Most oldies music fans are familiar with the Billboard Hot 100 popular music charts, and most of the recording artists that frequently produced singles that reached those listings are well-known performers.
On the other end of the spectrum, this article takes a look at recording artists who made the Billboard Hot 100 in the most-minimal possible way, with only one single that managed one chart week at exactly No. 100 in the late ’50s and the ’60s. It’s quite an interesting list, and to hear any of the songs, simply click on the title.
- “JUDY” (Frankie Vaughan, Aug. 10, 1958): This English pop singer, born Frank Abelson in Liverpool, issued more than 80 singles in his lifetime. He charted 11 consecutive Top 20 songs in the UK, and ironically, this (at No. 22) was his first “miss” but his only U.S. charter. His career began in the late 1940s performing song and dance routines.
- “”ITCHY TWITCHY FEELING” (The Swallows, Sept. 28, 1958): This Baltimore quartet, originally formed in 1946 as The Oakaleers, is best-known for the 1951 single “Will You Be Mine” — one of the very first doo-wop hits and a No. 9 Billboard R&B charter. Bobby Hendricks was a member of The Swallows before he went solo, and his rendition of this song was covered by his former band soon after it began attracting radio airplay, and Hendricks’ version reached No. 25 pop and No. 5 R&B.
- “THE CHICK” (Lee & Paul, April 5, 1959): This novelty song about three Easter chicks was performed by the Brooklyn duo of Lee Vance and Paul Pockriss, who are far better known for songwriting credits that included such items as “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” (No. 1 for Brian Hyland, 1960), “Johnny Angel” (No. 1 for Shelley Fabares, 1962) and “Tracy” (No. 9 for The Cuff Links, 1969).
- “CAN’T HELP LOVIN’ THAT GIRL OF MINE” (The Excels, June 11, 1961): Fred Orange was lead singer for this white doo-wop quintet from The Bronx, which also consisted of Benito Trevieso, Raphael Diaz, Joe Robles and and Harry Hilliard. Originally written as “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” with music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, it was one of the most-famous songs from Showboat in 1927. This group isn’t to be confused with a Marquette, Mich., blue-eyed sextet that recorded five singles on the Carla label in the late ’60s.
- “WALKIN’ BACK TO HAPPINESS” (Helen Shapiro, Dec. 10, 1961): This English pop-jazz singer-actress from London is best-known for her 1960s UK chart-toppers “You Don’t Know” and this song, recorded at age 15. Her first four releases all reached at least No. 3 in the UK, and the song was written by John Schroeder and Michael Hawker. Before she was 16, the songstress was voted Britain’s “Top Female Singer” and The Beatles’ first national tour of Britain, in early 1963, was as her supporting act.
- “EV’RYBODY’S CRYIN'” (Jimmy Beaumont, Dec. 31, 1961): The lead singer of The Skyliners was only 17 years old when he co-wrote the Pittsburgh group’s biggest hits “Since I Don’t Have You” (No. 12, 1959) and “This I Swear” (No. 26, 1959). Arranged and produced by Stu Phillips, this was his first solo release on the May label, prior to later flops on Bang, Colpix and Gallant.
- “QUARTER TO FOUR STOMP” (The Stompers, March 3, 1962): One member of this Somerville, Mass., quintet was Bobby “Boris” Pickett, who shortly after this release left for a solo career that included the smash hit “Monster Mash” (No. 1, 1962). This record was a surf-orientated adaptation of Gary US Bonds’ “Quarter To Three.” Other group members were Leonard Cappizzi, Bill Cappizzi, Ron Delorto and Lou Toscano,
- “GOODBYE DAD” (Castle Sisters, July 21, 1962): The singers began as a sister girl trio called The Kossol Sisters, and they hailed from Charleroi, Pa. Audrey, Joanie and Josie Kossol won on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts, after which they moved to New York and changed their name in 1958.
- “SWEET GEORGIA BROWN” (Carroll Brothers, Aug. 18, 1962): Members of this rock band, formed in Philadelphia in 1957, were Pete Carroll (guitar), Dick Noble (organ, sax), Jimmy Chick (drums), Kenneth Dorn (sax), and Billy McGraw (bass guitar). They had one flop on the Felsted label, and this was the last of three releases on Cameo.
- “NIGHT TIME” (Pete Antell, Dec. 8, 1962): Peter Antonio was born in Queens, N.Y., before relocating to Long Island. He began his career as a singer-guitarist on the United Artists, Verve and Dot labels, prior to joining a group called The Chants. He then turned to songwriting and producing, and after changing his performing name to Pete Antell, he joined other groups, including The Escorts and The Scarlets. He was also a guitarist-vocalist for The Percells, who had a significant single with “What Are Boys Made Of” (No. 53, 1963).
- “PLEASE DON’T KISS ME AGAIN” (Charmetts, Nov. 23, 1963): This Brooklyn girl trio released songs for Hi, Mala, and World Artists, among other labels. Lead singer was Clare Byrd, backed by Betty Simmons and Minnie Ponder. This single had a unique chart history, in that Billboard temporarily suspended its R&B charts in late 1963 (through early 1965), and the No. 100 listing was a later “adjustment” by Billboard for what the magazine termed “historical purposes.”
- “GREETINGS (THIS IS UNCLE SAM)” (The Monitors, April 18, 1966): This group that recorded for Motown in the 1960s consisted of lead singer Richard Street, Sandra Fagin, Maurice Fagin, and Warren Harris. This was a cover of a single by The Valadiers, and it reached No. 21 on the Billboard R&B chart.
- “THINK” (James Brown & Vicki Anderson, April 8, 1967): The male half of this duo is the legendary soul singer from Macon, Ga., and this song was produced by Brown. The female vocalist from Houston, Texas, is a soul singer best known for her performances with the James Brown Revue, and Anderson was acknowledged in Brown’s autobiography as the best singer he ever had in his revue and probably the best singer he ever witnessed. In the mid-1960s, she married Bobby Byrd (otherwise known as Bobby Day, famous for “Rockin’ Robin”), the original founder of The Famous Flames.
- “MEMPHIS TRAIN” (Buddy Miles Express, Aug. 23, 1969): George Allen Miles Jr., known professionally as Buddy Miles, was a prominent drummer, singer and producer. He was a founding member of The Electric Flag before founding The Buddy Miles Express, and he also performed with Santana, Wilson Pickett, Jimi Hendrix and Ruby & The Romantics.The song was originally recorded by Rufus Thomas, who co-write it with Willie Sparks.
- “CAMEL BACK” (A.B. Skhy, Dec. 6, 1969) This instrumental was performed by a blues band from Milwaukee, Wis., formed in 1958 as New Blues. The group consisted of Dennis Geyer (guitar, vocals), Jim Marcotte (bass guitar), Terry Anderson (drums) and Howard Wales (keyboards). After relocating to San Francisco, they changed the band name to A.B. Skhy, originally gaining a following via live performances.
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