Monday’s Music Moves Me: Top 10 from WJJD 62 Years Ago Today

On June 11, 1956 I was almost three months old, and while rock ‘n’ roll was starting to take over the charts, a lot of popular music was still what we’d call “easy listening.” Oldiesloon, my source for surveys from the Chicago area and others, has as their oldest survey the one from WJJD on that day. Here are the Top 10. I’m kind of running late today, so I’m going to run down the Top 10 without my usual attention to the history behind the performers and songs. Hope that’s okay…

  1. The Chordettes, “Born To Be With You”
  2. Elvis Presley, “Heartbreak Hotel”
  3. Don Robertson, “The Happy Whistler”
  4. Carl Perkins, “Blue Suede Shoes”
  5. The Fontaine Sisters, “I’m In Love Again”
  6. Cathy Carr, “Ivory Tower”
  7. The Ames Brothers, “It Only Hurts For A Little While” (NOTE: Oldiesloon says The Four Aces did this song, but I can’t find any evidence that it was them. There is every indication that The Ames Brothers did it, however, so I’m going with them.)
  8. Pat Boone, “I Almost Lost My Mind”
  9. The Four Lads, “Standing On The Corner”
  10. The George Cates Orchestra, “Moonglow/Theme from “Picnic”

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for June 11, 2018.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Cathy, Alana, Michelle and Stacy, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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The Friday 5×2: Top 10 From WJJD On This Day In 1959

Before we get started, I have a Battle of the Bands that I started Tuesday, “Battle ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’: Stanley Jordan & Chet Atkins vs. Lennie Breaux and Chet Atkins,” that I’d like to invite you to vote in, if you haven’t already done so. You don’t have to be part of the Battle of the Bands crowd to vote, you don’t even need to know anything more about music than what you like to vote.

The recently-completed A to Z Challenge is now in the books, and I’m in the process of recovering from that, so I’m going to do another of my survey posts, this time the Top 10 from WJJD in Chicago on May 4, 1959, 59 years ago, before today was known as Star Wars Day. My thanks to the good folks at Oldiesloon for the great job they do gathering and typing in these surveys and to the many posters who added the various songs to YouTube so that I can share them with you.

#10: Ricky Nelson, “It’s Late” No doubt a nod to the Everly Brothers, who did the very similar “Wake Up, Little Susie” a couple of years earlirer. In its 11th week on the charts, it fell from #5.

#9: Martin Denny, “Quiet Village” Title track from Martin’s 1959 album, it was composed by Les Baxter in 1951 and released as a single in 1952. Martin’s cover reached #4 on the pop charts. On the ‘JJD charts for just 4 weeks, it jumped from #15 the week before.

#8: Dave “Baby” Cortez, “The Happy Organ” Composed by Cortez with assistance from celebrity photographer James J. Kriegsmann and Kurt Wood. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 the following week. In Chicago, it was already headed down the chart after 8 weeks, down from #7 the week before.

#7: Dion & The Belmonts, “Teenager In Love” Considered one of the greatest songs in rock & roll history, it reached #5 on the Hot 100. After just three weeks on the chart in Chicago, it jumped from #17 the week before.

#6: Fabian, “Turn Me Loose” This was Fabian’s first Top 10 hit nationwide, reaching #5 on the Hot 100. It was on its way back down the chart already on WJJD after 7 weeks, falling from#4.

#5: The Skyliners, “Since I Don’t Have You” A beautiful song and a personal favorite, it was up from #6 the week before, in its 5th week on the chart.

#4: Wilbert Harrison, “Kansas City” Written by Lieber & Stoller in 1952 and originally done by Willie Littlefield, this was a #1 hit for Wilbert. Jumped from #8 the week before in its 4th week on the chart.

#3: Dodie Stevens, “Pink Shoelaces” I thought the name was familiar: I profiled Dodie during my series on Chanteuses. This was recorded when she was just 13 years old, and peaked at #3 on the Hot 100. We liked it better in Chicago, where it had peaked at #1 the week before.

#2: Edd “Kookie” Byrnes with Connie Stevens, “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)” Edd had become something of a teen idol from his work on 77 Sunset Strip, while Connie (no relation to Dodie) had made a number of appearances on the show. The song peaked at #4 nationally, and had stalled at #2 in Chicago in its third week.

#1: The Impalas, “Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)” This song peaked at #2 nationally, but went all the way to #1 on WJJD in its 5th week on the chart.

And there’s your Friday 5×2 for May 4, 2018.

The Friday 5×2: Top Ten From WJJD, 9/8/58

It’s survey time again! We’re reaching all the way back to 1958 and pulling up the Top Ten from WJJD, at one time the rock & roll station in Chicago.

#10: Roger Williams, “Near You” This song peaked at #10 on the Hot 100 and #12 on Cash Box that year. One of two instrumentals on today’s chart.
#9: The Olympics, “Western Movies” Some great doo-wop from The Olympics, it was their first single and reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B chart.
#8: Perez Prado, “Patricia” This was the last song to reach #1 on the Jockeys and Top 100 charts maintained by Billboard. On August 4, 1958, they were combined into a single chart, the Hot 100. As you can see, it was still going strong in Chicago a month later.
#7: Jimmy Clanton, “Just A Dream” Jimmy was known as the “swamp pop R&B teenage idol.” Nationally, this reacxhed #4 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart.
#6: Bobby Day, “Over And Over” This was the flip side to “Rockin’ Robin,” and didn’t do quite as well, although it reached #1 on the R&B chart. It was later covered by the Dave Clark 5, who took it to #1.
#5: Little Anthony & The Imperials, “Tears On My Pillow” Their first hit single, it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.
#4: The Everly Brothers, “Devoted To You” Don and Phil recorded a lot of songs by Felice and Boudleau Bryant, including this one, the flip side to “Bird Dog.” On its own, it reached #10 nationally, #2 on the R&B chart, and #7 on the Country chart.
#3: The Elegants, “Little Star” This was the only million-selling song for the boys from South Beach, Staten Island. It spent a week at #1 and 19 weeks on the Hot 100.
#2: Tommy Edwards, “It’s All In The Game” Was #1 in the nation the day my brother Kip was born. Just a beautiful song, you know?
#1: Domenico Modugno, “Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)” Won the Sanremo Music Festival and later placed third in the Eurovision Song Contest. It spent five nonconsecutive weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 (“Little Star” managed to sneak in ahead of it one week).

Thanks again to my friends at Oldiesloon and to the kind folks who posted all of this, especially Bob Moke, A/K/A MusicProf78. That’s The Friday 5×2 for September 8, 2017.

The Friday Five: The Top Ten From WJJD, May 12, 1958

 

Yes, another survey this week. I had been working on a killer list based on the word “time,” only to discover that I had already done one, and more recently Mike Golch featured five “time songs” recently on his Friday Five (I think he calls it “Five on Friday”). So I had to ditch that idea and come up with something quick, and this was the quickest thing I could think of. If anyone has suggestions for a Friday Five, leave it in the comments and I’ll get to it.

Anyway, today we turn the clock back to May 12, 1958, and examine the Top Ten at radio station WJJD in Chicago. As was usually the case with these early rock & roll surveys, it was a mixed bag of rock, doo-wop, easy listening, and country, even a novelty record thrown in for good measure.

  1. The Monotones, “Book of Love” The Monotones had one hit, and this was it.
  2. Perry Como, “Kewpie Doll” This is Perry’s attempt at rock & roll, and it’s not an especially bad one.
  3. Art & Dotty, “Chanson d’Amour” I’m always reminded of the version by The Muppets, which had me laughing for days after the first time I saw it. A&D do a much more straightforward version, but there are still a few laughs to be had (“ya tada tada”).
  4. Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode” No offense to Chuck, but this is maybe my least favorite of his songs, simply because it’s been played to death.
  5. Laurie London, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” A little folk-gospel music. How’d that get in here?
  6. Elvis Presley, “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” This song went to #2 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 on the R&B chart, and was certified platinum. And I rarely hear it. Go figure.
  7. David Seville, “Witch Doctor” Ross Bagdasarian, a/k/a David Seville, gave us a sample of what he could do recording his voice at slow speed and playing it at higher speed. We might never have had The Chipmunks if this record hadn’t done well.
  8. The Platters, “Twilight Time” One of the great “transitional” groups between the postwar Easy Listening and rock & roll, always smooth and fun to dance to. This reached #1 on the Hot 100 and R&B charts.
  9. Dean Martin, “Return To Me” Only went as high as #4 in the US, but did better in the rest of the world. It was used as the title song for the 2000 movie that starred David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, and Carroll O’Connor. I actually liked the movie, which I think we either rented or saw on TV.
  10. The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” Boudleaux Bryant, who usually worked with his wife Felice, wrote this one, and as is usually the case when the Bryants and the Everlys got together, the result was a hit.

Thanks as always to Oldiesloon for today’s list. And that’s The Friday Five for May 12, 2017.

Monday’s Music Moves Me: The Top 10 From WJJD Chicago, 11/7/60

As 1960 drew to a close, rock & roll was giving way to R&B and increasingly to the solo singer, either backed by a band or a full orchestra. It’s not an era I’m that familiar with, and when I looked at this survey, more than a few of these songs looked unfamiliar, so I heard a few of them for the first time today. Anyway, here’s what they were listening to in Chicago on this day 56 years ago. I only embedded the top five, but I added links to the next five, in case you wanted to listen to them.

#10 – Sleep” by Little Willie John This is a rework of Fred Waring’s theme song. I hadn’t heard this one before today, at least not Little Willie John’s version.

#9 – Sailor” by Lolita Austrian singer Lolita gives us this German-language song with an English verse recited over her singing. I’m pretty sure I featured this once before, but I have to find it….

#8 – Stay” by Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs This was listed on the survey as being by Maurice Williams only, so I didn’t recognize it at first, but this is a classic.

#7 – The Hucklebuck” by Chubby Checker The Hucklebuck didn’t catch on as well as The Twist, but it’s still a rockin’ little number. I hadn’t heard this before today.

#6 – I Want To Be Wanted” by Brenda Lee Little Miss Dynamite in a sweet downtempo country love ballad. Heard this for the first time today.

#5 – “Save The Last Dance For Me” by The Drifters Another classic from when Ben E. King was with the group.

#4 – “New Orleans” by Gary “US” Bonds You might also remember this one from the end of The Blues Brotheres 2000, which wasn’t quite as good as the original, but it had a lot more music.

#3 – “Wait For Me” by The Playmates Another lovely new-to-me song. The Playmates were a vocal trio, kind of like The Lettermen.

#2 – “Poetry In Motion” by Johnny Tillotson Another classic. I thought I had seen recently where Johnny had died, but he’s still going strong at almost eighty.

#1 – “Ruby Duby Du” by Tobin Mathews This kind of threw me for a loop: I found two guys named Tobin Matthews, one a guitarist and bandleader and the other a singer. This is by the former. Thank heaven they both didn’t do this song. I heard this for the first time today, too.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for November 7, 2016.

Monday’s Music Moves Me is sponsored by X-Mas Dolly, Callie, Stacy, Cathy, and Naila Moon, so be sure and visit them, where you can also find the Linky for the other participants.


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