Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Best Songs of 1961 - Nos. 5 to 1

5. Baby, It’s You – The Shirelles (Baby, It’s You)

The Shirelles took this lovely Burt Bacharach song to number eight on the pop charts. It wasn’t as successful as many of their other songs, but I personally love this one. It did inspire a cover from the Beatles and a really great John Sayles movie starring Rosanna Arquette.

4. Crying – Roy Orbison (Crying)

Another beautiful operatic number from Roy Orbison, this one made it to number two on the charts. Roy’s falsetto on the chorus of this song is amazing and it builds up to yet another of his amazing crescendos. The remake he did in the eighties with k.d. lang was also pretty terrific.

3. Cupid – Sam Cooke (Cupid)

This story of the Greek God of love, Cupid, is one of the best songs in Sam Cooke’s catalog. The beat, the lyrics, the vocals, it is an almost perfect song. Sam’s voice is like velvet here.

2. Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles (The Genius Hits The Road)

One of Ray’s signature songs. It hit number one on the charts thanks to a great beat, a great story, and incredible backing from the Raelettes. The song has gone on to great success and is an arena sports standard.

1. Crazy – Patsy Cline (Crazy)

Willie Nelson wrote this song in 1961 and Patsy Cline picked it to be the follow-up to her previous hit, “I Fall To Pieces.” It became a huge hit and is still the most popular jukebox song of all time. The vocal inflections throughout are nearly perfect and it is amongst the most well sung songs in the history of recorded music. It is certainly the best song of 1961.

The Top Artists of 1961

5. Sam Cooke
4. Elvis Presley
3. Roy Orbison
2. Ray Charles
1. Patsy Cline

Male Voice of 1961

5. Del Shannon
4. Sam Cooke
3. Elvis Presley
2. Roy Orbison
1. Ray Charles

Female Voice of 1961

3. Gladys Horton of The Marvelettes
2. Shirley Owens of The Shirelles
1. Patsy Cline

Top Groups of 1961

4. The Tokens
3. The Marcels
2. The Marvelettes
1. The Shirelles

Top Albums or Singles of 1961

5. Baby It’s You – The Shirelles (LP)
4. Crying – Roy Orbison (LP)
3. Cupid – Sam Cooke (45)
2. The Genius Hits The Road – Ray Charles (LP)
1. Crazy – Patsy Cline (45)

Comments and opinions are encouraged and appreciated.


Misty said...

great song choices leo!

Misty said...

Leo, you should also check out Run Devil Run, Paul McCartney's covers album from the late 90s. It's really good and covers early 60s stuff.