You Were On My Mind (1965)

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By: We Five, a 1960s folk rock quintet based in San Francisco, California.

They originally consisted of Michael Stewart, Beverly Bivens, Jerry Burgan, Peter Fullerton and Bob Jones.

Michael Stewart (born April 19, 1945, died November 13, 2002) was the founder of the group, and was the brother of John Stewart of the Kingston Trio (and the writer of the Monkees' "Daydream Believer".)

In 1965, We Five were signed to A&M Records, owned by Herb Alpbert, in response to the folk rock music trend. Their first album featured, as the title track, a re-arrangement (by Stewart) of an Ian and Sylvia song: "You Were on My Mind".

In February 1966 this song was nominated for a Grammy for Best Performance By A Vocal Group. Later that same year, after their second album, Make Someone Happy, lead singer Beverly Bivens left the group.

Michael Stewart later went on to produce Billy Joel's 1973 album Piano Man.

Chart position:
#3 (US), #1 (US Easy Listening).

The Top Ten Songs: September 25, 1965 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Eve of Destruction" (Barry McGuire)
  2. "Hang On Sloopy" (McCoys) 
  3. "You Were On My Mind" (We Five)
  4. "Catch Us If You Can" (Dave Clarke Five)
  5. "Help!" (Beatles)
  6. "The 'In' Crowd" (Ramsey Lewis Trio)
  7. "Like a Rolling Stone" (Bob Dylan)
  8. "It Ain't Me Babe" (Turtle)
  9. "Heart Full of Soul" (Yardbirds)
  10. "Laugh At Me" (Sonny)

Written by:
Sylvia Tyson (born Sylvia Fricker September 19, 1940 in Chatham, Ontario, Canada).

Tyson is a musician, performer, singer-songwriter and broadcaster. From 1959 to 1974, she was half of the popular folk duo Ian & Sylvia with former husband Ian Tyson.

Also by:
Crispian St. Peters (born April 5, 1939, died June 8, 2010), whose version reached #2 (UK) in 1966. His biggest US hit was "The Pied Piper".

Originally by:
Ian and Sylvia, on their 1964 album Northern Journey.

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Rockin' Robin (1958) (1972)

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Bobby Day (born, ironically, Robert James Byrd on July 1, 1928 in Ft. Worth, Texas, died of cancer July 27, 1990.)

Day’s songwriting efforts include "Over & Over", which was later a #1 hit for the Dave Clark Five in 1965, and "Little Bitty Pretty One", which was a hit for Day, Thurston Harris, Clyde McPhatter, and the Jackson 5.

Day's first solo hit, "Little Bitty Pretty One", competed with Harris' version, which was much more successful. However, Day was approached by songwriter and Class Records owner Leon René with a song: "Rockin' Robin".

Again, Thurston Harris saw an opportunity to compete with Day, when he found out Day's next single was to be "Over and Over" (with "Rockin' Robin" as the B-side). Harris recorded his own version of "Over and Over"!

Knowing that Harris had a bigger label promoting him, the decision was made to flip the A- and B-sides so that they would not compete. But the contest wasn't even close: Harris' single fell off the charts after a week, while Day's reached the #2 spot after 11 weeks.

Day's backing band on "Rockin' Robin" was his group the Satellites. The piccolo solo was played by veteran woodwind musician Plas Johnson, who also played the lead tenor saxophone on "The Pink Panther Theme" (Henry Mancini).

"Rockin' Robin" was featured in the 1984 film Stand by Me.

Chart position:
#2 (US), #1 (US R&B), released in 1958.

It was kept from #1 by "It's All In The Game" (Tommy Edwards).

Written by:
Leon René (born Feb 6, 1902 in Covington, Louisiana, died May 30, 1982 in Los Angeles, CA), credited to "Jimmy Thomas".

The song was inspired by a mockingbird whose singing pestered René.  René's wife, Jenny "Jimmy" Thomas, receives the songwriting credit.

René also wrote "When It's Sleepy Time Down South" and "When the Swallows Come Back to Capistrano", both of which were popular songs, and were featured in many Looney Tunes cartoons in the 1940s and 1950s.

Also by:
Michael Jackson, at the age of 14. It was his second single as a solo artist (and, like Day's version, also reached #2, US, 1972).

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Daddy's Home (1961) (1972)

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By: Shep and the Limelites.

Shep and the Limelites was formed by James "Shep" Sheppard, Charles Baskerville, and Clarence Bassett in 1960 in Queens, New York. Initially, they were called Shane Sheppard and the Limelites, but quickly became known as Shep and the Limelites.

All of the members had been in previous groups when they formed: Shep in the Heartbeats (notable for "A Thousand Miles Away"), Baskerville in the Videos, and Bassett in the Five Sharps.

Shep and the Limelites recorded "Daddy's Home" on February 1, 1961. Their subsequent hits included "What Did Daddy Do" and "Our Anniversary".

Chart position: #2 (US).

It was kept from the #1 spot by "Travelin' Man" (Ricky Nelson).

The Top Ten Songs:
May 29, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Travelin' Man" (Ricky Nelson)
  2.  "Daddy's Home" (Shep and the Limelites)
  3. "Running Scared" (Roy Orbison)
  4. "Mama Said" (Shirelles)
  5. "Mother-in-Law" (Ernie K-Doe)
  6. "Runaway" (Del Shannon)
  7. "Breakin' In A Brand New Broken Heart" (Connie Francis)
  8. "One Hundred Pounds Of Clay" (Gene McDaniels)
  9. "I Feel So Bad" (Elvis Presley)
  10. "Tragedy" (Fleetwoods)

Written by:
James "Shep" Sheppard.

Sheppard wrote "Daddy's Home" as an answer song to another song Shep wrote and recorded with his original group, the Heartbeats, "A Thousand Miles Away". Kahl Music, publisher of "A Thousand Miles Away", sued Keel Music, publisher of "Daddy's Home", for copyright violation. Keel eventually lost, and this led to the end of the Limelites, and the members professionally went their seperate ways.

Shep and the Limelites reunited in 1970, but it was short lived: Shep Sheppard was found dead in his car January 24, 1970, in Long Island, New York. Charles Baskerville died January 18, 1998 in New York city, New York. Clarence Bassett died in 2005.

Also by: Jermaine Jackson (of The Jackson Five), whose version reached #9 (US, 1972).

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You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (1966) (1970)

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By: Dusty Springfield (born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien April 16, 1939 in London, England, died of breast cancer March 2, 1999.)

Dusty Springfield was one of the most successful British female performers of the 1960s. She had 18 singles in the Billboard Hot 100 from 1964 to 1970.

The song proved so popular in the US that Springfield's 1965 album Ev'rything's Coming Up Dusty was released there with a slightly different track listing, and titled after the hit single.

In 2004, "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" was rankled #491 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Chart position: #4 (US), #1 (UK), #8 (US Adult Contemporary).

This was Dusty's only #1 UK hit.

It was preceded at #1 in the UK by "Somebody Help Me" (the Spencer Davis Group) and succeeded by "Pretty Flamingo" (Manfred Mann).

The Top Ten Songs: July 16, 1966 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Hanky Panky" (Tommy James and the Shondells)
  2. "Wild Thing" (Troggs)
  3. "Red Rubber Ball" (Cyrkle)
  4. "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" (Dusty Springfield)
  5. "Paperback Writer" (Beatles)
  6. "Strangers In The Night" (Frank Sinatra)
  7. "Along Comes Mary" (Association)
  8. "Little Girl" (Syndicate of Sound)
  9. "Lil' Red Riding Hood" (Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs)
  10. "Hungry" (Paul Revere and the Raiders)

Written by:
Pino Donaggio, Vito Pallavicini, Vicki Wickham and Simon Napier-Bell.

"You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" is an English version of an Italian song called "Io che non vivo (senza te)", or "I, who can't live (without you)"), written by Pino Donaggio and Vito Pallavicini.

Dusty Springfield heard it at the 1965 Sanremo Festival, where it was performed by Donaggio himself and his team partner Jody Miller. Dusty presented it to Vicki Wickham and Simon Napier-Bell, who wrote the English lyrics for the song.

Also by: Elvis Presley, whose version reached #11 (US) and #1 (US Adult Contemporary).

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Where the Boys Are (1960)

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By: Connie Francis (born Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, December 12, 1938 in Newark, New Jersey.) 

Connie Francis is the prototype for the female pop singer of today, and still challenges Madonna as the biggest-selling female recording artist of all time.

"Where the Boys Are" was one of many Neil Sedaka/Howard Greenfield compositions Francis recorded during her career (others included "Stupid Cupid" and "Everybody's Somebody's Fool".) It gained wide exposure in the 1960 motion picture Where the Boys Are. Francis had a role in the film and sang the title song in the film.

"Where the Boys Are" was recorded by Connie Francis on October 18, 1960 in a New York City recording session with Stan Applebaum arranging and conducting.

Francis recorded this, along with many other of her songs, in as many as nine languages. This includes English, Italian, French, Spanish, German, and even Japanese.

Chart position: #4 (US), #5 (UK).

The Top Ten Songs:
March 20, 1961 (US Billboard Hot 100).
  1. "Surrender" (Elvis Presley)
  2. "Pony Time" (Chubby Checker)
  3. "Don't Worry (Like All the Other Times)" (Marty Robbins)
  4. "Where the Boys Are" (Connie Francis)
  5. "Dedicated to the One I Love" (Shirelles)
  6. "Apache" (Jorgen Ingmann)
  7. "Wheels" (String-A-Longs)
  8. "Ebony Eyes" (Everly Brothers)
  9. "Walk Right Back" (Everly Brothers)
  10. "Baby Sittin' Boogie" (Buzz Clifford)

Written by:
Neil Sedaka (born March 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York) and lyricist Howard Greenfield (born March 15, 1936, died March 4, 1986.)

Sedaka and Greenfield also wrote "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen", "Is This the Way to Amarillo" (which was a #1 hit for Tony Christie when reissued in 2005), "Stupid Cupid", "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", "Everybody's Somebody's Fool", "Love Will Keep Us Together", "Calender Girl", etc. 

In 1952, sixteen year old Greenfield and 13 year old Sedaka, both lived in the same apartment building in Brooklyn.  However, they didn't know of each other until Greenfield's mother had a chance meeting with the young Sedaka, suggesting to the young pianist that "You should meet my son; he writes great lyrics."  The rest is history.

Sedaka and Greenfield wrote two potential title songs for the film, but producer Joe Pasternak passed over the song Francis and the songwriting duo preferred in favor of a lush '50s style movie theme.

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