1961: Our Nominees for the Hall of Songs

It’s 1961 and we’re twisting again on Hall of Songs! OK, “Let’s Twist Again” is not one of our 12 nominees from this year, BUT we talk about dance crazes before hopping into the new songs on the ballot.

We get to know some new artists for this episode, including Patsy Cline, Del Shannon, Dion, Dick Dale, and Howlin’ Wolf. Plus, we hear once again from established stars like Roy Orbison and Ben E. Keith (formerly of the Drifters), and the newly discharged Elvis Presley. And we travel back to Motown to find a girl group bursting onto the scene with an exciting song about the U.S. mail.

After listening, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1961, plus tunes from 1960, ’59, ’58, ’57, and ’55, are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now and come back on July 9 to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1961 nominees:

  • “I Fall to Pieces” as performed by Patsy Cline
    • Written by Hank Cochran and Harlan Howard; recorded November 1960; released January 1961
  • “Runaway” as performed by Del Shannon
    • Written by Del Shannon and Max Crook; recorded January 1961; February 1961
  • “Running Scared” as performed by Roy Orbison
    • Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson; recorded February 1961; released March 1961
  • “Stand By Me” as performed by Ben E. Keith
    • Written by Ben E. King, Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller; recorded October 1960; released April 1961
  • “Back Door Man” as performed by Howlin’ Wolf
    • Written by Willie Dixon; recorded June 1960; released spring 1961
  • “Crying” as performed by Roy Orbison
    • Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson; recorded June 1961; released July 1961
  • “Please Mr. Postman” as performed by The Marvelettes
    • Written by Georgia Dobbins, William Garrett, Freddie Gorman, Brian Holland, and Robert Bateman; recorded April 1961; released August 1961
  • “Let’s Go Trippin'” as performed by Dick Dale and the Del-Tones
    • Written by Dick Dale; recorded summer 1961; released September 1961
  • “Runaround Sue” as performed by Dion
    • Written by Dion DiMucci and Ernie Maresca; recorded summer 1961; released September 1961
  • “Can’t Help Falling in Love” as performed by Elvis Presley
    • Written by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss; recorded March 1961; released October 1961
  • “Crazy” as performed by Patsy Cline
    • Written by Willie Nelson; recorded August 1961; released October 1961
  • “The Wanderer” as performed by Dion
    • Written by Ernie Maresca; recorded October 1961; released November 1961

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down or click here to vote. Then, come back on July 11, 2021, for our discussion on 1962.

6th Class Results! A Big Class + A Ray Charles Debate for the Golden Vote

It’s the opposite of our last round of voting as multiple songs get inducted into the Hall of Songs! Plus, we discuss whether a certain Ray Charles song should get the Golden Vote, giving it special entrance into the Hall.

Here is the episode:

Okay. Don’t scroll if you want to be spoiled.

Alright. Let’s congratulate the following songs on making the Hall of Songs …

Shout / The Isley Brothers – 68% (2nd round)
Will You Love Me Tomorrow / The Shirelles – 68% (1st round)
At Last / Etta James – 68% (1st round) [Golden Vote]
What’d I Say / Ray Charles – 68% (2nd round) [Golden Vote]

Continuing to the next round of voting

Georgia on My Mind / Ray Charles – 56% (1st round)
Only the Lonely / Roy Orbison – 52% (1st round)
The Twist / Chubby Checker – 52% (1st round)
Tutti Frutti / Little Richard – 48% (6th round)
Wonderful World / Sam Cooke – 48% (1st round)
That’ll Be the Day / The Crickets – 44% (4th round)
Mack the Knife / Bobby Darin – 40% (2nd round)
Wake Up Little Susie / The Everly Brothers – 36% (4th round)
La Bamba / Ritchie Valens – 36% (3rd round)

Eliminated from the ballot

Jailhouse Rock / Elvis Presley – 32% (4th round)
I Only Have Eyes For You / The Flamingos – 32% (2nd round)
This Magic Moment / The Drifters – 32% (1st round)
Chain Gang / Sam Cooke – 32% (1st round)
The Great Pretender / The Platters – 28% (6th round)
Hound Dog / Elvis Presley – 28% (5th round)
Roll Over Beethoven / Chuck Berry – 24% (5th round)
Bye Bye Love / The Everly Brothers – 20% (4th round)
Save the Last Dance For Me / The Drifters – 20% (1st round)
Shop Around / The Miracles – 16% (1st round)
Cathy’s Clown / The Everly Brothers – 12% (1st round)
Lonely Teardrops / Jackie Wilson – 8% (3rd round)
There Goes My Baby / The Drifters – 8% (2nd round)
Dream Lover / Bobby Darin – 4% (2nd round)
Walk, Don’t Run / The Ventures – 4% (1st round)

1960: Our Nominees for the Hall of Songs

These are the 12 numbers from 1960 that we feel merit possible inclusion in our song hall of fame. We’re talking the most popular track in modern history, indelible treats that combine orchestral sweetness and polished rhythm and blues, and even some tunes you may consider standards.

For this episode we visit the Brill Building in New York City and Hitsville USA in Detroit. We also hear more examples of the burgeoning Nashville Sound. And yes, the seeds of the pop-rock explosion yet to come are sown. Some cool songs await you in this episode.

After listening, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1960, plus tunes from 1959, 1958, 1957, 1956, and 1955, are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now and come back in 12 days to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1959 nominees:

  • “This Magic Moment” as performed by The Drifters
    • Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman; recorded December 1959; released January 1960
  • “Cathy’s Clown” as performed by The Everly Brothers
    • Written by Don Everly; recorded March 1960; released April 1960
  • “Wonderful World” as performed by Sam Cooke
    • Written by Lou Adler, Herb Alpert, and Sam Cooke; recorded March 1959; released April 1960
  • “Only the Lonely” as performed by Roy Orbison
    • Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson; recorded spring 1960; released May 1960
  • “Walk, Don’t Run” as performed by The Ventures
    • Written by Johnny Smith; recorded spring 1960; released June 1960
  • “The Twist” as performed by Chubby Checker
    • Written by Hank Ballard; recorded spring 1960; released June 1960
  • “Chain Gang” as performed by Sam Cooke
    • Written by Sam Cooke and Charles Cook Jr.; recorded January 1960; released July 1960
  • “Save the Last Dance For Me” as performed by The Drifters
    • Written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman; recorded spring 1960; released August 1960
  • “Georgia on My Mind” as performed by Ray Charles
    • Written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell; recorded May 1960; released September 1960
  • “Shop Around” as performed by The Miracles
    • Written by Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy; recorded summer 1960; released September 1960
  • “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” as performed by The Shirelles
    • Written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King; recorded fall 1960; released November 1960
  • “At Last” as performed by Etta James
    • Written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren; recorded fall 1960; released November 1960

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down or click here to vote. Then, come back on June 27, 2021, for our discussion on 1961.

5th Class Results! Oh No …

You’ll have to listen to this bonus episode of Hall of Songs to hear what happened with our latest round of voting.

Okay. Don’t scroll if you want to be spoiled.

Alright. Let’s move on.

Continuing to the next round of voting

What’d I Say / Ray Charles – 60.41% (1st round)
Mack the Knife / Bobby Darin – 56.25% (1st round)
Wake Up Little Susie / The Everly Brothers – 52.08% (3rd round)
Shout / The Isley Brothers – 52.08% (1st round)
Jailhouse Rock / Elvis Presley – 47.91% (3rd round)
Tutti Frutti / Little Richard – 45.83% (5th round)
Roll Over Beethoven / Chuck Berry – 45.83% (4th round)
That’ll Be the Day / The Crickets – 45.83% (3rd round)
Dream Lover / Bobby Darin – 45.83% (1st round)
I Only Have Eyes For You / The Flamingos – 45.83% (1st round)
Hound Dog / Elvis Presley – 43.75% (4th round)
La Bamba / Ritchie Valens – 43.75% (2nd round)
Lonely Teardrops / Jackie Wilson – 43.75% (2nd round)
There Goes My Baby / The Drifters – 41.66 (1st round)
The Great Pretender / The Platters – 37.5% (5th round)
Bye Bye Love / The Everly Brothers – 37.5% (3rd round)

Eliminated from the ballot

Summertime Blues / Eddie Cochran – 33.33% (2nd round)
Money (That’s What I Want) / Barrett Strong – 33.33% (1st round)
El Paso / Marty Robbins – 25% (1st round)
Yakety Yak / The Coasters – 22.91% (1st round)
Twenty Flight Rock / Eddie Cochran – 20.83% (1st round)
Don’t Let Go / Roy Hamilton – 20.83% (1st round)
White Lightning / George Jones – 20.83% (1st round)
Stagger Lee / Lloyd Price – 18.75% (2nd round)
Peter Gunn / Ray Anthony – 18.75% (1st round)
Come Softly to Me / The Fleetwoods – 16.66% (1st round)

1959: Our Nominees for the Hall of Songs

With the hybrid genre of rock and roll fully established as the sound of young America, 1959 is a year when new sounds allow popular music to take massive leaps forward. For example, shot out of a cannon are massive tracks like “What’d I Say,” “Money,” and “Shout,” which herald rhythm and blues as not simply the sound of Black America, but the sound of the future.

1959 is also the year country music begins its great struggle to define itself. The Nashville Sound with its strings, heavenly background vocals, and polished production is about to break through; meanwhile, listeners this year get two different looks at country: “El Paso” showcases a throwback, Western story-song style, and “White Lightning” is a much more modern take on hillbilly drinking. These songs set the stage for the future of white rural music.

After listening, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1959, plus tunes from 1958, 1957, 1956, and 1955, are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now and come back in 12 days to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1959 nominees:

  • “Peter Gunn” as performed by Ray Anthony
    • Written by Henry Mancini; recorded January 1959; released January 1959
  • “White Lightning” as performed by George Jones
    • Written by J.P. Richardson; recorded December 1958; released February 1959
  • “Come Softly to Me” as performed by The Fleetwoods
    • Written by Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, and Gary Troxel; recorded fall 1958; released February 1959
  • “Dream Lover” as performed by Bobby Darin
    • Written by Bobby Darin; recorded March 1959; released April 1959
  • “I Only Have Eyes For You” as performed by The Flamingos
    • Written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren; recorded October 1958; released April 1959
  • “There Goes My Baby” as performed by The Drifters
    • Written by Benjamin Nelson, Lover Patterson, and George Treadwell; recorded March 1959; released April 1959
  • “What’d I Say” as performed by Ray Charles
    • Written by Ray Charles; recorded February 1959; released June 1959
  • “Shout” as performed by The Isley Brothers
    • Written by O’Kelly Isley Jr., Rudolph Isley, and Ronald Isley; recorded July 1959; released August 1959
  • “Money (That’s What I Want)” as performed by Barrett Strong
    • Written by Janie Bradford and Berry Gordy; recorded summer 1959; released August 1959
  • “Mack the Knife” as performed by Bobby Darin
    • Written by Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, and Marc Blitzstein; recorded December 1958; released August 1959
  • “El Paso” as performed by Marty Robbins
    • Written by Marty Robbins; recorded April 1959; released October 1959

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down or click here to vote. Then, come back on June 13, 2021, for our discussion on 1960.

4th Class Results! Two Quintessential 1950s Tracks are in the Hall of Songs!

Once again, two songs were voted into the Hall of Songs! But which two tracks from our 25-song ballot made it in?

Congratulations to “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” by Little Richard; they’ve been inducted to the Hall of Songs!

Here are the full results:

Johnny B. Goode / Chuck Berry – 75% (1st round)
Good Golly, Miss Molly / Little Richard – 70% (1st round)

Continuing to the next round of voting

Tutti Frutti / Little Richard – 60% (4th round)
Roll Over Beethoven / Chuck Berry – 55% (3rd round)
La Bamba / Ritchie Valens – 52.5% (1st round)
Lonely Teardrops / Jackie Wilson – 52.5% (1st round)
Jailhouse Rock / Elvis Presley – 45% (2nd round)
Stagger Lee / Lloyd Price – 45% (1st round)
That’ll Be the Day / The Crickets – 42.5% (2nd round)
Summertime Blues / Eddie Cochran – 42.5% (1st round)
The Great Pretender / The Platters – 40% (4th round)
Hound Dog / Elvis Presley – 40% (3rd round)
Bye Bye Love / The Everly Brothers – 40% (2nd round)
Wake Up Little Susie / The Everly Brothers – 37.5% (2nd round)

Eliminated from the ballot

Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree / Brenda Lee – 30%
Don’t Be Cruel / Elvis Presley – 25%
Not Fade Away / The Crickets – 25%
Tequila / The Champs – 25%
All I Have to Do is Dream / The Everly Brothers – 25%
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Jerry Lee Lewis – 22.5%
Peggy Sue / Buddy Holly – 20%
All Shook Up / Elvis Presley – 15%
It’s Only Make Believe / Conway Twitty – 15%
Rebel-‘Rouser / Duane Eddy – 10%
Rumble / Link Wray – 5%

1955-58 Veterans Committee Meeting

We’ve added three songs to our Hall of Songs nominee list.

Those songs are “Twenty Flight Rock” by Eddie Cochran (1957), “Don’t Let Go” by Roy Hamilton (1958), and “Yakety Yak” by The Coasters (1958). In this episode we discuss those songs as we let them enter the voting process starting with the fifth class (May 30, 2021). We also talk about the voting so far, how we feel about the tunes in the Hall of Songs, and what performances have surprised us so far.

Here is the current list of nominees:

Come back on May 30, 2021, for our episode on 1959. Then, we’ll start voting for the fifth class of the Hall of Songs.

1958: Our Nominees for the Hall of Songs

By 1958, it’s clear that teenagers have the power to set trends in America, and the biggest trend is the musical style known largely as rock and roll. From established artists like Little Richard and Chuck Berry to newcomers like Eddie Cochran and Link Wray, rock and roll is king, and the sound is now pushing into previously uncharted territory. The results are some of our 12 nominees from this year for the Hall of Songs.

Our nominees from this year include quintessential rock and roll classics like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” plus crossover smashes like Jackie Wilson’s “Lonely Teardrops” and Lloyd Price’s “Stagger Lee.” Elsewhere, there were innovations in guitar and production with songs like “Rumble” and “Rebel-Rouser.”

While American listeners bought all the rock and roll they could handle, a gaggle of D-list songwriters attempted to get a piece of the pie with novelty songs that sounded like the hottest hits of the day.

But while the novelty songs try to take advantage of the popular new style of music, the songs throughout our 1958 nomination list actually show how the genres are splitting into their own subgenres. It’s clearly a time when popular music is branching out into new and interesting territories. Listen to our newest episode to get a sense of that period.

After listening, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1958, plus tunes from 1957, 1956, and 1955, are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now and come back in 12 days to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1958 nominees:

  • “Good Golly, Miss Molly” as performed by Little Richard
    • Written by John Marascalco and Robert Blackwell; recorded October 1956; released January 1958
  • “Tequila” as performed by The Champs
    • Written by Chuck Rio; recorded December 1957; released January 1958
  • “Rumble” as performed by Link Wray
    • Written by Milt Grant and Link Wray; recorded January 1958; released March 1958
  • “Johnny B. Goode” as performed by Chuck Berry
    • Written by Chuck Berry; recorded January 1958; released March 1958
  • “All I Have to Do is Dream” as performed by The Everly Brothers
    • Written by Boudleaux Bryant; recorded March 1958; released April 1958
  • “Rebel-‘Rouser” as performed by Duane Eddy
    • Written by Duane Eddy and Lee Hazlewood; recorded spring 1958; released May 1958
  • “Summertime Blues” as performed by Eddie Cochran
    • Written by Eddie Cochran and Jerry Capeheart; recorded March 1958; released July 1958
  • “It’s Only Make Believe” as performed by Conway Twitty
    • Written by Conway Twitty and Jack Nance; recorded May 1958; released July 1958
  • “La Bamba” as performed by Ritchie Valens
    • Written by Ritchie Valens from traditional; recorded summer 1958; released October 1958
  • “Stagger Lee” as performed by Lloyd Price
    • Written by Lloyd Price and Harold Logan; recorded September 1958; released November 1958
  • “Lonely Teardrops” as performed by Jackie Wilson
    • Written by Berry Gordy, Roquel Davis and Gwendolyn Gordy; recorded summer 1958; released November 1958
  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” as performed by Brenda Lee
    • Written by Johnny Marks; recorded October 1958; released December 1958

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down or click here to vote. Then, come back on May 30, 2021, for our discussion on 1959.

3rd Class Results! Two Songs Make the Hall of Songs!

The third round of voting is complete, and thanks to a new golden vote rule, two new tunes have entered the Hall!

The newest inductees are: “Great Balls of Fire” by Jerry Lee Lewis and “You Send Me” by Sam Cooke. Congratulations!

Here are the full results:

Great Balls of Fire / Jerry Lee Lewis – 74.50% (1st round)
You Send Me / Sam Cooke – 66.67% (1st round)

Continuing to the next round of voting

Jailhouse Rock / Elvis Presley – 54.90% (1st round)
Wake Up Little Susie / The Everly Brothers – 54.90% (1st round)
Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Jerry Lee Lewis – 49.01% (1st round)
Hound Dog / Elvis Presley – 49.01% (2nd round)
Bye Bye Love / The Everly Brothers – 47.05% (1st round)
All Shook Up / Elvis Presley – 45.09% (1st round)
That’ll Be the Day / The Crickets – 43.13% (1st round)
Peggy Sue / Buddy Holly – 43.13% (1st round)
Roll Over Beethoven / Chuck Berry – 39.21% (2nd round)
Don’t Be Cruel / Elvis Presley – 37.25% (2nd round)
Not Fade Away / The Crickets – 37.25% (1st round)
The Great Pretender / The Platters – 35.29% (3rd round)
Tutti Frutti / Little Richard – 35.29% (3rd round)

Eliminated from the ballot

That’s All Right / Elvis Presley – 33.33%
Lucille / Little Richard – 31.37%
Ain’t That a Shame / Fats Domino – 29.41%
Rock and Roll Music / Chuck Berry – 29.41%
Your Cheatin’ Heart / Hank Williams – 29.41%
Blue Suede Shoes / Carl Perkins – 29.41%
Blueberry Hill / Fats Domino – 27.45%
I Walk the Line / Johnny Cash – 27.45%
Maybellene / Chuck Berry – 25.49%
In the Still of the Night / The Five Satins – 25.49%

1957: Our Nominees for the Hall of Songs

It’s a big year in music: From the westward expansion of teen culture to a West Side Story that sets a new tone for Broadway, so much is changing in 1957. Our 12 nominees for the Hall of Songs from this year reflect that.

Elvis Presley is still making big tunes, like “All Shook Up” and third movie theme “Jailhouse Rock.” And what exactly do Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller slip into the lyrics of the latter song?

Presley is joined by other big stars of the mid 1950s like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Big songs like “Rock and Roll Music” and “Lucille,” respectively, find these stars at the top of their game. And then there are newcomers like Jerry Lee Lewis, the Everly Brothers, and Buddy Holly, each adding something dynamic and fresh to the already established rock ‘n’ roll soud.

1957 is a year when everything expands just a little. Hear more of this expansion in our latest episode, then VOTE for the greatest songs of all-time! Below, choose up to 10 songs to join the Hall of Songs and current inductees “Rock Around the Clock” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”

Our 1957 nominees:

  • “Lucille” as performed by Little Richard
    • Written by Richard Penniman and Albert Collins; recorded July 1956; released February 1957
  • “All Shook Up” as performed by Elvis Presley
    • Written by Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley; recorded January 1957; released March 1957
  • “Bye Bye Love” as performed by The Everly Brothers
    • Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant; recorded March 1957; released March 1957
  • “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” as performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
    • Written by Dave Williams and James Faye Hall; recorded February 1957; released April 1957
  • “That’ll Be the Day” as performed by The Crickets
    • Written by Charles Hardin, Jerry Allison, and Norman Petty; recorded February 1957; released May 1957
  • “Wake Up Little Suzie” as performed by The Everly Brothers
    • Written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant; recorded August 1957; released September 1957
  • “You Send Me” as performed by Sam Cooke
    • Written by Sam Cooke; recorded June 1957; released September 1957
  • “Rock and Roll Music” as performed by Chuck Berry
    • Written by Chuck Berry; recorded May 1957; released September 1957
  • “Jailhouse Rock” as performed by Elvis Presley
    • Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller; recorded April 1957; released September 1957
  • “Peggy Sue” as performed by Buddy Holly
    • Written by Jerry Allison and Norman Petty; recorded July 1957; released September 1957
  • “Not Fade Away” as performed by The Crickets
    • Written by Charles Hardin and Norman Petty; recorded May 1957; released October 1957
  • “Great Balls of Fire” as performed by Jerry Lee Lewis
    • Written by Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer; recorded October 1957; released November 1957

Listen to the full episode to learn more, then vote for the songs you think are the greatest of them all. Scroll down or click here to vote. Then, come back on May 16, 2021, for our discussion on 1958.