Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Best Songs of 1959 - Nos. 5 to 1

5. I Only Have Eyes For You – The Flamingos



This hit for the Flamingos is probably my all-time favorite song of the doo-wop genre. I think it must be because of those doo-bop-sh-bops. Those just kill me every time I hear this song,

4. Shout – The Isley Brothers



The song didn’t get higher than number 47 on the pop charts, but its influence goes far beyond that. It was covered very well and many times, including by the Beatles. The song also featured famously in the movie Animal House.

3. Night Time Is The Right Time – Ray Charles



This is one of Ray’s best. The interchange with lead Raelette Margie Hendricks was pure magic. I will always remember seeing the song featured on that Cosby Show episode where the whole family lip-synched a performance to it.

2. El Paso – Marty Robbins



I love a good story song and few are as good as this one. Marty Robbins tells of a jealous cowboy who fell in love with Faleena, the cantina dancer. He shoots another guy over her and runs, but he has to come and see Faleena again, only to be shot to death in the process. Poor guy.

1. What’d I Say – Ray Charles



Oh! The sound of that organ. This is some of the best stuff Ray ever did. It’s his signature song. The call and response is the most infectious ever recorded. Rolling Stone called it the tenth greatest song of all time. He wrote the song while improvising in front of a live audience. After the show everyone wanted to know where they could buy the record. So, I guess Ray decided that he should record it. It is easily the best song of 1959.


Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.

1 comment:

Ed said...

I surely share your feelings about the Flamingos classic tune. I also think R. Charles' "What'd I Say" is a classic and highly influential. Marty doesn't do much for me. I'd find a place somewhere for "Sea of Love" by P. Phillips.

Nice list.

Ed.