Continuing with our look at the #11 thru #20 songs on the Billboard year-end Hot 100 with 1963’s. We have a couple of soul singles, a surf classic, another instrumental, three by solo singers, one from those Joisey Boys, and two by the group John Lennon called "Pizza, Poo & Magpie."
#20 – (Little) Peggy March, “I Will Follow Him”: This was originally an instrumental called “Chariot” and recorded by Franck Pourcel. Pourcel and Paul Mauriat, using the pseudonyms J. W. Stole and Del Roma, respectively, arranged it as a vocal number with lyrics by Norman Gimbel, and it was recorded by Peggy March, who was calling herself “Little Peggy March.” Her recording spent 3 weeks at #1 and 14 weeks on the Hot 100 in ’63.
#19 – Inez & Charlie Fox, “Mockingbird”: Inez and Charlie took the lullaby “Hush Little Baby” and turned it into an R&B classic, reaching #2 on the R&B chart and #7 on the Hot 100. Eleven years later, Carly Simon and James Taylor (who were either married or planning on it) did a version that reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
#18 – The Four Seasons, “Walk Like A Man”: Writte by the band’s Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, this featured Frankie Valli’s falsetto and Nick Massi’s bass voice. Evidently, Gaudio was working on the song in the studio when the hotel it was in caught fire, but Bob blocked himself in, wanting to finish what he was doing. The fire department finally broke down the door and dragged him out. The song reached #1 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart.
#17 – Bobby Darin, “You’re The Reason I’m Living”: Darin wrote this song and made it the title song from his 1963 album. It spent two weeks at #3 on the Hot 100 and #9 on the R&B chart.
#16 – The (Rockin’) Rebels, “Wild Weekend”: A great instrumental, written by Phil Todaro and Tom Shannon, who used it as the opening theme for his radio show. It reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #28 on the R&B chart. Wikipedia has this as #22 on the year-end chart in one place and #16 in another, so I’ll go with the higher one.
#15 – Al Martino, “I Love You Because”: A country song first recorded by Leon Payne in 1949 and covered by several singers. Al’s cover reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Easy Listening chart.
#14 – The Surfaris, “Wipe Out”: Title track from their 1963 album. A friend of mine told me he and all his friends would play the drum part on their desks when the nun was out of the room. It spent four months on the Hot 100 and peaked at #2, kept from the top spot by Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips.”
#13 – Peter, Paul & Mary, “Blowin’ In The Wind”: The first of two by the power trio of the early ’60’s folk boom. They and Bob Dylan were managed by Albert Grossman, who suggested PP&M record it. Their version also peaked at #2 behind Stevie Wonder’s “Fingertips.”
#12 – Peter, Paul & Mary, “Puff, The Magic Dragon”: Peter Yarrow wrote this based on a poem by Leonard Lipton. It was a hit, reaching #2 on the Hot 100, kept from the top spot by… “I Will Follow Him” by Peggy March. (I bet you thought I was going to say “Fingertips”…)
#11 – The Tymes, “So Much In Love”: Just a beautiful song, written by George Williams and Bill Jackson and arranged by Ray Straigis. The Tymes spent one week at #1 on the Hot 100 and reached #4 on the R&B chart.
And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for May 25, 2021. Next week, 1964…