Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1956

Over the last few months, we’ve taken quite a journey through the history of pop music and voted on every single song to ever reach #1 in the US, before ultimately naming “Satisfaction” as the Official SDMB-Approved Greatest #1 Jam of All Time. One of the consistent complaints from posters in our threads, however, has been that there are so many songs that were huge in their day and charted highly, but never made it to #1, because they were eclipsed by a slightly bigger song, or because there was just too much competition, or simply because The World Was Not Ready. I wanted to find a way to look at the rest of the top 40, but going week-by-week and looking at every song just wasn’t practical, so I now introduce our new year-by-year retrospective series; The Best of the Rest of the Top 40!

For this poll, we’ll be using the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 - a chart published in December every year and rating the top songs in sales+airplay over the past 52 weeks. (Due to the lead time in publishing the year-end issue, Billboard’s “year” typically ends on the third week of November.) We’ll be looking at the top 40 positions on the chart, and, to avoid duplicating the results of our previous series, we will be leaving out any song that made #1 in that year or any other year.

1956 is the first year in which Billboard published a sales+airplay year-end chart, so, much as we did with the #1 series, we’ll be starting there. Excluding the songs that made it to #1, we have 27 options on this list. What’s your favorite?

Best #1 single polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s All-time

How is it even possible that Hound Dog never made it to #1? Wow.

It was the B-side of “Don’t Be Cruel” at a time before Billboard started having split sides share the top spot, so it peaked at #2.

I like this idea. I will call it the NIT of Billboard polls. The NIT, or National Invitation Tournament, is for college basketball teams that aren’t quite good enough to get a berth in the NCAA tournament. It is a consolation tournament of sorts, although it used to be much more prestigious than it is now.

Not enough of these songs of 1956 have been rated in the world-famous** Ponch8 Music Rating System**, so I can’t make an informed decision and will have to pass.

I can see into the future, so I foresee a couple of Kesha songs that I will get to vote for in about 55 years. However, another Kesha song in the distant future, “Die Young,” will run into a problem. Its popularity will be split between late 2012 and early 2013, so it won’t reach the end-of-year Top 40 in either year despite staying at #2 for several weeks in Billboard’s weekly charts. Consider this the first complaint about these polls. :slight_smile:

A lot of those early rock n roll songs were simply covers from black artists, Hound dog being one prominent case in point.

Wonder who covered this one?


Don’t care for most, voted for Bill Haley, other good one was “Canadian Sunset”.

Damn, didn’t notice “Standing on the Corner” until after I’d voted for “Hound Dog.” While I have to agree that “Hound Dog” is a much better song, “Standing on the Corner” was one of the songs my dad used to sing while he was washing up and shaving and whatnot in the mornings, so it’s a sentimental favorite.