The Friday 5×2: WLS (890 AM Chicago), 6/28/63

Turning back to WLS in Chicago, here’s their Top 10 on June 28, 1963. A year later, The Beatles would dominate the charts.

  1. Bill Anderson, “Still”: This was a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 (#8), Country (#1), and Adult Contemporary (#3) charts. Bill’s still going strong, bless him.
  2. The Dovells, “You Can’t Sit Down”: It was almost two years from their previous Top 10 single (“Bristol Stomp,” #2 in 1961), but it was worth the wait. This song climbed to #3 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the national R&B chart.
  3. Roy Orbison, “Falling”: A song that was a Top 10 hit on the Adult Contemporary chart (#7) and through most of the English-speaking world, but only reached #22 on the Hot 100.
  4. The Chiffons, “One Fine Day”: A song by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, The Chiffons had five songs on the charts in 1963, and this was second only to “He’s So Fine” in popularity, reaching #5 on the Hot 100.
  5. Ricky Nelson, “Gypsy Woman”: Not the same “Gypsy Woman” that was written by Curtis Mayfield and was a hit for Brian Hyland in 1971. Ricky’s failed to reach the Top 40 either according to Billboard (#62) or Cash Box (#91) and only made it to #27 in Australia, but WLS listeners loved it.
  6. Jan & Dean, “Surf City”: Their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 and the Cash Box Hot Singles chart. It’s an anthem to the Southern California surf lifestyle.
  7. Bobby Vinton, “Blue On Blue”: A song by Bacharach and David, which I didn’t realize until today. One of Bobby’s “blue” songs, this reached #3 on both the Hot 100 and the Cash Box Singles chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart, and also did well in New Zealand, where it reached #5.
  8. The Beach Boys, “Shut Down”: A real quickie (less than two minutes), it was the flip side of “Surfin’ USA” and only reached #23 nationally.
  9. Ryu Sakamoto, “Ue O Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki)”: It said “Sukiyaki” on the label. The Japanese name means (roughly) “I Look Up As I Walk.” This was an international hit, and reached #1 on the Hot 100, the first record by an Asian singer to top the chart.
  10. The Essex, “Easier Said Than Done”: Four active-duty Marines (three men and one woman) used this as their demo song, and their record company made it the B side. Despite its status as a B side and that, as Marines, they could’t get away to promote it much, it reached #1 on the Hot 100.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for June 26, 2020.

15 thoughts on “The Friday 5×2: WLS (890 AM Chicago), 6/28/63

  1. I wasn’t really keeping up with pop music at that time. In fall of 1963 I remember the song “Sugar Shack” being very popular in San Diego where I was at the time. I wonder if it hit the Chicago charts too. I moved to Merrillville IN in October of 1963 and don’t remember ever hearing it there. I would have been listening to WLS at that time.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. “Sugar Shack” hit the Silver Dollar Survey on September 13, 1963. It hit #1 on October 4 and stayed there for four weeks. Maybe you weren’t listening when they played it. Hey, it happens to me all the time.

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  2. I enjoyed listening to all of these! All played for me which is rare but I enjoyed it. I had no clue what the Japanese song would be until it played. I really like that song. The beach songs fit the season.

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    1. The words to “Sukiyaki” are really beautiful:

      I look up while I walk
      So the tears won’t fall
      Remembering those spring days
      But tonight I’m all alone
      I look up while I walk
      Counting the stars with teary eyes
      Remembering those summer days
      But tonight I’m all alone
      Happiness lies beyond the clouds
      Happiness lies above the sky
      I look up while I walk
      So the tears won’t fall
      I cry while I walk
      For I am alone tonight
      Remembering those autumn days
      But tonight I’m all alone
      Sadness hides in the shadow of the stars
      Sadness hides in the shadow of the moon
      I look up while I walk
      So the tears won’t fall
      My heart is filled with sorrow
      For tonight I am alone
      For tonight I am alone

      Liked by 1 person

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