1963 #1 Singles Albums

1963 #1 Singles Albums

1963 #1 Singles Albums

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1963 #1 Singles Albums


December 15, 1962 – March 8, 1963: Vaughn Meader’s comedy album, The First Family, Billboard #1 album.

December 22, 1962 – January 11, 1963: “Telstar” by the Tornados #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by Joe Meek. Jean Ledrut, a French composer, accused Meek of plagiarism, claiming that the tune of “Telstar” had been copied from “La Marche d’Austerlitz”, a piece from a score that Ledrut had written for the 1960 film Austerlitz. The a lawsuit prevented Meek from receiving royalties from the record. The issue was resolved in Meek’s favor, but until three weeks after his suicide in 1967. Austerlitz was not released in the UK until 1965 and Meek was unaware of the film when the lawsuit was filed in March 1963.

January 11, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: recorded the previous November, the Beatles released their second single in the UK: “Please Please Me” in the UK. It was also the title track of their first LP, which was recorded to capitalise on the success of the single. It was originally a John Lennon composition, although its ultimate form was significantly influenced by George Martin.

John Lennon: “Please Please Me is my song completely. It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it? I wrote it in the bedroom in my house at Menlove Avenue, which was my auntie’s place“. (David Sheff. John Lennon: All We Are Saying).

The single reached No. 1 on the New Musical Express (the most recognised chart at the time) on 22 February, as well as the Melody Maker where it was Number 1 for two weeks. However, it only reached No. 2 on the Record Retailer chart, which subsequently evolved into the UK Singles Chart and because of this it was not included on the multi-million selling Beatles compilation, 1.

January 12 – 25, 1963: written by written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King “Go Away Little Girl” by Steve Lawrence #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was Goffin/King’s third #1 hit.

January 25, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: Vee-Jay record label of Chicago obtains a contract to release limited number of Beatles records in the U.S. for a limited time period. (see Feb 2)

January 26 – February 8, 1963: “Walk Right In” by The Rooftop Singers #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was a country blues song written by Gus Cannon and originally recorded by Cannon’s Jug Stompers in 1929.

Trivia: the song has been covered by others, among whom was a French singer: Claude François. It was not a big hit for him. Another song of his (Comme d’habitude) became a hit in 1967. Paul Anka heard the song while in Paris and got the rights to the song, re-wrote the lyrics, and the song became, My Way and made famous by Frank Sinatra in 1969.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


In February 1963: Duke Ellington (64 years old) and John Coltrane (37 years old) released Duke Ellington & John Coltrane.  In a Sentimental Mood, written by Ellington in 1936 as an instrumental and later given lyrics was one of the songs done on the album The song had been theme song for at least nine radio shows; included in eight movie soundtracks; and two Broadway shows.

February 7, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance:  “Please Please Me” the first Beatles record (a 45 rpm) issued in the US on Vee-Jay Records. Dick Biondi, a disc jockey on WLS in Chicago and a friend of Vee-Jay executive Ewart Abner, played the song on the radio thus becoming the first DJ to play a Beatles record in the US.

February 9 – March 1, 1963: “Hey Paula” by Paul and Paula #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Paul” was the song’s writer, Ray Hildebrand, a student at Howard Payne College in Brownwood, Texas. “Paula” was Jill Jackson, the niece of the owner of the boarding house where Ray lived.

1963 #1 Singles Albums

In March 1963: Wolfman Jack began broadcasting on XERF, a half million watt radio station out of Mexico. The powerful “border radio” stations were famous for their wild on-air activities. The powerful broadcast signals allowed them to be heard across the entire North American continent, making Wolfman Jack the most famous rock ‘n’ roll DJ in the world.

March 2 – 22, 1963: “Walk Like a Man” by the Four Seasons #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was their 3rd #1 hit.

The song “Walk Like a Man” is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.

March 9 – 15, 1963: Allan Sherman’s My Son the Celebrity is the Billboard #1 album.

March 15, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: in the US, the Beatles’ “Please Please Me” peaked at number 35 after four weeks on Chicago’s WLS “Silver Dollar Survey” chart. The song did not chart on any of the major national American surveys.

March 16 – April 20, 1963: Frank Fontaine’s Songs I Sing on the Jackie Gleason Show the Billboard #1 album.

March 23, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: UK release of Beatles first album, Please Please Me.

Producer George Martin, a Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, owners of the London Zoo, thought that it might be good publicity for the zoo to have the Beatles pose outside the insect house for the cover photography of the album. However, the Zoological Society of London turned down Martin’s offer and instead, Angus McBean was asked to take the distinctive color photograph of the group looking down over the stairwell inside EMI’s London headquarters in Manchester Square. Martin was to write later: “We rang up the legendary theatre photographer Angus McBean, and bingo, he came round and did it there and then. It was done in an almighty rush, like the music…” John Lennon (22); Paul McCartney (20); George Harrison (20); and Ringo Starr (22)

March 23 – 29, 1963: “Our Day Will Come” by Ruby & the Romantics #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

March 30 – April 26, 1963: The Chiffons “He’s So Fine” #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


April 20 – May 3, 1963 – West Side Story soundtrack returns as the Billboard #1 album.

April 27 – May 17, 1963, Margaret Annemarie Battavio’s very first single, “I Will Follow Him,” reached #1 on the U.S. pop charts. With her 15th birthday only six weeks behind her, and three more years of high school ahead of her, the singer better known as Little Peggy March became the youngest female performer ever to top the Billboard Hot 100, but she’d never crack the top 10 again.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


In May 1963: recorded October 24, 1962, James Brown and The Famous Flames released Live at the Apollo. In 2003, the album was ranked number 24 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2004, it was one of 50 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry.

May, 1963 – Recorded in June 1962 during a Motortown Revue performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago Little Stevie Wonder’s The 12 Year Old Genius album released.

May 4 – August 30, 1963 – Andy Williams’s Days of Wine and Roses is the Billboard #1 album.

May 12, 1963: the still unknown Bob Dylan walked off the set of the “Ed Sullivan Show” (the country’s highest-rated variety show) after network censors rejected  “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” the song he planned on performing. The song was satirical talking-blues number skewering the ultra-conservative John Birch Society and its tendency to see covert members of an international Communist conspiracy behind every tree. Dylan had auditioned “John Birch” days earlier and had run through it for Ed Sullivan himself without any concern being raised. But during dress rehearsal on the day of the show, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department informed the show’s producers that they could not allow Dylan to go forward singing “John Birch.”

May 17, 1963: the first Monterey Folk Festival took place over three days in Monterey, California. The festival featured Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Peter Paul and Mary. Baez, had a home in Carmel Highlands, was a huge star at the time, while Dylan was a still a newcomer making a name for himself.

Dylan was not treated kindly by that Monterey audience, who had cometo see more traditional folks acts such as Peter, Paul and Mary (who ironically had a hit that summer with Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”), the Weavers and the New Lost City Ramblers. As described in the excellent book about that era, David Hajdu’s “Positively 4th Street,” “The Monterey audience, which was largely unfamiliar with Dylan’s style, responded poorly, talking loudly over his singing.”

“He went over very badly,” said Barbara Dane, the festival’s host, in Hajdu’s entertaining account. “He didn’t play very long, and it felt like he was on for an hour. I think people were laughing.” Even though he did three of his hardest-hitting protest songs, “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues,” “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” and “Masters of War,” the response was so bad it prompted Baez to walk out unannounced and admonish the audience. “She wanted everyone to know, she said, that this young man had something to say,” Hajdu wrote. “He was singing about important issues, and he was speaking for her and everyone who wanted a better world. They should listen, she said — she ordered them, nearly:Listen!” They performed Dylan’s “With God on Our Side” together, their voices an odd match, “salt pork and meringue,” but Hadju wrote, “the tension between their styles made their presence together all the more compelling.” They left the stage with “people cheering.”

May 18 – 30, 1963,  – “If You Wanna Be Happy” by Jimmy Soul #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

May 23, 1963,  Dexter Gordon released Our Man In Paris album.

May 27, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance:  released their second US single:  “From Me to You.” (March 15 was first release) It peaked at #116 on the national charts in August. In Los Angeles, it peaked at the same time at #32.  In 1980, John Lennon said, “We were writing it in a car, I think… and I think the first line was mine. I mean, I know it was mine. (humms melody) And then after that we just took it from there. We were just writing the next single. It was far bluesier than that when we wrote it. The notes, today.. you could rearrange it pretty funky.

May 27, 1963: Bob Dylan released his second album, The Freewheelin Bob Dylan.

The album cover featured Dylan with Suze Rotolo. It was taken in February 1963 by CBS staff photographer Don Hunstein at the corner of Jones Street and West 4th Street in the West Village, close to the apartment where they couple lived.

In a 2008 NYT article Rotolo said: “He wore a very thin jacket, because image was all. Our apartment was always cold, so I had a sweater on, plus I borrowed one of his big, bulky sweaters. On top of that I put on a coat. So I felt like an Italian sausage. Every time I look at that picture, I think I look fat.

In her memoir, A Freewheelin’ Time, Rotolo analyzed the significance of the cover image: It is one of those cultural markers that influenced the look of album covers precisely because of its casual down-home spontaneity and sensibility. Most album covers were carefully staged and controlled, to terrific effect on the Blue Note jazz album covers … and to not-so great-effect on the perfectly posed and clean-cut pop and folk albums. Whoever was responsible for choosing that particular photograph for The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan really had an eye for a new look.

Critic Janet Maslin summed up the iconic impact of the cover as “a photograph that inspired countless young men to hunch their shoulders, look distant, and let the girl do the clinging.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


June 1 – 14, 1963,  “It’s My Party” by Leslie Gore #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

June 7, 1963,  the Rolling Stones first single “Come On” is released in the UK. It will reach #21. Come On was a song written and first released by Chuck Berry in 1961.

June 8, 1963:  The Crystals’ ‘Da Doo Ron Ron’ peaked at No.3 on the singles chart. Produced by Phil Spector, who used a multi-track recording system to build the song layer upon layer to achieve a result that become known as a “wall of sound”. Backing musicians include Glen Campbell on guitar, Leon Russell on piano, Hal Blain on drums and Nino Tempo on sax.

June 15 – July 5, 1963: “Sukiyaki” by Kyo Sakamot #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It remains the only Japanese song to reach number one on the Billboard pop charts in the US.

July 6 – 19, 1963,  “Easier Said Than Done” by the Essex #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

July 20 – August 2, 1963,  “Surf City” by Jan & Dean #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Co-written with Brian Wilson.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


In August 1963,  Sam Cooke released Night Beat album.

August 3 – 9, 1963,  “So Much In Love” by The Tymes #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

August 10 – 30, 1963,  recorded in June 1962 during a Motortown Revue performance at the Regal Theater in Chicago, “Fingertips-Pt 2” by Little Stevie Wonder was #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Wonder was 13-years-old.

August 17, 1963, Bob Dylan: Peter, Paul, and Mary’s cover of “Blowin’ In the Wind” reached number two on the Billboard pop chart, with sales exceeding one million copies.

August 31 – September 20, 1963:  the Angels started a three week run at Billboard No.1 with ‘My Boyfriend’s Back’. The writers of the song Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer were a trio of Brooklyn songwriter/producers who went on to write the hits ‘Sorrow’ and have the 1965 US No.11 single as The Strangeloves with ‘I Want Candy’.

August 31 – October 25, 1963, Allan Sherman’s My Son, the Nut is the Billboard #1 album.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


September 16, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: the US release of “She Loves You.”  The song wasn’t a hit at first. Capitol – EMI’s US counterpart – refused to release it, and Vee Jay – which had released Please Please Me and From Me To You to little effect – also declined. Desperate for a stateside hit, Brian Epstein licensed the song to Swan Records, based in Philadelphia, although it was picked up by very few of the crucial US radio stations.

September 21 – October 11, 1963,   “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Written in 1950, it had been recorded already by Tony Bennett (1951) and The Clovers (1955).

October 8, 1963, BLACK HISTORY, Bob Dylan & News Music: after hearing Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”  earlier in the year, Sam Cooke was greatly moved that such a poignant song about racism in America could come from someone who was not black. While on tour in May and after speaking with sit-in demonstrators in Durham, North Carolina following a concert, Cooke returned to his tour bus and wrote the first draft of what would become “A Change Is Gonna Come“. The song also reflected much of Cooke’s own inner turmoil. Known for his polished image and light-hearted songs such as “You Send Me” and “Twistin’ the Night Away“, he had long felt the need to address the situation of discrimination and racism. However, his image and fears of losing his largely white fan base prevented him from doing so.

A Change Is Gonna’ Come,” very much a departure for Cooke, reflected two major incidents in his life. The first was the death of Cooke’s 18-month-old son, Vincent, who died of an accidental drowning in June of that year. The second major incident came this date when Cooke and his band tried to register at a “whites only” motel in Shreveport, Louisiana and were summarily arrested for disturbing the peace. Both incidents are represented in the weary tone and lyrics of the piece, especially the final verse: There have been times that I thought I couldn’t last for long/but now I think I’m able to carry on/It’s been a long time coming, but I know a change is gonna come.

The song will be recorded in December, but not released until after Cooke’s death in December 1964.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


October 12 – November 15, 1963,  “Sugar Shack” by Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

October 26 – November 1, 1963,  a year after being the Billboard #1 album, Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Peter, Paul, and Mary  was again the #1 album. [Pete Seeger and Lee Hays wrote  If I Had a Hammer in 1949 in support of the progressive movement, and was first recorded by The Weavers, a folk music quartet composed of Seeger, Hays, Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, and then by Peter, Paul and Mary. The Weavers released the song under the title “The Hammer Song” as a 78 single in March, 1950 on Hootenanny Records.

October 31, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance:  The Beatles were trying to walk through Heathrow Airport, London, where they’d just returned from a hugely successful tour of Sweden. Also at Heathrow that particular day, after a talent-scouting tour of Europe, was the American television impresario Ed Sullivan. The pandemonium that Sullivan witnessed as he attempted to catch his flight to New York would play a pivotal role in making the British Invasion possible. Sullivan had his staff make inquiries about the Beatles following his return to the United States, and Brian Epstein arranged to travel to New York to open negotiations.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


November 2 – December 6, 1963: Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Blowin’ In the Wind  is the Billboard #1 album. The best-known cover of Bob Dylan’s song. In the liner notes to Dylan’s original release, Nat Hentoff calls the song “a statement that maybe you can say to make yourself feel better… as if you were talking to yourself.” The song was written around the time that Suze Rotolo indefinitely prolonged her stay in Italy. The melody is based on an older song, “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Chickens When I’m Gone”. The melody was taught to Dylan by folksinger Paul Clayton, who had used the melody in his song “Who’s Gonna Buy Your Ribbons When I’m Gone?”

November 11 – 12, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: Beatles manager Brian Epstein travels to New York and persuades Ed Sullivan to book the Beatles for an unprecedented three consecutive appearances on Sullivan’s much-watched Sunday evening variety show – February 9th, 16th and 23rd, 1964.  CBS-TV gets one year’s exclusive rights to the Beatles’ U.S. television appearances.

November 16 – 22, 1963,  “Deep Purple” by Nino Tempo and April Stevens #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. [In 1968 Richie Blackmore suggested the title as the name for his new band named after his grandmother’s favorite song.]

November 22, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: UK release of 2nd Beatle album with the beatles. November 23 – December 6, 1963,  “I’m Leaving It Up to You” by Dale and Grace #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

November 25, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: release of Beatlemania! With The Beatles album in Canada.

1963 #1 Singles Albums


December 7, 1963 – January 3, 1964: “Dominque”  by the Singing Nun #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. The singing nun was Jeanine Deckers (17 October 1933 – 29 March 1985) a Belgian nun, and a member (as Sister Luc Gabriel) of the Dominican Fichermont Convent in Belgium.

December 7, 1963 – February 14, 1964  the Singing Nun’s The Singing Nun is the Billboard #1 album.

December 9, 1963, The Supremes released their first album, Meet the Supremes.

December 21, 1963, Sam Cooke recorded A Change Is Gonna Come.

December 23, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: Capitol Records issues a memo to its sales people and regional managers across the country, outlining an extensive “Beatles Campaign” using various promotional items – from major music magazine trade ads and a fake tabloid Beatles newspaper (reprinted in the thousands), to Beatle buttons, Beatle stickers, Beatle wigs, and a battery-powered, “Beatles-in-motion,” bobble-head-like, window display for music stores.

December 26, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance:  release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (“I Saw Her Standing There” B-Side) as a single released in US. Capitol Records begins distributing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” to radio stations in major U.S. cities where it was played regularly.  With teens home for Christmas-New Years break, radios get full-time use, and the record begins selling like crazy.  In New York City, 10,000 copies are sold every hour.  In the first three days, 250,000 copies are  sold.  Capitol was so overloaded it contracted Columbia Records and RCA to help with the pressings.

December 30, 1963, The Beatles before their US appearance: A two-page ad from Capitol Records pitching the Beatles’ recordings runs in Billboard and Cash Box music industry magazines.  Bulk reprints of these ads had already been distributed to Capitol’s sales agents for use with radio stations and in enlarged, easel-scale size for use in music store displays across the country.

1963 #1 Singles Albums

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