Category Archives: 1961

And we’re done…

When I started this project, I had two goals. One, I wanted to do a long-form project and see it to the end. With Happy wrapping up the chart, I have accomplished that goal. Two, I wanted to understand the … Continue reading

Posted in 1940s, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

The Tokens – The Lion Sleeps Tonight

First Hit #1: December 18, 1961 In the past, I’ve been pretty dismissive towards music by white guys trying to sound like they’re not white guys. It always comes off as a combination of crass and goofy, since they can’t … Continue reading

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The Marvelettes – Please Mr. Postman

First Hit #1: December 11, 1961 And now, to provide contrast with imposing men, are the Marvelettes, who may have imposing hair but are instead much more concerned with a somewhat more… whiny subject. See, Please Mr. Postman is about … Continue reading

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Jimmy Dean – Big Bad John

First Hit #1: November 6, 1961 There’s something to be said about the slightly intimidating story song. Jimmy Dean, apart from being among the great sausage innovators of our age, is a fantastic storyteller, and his deep voice with the … Continue reading

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Dion – Runaround Sue

First Hit #1: October 23, 1961 Runaround Sue starts badly, mostly because it cribs a plaintive tone from the omnipresent teen tragedy songs of the early ’60s. Teen tragedy songs are generally awful tearjerkers about morons. So, of course, I … Continue reading

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Ray Charles – Hit the Road Jack

First Hit #1: October 9, 1961 I have no idea why Ray Charles was constantly recording this song. There are several versions out there, each bearing the production tricks and bad habits that defined the decade it came from, and … Continue reading

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Bobby Vee – Take Good Care of my Baby

First Hit #1: September 18, 1961 Somewhere on the wilds of the Internet, there’s a site dedicated to Passive-Aggressive notes. I bring it up because here we have Bobby Vee singing what can only be described as a passive aggressive … Continue reading

Posted in 1961, A regrettable tune | Tagged , | Leave a comment