Mr. Lonely

“Mr. Lonely” is a song co-written and recorded by Bobby Vinton. The song was first released on Vinton’s 1962 album Roses Are Red.

Vinton began writing the song while serving in the Army.[1] The song describes a soldier who is sent overseas and has no communication with his home. The singer laments his condition and wishes for someone to talk with.[2] The single of Vinton’s recording was released just as the Vietnam War was escalating and many soldiers were experiencing a similar situation.[3] Vinton and Gene Allan later re-teamed to compose “Coming Home Soldier”, which reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1967.[4]

Vinton’s recording was included on his Greatest Hits album during autumn of 1964 and was concurrently issued as a single.

Ringo (song)

“Ringo” was a hit single for the Canadian-born actor, Lorne Greene, in 1964.

The song’s actual sung lyrics are limited to the title word alone, performed by an unidentified male chorus, presumably The Jordanaires or the Mello Men. Throughout the rest of the performance, Greene talks about the legendary gunfighter. His words tell the story, in a first-person account, of a Western lawman and his relationship with a notorious gunfighter, Ringo.

It has been pointed out that the song does not fit the known historical facts of the life of western outlaw Johnny Ringo[by whom?]. However, this did not damage the song’s popularity. In one of the first instances recorded of a country song hitting the top of the pop charts before charting country, it shot to #1 on the U.S. Billboard charts on December 5, 1964 as well as garnering the same spot on the “Easy Listening” chart, where it retained the position for six weeks.[1] Due in part to its pop and easy-listening chart placement, the single also peaked at number twenty-one on the Hot Country Singles chart.[2] In Canada, it hit #1 on the RPM top singles chart on December 7. The song was written by Don Robertson and Hal Blair.

The ‘B’ side of the disc contained a vocal version of the theme song of Greene’s TV show Bonanza, with lyrics that were never used on TV (See Bonanza article for more on that song).

Canadian born Lorne Greene, recorded a French language version of “Ringo” with “Du Sable” (“Sand”) on the flip side of the 45, released on the RCA Victor Canada International label # 57-5623. French is the official second language of Canada along with English.

A German-language cover by Ferdy changes the meaning somewhat and alters the ending, but is otherwise fairly close to the English version. Like Greene’s French-language edition, the single is also backed with a German version of Sand.

Like “Bonanza”, “Ringo” began as a track on Greene’s WELCOME TO THE PONDEROSA RCA Victor LP in late 1963. On the album, each track was supplemented with an introduction to each song, separately tracked. By October 1964, Ringo Starr’s popularity in the Beatles prompted “Ringo” to be released as a single, even though it was never about him[citation needed]. The album’s introductions were left off of the single release. “Ringo” debuted in Billboard in October 1964. By the same time, a special promotional recording by Greene (possibly Canadian only) was sent to radio stations to promote the album, where he speaks about seven of the album’s tracks. “Ringo” was the lead track. On it, he talks about the probable confusion between his song character and the Beatles and the “wonderful drummer of theirs”, assuring the listener that it is not about him. About this time, the album had been upgraded to include a notation on the front jacket, FEATURING THE BIG HIT “RINGO”. In 1965, Lorne Greene recorded a French version of “Ringo” as well.

A completely sung version of the song was recorded by Riders in the Sky.[3] Their version is a re-make of the version done years earlier by the Sons of the Pioneers in which member Tommy Doss sang the lead.

In December 1964, the first parody of the song was issued; “Gringo”, written by Marty Cooper and H.B. Barnum. Cooper, himself, would record it under the name of El Clod, a name he had used in 1962 to record a parody on the Challenge label for the song “Wolverton Mountain”, which was called “Tiajuana Border”. This “Ringo” parody would be issued on the Vee Jay label.

Other parodies soon followed, including two by Frank Gallop with his 1966 hit single, “The Ballad of Irving” on the Kapp label, which was quickly chased with a sequel, “The Son Of Irving” on the Musicor label (also in 1966). Another happened in the 1980s by Dutch comedian Andre van Duin (as “Bingo”); and then by Country Yossi and the Shteeble Hoppers (as “Shlomo”).

The 2005 short film “Ringo”, which used the song along with public domain footage of John Wayne and Roy Rogers, won the Short Film Award for animated film at the 2005 Seattle International Film Festival.[4]

Leader of the Pack

“Leader of the Pack” is a song written by George “Shadow” Morton, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich. It was a number one pop hit in 1964 for the American girl group The Shangri-Las. The single is one of the group’s best known songs as well as a popular cultural example of a ‘teenage tragedy song’. The song was covered in 1985 by the heavy metal band Twisted Sister who had a moderate hit with their version.

The tune of “Leader of the Pack” is credited to pop impresario George “Shadow” Morton together with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. According to Morton,[1] he wrote the song for the Goodies (also known as the Bunnies[2]), but instead it was needed as a follow-up to the Shangri-Las hit “Remember (Walking in the Sand)”. He said he did not know that he was supposed to have a second idea ready to follow up “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” until Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller (Red Bird Records co-owners with George Goldner) asked him, “Hey, what do you want to do for the second record?” Morton said he “got a bottle of champagne, two cigars” and “went into the shower, sat down, drank the champagne, smoked the cigars, and wrote the song on a shirt cardboard with my kids crayons.” Morton claimed he credited Barry and Greenwich as co-writers for business reasons;[citation needed] however his recollection has been questioned by Ellie Greenwich.

Baby Love

“Baby Love” is a 1964 song recorded by American music group the Supremes for the Motown label.[1]

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland (H–D–H), the song topped the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States from October 25, 1964 through November 21, 1964,[3][4][5][6] and in the United Kingdom pop singles chart concurrently. Considered one of the most popular songs of the late 20th century, “Baby Love” was ranked #324 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[7]

Do Wah Diddy Diddy

“Do Wah Diddy Diddy” is a song written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich and originally recorded in 1963, as “Do-Wah-Diddy”, by the American vocal group the Exciters.

It was soon covered by British R&B, Beat and pop band Manfred Mann.[2] Manfred Mann’s version, which was more commercially successful, was recorded on 11 June 1964,[citation needed] released on 10 July,[3] and spent two weeks No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart in August,[4] and two weeks at the No. 1 spot in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 in October.[5]

It was also used as the theme song for Ang TV, a famous youth-oriented variety show in the Philippines from 1992-1997.

Oh, Pretty Woman

“Oh, Pretty Woman” is a song recorded by Roy Orbison, written by Orbison and Bill Dees.[1] It was released as a single in August 1964 on Monument Records and spent three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 26, 1964 – the second single by Orbison to top the US charts.[2] It was also Orbison’s third single to top the UK Singles Chart (for a total of three weeks).[3] The record ultimately sold seven million copies and marked the high point in Orbison’s career.[4] Within months of its release, in October 1964, the single was certified gold by the RIAA.[5] At the year’s end, Billboard ranked it the number four song of 1964.[6][better source needed]

The lyrics tell the story of a man who sees a pretty woman walking by. He yearns for her and wonders if, as beautiful as she is, she might be lonely like he is. At the last minute, she turns back and joins him. The title was inspired by Orbison’s wife, Claudette, interrupting a conversation to announce she was going out. When Orbison asked if she had enough cash, his co-writer Bill Dees interjected, “A pretty woman never needs any money.”[7] Orbison’s recording of the song, which used four guitars,[citation needed] was produced by Fred Foster.[1]

Orbison posthumously won the 1991 Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his live recording of “Pretty Woman” on his HBO television special Roy Orbison and Friends, A Black and White Night. In 1999, the song was honored with a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was named one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked it #222 on their list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.” On May 14, 2008, The Library of Congress selected the song for preservation in the National Recording Registry and in 2012, Texas Music magazine ranked the song No. 7 on its list of “The Top 50 Classic Texas Songs”.[citation needed]

The House of the Rising Sun

“The House of the Rising Sun” is a traditional folk song, sometimes called “Rising Sun Blues”. It tells of a life gone wrong in New Orleans; many versions also urge a sibling to avoid the same fate. The most successful commercial version, recorded in 1964 by the British rock group the Animals, was a number one hit on the UK Singles Chart and also in the United States and Canada. The song has been described as the “first folk-rock hit”.

Where Did Our Love Go

“Where Did Our Love Go” is a 1964 song recorded by American music group the Supremes for the Motown label.

Written and produced by Motown’s main production team Holland–Dozier–Holland, “Where Did Our Love Go” was the first single by the Supremes to go to the number-one position[1] on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the United States, a position it held for two weeks, from August 16 to August 29, 1964.[2][3] It was also the first of five Supremes songs in a row to reach number one (the others being “Baby Love”, “Come See About Me”, “Stop! In the Name of Love”, and “Back in My Arms Again”). The song also reached number one on the Cash Box R&B singles chart.[4]

The Supremes’ version is ranked #475 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry in 2016 due to its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance.”[5][6]

Everybody Loves Somebody

“Everybody Loves Somebody” is a song written in 1947 by Sam Coslow, Irving Taylor and pianist Ken Lane.

Although written almost twenty years earlier, by 1964 the song had already been recorded by several artists – including Frank Sinatra – but without much success. Lane was playing piano for Dean Martin on his Dream with Dean LP sessions, and with an hour or so of studio time left and one song short, Lane suggested that Martin take a run at his tune. Dean was agreeable, and the small combo of piano, guitar, drums and bass performed a relatively quiet, laid back version of the song. (Coincidentally, Martin had sung it almost 20 years earlier on Bob Hope’s radio show in 1948.)

Almost immediately Martin re-recorded the song for his next album, this time with a full orchestra and chorus. His label, Reprise Records, was so enthusiastic about the hit potential of this version they even titled the LP Everybody Loves Somebody to capitalize on it.

Although still a major recording artist, Martin had not had a Top 40 hit since 1958. With the British Invasion ruling the U.S. charts, few had hopes that an Italian crooner who had been singing mainly standards for almost 20 years would sway many teenagers. Martin resented rock n’ roll, and his attitude created conflict at home with his 14-year-old son Dean Paul Martin, who like many teenagers at the time worshipped pop groups like The Beatles. He told his son, “I’m gonna’ knock your pallies off the charts,”[1] and in August 15, 1964 he did just that: Everybody Loves Somebody knocked the Beatles “A Hard Day’s Night” off the number one slot on Billboard, going straight up to the top of both the Billboard Hot 100 and the “Easy Listening” chart, the latter for eight weeks.[2]

It ultimately replaced “That’s Amore” as Martin’s signature song, and he sang it as the theme of his weekly television variety show from 1965 until 1974. The song has become so identified with Martin that later versions are invariably compared to his take.

As an apt description of the power of the song in Martin’s life, the words “Everybody Loves Somebody” appear on his grave marker in Los Angeles.[3]

A Hard Day’s Night (song)

“A Hard Day’s Night” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon,[2] and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was released on the movie soundtrack of the same name in 1964. It was later released in the UK as a single, with “Things We Said Today” as its B-side.

The song featured prominently on the soundtrack to the Beatles’ first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night, and was on their album of the same name. The song topped the charts in both the United Kingdom and United States when it was released as a single. The American and British singles of “A Hard Day’s Night” as well as both the American and British albums of the same title all held the top position in their respective charts for a couple of weeks in August 1964, the first time any artist had accomplished this feat.[3]

Rag Doll (The Four Seasons song)

“Rag Doll” is a popular song written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio. It was recorded by The Four Seasons and released as a single in 1964. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 18, 1964, and remained on top for two weeks.[1] According to songwriter Bob Gaudio, the recording was inspired by a dirty-faced little girl, about 5 years old, dressed in ragged clothes. At stop lights, children in the neighborhood would run into the street and clean windshields for spare change; but this little girl could only reach high enough to clean the driver side mirror of his automobile. When Gaudio reached into his wallet, all he had were notes, none smaller than $20. He gave the girl a twenty dollar bill (Gaudio has also said it was a $5 or a $10). Her astonishment stayed in Gaudio’s mind as he approached the recording studio. “Rag Doll”, with a few tweaks by Bob Crewe, was the result. The song was also a number one hit in Canada, and reached number two in the UK and number four in Ireland.

The B-side was the original version of “Silence Is Golden.” In 1967 the song was a number one hit in the UK Singles Chart for the English band The Tremeloes.[2]

In 2010, radio station WCBS-FM in New York City ranked the Four Seasons’ “Rag Doll” as the number-one song of all time, as voted on by its listeners.[3]

I Get Around

“I Get Around” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for American rock band the Beach Boys. It was released as a single in May 1964 with “Don’t Worry Baby” as its B-side and became the group’s first number-one charting song in the United States. In the United Kingdom, it charted at number seven and was the band’s first top ten single there. It was included as the opening track on their studio album All Summer Long in July 1964.

An autobiographical narrative, “I Get Around” begins with a multi-part a cappella introduction that quickly shifts into rock-style verses sung by Mike Love and a pop chorus sung in falsetto by Brian Wilson, who also produced and arranged the song.[2] During its recording session, Wilson’s father Murry was relieved of his duties as the group’s manager.

In 2004, it was ranked at #316 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[citation needed]

A World Without Love

“A World Without Love” is a song recorded by the English duo Peter and Gordon and released as their first single in February 1964. It was included on the duo’s debut album in the UK, and in the US on an album of the same name. The song was written by Paul McCartney[2] and attributed to Lennon–McCartney.[1] The B-side was “If I Were You”, written by Peter and Gordon.[3]

In the United Kingdom, the song reached No. 1 on both the Record Retailer chart[4] and the New Musical Express chart.[5] In the United States, “A World Without Love” topped both the Billboard Hot 100[6] and the Cash Box Top 100.[7] The song also reached No. 1 on the Irish Singles Chart,[8] No. 1 on New Zealand’s “Lever Hit Parade”,[9] No. 2 in Australia,[5] and No. 8 on Norway’s VG-lista.[1]

Chapel of Love

“Chapel of Love” is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector, and made famous by The Dixie Cups in 1964, spending three weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] The song tells of the happiness and excitement the narrator feels on her wedding day, for she and her love are going to the “chapel of love”, and “we’ll never be lonely anymore.” Many other artists have recorded the song.

It was originally recorded by the Blossoms in April 1963 but was never released. The Dixie Cups’ version was the debut release of the new Red Bird Records run by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller along with George Goldner.[2] The Ronettes included the song on their debut album released in November 1964 with production by Phil Spector. In 1973, singer and actress Bette Midler had a moderate hit with a cover of “Chapel of Love”.

Love Me Do

“Love Me Do” is the Beatles’ first single, backed by “P.S. I Love You”. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom on 5 October 1962, it peaked at No. 17; in 1982 it was re-promoted (not re-issued, retaining the same catalogue number) and reached No. 4. In the United States the single was a No. 1 hit in 1964. In 2013, recordings of the song that were published in 1962 entered the public domain in Europe.[4]

The song was written several years before it was recorded, and prior to the existence of the group named the Beatles. The single features John Lennon’s prominent harmonica playing and duet vocals by him and Paul McCartney. Three different recorded versions of the song by the Beatles have been released, each with a different drummer.

My Guy

“My Guy” is a 1964 hit single recorded by Mary Wells for the Motown label. Written and produced by Smokey Robinson of The Miracles, the song is a woman’s dedication to the goodness of her man (“There’s not a man today who could take me away from my guy”).

At the session for the “My Guy” backing track the studio musicians were having issues completing the intro: with the musicians having been playing all day and a half-hour scheduled studio time left, trombonist George Bohannon pointed out to keyboardist Earl Van Dyke that the opening measure of “Canadian Sunset” could be perfectly juxtaposed on the intro’s chord changes, and Van Dyke, the session bandleader, expediently constructed an intro incorporating the opening of “Canadian Sunset” and also the “left hand notes” from “Canadian Sunset” composer Eddie Heywood’s rendition of “Begin the Beguine”. Van Dyke would recall: “We were doing anything to get the hell out of that studio. We knew that the producers didn’t know nothing ’bout no ‘Canadian Sunset’ or ‘Begin the Beguine’. We figured the song would wind up in the trash can anyway”.[1]

When Wells recorded her vocal she sang over the song’s outro with a huskiness evoking the line delivery of Mae West: Wells would recall: “I was only joking but the producers said ‘Keep it going, keep it going’.”[1]

“My Guy” became the biggest hit ever for Wells, Motown’s first female star, and reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart on 16 May 1964.[2] The song led the Cashbox magazine R&B chart for seven weeks.[3] “My Guy” also happened to be Wells’ last hit single for Motown, excepting duets she recorded with label mate Marvin Gaye. An option in her recording contract allowed Wells to terminate the contract at her discretion after she reached her twenty-first birthday on May 13, 1964. Encouraged by her ex-husband, Wells broke her Motown contract and signed with 20th Century Fox in hopes of higher royalties and possible movie roles. However, Wells’ career never again reached the heights it had at Motown, and she never again had a hit single as big as “My Guy”.

Her version of the song was used in the film “More American Graffiti” (1979)

In the United Kingdom, “My Guy” peaked at number five in June 1964.

Hello, Dolly! (song)

“Hello, Dolly!” is the title song of the popular 1964 musical of the same name. Louis Armstrong’s version was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2001.

The music and lyrics were written by Jerry Herman, who also wrote the scores for many other popular musicals including Mame and La Cage aux Folles.

“Hello, Dolly!” was first sung by Carol Channing, who starred as Dolly Gallagher Levi in the original 1964 Broadway cast. In December 1963, at the behest of his manager, Louis Armstrong made a demonstration recording of “Hello, Dolly!” for the song’s publisher to use to promote the show.[1] Hello, Dolly! opened on January 16, 1964 at the St. James Theatre in New York City, and it quickly became a major success.

The same month, Kapp Records released Armstrong’s publishing demo as a commercial single. His version reached number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, ending The Beatles’ streak of three number-one hits in a row over 14 consecutive weeks (in addition to holding the second and third chart positions) and becoming the most successful single of Armstrong’s career, followed by a gold-selling album of the same name.[2] The song also spent nine weeks atop the adult contemporary chart shortly after the opening of the musical. The song also made Armstrong the oldest artist ever to reach #1 on the Hot 100 since its introduction in 1958. Billboard ranked the record as the No. 3 song of 1964, behind the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You.”[3] In 1965, Armstrong performed the song on a German variety show with musician and bandleader Max Greger.

“Hello, Dolly!” won the Grammy Award for Song of the Year in 1965, and Armstrong received a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance, Male. Louis Armstrong also performed the song (together with Barbra Streisand) in the popular 1969 film Hello, Dolly!.

Can’t Buy Me Love

“Can’t Buy Me Love” is a song composed by Paul McCartney[2] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and released by the Beatles on the A-side of their sixth British single, “Can’t Buy Me Love/You Can’t Do That”. In September 2015, the Beatles donated the use of their recording of the song to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals for a television commercial.[3]

When pressed by American journalists in 1966 to reveal the song’s “true” meaning, McCartney stated that “I think you can put any interpretation you want on anything, but when someone suggests that ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’ is about a prostitute, I draw the line.” He went on to say: “The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well, but they won’t buy me what I really want.”[4] However, he was to comment later: “It should have been ‘Can Buy Me Love’ ” when reflecting on the perks that money and fame had brought him.[5]

She Loves You

“She Loves You” is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and recorded by English rock group the Beatles for release as a single in 1963. The single set and surpassed several records in the United Kingdom charts, and set a record in the United States as one of the five Beatles songs that held the top five positions in the American charts simultaneously on 4 April 1964. It is their best-selling single and the best selling single of the 1960s in the United Kingdom.

In November 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “She Loves You” number 64 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[1] In August 2009, at the end of its “Beatles Weekend”, BBC Radio 2 announced that “She Loves You” was the Beatles’ all-time best-selling single in the UK based on information compiled by The Official Charts Company

I Want to Hold Your Hand

“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment.

With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group’s first million seller “She Loves You”, their previous UK single, which was having a resurgence of popularity following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” stayed at number one for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.[4]

It was also the group’s first American number one, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart on 13 January 1964 at number forty-five and starting the British invasion of the American music industry. By 1 February it held the number-one spot, and stayed there for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You”, a reverse scenario of what had occurred in Britain. It remained on the US charts for a total of fifteen weeks.[5] “I Want to Hold Your Hand” became the Beatles’ best-selling single worldwide.[6] In 2013, Billboard magazine named it the 44th biggest hit of “all-time” on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.[7]

There! I’ve Said It Again

“There! I’ve Said It Again” is a popular song written by Redd Evans and David Mann popularized originally by Vaughn Monroe in 1945,[1] and then again in late 1963 and early 1964 by Bobby Vinton. Vinton’s version was the final number one song on the Hot 100 prior to the Beatles. The song charted at #1 on January 4, 1964 for four weeks.

Vaughn Monroe’s version of “There! I’ve Said It Again” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s chart of “Records Most-Played on the Air”,[2] while reaching No. 2 on Billboard’s charts of “Best-Selling Popular Retail Records” and “Most-Played Juke Box Records”.[3][4]

Jimmy Dorsey released a version of “There! I’ve Said It Again” in 1945, which reached No. 8 on Billboard’s chart of “Records Most-Played on the Air”[5] and No. 12 on Billboard’s chart of “Most-Played Juke Box Records”.[6] A version was also released by The Modernaires with Paula Kelly in 1945, which was a hit that year.[7]

Scroll To Top