Sunday, January 31, 2010

Golden Anniversary Song of the Week: "Baby (You Got What It Takes) by Brook Benton and Dinah Washington

The combination of Brook Benton and Dinah Washington was as smart a pairing of vocal styles as Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. The first of just two singles they recorded together to reach the charts, "Baby (You Got What It Takes)"* debuted at #79 on Billboard's Hot 100 for the week ending January 31, 1960. It reached as high as #5 and spent 15 weeks on the chart. The song still sounds as fresh as it did 50 years ago.

(*Link includes Marc Myers bizarre, almost hallucinogenic description of the recording session. Whooooooooa, mama!)

Other songs making their first appearance:
(Entry position, peak position, weeks on chart)

"Midnight Special" by Paul Evans. (70, 16, 13)
We have our first "national breakout" of 1960, a single that entered the Hot 100 at position 70 or better. This song is a follow-up to the "Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat", which charted for 18 weeks in the fall of 1959, although it only reached as high as #9. It must have been responsible for a lot of button-pushing on car radios back then.

"Forever" by the Little Dippers. (77, 9, 14).
The group's only appearance on the Hot 100.

"On the Beach" by Frank Chacksfield. (84, 47, 8)
From the movie of the same name. Another artist with just one song on the Hot 100.

"Harbor Lights" by the Platters. (86, 8, 16)
The last of seven top 10 hits by the group. Ten years earlier, just about anyone who recorded this song ended up with a big hit. There were five different versions that reached the Top 10.

"My Little Marine" by Jamie Horton. (89, 84, 3)
Horton's only Hot 100 appearance -- and a very unsuccessful one.

"I Can't Say Goodbye" by the Fireflies. (90, 90, 3)
Unsuccessful follow-up to one of Retiring Guy's favorite doo-wop songs, "You Were Mine".

"I Was Such a Fool" by the Flamingoes. (94, 71, 6)
This Chicago R&B group is responsible for one of the best songs of 1959, "I Only Have Eyes for You". (My love must be a kind of blind love/I can't see anyone but you/doo-bop sh-bop.........doo-bop sh-bop)

"Mediterranean Moon" by the Rays. (95, 95, 2)
It took nearly two-and-a-half years for this one-hit wonder group ("Sillhouettes") to reach the charts again. Barely.

"I'll Take Care of You", by Bobby (Blue) Bland. (96, 89, 3)
This is the second of 37 of Bland's singles to reach the Hot 100. And there's not a top 10 song among 'em. His best effort was 1964's "There's Nothing You Can Do", which peaked at #20

"Livin' Dangerously" by the McGuire Sisters. (97, 97, 1)
Part of a series of last gasps by a once phenomenally popular group. ("Sincerely", "Something's Gotta Give", "Sugartime")

"Secret of Love" by Elton Anderson. (100, 88, 4)
Hot 100 one-timer.

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