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 Baby” co-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.
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!