1963’s Top 100 Hot Pop Songs & Music Hits
1963’s Top 100 Hot Pop Songs &
1. Yakety Sax – Boots Randolf
Instrumental, best known as the Benny Hill Theme.
2. Louie Louie – The Kingsmen
Written by Richard Berry in 1955, the Kingsmen made this their own, and many people consider it one of the most influential rock songs of all time.
3. Up On The Roof – The Drifters
Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King: Rudy Lewis sang lead
vocals at this point in The Drfters’ career.
4. It’s My Party – Lesley Gore
Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015) was 16 when she recorded this song.
5. South Street – Orlons
South Street was the Orlons’ third (and final) million-selling song. Prior to their success, the group also provided back-up vocals for Dee Dee Sharp’s hits ‘Mashed Potato Time’ and ‘Gravy (For My Mashed Potatoes).’
6. The End Of The World – Skeeter Davis
Mary Frances Penick (December 30, 1931 – September 19, 2004) started out as one of The Davis Sisters. Betty Jack Davis was the other sister, and ‘Davis’ just flowed better for the duo.
7. Pride and Joy – Marvin Gaye
Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984) Marvin started his Motown career as a songwriter, and this was his first Top Ten Hit.
8. Surfin U.S.A. – Beach Boys
Lyrics by Brian Wilson, music by Cuck Berry via ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’.
9. Heat Wave – Martha and the Vandellas
Q: What exactly is a ‘Vandella’?
A: A backup singer for Martha Reeves.
10. Walk Like A Man – Four Seasons
#1 Hit number three for The Four Seasons. While recording the song, the floor above the studio was on fire, and water was dripping through as the fire department was putting out the fire. Producer Bob Gaudio refused to evacuate until the song was finished. Firemen eventually came in and took everyone out. They finished the song later.
11. Wipe Out – The Surfaris
The original members were Ron Wilson (drums, vocals), Jim Fuller (lead guitar), Bob Berryhill (rhythm guitar) and Pat Connolly (bass). Their manager, Dale Smallin, was the person who shouts ‘Wipe Out!’ at the start of the song. The FLIP-SIDE was ‘Surfer Joe’.
12. My Boyfriend’s Back – The Angels
My Boyfriend’s Back was originally recorded as a demo for the Shirelles, but the label released as a single for The Angels, and it reached #1 on the Billboard Charts.
13. Mickey’s Monkey – The Miracles
They were known as ‘Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ from 1965 to 1972. Before that, they were Five Chimes, then the Matadors, and finally The Miracles just before they signed with Tamla/Motown in 1959.
14. Remember Then – The Earls
Group leader Larry Chance went to school in Philadelphia with Chubby Checker, Frankie Avalon, and Danny Rapp of Danny and the Juniors. The longevity of this song is that the ‘nostalgia’ aspect of the song has become timeless.
15. Little Deuce Coupe – Beach Boys
This was the FLIP-SIDE (B-SIDE) of the single ‘Surfer Girl.’
16. Wildwood Days – Bobby Rydell
Release in May, 1962, this was one of the earliest ‘Summer’ Pop/Rock
17. Another Saturday Night – Sam Cooke
Cat Stevens reached the Top Ten with this song, written by Sam Cooke in 1974. A timeless classic written for every teenage boy, for every generation.
18. Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home) – Crystals
Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. #3 for The Crystals in 1963, #1 for Shaun Cassidy in 1977. A bit of Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of Sound’ production style, with the feel of early ‘Bubblegum Pop.’
19. If You Wanna Be Happy – Jimmy Soul
James Louis McCleese (August 24, 1942 – June 15, 1988). Jimmy started young as a preacher, earning the nickname ‘Soul’ from his congregation.
20. Surfer Girl – Beach Boys
The Beach Boys captured the feel of surf, summer and perfect harmonies. The all-American Band obviously needed a slow love song, and this was it.
21. On Broadway – The Drifters
Two of the greatest songwiting teams of all time collaborated on this track – Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
22. Denise – Randy and the Rainbows
Dominick “Randy” Safuto, Frank Safuto, Mike Zero, Sal Zero and Ken Arcipowski had a few minor hits after this, but they were able to tour, for years, based on the popularity of this Top Ten song.
23. You Can’t Sit Down – The Dovells
The group’s second (and final) Top Ten Hit. There were personnel changes and occasional name changes through the years. (As ‘The Magistrates’ three of the members had a minor hit ‘Here Comes the Judge’ in 1968)
24. Busted – Ray Charles
Written by Harlan Howard, it won the Grammy for Best R&B Record.
Billy Joel once said “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley”.
25. Be True To Your School – Beach Boys
The B-SIDE was ‘In My Room’ – both songs spoke to their audience, some every long-lived great artist or band strives to do.
26. So Much In Love – The Tymes
George Williams, Donald Banks, Albert Berry, Norman Burnett, and George Hilliard had several more hits and near-hits over the next few years, but ‘So Much In Love’ was their biggest hit, reaching #1 on the Billbord Charts.
27. Surf City – Jan and Dean
William Jan Berry (April 3, 1941 – March 26, 2004) and Dean Ormsby Torrence (born March 10, 1940)
Q: Who had the first “Surf Song” to hit #1 on Billboard?
A: Jan and Dean with ‘Surf City’ – The Beach Boys had their first #1 Hit in 1964 with ‘I Get Around.’
28. Tell Him – The Exciters
The group included Brenda Reid, her husband Herb Rooney, Carolyn Johnson and Lillian Walker. Brenda and Herb are the parents of music mega-producer Antonio L.A. Reid.
29. Our Day Will Come – Ruby & the Romantics
Ruby Nash, George Lee, Ronald Mosely, Leroy Fann and Ed Roberts peaked on Billboard with the #1 Hit ‘Our Day Will Come’ but had several other smaller hits through the 1960s.
30. Walking The Dog – Rufus Thomas
Rufus Thomas, Jr. (March 26, 1917 – December 15, 2001) was a sharecropper’s son born in the rural community of Cayce, Mississippi, and was billed as ‘The World’s Oldest Teenager’.
31. Be My Baby – Ronettes
Veronica Bennett (Ronnie Spector), her older sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley made up the trio. If you count producer Phil Spector, they could be considered a quartet. The Ronettes were the only girl group to tour with the Beatles.
32. Monkey Time – Major Lance
Major Lance (April 4, 1939 – September 3, 1994) He often collaborated with Curtis Mayfield, who also wrote ‘Monkey Time’.
33. Then He Kissed Me – Crystals
The Final Top Ten hit for the group, which had several managerial and personnel changes between 1961 1nd 1964. Members included Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew, Patricia Pritchett-Lewis, Melissa Antoinette “MelSoulTree” Gran, Barbara Alston, Mary Thomas, Myrna Giraud, Patricia “Patsy” Wright, Dolores “LaLa” Brooks, Frances Collins (and producer Phil Spector). In the midst of the people churning, Phil produced and recorded his worst song with the group ‘Dance The Screw’.
34. Hey Paula – Paul and Paula
Paula nd Paula were actually Ray Hildebrand (born December 21, 1940) and Jill Jackson (born May 20, 1942). They changed their names because ‘Ray and Jill’ singing to each other as ‘Paul and Paula’ just didn’t sound right.
35. Sukiyaki – Kyu Sakamoto
Kyu Sakamoto (December 10, 1941 – August 12, 1985) The original title for this #1 Hit was ‘Ue o Muite Aruko’. He died in the biggest accidental airplane crash of all time – the crash of Japan Airlines Flight 123 – 520 people died.
36. He’s So Fine – The Chiffons
Members included Judy Craig, Patricia Bennett, Connie Harvey, Barbara Lee and Sylvia Peterson. Ronnie Mack wrote this #1 song, and became their manager. A US court showed that George Harrison’s hit “My Sweet Lord” was “subconscious” plagiarism, taking from this Chiffon hit.
37. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – The Miracles
Written by Smokey Robinson, it won a Grammy hall of Fame Award in 1968.
38. I Will Follow Him – Little Peggy March
Peggy March (born Margaret Annemarie Battavio on March 8, 1948) was 4 foot, nine inches tall, and she was 14 when the song released (15 when it hit #1). The Coogan Law was enacted in 1939 to prevent parents from squandering the money of their performing children, but her manager/trustee, Russell Smith, spend almost of all of her earnings, leaving a few hundred dollars by the time she was eligible to receive it.
39. Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer – Nat ‘King’ Cole
This was Nat’s last Top Ten Hit. His first was ‘Straighten Up and Fly Right’, in 1944.
40. Ring Of Fire – Johnny Cash
Written by Johnny’s wife, June Carter Cash, it was one of Johnny’s biggest Pop Hits even though it was just in the Top 20. He was a consistent, hard working early rock/country/pop performer, personality and artist for his entire career.
41. Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport – Rolf Harris
Originally written and recorded by Rolf Harris in 1957. it has become something of a folk tune. There have not many of those written within the past 100 years.
42. Let’s Stomp – Bobby Comstock
Bobby never cracked the Top 40 with this, or even his biggest hit, The Tennessee Waltz. This has become popular over the years at oldies shows and parties.
43. Blue Bayou – Roy Orbison
Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson, Linda Ronstadt made it her own (and her signature song) in 1977.
44. Sugar Shack – Jimmy Gilmor & The Fireballs
Jimmy Gilmer was born on September 15, 1940. Give a listen to this song, and you can hear the influence it has over some of today’s music.
45. In My Room – Beach Boys
Brian Wilson and Gary Usher wrote this in an hour, and is one of Brian’s most personal songs.
“There’s a world where I can go and tell my secrets to… in my room, in my room
In this world I lock out all my worries and my fears.. in my room, in my room”
46. (Down At) Papa Joe’s – The Dixiebelles
Mary Hunt, Mildred Pratcher and Shirley Thomas were The Dixiebelles. ‘Southtown U.S.A.’ was another Top 20 hit.
47. The Good Life – Tony Bennett
Anthony Dominick ‘Tony’ Benedetto (born August 3, 1926) Tony’s first #1 hit was ‘Because of You’ in 1951. In 1994, he appeared on ‘MTV Unplugged’. His duet with Amy Winehouse on ‘Body and Soul’ was released in 2011.
That is 60 years of success in the pop music industry. It would be hard to argue that he is not the most consistent and successful artist of all time.
48. Two Lovers – Mary Wells
Written by Smokey Robinson, Mary was the “The Queen of Motown” until she left the company in 1964. She was under age when she signed with Motown and used that to get out of her contract, but she did lose royalty rights for the work she did there.
49. Mockingbird – Charles and Inez Foxx
Inez Foxx (born September 9, 1942) and her brother Charlie Foxx (October 23, 1939 – September 18, 1998) had a handful of lessor hits through the 1960s, but never duplicated the #7 Billboard success of ‘Mockingbird’, although Carly Simon and James Taylor did when they reached #5 with the song in 1974.
50. One Fine Day – The Chiffons
Reaching #5 in the Pop Charts and written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, the song was inspired by aria ‘Un bel di vedremo’ from the Puccini opera ‘Madama Butterfly.’
51. I Adore Him – The Angels
Sometimes your family and friends just don’t understand the guy (or girl) you adore. The FLIP-SIDE was ‘Thank You and Goodnight’ – the only song we could find about the end of a really good date.
52. We Shall Overcome – Joan Baez
Based on several old school gospel songs, and rephrased by Pete Seeger, it became on of the first counter-counter anthems.
53. Have You Heard – The Duprees
Written Lew Douglas, Frank LaVere and LeRoy W. Rodde, it was a #4 hit for Joni James in 1952. The Group’s first hit ‘You Belong To Me’ was also a big hit (#1) in 1952, for Jo Stafford.
54. Baby Workout – Jackie Wilson
Jack Leroy ‘Jackie’Wilson, Jr. (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984) had over 50 Top 100 Hits between 1957 and 1972.
55. Can I Get A Witness? – Marvin Gaye
Written by Motown’s super-trio by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, it was recorded in a single take, according to Pop Music Lore.
56. Mr. Bass Man – Johnny Cymbal
John Hendry Blair (February 3, 1945 – March 16, 1993) also recorded as ‘Derek’ with a bigger hit ‘Cinnamon’ in 1968. ‘Bass Man’ has become an oldies ‘Standard’.
57. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise – Elvis Presley
This song is historic in that it was Elvis’ first song that did not have a Hit “B-SIDE” (it was ‘Please Don’t Drag That String Around’)
“You look like an angel. Walk like an angel. Talk like an angel. But I got wise. You’re the devil in disguise. Oh yes you are.”
58. Just One Look – Doris Troy
Doris Troy was born Doris Elaine Higginsen (January 6, 1937 – February 16, 2004). ‘Just One Look’ was co-written Doris Troy and Gregory Carroll. It was her only Top 100 Hit, reaching #10 on Billboard.
59. Fingertips Part 2 – Little Stevie Wonder
Stevland Hardaway Judkins was born on May 13, 1950. He signed with Motown at age 11, and this was his first release, also his first #1 Hit. Recorded live, ‘Part 2″ actually starts when Stevis calls for some audience participation.
60. Shut Down – Beach Boys
Written by Brian Wilson and Roger Christian, The B-SIDE of Surfin’ U.S.A, the song is about a drag race between a 1962 Dodge Dart and a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray.
61. The Bird Is The Word – The Rivingtons
Prior Rivingtons hit ‘Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow’ and ‘The Bird’s the Word’ were remixed by ‘The Trashmen’ who put them together to make “Surfin’ Bird’.
62. Memphis – Lonnie Mack
Lonnie McIntosh was born on July 18, 1941. ‘Memphis’ is based loosely on Chuck Berry’s Memphis, Tennessee. Chuck gets the songwriting credit and royalties.
63. Rhythm of the Rain – The Cascades
Written by Cascades band member and manager John Claude Gummoe.
64. Bossa Nova Baby – Elvis Presley
Bossa Nova Baby” was written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for Elvis Presley’s 1963 film, ‘Fun in Acapulco’.
65. Pipeline – Chantay’s
One of the Top 5 Surf instrumentals of all time – reaching #4 on the Pop Charts. The combo included Bob Spickard, Brian Carman, Bob Welch, Warren Waters and Rob Marshall.
66. Don’t Say Goodnight and Mean Goodbye – The Shirelles
This was the final Top 40 Hit for the girls. Pretty much the opposite song of The Angels’ ‘Thank You and Goodnight’.
67. I Love You Because – Al Martino
Al Martino was born Jasper Cini (October 7, 1927 – October 13, 2009). His first #1 hit was ‘Here in My Heart’ in 1952, and this was his last Top 5 Hit. He had several moderately popular ‘Adult Contempory’ and ‘Easy Listening’ tracks through the 1960s.
68. Hello Mudduh Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp) – Alan Sherman
Novelty Hit that reached #2 on Billboard. The music came from Ponchielli’s ‘Dance of the Hours’.
69. Marlena – The Four Seasons
Marlena was the FLIP-SIDE of ‘Candy Girl’ and was written by Bob Gaudio.
70. She’s A Fool – Lesley Gore
71. Judy’s Turn To Cry – Leslie Gore
Lesley had 4 Top Ten Hits in 1963 – It’s My Party, She’s a Fool and Judy’s Turn To Cry.
72. Two Faces Have I – Lou Christie
Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco was born on February 19, 1943. Although best known for 1965’s ‘Lightnin’ Strikes’ This was his first Top ten hit.
73. Hot Pastromi – The Dartells
Band members included Doug Phillips, Dick Burns, Gary Peeler, Randy Ray, Rich Piel, Corky Wilkie and Galen Mills.
74. Blue Velvet – Bobby Vinton
Tony Bennett cracked the Top 20 with the song in 1951. Bobby earned four #1 is his career, and his final big hit was ‘My Melody of Love’ in in 74. Blue Velvet inspired David Lynch’s 1986 film of the same name.
75. Boss Guitar – Duane Eddy
Duane Eddy was born on April 26, 1938 and he wrote this (his last Top 40 Hit) with Lee Hazelwood.
76. I’m Leaving It Up To You – Dale & Grace
Dale Houston and Grace Broussard had two Top Ten Hits – ‘I’m Leaving It All Up To You’ and 1964’s ‘Stop and Think It Over’. Their Country/Pop sound has been described as ‘Swamp Pop’.
77. Make The World Go Away – Timi Yuro
‘Make the World Go Away’ was written Hank Cochran. It has become a Top 100 Hit four times Timi Yuro (#24), Ray Price (#100), Eddy Arnold (#6) and Donny and Marie Osmond (#44).
78. Walk Right In – The Rooftop Singers
Erik Darling, Bill Svanoe and Lynne Taylor were The Rooftop Singers. Walk Right In was written by Gus Cannon in 1929, and reworked by the trio.
79. Shake A Tail Feather – The Five Du-Tones
The 5 members were Willie Guest, Robert Hopkins, LeRoy Joyce, Oscar Watson and James West. The song is best remembered for Ray Charles’ version in the 1980 film ‘The Blues Brothers].
80. Go Away Little Girl – Steve Lawrence
Written for Bobby Vee, ‘Go Away Little Girl’ was a hit for several people – Steve Lawrence (#1), The Happenings (#12) and Donny Osmond (#1).
81. Danke Shoen – Wayne Newton
Carson Wayne Newton was born on April 3, 1942. Danke Shoen is Wayne’s Signature Song, but not his biggest hit. That would be 1972’s ‘Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast’. Danke Schoen (Thank you kindly) is probably best known for being the focus of a scene in the 1986 film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
82. Dominique – The Singning Nun
Jeanne Paule Deckers (October 17, 1933 – March 29, 1985) ‘Sœur Sourire’ – Sister Smile – was her nickname.
83. Don’t Say Nothin Bad (About My Baby) – The Cookies
Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote this specifically for the group. Earl-Jean McCrea was the lead singer for the song.
84. Still – Bill Anderson
James William Anderson III was born on November 1, 1937. Still was Bill’s only Top Ten Pop Hit, reaching #8.
85. More – Kai Winding
Kai Chresten Winding (May 18, 1922 – May 6, 1983). Written by Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero for the 1962 film, ‘Mondo cane’ – ‘More’ has become a Pop Standard, recorded my many artists. Vic Dana’s version is the most popular with the English vocals.
86. Part Time Love – Little Johnny Taylor
Johnny Lamont Merrett (February 11, 1943 -May 17, 2002). Not to be confused with Soul Singer Johnny Taylor (May 5, 1938 – May 31, 2000) who also recorded (a non-charting version) of ‘Part Time Love.’
87. I (Who Have Nothing) – Ben E. King
Benjamin Earl Nelson (September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015). The song was included with The Sopranos’ 2001 soundtrack.
88. Ruby Baby – Dion
Also recorded by The Drifters, Dion brought it to #2 on the Billboard Charts.
89. Workout, Stevie Workout – Little Stevie Wonder
Stevie was going through puberty at this point, and his voice hadn’t settled into the Stevie Wonder that would top the charts between 1965 and 1985.
90. Cast Your Fate To The Wind – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Written by Vince, it, won the Grammy Award for Best Original Jazz Composition in 1963. This was Vince’s most well-known track, outside of the Peanuts Soundtracks.
91. Martian Hop – Ran-Dells
Noveltyor Doo Wop? Probably a bit of both. The Ran-Dells were Robert Rappaport, Steven Rappaport and John Spirt.
92. Locking Up My Heart/Forever – The Marvelettes
Although neither cracked the Top 40, both songs, combined on a single 45 captured the pre-Beatles era of R&B/Pop perfectly.
93. Come and Get These Memories – Martha and the Vandellas
Annette Beard, Rosalind Ashford and Gloria Williams founded the group in 1957, and Martha Reeves became the lead vocalist after Gloria left in 1962.
94. Days of Wine and Roses – Henry Mancini
Won Two Grammys – Song of the Year and Record of the Year. From the 1962 film of the same name.
95. Surfer Joe – The Surfaris
Novelty Song or Surfer Song? Mostly Novelty, even though it was the B-SIDE to the surf classic ‘Wipe Out’.
96. On Top Of Spaghetti – Tom Glazer & the Do Re Mi Children’s Chorus
Bast on the American folk song ‘On Top of Old Smokey’ this novelty song tells the story of a meatball that fell off a plate when somebody sneezed.
The morale? If you spaghetti, all covered with cheese, hold on to your meatball, and don’t ever sneeze.
97. (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry – Darlene Love
Darlene Love was born Darlene Wright on July 26, 1941. She also did the original ‘It’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ and could be seen as Roger Murtaugh’s (Danny Glover) wife in the Lethal Weapon films.
98. Watermelon Man – Mongo Santamaria
Ramón “Mongo” Santamaría Rodríguez (April 7, 1917 – February 1, 2003) Written by Herbie Hancock, who also reworked
the song in 1973.
99. Little Latin Lupe Lu – The Righteous Brothers
The Righteous Brothers were the musical duo of Bobby Hatfield and Bill Medley. Bill wrote this, their first single single. The sound of the pair changed significantly when they were produced by Phil Spector 1964-1966 with hits like ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin”
100. Unchained Melody – Vito and the Salutations
You’ve probably heard the 1965 classic love song ‘Unchained Melody’ by The Righteous brothers, but your 1963 music experience would be incomplete with the upbeat Doo Wop version by Vito and the boys.