The Friday 5×2: WABC, New York, On This Day In 1961

So let’s see what the flagship station of the ABC Radio Network was playing on this day in 1961. They’re now doing news/talk (surprise!).

  1. The Jive Five, “My True Story” From Brooklyn, New York, this was The Jive Five’s only Top 10 hit, reachjing #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the R&B chart. They were responsible for the jingles on Nickelodeon bumpers in the ’80’s and ’90’s.
  2. Tony Orlando, “Bless You” Yes, it’s that Tony Orlando. He had some chart success before he joined with Telma Hopkins and Joyce Vincent Wilson in the early ’70’s. This was his biggest seller as a solo act, reaching #15 on the Hot 100 and #3 in the UK.
  3. The Jarmels, “A Little Bit Of Soap” From Richmond, Virginia, they were discovered by Ben E. King. They reached #12 with this, their only Top 20 hit.
  4. Dick & Dee Dee, “The Mountain’s High” Mary Sperling and Richard Gosting redubbed themselves Dee Dee Sperling and Dick St. John when they started out as a singer-songwriter duo. This was their first single and their best-selling record, reaching #2. They cracked the Top 20 two more times, with “Young And In Love” (#17 in 1963) and “Thou Shalt Not Steal” (#13 in 1964).
  5. Lonnie Donegan, “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour (On The Bedpost Overnight?)” The “King of Skiffle,” Lonnie Donegan inspired The Beatles and several other bands which later became part of the British Invasion. He wasn’t as popular in the US. This reached #5 when it was released in 1959, and was obviously re-released; no idea how well it did in 1961, but it was #6 this week in New York.
  6. Roy Orbison, “Crying” This was his followup to “Running Scared” and it reached #2 in the US, #5 in Australia, and #3 in Canada. This is the official video, which shows a portion of a concert in 1965.
  7. Ray Charles, “Hit The Road Jack” The Monday after this survey, this song reached #1 on the Hot 100 and stayed there for two weeks. It also spent five weeks atop the R&B chart and won the Grammy for Best R&B Record. Rolling Stone ranks it at #387 on the list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
  8. Bobby Vee, “Take Good Care Of My Baby” A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song, it rose to #1 on the Hot 100 and spent three weeks there, as well as reaching #1 in Canada, New Zealand and the UK, while reaching #6 in Australia. Jazz guitar greats Barney Kessel and Howard Roberts appeared on the record.
  9. The Dovells, “The Bristol Stomp” The Dovells were an a capella singing group from Philadelphia, but were backed by the house band for Cameo-Parkway Records on this track. The song was written by Kal Mann and Dave Appel, executives for the record label, and reached #2 nationwide and received a gold record.
  10. Dion, “Runaround Sue” This is #351 on the list of greatest songs of all time. How it rates higher than “Hit The Road Jack” is a mystery. This reached #1 in the US, Canada, and New Zealand, and #6 in the UK. It was #46 on the list of hit records for 1961.

As an interesting side note, here is the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for October 7, 1961. It’s completely different.

That’s the Friday 5×2 for October 5, 2018.

11 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WABC, New York, On This Day In 1961

            1. He was. In fact, he was the first DJ to play a Beatles record in the US. Vee Jay Records (the company that had the initial rights to the Fab Four) was based in Gary, Indiana, and someone from there brought him a copy of “Love Me Do,” which he played. Not long after that he had an altercation with station management and got fired. When WCFL went Top 40, he ended up there. I think he’s still going…

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  1. The year my brother was born! The gum on the bedpost I always thought was gross. Love Crying by Roy Orbison but I love anything he does. Sue was always a good name to run around with


    1. It’s interesting that Lonnie Donegan would have been on the survey again. The song didn’t exactly break any records (so to speak) when it came out in ’58. Wonder why it was re-released? It seems like it was just in New York…


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