Monday’s Music Moves Me: #40’s/#30’s of 1964

In 1964, there were a couple of times when WLS’s Top 40 became the Top 20, then, right around Labor Day, it went to a Top 30 for the rest of the year, adding a Top 10 of R&B records. By January 1965, everything was back to what passes for normal in the radio business, but normal had changed somewhat: instead of the #40’s being songs that made a quick exit from the survey, many of them spent 6 weeks or more on the survey, including multiple weeks in the Top 10. So, I might need to change my methodology at some point. This isn’t it, though…

  • January 31: Freddy Cannon, “Abigail Beecher” This song spent eight weeks on the chart, peaking at #16 both in Chicago and nationally. Freddy still had plenty in the tank by then.
  • February 28: Martha & The Vandellas, “Live Wire” A song that went nowhere nationally nonetheless spent a couple of weeks on the chart in Chicago, reaching #37 before falling off after two weeks.
  • March 27: Joe & Eddie, “There’s A Meetin’ Tonight” Joe Gilbert and Eddie Brown were gospel and folk singers who spent three weeks in the lower reaches of the Silver Dollar Survey, peaking at #34 before disappearing.
  • April 24: Boots Randolph, “Hey Mr. Sax Man” This actually started at #39, because the week it entered the survey The Four Seasons were at #40 after a few weeks. This spent three weeks on the chart, peaking at #36.
  • May 29: Johnny Rivers, “Memphis” The song that started Johnny on the road to Top 40 success. It spent 9 weeks on the chart, peaking at #3.
  • June 26: Little Richard, “Annie Is Back” Standard craziness from Little Richard without the success it usually brought. Was on the chart two weeks, peaking at #36.
  • July 31: The Ventures, “Walk Don’t Run ’64” An interesting remake of their 1960 hit, it spent seven weeks on the chart, peaking at #15.
  • August 28: Andy & The Manhattans, “Double Mirror Wrap Around Shades” I’m not sure how many weeks this spent on the survey. Over Labor Day weekend, WLS printed a Top 20 along with a Top 20 of songs that had been popular until then. Anyway, it didn’t get much above #40
  • September 25: The Nashville Teens, “Tobacco Road” The week after Labor Day, WLS switched to a Top 30 survey for the remainder of the year. This started at #30 and spent 8 weeks on the chart, peaking at #4. /li>
  • October 30: Lorne Greene, “Ringo” Ben Cartwright leaves the Ponderosa beind to give us this gem. It spent nine weeks on the chart and peaked at #2.
  • November 27: Dave Clark 5, “Anyway You Want It” The DC5 brought the Tottenham Sound to US shortly after The Beatles made their first appearance on Ed Sullivan and were almost as big of a hit as the Fab Four. This peaked at #5 in the early weeks of 1965, after spending nine weeks on the chart.
  • December 25: Del Shannon, “Keep Searchin'” Del’s last big single was on the chart at the same time as the last two songs were on it, and peaked at #4.

And that’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 25, 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.

27 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: #40’s/#30’s of 1964

  1. “Abigail Beacher” and “Live Wire” – never heard of either of them (and the first one reached #16? Yikes. Maybe not in NYC?) Both were fun songs, though. I knew most of these other ones, and it was so nice hearing Del Shannon, the Dave Clark Five and Johnny Rivers again.


    1. Well, that’s what happens: a song that is a monster it in one part of the country goes absolutely nowhere im a market. That’s like Looking Glass’s “Jimmy Loves Mary Ann”: it was a big hit in Chicago and went absolutely nowhere anywhere else.


  2. Wowsa! Great songs, John. I think the rivalry thing with the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five was to bring more attention to both groups, like they really needed it? Both were great groups!


    1. With the Beatles and the DC5, it was a matter of geography: The Beatles (and a lot of bands that were a part of the British Invasion) were from Liverpool, about 200 miles from London, where the DC5 (and The Rolling Stones) were from. It was almost like apples and oranges.

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  3. I am glad you are showcasing 1964 and it would be a bit nutty since itโ€™s my birth year. I actually donโ€™t know most of these songs and that Martha and the Vendellas song reminded me of Heat Wave. I do know and love The Vendella song and love Lorne Greene who was the voice for Canada during WW2. Some of these are just a little strange in some way but I still enjoyed listening to them


  4. John,

    I’ve had your site pulled up for hours. I got nearly done with the playlist then got turned around doing something else, so here I am finally getting around to commenting. lol I thought for sure I wasn’t going to know a single song on your list but your finds surprised me. You have some really groovy tunes that have tickled my ears before. This was great fun listening to. I worked on one of my A2Z sketches while it played. Thanks for joining the 4M gang on the dance floor, my friend. Have a boogietastic week!


    1. That was a great record, wasn’t it? John D. Loudermilk, who wrote that song, used to do it slow and melancholy, so an upbeat version really puts a different feel to it.


  5. Oh my, I feel like I was listening outside my brother’s room…. although some of those you could’ve heard outside my bedroom for sure. Dave Clark 5 was definitely on my list. My Dad really liked the Lorne Green’s tune Ringo. Del Shannon was played on my stereo too. I was only between 12 & 16 during these tunes. My bro Jr. was 6 yrs. older than me & a drum fanatic so need I say more. Our house was always filled with music plus my mom loved to dance & loved music & loved musicals on TV like Judy Garland, Gene Kelley & Fred Astaire. So there was a lot of music in my life growing up! Thanks for the fun! I’m sure my brother was listening with me. He’s gone now, but I know he’s always with me when the music gets turned on. ~hehehe~ Thanks John it’s always fun stopping by you! hugs Hope you had a great week end!!!


  6. Great music set. I had a couple of Johnny Rivers albums, including Live at the Whiskey A-Go-Go. The early sixties still had room for instrumentals in the top 40 and I remember Duane Eddy along with The Ventures charting hits regularly. I saw the Dave Clark Five in Concert in Tulsa, OK. Thanks for the memories.


    1. Johnny Rivers was an excellent guitarist and did a lot of great music. I had one of his Greateest Hits albums that I just about played the grooves off of.

      Back in the early ’90’s, IRS Records tried to revive the whole instrumental rock genre, and started the IRS No Speak label. There were about 15 albums released that went absolutely nowhere. I think I was the only one to buy any of them.

      You of course remember the “rivalry” between The Beatles and The Dave Clark 5 back in the ’60’s. Don’t know what the rivalry was: they were two bands from different parts of England playing almost completely different music. I liked them both.


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