Most awarded songs #14

Summer’s here

The countdown continues. Some of the most awarded songs #14. Grammy and/or Oscar love. Citations in Rolling Stone magazine, RIAA, ASCAP, CMA, NPR, and more.

20. The Tracks Of My Tears – The Miracles. Classic Smokey Robinson poetry. “Since you put me down My smile is my make up I wear since my break up with you” It uses the clown motif, as did the Miracles’ Tears of A Clown.

19. Always On My Mind – Willie Nelson. Interestingly, this is a song that was NOT written by Willie. The 1972 song was also successfully recorded by artists, including Elvis, before Willie’s Grammy Award-winning version in 1982.

18. Be My Baby – The Ronettes. Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and Phil Spector, the only Ronette on the track was Veronica Bennett, later Ronnie Spector. Sonny and Cher sang backup vocals. The Wrecking Crew played the instruments, with Hal Blaine making an error in the drumming that stayed on the recording.

17. Great Balls Of Fire – Jerry Lee Lewis. The song I most associate with Lewis was used in the 1957 movie Jamboree.


16. Light My Fire – The Doors. I’ll admit it. The album version of this song, which was often played on the radio despite its 7-minute length I grew to find tedious.

15. What’d I Say – Ray Charles. His first big crossover to pop hit is a great call-and-response. And also very suggestive, especially in part 2. Ray closed every live show with the song. The unedited version.

14.  Stand By Me– Ben E. King. This was a rewrite of an old gospel song by King, Leiber, and Stoller, released in 1961. It was featured on the soundtrack of the film of the same name a quarter of a century later. It was covered over 400 times, by Otis Redding, John Lennon, and many more.

13. Dancing In The Streets – Martha and the Vandellas. The song was written by Marvin Gaye, Mickey Stevenson, and Ivy Jo Hunter. The Vandellas had the hit in 1964 after Kim Weston passed on the piece. It was a party song, enjoying splashing through the open fire hydrants in the summer. But it was adopted as a civil rights anthem as well.

Hello, Darkness

12. The Sound Of Silence – Simon And Garfunkel. From Hello Darkness, My Old Friend: How Daring Dreams and Unyielding Friendship Turned One Man’s Blindness into an Extraordinary Vision for Life by Sanford D. Greenberg.  Much of this is accurate, but the part about the song, written by Paul Simon, of course,  is not.

Sandy was roommates with Art Garfunkel at Columbia University. [Sandy went blind from severe glaucoma and went back home, defeated, to Buffalo. But his buddy Art showed up at the front door.] Art escorted Sandy around campus and even referred to himself as “Darkness” to demonstrate his empathy with his friend. “Darkness is going to read to you now.”

While at Oxford, Sandy got a call from Art. Art had formed a folk-rock duo with his high school pal Paul Simon, and they desperately needed $400 to record their first album. Sandy and his wife Sue had literally $404 in their bank account, but without hesitation, Sandy gave his old friend what he needed. Art and Paul’s first album was not a success, but one of the songs, The Sounds Of Silence [later changed], became a #1 hit a year later. The opening line echoed the way Sandy always greeted Art.

11. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers. Written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil in 1964, it was the epitome of the Wall Of Sound.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Most awarded songs #14”

  1. “Always on my Mind” is such a beautiful song. As much as I love Willie Nelson, for me Elvis Presley’s is the canonical version–not sure why, could just be that I’ve heard it more–and I’m glad he recorded it later in his life, when his voice had enough miles on it to sell the song’s emotions.

    I also love “Dancing in the Street”, though my entry point to that song wasn’t the original but rather the cover done by David Bowie and Mick Jagger in 1985, which I love to this day, and soon after that, I found the Van Halen cover from the DIVER DOWN album. I only later heard the original (and others). It’s quite a versatile song!

    “Stand By Me” is probably obvious…most of my generation came to that one via the movie by the same name, I suspect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial