The Rest of 1961 Hits Yearly Recap

Hank Ballard and The Midnighters were already big R + B stars, having had 6 top ten hits on those charts from 1954 through 1955. The group made their top 40 debut last year.

They kicked off this year with “The Hoochie Coochie Coo“, a no. 23 hit (Jan. 16 th chart entry). “Let’s Go Again (Where We Went Last Night)” peaked at no. 39. “TheContinental Walk” peaked at no. 33 (May 1 st ) and “The Switch-A-Roo” was a no. 26 hit (July 17 th entry). This would also be the group’s last top 40.

Bill Black’s Combo (Bill was “Scotty and Bill” on Elvis Presley’sSun Recordings) had a no. 20 instrumental hit, “Hearts Of Stone” (Mar. 6 th ). “Ole Buttermilk Sky” was a no. 25 hit (June 26 th ).

Quarter To Three” was a no. 1 smash for Gary “U.S.” Bonds (real name: Gary Anderson), a June 5 th entry. “School Is Out” gave the singer a no. 5 smash. The sequel, “School Is In” was a no. 28 hit (Nov. 6 th entry).

Moody River” was also a no. 1 smash for Pat Boone (a direct descendant of DanielBoone!), a May 22 nd chart entry. “Big Cold Wind” was a no. 19 hit (Sept. 4 th ). “JohnnyWill” peaked at no. 35 (Christmas Day entry!).

Al Caiola and His Orchestra peaked at no. 35 with the instrumental, “The MagnificentSeven” (Jan. 16 th ). Their next instrumental, “Bonanza” was a no. 19 hit (May 1 st ).

The Chimes had a no. 11 hit with “Once In Awhile” (Jan. 16 th entry). “I’m In The MoodFor Love” peaked at no. 38 (May 15 th ).

Dee Clark peaked at no. 34 with “Your Friends” (Mar. 6 th entry). His next single, however, was the no. 2 smash “Raindrops” (May 22 nd ).

Sam Cooke peaked at no. 31 with “That’s It-I Quit-I’m Movin’ On” (Mar. 20 th ). “Cupid” was a no. 17 hit (June 26 th ).

The instrumental “Never On Sunday” ( a re-entry from 1960) peaked at no. 37 (June 15 th chart entry) for Don Costa and His Orchestra.

Floyd Cramer played piano on all of Elvis Presley’s early RCA recordings. This year, 1961, the pianist was red-hot with the no. 4 instrumental smash “On The Rebound” (Mar. 13 th ) and the no. 8 instrumental smash “San Antonio Rose” (June 26 th entry).

Duane Eddy had a no. 18 instrumental hit, “Pepe” (Jan. 16 th ). The instrumental, “ThemeFrom Dixie” peaked at no. 39 (April 17 th ).

(Arthur) Ferrante and (Louis) Teicher peaked at no. 37 with the instrumental “LoveTheme From ‘ËœOne Eyed Jacks’“. The duo’s next single, the instrumental “Tonight” (from “West Side Story“) was a no. 8 smash (Nov. 13 th ).

Clarence “Frog Man” Henry had the no. 4 smash “But I Do“-also titled “I Don’t KnowWhy” (Mar. 20 th ). “You Always Hurt The One You Love” was a no. 12 hit (May 29 th entry).

The Highwaymen had a no. 1 smash with “Michael” (July 31 st ). “Cotton Fields” was a no. 13 hit (Christmas entry!).

“Right Or Wrong” was a no. 29 hit for Wanda Jackson (Aug. 14 th ). “In The Middle OfA Heartache” was a no. 27 hit and the singer’s last top 40 (Nov. 27).

Etta James peaked at no. 30 with “Trust In Me” (April 3 rd ) and no. 39 with “Don’t Cry, Baby” (Sept. 4 th entry).

Johnny Maestro was the lead singe of The Crests. His solo top 40 debut, “Model Girl” was a no. 20 hit (Mar. 20 th ). “What A Surprise” peaked at no. 33 (May 22 nd ).

Bobby Rydell kicked off his year with a no. 11 hit, “Good Time Baby” (Feb. 6 th ). “That Old Black Magic” was a no. 21 hit (May 8 th ). “The Fish” was a no. 25 hit (July 10 th ). And “I Wanna Thank You” was a no. 21 hit (Nov. 6 th ).

The String-A-Longs had a no. 3 instrumental smash, “Wheels” (Jan. 23 rd ). The

instrumental “Brass Buttons” peaked at no. 35 (April 17 th ).

Jackie Wilson had a no. 9 smash, “My Empty Arms” (Jan. 16 th ). “Please Tell Me Why” was a top 20 hit (Mar. 27 th ),/ backed by “Your One And Only Love“, which peaked at no. 40. “I’m Comin’ On Back To You” was a no. 19 hit (June 26 th ). “Years From Now” peaked at no. 37 (Sept. 11 th ).

The Coasters peaked at no. 37 with “Wait A Minute” (Feb. 27 th ). “Little Egypt (YingYang)” was a no. 23 hit (May 29 th ) and the last top 40 for the group.

Fats Domino kicked off the year with a double-sided hit, “What A Price” , a no. 22 hit (Feb. 6 th ) backed by/”Ain’t That Just Like A Woman“, which peaked at no. 33 (Feb. 13 th ). Another double-sided hit, “Fell In Love On Monday“, which peaked at no. 32 (April 3 rd ) backed by/”Shu Rah“, also at no. 32 (April 17 th ). “It Keeps Rainin’ ” was a no. 23 hit (June 19 th ). “Let The Four Winds Blow” was a no. 15 hit (July 31 st ). “What A Party” was a no. 22 hit (Oct. 23 rd ). “Jambalaya (On The Bayou)” peaked at no. 30 (Dec. 25 th -Christmas Day entry!).

Frank Gari had a no. 27 hit with “Utopia“. “Lullaby Of Love” was a no. 23 hit (May 15 th ). “Princess” peaked at no. 30 (Aug.14 th ).

Bobby Lewis was red-hot with “Tossin’ And Turnin’ “, a no. 1 smash (for seven weeks!), a May 29 th entry, and “One Track Mind“, a no. 9 smash (Sept. 11 th ).

The Platters peaked at no. 30 with “If I Didn’t Care” (Jan. 30 th ). “I’ll Never SmileAgain” was a no. 25 hit (Aug. 21 st ). Lead singer Tony Williams left after this year (replaced by Sonny Turner).

The Regents had a no. 13 hit with “Barbara Ann” (May 22 nd ) and a no. 28 hit with “Runaround” (July 13 th ).

Ricky Nelson was red-hot this year with “You Are The Only One“, a no. 25 hit (Jan. 9 th ). “Travelin’ Man” was a no. 1 smash (May 1 st ) backed by/ “Hello Mary Lou“, a no. 9 smash (May 8 th entry). “A Wonder Like You” was a no. 11 hit (Oct. 9 th ) backed by/ “Everlovin’ “, a no. 16 hit (also Oct. 9 th ).

“I Dreamed Of A Hill-Billy Heaven” was a no. 20 hit for Tex Ritter (Aug. 14 th ).

Marty Robbins had a no. 3 smash with “Don’t Worry” (Feb. 13 th entry).

Rochell (Henderson) and The Candles with Johnny Wyatt had a no. 20 hit, “OnceUpon A Time” (Mar. 27 th ).

“Hello Walls” was a no. 12 hit for Faron Young (May 1 st ).

Kathy Young with The Innocents peaked at no. 30 with “Happy Birthday Blues” (Mar. 6 th entry).

The Angels had a no. 14 hit with “Til” (Dec. 4 th ), the group’s top 40 debut.

Ann-Margret (Olson) had a no. 17 hit with “I Just Don’t Understand” (Aug. 21 st chart entry).

“Saved” peaked at no. 37 for La Vern Baker (May 1 st ).

The instrumental “Lost Love” peaked at no. 35 for H. B. Barnum (Feb. 6 th ).

Joe Barry had a no. 24 hit, “I’m A Fool To Care” (May 29 th entry).

B. Bumble (Billy Bumble) and The Stingers had a no. 21 instrumental hit, “BumbleBoogie” (April 24 th ).

Dion’s former group, The Belmonts, had a no. 18 hit with “Tell Me Why” (June 19 th ).

The Blue Jays peaked at no. 31 with “Lover’s Island” (Sept. 4 th entry).

“Frogg” peaked at no. 32 for The Brothers Four (April 24 th ).

“Bewildered” peaked at no. 40 for James Brown (April 3 rd ).

The Dave Brubeck Quartet had a no. 25 hit with the instrumental, “Take Five” (Sept. 25 th ).

Solomon Burke made his top 40 debut with “Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two OpenArms)“, a no. 24 hit (Nov. 13 th chart entry).

“Transistor Sister” peaked at no. 35 for Freddy Cannon (Sept. 4 th ).

The Capris had a no. 3 smash with “There’s A Moon Out Tonight” (Jan. 23 rd entry).

The Castells had a no. 20 hit with “Sacred” (July 3 rd ).

Please Love Me Forever” was ano. 12 hit for Cathy Jean and The Roommates (Mar. 6 th ).

The Chordettes had a no. 13 hit, “Never On Sunday” (July 3 rd entry).

Heart And Soul” was a no. 18 hit for The Cleftones (June 19 th ).

Baby Sittin’ Boogie” was a no. 6 smash for Buzz Clifford (Jan. 30 th ).

Bing Crosby began his career with Paul Whiteman in 1926. “White Christmas” originally charted in December 1942. This year, “White Christmas” was a no. 12 hit (Dec. 18 th ).

The Crystals made their top 40 debut with “There’s No Other (Like My Baby)”, a no. 20 hit (Dec. 11 th ).

James Darren had a no. 3 smash with “Goodbye Cruel World” (Nov. 6 th chart entry).

Big Bad John” was a no. 1 smash (for five weeks!) for Jimmy Dean (Oct. 9 th ).

“Peppermint Twist-Part 1” (inspired by New York’s Peppermint Lounge) was a no. 1 smash (for three weeks!) for Joey Dee and The Starliters, a Dec. 4 th entry.

The Diamonds had a no. 22 hit with “One Summer Night” (Aug. 7 th ).

Dick (St. John) and DeeDee (Sperling) had a no. 2 smash, “The Mountain’s High” (Aug. 28 th entry).

Kenny Dino had a no. 24 hit, “Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night” (Dec. 4 th ).

Lonnie Donegan and His Skiffle Group had a no. 5 smash with “Does Your ChewingGum Lose Its Flavor (On The Bedpost Overnight)”, an Aug. 14 th entry.

Donnie (real name: Louis Bugio) and The Dreamers peaked at no. 35 with “Count Every Star” (June 12 th ).

“Ya Ya” was a no. 7 smash for Lee Dorsey (Sept. 25 th ).

The Dovells (Len Barry, lead singer) made their top 40 debut with “Bristol Stomp“, a no. 2 smash (Sept. 18 th chart entry).

Joe Dowell had a no. 1 smash, “Wooden Heart” (July 17 th ).

The Dreamlovers were the backup group for Chubby Checker’s“The Twist“. This year they had a no. 10 smash, “When We Get Married” (Aug. 28 th ).

Three Hearts In A Tangle” peaked at no. 35 for Roy Drusky (June 26 th ).

The Duals had a no. 25 instrumental hit, “Stick Shift” (Oct. 2 nd entry).

The Echoes had a no. 12 hit with “Baby Blue” (Mar. 27 th ).

“Rama Lama Ding Dong” was a no. 21 hit for The Edsels (June 5 th entry).

“My Last Date (With You)” was a no. 26 hit (Jan. 16 th ) for Skeeter Davis.

Bobby Edwards had a no. 11 hit, “You’re The Reason” (Oct. 16 th ).

“Funny How Time Slips Away” was a no. 22 hit for Jimmy Elledge (Christmas Day entry!).

The Fireballs had a no. 27 hit with the instrumental “Quite A Party” (Aug. 7 th ).

The Flares had a no. 25 hit with “Foot Stomping-Part 1” (Oct. 9 th entry).

Angel On My Shoulder” was a no. 22 hit for Shelby Flint (Feb. 6 th ).

Aretha Franklin made her top 40 debut this year, peaking at no. 37 with “Rock-A-ByeYour Baby With A Dixie Melody” (Nov. 20 th chart entry).

The G-Clefs had a no. 9 smash with “I Understand (Just How You Feel)” (Auld LangSyne), an Oct. 16 th entry.

“I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” was a no. 3 smash for Barbara George (Dec. 18 th ).

“Sea Of Heartbreak” was a no. 21 hit for Don Gibson (July 10 th ).

Janie Grant had a no. 21 hit with “Triangle” (May 15 th ).

The Halos had a no. 25 hit with “Nag” (Aug. 28 th chart entry).

Roy Hamilton had a no. 12 hit, “You Can Have Her” (Feb. 13 th ). This would be his last top 40.

“Rainin’ In My Heart” peaked at no. 34 for Slim Harpo (real name: James Moore), a July 10 th entry.

Eddie Harris peaked at no. 36 for the instrumental “Exodus” (May 28 th ).

14-year-old Eddie Hodges had a no. 12 hit with “I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” (July 24 th ).

Let Me Belong To You” was a no. 20 hit for Brian Hyland (Sept. 4 th ).

“Gypsy Woman” was a no. 20 hit and marked the top 40 debut of The Impressions (Nov. 20 th ).

Jorgen Ingmann and His Guitar had a no. 2 instrumental smash, “Apache” (Feb. 20 th ).

The Innocents had a no. 28 hit with “Gee Whiz” (Jan. 9 th ).

Joni James peaked at no. 38 with “My Last Date (With You)”, a Jan. 23 rd entry.

“A Little Bit Of Soap” was a no. 12 hit for The Jarmels (Aug. 28 th ).

Jose Jimenez (who was actually comedian Bill Dana) had a no. 19 comedy hit, “TheAstronaut (Parts 1 and 2)”-The interviewer was Don Hinckley (Sept. 18 th ).

“My True Story” was a no. 3 smash for The Jive Five (featuring Eugene Pitt), an Aug. 14 th entry.

Damita Jo (Du Blanc) had a no. 12 hit, “I’ll Be There” (July 17 th ). This would be her last top 40.

The instrumental “Tenderly” peaked at no. 31 for Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra (April 10 th ).

Ernie K-Doe (real name: Ernest Kador, Jr.) had a no. 1 smash with “Mother-In-Law” (the bass vocals were by Benny Spellman), an April 3 rd entry.

“I Like It Like That“, Part 1” was a no. 2 smash for Chris Kenner (July 3 rd ).

The instrumental “The Graduation Song — Pomp And Circumstance” peaked at no. 34 for Adrian Kimberly (July 10 th ).

The instrumental “Hide Away” was a no. 29 hit for Freddy King (April 3 rd ).

Buddy Knox had a no. 25 hit, “Lovey Dovey” (Jan. 9 th ).

Kokomo (real name: Jimmy Wisner) had a no. 8 instrumental smash, “Asia Minor” (Mar. 6 th chart entry).

“Portrait Of My Love” was a no. 9 smash for Steve Lawrence (April 3 rd ).

Pretty Little Angel Eyes” was a no. 7 smash for Curtis Lee (July 17 th ).

What I’d Say” peaked at no. 30 for Jerry Lee Lewis (April 24 th ).

Little Caesar (Carl Burnett) and The Romans had a no. 9 smash, “Those Oldies ButGoodies (Remind Me Of You)”, a May 29 th entry.

“Language Of Love” peaked at no. 32 for John D. Loudermilk (Dec. 4 th ).

The instrumental “Yellow Bird” was a no. 4 smash for The Arthur Lyman Group (June 12 th ).

Henry Mancini (Orchestra and Chorus) had a no. 11 hit, “Moon River“( from the film “Breakfast At Tiffany’s“), a Nov. 13 th entry.

(Annunzio Paola) Mantovani and His Orchestra peaked at no. 31 with the instrumental

“Main Theme From Exodus” (Jan. 23 rd ).

The Marathons (who also recorded as The Jayhawks and The Vibrations) had a no. 20 hit, “Peanut Butter” (May 22 nd entry).

“My Kind Of Girl” was a no. 18 hit for Matt Monro (June 26 th ).

The instrumental “Mexico” was a no. 7 smash for Bob Moore and His Orchestra (Sept. 11 th entry).

Let There Be Drums” was also a no. 7 instrumental smash for Sandy Nelson (Nov. 20 th ).

The Paris Sisters (Albeth, Priscilla, and Sherrell) had a no. 5 smash, “I Love How YouLove Me” (Oct. 2 nd ).

Missing You” was a no. 29 hit for Ray Peterson (Sept 25 th entry). It would be his last top 40.

The instrumental “(Ghost) Riders In The Sky” peaked at no. 30 for The Ramrods (Feb. 20 th ).

Bobby Rydell and Chubby Checker had a no. 21 hit with “Jingle Bell Rock” (Christmas Day entry!).

“Daddy’s Home” was a no. 2 smash for (James) Shep (Sheppard) and The Limelites (April 10 th ).

The instrumental “Water Boy” peaked at no. 40 for The Don Shirley Trio (Oct. 9 th ).

“This Time” was a no. 6 smash for Troy Shondell (Sept. 25 th entry).

The Harry Simeone Chorale had a no. 22 hit with “The Little Drummer Boy” (Christmas Day entry!).

The Starlets peaked at no. 38 with “Better Tell Him No” (June 12 th ).

“I Really Love You” was a no. 29 hit for The Stereos (Oct. 16 th ).

Conway Twitty had a no. 22 hit, “C’est Si Bon (It’s So Good)”, a Jan. 16 th entry. This would be his last top 40 until 1973.

The Philip Upchurch Combo had a no. 29 hit, the instrumental version of “You Can’tSit Down, Part 2” (June 26 th ).

Leroy Van Dyke had a no. 5 smash, “Walk On By” (NOT the same song as the Dionne Warwick one), a Nov. 20 th chart entry.

The instrumental “Wheels” was a no. 28 hit for Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra (Mar. 6 th ).

Tonight (Could Be The Night)” was a no. 26 hit for The Velvets (featuring Virgil Johnson), a June 26 th entry.

The instrumental “Ram-Bunk-Shush” was a no. 29 hit (Feb. 13 th entry) for The Ventures.

The Vibrations had a no. 25 hit with “The Watusi” (Mar. 13 th ).

There She Goes” was a no. 26 hit for Jerry Wallace (Jan. 9 th ).

Dinah Washington had a no. 23 hit, “September In The Rain” (Nov. 6 th entry).

Andy Williams peaked at no. 37 with “The Bilbao Song” (June 5 th chart entry).

The Pips (to be later better known as Gladys Knight and The Pips) made their top 40 debut this year with “Every Beat Of My Heart“, a no. 6 smash (June 5 th ).

“Small Sad Sam“-a parody of “Big Bad John“-was a no. 21 hit for Phil McLean (Dec. 18 th entry).

James Ray had a no. 22 hit with “If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody” (Dec. 25 th -Christmas Day entry!).

Timi Yuro had a no. 4 smash with “Hurt” (July 31 st ).

Jura (I Swear I Love You)” peaked at no. 37 for Les Paul and Mary Ford (July 3 rd chart entry). This would be the duo’s last top 40 hit.