Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Best Songs of 1960 - Nos. 12 to 6

12. Baby Please Don’t Go – Muddy Waters

This classic blues number was originally recorded in 1945 by Big Joe Williams and has been covered by a multitude of artists, although the best versions are certainly the one recorded by Van Morrison and Them in 1964 and this great cover by the king of Chicago Blues, Muddy Waters.

11. Spanish Harlem – Ben E. King

This lovely little number was recorded by Ben E. King shortly after he left The Drifters. It was written by the unusual team of Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector. He took it all the way to number 15 on the R&B charts and number 10 on the Pop charts.

10. Chain Gang – Sam Cooke

Sam Cooke took this number about the men on the chain gang all the way to number two on the charts. The Hooh! Hah! bit throughout the song is an irresistible hook and Cooke’s voice was in top form.

9. He Will Break Your Heart – Jerry Butler

Jerry Butler was an important part of The Impressions, but this was one of the Ice Man’s solo hits. It went to number seven on the Pop charts and number one on the R&B charts. It was later covered by The Righteous Brothers and Tony Orlando & Dawn. It’s a really beautiful love song. Jerry had a whole lot of soul.

8. It’s Now Or Never – Elvis Presley

This was a big number one hit for Elvis. It’s an interesting adaptation of the famous Neapolitan song “O Sole Mio”. The song, in its original form, has been performed by almost all of the great male opera singers. Elvis really did a great job singing in an operatic manner.

7. Stay – Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs

What a falsetto! This is a great little song about a guy trying to convince his girl to break curfew and stay with him a little later than she should. At one minute and thirty-seven seconds, it is the shortest song ever to make it to number one on the charts. It became a hit all over again when it was featured on the Dirty Dancing soundtrack in 1987.

6. Shop Around – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

This was the first song from the Motown label to make it to number one on the R&B charts. It also went to number two on the pop charts. It wasn’t your standard love song. It was more of an ode to promiscuity. You gotta love that.

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