Best #1 single of the year retrospective: 1961

Our survey brings us now to 1961 (the year my mother was born!) This year has the most #1s of any year we’ve looked at so far - 22, to be precise - and I recognize maybe five or six of them enough to be able to hum a few bars. This is another difficult year for me to pick a favorite in - there are a couple of standouts but nothing on the level of last year’s “Georgia On My Mind”, IMO. So far, in these sort-of-lackluster years there’s been one song that most of the Dope have gravitated to - I think I have an idea of which one that might be this year, but my lips are sealed for now.

Anyway, you know the drill - which one stands the test of time for you?

Previous polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 2012 2013

Oh hit the road Jack is by far the best song of the year. No real need to conduct a poll :wink:

I felt dirty not voting for Ray Charles in the last one (I had to go with “El Paso”) so I’m glad I can redeem myself this time. But if “Hit the Road Jack” weren’t on here I would have gone with “Mother-in-Law”…wonder if I would have been the only one to vote for it.

I voted for Jimmy Dean’s Big Bad John but I honestly don’t have a favorite on that list! First year that’s been true for me.

The Shirelles, followed by Rick Nelson and Ray Charles.

A slamdunk for the Shirelles, with one of the most heart-breaking songs ever written. I don’t think another song really comes close.

I went with “Runaround Sue” - not only do I like the song, but Pandora got it stuck in my head a while ago and for a couple months trying to identify it drove me insane. I expect “Hit the Road” to win.

“Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was the first big hit written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and the first girl group number one. Historically major as we head into the 60s.

But since “Hit the Road, Jack” is the Ray Charles tune that made me pass on “Georgia on My Mind” I’ve got to go with it.

For me, it’s a toss up between Runaround Sue, Runaway, and The Lion Sleeps Tonight.

I voted for Runaround Sue because Dion was a badass with a rocking, snarling delivery.

Runaway won out for me, with Hit the Road Jack a close second.

I always wanted a metal/hard rock band to cover that song as a heavy ballad, with the piano part played by a lead guitar, same for the sax solo (or whatever instrument that was).

Gotta give it to the Shirelles. Most of these songs I don’t even recognize.

Looks like Ray is beating Elvis two years in a row with the SDMB crowd.

Hit the Road Jack wins in a fairly tight contest with the Shirelles and Del Shannon. HtRJ is a staple at baseball and basketball games when someone on the visiting team gets ejected or fouls out.

Crap! I missed Del Shannon?!? :eek:

I also have to give a thumbs up to Lawrence Welk for the first and probably only time in my life.

Went with Roy Orbison.

As great as Ray Charles is, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” is simply amazing. Surprisingly racy for the era, too. And sad; makes it very easy to sympathize with the “other woman.”

My choices were, interestingly, between two running folks - Runaway and Runaround Sue.

I went with Sue.

And thanks for posting these, Smapti; I’ve been enjoying them.

This is by far the toughest year so far. Too many great choices. I’ll pick one later.

Yeah, I barely knew about Ernie K-Doh unless I started digging back. Fun old R&B song, but with the songs that most posts are pointing out - Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Runaway, Runaround Sue and Hit the Road, Jack - hard to consider it seriously.

My favorite of these are Runaround Sue - love Dion’s voice - and Hit the Road, Jack - because Ray - but have to go with Will You Love me Tomorrow for the greatness of the song and the historic significance of Goffin/King and girl group emergence…

ETA: Love Please Mr. Postman, too!