Summer's Greatest Hits,
1955 - 1962
We're ALL about The Summers here in Forgotten Hits!
Elsewhere on this web page, you'll find Top 50 Countdowns for
The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1963 - 1970.
On this page (and its companion page, "The Best Of The Rest, Part 2: Summer's Greatest Hits, 1971 - 1980), we recap The Top Ten Hits of Summer on both The National and The Local Chicagoland Charts.
Remember the songs YOU used to cruise to back in the day ... top and windows down, wind in your hair ... buddies (or love of your life) at your side ... radio cranked up to the max ... singing along with the very BIGGEST hits of the day? They're all here ... 'cause these are the OFFICIAL rankings based on both the national charts (as rated by the three major music trade publications) and the local charts (if you just happened to grow up here in Chicago like I did!)
Final chart positions were determined by a point system assigned to each Top Ten Hit for the months of June, July and August ONLY for each of the years listed ... truly the most accurate representation of Summer Hits possible. Enjoy!
THE NATIONAL CHARTS
1. Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and the Comets
2. A Blossom Fell - Nat "King" Cole
3. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado
4. Learnin' The Blues - Frank Sinatra
5. Unchained Melody - Les Baxter
6. If I May - Nat "King" Cole
7. Ain't That A Shame - Pat Boone
8. Hard To Get - Giselle MacKenzie
9. Honey Babe - Art Mooney
10. Dance With Me Henry - Georgia Gibbs
What could be more fitting? The song that single-handedly launched The Rock And Roll Era comes in as the #1 Song Of Summer for 1955. It launched a rock and roll revolution ... and music has NEVER been the same since. "Rock Around The Clock" is STILL near and dear to our hearts ... and it's our very first #1 Summer Hit!
Summer's Greatest Hits,
1. Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and the Comets
Although we'll admit that you'd be hard pressed to find an official Top 40 Pop Chart from Chicago from the Summer of 1955, there is no doubt in my mind that "Rock Around The Clock" wouldn't be The #1 Song Of Summer here in Chicagoland, too. It's impact on the world of music is legendary ... and within a year we'd soon have as many as three AM Top 40 Radio Stations broadcasting the latest hits of the day. (Back in '55, you might find a Top Ten Chart printed in Friday's Newspaper ... other summer favorites included "The Yellow Rose of Texas" by Mitch Miller, "Ain't That A Shame" by Pat Boone (they didn't DARE play the Fats Domino version yet!), "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado and "The Ballad Of Davy Crockett" by Bill Hayes ... but we're sticking with Bill Haley's "Rock Around The Clock" as the BIGGEST Song of Summer, 1955 ... and the Dawn of the Rock And Roll Era!
1. I Almost Lost My Mind - Pat Boone
2. I'm In Love Again - Fats Domino
3. My Prayer - Platters
4. Whatever Will Be, Will Be - Doris Day
5. Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent
6. Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
7. Moonglow and Theme from "Picnic" - George Cates
8. Stranded In The Jungle - Jayhawks
9. Sweet Old-Fashioned Girl - Teresa Brewer
10. The Flying Saucer - Buchanan and Goodman
Some of the biggest names in early Rock And Roll made our Chicagoland Chart for 1956. Pat Boone tops the list with his #1 Smash "I Almost Lost My Mind" ... but not far behind you'll find Fats Domino, The Platters, Gene Vincent and Elvis himself. A HUGE #1 Chicagoland Hit was the Buchanan and Goodman novelty track "The Flying Saucer" ... it placed at #10 for the summer!
1. Bye Bye Love - Everly Brothers
2. Teddy Bear - Elvis Presley
3. It's Not For Me To Say - Johnny Mathis
4. Love Letters In The Sand - Pat Boone
5. So Rare - Jimmy Dorsey
6. Tammy - Debbie Reynolds
7. Rainbow - Russ Hamilton
8. A White Sport Coat - Marty Robbins
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter - Billy Williams
10. Around The World In 80 Days - Victor Young
The Everly Brothers came out on top in 1957, besting Elvis' big hit "Teddy Bear" and ballads by Johnny Mathis and Pat Boone. "Tammy" by Debbie Reynolds held on long enough to score big points here in Chicago ... and one of MY favorite Forgotten Hits also made the list ... "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter" by Billy Williams! (No, not the Cub Great ... but Williams cut a KILLER remake of the old Fats Waller tune from the '30's ... and it scored well enough here in Chi-Town to place him in The Top Ten!)
1. Poor Little Fool - Ricky Nelson
2. The Purple People Eater - Sheb Wooley
3. Patricia - Perez Prado
4. Yakety Yak - Coasters
5. Do You Want To Dance - Bobby Freeman
6. Endless Sleep - Jody Reynolds
7. Little Star - Elegants
8. Splish Splash - Bobby Darin
9. Jennie Lee - Jan and Arnie
10. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu - Domenico Modugno
An absolutely KILLER Top Ten for The Summer of '58 ... and a little bit of EVERYTHING in music styles, too. Ricky Nelson, Bobby Darin and Bobby Freeman kept the rock and roll thing going, Sheb Wooley and The Coasters gave us a touch of novelty with our music, The Elegants and Jan and Arnie incorporated some of the doo-wop sounds that made the '50's so unique ... and there was still room for a little foreign flavor, thanks to the likes of Perez Prado's "Patricia" and Domenico Modugno's classic "Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blue" aka "Volare". What a GREAT Summer for music!
1. Battle Of New Orleans - Johnny Horton
2. Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
3. Personality - Lloyd Price
4. There Goes My Baby - Drifters
5. Bobby Sox To Stockings - Frankie Avalon
6. Hush-A-Bye - Mystics
7. It Was I - Skip and Flip
8. Waterloo - Stonewall Jackson
9. Caio Caio Bambina - Jackie Noguez
10. Quiet Village - Martin Denny
Talk about musical diversity, check out THIS Top Ten List! Only HALF these songs made the national counterpoint list ... here in Chicago, we were evidently digging (and buying) the sounds of Frankie Avalon, The Mystics, Skip and Flip, Jackie Noguez and Martin Denny instead!
1. I'm Sorry - Brenda Lee
2. Alley-Oop - Hollywood Argyles
3. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini - Brian Hyland
4. Image Of A Girl - Safaris
5. It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley
6. Only The Lonely - Roy Orbison
7. Walk Don't Run - Ventures
8. Everybody's Somebody's Fool - Connie Francis
9. Cathy's Clown - Everly Brothers
10. Clap Your Hands - Beaumarks
My First 45 made the list ... "Itsy Bitsy Teenie-Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" by Brian Hyland came in at #3 ... and "Alley Oop" by The Hollywood Argyles ... the very first Top 40 Rock Song WLS played when they switched over their format ... was #2. Rock Sisters Connie Francis and Brenda Lee did well on our local chart, too, as did long-standing early rock standards like "Only The Lonely" by Roy Orbison, "Cathy's Clown" by the Everly Brothers and "Walk Don't Run" by The Ventures. Even Elvis was back on the list! the only surprises may have been The Beaumakrs with "Clap Your Hands" and "Image Of A Girl" by The Safaris ... which had absolutely NOTHING to do with wiping out ... or a similarily named group who hit the charts several years later.
1. Quarter To Three - Gary "US" Bonds
2. Michael - Highwaymen
3. Hats Off To Larry - Del Shannon
4. Hello Mary Lou - Ricky Nelson
5. Tossin' And Turnin' - Bobby Lewis
6. Raindrops - Dee Clark
7. Peanuts - Rick and the Keens
8. Running Scared - Roy Orbison
9. Moody River - Pat Boone
10. Barbara Ann - Regents
Gary "U.S." Bonds scored the Biggest Hit of Summer, 1961, here in Chi-Town ... "Quarter To Three" was ALL over the radio that year. Surprising in hindsight, knowing how big Bobby Lewis' hit "Tossin' And Turnin'" was. Here in Chicago, "Hello Mary Lou" proved to be the bigger size hit of Ricky Nelson's two-sided chart-topper ... "Travelin' Man" didn't even make our Top Ten Countdown. "Michael" by The Highwaymen proved how strong folk-rock music was influencing our tastes ... and The Regents' original version of "Barbara Ann" made the list, too!
1. Roses Are Red - Bobby Vinton
2. The Stripper - David Rose
3. Breaking Up Is Hard To Do - Neil Sedaka
4. Sealed With A Kiss - Brian Hyland
5. I Can't Stop Loving You - Ray Charles
6. Sheila - Tommy Roe
7. The Man Who Shot Libert Valance - Gene Pitney
8. Palisades Park - Freddy Cannon
9. The Loco-Motion - Little Eva
10. Al-Di-La - Emilio Pericoli
Chicago's 1962 Summer Chart doesn't look all that different from those records who scored big on the national scene ... in fact, seven of these tracks are common to both lists.
Watch for The Best Of The Rest, 1971 - 1980, elsewhere on this web page!
Copyright Kent Kotal / Forgotten Hits, 1998 - 2013 ... All rights reserved