Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1960

Our retrospective survey now brings us to 1960. 1959 was a split decision (albeit one with not many votes yet), and I’m curious to see how things will turn out now that we’ve once again passed the first wave of rock & roll and are entering the age of teen pop that came between Elvis and the Beatles.

Excluding the number-ones, we have 26 songs on this list. What’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959

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

Among the few I’ve heard, Beyond the Sea is my favorite.

Some good memories again. I loved The Ventures when they came out (and still have the original album), but music is always retrospective and I’ve got to go with Roy Orbison for his vocal range (in a close contest with Bobby Darin’s swinging version of La Mer). Sam Cooke was a better singer, but Chain Gang wasn’t his best effort.

Walk Don’t Run in a narrow victory over Only the Lonely

For me, it was Beyond the Sea in a narrow win over Walk Don’t Run. Bobby Darin’s style of orchestral pop was well on its way out of style by 1960, but it’s a great song and he executes it well, and the drum fills during the middle eight are killer.

I like the Sam Cooke song, finally a list where I know some numbers. I decided to abstain from the 50’s polls, just like many abstain from the newer ones. My gut tells me these songs are good , so I’ll give them a listen and come back.

Ah what the heck, gave it to the late great Mr. Cooke.


I just quickly scanned down the list and Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang” immediately jumped out at me. I reviewed the list more carefully and, yeah, I’m sticking with it.