November 11, 2013
Ross Bagdasarian (1919-1971), better known as David Seville, and most famous for his creation Alvin and the Chipmunks, had the first of his two number one songs when “With Doctor” reached the top of the charts April 28, 1959.
I was in the third grade at the time but I remember this song as one I heard over and over again on the radio. It was a novelty song with the vocal at double speed; a technique he would use with Alvin and the Chipmunks. It was a unique concept that would define his career.
“Witch Doctor” did not top the Most Played By DJ’s Chart but spent one week at number one on the Most Sld In Stores Chart and three weeks at the top of the BILLBOARD Top 100 Chart. It even reach number one on the R&B Chart, which a real real stretch.
Seville would go on to place 22 songs on the charts before his career and concept petered out in 1962.
We are left with one of the memorable line of the pre-Beatles rock and roll era – “Oo-ee-oo-aa-ah, ting-tang, walla walla bing-bang.”
August 12, 2013
George Harrison spent the 1960s as the lead guitarist of The Beatles. Every once in awhile, one of his songs would be included on an album. “Something” was a rare tune of his released as a single by the band.
When the Beatles disbanded, he released one of the classic albums in rock and roll history, ALL THINGS MUST PASS, proving that he was a major talent. He followed this with his famous CONCERT FOR BANGLA-DESH. He was always interested in humanitarian causes and the concert and subsequent album benefited the starving in Bangla-Desh.
The single was released during the summer of 1971 and peaked at number 23 on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. It may not have been one of his best songs but it was one of his most important.
August 9, 2013
The first number one single of 1958 was also the number one single of the year as “AT The Hop” by Danny & The Juniors topped all three BILLBOARD Magazine Singles Charts.
Best Sellers In Stores Chart – 1/6/58 – 5 Weeks At Number One.
Most Played By DJ’s Chart – 1/27/58 – 3 Weeks At Number One.
Billboard Top 100 – 1/6/58 – 7 Weeks At Number One.
Danny Rapp, lead singer, and Dave White, Frank Maffei, and Joe Terranova began singing together on street corners while in high school. White co-wrote a song called “Do The Bop” and while Dick Clark liked the tune, he suggested they change the title since the bop was on the way out. It was good advice as “At The Hop” soared to the top of the charts.
They placed nine singles on the charts, 1958-1963, but their only other major hit was “Rock n Roll Is Here To Stay,” which was in response to the criticism that rock and roll had been enduring.
The group split shortly after their hits ran out. Rapp took his own life in 1983. The other three original members with new lead singer Bill Carlucci reformed the group in 1971 and continue to tour together.
August 6, 2013
Herman’s Hermits were the soft pop side of the 1960s British Invasion of the United States. While their music has often been dismissed at light weight, they sold millions of records in the United States.
Their first single, “I’m Into Something Good,” reached number 13 on the BILLBOARD Magazine Hot 100 in 1965. They hit their stride, 1964-1966, when they placed nine singles in a row in the American top 10.
“Wonderful World” was an old soul song, written by the unusual combination on Sam Cooke, Jerry Moss, and Lou Adler. It was original recorded by Cooke. Herman’s Hermits turned it into an up-tempo pop song, During the summer of 1965, it peaked at number four during its ten weeks on the charts.
During 1964-1968, they reached the Hot 100 19 times but would never have another hit. Today there are two versions of the band that tour.
August 5, 2013
Pat Boone was starring with Shirley Jones in the movie APRIL LOVE, when he released the title song as a single. It was written by Sammy Fain and Paul Webster who had won an Academy Award for “Love Is A Many Splendored Thing.”
The rock and roll era was in full spring an Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, and The Everly Brothers had topped the charts during 1957. “April Love” was an easy listening pop song but it managed to top all three of BILLBOARD’S Singles Charts.
Best Sellers In Stores Chart – 12/23/57 – 2 Weeks At Number One.
Most Played By DJ’s Chart – 12/16/57 – 6 Weeks At Number One.
Billboard Top 100 – 12/30/57 – 1 Week At Number One.
Pat Boone was a huge star during the last half of the 1950s. His television show, THE PAT BOONE-CHEVY SHOWROOM, premiered on ABC in October, just before “April Love” became the last number one song of 1957.
July 27, 2013
Sam Cooke hah one of the smoothest voices in American music history. He began as a gospel artist, who was the lead singer of the Soul Stirrers. When he released a pop song, he was promptly fired by the group. Their loss was the mainstream American music scene’s gain. He would place 43 singles on the BILLBOARD Pop Chart and sell millions of albums.
His first pop chart hit was also the only number one song of his career. Released in the fall of 1957, “You Send Me” topped all three of BILLBOARD’S Pop Charts.
Best Sellers In Stores Charts – 12/2/57 – Two weeks at number one.
Most Played By DJ’s Chart – 12/9/57 – One week at number one.
Billboard Top 100 – 11/16/57 – Two weeks at number one.
His life came to a tragic end, December 10, 1964, when he was shot to death by a hotel office manager. The courts ruled it was justifiable homicide.
His legacy is that of an influential artist, who introduced a white audience to a new type of music.
July 23, 2013
Who knows how many tens-of-millions of albums Johnny Mathis has sold during a career that is well past the 50 year mark. What people sometimes forget is that he charted 45 singles on the BILLBOARD Hot 100.
He only reached number one twice. The second time was a 1978 duet with Denise Williams. The first was in 1957 with one of the classic easy listening ballads of the 1950s.
“Chances Are” almost didn’t make it to the top of the charts. It stalled at number four on the Best Sellers In Stores Chart and number five on the BILLBOARD Hot 100. The radio dee jays loved the song and on October 21, 1957, it topped the Most Played By Dee Jays Chart for one week, which gave Johnny Mathis the only solo number one of his career.