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Big Girls Don’t Cry (The Four Seasons song)

“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.[1]

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.[2][3]

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

“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.[1]

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

“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.[citation needed] It has been a perennial holiday favorite ever since.

Sherry (song)

“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).[1] In a 1968 interview, Gaudio said that the song was inspired by the earlier song “Hey! Baby”.[2]

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).[3]

Sheila (Tommy Roe song)

“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.[1]

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.”[2] 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.[3]

The Loco-Motion

“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.[1] 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);[2] then American band Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 (U.S. No. 1);[3] and finally Australian singer Kylie Minogue in 1988 (U.S. No. 3).[4]

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.[5]

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

“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.[1] Another song by the same name had previously been recorded by Jivin’ Gene [Bourgeois] and The Jokers, in 1959.[citation needed]

Described by Allmusic as “two minutes and sixteen seconds of pure pop magic,”[1] “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.[2] 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)

“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.[1]

The song was released in April 1962.[2] 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.[1][3] The single was also the first number-one hit for Epic Records.[4] Billboard ranked the record as the No. 4 song of 1962.[5]

Vinton found the song in a reject pile at Epic Records.[4] 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.[2][4]

The Stripper

“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.[1] The song reached number one on Billboard’s Top 100 chart in July, 1962.[2] It became a gold record. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 5 song of 1962.[3]

I Can’t Stop Loving You

“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.[2][3] Billboard ranked it as the No. 2 song for 1962.[4] Charles reached No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1962, staying for two weeks.[5]

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”.

Stranger on the Shore

“Stranger on the Shore” is a piece for clarinet written by Acker Bilk for his young daughter and originally named “Jenny” after her.[1] It was subsequently used as the theme tune of a BBC TV drama serial for young people, Stranger on the Shore.[2] It was first released in 1961 in the UK, and then in the US, and reached number 1 in the US and number 2 in the UK.[3]

In May 1969, the crew of Apollo 10 took “Stranger on the Shore” on their mission to the moon. Gene Cernan, a member of the crew, included the tune on a cassette tape used in the command module of the Apollo spacecraft.

Soldier Boy (song)

“Soldier Boy” is a song written by Luther Dixon and Florence Greenberg. The song was released as a single by The Shirelles in 1962 and met with great success, topping the US Billboard Hot 100. The song’s lyrics are a profession of the singer’s love for the titular soldier boy in which she promises to remain true to him while he’s away.

“Soldier Boy” was covered by American country music artist Donna Fargo in 1991. Her version peaked at number 71 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart.[1]

It was covered by Diane Renay in 1964.

Good Luck Charm

“Good Luck Charm” is a song recorded by Elvis Presley and published by Gladys Music, Elvis Presley’s publishing company, that reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in the week ending April 21, 1962. It remained at the top of the list for two weeks. It reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in the week ending 24 May 1962 and stayed there for five weeks.[2] The song was written by Aaron Schroeder and Wally Gold and recorded at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee by Presley in 1961. It completed his second hat-trick of chart topping singles in the UK.[1] “Good Luck Charm” was covered by Travis & Shook on Cape Cod Covers, Vol. 1 “The King”. Alvin and the Chipmunks covered the song for “Luck O’ The Chipmunks”, a 1988 episode of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

An answer song, entitled “Don’t Want to Be Another Good Luck Charm”, was recorded by Jo (of the duo Judy & Jo). It was released by Capitol Records as catalog number CP-1468 (single).

Johnny Angel (song)

“Johnny Angel” is a song written and composed by Lyn Duddy and Lee Pockriss. The song was originally recorded by both Laurie Loman and Georgia Lee, however these two versions were not successful.[1] It first became a popular hit single in 1962 when covered by Shelley Fabares who took it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. British singer Patti Lynn had a moderate hit with her remake of “Johnny Angel” the same year in the UK Singles Chart. The American pop music duo, The Carpenters also covered “Johnny Angel” in 1973 as part of a medley of oldies on side two of their album Now & Then.

Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You

“Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” is an American song written by Benny Davis and Ted Murry. The song would become a success for two artists in two different genres: Connie Francis in the pop field in 1962, and Margo Smith as a country version in 1978.

Benny Davis and Ted Murry became associated with Connie Francis by suggestion of Francis’ father, George Franconero. The idea was to combine the skills of Tin Pan Alley veterans Davis and Murry with the current sound of the day. Francis signed Murry and Davis as regular composers to her own music publishing company, Francon Music Incorporated. Over the following years, Davis and Murry wrote further hits for Francis, such as the country ballad The biggest sin of all and the theme song for Francis’ third movie, Follow The Boys, which she also recorded in French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, and German. Neither of the songs left a bigger impact on Billboard’s Pop Charts, but became notable successes on the Adult Contemporary Charts.

Francis recorded “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” in a 2 November 1961 session which also produced “I’m Falling in Love With You Tonight,” “When the Boy in Your Arms (Is the Boy in Your Heart),” “‘Baby’s First Christmas,” “‘Mon Cœur est un Violon,” and “Personne au Monde.”

The ballad, recorded by Francis in two-part harmony with a spoken bridge, is a plea from a heartbroken lover who is trying to understand why her lover is going out of his way to treat her unkindly. The song ends with her begging him not to break her heart.

The Billboard Hot 100 dated 31 March 1962 ranked “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” at #1, making it Francis third and final chart-topper. The Connie Francis recording also went to number one on the easy listening charts.[1]

“Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” charted in the UK in April 1962 without paralleling its US chart impact; rather “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” became Francis’ first single to miss the UK Top 30 with a #39 peak. The track reached #1 in New Zealand – where it would evidently be Francis’ last hit – and #18 in Australia.

Following the success in the US, Francis recorded “Don’t Break the Heart That Loves You” subsequently also in German (“Tu mir Nicht Weh”), Spanish (“Mi Corazón te Adora”), Japanese (泣かせないでね) and in both regular Italian and the Italian dialect Neapolitan (both as “Un Desiderio Folle”)

Hey! Baby

“Hey! Baby” is a song written by Margaret Cobb and Bruce Channel, and recorded by Channel in 1961, first released on LeCam Records, a local Fort Worth, Texas label. After it hit, it was released on Smash Records for national distribution. He co-produced the song with Major Bill Smith (owner of LeCam) and released it on Mercury Records’ Smash label. The song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, starting the week ending March 10, 1962.

The song features a prominent riff from well-known harmonica player Delbert McClinton, and drums played by Ray Torres. According to a CNN article[1] from 2002, while touring the UK in 1962 with The Beatles, McClinton met John Lennon and gave him some harmonica tips. Lennon put the lessons to use right away on “Love Me Do” and later “Please Please Me”. Lennon included the song in his jukebox, and it is also featured on the related compilation album.

The song was used in the 1987 hit film Dirty Dancing in the scene where Johnny and Baby dance on top of a tree’s log.

Duke of Earl

“Duke of Earl” is a 1962 US number-one song, originally by Gene Chandler. It is the best known of Chandler’s songs, and he subsequently dubbed himself ‘The Duke of Earl’. The song was penned by Chandler, Bernice Williams, and Earl Edwards. This song was a 2002 inductee into the Grammy Hall of Fame.[3] It has also been selected by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.[4][5]

Gene Chandler

Peppermint Twist

“Peppermint Twist” is a song written by Joey Dee and Henry Glover, recorded and released by Joey Dee and the Starliters in 1961. Capitalizing on the Twist dance craze and the nightclub in which Dee performed (“The Peppermint Lounge”), the song hit number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in early 1962. The original recording of the song was considered too long for release on a 45 rpm single, so it was split into two parts. It was this first part, “Peppermint Twist (Part 1)”, with a length of 2:03, which became the No. 1 hit; the mostly instrumental second half of the recording is rarely heard today.

“Peppermint Twist” replaced Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” the song that sparked the Twist craze, at the number one position. A version by Bill Haley & His Comets was recorded for Armed Forces Radio in 1962, but was not released until 2000.

The lead singer in the Starliters’ version is David Brigati, whose brother, Eddie Brigati, was a singer for the 1960s hit pop group, the (Young) Rascals. The other personnel on the record featured Carlton Lattimore on organ, Billy Butler on guitar, Jerome Richardson on sax, and Don Martin on drums.

The song was covered by the 1970s glam rock band Sweet, whose version topped the Australian singles chart in 1974. Catarina Valente reached #8 in Germany with her cover version in 1962.

The Twist (song)

“The Twist” is an American pop song written and originally released in early 1959 by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters as a B-side to “Teardrops on Your Letter”.[1] Ballard’s version was a moderate 1960 hit, peaking at number 28 on the Billboard Hot 100.[2]

Chubby Checker’s 1960 cover version of the song gave birth to the Twist dance craze. His single became a hit, reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 19, 1960, where it stayed for one week, and setting a record as the only song to reach number 1 in two different chart runs when it resurfaced and topped the chart again for two weeks starting on January 13, 1962.[3]

In 1988, “The Twist” again became popular due to a new recording of the song by The Fat Boys featuring Chubby Checker. This version reached number 2 in the United Kingdom and number 1 in Germany. In 2014, Billboard magazine declared the song the “biggest hit” of the 1960s.[4]

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

“The Lion Sleeps Tonight”, also known as “Wimoweh”, “Wimba Way” or “Awimbawe”, is a song written and recorded originally by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds[1] for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939, under the title “Mbube”. Composed in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey, Yma Sumac, Miriam Makeba and the Kingston Trio. In 1961, it became a number one hit in the United States as adapted in English with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens. It went on to earn at least US$15 million in royalties from cover versions and film licensing.

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