From Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles book, The Most Awarded Songs #3. This covers a range of categories: ASCAP, BMI, RIAA, Rolling Stone magazine, plus Grammys and Oscars, and more.
130. Strangers In The Night – Frank Sinatra. This was from the movie A Man Could Get Killed, starring James Garner, which I’ll admit I am unfamiliar with. But for Frank Sinatra, it was a #1 song in the midst of the rock and roll era, 1966, his first #1 in more than a decade. Yet Frank HATED the song and thought it was terrible. Especially the “doo-be-doo-be-doo” part, which later inspired CBS TV exec Fred Silverman to rename a cartoon character Scooby-Doo. Oh, and there is a complicated copyright issue.
129. Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes. In 1964, this was the first of five consecutive #1 songs, for the former “No-Hit Supremes.” Like many of their hits, it was written by Holland-Dozier-Holland.
128. My Guy – Mary Wells. I was always impressed by the fact that My Guy and My Girl were both written and produced by Smokey Robinson. Both went to #1.
127. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2. Isn’t that true of many of us? From Joshua Tree, still my favorite U2 album, pretty much from the jump. I do find the Rattle and Hum version, with the gospel choir, intriguing, though.
126. The Way They Were – Barbra Streisand. I understood the relationship between the two main characters in the 1973 film of the same name, which I saw. Part of the film, starring Streisand and Robert Redford, was filmed at Union College in Schenectady. The idea of people who love each other but are ill-suited is quite relatable to me. The song, by Alan Bergman, Marilyn Bergman, and Marvin Hamlisch, expresses that melancholy.
125. The Letter – The Box Tops. The Joe Cocker version is fine, but this one is both short and insistent. I feel as though I should have gotten into other Alex Chilton music, such as Big Star.
124. Tequila – The Champs. This was supposed to be the B-side to Train To Nowhere, but a DJ flipped the record. The song became so much a part of pop culture.
123. All Along The Watchtower – Jimi Hendrix. This is ALWAYS on lists of the greatest cover songs. Bob Dylan recorded the song dor his John Wesley Harding Harding album, but in his live shows, his version is more like the Hendrix iteration.
122. Coal Miner’s Daughter – Loretta Lynn. An epic recounting of her growing up in poor, rural Kentucky. But it could have been much longer, as she was asked to drop five or six verses. I always meant to see the movie with Sissy Spacek.
121. Purple Haze – The Jimi Hendrix Experience. This likewise is ALWAYS on the list of popular mondegreens. “‘Scuse me while I kiss this guy,” which I NEVER heard until others suggested it.