Monday's Music Moves Me

1961-1965 #1 One-Hit Wonders

Thank you for including me in your Monday, kittens & dawgs!  This week’s theme is “your choice“. Last month, I introduced the first part of  a new series #1 One-Hit Wonders . I started with 1960 and in today’s post I’m sharing years 1961-1965 in this second part. 

 

 

Mother in Law” recorded by Ernie K-Doe, written and produced by Allen Toussaint who also played piano solo. This song almost wasn’t after a very frustrated Toussaint crumbled the balled up and tossed it in the trash. Willie Hopper, a backup singer thought otherwise and convinced K-Doe to give it another shot. This song topped both the US Billboard Hot 100 (May 22, 1961; for one week) and R&B (May 1, 1961; stayed at the top the whole month) charts.

 

Hey Babyco-written by Margaret Cobb and Bruce Channel. Channel recorded the song in 1961. It landed stayed at number one for three weeks starting March 10, 1962. The 1987 hit movie Dirty Dancing used this song in the scene where Johnny and Baby dance on top of a tree log. Annie Murray covered “Hey Baby” in 1982; hitting the US Country Singles chart at #7 and the Adult Contemporary chart at #26. She peaked #1 on both the Canadian RPM Country and Adult Contemporary Tracks charts the same year. Eurodance artist, DJ Otzi recorded this song in 2000 for his debut album Love, Peace & Vollgas. Two years later his cover re-released when it became the unofficial theme song for the FIFA World Cup; peaking #1 in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and Japan.

 

 

“Stranger on the Shore” written as a clarinet piece by Acker Bilk under the title “Jenny” for his young daughter which became the theme mewsic for a BBC TV series for young people with the same name which first released in the UK, then the US where it reached #1 (May 26, 1962) and #2 in the UK. Gene Cernan, a member of the Apollo 10 mission took this track on cassette tape and used in the command module of the Apollo spacecraft. Many artists covered this tune but the most prominent version is a vocal arrangement by the late Andy Williams in 1962 hitting three separate charts: Adult Contemporary at number nine, UK Singles positioned #30, and ranking #38 on the US Billboard Hot 100. “Stranger on the Shore” featured in the pop culture AMC series Mad Men when Peggy gave up her son for adoption.

I was too young to remember Stranger on the Shore and it sounds more like a tune from the 40s or 50. It’s really a pretty melody.  Robert Mellin wrote lyrics to the best-selling instrumental later in 1962 and covered by Andy Williams. The instrumental arrangement is still my favorite.

 

Telstar is the second British recording to reach number one (Dec. 22, 1962) on the US Billboard Hot 100 and it hit #1 on the UK Weekly charts. Joe Meek wrote and produced this instrumental arrangement for the English band, the Tornados. The song named after the Telstar Communications satellite that launched in the summer of ’62. Tim Wheeler of Ash said, “This was one of the first sci-fi-influenced pop songs. For its time it was so futuristic and it still sounds pretty weird today.” Jean Ledrut, a French composer claims Joe Meek plagiarised “La Marche d’Austerlitz”, a piece he wrote in 1960 for the film, Austerlitz. A lawsuit filed preventing Meek from earning any royalties from the recording and the issue wasn’t resolved until after his suicide in 1967. What a tragedy!

 

Sukiyaki (Ue o Muite Arukou)” recorded by Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto was written by Rokusuke Ei and composed by Hachidai Nakamura. This is one of the best-selling singles of all times with more that 13 million copies sold worldwide. It released first and ranked #1 in Japan in1961 (my birth year). The original recording went to #18 on the R&B chart and spent five weeks at the top of the Middle of the Road charts. On June 15, 1963, it went to #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. R&B artists, A Taste of Honey, covered this classic hit in 1980 and reaching #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary and Soul charts. Covered and re-invented over the years by many artists and no matter what, whenever I hear this song I’m reminded of the time Uncle Roger returned home (on military leave serving somewhere in Asia) with a silky gold oriental outfit that I wore as PJs. It was the prettiest thing I ever saw.

Dominque is a french language folk song written and recorded by Jeannine Decker from Belgium (better known as The Singing Nun). This little ditty is about the Spanish-born priest, Saint Dominic, founder of the Dominican Order where she was member and known as Sister Luc-Gabriella. The upbeat tune set to words that speak of Saint Dominic’s poverty and servitude to Christ through mewsic. The English translation of the refrain goes…

Domi-nique -nique -nique went about simply,
a poor singing traveller.
On every road, in every place,
he talks only of the Good Lord,
he talks only of the Good Lord.

“Dominque” peaked the chart on December 7, 1963 where it outsold Elvis during its stay and was the second to the last #1 before the British Invasion. Decker never did this well again. She led a colorful but tragic life. Due to financial and tax problems caused by her once #1 hit, Decker and her decade long partner, Sarah Pescher, killed themselves in 1985.

 

Don Robertson and Hal Blair wrote Ringo a first-person spoken account of a lawman and the notorious outlaw Johnny Ringo recorded by Canadian-born, Lorne Greene.  I never cared for spoken songs in part and this one is completely spoken except for the backup singers. According to Wikipedia the historical facts don’t match the song lyrics. Nine days before my third birthday “Ringo” hit the top of the charts on December 5, 1964.  What I found interesting more than this song is on the record’s flip side is the lyrical version of Greene’s popular TV show theme, Bonanza. I loved watching the dramas unfold on the Ponderosa with the Cartwrights always on the side of good!

 

 

“Eve of Destruction” if you didn’t know is a Vietnam war protest song written by P.F. Sloan in mid-1964 and was initially showed to The Byrds but they passed on it. The Turtles routinely recorded songs The Byrds discarded but, they rejected it, too. Instead they recorded a different version.  It was Barry McGuire  who laid down the rough vocals accompanied by a group of L.A. session players early one July morning and never intended for release which leaked and played on the radio the following morning. It became an instant hit. His song topped the charts on September 25, 1965.

This song made me sad. I was a little girl during the this war and I had three uncles fighting in it. I really hated that, too. I knew they were in harm’s way and I worried that they might not come back again. Thankfully God kept watch over them and they did return.

I invite you to hit the dance floor XmasDolly, Stacy, Colette , and little ole me!

This is a weekly hop for mewsic enthusiasts regardless if you follow our weekly theme or not if you have mewsic to share then we’re ready to dance with you. Otherwise, I ask that you do not link non-mewsic posts below to boost traffic to your site. You’re welcome to leave your URL in comments with a brief description inviting me to check it out. Please kindly respect our mewsic linky party. Otherwise, your post will not be met by happy dancers. Thank you!

 



 

This is Curious as a Cathy signing off with a few dance moves from the 60s.

 

Have a songtastic week and I’ll see ya back on the dance floor next week with “School related mewsic” on Monday’s Music Moves Me!

 

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I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.

23 Comments

  • mimi

    How i do love Ernie K-Doe’s song! He was a New Orleans character, running his Mother-in-Law Lounge for years, always popular with the locals.

  • Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)

    One hit wonders? Maybe, but what wonders all of these songs are, each and every one. When I think of the diversity of some of the top 40 hit back in the early 60’s, it amazes me for an age when diversity wasn’t celebrated in our everyday lives – instrumentals (what ever happened to instrumentals? – the Beatles even had a couple on their It’s A Hard Day’s Night album), a “singing nun”, a song in Japanese I found myself singing along to the Japanese lyrics now that I could see them in the Roman alphabet (and now I know that the song means!), a song about mother-in-laws, a song about a satellite. Telstar, if it was made today, would still be one of my all time favorites. I’ll be playing that over and over again. Thank you for the dance! I’ll be dancing for a while!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Alana,

      It’s funny I didn’t think about how awesome the variety of styles in mewsic there was in these days with my attention focused on all that talent in general but you’re right. The various song styles are amazing. You definitely do not see this today and I’d say we’ll never see it again. Thanks for dancing with me, my friend!

  • John Holton

    Great song list. I always regretted that the song by Ryu Sakamoto ended up with a silly name like “Sukiyaki.” That was a record company exec’s decision, thinking that was what people would call it. The lyrics are beautiful.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      John,

      I know a producer can’t predict how well a song will do but you’d think they’d label the song with at least a more western sounding name that made sense to us. lol The lyrics are beautiful. I wish I had thought to share them in my post but if anyone is interested now then visit, this site for the English translation of the song.

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Patrick,

      Interesting factoid. I didn’t know there was a movie about “The Singing Nun” or maybe I did and already forgot. lol I’ll have to see if I can find a YouTube vid of Reynolds singing this one-hit wonder. Thanks for sharing and visiting today!

      PS: I actually like Reynolds’ version from the movie better than the original. Here’s Debbie singing it!

      https://youtu.be/E_TAl_cjTGs?t=37

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Joyce,

      The original artists I didn’t know, either and of course much of this mewsic I caught toward the latter part of the decade since I was really small when these released. Thanks for checking ’em out and joining me on the dance floor today!

  • Thomas Anderson

    Hi, Cathy!

    The years 1961 to 1965 were among the greatest of my life. I was age 11-15 and the mewsic played on my local top 40 station had me glued to my transistor radio. Several records you posted here are favorites of mine beginning with the humorous song “Mother-In-Law.”.

    Satan should be her name
    To me they’re about the same

    The B side is another great R&B ditty called “Wanted, $10,000.00 Reward (for my girl).” I played it often.

    “Hey Baby” by Bruce Channel (last name pronounced same as the perfume Chanel No. 5) is an example of how a great record on an obscure local label (LeCam Records, Fort Worth, TX) can blow-up into a #1 charting national hit given proper promotion and distribution, in this case by Smash Records. “Hey Baby” is simply sensational, loaded with down home Texas charm including the harmonica playing of Delbert McClinton. This morning as I am drinking my Starbucks I am hearing the covers of “Hey Baby” by Nova Scotia songbird Anne Murray and Eurodance artist Dj Otzi for the first time. As I was listening to Anne’s 1982 version on YouTUbe, I found an entertaining clip of her doing the song and dancing on the deck of the world’s largest ship In the January 1983 TV movie Anne Murray’s Caribbean Cruise:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsNwDdtWrS8

    “Stranger On The Shore” and “Telstar” remind us that instrumentals were still going strong on the pop chart during this period. Post Beatles instrumentals had a much tougher time reaching the upper end of top tunes surveys, but two later exceptions that immediately come to mind are the theme from “Hawaii Five-O,” a hit single for The Ventures in 1969, and “Hocus Pocus” by the Dutch rock band Focus which made the top 10 in the U.S. in 1973. “Sukiyaki” by Kyu Sakamoto is a record that must not have been played very often on my local radio station because I don’t remember listening to it in 1963. I learned about the record in the early 70s when I got caught up in the wave of nostalgia sweeping the country and started collecting “oldies.” I do remember the Singing Nun and her hit record “Dominque“ (recently used in the Asylum season of the TV series American Horror Story. I feel depressed whenever I listen to “Dominque“ because it was charting when President Kennedy was assassinated. As you mentioned it was one of the last #1 hits before the Beatles and other Brit mop-top bands started dominating the chart. I well remember the spoken song “Ringo” by Lorne Green who played Ben Cartwright on Bonanza and was the pitchman for Alpo dog food. Of course, the protest song “Eve Of Destruction” is one of the most memorable songs in this set. It was answered by the Spokesmen and their partially sarcastic counterpoint single “Dawn Of Correction,” by SSgt. Barry Sadler’s patriotic single “Ballad of the Green Berets” and by Johnny Sea’s spoken word recording “Day For Decision.”

    The hit singles in this post remind us of the diversity that was found on the pop chart in the early 60s, much of it aimed at older audiences. When the Beatles exploded into the most popular band in the world, they transformed the pop mewsic landscape. From then on it was all about youth.

    Thank you very much for presenting these one-hit-wonders from 1961 to 1965, dear friend Cathy, Have a great week!

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Tom,

      “Hawaii Five-O” turned into a popular instrumental and is still one of the most recognizable songs today. “Hocus Pocus” by Focus didn’t ring a bell with me, so I checked it out on YouTube. After hearing it I don’t think I can say it’s familiar to my ears but it’s nice instrumental arrangement, except I could do without the crazy lyrical portions which detract from the song. Thanks for visiting this morning and have a good week, my friend!

  • Arlee Bird

    Ah yes, I remember all. I used to hear “Stranger on the Shore” a lot and always liked it, but I never realized who did it until about 8 years ago. Funny because I used to see Acker Bilk albums advertised on inner album sleeves and was always curious about them.

    A lot of memories in this post.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Lee,

      I didn’t know many of these artists by name but most of the mewsic I remember. It’s always a pleasure to delve into my research to find tunes to share. The sound of Bilk and others similar to his sounds so dreamy sucking one into a time warp of days gone by. Thanks for reminiscing with me on the dance floor!

💕I love comments! Have a purrfect day & thanks for stopping by!💕