Friday, May 12, 2017

The Friday Five: The Top Ten From WJJD, May 12, 1958


Yes, another survey this week. I had been working on a killer list based on the word “time,” only to discover that I had already done one, and more recently Mike Golch featured five “time songs” recently on his Friday Five (I think he calls it “Five on Friday”). So I had to ditch that idea and come up with something quick, and this was the quickest thing I could think of. If anyone has suggestions for a Friday Five, leave it in the comments and I’ll get to it.

Anyway, today we turn the clock back to May 12, 1958, and examine the Top Ten at radio station WJJD in Chicago. As was usually the case with these early rock & roll surveys, it was a mixed bag of rock, doo-wop, easy listening, and country, even a novelty record thrown in for good measure.

  1. The Monotones, “Book of Love” The Monotones had one hit, and this was it.
  2. Perry Como, “Kewpie Doll” This is Perry’s attempt at rock & roll, and it’s not an especially bad one.
  3. Art & Dotty, “Chanson d’Amour” I’m always reminded of the version by The Muppets, which had me laughing for days after the first time I saw it. A&D do a much more straightforward version, but there are still a few laughs to be had (“ya tada tada”).
  4. Chuck Berry, “Johnny B. Goode” No offense to Chuck, but this is maybe my least favorite of his songs, simply because it’s been played to death.
  5. Laurie London, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands” A little folk-gospel music. How’d that get in here?
  6. Elvis Presley, “Wear My Ring Around Your Neck” This song went to #2 on the Hot 100, #3 on the Country chart, and #1 on the R&B chart, and was certified platinum. And I rarely hear it. Go figure.
  7. David Seville, “Witch Doctor” Ross Bagdasarian, a/k/a David Seville, gave us a sample of what he could do recording his voice at slow speed and playing it at higher speed. We might never have had The Chipmunks if this record hadn’t done well.
  8. The Platters, “Twilight Time” One of the great “transitional” groups between the postwar Easy Listening and rock & roll, always smooth and fun to dance to. This reached #1 on the Hot 100 and R&B charts.
  9. Dean Martin, “Return To Me” Only went as high as #4 in the US, but did better in the rest of the world. It was used as the title song for the 2000 movie that starred David Duchovny, Minnie Driver, and Carroll O’Connor. I actually liked the movie, which I think we either rented or saw on TV.
  10. The Everly Brothers, “All I Have To Do Is Dream” Boudleaux Bryant, who usually worked with his wife Felice, wrote this one, and as is usually the case when the Bryants and the Everlys got together, the result was a hit.

Thanks as always to Oldiesloon for today’s list. And that’s The Friday Five for May 12, 2017.

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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