1961 Hitmakers

1961 Hitmakers

Shep & The Limelites would score 3 hits this year-“Daddy’s Home” (#2 for 1 week), “Ready For Your Love” (#42) and “Three Steps To The Altar”(#58). Cathy Jean Giordano was born September 8, 1945 in Brooklyn, New York. She would be the lead singer for Cathy Jean & The Roommates and their lone hit this year-“Please Love Me Forever” (#12). Marcy Joe would have her lone hit this year-“Ronnie” (#81). She would have a follow up record that never charted-“Since Gary Went In The Navy”.

Gene Mc Daniels would score 3 hits this year-“A Hundred Pounds Of Clay” (#3), “A Tear” (#31) and “Tower Of Strength” (#5). The Blossoms would have their lone hit this year and it would be the “answer” record to a big hit by Ernie K Doe called “Mother In Law. Their song was “Son In Law” (#79). A group from Brooklyn, The Chimes, would score 2 hits this year-“Once In A While” (#11) and “I’m In The Mood For Love” (#38).

Norman “General” Johnson would be the leader of a group called The Showmen. The only Top 100 hit of their career would come this year-“It Will Stand” (#61). In the next decade, General Johnson would be the leader of another group called The Chairmen Of The Board. The Jive Five, featuring the lead voice of Eugene Pitt, would score 2 hits this year-“My True Story” (#3) and “Never, Never” (#74). Linda Scott would burst onto the musical scene this year with 5 hits-“I’ve Told Every Little Star” (#3), “Don’t Bet Money Honey” (#9), “It’s All Because” (#50), “Starlight, Starbright” (#44) and “I Don’t Know Why” (#12).

Troy Shondell would score 2 hits this year- “This Time” (#6) and “Tears From An Angel” (#77). Dal LaRoc would score a local hit in the Bay Area this year with “The Beginning Of Love” (this song peaked at #30 on the KYA Swingin’ 60). Jimmy Dean would score 1 hit this year-“Big Bad John” (#1 for 5 weeks).

Clarence Henry was born March 19, 1937 in Algiers, Louisiana. His first Top 40 hit entered the charts in January of 1957, a song called “Ain’t Got No Home” (#20). He sang one of the verses of this song sounding like a frog-he would fofrever be known as Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry. He would be back on the charts in 1961 with 4 hits-“I Don’t Know Why I Love You, But I Do” (#4), “You Always Hurt The One You Love” (#12), “Lonely Street” (#57) and “On Bended Knees” (#64). The Edsels would have only 1 hit in their career and it would come this year -“Rama Lama Ding Dong” (#21). The Pentagons would have 2 hits this year-“To Be Loved” (#48) and “I Wonder” (#84).

The Castells would score 2 hits this year-“Sacred” (#20) and “Make Believe World” (#98). The Dreamlovers had once been the back up group on some of the hit records by Chubby Checker, but now they were in the spotlight by themselves. They would have only 1 hit this year-“When We Get Married” (#10). Janie Grant would have 2 hits this year-“Triangle” (#29) and “Romeo” (#75.)

The Stereos would come from Steubenville, Ohio and their only hit would come this year-“I Really Love You” (#29). Ben E King had now left The Drifters and he would score 6 solo hits this year- “Spanish Harlem” (#10), “First Taste Of Love” (#53), “Stand By Me” (#4), “Amor” (#18), “Here Comes The Night” (#81) and “Young Boy Blues” (#66). The Crystals would score the first hit of their career this year-“There’s No Other” (#20).

Maxine Brown would have 2 hits this year-“All In My Mind” (#19) and “Funny” (#25). Leon Peels would be the lead singer for a group called The Blue Jays and they would have their only hit this year-“Lover’s Island” (#31). Gene Thomas would only have 1 solo hit and it would come this year-“Sometime” (#53). In the latter part of the 1960’s he would team up with Debbe Neville and form the duo of Gene & Debbe (they would take one trip into the nation’s Top 20).

This year will see the beginning of the career of Motown legends The Marvelettes. Their only hit this year, their first hit, was “Please Mr. Postman” (#1 for 1 week). The Viscaynes were a local Doo Wop group. Their hit from this year was called “Yellow Moon” (this song peaked at #18 on the KEWB Top 40). One of the members of this group was Sylvester Stewart (he would also be known as Sly Stone)-he would eventually become the frontman for the group called Sly & The Family Stone. Carla Thomas would score 2 hits this year-“Gee Whiz” (#10) and “A Love Of My Own” (#56).

Little Caesar & The Romans would have 2 Top 100 hits this year and 1 song that made the local charts only. Their 2 Top 100 hits were “Those Oldies But Goodies” (#9) and “Hully Gully Again” (#54). Their local hit was “Memories Of Those Oldies But Goodies” (this song peaked at #19 on the KEWB Top 40). Del Shannon would score 4 hits this year-“Runaway” (#1 for 4 weeks), “Hats Off To Larry” (#5), “So Long Baby” (#28) and “Hey Little Girl” (#38). Joe Dowell would have 2 hits this year-“Wooden Heart” (#1 for 1 week) and “Bridge Of Love” (#50).

Barry Mann would score 1 hit this year-“Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)” (#7). Frank Gari would have 3 hits this year-“Utopia” (#27), “Lullaby Of Love” (#23) and “Princess” (#30). Timi Yuro would have 4 hits this year- “Hurt” (#4), “I Apologize” (#72) “Smile” (#42) and “She Really Loves You” (#93).

Dick & Dee Dee would start their recording career this year with 1 hit record-“The Mountain’s High” (#2). Barbara George would have only 1 hit this year-“I Know” (#3). Country star Patsy Cline would cross over to the pop charts this year, scoring 3 Top 100 hits-“Crazy” (#9), “I Fall To Pieces” (#12) and “Who Can I Count On” (#99).

The Flares would score 1 hit this year-“Foot Stompin’ ” (#25). One of the members of The Flares was Aaron Collins, a former member of a group called The Cadets (1956). His sisters, Betty and Rosale, also had success in 1956 as The Teen Queens. Rick & The Keens would have 1 hit-“Peanuts” (#60). This was a remake of a 1958 hit by Little Joe & The Thrillers. Chris Kenner would score 1 hit this year-“I Like It Like That” (#21). A couple of years later he would record the original version of “Land Of 1000 Dances”.

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