Monday’s Music Moves Me: Start At The Bottom, 1961

I remember picking up the WLS Silver Dollar Survey every Friday from a record shop on Morse Avenue. Most of my attention was on the Top 10, but I’d always try and catch the song at #40, which was usually a new song. More often than not, it never got very far, unless it was from a band like The Beatles (and their songs usually broke in higher than that). So, here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to play the #40 song from the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for the last survey of each month in 1961 (and thanks to my friends at Oldiesloon for curating the surveys). You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?

  • January 28: The Diamonds, “Daddy Cool” This one didn’t even chart for this Canadian quartet. Seventeen years later, Mary and I were married on this day.
  • February 25: Bobby Darin, “Lazy River” Only reached #14 nationally, but went to #2 in the UK.
  • March 25: Jerry Lee Lewis, “What’d I Say” Jerry Lee’s cover of Ray Charles’s #1 hit only reached #30 on the Hot 100 and #27 on the Country chart, but went to #10 in the UK. This was on my fifth birthday.
  • April 29: Gene Pitney, “Louisiana Mama” A song that didn’t chart nationally. Gene would have to wait until later in 1961 for chart success.
  • May 27: The Brothers Four, “Frogg” Reached #32 on the Hot 100. The Brothers were unable to repeat the success they had with “Greenfields” the year before.
  • June 24: The Drifters, “Please Stay” While this didn’t reach the Top 10, it reached #14 on the Hot 100 and #13 on the R&B chart, so it was a minor hit for them. This was an early hit for songwriter Burt Bacharach, and Dionne Warwick sang backup.
  • July 29: Johnny Crawford, “Daydreams” Only reached #70 for Johnny, who excelled as Mark McCain on The Rifleman with Chuck Connors.
  • August 26: Jose Jimenez, “Astronaut (Part 1)” Political correctness hadn’t yet caught on in 1961, and Bill Dana’s “Jose Jimenez” schtick was a huge hit. This peaked at #19 and launched (sorry) his career.
  • September 30: Duane Eddy, “My Blue Heaven” From his album The Twang’s The Thang, it only reached #50 nationwide.
  • October 28: Faron Young, “Back Track” Country star Faron Young had a hit on the country chart with this, which reached #8 there, but it didn’t cross over so well, only reahing #89 on the pop chart.
  • November 25: Johnny Hallyday, “One More Time” I’ve seen his name around, but this was the first I heard him. Hallyday was a French rock singer. This doesn’t seem to have gone anywhere in this country, and I can’t find it anywhere…
  • December 30: Bob Conrad, “Love You” You know Bob Conrad as Robert Conrad, who starred in The Wild Wild West and Baa Baa Black Sheep (also known as Black Sheep Squadron) and a series of commercials for Eveready batteries. As you can see, this is from a collection of songs sung by actors that also included a song by Dwayne Hickman, better known as Dobie Gillis. Can’t find any information on his singing career, but he was hardly a “golden throat.”

Next time I do this (probably in two weeks), I’ll try and follow the songs through their lives on the Silver Dollar Survey. I sorta ran out of time this week…

That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for January 14, 2019.

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.

12 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: Start At The Bottom, 1961

    1. It was an interesting time, and a time of a lot of variety in the Top 40, where you could see Lawrence Welk and Ferrante & Teicher alongside Bobbys Vinton and Darin and girl groups mixing it up with country artists. By the end of the decade, you didn’t have that.

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  1. You are so right about how you would get such a mix of different music in the early 1960’s and you don’t get that. Just like TV with the news stations segregated into left or right wing, music stations are now so specialized. I have to admit to not knowing many of these songs. But since Bobby Darin (who went to my high school – not at the same time as me, though!) was one of your songs I declare this an interesting and well done post!

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    1. Thanks! There’s more to come. It’s interesting to hear songs I’ve never heard or that didn’t get much play back then. I try and play the songs that people might not have heard. Hey, if it was good enough for a record company to put it on vinyl and issue it as a single, there must have been some reason, even if the song was really not that good.

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  2. So sorry John not to have stopped by on Monday, but I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather besides my leg swelling big time. Bummer, but I’m here now. Great line up my friend. Jose Jimenez, “Astronaut”. Was a hit in our house, it made us laugh so hard and everyone eventually knew it by heart. It really brought back some old memories like my first boy & girl party I ever went too. I danced with this chubby guy that sang off key in my ear & to Bobby Vinton’s song he sang in my ear… “Blue Sequins…”! DUH BLUE VELVET YOU MORON! I was wearing a dark blue dress & the top was blue sequins. bwahahaha I was really totally turned off to this kid to say the least. bwahahaha… ahhh if we could only turn back time… Thanks for sharing my friend! hugs

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    1. If your leg is swelling, you might have lymphedema like I do. There’s a massage technique called lymphatic drainage that might help. Not just any massage therapist does it; in fact, the ones who did mine were associated with our hospital’s physical therapy and rehabilitation group. My Medicare replacement plan paid for most of it, and I’d imagine yours might, too. You might want to look into it.

      I’m playing catchup myself. Don’t worry about it…

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  3. John,

    I’m familiar with WLS because DH could get the station from his home on top of Bradshaw mountain in southern WV. Where I lived in the valley the mountains blocked the reception of far away broadcasts. 1961 is my birth year. I listened to your playlist while doing some other things. I noticed some of these titles are introductions but I enjoyed listening to the whole set. Thanks for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, my friend!

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    1. You could pull in WLS from just about anywhere from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians at night, and sometimes even further (I’ve seen reports of people getting it in California). Those clear channel stations were incredible. 50 kilowatts of omnidirectional power. Now, as fewer people listen, they hold back on the power. Of course, we can pick up a lot of those stations on the Internet, too…

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