Gary Geld, was first recorded in 1960 by The Four Voices. While their version was released as a single, it failed to make a significant impact. In 1962, Brian Hyland, a frequent recorder of Udell's and Geld's material and associate of Del Shannon, released the song as a single. It became very popular, charting in the top ten in the US and UK. It recharted in the UK when rereleased in 1975. The song became a hit again in 1968 when Gary Lewis and the Playboys released it as a single. Numerous artists have recorded the song. Former ABBA lead singer Agnetha Fältskog released a version of the song in 2004 on her album, My Colouring Book, a collection of covers of songs which influenced her musically in her youth. View the video online
Ginny Come Lately - Brian Hyland
In 1960, Hyland scored his first and biggest hit single, "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" written by Paul Vance and Lee Pockriss. It was a novelty song that was as much about the 1960s beach and surf culture as it was about the embarrassment of a girl wearing scanty swimwear. Hyland's other major hits during this period were 1962's "Sealed with a Kiss" and "Ginny Come Lately". View the video online
Sheila - Tommy Roe (right)
Born Thomas David Roe in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, in May 1942, he was raised in Atlanta, Georgia where he attended Brown High School and was part of band. Greatly influenced by the sounds of the late Buddy Holly, Tommy Roe developed a unique style that, combined with his All-American clean-cut image, made him a popular musical performer throughout the 1960s. Roe had a No.1 hit record hit in the US and in Australia in 1962 with this self-penned song in which he immitates the Buddy Holly style. The following year he scored two US Top 10 hits with "Everybody" and the critically acclaimed "The Folk Singer" written by Merle Kilgore. Following the enormously successful tour of the United Kingdom by friend Roy Orbison, Tommy Roe toured there and then moved to England where he lived for several years. View the video online
Sherry - The Four Seasons (right)
Written by Bob Gaudio, "Sherry" was The Four Seasons' first No.1 hit, initially reaching the top 100 in September 1962. According to Gaudio, the song took about 15 minutes to write and was originally "Jackie" (in honor of then-First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy). At the studio, the name was changed to "Terri", and then eventually to "Sherry," the name of the daughter of Gaudio's best friend, New York disk jockey Jack Spector. One of the names that Gaudio pondered for the song was "Peri," which was producer Bob Crewe's daughter's name (and the name of a record label Crewe owned at the time). View the video online
Theme From Dr. Kildare (Three Stars Will Shine Tonight) - Richard Chamberlain
Written by Jerry Goldsmith, Pete Rugolo, and Hal Winn, the song was the theme for the television series Dr. Kildare. The series' lead actor, Richard Chamberlain, released it in 1962 as a single in his first venture into a singing career. The single met with great success, becoming a top ten hit. Hear the song online
Stubborn Kind of Fellow - Marvin Gaye
Released on the Motown subsidiary Tamla, the single was historic in many ways for the Washington DC-bred singer and former Moonglows member, for it was the first major US hit record for Gaye on Motown - it failed to chart in Australia - after three failed singles and an album that saw Gaye performing jazz standards. The song was conceived after Gaye reluctantly agreed to perform in the same R&B-rooted productions of his fellow Motown label mates rather than try to be "the Black Frank Sinatra". Based on an autobiographical account of Gaye's moody behavior, it was penned during the time Gaye was dating Motown founder Berry Gordy's sister Anna. Hear the song online
Twist and Shout - The Isley Brothers (right)
Written by Phil Medley and Bert Russell, it was originally recorded by The Top Notes and the Isley Brothers and was later covered by The Beatles, with John Lennon on the lead vocals, and originally released on their first album, Please Please Me. It was also covered by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes. In 1961, a year after Phil Spector became a staff producer at Atlantic records, he was asked to produce a single by an up-and-coming vocal group, the Top Notes (sometimes named "Topnotes"): "Twist and Shout". The recording lacked all of the energy the group exhibited in its live performances - it was recorded prior to Spector's perfecting his "Wall of Sound". When songwriter Bert Berns heard the final mix, he told Spector that he had "[messed] up the song", foretelling a quick demise for the single upon release. When the Isley Brothers decided to record "Twist and Shout" in 1962, Berns opted to produce the record to demonstrate to Spector what he had intended to be the "sound" of the record. As a result, the recording captured the verve of an Isley Brothers' performance and became the trio's first record to reach the Top 40. The Isley Brothers' version was the first major hit recording of the song. With Ronald Isley on lead vocals, it quickly became a frequently covered soul music tune in the early 1960s. The Beatles released the song on their first album, Please Please Me. Their recording session for that album is notable for being their first album session and for eleven songs having been recorded in a mere 10 hours or so. "Twist and Shout" was the last song recorded: producer George Martin knew John Lennon's voice would suffer from the performance and so he right it until last, having waited until there was only 15 minutes of scheduled recording time remaining. Lennon was suffering from a cold and was drinking milk and sucking on cough drops to soothe his throat. Even so, he produced a memorable vocal performance. He later said his voice was not the same for a long time afterwards, and that "every time [he] swallowed, it felt like sandpaper." George Martin said, "I did try a second take ... but John's voice had gone." Hear The Top Notes' recording online
Twistin' the Night Away - Sam Cooke (right)
This song, about The Twist dance craze, was written and recorded by Sam Cooke. In 1973, Rod Stewart released his version as a single from his album Never a Dull Moment. This version achieved marginal success, peaking at No. 59 on the Billboard Hot 100. A new version by Stewart was featured in the movie, Innerspace. When released as a single in the summer of 1987, this version hit No.80. The Shins titled their third album, Wincing the Night Away, in an apparent reference to the song. View the video online
Monster Mash - Bobby 'Boris' Pickett & The Cryptkickers
Bobby 'Boris' Pickett was an aspiring actor who sang with a band called The Cordials at night while going to auditions during the day. One night, while performing with his band, Pickett did a end-up monologue of horror movie actor Boris Karloff in the middle of a song, The Diamonds' "Little Darlin'". The audience loved it and co-band member, Lenny Capizzi, encouraged Pickett to do more with the Karloff imitation. Pickett and Capizzi composed the novelty song "Monster Mash" and recorded it with Gary Paxton, Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae and Rickie Page, credited as "The Cryptkickers". This song was partially inspired by Paxton's earlier novelty hit "Alley Oop", as well as by the Mashed Potato dance craze of the era. "Monster Mash" reached No.1 on the charts just in time for Halloween. It has been a perennial holiday favourite ever since. "Monster's Holiday", a Christmas-themed follow up, was released in December 1962. The tune was penned by the renowned novelty song composer Paul Harrison. When Elvis Presley heard it for the first time, he said that it was "the dumbest song he had ever heard". View the video online
Unchain My Heart - Ray Charles (right)
This song was written by Teddy Powell under the joint pseudonymn of Freddy James and Agnes Vivian Jones. It first appeared on a 1958 recording of Frances Faye. It was a hit for Charles when released as a single in early 1962. Accompanied by his Raelettes, Charles sung about wanting to be free from a woman "who won't let (him) go". Charles was accompanied by his longtime saxophonist, David "Fathead" Newman and other members of his band. In 1963, doo-wop band The Rivingtons covered "Unchain My Heart" on their Doin' The Bird LP. The track was further popularised by Joe Cocker when he named his 1987 album after the song. Hear the song online
You've Really Got a Hold on Me - Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (right)
Released on the Tamla-Motown label and written by Smokey Robinson and featuring Robinson on lead vocals, the song explores the feelings of a man so in love with a woman that he can't leave her despite the fact that she treats him badly. The song was a major hit for The Miracles, their version being a 1998 Grammy Hall of Fame inductee. It was also the groups' second million seller. ("Shop Around" was the first). The song, one of the most famous of the early Motown era, has been covered extensively since its release, including a famous cover by The Beatles on their With The Beatles in the UK and on The Beatles' second album in the US. The song was also covered by The Zombies and The Supremes. View the video online
(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance - Gene Pitney (right)
This song was written by the prolific songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David before they were full-time partners. Many people believe the song to be the theme for the 1962 movie of the same name, but this is not so. Although it was written for the movie and everybody loved it, John Ford (the movie's director) hated it and kept it off the soundtrack. Gene Pitney himself later said: "The song 'Liberty Valance' was written for the movie but for some strange reason never was put in the soundtrack. Because of the prior success with 'Town Without Pity,' I was paid a bundle to record the song, and Burt Bacharach produced it. There was some screw-up between the publishing company, Famous Music, and the parent company, Paramount Pictures. As to why it never was in the actual film, the most bizarre part of the story I found out a few years ago. The actual music used in the film was from a 1938 Henry Fonda film called Young Mr. Lincoln. Go figure that out!" Hear the song online
Bobby's Girl - Susan Maughan (right)
Susan Maughan is a British singer who released a series of reasonably successful singles in the 1960s. Her most famous and successful song is "Bobby's Girl", which reached No.3 at Christmas time in 1962. The recording was a cover of Marcie Blane's U.S. original. Perennially popular, Maughan now performs frequent summer seasons at Blackpool. Still recording to this day, she released her album, Hey Look Me Over, in 2007. 'Bobby's Girl' was written by Marcie Blane. Hear the song online
The Twist - Chubby Checker
This twelve bar blues song that gave birth to the Twist dance craze, it was written and originally released in 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side but was a minor hit. The song, and the dance, The Twist, was popularised in 1960 when the song was covered by Chubby Checker. His single became a smash hit, reaching No. 1 in September 1960, and then set a record by being the only single to reach No.1 in two different chart runs when it resurfaced and topped the chart again on 13th January 1962. In 1988 the song "The Twist" became popular once again, due to a new recording of the song by The Fat Boys featuring Chubby Checker. This version reached number two in the United Kingdom and number one in Germany. Checker also recorded variations on the theme, such as "Let's Twist Again (Like We Did Last Summer)" to keep the craze alive (although "Let's Twist Again" was and has remained more popular than "The Twist" itself in the UK). Checker's follow-up to the Twist singles was another dance song, called "Limbo Rock", which was a moderate hit. View the video online
Dream Baby - Roy Orbison (right)
With the release of "Only the Lonely" and its immediate rise to the top of the charts, Orbison went on to become an international star. His single, "Running Scared" became a US No.1. Later, Orbison wrote many songs with Bill Dees including "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "Dream Baby". Throughout his stay at Monument Records, Orbison's back-up band was a group of outstanding studio musicians led by Bob Moore. The play of Orbison's voice against the dynamic yet uncluttered sound of the band gave Orbison's records a unique and identifiable sound. View the video online
Cryin' In The Rain - Everly Brothers
Written by Howard Greenfield and Carole King, this was the Everlys' first hit with a song from the Brill Building stable of songwriters. It was recorded just prior to the Everlys' stint in the Marines. View the video online
Little Bitty Tear - Burl Ives (right)
During the 1950s, Burl Ives was hailed as the greatest ballad singer of the 20th Century. Though his star began to fade with the arrival of rock 'n' roll, he kept recording and selling thousands of albums to older audiences. "Little Bitty Tear" and "Funny Way Of Laughin'" were his two most popular songs of 1962 and were his best selling singles ever. Hear the song online
Duke of Earl - Gene Chandler (right)
This was one of six songs that The Dukays recorded in 1960. The other five were "The Girl Is a Devil," "Night Owl," "Kissin' in the Kitchen," "Festival of Love," and "The Big Lie." In 1961, Vee Jay Records 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 (as their single, "Night Owl", was struggling to make the charts); so, the producers offered Eugene Dixon - the Dukays' lead singer - 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." Dixon chose a solo career with the blessings of the group. To launch his solo career and create a separate identity, Eugene Dixon adopted the stage name, Gene Chandler, taken from actor Jeff Chandler.
Sandwiched between The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Jimi Hendrix at the Woodstock Music Festival in 1969, Doo-Wop cover band Sha-Na-Na performed this song to what was right of the crowd on Monday morning. "Duke of Earl" was not intended to be released when it was first sung: it was written simply as a method of doing vocal exercises until Dixon ad-libbed verses one day. The "Duke" referred to in the song is Earl Edwards, the founder of The Dukays. The word "Duke" is said approximately 125 times during the entire song. A cover version was recorded by the UK based doo-wop outfit Darts in 1979. It reached No.6 in the UK singles chart. Hear the song online
English Country Garden - Jimmie Rodgers
Rodgers, who was taught music by his mother, learned to play the piano and guitar as a youth, and formed a band while he served in the US Air Force. In the summer of 1957, he recorded a song called "Honeycomb", which had been done by Bob Merrill three years earlier; it was his first big hit. The following year, he had a number of other recordings that reached the top ten on the charts: "Kisses Sweeter than Wine", "Oh-Oh, I'm Falling in Love Again", "Secretly", and "Are You Really Mine". Other hits include "Bimbombey", "Ring-a-ling-a-lario", "Tucumcari," and "Tender Love and Care (T.L.C)". In 1959 he had a televised variety show on the NBC network. Rodgers' last top-100 single, was "Child of Clay", in 1967. In December 1967, he was a victim of an assault after allegedly being pulled over by an off-duty Los Angeles Police Department officer on the San Diego Freeway in Southern California. His recovery from his injuries resulted in a year-long period in which he ceased to perform. Rodgers returned to recording but was unable to emulate his former success. A minor hit in 1962, "English Country Garden" would later be covered by Rolf Harris, who changed the words to bring a humorous slant to the song. Hear the song online
Go Away Little Girl - Steve Lawrence
"Go Away, Little Girl" was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. In late 1962 Steve Lawrence released the original recording of this song. In 1971 Donny Osmond released a cover version which reached No.1 in the US. Hear the song online
Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley
This No.1 Presley hit was written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold and recorded by Elvis in 1961. "Good Luck Charm" was covered by Travis & Shook on Cape Cod Covers, Vol. 1 The King. Hear the song online
It Might As Well Rain Until September - Carole King
Over her long career, Carole King has won four Grammy Awards and has been inducted into both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for her songwriting, along with long-time writing partner, Gerry Goffin. Together they have written dozens of hits for various artists. King's own singing career, however, was slower to gain momentum. She had a modest hit singing one of her own songs, "It Might As Well Rain Until September", but after "He's a Bad Boy" in 1963, King did not make the singles charts again for eight years. Helen Shapiro and The Shirelles are among a large number of other artists who recorded this song. Hear the song online
Silver Threads and Golden Needles - The Springfields
Formed in 1960, this popular UK folk-based group was based around singer/songwriter Dion O'Brien and his sister Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette, who accompanied him on guitar. Better known as Tom and Dusty Springfield, the duo was later joined by the former's partner, Tim Field, and the following year the revitalised unit became one of Britain's top vocal groups. The trio enjoyed UK Top 5 singles with "Island Of Dreams" (1962) and "Say I Won't Be There" (1963), by which time Field had been replaced by Mike Longhurst-Pickworth, who took the less cumbersome professional name Mike Hurst. Neither song sold well elsewhere, including Australia, though "Island of Dreams" would later be recorded by The Seekers and become a hit for the. The Springfields enjoyed success with "Silver Threads And Golden Needles", a country standard that did as well in Australia as it did in the US, though paradoxically it failed to chart in Britain. The single went on to sell in excess of one million copies and was the group's only substantial hit outside of Britain. The group split up in 1963 with each member then pursuing solo ventures. Dusty Springfield became the UK's leading female singer, brother Tom continued his songwriting career, writing a string of hits for The Seekers ("I Know I'll Never Find Another You"; "A World of Our Own"; "The Carnival Is Over"; "Love Is Kind, Love Is Wine" etc.), while Hurst established himself as a leading pop producer through his work with Cat Stevens. View the video of a version by Linda Ronstadt, backed by The Eagles
Island Of Dreams - The Springfields
This Tom Springfield composition was the follow-up single to the group's Top 10 hit, "Silver Threads & Golden Needles". Though it charted, "Island of Dreams" failed to have the same impact as "Silver Threads" on the record buying public. The online video (see link below) shows the group members not totally comfortable with each other with Dusty's swaying provoking glares from Mike Hurst and counter glances from Tom Springfield. It perhaps reflects the arguments and a falling out that at the time was happening between them. They did split soon after. This song was covered in 1966 by The Seekers, for whom Tom Springfield was then writing. Appearing on The Seekers album, Come The Day, "Island Of Dreams" was released as the B-side to the hit single, "Come The Day". View the video online
Return to Sender - Elvis Presley (right)
The song was written by Winfield Scott and Otis Blackwell, and is about a man mailing a letter to his girlfriend after an argument. She continually writes "return to sender" and he keeps receiving the letter with various reasons for returning to sender, including "address unknown" and "no such person". He keeps mailing letters, refusing to believe the relationship is over. Elvis performed "Return to Sender" in the film Girls! Girls! Girls!. On 8th January 1993, a commemorative stamp to celebrate Elvis Presley's birthday was introduced. On this day, many Americans wrote invalid addresses on their letters marked with the new stamp. Thus, they would get the letter back with "Return to sender" written over it and the Elvis stamp with the date of the first issue day on it, which would increase the value of the stamp. Video the video online
Bachelor Boy - Cliff Richard (right)
Cliff Richard had a swag of hits throughout the 1960s, the biggest of them being "Please Don't Tease", "I Love You", "The Young Ones", "The Next Time / Bachelor Boy", "Summer Holiday", "The Minute You're Gone" and "Congratulations". "The Young Ones" and "Summer Holiday" were titles song from movies in which Richard starred. Ironically, Cliff Richard has taken the advice of this song and stayed a Bachelor Boy. View the video online
Right Said Fred - Bernard Cribbins
Early in his career, Cribbins released a number of comedy records, including Right Said Fred (in which a group of workmen struggle to move a large unspecified object, possibly a piano) and Hole in the Ground (in which an embittered workman murders a bowler-hatted harasser). He has appeared in many British films, including three Carry On films, the second Doctor Who film, Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD, and as the station porter, Perks, in TV programme, The Railway Children. View the video online
Norman - Sue Thompson/Carol Deene (right)
Most people who are old enough will remember the line "Norman, Oohoo-oohoo!" from this song. Despite the fact that BBC TV's Juke Box Jury gave it a resounding "raspberry", Deene made it her own in the UK, very much stamping it with her personality there. The lowly chart placing the song achieved does not properly reflect its popularity as it received a lot of airplay and was picked up vocally by almost anybody that had a Norman in earshot who they could victimise! Thompson's recording of the song was the only version to chart in Australia; she recorded three more charting singles - "Sad Movies" (1961), "James (Hold the Ladder Steady)" (1962) and "Paper Tiger" (1965); the latter appears to have escaped Deene's notice as it was the only Thompson song she never covered. Thompson was born Eva Sue McKee in July 1925, in Nevada, Missouri, making her the oldest popular female recording artist to ever have a No.1 hit in the UK (she was 47 when she recorded this song). Carol Deene's other hit in 1962 was "Johnny Get Angry". Today Deene has forgone her beloved Yorkshire for the warmth of Spain where she manages a radio station with her husband. View the video of Sue Thompson online
Speedy Gonzales - Pat Boone (right)
Boone had a golden run of the album and singles record charts from 1955 until 1962 when he, like many other American solo recording artists, fell victim to what became known as the British Invasion, headed by The Beatles. In Boone's final year as a chart-topping artist, he released the following singles: "Johnny Will"; "Pictures In The Fir; "I'll See You In My Dreams"; "Quando Quando Quando"; "Speedy Gonzales"; "Ten Lonely Guys"; "White Christmas". Hear the song online
Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On - Johnny Tillotson
In a career spanning more than 40 years, singer/songwriter Tillotson has recorded 26 singles that made it onto Billboard's charts. In 1960, he recorded his first hit, a composition entitled "Poetry in Motion", written by Paul Kaufman and Mike Anthon. "Send Me The Pillow You Dream On" was a major hit in 1962. His "Heartaches by the Number" was nominated for Best Vocal Performance of 1965. Hear the song online
What Now My Love - Shirley Bassey (right)
Bassey recorded her first single, entitled "Burn My Candle", and Philips released it in February 1956, when Bassey was just nineteen. The BBC banned it because of its suggestive lyrics, but it sold well nonetheless, backed with her powerful rendition of "Stormy Weather". Throughout the 1960s, Bassey scored with several hits. Her recording of "As Long As He Needs Me" from Lional Bart's Oliver reached No.2 in the UK. In 1962, a Bassey collaboration with Nelson Riddle and his orchestra produced the album "Let's Face The Music" and the single "What Now My Love". View the video online
I right My Heart In San Francisco - Tony Bennett
Written in 1954, the song became Tony Bennett's signature tune following its release in 1962 on his album of the same name. The music was written by George Cory, the lyrics by Douglas Cross. The song was written especially for Claramae Turner, who often used it as an encore, but never got around to recording it. Though it never charted in Australia, the single remained a good seller for years. It won the top prize of Grammy Award for Record of the Year, as well as for Best Male Solo Vocal Performance. In 2001 it was ranked 23rd on an RIAA/NEA list of the most historically significant Songs of the 20th Century. View the video online
Sun Arise - Rolf Harris (right)
"Sun Arise" was written in 1960 by Rolf Harris and Australian naturalist Harry Butler, after they did a trek through the Australian outback together. It was one of the first songs ever to be written and recorded that attempted to bring the feel, not only of the Australian bush, but of the Aboriginal people whose home it was, to an international audience. On the recording, the sound of the didgeridoo was imitated by four double basses. He also used the Jew's harp and, later, the stylophone. Live performance online | Hear the song online
Time Beat - Ray Cathode
This single was the first commercial release by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. It was credited to the pseudonym "Ray Cathode", which comprised of Maddalena Fagandini and future-Beatles producer George Martin. The song was actually a reworking of an earlier interval signal created by Fagandini. The original track was later featured on the compilation BBC Radiophonic Workshop, "21". The B-side to the single was "Waltz in Orbit" also credited to Ray Cathode. Hear the song online