“Big Girls Don’t Cry” is a song written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio and originally recorded by The Four Seasons. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 17, 1962, and, like its predecessor “Sherry”, spent five weeks in the top position. The song also made it to number one, for three weeks, on Billboard’s Rhythm and Blues survey.
According to Gaudio, he was dozing off while watching the John Payne/Rhonda Fleming/Ronald Reagan movie Tennessee’s Partner (1955) when he heard Payne’s character slap Fleming in the face. After the slap, Fleming’s character replied, “Big girls don’t cry.” Gaudio wrote the line on a scrap of paper, fell asleep, and wrote the song the next morning.
However, the now-famous line does not appear in the Ronald Reagan film. According to Bob Crewe, he himself was dozing off in his Manhattan home with the television on when he awoke to see John Payne manhandling Rhonda Fleming in Slightly Scarlet, a 1956 film noir based on a James M. Cain story. The line is heard in that film.
Like “Sherry”, the lead in “Big Girls Don’t Cry” is sung mostly in falsetto. With this song, the Four Seasons became the first rock-era act to hit the top spot on the Hot 100 with their first two chart entries (their first single, “Bermuda”/”Spanish Lace”, did not appear on any Billboard chart in 1961).
Various episodes of Happy Days features this song, most notably when it is played in the jukebox at Arnold’s diner. It was also used, with customized lyrics sung by the Four Seasons themselves, as the theme song to Joey Reynolds’s various radio programs throughout the United States.
It has also appeared in the soundtrack to the 1987 film Dirty Dancing.
“He’s a Rebel” is a pop/rock song credited to the girl group the Crystals (although actually recorded by the Blossoms), reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in November 1962. Written by Gene Pitney and produced by Phil Spector, it is an example of the Spector-produced girl group sound.
In 2004, the song was ranked No. 263 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
The song is about a girl in love with a young man who spurns society’s conventions. Despite his being misunderstood by others, the singer claims he is sweet and faithful and vows to be the same towards him. Steve Douglas performs a saxophone solo during the song’s bridge. The piano riff at the beginning was contributed by Al DeLory. Unusually for Spector productions, no strings played on the track.
“Monster Mash” is a 1962 novelty song and the best-known song by Bobby “Boris” Pickett. The song was released as a single on Gary S. Paxton’s Garpax Records label in August 1962 along with a full-length LP called The Original Monster Mash, which contained several other monster-themed tunes. The “Monster Mash” single was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on October 20–27 of that year, just before Halloween. It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since.
“Sherry” is a song written by Bob Gaudio and recorded by The Four Seasons.
According to Gaudio, the song took about 15 minutes to write and was originally titled “Jackie Baby” (in honor of then-First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy). In a 1968 interview, Gaudio said that the song was inspired by the earlier song “Hey! Baby”.
At the studio, the name was changed to “Terri Baby”, and eventually to “Sherry”, the name of the daughter of Gaudio’s best friend, New York DJ Jack Spector. One of the names that Gaudio pondered for the song was “Peri Baby,” which was the name of the record label for which Bob Crewe worked, named after the label owner’s daughter.
The single’s B-side was “I’ve Cried Before”. Both tracks were included in the group’s subsequent album release, Golden Hits of the 4 Seasons (1963).
“Sheila” is a song written and recorded by Tommy Roe. The single reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 on September 1, 1962, remaining in the top position for two weeks and peaking at number six on the R&B charts.
Roe originally conceived the song as “Frita”, based on a girl from Roe’s high school. The song was auditioned to a record producer from Judd Records, and while response was enthusiastic, it was suggested that the name be changed. By coincidence, Roe’s Aunt Sheila was visiting, which inspired the final title of “Sheila.” The original version of the song was recorded by Roe for Judd in 1960 (misspelled as “Shelia”) and backed by another original song, “Pretty Girl”. The songs were recorded with his then backing group the Satins and the female vocal group, the Flamingos. The record failed to make an impact on the charts. The song was later featured on the compilation album Whirling with Tommy Roe in 1961, featuring tracks from Al Tornello. It was also included on the compilation, The Young Lovers in 1962.
The ABC recording of the song is done in the style of the Lubbock sound, made popular by Buddy Holly and the Crickets in the late 1950s; the strumming pattern, tempo and chords (both songs are in the key of A) bear particularly strong resemblance to the Crickets’ “Peggy Sue.” The song became the title track of Tommy Roe’s debut studio album, Sheila in 1962.
The Beatles recorded on 1962 at the Star Club in Hamburg
The song was also covered by the Greg Kihn Band on their 1981 album RocKihnRoll.
In 1969, Roe was presented by the Recording Industry Association of America with a gold record for accumulated sales of over one million copies.
“The Loco-Motion” is a 1962 pop song written by American songwriters Gerry Goffin and Carole King. “The Loco-Motion” was originally written for Dee Dee Sharp but Sharp turned the song down. The song is notable for appearing in the American Top 5 three times – each time in a different decade, performed by artists from three different cultures: originally African American pop singer Little Eva in 1962 (U.S. No. 1); then American band Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 (U.S. No. 1); and finally Australian singer Kylie Minogue in 1988 (U.S. No. 3).
The song is a popular and enduring example of the dance-song genre: much of the lyrics are devoted to a description of the dance itself, usually done as a type of line dance. However, the song came before the dance.
“The Loco-Motion” was also the second song to reach No. 1 by two different musical acts. The earlier song to do this was “Go Away Little Girl”, also written by Goffin and King. It is one of only nine songs to achieve this feat.
“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” is a song recorded by Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Sedaka and Howard Greenfield. Sedaka recorded this song twice, in 1962 and 1975, in two vastly different arrangements, and it is considered to be his signature song. Another song by the same name had previously been recorded by Jivin’ Gene [Bourgeois] and The Jokers, in 1959.
Described by Allmusic as “two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic,” “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on August 11, 1962 and peaked at number twelve on the Hot R&B Sides chart. The single was a solid hit all over the world, reaching #7 in the UK, sometimes with the text translated into foreign languages. For example, the Italian version was called “Tu non lo sai” (“You Don’t Know”) and was recorded by Sedaka himself.
On this version, background vocals on the song are performed by the female group The Cookies.
The personnel on the original recording session included: Al Casamenti, Art Ryerson, and Charles Macy on guitar; Ernie Hayes on piano; George Duvivier on bass; Gary Chester on drums; Artie Kaplan on saxophone; George Devens and Phil Kraus on percussion; Seymour Barab and Morris Stonzek on cellos; and David Gulliet, Joseph H. Haber, Harry Kohon, David Sackson, and Louis Stone on violins.
“Roses Are Red (My Love)” is a popular song composed by Al Byron and Paul Evans. It was recorded by Bobby Vinton and was his first hit.
The song was released in April 1962. It reached No. 1 in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, South Africa, and the United States, and was a major hit in many other countries as well. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on July 14, 1962, and remained there for four weeks. The single was also the first number-one hit for Epic Records. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 4 song of 1962.
Vinton found the song in a reject pile at Epic Records. He first recorded it as an R&B number, but was allowed to re-record it in a slower more dramatic arrangement, with strings and a vocal choir added.
“The Stripper” is an instrumental composed by David Rose, recorded in 1958 and released four years later. It evinces a jazz influence with especially prominent trombone slides, and evokes the feel of music used to accompany striptease artists.
The song came to prominence by chance. David Rose had recorded “Ebb Tide” as an A-side of a record. His record company, MGM Records, wanted to get the record on the market quickly, but they discovered they had no B-side for it. Rose was away at the time the need for the B-side song surfaced. An MGM office boy was given the job of going through some of Rose’s tapes of unreleased material to find something that would work; he liked the song and chose it as the flip side for the record. The song reached number one on Billboard’s Top 100 chart in July, 1962. It became a gold record. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 5 song of 1962.
“I Can’t Stop Loving You” is a popular song written and composed by country singer, songwriter and musician Don Gibson, who first recorded it on December 30, 1957, for RCA Victor Records. It was released in 1958 as the B-side of “Oh, Lonesome Me”, becoming a double-sided country hit single.
The song was covered by Ray Charles in 1962, featured on Charles’ Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, and released as a single. Charles’ version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1962, for five weeks. This version went to number one on the U.S. R&B and Adult Contemporary charts. Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1962. Charles reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1962, staying for two weeks.
The Ray Charles version is noted for his saying the words before the last five lines of the song on the final chorus: “Sing the Song, Children”. Choral backing was provided by The Randy Van Horne Singers. It was ranked No. 164 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and No. 49 on CMT’s “100 Greatest Songs in Country Music”.