Best of the Rest of the Top 40: 1963

Apologies for this one being up a day late - hectic work schedule.

The year is now 1963, the year before the dam broke. In the #1s chart this was a pretty eclectic year, but looking at the rest of the Top 40 (our list goes to #42 today because of the number of eliminations) we see two big things - this was the year that surf music exploded, and the year that the folk revival of the early '60s broke into the mainstream in a big way. This one was an easy call for me as soon as I saw a certain song on the list - what’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962

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

“End of the World” gets the highest score in the world-famous** Ponch8 Music Rating System**, slightly ahead of “Our Day Will Come.” This is a much stronger set of choices than the 1962 NIT poll, where I didn’t vote at all.

Is anyone else surprised that “Blowin’ in the Wind” came out this early? I always thought it was an anti-Vietnam War song.

The song itself was already a year old by this time; Bob Dylan first performed it in April of 1962 and recorded it a few months later, though the PP&M version was the one that made it big.

My choice for this poll was that particular trio’s other contributon to the charts this year, Puff the Magic Dragon. I’ve loved that song since I was little and it still makes me tear up listening to it today. In its absence, I could have easily gone for “Rhythm of the Rain”, “Heat Wave”, or “Wipeout”.

How could “Be My Baby”–#2 for three weeks–possibly not make this list?

What an awful, awful year for music.

Presumably because it came out close to the end of the year and it had a rather short chart run overall. It landed at #45 in the year-end chart, just shy of our cutoff for this survey.

I’m going with *Blowin’ in the Wind, *just because 1963 was the last year before folk music was crushed under the juggernaut of Rock (not that there’s anything wrong with it).

I went with PP&M too, because it’s probably the last chance I get to give them a legit vote.

I’ve been struck by the much greater diversity in the ‘best of the rest’ hits during these pre-Invasion years, compared to the #1s. It’s made it a lot easier to think well of the music from this period.

A few years back in this sequence, I would have voted for The Four Lads’ “Standing On The Corner” if I’d noticed it before I voted, because it was a favorite of my father’s. But this year - sorry Dad! - I’m still not voting for Trini Lopez. He actually did have some good songs, but IMNSHO, “If I Had A Hammer” wasn’t a song that was exactly crying out to be done in his style.

No “Louie Louie” by the Chessmen?

As far as I can tell, the only version of it to make a year-end chart is that by the Kingsmen, which just barely squeaked in at #99 in 1964.

Which is a shame, since the version by Paul Revere and the Raiderswas my favorite.

(Motörhead, of course, is a close second, especially since Lemmy doesn’t even bother to do the bad pidgin English.)

I assume you mean the version by the Kingsmen, and I’m surprised, too. That’s pretty much THE song that summarizes rock music to me. I’m surprised, but it appears not to have made the year-end Hot 100.

Too much good stuff. The surf music all cancels out (Sob! Sorry, Chantays!). The song I use as the ringtone for my wife gets dropped due to judge bias. That leave “Rhythm of the Rain” to get my vote.

Rain, please tell me now, does that seem fair
for her to take my heart away when she don’t care?
I can’t love another when my heart’s somewhere far away.

Kinda corny, but a nice song regardless.

Unfortunately, yes. The only other song of theirs that charted in the year-end Hot 100 is “I Dig Rock & Roll Music”, which made #91 in 1967 (and is just plain unusually mean-spirited coming from a band like PP&M).

Somehow, “Leavin’ On A Jet Plane”, which made #1 in 1969, didn’t even appear on the year-end chart.

More about civil rights, but it could apply to a number of issues of the time.

I’m going with Curtis Mayfield and It’s All Right. Nice harmony and some tight horns/guitar work. Second place to Heatwave for the bounce.

Yes the Kingsmen:D

I meant the Kingsmen, no such band known as the Chessmen. The song was #2 in 1963 so I was surprised.

Actually, there was a band called “Jack Bedient and the Chessmen” that hailed from the Pacific Northwest and recorded a cover of Louie Louie in the early '60s (as did pretty much every rock band in the PNW at the time), though I’ve yet to find a recording of it online.

As soon as I saw the first entry on the list I knew I was going to vote for it, but I did read the rest before doing so. Amazed it didn’t make #1.

This, pretty exactly.