The station that was KRLA in 1963 is now KRDC, owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. It’s currently for sale, so call Mickey and inquire about it if you’re interested. KRLA had a great lineup of disk jockeys over the years, including Bob Eubanks, Casey Kasem, Dick Biondi, and Wink Martindale. While waiting for its prince to come… I’m sorry, for a buyer, they’re simulcasting KSPN, LA’s ESPN affiliate. Anyway, let’s look at their Top Ten from May 19, 1963…
#10 – The Crystals, "Da Doo Ron Ron": Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and Phil Spector (who produced the record; notice the "Wall O’Sound") wrote this and The Crystals took it to #1 on the US and Canadian charts. Shaun Cassidy, half-brother of David and star of The Hardy Boys Mysteries, also took it to #1 in 1977.
#9 – James Brown, "Prisoner Of Love": Title track from his 1963 album, it peaked at #18 on the Hot 100.
#8 – The Righteous Brothers, "Little Latin Lupe Lu": The song that launched The Righteous Brothers’ career, it was written by Bill Medley in 1962. They sang it for the first time in public at a surf club, but when their new fans went to the record stores and asked for it, the stores didn’t have it. Bobby Hatfield and the duo’s manager took 1500 copies of the record to record stores and told their audience where to buy it, and all the records sold out. It rose to #4 on KRLA and #5 on KFWB (another LA station), but missed the Top 40 nationally, coming in at #49.
#7 – The Beach Boys, "Surfin’ USA"/"Shut Down": A double A side single, I only included "Surfin’ USA" in the playlist ("Shut Down" is here). "Surfin’ USA" rose to #3 nationally, while "Shut Down" came in at #23.
#6 – The Dovells, "You Can’t Sit Down": Title track from their 1963 album, this rose to #3 on the Hot 100.
#5 – Al Martino, "I Love You Because": One of the great Italian pop crooners, Al had a lot of chart success in the ’50’s and ’60’s. He took this to #3 nationally.
#4 – Ray Barretto, "El Watusi": Ray’s first hit reached #17 nationally.
#3 – Lesley Gore, "It’s My Party": Her first single reached #1 in the US and Australia and #9 in the UK.
#2 – Jimmy Soul, "If You Wanna Be Happy": Based on the calypso "Ugly Woman" by Roaring Lion, Jimmy topped the chart with this one eventually.
#1 – Kyu Sakamoto, "Sukiyaki": A beautiful song that actually has nothing to do with Japanese food (it was called that because the actual title was hard to pronounce). It was an international hit.
See you tomorrow with S!