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🎵 1991 – BABY BABY / Amy Grant
🎵 1981 – MORNING TRAIN (Nine To Five) / Sheena Easton
🎵 1971 – JOY TO THE WORLD / Three Dog Night
🎵 1961 – RUNAWAY / Del Shannon

🎵 1963 – FROM ME TO YOU / Del Shannon

Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – another four-pack of la crème de la crème from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.

Since it began early 2016 (including this installment) 185 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have been featured – with hundreds more to follow.

They’re all part of a permanent archive that’s being built at which will ultimately feature ALL 837 different number one singles as listed in 2,080 weekly national music charts published by Billboard® within that 40-year timeframe.

Fortunately, HouseoftheHits has every one of those charts – plus secondary data – as published in the essential Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series (CD-ROM and eBook edition formats).

Everything is stored digitally on a HouseoftheHits computer – as are all 837 number one singles (in high-quality audio) from the music vault.

With the availability of precise data and the HOTH song files – together with some amazing technology – approximately 600 – 700 of those Billboard® chart-toppers will be presented this year – with the remainder to follow in early 2017.

As the archive grows you will have continual free access to the accumulating repository, indexed by Decade, Month and Year. Plus, EVERY Title and Artist will be (blue) hyper-linked for smooth, easy navigation from song to song – with more great features to be added along the way.

Again, it will contain every #1 single in America, plus interesting commentary about each song (written by yours truly) and presented with a crystal clear High-Definition audio version of the complete original hit to instantly play as often as you wish.

The ever-expanding library is found HERE and you can bookmark this link for future instant access.




Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets and connected devices. Whenever possible, an alternate working audio source will be provided, but a PC, Mac or laptop may ultimately be required in some cases.



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    #1 / May 2nd, 1991

Amy Grant

Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: YOU’RE IN LOVE / Wilson Phillips
Succeeded by: JOYRIDE / Roxette

Six of 1991’s first ten songs that began the year at #1 had come from big-name American female artists: Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Gloria Estefan and the trio Wilson Phillips. And on this date in early May, Amy Grant had raised that to 7/11 – and without a ‘Slurpie’ in sight.

Grant, a pop singer-songwriter from Augusta, GA began as a Christian music artist, but, feeling that she’d reached her limit in that realm, sought a new forum for her talents. But not before receiving a lot of flack from the Christian music circle for doing so.

While recording Christian records, Amy worked with a singer-songwriter-producer named Keith Thomas, who ultimately helped with her transition to pop by giving Grant the musical elements of a secular song he’d penned called Baby Baby.

But she struggled with the lyric-writing for months before finally gaining clarity with inspiration from the sight of her weeks-old daughter, Millie.

Amy Grant initially recorded the number in a traditional pop style, but her record label, A&M, wasn’t particularly enamored with the finished product. That led to writer-producer Thomas re-mixing Baby Baby to create a more dance-music oriented song.

[Trivia Bits] Baby Baby became Amy Grant’s only solo #1 single, but she had shared the top spot with the ex-vocalist for the jazz-rock band Chicago, Peter Cetera. Their duet, The Next Time I Fall, spent a week there in 1986.

Three consecutive Top 10 singles followed Baby BabyEvery Heartbeat (1991 • #2), That’s What Love Is For (1991 • #7) and Good For Me (1992 • #8).

Initially married to Christian musician Gary Chapman, she divorced and is now wed to a country music superstar, singer-songwriter Vince Gill.

Other #1 Singles for AMY GRANT (2)
1986 / THE NEXT TIME I FALL (Peter Cetera with Amy Grant)



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    #1 / May 2nd, 1981

Sheena Easton

Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: KISS ON MY LIST / Daryl Hall and John Oates
Succeeded by: BETTE DAVIS EYES / Kim Carnes

Scottish vocalist Sheena Easton‘s rise to stardom began in the UK on a BBC television documentary that was filmed to capture her live singing audition with EMI Records.

A successful outcome would see her securing a recording contract with the label giant – but supposedly it was not a lock (It was later revealed that EMI execs had planned all along to sign Easton, but, for added justification, were totally blown away by her performances).

But prior to her ultimate signing with EMI, 12 months of filming took place as she went through the auditioning process with two songs given to her to record by British producer Christopher Neil, called Modern Girl and 9 To 5.

The former was completed first and actually released as a UK single during mid-filming for the TV show – no doubt as a ‘teaser’ for the yet-to-be-seen chronical. But Modern Girl stalled mid-chart on the British music listings.

Next up was 9 To 5, issued just as the documentary – titled ‘The Big Time’ – had been completed and was set to air, and with Sheena’s fate supposedly still not decided.

After all that no-so-spontaneous orchestration, 9 To 5 reached #3 in the UK and Modern Girl, re-released in Britain after the success of the former, shot to #6.

When launched in America in February of ’81, the song’s name, ‘9 To 5’ became the record’s sub-title, it’s main moniker changed to Morning Train to avoid confusion with Dolly Parton‘s concurrently issued hit, also called 9 To 5.

[Trivia Bit] Sheena Easton’s first five U.S. singles all climbed inside the Top 30 of Billboard’s Hot 100: Morning Train/Nine To 5 (1981 • #1), Modern Girl (1981 • #18), the James Bond movie title tune For Your Eyes Only (1981 • #4), You Could Have Been With Me (1981 • #15) and When He Shines (1982 • #30).



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    #1 / May 2nd, 1971

Three Dog Night
(Single Version)

Number One: 6 weeks
Replaced: JUST MY IMAGINATION (Running Away With Me) / The Temptations
Succeeded by: BROWN SUGAR / The Rolling Stones

Despite their name, the Los Angeles pop-rock group Three Dog Night was actually a seven-man band, although only a trio were the most prominent visually and vocally.

In somewhat of a pop music rarity, all three – singers Chuck Negron, Danny Hutton and Cory Wells – shared the lead duties on a song-by-song basis.

The other four members – Jimmy Greenspoon (keyboards), Joe Schermie (bass), Mike Allsup (guitar), and Floyd Sneed (drums) provided instrumental and back-up vocal support.

In the case of Joy To The World (equally a.k.a. Jeremiah Was A Bullfrog) it was Negron up front. The tall tenor took this song not only to #1 on this date in 1971, but its 6-week stint there joyfully made ‘Joy’ the year’s premier single on Billboard. Negron also sang lead on their #4 hit in 1969 from the musical ‘Hair,’ Easy To Be Hard.

JTTW was composed by singer-songwriter Hoyt Axton, whose mother, Mae Axton, co-authored Elvis Presley‘s initial chart-topping rocker, Heartbreak Hotel, in 1956.

Three Dog Night indeed made a career out of covering well-chosen songs written by other successful songwriters.

Besides two by Axton (the other was Never Been To Spain), they recorded tunes penned by John Hiatt, Dave Loggins, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Laura Nyro, Leo Sayer, Allan Toussaint and Paul Williams.

[Note] The single version of Joy To The World is commercially available only in a mono mix; its stereo counterpart being a differently-arranged LP version.

The one presented here combines the best of both, precisely replicated through careful editing. Using a mono 45 as a reference, a single in digital stereo has been created from a CD’s LP track!

[Trivia Bits] From 1969-1974, Three Dog Night collected seven gold records and became a hit-making machine.

Eighteen of their plastic, 7-inch 45-rpm discs placed inside the Top 20. Eleven of those reached the Top 10. And three of the elite eleven, Mama Told Me Not To Come (with lead vocalist Wells), Joy To The World (Negron) and Black And White (Hutton) hit #1.

The group’s name is widely believed to have been derived from a dog expression that evidently originated in the frigid Australian outback – ‘a night so cold that you’ll need three dogs in bed with you to keep warm.’

Hoyt Axton also penned No No Song by Ringo Starr, among others found here – HOYT AXTON: The Late Songwriter’s Hits by Others.

Other #1 Singles by THREE DOG NIGHT (3)
1970 / MAMA TOLD ME (Not To Come)



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    #1 / May 2nd, 1961

Del Shannon
(Single Version)

Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced: BLUE MOON / The Marcels
Succeeded by: MOTHER-IN-LAW / Ernie K-Doe

Del Shannon (real name: Charles Westover) from Coopersville, MI, a small town northwest of Grand Rapids, was parked at the Hot 100’s most northerly position on this date in ’61 with his first charted record, and only #1, called Runaway.

But with all due respect to Del, who co-penned the tune, the story of this record (to me) is the unique keyboard instrument prominently heard during the bridge solo of Runaway, played by the song’s other co-writer, Max Crook.

Technically called a clavioline, the instrument was a forerunner of the later 1960’s synthesizers, such as the one developed by Dr. Robert Moog.

Crook’s instrument was a heavily-modified version of the clavioline which he called a musitron. And I love the sound of it!

[Trivia Bits] Del Shannon would have two more U.S. Top Ten-ers: 1961’s Hats Off To Larry (#5) and Keep Searchin’ (We’ll Follow The Sun) which reached #9 in 1965.

In the UK, Runaway was the biggest-selling single of 1961 – and third biggest in America.

Shannon also was part of music history in 1963. In April of that year, while on tour in the UK with that’s country’s hottest new group called The Beatles, Del told John Lennon that he was going to record one of their songs, namely From Me To You.

John was adamant, fearing it would hurt sales of their own version in America. Regardless, he went ahead with his cover.

However, in deference to Lennon’s concern: The Beatles’ version of From Me To You didn’t do well at all, reaching only #116 on the ‘Bubbling Under’ (the Hot 100) section on Billboard.

And Shannon’s re-do didn’t fare much better – only #77 in July of ’63.


Notwithstanding, history was made on June 29th, 1963 when Del Shannon’s Big Top label single (3152) From Me To You (listen below) debuted on Billboard at #96.

It marked the first time that a Lennon-McCartney penned tune (including records by The Beatles) had placed on the Hot 100 in America.

Chart Photo: Courtesy of Billboard® Magazine


England’s Peter & Gordon recorded a Shannon-authored song titled I Go To Pieces in late 1964; becoming a #9 U.S. hit in early 1965. After several unsatisfactory attempts to cut the track himself prior to P&G‘s release, Shannon finally recorded IGTP in 1965. That chronology placed his version as an oddity in pop music as a cover verison of the songwriter’s own tune.

Sadly, Shannon took his own life on February 8, 1990 in his home in the town of Santa Clarita, CA., about 35 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. He was 55.




Del Shannon

As significant as this recording was, as mentioned above, Del Shannon’s cover version managed to climb no higher than #77 on July 20, 1963.

But to his credit, the recording created more awareness of the Beatles in the U.S. – which was Del’s original intent.

The Fab Four’s version of From Me To You, b/w/ Thank You Girl, first appeared in the U.S. on May 27th, 1963 as an A-Side single on the Vee-Jay label. It then re-surfaced as the B-Side of their re-issued Please Please Me 45 from Vee-Jay on January 3rd, 1964.




Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter /

Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.

Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)

The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
The Billboard Book Of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits by Adam White and Fred Bronson
The Billboard Book Of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt
The Billboard Book Of Number One Albums by Craig Rosen
The Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th Edition) by Fred Bronson
1000 UK Chart Hits (Kindle Edition) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release (Kindle Edition) by Philippe Margotin and Jean-Michel Guesdon
The Beatles’ Story On Capitol Records / Part One: The Singles (Digital Edition) by Bruce Spizer
The Beatles’ Story On Capitol Records / Part Two: The Albums (Digital Edition) by Bruce Spizer
The website
The Archives of

Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of

Special thanks to the patio of Starbucks, Little Road in New Port Richey, FL 😎

Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE