[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third of three articles putting the spotlight on songs that reached the Billboard Magazine’s Hot 100 pop music charts in two or more years. This item takes a look at songs that peaked between No. 30 and No. 62 in one or both of the years.]
In the 1950s and 1960s, there were quite a few songs that managed to gain U.S. popularity, as measured by Billboard Magazine‘s pop music listings, in more than one year.
Most notable was “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, which not only reached the Billboard Hot 100 in both 1960 and 1962, but it landed in the No. 1 position in both years. The first article tells about “The Twist” and other songs that made it to the Top 5, and to read that article, click here.
The second article put the focus on multi-year songs that peaked between No. 6 and No. 29 on Billboard, and to read that item, click here.
The series of columns deals only with songs that were Billboard Hot 100 charters in the ’50s and ’60s, and it doesn’t include Christmastime songs, many of which came back as chart hits in subsequent years, or even decades. To hear any of the selections, simply click on the title.
- “IN-A-GADDA-DA-VIDA” (Iron Butterfly, No. 30 in 1968, No. 68 in 1969): This heavy-metal band from San Diego, Calif., was fronted by vocalist-keyboardist Doug Ingle. Other members were Lee Dorman (bass), Erik Braunn (guitar) and Ron Bushy (drums). This was their only Top 40 hit, and the popular version (2:52 in length) was edited from the original 17-minute album cut.
- “FEELIN’ ALRIGHT” (Joe Cocker, No. 33 in 1972 and No. 69 in 1969): Born in Sheffield, England, the performer had his own skiffle band, The Cavaliers, in the late ’50s, and he formed The Grease Band in the ’60s before going solo. This is one of his ten U.S. Top 40 singles, including the chart-topping duet with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong” in 1982.
- “DREAMY EYES” (Johnny Tillotson, No. 35 in 1962 and No. 63 in 1958): The native of Jacksonville, Fla., was on radio and television as early as age 9, and he charted 14 Billboard Hot 100 singles, including “Poetry In Motion” (No. 2, 1960).
- “I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER” (Sly & The Family Stone, No. 38 in 1970 and No. 60 in 1969): This interracial group from San Francisco was founded and organized by Dallas-born Sylvester “Sly Stone” Stewart, who also produced such performers as Bobby Freeman, The Mojo Men and The Beau Brummels. The group charted 11 Billboard Top 40 hits, including three No. 1 singles.
- “HARLEM NOCTURNE” (Viscounts, No. 39 in 1965 and No. 52 in 1960): This was the only hit single for a New Jersey quintet formed in 1958. This instrumental classic was composed by Earle Hagen, who also co-wrote and did the whistling on “The Fishin’ Hole”, which was the well-known theme song for The Andy Griffith Show. The record was originally recorded for the Madison record label, but the re-issue was on the Amy label.
- “GENTLE ON MY MIND” (Glen Campbell, No. 39 in 1968 and No. 62 in 1967): This song, written by John Hartford, won four 1968 Grammy Awards. including Best Country & Western Solo Vocal Performance and Male and Best Country & Western Recording for the vocalist, who was born in Billstown, Ark., before moving to Los Angeles in the early ’60s. It was also used as the theme song for the singer’s TV variety show.
- “JUST ONE LOOK” (Hollies. No. 44 in 1967 and No. 98 in 1964): Formed in Manchester, England, in 1962, the group’s original lineup consisted of Allan Clarke (lead singer), Graham Nash and Tony Hicks (guitars), Eric Haydock (bass) and Don Rathbone (drums). They had a dozen Top 40s in the U.S., and this was their first American charter. It came back as a re-release on the Imperial label after the group had switched to the Epic label in 1967.
- “I CAN’T GET YOU OUT OF MY HEART” (Al Martino, No. 44 in 1959 and No. 99 in 1964) The singer was born Alfred Cini in Philadelphia, and he got a career boost when he won on Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts in 1952. He had 11 Top 40 singles, including “I Love You Because” (No. 3, 1963). He also played singer Johnny Fontane in The Godfather in 1972.
- “SHOUT” (Isley Brothers, No. 47 in 1959 and No. 94 in 1962): The group was formed by three Cincinnati brothers (O’Kelly, Ronald and Rudolph) as a gospel trio in the early 1950s. After relocating to New York City in 1957, they added brothers Ernie and Marvin on instrumentals. The biggest hit among their 11 Billboard Top 40s was “It’s Your Thing” (No. 2 pop, No. 1 R&B 1969).
- “A THOUSAND MILES AWAY” (Heartbeats, No. 53 in 1956 and No. 96 in 1960: This is the best-known song by a doo-wop group from Jamaica, Queens, originally known as The Hearts, consisting of baritone Vernon Sievers, bass Wally Roker, first tenor Albert Crump and second tenor Robbie Tatum. When they found there was a female group of the same name, they extended their name, and they were signed to a contract soon after James “Shep” Sheppard joined as lead vocalist. They split up in 1959, and Sheppard went on to form Shep and the Limelites.
- “IT WILL STAND” (Showmen, No. 61 in 1961 and No. 80 in 1964): This is the most-significant single by a New Orleans-based doo-wop and R&B group formed in 1961. The members all hailed from Norfolk, Va., before moving to The Big Easy in 1961. The group was fronted by General Norman Johnson, later lead singer of Chairmen Of The Board, and they were produced by then barely-known Allen Toussaint.
- “THE BALLAD OF THUNDER ROAD” (Robert Mitchum, No. 62 in 1958 and No. 65 in 1962): This song was performed and co-written by actor Robert Mitchum in 1957, with music by composer Jack Marshall. It was the theme song of the movie Thunder Road, and while it never peaked higher than No. 62 on Billboard, it spent a total of 21 weeks on the charts.
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