1960 music: elect JFK or RMN?

3 Elvis, 2 Connie Francis, 2 Brenda Lee

Percy FaithThere was a time when I thought most of the music between 1959 and 1963 was boring. Lots of dudes named Bobby – Bobby Vee, Bobby Vinton – and they weren’t even the same guy?

But the world was getting interesting. In 1960, the Presidential election was taking place. Whoever was elected was going to be far younger than that general fellow who had been in the office.

These were the songs that hit #1 in 1960 on the pop charts. RB=rhythm and blues. CW=country and western.

The Theme from “A Summer Place” – Percy Faith and His Orchestra, #1 for nine weeks. #2 RB. Gold record. I heard snippets of this song a LOT during the decade. It was often the music that would lead to the news on the hour.

Are You Lonesome To-night – Elvis Presley, #1 for six weeks. #3 RB, #22 CW. Double platinum record. The talking part – “You know someone said that the world’s a stage And each must play a part” – always bugged me.

It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley. #1 for five weeks. #7 RB. Platinum record. In grade school, I heard “O Sole Mio.” This confused me.

Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers. #1 for five weeks. #1 RB. Gold record. My first favorite group.

Stuck on You – Elvis Presley. #1 for four weeks. #6 RB, #27 CW. Platinum record. Did I mention my father HATED Elvis?

Done with Elvis

I’m Sorry – Brenda Lee. #1 for three weeks. #4 RB. Gold record.

Running Bear – Johnny Preston. #1 for three weeks. #3 RB. Gold record. I don’t remember this. Having heard it -oy.

Save the Last Dance for Me – the Drifters. #1 for three weeks. #1 RB. Gold record. Even as a child, I thought this was a very romantic song.

Teen Angel – Mark Dinning. #1 for two weeks. #5 RB. Gold record. I didn’t like death rock songs very much.

My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own – Connie Francis. #1 for two weeks. #11 RB. I vaguely remember this.

El Paso – Marty Robbins. #1 for two weeks. #1 for seven weeks CW. I thought this was rather cool, with this country tune topping the charts. Was this really a four-minute single?

Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool– Connie Francis. #1 for two weeks. #2 RB. Gold record.

The Twist – Chubby Checker. #2 for three weeks RB. Gold record. This song, of course, would reach #1 in 1962 as well.

Thursday afternoon at the beach

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini – Brian Hyland. #10 RB. Gold record. This song got stuck in my head. When I tried to write a song about the beach, I lifted a bit of this song.

Alley-Oop – Hollywood Argyles. #3 for two weeks RB. Gold record.

Mr. Custer – Larry Verne. #9 RB. I don’t remember this at all. And now I’ve seen it, I’m slackjawed. Just OMG.

I Want To Be Wanted – Brenda Lee. #7 RB. Not remembering this.

Stay – Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs. #3 for two weeks RB. I LOVED this song. It’s one of the shortest #1s ever at 1:37. I wish it would play just a little bit longer.

Georgia on My Mind – Ray Charles. #3 for four weeks RB. The song became Georgia’s official state song on April 24, 1979, when Gov. George Busbee signed it into law.

Interesting that every single song on this list crossed over to another chart.

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