Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden Anniversary Song of the Week: "This Magic Moment" by the Drifters

Most folks are probably more familiar with the serviceable remake by Jay & the Americans. The Drifters' version debuted at #67 for the week ending February 28, 1960, but reached no higher than #16 and dropped off the Hot 100 after just 11 weeks.

In Retiring Guy's opinion, the group is responsible for two of the most transcendent recordings of the 1960s: "Up On the Roof" and "On Broadway", songs that get airplay on oldies and soul stations -- not to mention SiriusXM's Little Steven's Underground Garage and the Music of Your Life programming format.

Other singles making their first appearance this week:

"(Welcome) New Lovers" by Pat Boone. (60, 18, 12)
After 16 top 10 hits in just over three years (April 1955 to 1958), Pat was well into the twilight of his career by this time.

"String Along" by Fabian. (61, 39, 8)
Not a one-hit, but certainly a one-year, comet-like wonder. After his 3 top 10 hits in 1959 -- "Turn Me Loose", "Tiger", and "Hound Dog Man" -- his career quickly flamed out.

"Puppy Love" by Paul Anka. (62, 2, 14)
His last really big hit until 1974's controversial "(You're) Having My Baby".

"Mama" by Connie Francis. (63, 8, 13)
From her 1959 album, Connie Francis Sings Italian Favorites, which spent 81 weeks on Billboard album chart.

"O Dio Mio" by Annette. (68, 10, 12)
One of her 2 top 10 hits. Like millions of other 10 year olds in 1960, Retiring Guy had a HUGE crush on Annette.

"Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy" by Freddie Cannon. (70, 34, 7)
A dud for the "Boom Boom" guy.

"Don't Fence Me In" by Tommy Edwards. (86, 45, 8)
Tommy's first release, "It's All in the Game", spent 6 weeks at #1 in 1958. None of his subsequent songs came close to the success of his debut effort.

"Lawdy Miss Clawdy" by Gary Stites. (88, 47, 9)
Stites recorded one LP and quite a few singles for the Carlton label, in the late fifties and early sixties. His biggest hit was "Lonely For You" (# 24, spring 1959), the arrangement of which is very similar to Conway Twitty's "It's Only Make Believe"

"Anyway the Wind Blows" by Doris Day. (91, 50, 7)
From the film Please Don't Eat the Daisies. Doris's next-to-last appearance on tbe Hot 100.

Cover of Cover of Please Don't Eat the Daisies

"Angela Jones" by Johnny Ferguson. (92, 27, 15)
Freguson's only appearance on the Hot 100.

"Sleepy Lagoon" by the Platters. (93, 65, 5)
The "B" side of "Harbor Lights". Very classy tune, which probably deserved to step out on its own.

"Greenfields" by the Brothers Four. (94, 2, 20)
Fraternity brothers at University of Washington when they started. Of their 7 singles that charted, this is the only one that came anywhere near the top 10.

"Alvin's Orchestra" by David Seville and the Chipmunks. (98, 33, 5)
This song has an interesting chart history: 98, 71, 33, 33, 60. It's as though America's radio-listening audience suddenly woke up from a bad dream and said "Get that shit off the air." One of the major scourges of popular culture. But then what does Retiring Guy know. Their latest movie has grossed $215,581,073 as of February 21, 2010.

"El Matador" by the Kingston Trio. (99, 32, 11)
Surprisingly -- at least in retrospect -- the Kingston Trio had just 2 top 10 hits: "Tom Dooley" (1958) and "Reverend Mr. Black" (1963). Retiring Guy always found the group a little too earnest for his tastes.

"Let Them Talk" by Little Willie John. (100, 100, 1)
Thumbnail biography. R&B singer. Born William Edgar John on November 15, 1937, in Cullendale, Arkansas, raised in Detroit. Brother of Mabel John of the Raelets, Ray Charles' back-up singer. Convicted of manslaughter in 1966. Died of a heart attack in Washington State Prison on May 26, 1968. Elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.

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