As long as we’re spending this week in L. A. (well, songwise, anyway), let’s visit our friends at KRLA and see what was on their Top Ten this week in 1960.
- Annette, “First Name Initial” Annette is, of course, Annette Funicello, everyone’s favorite Disney princess. This song reached #20 nationally, but this being L. A. and all, did much better.
- Freddy Cannon, “Way Down Yonder In New Orleans” “Boom Boom” had a #6 hit with “Tallahassee Lassie” earlier in 1959, which went to #6. This was a bigger hit, reaching #3 in late 1959 and early 1960. It also went to #3 in the UK, his bestselling single there.
- Dion & The Belmonts, “Where Or When” From the Rodgers & Hart Musical Babes In Arms, Dion and the boys reached #3 nationally with this. It turned out to be their highest ranked single.
- Andy Williams, “The Village of St. Bernadette” Title track from his 1960 album, which Billboard called “a lovely set of pop inspirational, hymns, and religious themes,” according to Wikipedia. It peaked at #7 nationally.
- Marv Johnson, “You Got What It Takes” Marv was on the first-ever record issued by Tamla Records, which eventually became Motown. At the time, Tamla had no national distribution, so it was released on United Artists. It reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the R&B chart, as well as #7 in the UK. It was later covered by The Dave Clark 5 and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The original was done by Bobby Parker in 1958.
- Jimmy Clanton, “Go Jimmy Go” The “swamp pop R&B idol” recorded this in 1959 and saw it rise to #5 nationally and #19 on the R&B chart.
- Steve Lawrence, “Pretty Blue Eyes” Better known for his work in nightclubs and on many TV variety shows, Steve nevertheless had a few Top Ten singles in his career, most notably “Go Away Little Girl,” which reached #1 and earned a Gold record. This song reached #9 nationally. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease last June, so say a prayer.
- Frankie Avalon, “Why” You knew if Annette was here, Frankie would be. This was Frankie’s second and last #1 hit, after “Venus” the year before. According to Wikipedia, the melody is based on an Italian song. Donny Osmond covered this in 1972 and it reached #13 nationally.
- Marty Robbins, “El Paso” This song has popped up a lot on The Friday 5×2, so there’s not much more I can say about it.
- Jimmy Jones, “Handy Man” Jimmy’s first and best known song, it reached #2 in the US, #3 in the UK, and #4 in Australia. James Taylor had a hit with a downtempo version of this. Jones’s falsetto influenced a lot of roickers, including Frankie Valli, Lou Christie, and Del Shannon, who in turn influenced Barry Gibb.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 10, 2020.