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🎵 1991 – MORE THAN WORDS / Extreme
🎵 1981 – BETTE DAVIS EYES / Kim Carnes
🎵 1971 – BROWN SUGAR / The Rolling Stones
🎵 1961 – RUNNING SCARED / Roy Orbison

🎵 1970 – BROWN SUGAR / The Rolling Stones (with Eric Clapton)

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 in early 2016, 245 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have now been featured – and 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 / June 11th, 1991

(Single Version)

Number One: 1 week
Replaced: I DON’T WANNA CRY / Mariah Carey
Succeeded by: RUSH, RUSH / Paula Abdul

Pop-rock quartet Extreme was exceptional on this date in 1991 when they reached the uppermost rung of the Billboard Hot 100 with an outstanding acoustic ballad – one with Simon & Garfunkel-like harmonies called More Than Words.

Starting in 1985, vocalist Gary Cherone, Portugese-born guitar player Nuno Bettencourt and drummer Paul Geary built the group’s sound and reputation in and around their hometown of Boston.

Along the way they added rival band member Pat Badger as their new bass player, and in fact, the quartet evolved into a mostly hard rock unit that belied the gentleness of their eventual hit ballad.

The original plan was to develop More Than Words into a full-blown, heavily produced power-rock love song, but the bare bones sound of the track was eventually deemed so pretty that it was wisely left intact.

Co-penned by Bettencourt and Cherone, this was the lone week at the top for MTW.

[Trivia Bits] Extreme’s follow-up single, Hole Hearted, reached #4 in the fall of 1991.

Vocalist Gary Cherone was the lead singer for Van Halen from 1996 to 1999 – following David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Roth’s brief reunion with the rockers in 1996. Cherone sang on the band’s 1998 album Van Halen III.



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    #1 / June 11th, 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, 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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    #1 / June 11th, 1971

The Rolling Stones
(Single Version)

Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: JOY TO THE WORLD / Three Dog Night
Succeeded by: WANT ADS / The Honey Cone

1970-1971 was a pivotal time for the former “bad boys of rock ‘n roll” – one in which they:

– Left their native UK to escape an outrageous 90% tax bite into the band’s earnings – and settled in the south of France.

– Like the Beatles had done prior, formed their own record company and label, Rolling Stones Records, to be distributed by industry giant, Atlantic Records.

– Commissioned the design of a new ‘Rolling Stones’ logo.

– Recorded and released their first album for the new label, titled Sticky Fingers.

The latter two developments involved the work of renowned, avant-garde “pop” artist Andy Warhol, whose design of a big-lipped (à la Mick Jagger) wide-open mouth with gaping tongue – all bright red – has since become one of the most recognizable and valuable of all company logos.

His artwork for the new album was equally brilliant and cutting edge – a waist-to-knees image of a male wearing jet black jeans, complete with a fully-functioning zippered “fly” (the original design model called for a balloon to pop out after the “fly” was opened, but the idea was abandoned due to the exorbitant cost).

Fortunately, the music matched the expectations from all the changes, with the album undoubtedly still one of the band’s finest.

Besides building their new image as the “world’s greatest rock ‘n roll band,” Sticky Fingers helped elevate Mick and the boys to a permanent high position among the socially elite that was a far cry from earlier days when known by their prior “bad boys” moniker.

Although their debut set for RS Records, it was the Stones’ 9th British and 11th North American album which featured a wide range of musical genres, from country (Wild Horses), soft pop (Moonlight Mile) and blues (I Got The Blues) to flat-out hard rock ‘n roll (Brown Sugar).

[Trivia Bits] Brown Sugar was deemed to be a euphemism for a number of things, including another name for Mexican heroin and a racist term for an African-American female.

Sticky Fingers was one of the first albums recorded at the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama, which became a highly sought facility throughout the 1970’s.

At the same venue, Brown Sugar was actually recorded over 12 months prior to its 1971 single release – December of 1969.

More Reading: 10 THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE KNOWN about The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sticky Fingers’

You Might Also Enjoy: THE ROLLING STONES & The Saga of ‘Satisfaction’ 🎵 🎬

Other #1 Singles for THE ROLLING STONES (8)
1965 / (I Can’t Get No) SATISFACTION
1973 / ANGIE
1978 / MISS YOU



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The Rolling Stones (with Eric Clapton)
(Alternate Version)

Exactly one year ago (June 9, 2015) the Stones released a deluxe re-issue of the Sticky Fingers album that included a more loosely constructed alternate version of Brown Sugar on which Eric Clapton plays slide guitar.

Available in bootleg form for years, this rendition, recorded during a birthday party for Keith Richards in December 1970, was sonically cleaned up for the updated release.

The re-issue also featured an extended take of Bitch, an acoustic version of Wild Horses, plus alternates of Can’t You Hear Me Knocking and Dead Flowers.



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    #1 / June 11th, 1961

Roy Orbison

Number One: 1 week
Replaced: TRAVELIN’ MAN / Ricky Nelson
Succeeded by: MOODY RIVER / Pat Boone

Roy Kelton Orbison, from Wink, Texas, is right up there with the elite pioneers of the rock ‘n roll era – Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson and the Everly Brothers, to name just several.

And in the late 1950’s he cut his teeth in the music business with the likes of Presley, Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash when all concurrently recorded for Sam Phillips‘ Memphis-based Sun Records label.

Incredibly, the owner of one of the greatest pop music voices ever – many describe it as “operatic” – almost gave away his first huge national hit to both Presley and the Everlys.

But he ultimately kept Only The Lonely (Know The Way I Feel) for himself – reaching #2 on the Hot 100 with the recording in the summer of 1960.

OTL was the first of ten Top 10 hits by Roy – most of which being characterized as one of his trademark 2 minutes and 30 seconds-long mini-dramas.

All of Orbison’s biggest hits were for the Monument Records label. Many were writing collaborations with unsung rockabilly hero Joe Melson, with whom Roy penned Only The Lonely, Running Scared, Blue Angel (1960 • #9), Crying (1961 • #2), Blue Bayou (1963 • #29) and several others.

Sound engineer Bill Porter brilliantly captured the widely-varying emotions in Running Scared – from the vocalist’s fear and trepidation to his ultimate relief and happiness.

It was achieved by Porter’s effective use of wide dynamic audio range i.e. the song’s quietest passages recorded at an extremely low level, with its most forceful and powerful sections presented with much higher volume. And Orbison’s amazing voice captured each mood change perfectly.

[Note] I recommend checking out Remembering ROY ORBISON on His 80th Birthday 🎵 🎬

Included is not only the piece I did in 2016 acknowledging the 80th anniversary of Roy’s birth, but also a closer look at Orbison: a feature on his #1 signature hit – 1964’s Oh, Pretty Woman – a video from the all-star tribute ‘A Black and White Night’ held in 1987, the Traveling Wilburys, his final hit record – 1989’s posthumous You Got It – and a bio on his back-up band, The Candymen.

[Trivia Bit] Running Scared was Orbison’s traditional show-closing number – and thus, his last live performance. It occurred in the Cleveland area on December 4, 1988 – two days before Roy suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 52.

Other #1 Singles for ROY ORBISON (2)
1964 / OH, PRETTY WOMAN (Roy Orbison and The Candymen)




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
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