Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Best Songs of 1960 - Nos. 5 to 1

5. Come Rain Or Come Shine – Ray Charles

This song, written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer in 1946, became a standard and was successfully recorded over the years by such luminaries as Tommy Dorsey, Jo Stafford, Frank Sinatra, and Judy Garland. IMO, the best recorded version of the song is by Ray Charles. It only made it as high as number 83 on the Pop charts, but I think it was one of the most beautiful things he ever recorded.

4. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke

Another gorgeous love song from Sam Cooke, this one made it to number two on the R&B charts and number twelve on the Pop charts. The guy in the song may not know much, but he knows he’s in love.

3. Who’s Lovin’ You – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

This was the B-side to Smokey’s hit “Shop Around”. It is mostly well-known for the many cover versions that came after, specifically one by the Jackson Five. There was also a tremendous cover by Terence Trent D’Arby in the late 80’s. I think the original by Smokey was just awesome.

2. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles

This was the first song by a girl group in the rock era to go to number one. It was a really beautiful number with a terrific arrangement. Shirley Alston, the lead singer, originally didn’t want to record it because she thought it was “too country”, but she changed her mind after the strings were added.

1. Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison

What a voice! Roy Orbison sang rock as though it were opera. Nobody had heard anything in rock music quite like this before Roy came along. He was magnificent. The song went to number two on the charts, but I don’t think there’s any question that this epic song was the best song of 1960.

Leo’s Top Artists of 1960

5. Ray Charles
4. The Shirelles
3. Roy Orbison
2. Sam Cooke
1. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Leo’s Top Albums and/or Singles of 1960

5. The Genius of Ray Charles –Ray Charles (LP)
4. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke (45)

3. Will You Love Me Tomorrow – The Shirelles (45)
2. Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison (45)
1. Hi, We’re The Miracles – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (LP)

Leo is going on vacation, so I may have a post up sometime next week or it may be three weeks until I get one up. I’ll be sure to start 1961 as soon as I can. See you then.

Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.


Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

Speaking of Judy Garland, there is a popular new group on Yahoo called JUDY GARLAND EXPERIENCE. They have amazing audio files, photo's lively discussions, and more!
The membership is incredible. It features Judy's family members, her biographers, old and new fans, people who saw her perform, people from all walks of life!

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