KRLA, “The Big 11-10,” was one of several Top 40 stations in the Los Angeles market, going with that format in September 1959. On-air personalities included Casey Kasem, Bob Eubanks, Dick Biondi, and Wink Martindale, and they competed with KFWB and later KHJ for the Top 40 market. I found their survey for May 11, 1962 on Oldiesloon, and I’ll be honest, I hadn’t heard some of these songs until today. Here is their Top 10.
- Ronnie & The Hi-Lites, “I Wish That We Were Married” Ronnie Goodson was 14 when they made this song, which explains why he’s crying that he can’t get married. This was their biggest hit, rising to #16 nationally and spending 12 weeks in the Hot 100.
- Elvis Presley, “Follow That Dream” Title song for his 1962 movie, it peaked at #15 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Easy Listening chart.
- The Shirelles, “Soldier Boy” Finally, one I recognize. The Shirelles had a #1 hit nationally with this one.
- Mary Wells, “The One Who Really Loves You” Before today, the only song I had heard by Mary Wells was “My Guy.” A great song that reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart. The song was written by none other than Smokey Robinson.
- Jimmy Soul, “Twistin’ Matilda” I fully expected this to be a dance version of “Waltzing Matilda,” but you can’t have everything. Jimmy Soul is better known for 1963’s “If You Wanna Be Happy.” An interesting guy, he was what they call a “sanctified preacher” at the age of 7, and his stage name was chosen by his congregation. Note that he recorded for SPQR Records, which, in keeping with its name, depicts a wolf suckling Romulus and Remus on its label.
- The Marketts, “Balboa Blue” An instrumental group made up of studio musicians, I remember them from their 1963 hit, “Out Of Limits.” Typically thought of as a surf band, leader and chief composer Michael Z. Gordon had them do whatever music he thought would sell well. This didn’t do all that well nationally, peaking at #48.
- Dee Dee Sharp, “Mashed Potato Time” And another one I recognize… Dee Dee Sharp, née Dione LaRue, was a Philadelphia-born singer who started out as a backing vocalist. She had a string of Top 10 hits, but this was the biggest one, peaking at #2 and earning her a gold record. Her follow-up song, “Gravy For My Mashed Potatoes,” only reached #9 but was also certified gold. And, as I said a while back, music theory fans recognize that her name is a minor second.
- René & Ray, “Queen Of My Heart” I wasn’t able to find anything on this duo or the song, telling me that they were probably a local act. If anyone knows anything about them or the song, please enlighten us.
- Mr. Acker Bilk, “Stranger On The Shore” Typical of this period in the Sixties, you could find just about anything on the chart, including Easy Listening instrumentals. This turned out to be a huge hit for him in his native UK and was the first #1 by a British artist on the Hot 100. You might say it was an omen…
- David Rose & His Orchestra, “The Stripper” David Rose was a songwriter and conductor who spent 21 years as the musical director for Red Skelton on TV, and wrote music for many TV shows (including Highway Patrol) as Ray Llewellyn. He also composed “Holiday For Strings,” which came as a shock because I always thought Leroy Anderson composed it. No matter. We all knew this one from the Noxzema Medicated shaving cream commercials with the lovely Gunilla Knutsson that played during network sports broadcasts.
And that’s your Friday 5×2 for May 11, 2018.