The Number One Hits Of 1962
|December 18, 1961 – January 12, 1962
The Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Tokens were formed in 1955 and originally consisted of members Neil Sedaka, Hank Medress, Eddie Rabkin, and Cynthia Zolotin.
“The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is based on the song “Wimoweh,” which itself was a cover of a South African hit called “Mbube.”
|January 13, 1962 – January 26, 1962
Born Ernest Evans, Chubby Checker is known for popularizing the twist dance style with his 1960 hit.
“The Twist” reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 twice, first in 1960 and then again in 1962.
|January 27, 1962 – February 16, 1962
Joey Dee and the Starliters
Peppermint Twist – Part 1
Joey Dee and the Starliters were an American rock and roll group founded by Joey Dee in 1958 in New Jersey.
“Peppermint Twist” was inspired by the dance The Twist and was recorded at the famous Peppermint Lounge nightclub in New York City.
|February 17, 1962 – March 9, 1962
Duke of Earl
Gene Chandler, born Eugene Dixon, was an American soul singer and songwriter nicknamed “The Duke of Earl.”
“Duke of Earl” was written by Chandler, Bernice Williams, and Earl Edwards and was originally recorded by the Dukays, a group Chandler was a member of.
|March 10, 1962 – March 30, 1962
Bruce Channel is an American singer-songwriter known for his distinct voice and harmonica skills.
“Hey! Baby” was written by Channel and Margaret Cobb, featuring Delbert McClinton on harmonica.
|March 31, 1962 – April 6, 1962
Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You
Connie Francis was a top-charting female vocalist of the late 1950s and early 1960s, known for her versatile singing style.
“Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” was written by Benny Davis and Murray Mencher and became Francis’ third No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
|April 7, 1962 – April 20, 1962
Shelley Fabares is an American actress and singer best known for her role as Mary Stone on the sitcom “The Donna Reed Show.”
“Johnny Angel” was written by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss and was Fabares’ first and only No. 1 hit.
|April 21, 1962 – May 4, 1962
Good Luck Charm
Elvis Presley is often referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” and was one of the best-selling solo artists in the history of recorded music.
“Good Luck Charm” was written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold and marked Presley’s 18th No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100.
|May 5, 1962 – May 25, 1962
The Shirelles were the first major female vocal group of the rock and roll era and were pioneers in the girl group genre.
“Soldier Boy” was written by Luther Dixon and Florence Greenberg and became one of the group’s biggest hits, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
|May 26, 1962 – June 1, 1962
Mr. Acker Bilk
Stranger on the Shore
Mr. Acker Bilk, born Bernard Stanley Bilk, was an English clarinetist and vocalist known for his breathy, vibrato-rich sound.
“Stranger on the Shore” is an instrumental piece by Bilk and originally titled “Jenny” after his daughter.
|June 2, 1962 – July 6, 1962
I Can’t Stop Loving You
Ray Charles was a pioneering American singer, songwriter, and pianist known for his groundbreaking fusion of R&B, gospel, and blues.
“I Can’t Stop Loving You” was written by Don Gibson and first recorded by Gibson in 1957. Ray Charles’ version became a major hit in 1962.
|July 7, 1962 – July 13, 1962
David Rose was a British-American composer, arranger, and orchestra leader known for his work in film, television, and pop music.
“The Stripper” was an instrumental song composed by Rose and originally intended as a B-side for another single, but it gained popularity and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
|July 14, 1962 – August 10, 1962
Roses Are Red (My Love)
Bobby Vinton, nicknamed “The Polish Prince,” is an American singer and songwriter known for his romantic ballads.
“Roses Are Red (My Love)” was written by Al Byron and Paul Evans and became Vinton’s first No. 1 hit.
|August 11, 1962 – August 24, 1962
Breaking Up Is Hard to Do
Neil Sedaka is an American pop singer, pianist, composer, and record producer known for writing and performing numerous hit songs in the late 1950s and 1960s.
“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” was written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield and reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.
|August 25, 1962 – August 31, 1962
Little Eva, born Eva Narcissus Boyd, was an American pop singer known for her youthful and upbeat songs.
“The Loco-Motion” was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and became Little Eva’s biggest hit.
|September 1, 1962 – September 14, 1962
Tommy Roe is an American pop singer-songwriter known for his bubblegum pop hits in the 1960s.
“Sheila” was written by Tommy Roe and was inspired by Buddy Holly’s “Peggy Sue.” The song became Roe’s first No. 1 hit.
|September 15, 1962 – October 19, 1962
The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons is an American rock and pop band known for their distinctive harmonies and lead singer Frankie Valli’s powerful falsetto.
“Sherry” was written by Four Seasons member Bob Gaudio and became the group’s first No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
|October 20, 1962 – November 2, 1962
Bobby “Boris” Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers
Bobby “Boris” Pickett was an American singer and actor known for his Boris Karloff impression and Halloween novelty songs.
Pickett and Leonard Capizzi wrote ” Monster Mash,” which became a Halloween classic, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962.
|November 3, 1962 – November 16, 1962
He’s a Rebel
The Crystals were an American vocal group and one of the defining acts of the girl group era in the early 1960s.
“He’s a Rebel” was written by Gene Pitney and produced by Phil Spector. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
|November 17, 1962 – December 21, 1962
The Four Seasons
Big Girls Don’t Cry
The Four Seasons’ success continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s, with Frankie Valli also enjoying a successful solo career.
“Big Girls Don’t Cry” was written by Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe and became the group’s second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
|December 22, 1962 – January 11, 1963
The Tornados were a British instrumental group known for being the first British band to have a No. 1 single in the United States.
“Telstar” was written and produced by Joe Meek, inspired by the launch of the Telstar communications satellite. The song became a major international hit.
The Biggest Pop Artists of 1962 include:
(HPS music data is compiled from charts, including Billboard’s Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance, and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)