[EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second 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. 6 and No. 29 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.
There were many Christmastime songs — among them “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby and “The Chipmunk Song” by The Chipmunks — that were repeat chart items for many years, or even decades, but this series of columns doesn’t include holiday recordings. Rather, the focus is on other songs that re-entered the U.S. pop listings after having been a previous chart item, and to hear any of the selections, simply click on the title.
- “YOU KEEP ME HANGING ON” (Vanilla Fudge, No. 67 in 1967 and No. 6 in 1968): This psychedelic rock quartet, formed in New York City in 1966, consisted of Mark Stein (lead, keyboards), Vince Martell (guitar), Carmine Appice (drums) and Tom Bogert (bass). Appice and Bogert both had performed behind Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart, and the group’s only other Top 40 was “Take Me for a Little While” (No. 38, 1968).
- “OVER THE MOUNTAIN, ACROSS THE SEA” (Johnnie & Joe, No. 8 in 1957 and No. 89 in 1960): This record was the only Billboard Hot 100 item performed by the Bronx duo of Johnnie Louise Richardson and Joe Rivers. The song was first released on the J&S label, and Richardson was the daughter of J&S owner Zell Sanders, but it became a hit on the Chess label. Richardson was also a touring member of The Jaynetts, who hit it big with “Sally Go Round The Roses” (No. 2, 1963).
- “PLEASE MR. SUN” (Tommy Edwards, No. 22 in 1952 and No. 11 in 1959): This vocalist-pianist-songwriter from Richmond, Va., began performing at age 9, and this is one of three songs that were chart hits in 1951 or 1952, only to return to much-higher positions in the late ’50s. In addition to its pop success, this song also charted at No. 18 on the Billboard R&B chart.
- “SOLITARY MAN” (Neil Diamond, No. 55 in 1966 and No. 21 in 1970): This was the first of many hits for a singer-guitarist-songwriter from Brooklyn. His prolific writing credits include items for The Monkees TV show. He reached the No. 1 position on Billboard on three occasions, and he charted 38 Top 40s, all but one of which he wrote himself.
- “THE MOCKING BIRD” (Four Lads, No. 23 in 1952 and No. 67 in 1956): Lead singer Bernie Toorish, along with Jimmie Arnold, Frank Busseri and Connie Codorini, comprised this Toronto quartet, who began working in Toronto hotels and clubs. They backed up such huge Johnnie Ray hits as “Cry” and “The Little White Cloud That Cried” and they had 18 Top 40s on their own, including “Moments To Remember” (No. 2, 1955) and “No, Not Much” (No. 2, 1956). A new version of this song reached No. 32 in 1958.
- “THE MORNING SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN” (Tommy Edwards, No. 24 in 1951 and No. 27 in 1959): On the 1959 re-release, this was the B-side of “Please Mr. Sun.” [See information on that song above.]
- “QUESTIONS 67 AND 68” (Chicago, No. 71 in 1969 and No. 24 in 1971): This group was formed as The Big Thing before taking the name Chicago Transit Authority. After becoming Chicago and moving to Los Angeles in the late ’60s, the band — headed by lead singer Peter Cetera — charted 38 Billboard Top 40 hits, including three chart-toppers.
- “THE WONDER OF YOU” (Ray Peterson, No. 25 in 1959 and No. 70 in 1964): Born in Denton, Texas, he began singing in his early teens while being treated for polio in a Texas hospital. He charted eight Billboard Hot 100 hits, with “Tell Laura I Love Her” (No. 7, 1960) the most notable.
- “SUMMERTIME, SUMMERTIME” (The Jamies, No. 26 in 1956 and No. 38 in 1962): This Dorchester, Mass., quartet was led by siblings Tom and Serena Jameson, and they began as church singers. They were managed by Sherman Feller, who later became the PA announcer for the Boston Red Sox.
- “IN THE STILL OF THE NIGHT” (Five Satins, No. 29 in 1956, No. 81 in 1960 and No. 99 in 1961): Fred Parris fronted this New Haven, Conn., quintet that also included Eddie Martin, Jessie Murphy, Jim Freeman and Al Denby. The song was written by Parris and first recorded in the basement of of St. Bernadette Church in New Haven. Soon afterward, Parris was in the U.S. Army in Japan when the song became a big hit and earned a No. 3 listing on the Billboard R&B chart.
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