Monday’s Music Moves Me: The #40’s Of 1963

Continuing my #40 series, here are the #40 songs on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey for the last Friday of each month. This week, 1963.

  • January 25: The Matys Bros., “Who Stole The Keeshka?” A polka, because polkas were always popular in Chicago. You’ll note the phonetic spelling of the word kishka… This spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #17.
  • February 22: Marvin Gaye, “Hitchhike” Marvin was still gaining traction when this was released. It peaked the following week at #36 before dropping off the survey.
  • March 29: Bobby Vinton, “Over The Mountain (Across The Sea)” Some schmaltz from Bobby Vinton, and don’t you love it? Spent five weeks on the survey, peaking at #19.
  • April 26: Etta James, “Pushover” I’m surprised this didn’t take off better than it did. Spent four weeks on the survey, peaking at #28.
  • May 31: Fats Domino, “There Goes My Heart Again” Considering this song only reached #59 nationally, Fats did all right in Chicago. Spent three weeks on the survey, peaking at #35.
  • June 28: Al Casey, “Surfin’ Hootenanny” Both surfing and hootenannies were popular in 1963, so Al figured that if you put them together, they’d be a big hit. Try again, Al. Nevertheless, it reached #27 after five weeks on the survey.
  • July 26: The Cookies, “Will Power” A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song; The Cookies did several of their songs, including “Chains,” later covered by The Beatles. Peaked at #34 in its second week, also its last.
  • August 30: Kelly Garrett, “Tommy Makes Girls Cry” This entered the survey at #36, because the four songs occupying #37-40 (Sam Cooke’s “Frankie and Johnny,” The Miracles’ “Mickey’s Monkey,” Kyu Sakamoto’s “China Nights” (at least they didn’t rename it “Tempura” or “Yakitori”), and Gene Chandler’s “Man’s Temptation”) were on their way down from higher positions, so I decided to feature this instead. It fell to #40 the following week and spent two more weeks on the survey, peaking at #23.
  • September 27: The Orlons, “Crossfire” This rockin’ little number spent four weeks on the survey and also peaked at #23.
  • October 25: The Allisons, “Surfer Street” This is all Wikipedia had to say aout The Allisons: “The Allisons were an American girl group who had a minor hit with the song ‘Surfer Street.’ This song was released on Tip Records and charted for one week in December 1963, in the number 93 position. The song capitalized on the popularity of early 1960’s surfing culture.” It spent three weeks on the chart at WLS, peaking at #32.
  • November 29: Jan and Dean, “Drag City” This was the one success story for 1963 as far as #40’s go. It spent ten weeks on the chart and reached #1 for a week in January.
  • December 27: The Cookies, “Girls Grow Up Faster Than Boys” Finally, we have this little gem which was written by Gerry Goffin and Jack Keller. It spent five weeks on the chart and peaked at #31.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 11, 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.

25 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: The #40’s Of 1963

  1. I didn’t have my own radio yet in 1963, and I don’t remember any of these. It’s funny to realize that until I had that radio and until my brother had his license, I pretty much listened to what my parents listened to. At least I remember some show tunes.


    1. I don’t think most people heard any of these songs, except maybe “Drag City.” (And “Who Stole The Keeshka?”) In some cases, you can understand why, but others were at least as good as anything else on the radio at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Let me guess. This was during the surfer craze. It was the year before we started listening to Top 40 radio. Some good stuff here. The only ones we knew were the Jan & Dean and Marvin Gaye songs.


  3. These are all new to me except for Jan and Dean and Fats Domino…..they were my jam in 5th grade, because I always loved Fats’ bluesy jazz and Jan and Dean’s surf rock.


    1. Fats played a style of rock that was more influenced by New Orleans than anything, with plenty of Mardi Gras in there. He’s fun to listen to.

      I was reading last night that there are really two factions in surf, the instrumental (Dick Dale, The Ventures, etc.) and the vocal (Jan and Dean, The Beach Boys etc.) and both sides claim that the other is bogus. We’re out here in the hinterlands just loving both…


  4. Oh gosh, I live in the city of the Polka King…Walter Ostenek who won tons of Grammys. Who doesn’t love a good polka especially at a wedding. I like the surfer song too. With all the rap crap and hip hop blecchh, I miss this music


    1. Never heard of Walter; he sounds like Canada’s answer to Frankie Yankovic. We had a guy in Chicago named Eddie Blazonczyk who did a polka version of the Chicago Bears’ fight song when they went to the Super Bowl in 1985. Interesting that polka is less Eastern European than central: it started in Bohemia and is real popular in Germany and Austria, not so much in Poland, although in Chicago it was adopted by them.

      And I agree: most music today is crap.


  5. John,

    In 1963 I was just two years old. All of your song picks are new-to-me. Marvin Gaye’s ‘Hitch Hike’ sounds a little familiar but I can’t swear to it that I’ve heard it before today. I was sure some of your picks would jingle a bell but there weren’t any alarms going off in my head. Thanks for the good ole vintage ear candy! Have a boogietastic week, my friend!


  6. Hi John – they are mostly songs I don’t know … but interesting to read about … your knowledge is great and I enjoy seeing what you put up – cheers Hilary


  7. Who Stole The Keeshka believe it or not I do remember that tune, but I always wondered why it even made it to the radio. ~hehehe~ I also remember “Hitch Hike” the dance and use to do it (shhhhhh). I was very much into dancing back in the day. I remember my surgeon asked me what do you want out of this surgery & I told him I’d like to get rid of my cane & maybe even dance again. Well, I can dream can’t I? I was also a very big Bobby Vinton fan in high school. All us girls were. My brother was a big fan of Fats Domino & Wow John you’re really going way back there & it was where I was still playing with my dolls… hehehehe~ although I heard many of these coming from my big brother’s room. He loved music & was also a drummer. All in all John Great job!


  8. I remember 4 of these songs. I was a big fan of Fats Domino and surfin music. Being raised in Florida, we dreamed of big waves, all in vain. Keep up the good work, John.


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