1963: The Sounds of an Era

By 1963 the Sixties sound had well and truly arrived. Some great music hit the airwaves and some of the greatest performers of the 20th century hit their stride to produce unforgettable tunes. So, here’s a rundown of the top 100 hits of 1963, as compiled by Billboard magazine:

Billboard Top 100 – 1963

01. Sugar Shack » Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

02. Surfin’ U.S.A. » Beach Boys

03. The End Of The World » Skeeter Davis

04. Rhythm Of The Rain » Cascades

05. He’s So Fine » Chiffons

06. Blue Velvet » Bobby Vinton

07. Hey Paula » Paul & Paula

08. Fingertips II » Little Stevie Wonder

09. Washington Square » Village Stompers

10. It’s All Right » Impressions

11. Can’t Get Used To Losing You » Andy Williams

12. My Boyfriend’s Back » Angels

13. Sukiyaki » Kyu Sakamoto

14. She’s A Fool » Lesley Gore

15. So Much In Love » Tymes

16. Puff (The Magic Dragon) » Peter, Paul & Mary

17. Blowin’ In The Wind » Peter, Paul & Mary

18. I’m Leaving It Up To You » Dale & Grace

19. Deep Purple » Nino Tempo & April Stevens

20. Wipe Out » The Surfaris

21. I Love You Because » Al Martino

22. Wild Weekend » Rebels

23. You’re The Reason I’m Living » Bobby Darin

24. Walk Like A Man » Four Seasons

25. Mockingbird » Inez Foxx

26. I Will Follow Him » Little Peggy March

27. Pipeline » Chantays

28. Surf City » Jan & Dean

29. It’s My Party » Lesley Gore

30. Blame It On The Bossa Nova » Eydie Gorme

31. You Can’t Sit Down » Dovells

32. Heat Wave » Martha & The Vandellas

33. Denise » Randy & The Rainbows

33. Walk Right In » Rooftop Singers

35. If You Wanna Be Happy » Jimmy Soul

36. Surfer Girl » Beach Boys

37. If I Had A Hammer » Trini Lopez

38. Everybody » Tommy Roe

39. Easier Said Than Done » Essex

40. Ruby Baby » Dion

41. Maria Elena » Los Indios Tabajaras

42. Our Day Will Come » Ruby & The Romantics

43. I Can’t Stay Mad At You » Skeeter Davis

44. Hello, Stranger » Barbara Lewis

45. Be My Baby » Ronettes

45. Mean Woman Blues » Roy Orbison

47. South Street » Orlons

48. Days Of Wine And Roses » Henry Mancini

49. The Monkey Time » Major Lance

50. Candy Girl » Four Seasons

51. Still » Bill Anderson

52. Blue On Blue » Bobby Vinton

53. Cry Baby » Garnet Mimms & The Enchanters

54. Two Faces Have I » Lou Christie

55. Busted » Ray Charles

56. Da Doo Ron Ron » Crystals

57. Foolish Little Girl » Shirelles

58. Memphis » Lonnie Mack

59. In Dreams » Roy Orbison

60. More » Kal Winding

61. Fools Rush In » Rick Nelson

62. Losing You » Brenda Lee

63. Our Winter Love » Bill Pursell

64. I Wanna Be Around » Tony Bennett

65. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me » Miracles

66. Sally Go ‘Round The Roses » Jaynetts

67. Little Red Rooster » Sam Cooke

68. Then He Kissed Me » Crystals

69. (You’re The) Devil In Disguise » Elvis Presley

70. Those Lazy-hazy-crazy Days On Summer » Nat King Cole

71. Baby Workout » Jackie Wilson

71. Pride And Joy » Marvin Gaye

73. Walking The Dog » Rufus Thomas

74. From A Jack To A King » Ned Miller

75. Up On The Roof » Drifters

76. What Will My Mary Say » Johnny Mathis

77. Mama Didn’t Lie » Jan Bradley

78. The Night Has A Thousand Eyes » Bobby Vee

79. Don’t Say Nothin” Bad About My Baby » Little Eva

80. Ring Of Fire » Johnny Cash

81. Just One Look » Doris Troy

82. Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! (A Letter From Camp) » Allan Sherman

83. Judy’s Turn To Cry » Lesley Gore

84. Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport » Roll Harris

85. Mickey’s Monkey » Miracles

86. Donna, The Prima Donna » Dion

87. That Sunday, That Summer » Nat King Cole

88. Another Saturday Night » Sam Cooke

89. Painted, Tainted Rose » Al Martino

90. (Down At) Papa Joe’s » Dixiebelles With Cornbread & Jerry

91. Go Away Little Girl » Steve Lawrence

92. Take These Chains From My Heart » Ray Charles

93. Talk To Me » Sunny & The Sunglows

94. Come And Get These Memories » Martha & The Vandellas

95. Bossa Nova Baby » Elvis Presley

96. Do The Bird » Dee Dee Sharp

97. Shut Down » Beach Boys

98. One Fine Day » Chiffons

99. 500 Miles Away From Home » Bobby Bare

100. Little Town Flirt » Del Shannon

Hero of the Revolution: Bob Dylan

Robert Allen Zimmerman was born in the small mining town of Hibbing, Minnesota. in high school, he formed a group he called the Golden Chords and tried to imitate Little Richard and Buddy Holly, because, of course, they were the top performers of the day. He entered the University of Minnesota but dropped out after a year in order to have more time performing at local coffee houses.

 

That’s just about the time he began replacing his own background with myth. He was, a friend said later, “someone who was continually inventing himself.” At different times he claimed to be an orphan from Oklahoma, an itinerant carnival worker, a bass player with Bobby Vee, or Bobby Vee himself. He also changed his name to Bob Dylan, in honor of poet Dylan Thomas.

His early songs were much in the Woody Guthrie vein: “Talking Bear Mountain,” “Picnic Massacre Blues” and “Talking John Birch Paranoid Blues.” He took some old folk tunes and gave them more modern lyrics and a more modern sound. He wrote “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which became a big hit in 1963 when Peter, Paul and Mary covered the it. In fact, it sold more than 300,000 copies in the first two weeks. The song became the anthem of the protest movement, and Bob Dylan became its hero. When asked, “Which side of the war are you on?” he answered, “Which side can you be on?”

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