These are the most awarded songs #7. They’ve won commendations from the Grammys, the Oscars, Rolling Stone magazine, RIAA, ASCAP, CMA, NPR, and similar entities. Yet, there is one song on this list I had never heard before. Naturally, it came out after 1999.
90. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston. I never owned this record. Never had to. It’s embedded in my brain forever, even though I haven’t heard it much in thirty years. I don’t even much LIKE it from overexposure. Still, I’m glad that songwriter Dolly Parton used some of the royalties to invest in an office complex in a Black neighborhood in Nashville, TN.
89. In The Still Of The Nite – The Five Satins. I never knew that “Nite” was spelled that way, to avoid confusion with a Cole Porter tune. A great song that may lay claim to being the origin of the term doo-wop.
88. I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack. I did not recognize this 2000 song from its title and performer. Though it was highly regarded, I just managed to miss it.
87. On Broadway – The Drifters. The Drifters, I once wrote, were my favorite 1950s/early 1960s group, even though I never owned their albums. They were always generously represented on compilation albums. A Mann/Weil song tweaked by Leiber and Stoller.
86. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry. Quite probably the first rock and roll hit about rock and roll stardom
85. The Girl From Ipanema – Astrud Gilberto/Stan Getz. Even as a kid, the song seemed exotically sexy. it may be the second-most recorded pop song after Yesterday.
84. King Of The Road – Roger Miller. I got the Roger Miller Greatest Hits album, on Smash Records, from the Capitol Record Club c. 1966. I LOVED it, especially this song. Lyrics: “Two hours of pushin’ broom Buys an eight by twelve four-bit room. I’m a man of means by no means.”
83. We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions – Queen. I associate both of these with sports. We Will Rock You is a stadium anthem. Any number of championship sporting teams have attempted to sing We Are The Champions. “In 2011, a team of scientific researchers concluded that ‘We Are The Champions’ was the catchiest song in the history of pop music, despite its not reaching #1 in the charts in any major market.”
82. Green Onions – Booker T. and The MG’s. Since it came out, it may have been the most popular choice by disc jockeys breaking away to the news at the top of the hour. Or so I remember. Unlike other hit instrumentals of the era, it was really funky. And it had the word Green in the title. I remember Wolfman Jack saying in the movie American Graffiti that the green onions hanging all over the studio would “keep the vampires away.”
81. Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On – Jerry Lee Lewis. Big Maybelle made the first recording of the song in 1955, produced by Quincy. A couple of years later, Jerry Lee’s version added the boogie piano and the “suggestive spoken asides”. Sam Phillips thought it was too risque.