The Friday 5×2: WMEX (1510 AM, Boston MA), 1963

Today we visit WMEX, which is currently simulcasting WATD-FM (Marshfield, MA) with plans at some point to broadcast oldies and local sports to the South Boston area. The station has a long and convoluted past, which you can read here. Today, we look back at 1963, when they were a Top 40 station, to see what their Top 10 looked like.

  1. Jimmy Soul, “If You Wanna Be Happy” Jimmy Soul, a gospel singer from the age of seven, was discovered by Frank Guida, who had also discovered Gary “U.S.” Bonds. This song was originally offered to Bonds, but he turned it down. Jimmy eventually took it to #1 nationally.
  2. Connie Francis, “Follow The Boys” Theme song from the movie of that name that starred Connie and Paula Prentiss. It peaked at #17 on the Hot 100 and at #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  3. Dee Dee Sharp, “Do The Bird” Wikipedia tells us that Dee Dee claims she was set to marry boxer Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam. Title track from her 1963 album, it reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #8 on the R&B chart.
  4. Richard Chamberlain, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” Richard Chamberlain was something of a teen idol thanks to his role on Dr. Kildare, so of course he had to record an album, 1962’s Richard Chamberlain Sings. This peaked at #14 nationally.
  5. The Cookies, “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad (About My Baby)” The Cookies started out as backup singers for a number of Atlantic Recordss artists, including Ray Charles, and members of the original lineup became the Raelettes, Charles’ backup group. This was their highest-charting single, reaching #7 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.
  6. Jan & Dean, “Linda” “Linda” was written by Jack Lawrence in 1942 in honor of the one-year-old daughter of his attorney, Lee Eastman. Linda Eastman, of course, later married Paul McCartney, and the rest is history. Jan & Dean, looking for their first #1 hit, were only able to take this to #28. Their next single, “Surf City,” did much better.
  7. Dion, “Sandy” From his 1963 album Dion Sings To Sandy, this reached #21 nationally.
  8. Roy Orbison, “In Dreams” I’ve noticed that Roy is particularly well-liked among my readers. He gives that gorgeous voice a workout on this song, which reached #7 nationally. It was later the title track for his 1986 compilation album In Dreams: The Greatest Hits. Sales of that album were helped by the song’s use in David Lynch’s film Blue Velvet.
  9. The Chiffons, “He’s So Fine” The song at the center of a lawsuit filed by its authors against George Harrison, who they claimed plagiarized the song to write his 1971 hit “My Sweet Lord.” The Chiffons had a #1 hit with this song.
  10. Skeeter Davis, “End Of The World” One of the first women to achieve success as a singer in country music, Skeeter Davis (born Mary Frances Penick) influenced later country music stars such as Tammy Wynette and Dolly Parton. She also had some success as a crossover artist, this song being her biggest success. While this reached #2 on the Hot 100 and Country charts, it topped the Adult Contemporary chart and, surprisingly, reached #4 on the R&B chart.

And that’s your Friday 5×2 for March 8, 2019.

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