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The top instrumental songs from the 1950s and 1960s

Find out about these instrumental gems that reached the top of the charts in the 1950s and 1960s.

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By Bill Bronk

People always ask me...how do you make a hit record.

And I tell them...it’s you, the public...who makes hit records. But here’s what I do.

Now I get a little beat...and I get a little song...and I get a little group...then the band comes along. That’s all, that’s all, that’s all I need...to make a hit record.

“Hit Record”, written by Sibelius Williams, was a hit record for Brook Benton in 1962. The verse simply but aptly tells how a hit record is made.

  

While there is some truth in those lyrics, there’s a lot more to it, of course. But it is the public who makes a record reach the Top 40 and the various Billboard charts, especially the “cream of the crop,” the Top 10 and the hallowed and coveted spot of No. 1. That’s real success. And it’s a steep mountain to climb for any song, but especially for an instrumental, the focus of this article, which covers all genres during the 1950s and 1960s heyday of hit instrumentals.

Benton and Williams‘ tutorial on how to make a hit record tells us that the “beat,” the “song” and the “band” are all integral to the success of the hit record. True. But again, for instrumentals, since there is no lyric to be sung, no story to be told, an instrumental had to be a cut above the rest of the competition; the key to making a hit instrumental record was more than the beat and the band and the band’s ability to play well. It’s was the all important structure of the song...in particular, the melody.

To reach the top of the charts, a song and its melody had to be something special... to hook the listener in. And it had to be unique (different from anything else that was currently popular). It had to be memorable, keep the listener’s attention, find a warm and fuzzy place deep within...and firmly take hold.

Whether it was a beautiful and serene love song (adorned with dreamy strings), a raucous rock and roll classic (with twangy guitars and honking saxes) or a thunderous movie theme (with crashing drums and cymbals), the melody was (and continues to be) the star of the show. All the bells and whistles used in a recording cannot hide a less than stellar melody, one that doesn’t drive the song...or that gets lost in the weeds of the recording process.

With all that said, while they may not have been contenders for the Top 10, many top notch instrumentals during that time earned the public’s favor and had the good fortune to peak somewhere between the Top 10 and the Top 40 on the Billboard charts. While they couldn’t grab on to the golden ring of the Top 10, that was more than respectable. And...it was a lot better than being stuck in the nether regions of the Billboard charts (where many instrumentals did end their days). As noted above, the focus here is on the Top 10. To have increased the population’s focus to the Top 20, for example, would only have diluted the article’s efficacy and drawn attention away from the exclusive nature of the Top 10.

Most instrumentals are solely instrumental, but there are exceptions. The human voice is an instrument. Some of the instrumentals below have chorus members singing oohs and ahs (such as in “Moonglow and Theme from Picnic” from George Cates and his orchestra and “Love is Blue” from Paul Mauriat), and sometimes whistling (Muzzy Marcellino whistling in “The High and Mighty” from Leroy Holmes and his orchestra and Don Robertson’s whistling and hand-clapping in “The Happy Whistler”). Those examples are acceptable in an instrumental piece. There are also times when lyrics are sung, but sparingly, and only to enhance the production (such as in “So Rare” by the Jimmy Dorsey orchestra and in “Unchained Melody” by Les Baxter and his orchestra).

Most of us love a good song that speaks to us, with a fun or meaningful message. Instrumentals do that too, but with their own special kind of magic....for those times when we’d just as soon leave our cares behind and be carried away by the shear artistry of a great instrumental performance. And below, that’s just what we have. For the 20 year period between 1950 and 1969, there were 245 instrumentals that reached Billboard’s various Top 10 charts....with 50 reaching No. 1. They are listed below by year and alphabetized within each chart position...regardless of genre or the various Billboard title changes (Hot 100, Top 100, Pop, Adult Contemporary, Easy Listening, etal).

The following resources were used to compile the chart data: Joel Whitburn’s: Pop Memories (1890-1954), The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits (1955 to the Present), the Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits, the Billboard Book of Top Country Singles and Wikipedia (for additional Adult Contemporary data).

Most of the artists listed below had either 1 or 2 instrumentals reach the Top 10. The following 21 artists had 3 or more, indicating the strength of their popularity: 

Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass – 14 (1962-1968 w/2 No.1’s); Bert Kaempfert –9 (1960-1968 w/1 No.1); Booker T & the MG’s – 7 (1962-1969 w/1 No.1); Les Baxter – 6 (1952-1956 w/2 No. 1’s); Ferrante & Teicher – 6 (1960-1969); Les Paul – 5 (1950-1952); Tiny Bradshaw – 5 (1950-1953); Floyd Cramer – 4 (1960-1962); Bill Doggett – 4 (1956-1958 w/1 No.1); Little Walter – 4 (1952-1955 w/1 No.1); Henry Mancini – 4 (1963-1969 w/1 No.1); Billy Vaughn – 4 (1954-1962); Roger Williams – 4 (1955-1968); Hugo Winterhalter – 4 (1952-1968 w/1 No. 1)); Bill Black’s Combo – 3 (1959-1960 w/2 No.1’s); Duane Eddy – 3 (1958-1960); Ernie Freeman – 3 (1956-1957 w/1 No.1); Al Hirt – 3 (1964 w/1 No.1); Piano Red – 3 (1951); Ramsey Lewis – 3 (1965-1966) and Ralph Marterie – 3 (1953-1954). Of the 50 instrumentals that reached No.1, these 21 artists produced 14 of them. Not surprising considering the caliber of the artists.

Here’s a few other interesting take-a-ways:

In 1956, for the first time, instrumentals appeared concurrently on more than one chart. And in 1961, Billboard added the Adult-Contemporary chart. Of the 245 Top 10 instrumentals, 48 charted as Adult Contemporary, all within an 8 year period. In 1957, Bill Justis’ “Raunchy” (considered to be the first rock and roll instrumental) was the only instrumental to chart on 3 different charts (No.1 R&B, No.3 Top 100 and No.6 Country).

“Raunchy” was also one of 3 instrumentals reaching the Top 10 that were recorded by 3 different artists (Bill Justis, Ernie Freeman and Billy Vaughn and his orchestra (all in 1957).

“Blue Tango”: Leroy Anderson and his orchestra (1951), Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra (1952) and Les Baxter and his orchestra (1952).

“The High and the Mighty”: Lex Baxter and his orchestra, Victor Young and his orchestra and Leroy Holmes and his orchestra (all in 1954).

Several instrumentals had the distinction of being No.1 on two different charts: “Patricia” (Top 100 and R&B 1958), “Tequila” (Top 100 and R&B 1958), “The Stripper” (Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary 1962), “Grazing in the Grass” (Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary 1968), “Love is Blue” (Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary 1968) and “Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet” (Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary 1969).

Country music is known for its true-to-life stories. In the absence of lyrics, there were only 5 instrumentals that reached the Country Top 10 in the 20 year period of our article: “Wildwood Flower” by Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys w/Merle Travis (No.5 in 1955), “Raunchy”, as noted above, by Bill Justis ” (No.6 in 1957), San Antonio Rose By Floyd Cramer (No.8 in 1961), “Buckaroo” by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos (No.1 in 1965) and “Yakety Axe” by Chet Atkins (No.4 in 1965).

There’s just about every kind of popular music you can imagine in the following instrumentals...wonderfully created by individuals, small combos or full orchestras, and enriched by cracker-jack soloists performing on pianos, trumpets, fiddles, trombones, harmonicas, clarinets, organs, drums, guitars, saxophones, even a zither. They are guaranteed to have you tripping the light fantastic, joyfully clapping your hands, snapping your fingers, stomping your feet and rockin’ down the house....or just melting in your easy chair (with the adult beverage of your choice). It can’t get any better than that. Bar none, this is the best there is. Enjoy!

  

1950s

1950

1950 “The Third Man Theme”, No.1 Pop, Anton Karas, London 536

1950 “The Third Man Theme”, No.1 Pop, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, Decca 24839

1950 “Well Oh Well”, No.2 R&B, Tiny Bradshaw, King 45-4357

1950 “Bewitched”, No.3 Pop, Bill Snyder Orchestra, Tower 1473

1950 “Old Time Shuffle Blues”, No.3 R&B, Lloyd Glen with the Fulson Unit, Swing Time 237

1950 “Harbor Lights”, No.5 Pop, Ralph Flanagan and his orchestra, RCA Victor 3911

1950 “I’m Going to Have Myself a Ball”, No.5 R&B, Tiny Bradshaw, King 45-4397

1950 “Easter Parade”, No.7 R&B, Freddie Mitchell and his orchestra, Derby 45-733

1950 “Sam’s Song”, No.7 Pop, Joe “Fingers” Carr and the Carr-Hops”, Capitol F962

1950 “Bewitched”, No.8 Pop, Jan August & Jerry Murad’s Harmonicats, Mercury 5399

1950 “Low Society Blues”, No.8 R&B, Lowell Fulson featuring Lloyd Glenn, Swing Time 226

1950 “Tenderly”, No.8 R&B, Lynn Hope Quintet, Premium 851

1950 “Nola”, No.9 Pop, Les Paul, Capitol 1014

1950 “My Foolish Heart”, No.9 R&B, Gene Ammons and his Sextet, Chess 1425

1950 “Junior Jives”, No.10 R&B, Roy Milton and his Solid Senders, Specialty 358

 

leroy-anderson-pops-concert-orchestra-blue-tango-1951-3

1951

1951 “Blue Tango”, No.1 Pop, LeRoy Anderson and his orchestra, Decca 27875

1951 “Because of You”, No.1 R&B, Tab Smith, his Fabulous Alto and orchestra, United 104

1951 “Chica Boo”, No.1 R&B, Lloyd Glenn at the “88”, Swing Time 254

1951 “Flamingo”, No.1 R&B, Earl Bostic, King 45-4475

1952 “Night Train”, No.1 R&B, Jimmy Forest, tenor and all star combo, United 110

1951 “Castle Rock”, No.4 R&B, Johnny Hodges and orchestra, Mercury 8944-X45

1951 “Down Yonder”, No.4 Pop, Del Wood, Tennessee 775

1951 “Mambo Boogie”, No.4 R&B, Johnny Otis Orchestra, Savoy 45-777

1951 “Red’s Boogie”, No.4 R&B, Piano Red, RCA Victor 50-0099

1951 “Sleep”, No.6 R&B, Earl Bostic, King 45-4444

1951 “T-Town Twist” No.6 R&B, Roy Milton and his Solid Senders, Specialty 407-45

1951 “Whispering”, No.7 Pop, Les Paul, Capitol F1748

1951 “Hoppin”, No.8 R&B, Griffin Bros. Orch., Dot 1060

1951 “Layin’ the Boogie”, No.8 R&B, Piano Red, RCA Victor 50-0130

1951 “Charmaine”, No.10 Pop, Mantovani and his Orchestra, London 1020

1951 “Jingle Bells”, No.10 Pop, Les Paul, Capitol F1881

1951 “Jug”, No.10 R&B, Gene Ammons and his Band, Prestige 735

1951 “Just Right Bounce”, No.10 R&B, Piano Red, RCA Victor 50-0118

1951 “Walkin’ the Chalk Line”, No.10 R&B, Tiny Bradshaw, King 45-4457

  

1952

1952 “Delicado”, No.1 Pop, Percy Faith and his orchestra, Columbia 39708

1952 “Juke”, No.1 R&B, Little Walter and his Night Cats, Checker 758

1952 “Night Train”, No.1 R&B, Jimmy Forest, United 110

1952 “Diane”, No.2 R&B, Buddy Lucas and his Band of Tomorrow, Jubilee 45-5070

1952 “Port of Rico”, No.3 R&B, Illinois Jacquet and hi orchestra, Mercury 89001x45

1952 “A Pound of Blues”, No.4 R&B, Johnny Hodges w/Big Al Sears and Lawrence Brown, Mercury 8961-X45

1952 “Meet Mister Callaghan”, No.5 Pop, Les Paul, Capitol F2193

1952 “Blue Tango”, No.6 Pop, Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra, RCA Victor 4518

1952 “Lady of Spain”, No.8 Pop, Les Paul, Capitol F2265

1952 “Mellow Blues – Parts 1&2”, No.8 R&B, Sonny Thompson, King 45-4488

1952 “Blue Tango”, No.9 Pop, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians, Decca 28301

1952 “Vanessa”, No.9 Pop, Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra, RCA Victor 4691

1952 “Blue Tango”, No.10 Pop, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F1966

  

1953

1953 “The Song from Moulin Rouge (Where is Your Heart)”, No.1 Pop, Percy Faith and

his orchestra, Columbia 4-39944

1953 “April in Portugal”, No.2 Pop, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F2374

1953 “Dragnet”, No.2 Pop, Ray Anthony, Capitol F2562

1953 “Ebb Tide”, No.2 Pop, Frank Chacksfield, London 1358

1953 “Sad Hours”, No.2 R&B, Little Walter and his Night Caps, Checker 764

1953 “Oh”, No.3 Pop, Pee Wee Hunt and his orchestra, Capitol F2442

1953 “Ruby”, No.3 Pop, Richard Hayman and his orchestra, Mercury 70115

1953 “Soft”, No.3 R&B, Tiny Bradshaw w/Red Prysock, King 45-4577

1953 “Limelight (Terry’s Theme), No.5 Pop, Frank Chacksfield and his orchestra, London 1342

1953 “Banana Split”, No.6 R&B, Kid King’s Combo, Excello 2009

1953 “Caravan”, No.6 Pop, Ralph Marterie and his orchestra, Mercury 70097

1953 “Oh, Mein Papa, No.6 Pop, Eddie Calvert, Essex 336

1953 “Pretend”, No.6 Pop, Ralph Marterie and his orchestra, Mercury 70045

1953 “Hot Toddy”, No.7 Pop, Ralph Flanagan and his orchestra, RCA Victor 5095

1953 “Ruby”, No.7 Pop, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F2457

1953 “The Moulin Rouge Theme”, No.8 Pop, Mantovani and his orchestra, London 45-1328

1953 “The Velvet Glove”, No.8 Pop, Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra featuring Henri Rene, RCA Victor 5405

1953 “Off the Wall”, No.8 R&B, Little Walter and his Jukes, Checker 770

1953 “Heavy Juice”, No.9 R&B, Tiny Bradshaw w/Red Prysock, King 45-4621

  

1954

1954 “Melody of Love”, No.2 Pop, Billy Vaughn and his orchestra, Dot 15247

1954 “Skokiaan”, No.3 Pop, Ralph Marterie and his orchestra, Mercury 70432

1954 “The High and The Mighty”, No.4 Pop, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F2845

1954 “The High and The Mighty’, No.6 Pop, Victor Young and his orchestra, Decca 29203

1954 “The High and The Mighty”, No.9 Pop, Leroy Holmes and his orchestra, MGM 11761

  

1955

1955 “Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White, No.1 Pop, Perez Prado, RCA 5965

1955 “Unchained Melody”, No.1 Pop, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F3055

1955 “Autumn Leaves”, No.2 Top 100, Roger Williams, Kapp 116

1955 “The Crazy Otto”, No.2 Pop, Johnny Maddox and the Rhythmasters, Dot 15325

1955 “Lisbon Antigua”, No.2 Top 100, Nelson Riddle, Capitol F3287

1955 “Wildwood Flower”,No.5 Country, Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys with Merle Travis, Capitol F3106

1955 “Roller Coaster”, No.6 R&B, Little Walter and his Jukes, Checker 817

1955 “Melody of Love”, No.8 Pop, David Carroll and his Orchestra, Mercury 70516

  

1956

1956 “Honky Tonk (Parts 1 & 2), No.1 R&B and No.2 Top 100, Bill Doggett, King 4950

1956 “Poor People of Paris”, No.1 Top 100, Les Baxter and his orchestra, Capitol F3336

1956 “Canadian Sunset”, No. 2 Top 100 and No.7 R&B, Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra with Eddie Heywood, RCA 6537

1956 “Moonglow and Theme From ‘Picnic’”, No.2 Top 100, Morris Stoloff Conducting the Columbia Pictures Orchestra, Decca 29888

1956 “Tricky”, No.2 R&B, Gus Jenkins and orchestra, Flash 115

1956 “Slow Walk”, No.3 R&B, Sil Austin, Mercury 70963

1956 “Moonglow and Theme from ’“Picnic’”, No.4 Top 100, George Cates and his orchestra,

Coral 61618

1956 “Slow Walk”, No.4 R&B, Bill Doggett, King 5000

1956 “Jivin’ Around (Pts. 1&2)”, No.5 R&B, Ernie Freeman Combo, Cash 1017

1956 “Lost Dreams”, No.7 R&B, Ernie Freeman, Imperial 5381

1956 “April In Paris”, No.8 R&B, Count Basie and his orchestra, Clef 89162

1956 “The Happy Whistler”, No.9 Top 100, Don Robertson, Capitol F3391

1956 “Moritat (A Theme from ‘The Three Penny Opera’”), No.9 Top 100, The “Unforgettable” Sound of the Dick Hyman Trio, MGM 12149

1956 “Theme Song (from ‘Song for A Summer Night’)”, No.10 Top 100, Mitch Miller and his orchestra and chorus, Columbia 40730

  

bill-justis-and-his-orchestra-raunchy-phillips-international

1957

1957 “Raunchy”, No.1 R&B, No.3 Top 100 and No.6 Country, Bill Justis, Phillips 3519

1957 “Raunchy”, No.1 R&B, Ernie Freeman, Imperial 5474

1957 “So Rare”, No.2 Pop, Jimmy Dorsey orchestra, Fraternity 755

1957 “Ram-Bunk-Shush”, No.10 R&B, Bill Doggett, King 5020

1957 “Raunchy”, No.10 Jockey, Billy Vaughn and his orchestra, Dot 15661

  

1958

1958 “Patricia”, No.1 Top 100 and No.1 R&B, Perez Prado, RCA 7245

1958 “Tequila”, No.1 Top 100 and No.1 R&B, the Champs, Challenge 1016

1958 “Topsy II”, No.1 R&B and No.3 Top 100, Cozy Cole, Love 5004

1958 “Hold It”, No.3 R&B, Bill Doggett, King 5149

1958 “Sail along Silvery Moon”, No.5 Top 100, Billy Vaughn and his orchestra, Dot 15661

1958 “Rebel Rouser”, No.6 Top 100 and No.8 R&B, Duane Eddy, Jamie 1104

1958 “Tea for Two Cha Cha”, No.7 Hot 100, Tommy Dorsey Orchestra starring Warren Covington, Decca 30704

1958 “El Rancho Rock”, No.10 R&B, the Champs, Challenge 59007

1958 “Manhattan Spiritual”, No.10 Hot 100, Reg Owen and his orchestra, Palette 5005

1958 “Near You”, No.10 Hot 100, Roger Williams, Kapp 233

   

1959

1959 “The Clouds”, No.1 Hot R&B, the Spacemen, Alton 254

1959 “The Happy Organ”, No.1 Hot 100 and No. 5 R&B, Dave “Baby” Cortez, Clock 1009

1959 “Sleep Walk”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.4 R&B, Santo & Johnny, Canadian A. 103

1959 “Smokie – Part 2”, No.1 R&B, Bill Black’s Combo, Hi 2018

1959 “In the Mood”, No.4 Hot 100 and No.7 R&B, Ernie Fields, Rendezvous 110

1959 “Quiet Village”, No.4 Hot 100, the Exotic Sounds of Martin Denny, Liberty

55162

1959 “Teen Beat”, No.4 Hot 100, Sandy Nelson, Original Sound 5

1959 “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”, No.5 Hot 100, the Virtues, Hunt 324

1959 “Petite Fleur (Little Flower), No.5 Pop, Chris Barber’s Jazz Band, Laurie 3022

1959 “Red River Rock”, No.5 Hot 100 and No.5 R&B, Johnny and the Hurricanes, Warwick 509

1959 “There Is Something on Your Mind”, No.5 Hot R&B, Big Jay McNeely and band, Swingin’ 614

1959 “Peter Gunn”, No.8 Hot 100, Ray Anthony and his orchestra, Capitol F4041

1959 “Forty Miles of Bad Road”, No.9 Pop, Duane Eddy, Jamie 1126

1959 “Only You”, No.9 Hot 100, Franck Pourcel(s) French Fiddles, Capitol 4165

  

1960s

1960

1960 “Calcutta”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.10 Hot R&B, Lawrence Welk and his orchestra, Dot 16161

1960 “Wonderland By Night”, No.1 Hot 100, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31141

1960 “White Silver Sands”, No.1 R&B and No.9 Hot 100, Bill Black’s Combo, Hi 2021

1960 “The Theme From ‘A Summer Place’”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.2 R&B, Percy Faith, Columbia 41490

1960 “Exodus”, No.2 Hot 100 and No.6 R&B, Ferrante & Teicher, United Art 274

1960 “Last Date”, No.2 Hot 100 and No.3 R&B, Floyd Cramer, RCA 7775

1960 “Walk – Don’t Run”, No.2 Hot 100, the Ventures, Dolton 25

1960 “Ooh Poo Pah Doo – Part II”, No.3 Hot R&B, Jessie Hill, Minit 607

1960 “Because they’re Young”, No.4 Hot 100, Duane Eddy, Jamie 1156

1960 “The Madison Time – Part 1”, No.5 R&B, Ray Bryant Trio, Columbia 41628

1960 “Wonderland By Night”, No.5 R&B, Bert Kaempfert and his orchestra, Decca 31141

1960 “Don’t Be Cruel”, No.9 R&B, Bill Black’s Combo, Hi 2026

1960 “Theme from the Apartment”, No.10 Hot 100, Ferrante & Teicher, United Art 231

  

ray-charles-one-mint-julep-1961-6

1961

1961 “One Mint Julep”, No.1 R&B and No.8 Hot 100, Ray Charles, Impulse 200

1961 “Mexico”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.7 Hot 100, Bob Moore and his orchestra, Monument 446

1961 “Apache”, No.2 Hot 100 and No.9 R&B, Jorgen Ingmann & his Guitar, Atco 6184

1961 “Last Night”, No.2 R&B and No.3 Hot 100, Mar-Keys, Satellite 107

1961 “Gonzo”, No.3, R&B, James Booker, Peacock 1697

1961 “Tonight”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Ferrante & Teicher, United Artists 323

1961 “Wheels”, No.3 Hot 100, the String-A-Longs, Warwick 603

1961 “On the Rebound”, No.4 Hot 100, Floyd Cramer, RCA 7840

1961 “San-Ho-Zay”, No.4 R&B, Freddy King, Federal 12428

1961 “Yellow Bird”, No.4 Hot 100, Arthur Lyman Group, Hi Fi 5024

1961 “Hide Away”, No.5 Hot R&B, Freddy King, Federal 12401

1961 “Take Five”, No.5 Easy Listening, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Columbia 41479

1961 “Let There Be Drums”, No.7 Hot 100, Sandy Nelson, Imperial 5775

1961 “Tonight”, No.8 Hot 100, Ferrante & Teicher, United Art 373

1961 “San Antonio Rose”, No.8 Country and No.8 Hot 100, Floyd Cramer, RCA 7893

1961 “Asia Minor”, No.8 Hot 100, Kokomo, Felsted 8612

1961 “Should I”, No.

10 Adult Contemporary, String-a-Longs, Warwick M654

  

1962

1962 “Green Onions”, No.1 Hot R&B and No.3 Hot 100, Booker T and The M.G’s, Stax 127

1962 “Midnight in Moscow”, No. 1 Adult Contemporary and No.2 Pop, Kenny Ball and his

Jazzmen, Kapp 442

1962 “Soul Twist”, No.1 R&B, King Curtis and the Noble Knights, Enjoy 1000

1962 “Stranger on the Shore”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.7 R&B, Mr. Acker Bilk, Atco 6217

1962 “The Stripper”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.1 Adult Contemporary, David Rose, MGM 13064

1962 “Telstar”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.5 Hot R&B, the Tornadoes, London 9561

1962 “Alley Cat”, No.2 AC and No.7 Hot 100, Bent Fabric and his Piano, Atco 6226

1962 “Tuff”, No.3 R&B, Ace Cannon, Hi 2040

1962 “Our Winter Love”, No.4 Adult Contemporary and No.9 Hot 100, Bill Pursell, Columbia 42619

1962 “Walk On the Wild Side (Part 1)”, No.4 Hot R&B, Jimmy Smith and the Big Band, Verve 10255

1962 “A Swingin’ Safari”, No.5 Adult Contemporary, Billy Vaughn, Dot 45-16374

1962 “I’ve Got a Woman (Part 1)”, No.5 R&B, Jimmy McGriff, Sue 770

1962 “The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro)”, No.6 Pop, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 703

1962 “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, No.9 Adult Contemporary, Floyd Cramer, RCA 47- 7978

1962 “Rinky Dink”, No.9 R&B and No.10 Hot 100, Dave “Baby” Cortez, Julia/Chess 1829

1962 “Sweet Sixteen Bars”, No.9 R&B, Earl Grant, Decca 25574

1962 “Afrikaan Beat”,No.10 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31350

1962 “Baby Elephant Walk”, No.10 Adult Contemporary, Lawrence Welk, Dot 45-16364

1962 “Percolator (Twist)”, No. 10 Hot 100, Billy Joe & the Checkmates, Dore 620

  

1963

1963 “Washington Square”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.2 Hot 100, the Village Stompers, Epic 9617

1963 “Wipe Out”, No.2 Hot 100 and No.10 Hot R&B, the Surfaris, Dot 16479

1963 “Out of Limits”, No.3 Hot 100, the Marketts, Warner 5391

1963 “Fly Me to the Moon Bossa Nova, No.4 Adult Contemporary, Joe Harnell, Kapp 497

1963 “Memphis”, No.4 R&B and No.5 Hot 100, Lonnie Mack, Fraternity 906

1963 “Pipeline”, No.4 Hot 100, Chantay’s, Dot 16440

1963 “Maria Elena”, No.6 Hot 100, Los Indios Tabajaras, RCA 8216

1963 “More”, No.8 Hot 100, Kai Winding, Verve 10295

1963 “Watermelon Man”, No.8 R&B and No.10 Hot 100, Mongo Santamaria, Battle 45009

1963 “Wild Weekend”, No.8 Hot 100, the Rebels, Swan 4125

1963 “The Pink Panther Theme”, No.10 Adult Contemporary, Henri Mancini, RCA 8286

  

1964

1964 “Java”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.3 Hot 100, Al Hirt, RCA 47-8280

1964 “Cotton Candy”, No.3 Adult Contemporary, Al Hirt, RCA 47-8346

1964 “Sugar Lips”, No.3 Adult Contemporary, Al Hirt, RCA 47-8391

1964 “Walk – Don’t Run ‘64”, No.8 Hot 100, the Ventures, Dolton 96

  

1965

1965 “Buckaroo”, No.1 Hot Country, Buck Owens & the Buckaroos, Capitol F5517

1965 “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.10 Hot 100, Sounds Orchestral, Parkway 942

1965 “Taste of Honey”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.7 Pop, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 775

1965 “A Walk in the Black Forest”, No.1 Adult Contemporary, Horst Jankowski, Mercury 72425

1965 “The “In” Crowd”, No.2 R&B and No.5 Hot 100, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Argo 5506

1965 “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31722

1965 “Three O’Clock in the Morning”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31778

1965 “Zorba the Greek”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert, A&M 787

1965 “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)”, No.3 Hot 100, the T-Bones, Liberty 55836

1965 “Twine Time”, No.3 R&B, Alvin Cash & the Crawlers, Mar-V-Lus 6002

1965 “Yakety Axe”, No.4 Hot Country, Chet Atkins, RCA Victor 8590

1965 “Hole in the Wall”, No.5 Hot R&B, the Packers, Pure Soul 1107

1965 “The ‘In’ Crowd”, No.5 Hot 100, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Argo 5506

1965 “Hang on Sloopy”, No.6 Hot R&B, Ramsey Lewis Trio, Cadet 5522

1965 “Moon over Naples”, No.6 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31812

1965 “Cleo’s Back”, No.7 Hot R&B, Jr. Walker and the All Stars, Soul 35013

1965 “3rd Man Theme”, No.7 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert, A&M 775

1965 “Tijuana Taxi”, No.9 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 787

1965 “Bootleg”, No.10 R&B, Booker T. & the MGs, Stax 169

   

1966

1966 “Baby Scratch My Back”, No.1 R&B, Slim Harpo, Excello 2273

1966 “What Now My Love”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 792

1966 “The Work Song”, No.2 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 805

1966 “Wade in the Water”, No.3 R&B, Ramsey Lewis, Cadet 5541

1966 “Spanish Flea”, No.4 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 792

1966 “Flamingo”, No.5 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 813

1966 “Lara’s Theme”, No.5 Adult Contemporary, Roger Williams, Kapp K-738

1966 “Bye Bye Blues”, No.6 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31882

1966 “Hawaii (Main Theme)”, No. 6 Adult Contemporary, Henry Mancini, RCA 47-8951

1966 “I Can’t Give You Anything but Love”, No.6 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 32008

1966 “Strangers in the Night”, No.8 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 31945

  

1967

1967 “A Banda (Ah Bahn-da), No.1 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass A&M 870

1967 “Casino Royale”, No.1 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 850

1967 “Soul Finger”, No.3 R&B, Bar-Kays, Volt 148

1967 “The Happening”, No.4 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 860

1967 “Wait Until Dark”, No.4 Adult Contemporary, Henry Mancini, RCA 47-9340

1967 “Wade in the Water”, No.5 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, A&M 840

1967 “Hip Hug-Her”, No.6 R&B, Booker T. & the MGs, Stax 211

1967 “Memphis Soul Stew”, No.6 R&B, King Curtis, Atco 6511

1967 “Ode to Billie Joe”, No.6 R&B, the Kingpins (King Curtis), Atco 6516

1967 “Groovin’”, No.10 R&B, Booker T. & the MGs, Stax 224

   

mason-williams-classical-gas-warner-bros-back-to-back-hits

1968

1968 “Classical Gas”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.2 Hot 100, Mason Williams, Warner 7190

1968 “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, No.1 Adult Contemporary and No.2 Hot 100, Hugo

Montenegro, RCA 9423

1968 Grazing in the Grass, No.1 Hot 100 and No.1 R&B, Hugh Masekela, Uni 55066

1968 “Love is Blue”, No.1 Hot 100 and No.1 Adult Contemporary, Paul Mauriat, Phillips 40495

1968 “The Horse”, No.2 Hot 100 and No.2 Hot R&B, Cliff Nobles & Co, Phil-L.A. 313

1968 “Carmen”, No.3 Adult Contemporary, Herb Alpert, A&M 890

1968 “Soulful Strut”, No.3 Hot R&B and No.3 Hot 100, Young-Holt Unlimited, Brunswick 55391

1968 “The Impossible Dream”, No.5 Adult Contemporary, Roger Williams, Kapp K-902

1968 “Soul-Limbo”, No.7 R&B, Booker T. & the MGs, Stax 0001

1968 “Hang ‘Em High”, No.9 Hot 100, Booker T. & the MG’s, Stax 0013

1968 “Caravan”, No.10 Adult Contemporary, Bert Kaempfert, Decca 32241

1968 “Soul Serenade”, No.10 Hot R&B, Willie Mitchell, Hi 2140

  

1969

1969 “Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet, No.1 Hot 100 and No.1 Adult Contemporary, Henry Mancini, RCA 0131

1969 “Midnight Cowboy”, No.2 Adult Contemporary and No.10 Hot 100, Ferrante & Teicher, United Artists 50554

1969 “Ain’t it Funky Now (Part 1), No.3 R&B, James Brown, King 6280

1969 “Cissy Strut”, No.4 Hot R&B, the Meters, Josie 1005

1969 “Hawaii Five-O”, No.4 Hot 100, the Ventures, Liberty 56068

1969 “Time is Tight”, No.6 Hot 100 and No.7 R&B, Booker T. & the MG’s, Stax 0028

1969 “Sophisticated Sissy”, No.7 Hot R&B, the Meters, Josie 1001