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🎵 1991 – I LIKE THE WAY (The Kissing Game) / Hi-Five
🎵 1981 – BETTE DAVIS EYES / Kim Carnes
🎵 1971 – JOY TO THE WORLD / Three Dog Night
🎵 1961 – RUNAWAY / Del Shannon

🎵 1975 – BETTE DAVIS EYES / Jackie DeShannon
🎵 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) 212 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 22nd, 1991

I LIKE THE WAY (The Kissing Game)
(Single Version)

Number One: 1 week
Replaced: JOYRIDE / Roxette
Succeeded by: I DON’T WANNA CRY / Mariah Carey

Yet another R&B ‘boy band’ held the top spot on America’s premier weekly national music chart on this date in 1991.

Hi-Five, a quintet from Waco, TX, scored their breakout-charting single titled I Like the Way (The Kissing Game), one of a trio of Top 5 entries from their brief three years together – I Can’t Wait Another Minute reached #8 later in 1991 with She’s Playing Hard To Get placing at #5 the following year.

Two of the song’s writers – Teddy Riley and Bernard Bell – were among the driving forces behind a hybrid genre of music that became popular from the late 1980’s into the early 1990’s termed “New Jack Swing.” “NJS” melded elements of various musical styles such as swing, R&B, soul, pop and hip-hop into a single, smooth-sounding fusion.

To play their part in that new trend, Sony Music‘s subsidiary label Jive Records signed Hi-Five to a lucrative recording contract in late 1990.

The first single from their debut LP I Just Can’t Handle It was I Like The Way (The Kissing Game). The song, with lead vocals by Tony Thompson, belied its album’s moniker by deftly maneuvering into Billboard’s lead position twelve weeks after debuting on the Hot 100.

[Trivia Bit] I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) holds the distinction of being Billboard’s 1000th single to hold the top spot on any of it’s chart publications. That goes back to 1940 when they introduced “Chart Line,” their first listing to track the best-selling records.



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    #1 / May 22nd, 1981

Kim Carnes

Number One: 9 weeks
Replaced: MORNING TRAIN (Nine To Five) / Sheena Easton
Succeeded by: MEDLEY / Stars On 45

Bette Davis Eyes, the memorable tune whose title bears the name of the silver screen legend, was Kim Carnes‘ only single to occupy the top spot on Billboard’s Hot 100. But it was her second venture in twelve months into that chart’s Top 5.

Carnes and high-profile country crooner Kenny Rogers had hit #4 with their duet Don’t Fall In Love With A Dreamer in the spring of 1980.

In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Rogers was the hottest pop-country crossover male performer around – when everything he touched literally turned to ‘gold.’ So Carnes’ appearance with him on a recording gave invaluable exposure to the previously unknown female vocalist, which no doubt set up Kim nicely for solo success the following year with BDE.

In fact, Rogers and the Los Angeles-born Carnes were band-mates during one of the permutations of the legendary folk ensemble the New Christy Minstrels.

Co-authored and first recorded by singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon (see below) Bette Davis Eyes modestly debuted on the Hot 100 at #80, only to reach the Top 10 in just five weeks. 14 days later it began an impressive 9-week run at #1.

[Note] The interesting-sounding and effective musical instrument first heard during the song’s intro, and then throughout the record, was an analog synthesizer from the day known as a Prophet-5, manufactured by Sequential Circuits.

[Trivia Bits] Following the success of Bette Davis Eyes, the actress sent personal, hand-written letters to Carnes and songwriters DeShannon and Donna Weiss, thanking them for making her (Davis) “a part of modern times.”

Then, after BDE won both ‘Record of the Year’ and ‘Song of the Year’ Grammys, the trio received roses from Ms. Davis.

Normally a 9-week lock on Billboard’s penthouse perch would easily be enough to cop the venerable trade paper’s distinguished ‘Biggest Single of the Year’ honor. But the behemoth work-out hit known as Physical spent a sweat-laden 10-weeks at #1 for Olivia Newton-John to not only become the biggest single of 1981, but of the 1980’s.

However, ‘Eyes’ became the third best-selling record of the 20th century’s penultimate decade, following Physical and the Diana Ross/Lionel Richie duet Endless Love.



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Jackie DeShannon
(Original Version)

According to singer-songwriter Jackie DeShannon (What The World Needs Now Is Love, Put A Little Love In Your Heart) she got the idea for Bette Davis Eyes after watching the legendary actress’ 1942 film ‘Now Voyager.’

A track from DeShannon’s 1975 album called New Arrangement, indeed, her original is much different sounding than the Carnes cover.

But the LP’s title seemed to be a misnomer. When juxtaposed with the latter’s ethereal arrangement, the former wasn’t ‘new’ at all – rather a 1920’s jazz-style rendering.

Clearly, it was the uniqueness of Kim’s raspy voice, combined with the aforementioned Prophet-5 synthesizer, that gave her recording its appealing cosmic feel.



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    #1 / May 22nd, 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 22nd, 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