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Audio Samples of "Billboard's" #1 Pop Singles


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A couple of years ago, I posted a list of all of the #1 singles that topped the weekly "Billboard" Magazine Pop Chart. Now, I'd like to go beyond that and actually post audio samples of all the number one hits.

Thankfully, somebody on YouTube named "Keonepax" has been in the process of assembling videos (that feature audio clips) of the number one hits (beginning with 1955's "Rock Around the Clock," which was the first rock and roll song to reach number one) over the past several months. Due to his hard work, many people on YouTube have been able to enjoy these great songs.

What follows in this thread are a long series of videos (that will be posted over time) that Keonepax has assembled. Before I post each video, however, I want to list all of the songs that will be played in that installment:

1955 (Partial Year):

1. Rock Around the Clock--Bill Haley & His Comets (8 weeks, July 9)*

2. The Yellow Rose of Texas--Mitch Miller (6 weeks, September 3)

3. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing--The Four Aces (2 weeks, October 8)

4. Autumn Leaves--Roger Williams (4 weeks, October 29)

5. Sixteen Tons--Tennessee Ernie Ford (7 weeks, November 26)

*Note: I'd like to explain exactly what the parentheses (that follow each song's title and artist) mean. What they tell you are two things: how many weeks a song spent at #1 and a corresponding date. Specifically, the format of the parentheses will look like this: (# of weeks the song spent at #1, corresponding date). First, keep in mind that the weeks a song spent at #1 may not necessarily be consecutive. And, by "corresponding date," I am referring to the date of the week that the single first peaked at #1. This date is always a Saturday, and it represents the week ended on that particular date.

For example: "Rock Around the Clock--Bill Haley & His Comets (8 weeks, July 9)"

What the figures in the parentheses tell you is the following. First, this song spent 8 weeks at #1 (although all 8 weeks might not have necessarily been consecutive). Second, this single first peaked at #1 on the week ending Saturday, July 9 (1955).


6. Memories Are Made of This--Dean Martin (5 weeks, January 14)

7. Rock and Roll Waltz--Kay Starr (1 week, February 18)

8. Lisbon Antigua--Nelson Riddle (4 weeks, February 25)

9. Poor People of Paris--Les Baxter (4 weeks, March 24)

10. Heartbreak Hotel--Elvis Presley (8 weeks, April 21)

11. The Wayward Wind--Gogi Grant (6 weeks, June 16)

12. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You--Elvis Presley (1 week, July 28)

13. My Prayer--The Platters (2 weeks, August 4)

14. Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog--Elvis Presley (11 weeks, August 18)

15. Love Me Tender--Elvis Presley (5 weeks, November 3)

16. Singing the Blues--Guy Mitchell (9 weeks, December 8)

1957 (Part 1 of 2):

17. Too Much--Elvis Presley (3 weeks, February 9)

18. Young Love--Tab Hunter (4 weeks, March 2)

19. Party Doll--Buddy Knox (1 week, March 30)

20. Round and Round--Perry Como (1 week, April 6)

21. All Shook Up--Elvis Presley (8 weeks, April 13)

22. Love Letters in the Sand--Pat Boone (5 weeks, June 3)

23. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear--Elvis Presley (7 weeks, July 8)

24. Tammy--Debbie Reynolds (3 weeks, August 26)

Here's the video:

Following each video will be my comments regarding the songs found in that installment. Before I list my comments, however, I just want to say that I would very much like to read your comments regarding these songs.


*For the first couple of seconds on many of these videos, an introductory song will be played that is not included on the list of number one songs; this particular song is actually a remixed version of "Yesterday Once More" by the Carpenters (a song with peaked at number two in the early-70's). The reason why it is there is because Keonepax felt that it would be a good way to introduce the songs in these videos.

*Many of the songs in this first installment are not rock and roll songs. That's because even though rock and roll began in the mid-50's, it did not become the dominant sound until at least 1957.

*"Rock Around the Clock" remains the most important song in the history of rock and roll. It was initially recorded in 1954, but failed commercially when it was released as a single. It was not until the following year, when it was featured in the film "Blackboard Jungle" (a movie about juvenile delinquents), when it became a smash hit.

*Although "Rock Around the Clock" is the first rock and roll song to reach number one, it is not the first rock song to become a hit. In particular, two hit singles--"Sh-Boom" by the Chords and "Earth Angel" by the Penguins--had a huge impact on rock and roll prior to "Rock Around the Clock" reaching number one.

*While Bill Haley never reached the heights that Elvis Presley reached, he is considered to be the father of rock and roll. Although "Rock Around the Clock" was his only #1 hit, he is also well known for some other top ten hits as well, including 1954's "Shake, Rattle, and Roll" and 1956's "See You Later, Alligator."

*Many consider it ironic that "The Yellow Rose of Texas" seceeded "Rock Around the Clock" at #1, given the fact that Mitch Miller was one of rock and roll's most vocal critics.

*"Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" by the Four Aces was the theme from the 1955 movie of the same name. Tweleve years later, a soap opera based on that movie would debut on CBS.

*Aside from "Rock Around the Clock" and the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand," Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" is the most important song in rock history, as it was his first national hit.

*Although "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" only held the top spot for one week, it remains one of my all-time favorite Elvis Songs.

*The Platters--whose lead singer, Tony Williams, possessed one of the most powerful voices I have ever heard--had the first of three number one hits with "My Prayer." Unlike the vast majority of doo-wop groups--who had only one or two hits--the Platters enjoyed a highly successful career. (For those of you who don't know what doo-wop is, click on this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doo_wop .)

*Elvis Presley's double sided hit--"Don't Be Cruel" backed with "Hound Dog"--spent an incredible eleven weeks at #1, a record that would not be broken until 1992.

*1957 proved to be just as good a year for Elvis as 1956 was, as he had four number one singles each of those years. (Elvis' fourth number one hit of 1957, "Jailhouse Rock" will be included in the next installment of number one hits.)

*In the early days of rock and roll, it was common for artists to "cover" a song by another artist who had a record out at exactly the same time. One such cover song was "Young Love" by Tab Hunter, whose cover version (IMO) was far inferior to the original version of "Young Love," sung by Sonny James. (James' version peaked at #2.)

*No artist is attacked more than Pat Boone for releasing cover versions of songs originally recorded by black artists (such as cover versions of Fats Domino's "Ain't That a Shame" and Little Richard's "Tutti-Frutti"). While this criticism is completely justified, Boone was nonetheless a talented singer, as evidenced by his biggest hit, "Love Letters in the Sand" (which I believe was not a cover version of a song originally recorded by a black singer).

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Here is the playlist for this next installment of number one hits:

1957 (Part 2 of 2):

25. Diana--Paul Anka (1 week, September 9)

26. That'll Be the Day--The Crickets (1 week, September 23)

27. Honeycomb--Jimmie Rodgers (2 weeks, September 30)

28. Wake Up Little Susie--The Everly Brothers (1 week, October 14)

29. Jailhouse Rock--Elvis Presley (7 weeks, October 21)

30. You Send Me--Sam Cooke (2 weeks, December 2)

31. April Love--Pat Boone (2 weeks, December 23)

1958 (Part 1 of 2):

32. At the Hop--Danny & the Juniors (5 weeks, January 6)

33. Don't--Elvis Presley (5 weeks, February 10)

34. Tequila--The Champs (5 weeks, March 17)

35. Twilight Time--The Platters (1 week, April 21)

36. Witch Doctor--David Seville (2 weeks, April 28)

37. All I Have to Do Is Dream--The Everly Brothers (4 weeks, May 12)

38. The Purple People Eater--Sheb Wooley (6 weeks, June 9)

39. Hard Headed Woman--Elvis Presley (2 weeks, July 21)

40. Poor Little Fool--Ricky Nelson (2 weeks, August 4)

41. Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu)--Domenico Modugno (6 weeks, August 18)

42. Little Star--The Elegants (1 week, August 25)

43. It's All in the Game--Tommy Edwards (6 weeks, September 29)

44. It's Only Make Believe--Conway Twitty (2 weeks, November 10)

45. Tom Dooley--The Kingston Trio (1 week, November 17)

46. To Know Him Is to Love Him--The Teddy Bears (3 weeks, December 1)

Here is the video:

And, here are my comments:

*1957 proved to be a banner year for rock and roll, since four legendary artists--Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Sam Cooke--all scored their first major hits that year.

*“Diana” is one of my favorite songs of the 50’s. The song’s performer, Paul Anka, is a major musical talent. For one thing, he wrote “Diana” when he was a teenager. In later years, Anka would write the theme to “The Tonight Show” (that was used during the Johnny Carson years) as well as Frank Sinatra’s signature song, “My Way.”

*Although “That’ll Be the Day” was Buddy Holly’s (and his band, the Crickets’) only #1 hit, he had a profound influence on many rock legends, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Holly, along with Ritchie Valens and “The Big Bopper” (J.P. Richardson), was killed in a private jet crash on February 3, 1959. (For those of you who are familiar with Don McLean’s 1972 #1 hit, “American Pie,” February 3, 1959 was “the day the music died.”)

*The Everly Brothers--who were one of the first acts to successfully combine country music with rock and roll--continue to remain one of my favorite musical artists. The brothers’ first hit was “Bye Bye Love,” which hit #2 in September 1957. Their follow-up, “Wake Up Little Susie” reached #1 just one month later. However, it is the Everly Brothers’ second #1 hit--the lovely “All I Have to Do Is Dream”--which (I believe) is their finest recording, and ranks as one of my all-time favorite songs.

*1958 was a highly successful year for white doo-wop groups, as evidenced by the fact that both “At the Hop” by Danny & the Juniors and “Little Star” by the Elegants reached number one that year. Additionally, 1958 was also the year that Dion & the Belmonts--the most successful white doo-wop group--burst onto the national scene.

*Elvis began a two-year stint in the Army after “Don’t” reached number one, but before “Hard Headed Woman” hit the top spot. As a result of having less time to pursue his musical career, Presley did not dominate the charts in 1958 & 59 to the extent that he dominated them in 56 & 57. Nevertheless, Elvis continued to have hit records during this period.

*Instrumentals are songs where no singing takes place. While many instrumentals had previously reached #1, “Tequila” by the Champs was the first rock and roll instrumental to go to #1.

*“Twilight Time” is my favorite Platters song.

*Novelty songs were at their most popular in 1958, given that three such songs--“Witch Doctor” by David Seville, “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley, and “The Chipmunk Song” by David Seville with the Chipmunks (which will be featured in the next installment of number one hits)--all reached number one that year.

*Ricky Nelson--who was the first rock star to arise from being on a hit television show (“The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet”)--had his first number one hit with “Poor Little Fool.” Although Nelson possessed great looks, he was actually a very talented performer (as opposed to being just a pretty face).

“Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto di Blu)”--which was sung in Italian--was the first foreign language recording to reach number one during the rock era.

“It’s Only Make Believe” by Conway Twitty sounds very much like an Elvis Presley record. While Twitty began his career as a rock and roll singer, he soon switched over to country music, where he eventually had over fifty number one hits on the country charts (the most by any country artist).

*“To Know His Is to Love Him” was the first hit song produced by the legendary Phil Spector. Spector, who was also a backup singer for the Teddy Bears, would achieve his greatest success as a producer in the early 60’s (producing such classics as “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals and “Be My Baby” by the Ronettes).

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1958 (Part 2 of 2):

47. The Chipmunk Song--The Chipmunks with David Seville (4 weeks, December 22)


48. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Platters (3 weeks, January 19)

49. Stagger Lee--Lloyd Price (4 weeks, February 9)

50. Venus--Frankie Avalon (5 weeks, March 9)

51. Come Softly to Me--The Fleetwoods (4 weeks, April 13)

52. The Happy Organ--Dave "Baby" Cortez (1 week, May 11)

53. Kansas City--Wilbert Harrison (2 weeks, May 18)

54. The Battle of New Orleans--Johnny Horton (6 weeks, June 1)

55. Lonely Boy--Paul Anka (4 weeks, July 13)

56. A Big Hunk O' Love--Elvis Presley (2 weeks, August 10)

57. The Three Bells--The Browns (4 weeks, August 24)

58. Sleep Walk--Santo & Johnny (2 weeks, September 21)

59. Mack the Knife--Bobby Darin (9 weeks, October 5)

60. Mr. Blue--The Fleetwoods (1 week, November 16)

61. Heartaches by the Number--Guy Mitchell (2 weeks, December 14)

62. Why--Frankie Avalon (1 week, December 28)

1960 (Part 1 of 2):

63. El Paso--Marty Robbins (2 weeks, January 4)

64. Running Bear--Johnny Preston (3 weeks, January 18)

65. Teen Angel--Mark Dinning (2 weeks, February 8)

66. Theme from "A Summer Place"--Percy Faith (9 weeks, February 22)


*By 1959 the American public had already reached a point where they were colorblind when it came to selecting which songs went to #1. This was absolutely remarkable, considering that the civil rights movement was just in its infancy at the time.

*"The Chipmunks" were actually present in David Seville's "Witch Doctor" (found in the previous installment of #1's), although they were not yet named. This, of course, was changed before "The Chipmunk Song" was released. Although the Chipmunks themselves would fade from popularity by the end of the 1950's, they would come roaring back with an NBC Saturday Morning cartoon that aired from 1983 to 1991.

*"Stagger Lee" wasn't the only immortal hit that Lloyd Price had in 1959; he also scored big with "Personality" (which went to #2).

"Teen Idols"--of which Frankie Avalon was one--is a term that refers to singers (from the late-50's & early-60's) who possessed great looks. Usually, such artists (to whom the label of teen idol applies) are harshly criticized for having little or no talent. However, I have always found that criticism to be somewhat unfair: While it's true that such singers were not the most gifted musicians who ever walked the planet, they nonetheless produced some good songs (such as "Venus").

*Because of their soft and gentle harmoines, the Fleetwoods were one of the most unique sounding doo-wop groups of the era. Even though "Mr. Blue" spent only one week at #1--while "Come Softly to Me" spent four weeks--I prefer the former song over the latter.

*"The Battle of New Orleans" by Johnny Horton and "El Paso" by Marty Robbins were two country songs that managed to crossover into the pop record market.

*There are many instances where a song went to #1 despite being completely undeserving of it: one such instance was "The Three Bells" by the Browns. It turns out that this stupid song kept a great #2 hit--"Sea of Love" by Phil Phillips with the Twilights--from reaching the top spot.

*The dreamy "Sleep Walk" by Santo & Johnny and the rocking "Walk--Don't Run" by the Ventures (which peaked at #2 in 1960) are my two favorite instrumentals of all time.

*Not only was the increadibly gifted Bobby Darin capable of singing pop recordings such as "Mack the Knife" and "Beyond the Sea," he also turned out some great rock and roll songs such as "Splish Splash" and "Dream Lover."

*"Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning is one of a handful of "death" songs that were popular during the early years of rock and roll. Other such songs included "Endless Sleep" by Jody Reynolds, "Ebony Eyes" by the Everly Brothers, and "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers.

*"A Summer Place" was a movie that starred, among others, AW's Constance Ford. The movie's beautiful theme song was the most popular instrumental of the rock era (although the song itself had nothing to do with rock and roll), spending nine weeks at #1.

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1960 (Part 2 of 2):

67. Stuck on You--Elvis Presley (4 weeks, April 25)

68. Cathy's Clown--The Everly Brothers (5 weeks, May 23)

69. Everybody's Somebody's Fool--Connie Francis (2 weeks, June 27)

70. Alley-Oop--The Hollywood Argyles (1 week, July 11)

71. I'm Sorry--Brenda Lee (3 weeks, July 18)

72. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini--Brian Hyland (1 week, August 8)

73. It's Now or Never--Elvis Presley (5 weeks, August 15)

74. The Twist--Chubby Checker (1 week, September 19)

75. My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own--Connie Francis (2 weeks, September 26)

76. Mr. Custer--Larry Verne (1 week, October 10)

77. Save the Last Dance for Me--The Drifters (3 weeks, October 17)

78. I Want to Be Wanted--Brenda Lee (1 week, October 24)

79. Georgia on My Mind--Ray Charles (1 week, November 14)

80. Stay--Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs (1 week, November 21)

81. Are You Lonesome Tonight?--Elvis Presley (6 weeks, November 28)

1961 (Part 1 of 2):

82. Wonderland by Night--Bert Kaempfert (3 weeks, January 9)

83. Will You Love Me Tomorrow--The Shirelles (2 weeks, January 30)

84. Calcutta--Lawrence Welk (2 weeks, February 13)

85. Pony Time--Chubby Checker (3 weeks, February 27)

86. Surrender--Elvis Presley (2 weeks, March 20)


*The music of the early-60's had far more in common with the music of the late-50's than with the music that would arise in the mid- and late-60's. (There were some differences, such as the fact that there was less doo-wop and more hit records by female artists in the early-60's than in the late-50's, but by and large the types of popular music were the same in both periods.) And, while I am in the small minority, I much perfer the early-60's music to the music that would be released throughout the remainder of the decade. In fact, the late-50's/early-60's is my favorite era of music (with the 80's coming in as my second favorite era).

*"Stuck on You" was the first single Elvis Presley released upon concluding his two year stint in the Army. As a result of having a lot more time to devote to his career, Elvis' huge success in 1960 nearly matched the success he enjoyed in '56 & '57.

*In 1960, the Everly Brothers left the small Cadence record label in order to sign with Warner Brothers. Initially it seemed like the right decision, as "Cathy's Clown"--their first record released on Warner Brothers--was the brothers' biggest ever. However, it would turn out that the Everly Brothers would not produce nearly as many hits over the next couple of years as they did while they were at Cadence. Although the Everly Brothers continued to have some top ten hits over the next couple of years, their career was over by the end of 1962.

*Connie Francis had her first two (of a total of three) number #1 hits in 1960. Ironically, none of her number #1's are among her most famous recordings, which are "Who's Sorry Now" (#5 in 1958), "Lipstick on Your Collar" (#5 in 1959), and "Where the Boys Are" (#4 in 1961).

*The operatic "It's Now or Never" is actually Elvis' personal favorite out of all his recordings.

*Although "The Twist" by Chubby Checker spent one week at #1 in 1960, it would spend another two weeks at #1 in January of 1962.

*"Mr. Custer" is one of the worst songs I have ever heard. This song didn't even deserve to chart, let along make it to #1.

*Like the Platters, the Drifters were one of the few doo-wop groups who enjoyed a long career. The group actually got its name because its members were constantly drifting in and out of the group. (Indeed, some 40 people in total actually were part of this group at one time or another, even though no more than about five people were part of the group at any one time.) Ben E. King, the lead singer on "Save the Last Dance for Me" (which was the group's only #1 hit), would leave the group in 1961 and (while a solo artist) record the enduringly popular "Stand by Me" the same year.

*Ray Charles' "Georgia on My Mind" would become that state's official song in 1979.

*"Stay" by Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs is one of the shortest recordings ever (and the shortest song to reach #1), as it runs for only 1 minute and 37 seconds. "Stay" is also one of my favorite doo-wop songs, as it features both a great melody and a very memorable falsetto provided by Williams.

*"Are You Lonesome Tonight?" is unique in the fact that a sizable portion of the song features Elvis talking.

*The magnificent "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" by the Shirelles was the first girl-group record to reach #1. Although the Shirelles were not the first ever girl-group, they were the first to enjoy a huge level of success, paving the way for future girl-gropus such as the Marvelettes, the Crystals, the Ronettes, the Supremes, and Martha & the Vandellas.

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1961 (Part 2 of 2):

87. Blue Moon--The Marcels (3 weeks, April 3)

88. Runaway--Del Shannon (4 weeks, April 24)

89. Mother-in-Law--Ernie K-Doe (1 week, May 22)

90. Travelin' Man--Ricky Nelson (2 weeks, May 29)

91. Running Scared--Roy Orbison (1 week, June 5)

92. Moody River--Pat Boone (1 week, June 19)

93. Quarter to Three--Gary U.S. Bonds (2 weeks, June 26)

94. Tossin' and Turnin'--Bobby Lewis (7 weeks, July 10)

95. Wooden Heart (Muss I Denn)--Joe Dowell (1 week, August 28)

96. Michael--The Highwaymen (2 weeks, September 4)

97. Take Good Care of My Baby--Bobby Vee (3 weeks, September 18)

98. Hit the Road Jack--Ray Charles (2 weeks, October 9)

99. Runaround Sue--Dion (2 weeks, October 23)

100. Big Bad John--Jimmy Dean (5 weeks, November 6)

101. Please Mr. Postman--The Marvelettes (1 week, December 11)

102. The Lion Sleeps Tonight--The Tokens (3 weeks, December 18)

1962 (Part 1 of 2):

74. The Twist--Chubby Checker (2 weeks, January 13)*

103. Peppermint Twist-Part I--Joey Dee & the Starliters (3 weeks, January 27)

104. Duke of Earl--Gene Chandler (3 weeks, February 17)

105. Hey! Baby--Bruce Channel (3 weeks, March 10)

106. Don't Break the Heart That Loves You--Connie Francis (1 week, March 31)

107. Johnny Angel--Shelley Fabares (2 weeks, April 7)

*(Note: After spending 1 week at #1 in 1960, "The Twist" by Chubby Checker--which is the 74th #1 single of the rock era--spent an additional 2 weeks at #1 in 1962. While I included this song in the above list, please be aware that "The Twist" is not included in the following excerpts of #1 singles in the video below.)


*"Blue Moon" by the Marcels is one of my very favorite songs of all-time. (I also happen to believe that it is one of the coolest songs ever made.) Prior to the release of "Blue Moon," doo-wop was not doing nearly as well in the early-60's as it did in the 50's. Yet, because of the success of this record, a doo-wop renaissance emerged which resulted in dozens of doo-wop songs becoming hits in 1961.

*Back in 1961, Del Shannon's debut record, "Runaway," was one of the hardest rocking hits of all-time. During the middle of the song, there is a solo by an instrument that happened to be the prototype of the synthesizer.

*"Travelin' Man" was Ricky Nelson's second and final number one hit. Nelson was killed in a private plane crash on December 31, 1985.

*The heavily acclaimed Roy Orbison--who puts all of todays "musicians" to shame--scored his first hit in 1960 with the #2 "Only the Lonely." One year later, Orbison made it to the top of the chart with "Running Scared."

*"Quarter to Three" by Gary U.S. Bonds was one of the best party songs of the era. Twenty years later, in 1981, Bonds would have a comeback hit with another great party record, "This Little Girl."

*While "Tossin' and Turnin'" is a good song, I think that it was way too excessive for it to have spent seven weeks at #1, especially when you compare it to some of the other songs of 1961 (which, IMO, was one of rock and roll's best years ever). "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," "Blue Moon," "Runaway," "Take Good Care of My Baby," and "Runaround Sue" all deserved to be #1 for more weeks than "Tossin' and Turnin.'"

*Teen idol Bobby Vee scored his biggest hit with the magnificent "Take Good Care of My Baby." This song, as well as the Shirelle's "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," was written by Carole King and (her then husband) Gerry Goffin.

*Dion (DiMucci) is one of my favorite musical artists. In the late-50's, Dion--along with his group, the Belmonts--released some of the best doo-wop songs ever made, most notably "I Wonder Why" and "A Teenager in Love." And, even though Dion left the Belmonts for a solo career in the early-60's, his songs were still doo-wop as a result of uncredited vocal backing by a group called the Del-Satins. While "Runaround Sue," was Dion's only #1 hit, he also enjoyed big solo hits with "The Wanderer," "Donna the Prima Donna," and others.

"Please Mr. Postman" by the Marvelettes was the first song released by Motown Records to reach number one (although the song has more in common with other girl-group recordings of the early-60's than it does with the Motown songs that were made later in the decade). "Please Mr. Postman" was only the label's second smash hit; in February 1961, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles had Motown's first hit with "Shop Around" (which peaked at #2).

*Speaking of "Please Mr. Postman," the song hit number one a second time in 1975 with a version sung by the Carpenters.

*As I mentioned earlier, "The Twist" spent an additional two weeks at number one in January 1962 after it had already spent a week at the top back in 1960. It is noteworthy that this marked the only time in the history of the rock era when a song initially peaked at #1, then fell off the chart, and--over a year later--re-entered the chart and peaked at #1 again.

*Actually, "The Twist" was much bigger the second time around than it was originally. During its second run at #1, "The Twist" became a true national phenomenon, inspiring not only "twist parties," but also other songs--such as Joey Dee & the Starliters' "Peppermint Twist," Sam Cooke's "Twistin' the Night Away," and the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout"--that attempted to cash in on its massive popularity.

*"Duke of Earl" by Gene Chandler remains one of the most beloved doo-wop songs ever made. Chandler's performances of "Duke of Earl" have always been (and continue to be) extremely entertaining, as he dresses up in a top hat and cape whenever he sings the song.

*The beautiful "Johnny Angel" was sung by Shelley Fabares, who was a cast member of "The Donna Reed Show" back in 1962. Over twenty-five years later, Fabares would find success with another TV role, that being the wife of Craig T. Nelson's character on "Coach."

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1962 (Part 2 of 2):

108. Good Luck Charm--Elvis Presley (2 weeks, April 21)

109. Soldier Boy--The Shirelles (3 weeks, May 5)

110. Stranger on the Shore--Mr. Acker Bilk (1 week, May 26)

111. I Can't Stop Loving You--Ray Charles (5 weeks, June 2)

112. The Stripper--David Rose & His Orchestra (1 week, July 7)

113. Roses Are Red (My Love)--Bobby Vinton (4 weeks, July 14)

114. Breaking Up Is Hard to Do--Neil Sedaka (2 weeks, August 11)

115. The Loco-Motion--Little Eva (1 week, August 25)

116. Sheila--Tommy Roe (2 weeks, September 1)

117. Sherry--The Four Seasons (5 weeks, September 15)

118. Monster Mash--Bobby "Boris" Pickett & the Crypt-Kickers (2 weeks, October 20)

119. He's a Rebel--The Crystals (2 weeks, November 3)

120. Big Girls Don't Cry--The Four Seasons (5 weeks, November 17)

121. Telstar--The Tornadoes (3 weeks, December 22)

1963 (Part 1 of 2):

122. Go Away Little Girl--Steve Lawrence (2 weeks, January 12)

123. Walk Right In--The Rooftop Singers (2 weeks, January 26)

124. Hey Paula--Paul & Paula (3 weeks, February 9)

125. Walk Like a Man--The Four Seasons (3 weeks, March 2)


*Elvis' 16th number one hit, "Good Luck Charm," would also be his last #1 hit until 1969. While Presley enjoyed several more top ten hits in 1962 and 1963, his career would turn cold once the Beatles came on the scene in 1964. It would not recover until a televised comeback special aired in December 1968.

*"Stranger on the Shore" by Mr. Acker Bilk was the first of three instrumentals (more than in any other year) that hit #1 in 1962. It was also the first song by a British artist to go to the top spot.

*Along with "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," Neil Sedaka also had a string of other great songs that became hits in the early-60's, including "Calendar Girl" and "Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen." Like so many other artists of the era, his career would be obliterated with the advent of the Beatles. However, in 1975, Sedaka would stage a remarkable comback and score two more #1 hits.

*I consider "The Loco-Motion" by Little Eva to be one of the best dance records ever made. This song has had remarkable popularity over the years, given that (1) it went to #1 again in 1974 when it was covered by Grand Funk Railroad and (2) it peaked at #3 in 1988 when Kylie Minogue recorded her version of the song.

*Many people have noted that Tommy Roe's "Sheila" sounds very similar to Buddy Holly's "Peggy Sue."

*One of my all-time favorite groups happens to be Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. I consider "Sherry," the group's first hit, to be their second best recording effort. In regards to the Four Seasons themselves, I have always thought that they are among the most underrated musical acts in history (in terms of the critical praise they have received). Thankfully, due to the broadway musical titled "Jersey Boys," more and more people are beginning to realize just how great they were.

*Despite the fact that "Monster Mash" has stupid lyrics, it is still a great song with a great melody that fully deserved its #1 position.

*When it comes to my favorite girl-group record, it is a tossup between "One Fine Day" by the Chiffons (#5 in 1963) and "He's a Rebel" by the Crystals. The latter song was produced by the legendary Phil Spector.

*"Big Girls Don't Cry" was actually recorded in the same session as "Sherry," although the Four Seasons decided to release "Sherry" as a single first. As it turned out, it didn't matter which of the two songs was released first, as both spent five weeks at the top spot.

*One of the most bizarre instrumentals ever recorded was "Telstar" by the Tornadoes (who were a British group). However, once you get over the initial shock of the bizarre instrumentation, you can't help but realize that it is still a great rock and roll song.

*Steve Lawrence's "Go Away Little Girl" would go to #1 again via a 1971 cover version by Donny Osmond.

*"Hey Paula" by Paul & Paula was the first of three songs performed by a male-female duet that would reach #1 in 1963. The other two songs--"Deep Purple" by Nino Tempo & April Stevens and "I'm Leaving It Up to You" by Dale & Grace"--will be featured in the next installment of number one hits.

*I consider "Walk Like a Man" to be the Four Seasons' very best recording. With this song, the Four Seasons were able to score their third consecutive number one hit, which marked the first time an artist had ever achieved this feat.

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1963 (Part 2 of 2):

126. Our Day Will Come--Ruby & the Romantics (1 week, March 23)

127. He's So Fine--The Chiffons (4 weeks, March 30)

128. I Will Follow Him--Little Peggy March (3 weeks, April 27)

129. If You Wanna Be Happy--Jimmy Soul (2 weeks, May 18)

130. It's My Party--Lesley Gore (2 weeks, June 1)

131. Sukiyaki--Kyu Sakamoto (3 weeks, June 15)

132. Easier Said Than Done--The Essex (2 weeks, July 6)

133. Surf City--Jan & Dean (2 weeks, July 20)

134. So Much in Love--The Tymes (1 week, August 3)

135. Fingertips (Pt. II)--Little Stevie Wonder (3 weeks, August 10)

136. My Boyfriend's Back--The Angels (3 weeks, August 31)

137. Blue Velvet--Bobby Vinton (3 weeks, September 21)

138. Sugar Shack--Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs (5 weeks, October 12)

139. Deep Purple--Nino Tempo & April Stevens (1 week, November 16)

140. I'm Leaving It Up to You--Dale & Grace (2 weeks, November 23)

141. Dominique--The Singing Nun (4 weeks, December 7)

1964 (Part 1 of 2):

142. There! I've Said It Again--Bobby Vinton (4 weeks, January 4)

143. I Want to Hold Your Hand--The Beatles (7 weeks, February 1)

144. She Loves You--The Beatles (2 weeks, March 21)

145. Can't Buy Me Love--The Beatles (5 weeks, April 4)

146. Hello, Dolly!--Louis Armstrong (1 week, May 9)

147. My Guy--Mary Wells (2 weeks, May 16)

148. Love Me Do--The Beatles (1 week, May 30)


*Rock music changed drastically as a result of the JFK assassination and the advent of the Beatles. Therefore, the time period covered in this installment of #1 hits is a very important one, as it marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one.

*While "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons was a great song, I far prefer the song's follow-up, "One Fine Day" (which definately deserved to go to #1 despite the fact that it only peaked at #5).

*Being only 15 years and one month old when the magnificent "I Will Follow Him" went to the top spot, Little Peggy March remains the youngest female solo artist to ever have a #1 hit.

*In 1972, Helen Reddy scored a #1 hit with "I Am Woman," which served the anthem to the feminist movement. If there was ever a song that was the anthem to the anti-feminist movement, it would have to be "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul (which featured lyrics such as "I saw your wife the other day, and she's ugly...but she's sure a good cook, baby").

*The lovely Lesley Gore had a string of hits in 1963 and 64, the first and biggest of which was "It's My Party." Her other smash hits included "Judy's Turn to Cry" (which was an "answer" record to "It's My Party"), "She's a Fool," and "You Don't Own Me."

*"Sukiyaki," which was entirely sung in Japanese, was a bad song that didn't deserve to go anywhere near #1.

*"Surf City" by Jan & Dean sounds very much like a Beach Boys song (in fact, the song was co-written by Beach Boys lead singer Brian Wilson). While one my think that Jan & Dean were trying to imitate the sound of the Beach Boys, the exact opposite was true: Jan & Dean were around before the Beach Boys and were a huge musical influence on the Beach Boys.

*1963 was the last year doo-wop ever found commercial success, and "So Much in Love" by the Tymes was the last doo-wop song to reach #1. Along with "So Much in Love," I consider "Remember Then" by the Earls and "Denise" by Randy & the Rainbows to be among the very best doo-wop songs of 1963.

*When 13 year-old Stevie Wonder scored his first #1 hit (of a total of nine) with "Fingertips (Pt. II)," he would be the youngest (and still is the youngest) solo artist to reach the top of the chart. However, despite the fact that Wonder is one of the most talented musicians of all time (who sang many great songs), it is my opinon that "Fingertips (Pt. II)" was a terrible song.

*Spending five weeks at #1, "Sugar Shack" was the most popular song of 1963. While the song is OK, I find it to be outrageous that it was responsible for keeping the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" (which was one of the most iconic songs of the early-60's) from reaching the top spot.

*"I'm Leaving It Up to You" was the #1 song the week JFK was assassinated. As an eerie coincidence, Dale & Grace were watching JFK's motorcade roll by just minutes before the president was shot. (The duo was in Dallas on November 22, 1963 as part of an "American Bandstand" organized tour.)

*While "Dominique," followed by "There! I've Said It Again," were at #1, "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen spent six weeks at #2. It sure is funny how one of rock's greatest classics was blocked from the top by two very forgettable songs.

*"Dominique" by the Singing Nun (which was sung in French) has to be one of the very worst songs I have ever heard. How the song even charted (much less made it to number one) remains a huge mystery.

*Bobby Vinton's "There! I've Said It Again" was the last song to reach #1 before the advent of the Beatles. Interestingly enough, Vinton was one of the very few artists from the early-60's whose career was not killed as a result of the Beatles.

*Aside from "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets, the Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is the most important rock and roll song ever recorded. After this song became a hit, pop music would never be the same again.

*"I Want to Hold Your Hand," "She Loves You," and "Please Please Me" are my favorite Beatles songs. Also, while I'm definately in the minority, I far prefer the early Beatles songs over the later ones (simply because I don't like any late-60's songs that have bizarre lyrics and bizarre instrumentation). That being said, however, there is no question that their later records were objectively superior pieces of music.

*At the height of Beatlemania in early 1964, three number one songs in a row were all sung by the Beatles. This marked the only time in history that an artist had three consecutive number one hits. (In fact, only a couple of artists have ever achieved two number one hits in a row.) Just as impressively, the Beatles occupied all top five chart positions for the week ended April 4, 1964.

*At 62 years old (when "Hello, Dolly!" went to #1), the legendary Louis Armstrong remains the oldest artist to ever have a #1 hit.

*"Love Me Do" definately did not deserve to go to #1; there's no doubt that it did so well simply because it was a Beatles song. Actually, "Love Me Do" was the first song the Beatles released in Britain (in late 1962), where it only went to #17 (which was the chart position I believe it deserved). As a follow up in Britain, the Beatles released the wonderful "Please Please Me," which shot to number one and made them national superstars. (Although "Please Please Me" also deserved to go to #1 in the U.S., it only peaked at #3 here.)

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1964 (Part 2 of 2):

149. Chapel of Love--The Dixie Cups (3 weeks, June 6)

150. A World Without Love--Peter & Gordon (1 week, June 27)

151. I Get Around--The Beach Boys (2 weeks, July 4)

152. Rag Doll--The Four Seasons (2 weeks, July 18)

153. A Hard Day's Night--The Beatles (2 weeks, August 1)

154. Everybody Loves Somebody--Dean Martin (1 week, August 15)

155. Where Did Our Love Go--The Supremes (2 weeks, August 22)

156. House of the Rising Sun--The Animals (3 weeks, September 5)

157. Oh, Pretty Woman--Roy Orbison (3 weeks, September 26)

158. Do Wah Diddy Diddy--Manfred Mann (2 weeks, October 17)

159. Baby Love--The Supremes (4 weeks, October 31)

160. Leader of the Pack--The Shangri-Las (1 week, November 28)

161. Ringo--Lorne Greene (1 week, December 5)

162. Mr. Lonely--Bobby Vinton (1 week, December 12)

163. Come See About Me--The Supremes (2 weeks, December 19)

164. I Feel Fine--The Beatles (3 weeks, December 26)

1965 (Part 1 of 3):

165. Downtown--Petula Clark (2 weeks, January 23)

166. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'--The Righteous Brothers (2 weeks, February 6)


*Great girl-group songs such as "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups and "Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las actually sounded like they were from the early-60's as opposed to being from 1964.

*Prior to the advent of the Beatles, rock and roll was almost completely dominated by American artists. Yet, once the Beatles arrived, the floodgates were open for other foreign (primarily British) acts, such as Peter and Gordon. The duo's biggest hit, "A World Without Love," was actually written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

*Although the Beach Boys scored their first #1 song with "I Get Around," they actually had their first hit record back in 1962 with "Surfin' Safari." Despite public perception, none of the Beach Boys actually surfed.

*Along with Motown and the Beach Boys, the Four Seasons served as America's main competiton to the Beatles during the mid-60's. "Rag Doll" was just one of the many hits that the group had during this time period. (Other mid-60's hits included "Dawn (Go Away)," "Let's Hang On," and "Working My Way Back to You.") Despite this success, the Four Seasons would become ice cold as performers once the psychedelic era of the late-60's arrived. Nevertheless, the group would stage a remarkable comeback during the mid-70's.

*"A Hard Day's Night" was the title track from a lighthearted movie of the same name that starred the Beatles.

*Not only was Dean Martin a great comedian, he was also a gifted singer, as demonstrated on "Everybody Loves Somebody" (which is my favoirte Martin recording).

*Although Motown Records had been around since 1958 and had been having hit records since 1961, it was not until the advent of the Supremes in 1964 when the label became a pop music powerhouse. Ironically, prior to the release of "Where Did Our Love Go" (the first of twelve #1 singles by the group), the Supremes were ridiculed among other Motown employees (and internally known as the "no-hit Supremes") due to their string of commercial failures.

*I consider "Oh, Pretty Woman" to be Roy Orbison's finest masterpiece. Surprisingly, the song marked the end of Orbison's chart success, as he would not make the top 10 again until "You Got It" became a posthumous hit in 1989.

*In 1964, many records recorded by American artists did not become hits until they were covered by British bands. One example of this occurred with "Do Wah Diddy Diddy": it was initially recorded by the Exciters (but failed on the charts), yet did not become a hit until Manfred Mann covered it.

*I mentioned earlier that the Supremes had a total of twelve number one hits. Interestingly enough, only one of those hits--"Baby Love"--spent more than two weeks at #1.

*"Ringo," a recording performed by "Bonanza" actor Lorne Greene, had nothing at all to do with Ringo Starr. Truthfully, "Ringo" did not even deserve to go to #1, given the fact that no singing even took place on the recording (all Greene did was talk).

*The opening instrumentation displayed on "I Feel Fine" was among the first signs that (even as early as late-1964) the Beatles were ready to take their music in a more edgier and serious direction.

*The Righteous Brothers were one of the few white artists who could perform great soul music. Although "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" remains a classic, it is not the duo's most famous single. Rather, that distinction would have to go to "Unchained Melody"; while "Unchained Melody" only peaked at #4 in 1965, the song enjoys near universal recognition, helped in part by being featured in the 1990 movie "Ghost."

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Im-n-a-whirl, you are very welcome! The person who assembled these videos--a YouTube user named "Keonepax"--put so much effort into making each and every video perfect. Not only do I love how he included pictures, I also love how he made each song flow smoothly into the next (something that is definately very hard to do).

Im-n-a-whirl, given your great tastes in music, I'd really like to read any comments/opinions you may have regarding which of these songs you like and which of these songs you think did not deserve to go to #1.

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I'll comment on a few at a time, LOL.

I agree about Twilight Time. It's poetry set to music. All of the Platters hits were wonderful but that one stands out.

In my opinion, the Everly Brothers best song by leaps and bounds was Cathy's Clown. It's one of the few songs that you can actually describe as being perfect.

Love Rock and Roll Waltz. I believe it was the first number one with the words "rock and roll" in the title. I also believe we are probably the only two people on this board that have heard it, LOL.

There is something oddly catchy about Dominique, though the stuff the music-buying public would snap up back then boggles the mind. It was actually released as a single after some nuns approached a recording studio about pressing their songs into records to be given away as Christmas gifts. It was the studio's idea to release Dominique as a single. The Singing Nun herself (can't think of her real name) later committed suicide.

Walk Right In is another favorite. The songwriter was forced to sell his prized banjo to pay for winter coal and was dirt poor until the song became a hit. The group never had another big hit and soon felt like fate only really brought them all together for the sole purpose of recording Walk Right In.

It's funny how Mitch Miller was one of rock music's biggest detractors, yet when Elvis Presley died, he had only glowing and flattering things to say about him. He bought the rights to Yellow Rose of Texas, re-arranged it and added those cloying snare drums. For that time, it was okay but it's hardly what I'd call a masterpiece.

I believe that the opening instrumentation that you mentioned on I Feel Fine was also one of the first songs to use guitar feedback as part of the music.

Oh my God, Denise was a great song!!

Favorite Beatles songs? Eleanor Rigby rates at the top for me, along with Please, Please Me, I Feel Fine, Daytripper, Ticket to Ride, Drive My Car, We Can Work It Out and Hello, Goodbye.

Some of the songs that have gone to number one are nothing more than enormous question marks and most of them are coming up in the later 60's and the 70's.

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Im-n-a-whirl, thank you so much for your comments. They were both extremely insightful and enjoyable to read.

1965 (Part 2 of 3):

167. This Diamond Ring--Gary Lewis & the Playboys (2 weeks, February 20)

168. My Girl--The Temptations (1 week, March 6)

169. Eight Days a Week--The Beatles (2 weeks, March 13)

170. Stop! In the Name of Love--The Supremes (2 weeks, March 27)

171. I'm Telling You Now--Freddie & the Dreamers (2 weeks, April 10)

172. Game of Love--Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders (1 week, April 24)

173. Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter--Herman's Hermits (3 weeks, May 1)

174. Ticket to Ride--The Beatles (1 week, May 22)

175. Help Me Rhonda--The Beach Boys (2 weeks, May 29)

176. Back in My Arms Again--The Supremes (1 week, June 12)

177. I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)--The Four Tops (2 weeks, June 19)

178. Mr. Tambourine Man--The Byrds (1 week, June 26)

179. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction--The Rolling Stones (4 weeks, July 10)

180. I'm Henry VIII, I Am--Herman's Hermits (1 week, August 7)

181. I Got You Babe--Sonny & Cher (3 weeks, August 14)

182. Help!--The Beatles (3 weeks, September 4)

183. Eve of Destruction--Barry McGuire (1 week, September 25)

184. Hang on Sloopy--The McCoys (1 week, October 2)

185. Yesterday--The Beatles (4 weeks, October 9)


*Gary Lewis is the son of comedian Jerry Lewis. He and his band, the Playboys, enjoyed a string of hits, the biggest of which was "This Diamond Ring" (which happens to be one of my favorite songs from the mid-60's).

*Motown's Temptations had their first big hit with "The Way You Do the Things You Do," which peaked at #11 in 1964. They topped the charts a year later with "My Girl." Actually, given the fact that "My Girl" is such an iconic song, I'm really surprised that it spent only one week at #1.

*In 1965, Herman's Hermits scored their only #1's with "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" and "I'm Henry VIII, I Am." This British band was led by Peter Noone, who guest starred on ATWT back in 2002 (as part of a storyline that was one of Hogan Sheffer's worst).

*"Back in My Arms Again" was the Supremes' fifth consecutive single to reach #1, a new record for the time. Their record would not be broken until Whitney Houston released seven consecutive singles that all reached #1, beginning with 1985's "Saving All My Love For You" and ending with 1988's "Where Do Broken Hearts Go."

*Like the Temptations, the Four Tops were a Motown group that first had a #11 hit in 1964 (with "Baby, I Need Your Lovin'") before reaching #1 with "I Can't Help Myself," a song written by the legendary songwriting team of Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland (a team that also wrote the vast majority of the Supremes' #1 hits). IMO, "I Can't Help Myself" is one of the very finest Motown songs ever recorded.

*"Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds was actually written and originally recorded by Bob Dylan. Amazingly, Dylan himself never had a #1 hit.

*While the Rolling Stones' first big hit came in 1964 with "Time Is On My Side," the group did not achieve superstardom until it released "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

*Aside from "I Got You Babe," Sonny and Cher also scored huge hits with "Baby Don't Go" and "The Beat Goes On."

*Due to the success of "A Hard Day's Night," the Beatles starred in another movie titled "Help!" and had another #1 hit with the movie's theme song.

*Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" was the first protest song to top the chart. Interestingly, the majority of Americans still supported the Vietnam War back in 1965; it was not until circa late 1966 when the tide finally turned.

*By the time the Beatles recorded "Yesterday," the group had pretty much abandoned innocent music in order to focus exclusively on serious songs. "Yesterday" was also a significant recording in that it marked the first time only one Beatle (in this case, Paul McCartney) sang on a record released by the entire group.

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Herman's Hermits was the WORST and if I never hear Hang on Sloopy ever again, it will be too soon.

Speaking of Dylan, there is another artist who falls into the one-hit-wonder category that would surprise people: Jimi Hendrix. Even though he's considered a guitar legend, he only had one single hit the chart and that was the Dylan song All Along the Watchtower.

The Four Tops had far better songs than I Can't Help Myself, especially after Holland-Dozier-Holland really hit their songwriting stride at Motown.

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The fact that Jimi Hendrix is a one-hit wonder is extremely surprising. I'm equally surprised that his one hit, "All Along the Watchtower," only peaked at #20.

Im-n-a-whirl, its good to know that you really like "Denise" as well. While I did not mention it earlier, it is actually one of my very favorite songs. It was such a shame that the song only peaked at #10 (when it deserved to spend 10 weeks at #1).

Also, all of the Beatles songs that you mentioned (as your favorites) are timeless classics.

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The Four Tops were actually, for the longest time, the group that has been together the longest with no personnel changes. The death of Lawrence Payton in 1997 changed all that. Who falls into that category now?

I'm thinking hard and I believe that it's ZZ Top. They formed in 1969 and are still together today with their original members.

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