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Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – and another four-pack of the best of the best from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.
Since it started on January 6th, 2016, 215 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 HouseoftheHits.com 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 24th, 1987
WITH OR WITHOUT YOU
Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: (I Just) DIED IN YOUR ARMS / Cutting Crew
Succeeded by: YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON / Kim Wilde
The roots of this revered Irish rock band go back to its members’ early teens, when 14-year-old drummer Larry Mullen Jr., wanting to form a rock band, posted an ad on the bulletin board in his Dublin high school, Mount Temple, seeking interested musicians.
Among those invited by Mullen to audition was a bass player named Adam Clayton and guitarist David Evans.
Another performer brought in was singer-guitarist Paul Hewson, who at the time appeared to be somewhat short on skills as either, but whose charismatic, take-charge personality endeared him to the others.
The quartet became set, with Hewson, of course, becoming known as Bono (named after an advertising sign for a Dublin hearing aid store called ‘Bono Vox of O’Connell Street.’
Guitarist Evans was soon nicknamed “The Edge” by Bono, who stated “The edge is the border between something and nothing.”
But they still needed a name for the group name, with handles like “Feedback” and “Hype” being contemplated. But at the suggestion of a friend, they chose U2, the model name of high-altitude, CIA-sponsored spy plane.
In May of 1960, one flown by American military pilot Francis Gary Powers was shot down by the Russians after violating Soviet airspace, gaining notoriety for both the plane and its pilot.
After four failed attempts to fly high on Billboard’s Hot 100, the quartet broke through on this date with With Or Without You, followed immediately by I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – both from their fifth studio album titled The Joshua Tree.
That work topped the LP charts of nine countries, including the US, UK, Canada and France.
U2 and Bono have since become one of the world’s leading rock acts and performers, respectively.
[Trivia Bits] U2 were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.
As of this writing, U2’s presence on the Hot 100 now spans 26 years – their 41st and most recent entry was 2009’s Magnificent.
The production work on both hit singles from The Joshua Tree – and the album itself – was performed by Canadian Daniel Lanois, whose resumé included collaborations with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson and others.
Lanois, along with Brian Eno (one-time member of Roxy Music) co-penned WOWY and ISHFWILF.
Other #1 Singles by U2 (2)
• 1987 / I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR
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#1 / May 24th, 1977
Number One: 3 weeks
Replaced: WHEN I NEED YOU / Leo Sayer
Succeeded by: I’M YOUR BOOGIE MAN / KC and The Sunshine Band
Throughout his career, Saginaw, Michigan-born Steveland Morris, more aptly known as the great Stevie Wonder – and prior to that, “12-year-old genius” Little Stevie Wonder – has periodically acknowledged some major musical influences via his recordings.
Among them were the incomparable Ray Charles (Wonder’s 1962 album A Tribute To Uncle Ray – recorded when LSW was only 11) as well as jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, in whose honor Stevie recorded an all-instrumental long-player in 1968 under the nom de plume Eivets Rednow (Stevie Wonder spelled backwards).
And in 1977 with Sir Duke, Wonder again directed his respect, this time toward the hallowed jazz composer, pianist and band leader Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington.
Stevie also pays homage to other greats of the genre on the recording – pianist Count Basie, trumpeter-composer-singer Louis “Satcho” Armstrong and “The First Lady Of Song,” vocalist Ella Fitzgerald.
[Trivia Bits] Sir Duke was the second consecutive chart-topping single from Wonder’s Songs In The Key Of Life album and the sixth record of Stevie’s ten-spot of #1 single releases.
In 1980, Stevie Wonder again wrote and recorded a tune from his “I’m Not Worthy” category called Master Blaster (Jammin’) an ode to reggae music trailblazing great Bob Marley.
Other #1 Singles for STEVIE WONDER (10)
• 1963 / FINGERTIPS – Part 2 (Little Stevie Wonder)
• 1973 / SUPERSTITION
• 1973 / YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE
• 1974 / YOU HAVEN’T DONE NOTHIN
• 1977 / I WISH
• 1982 / EBONY AND IVORY (Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder)
• 1984 / I JUST CALLED TO SAY I LOVE YOU
• 1985 / PART-TIME LOVER
• 1986 / THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR (Dionne and Friends)
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#1 / May 24th, 1967
The Young Rascals
Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced (1st time): THE HAPPENING / The Supremes
Succeeded by (1st time): RESPECT / Aretha Franklin
Replaced (2nd time): RESPECT / Aretha Franklin
Succeeded by (2nd time): WINDY / The Association
The Top 40 rock ‘n roll music era was punctuated by a number of standout acts which produced an interesting sub-set of musical style labelled “blue-eyed soul” – alternately termed “white R&B” – i.e. songs by white singers who sounded black.
And they came in various configurations: solo artists such as Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and Stevie Winwood (with the Spencer Davis Group, then alone); duos like The Righteous Brothers and Daryl Hall & Johns Oates.
In the band/group configuration, the New York City-based quartet known as the The Young Rascals, led by soulful vocalist Felix Cavaliere, comes top-of-mind to this ex-radio DJ turned social media blogger.
Groovin‘ became the second Young Rascals’ hit to go top-shelf. Their first, 1966’s Good Lovin’, was a cover version of an obscure R&B original from a year earlier by the Olympics.
And the group’s “liberation anthem” People Got To Be Free reached the top in 1968, by which time, ostensibly feeling older, they’d shortened their name to just The Rascals.
The record had a rocket’s speed 5-week ride to the top, debuting at #79 in late April of ’67, followed by dramatic leaps (79-49-19-4) before hitting #1 on this date.
[Trivia Bits] Groovin’ became a Hot 100 rarity, where occasionally a song holds down the top spot (in this case, for 2 weeks), relinquishes it for 14 days (appropriately giving “props” to Aretha Franklin‘s Respect) but then recaptures the pole position (a second 2-week stint for the Rascals).
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#1 / May 24th, 1957
ALL SHOOK UP
Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires
Number One: 8 weeks
Replaced: ROUND AND ROUND / Perry Como
Succeeded by: LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND / Pat Boone
Elvis Aaron Presley entered 1957 after a previous year in which he dominated with four #1 singles; 12 months during which all of them became platinum-sellers (a combined 10 million copies sold). That would easily be considered as not one, but two outstanding Hall of Fame-worthy careers.
And when the same four records accumulated nearly a half year’s stay in the top spot of Billboard (25 weeks), it might even be seen as three blue chippers!
Yet, in 1956, with Heartbreak Hotel, I Want You I Need You I Love You, Don’t Be Cruel b/w Hound Dog and Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley was just getting warmed up.
In 1957 he virtually duplicated the previous year’s performance – another four #1 hits that combined for 7 million records sold: Too Much, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Jailhouse Rock and his first Billboard pole-sitter from ’57, All Shook Up.
The latter, plus the former three, sat on Billboard’s top rung for exactly half of 1957 – i.e. 26 weeks!
In addition, All Shook Up became the magazine’s #1 single for all of 1957, and the second year in a row in which “The King of Roll ‘n Roll” had won that slot – duplicating the honor for 1956’s Heartbreak Hotel.
It also spent 7 weeks atop the UK pop music charts.
[Trivia Bits] Elvis spent several days in the first two months of 1957 recording new material, beginning with All Shook Up and its B-side, That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.
During those recording sessions, he also turned out four songs for his EP Just For You, an equal number of tracks for the Peace In The Valley EP and another two for the soundtrack from his forthcoming debut film, Loving You.
All Shook Up was written by African-American songwriter-singer-pianist Otis Blackwell, who also penned Elvis’ 1956 record-setting Don’t Be Cruel and co-composed his 1962 platinum seller, Return To Sender.
[Note] Beginning with Heartbreak Hotel in 1956, Elvis (or, more likely his manager, Col. Tom Parker) initiated a shrewd business practice of demanding a composing co-credit in exchange for recording the writer’s song. That was the case with the author of ‘Hotel’ (Mae Boren Axton) and why Presley’s name is listed along side Blackwell’s on All Shook Up‘s label as the song’s co-writer.
Otis Blackwell also wrote the early rock ‘n roll classics Fever by Little Willie John (which later became Peggy Lee‘s signature number), Jerry Lee Lewis‘ Great Balls Of Fire and Breathless, as well as Handy Man from Jimmy Jones (subsequently covered by Del Shannon and James Taylor).
Other #1 Singles by ELVIS PRESLEY (18)
• 1956 / HEARTBREAK HOTEL
• 1956 / I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU
• 1956 / DON’T BE CRUEL
• 1956 / HOUND DOG
• 1956 / LOVE ME TENDER
• 1957 / TOO MUCH
• 1957 / (Let Me Be Your) TEDDY BEAR
• 1957 / JAILHOUSE ROCK
• 1958 / DON’T
• 1958 / HARD HEADED WOMAN
• 1959 / A BIG HUNK O’ LOVE
• 1960 / STUCK ON YOU
• 1960 / IT’S NOW OR NEVER
• 1960 / ARE YOU LONESOME TO-NIGHT?
• 1961 / SURRENDER
• 1962 / GOOD LUCK CHARM
• 1969 / SUSPICIOUS MINDS
Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter / HouseoftheHits.com
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
• Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (Kindle Edition) by Ernst Jorgensen
• The Archives of RollingStone.com
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat
Special thanks to the patio of Starbucks, Little Road in New Port Richey, FL 😎
Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE