Top Ten Tuesday: WKDA (1240 AM, Nashville TN), 11/1/59

WKDA in Nashville was the first station to go all rock & roll, where it competed with WMAK through most of the ’60’s. By the ’70’s it was competing with its sister station, WKDF, which was playing album-oriented rock. Eventually the station was sold to a company that made it an all-gospel station and changed its call letters to WNSG. When the call letters became available, they were taken by a company that now broadcasts a Spanish-language religious station at 900 AM. Here’s their Top Ten from 1959.

# Song/Artist Comments
10 Boo Boo Stick Beat
Chet Atkins
An album track from Chet’s twelfth album, Teensville. The song was written by Buddy Harman and John D. Loudermilk.
9 Lonely Street
Andy Williams
A song written by Carl Belew, Kenny Souder, and W. S. Stevenson and originally recorded by Belew. Andy’s cover was the most successful, peaking at #5 on the Hot 100 and #20 on the R&B chart.
8 So Many Ways
Brook Benton
Written by Bobby Stevenson, it was Brook’s third #1 single on the R&B chart in 1959, as well as peaking at #6 on the Hot 100.
7 Mack The Knife
Bobby Darin
A huge hit for Bobby, reaching #1 in the US and UK and #6 on the US R&B chart. Lotte Lenya, spouse of the composer Kurt Weill, earns a mention.
6 Battle Hymn of the Republic
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Not sure if this was the recording that reached #13 on the Hot 100 and won the 1960 Grammy for Best Performance by a Vocal Group or Chorus, because there are a lot of them on YouTube, but this is the only Top 40 hit the Choir ever had.
5 Primrose Lane
Jerry Wallace
Reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #47 on the year-end Hot 100 nationally. Was the theme song for the 1971 TV series The Smith Family which starred Henry Fonda and Ron Howard.
4 Just Ask Your Heart
Frankie Avalon
Written by Diane DeNota, Joe Ricci, and Pete Damato, this song reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #59 on the year-end Hot 100.
3 Hey Little Girl
Dee Clark
I’m not sure that I even knew that Dee Clark made more records than “Raindrops.” This peaked at #20 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart.
2 Mr. Blue
The Fleetwoods
A song written by DeWayne Blackwall, it became The Fleetwoods’ second #1 single in 1959. Si Zentner, whose orchestra covered “The Stripper,” played trombone on this track.
1 Put Your Head On My Shoulder
Paul Anka
A song written and performed by Anka, this reached #2 nationally, kept out of the #1 spot by Bobby Darin’s “Mack The Knife.”

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for October 27, 2020.

10 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: WKDA (1240 AM, Nashville TN), 11/1/59

  1. Now, when I see and hear Battle Hymn of the Republic, I always think of my mom. We had this at her funeral because she loved it so.


  2. I listen to both of them growing up. WKDF was huge in the 80s until they went country.


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