TNB Night Owl – One-Hit Wonders, 1963-1965

The Chantays performing their hit "Pipeline" on the Lawrence Welk Show, 1963.
The Chantays performing their hit "Pipeline" on the Lawrence Welk Show, 1963. Image captured by the News Blender.

By 1963, popular music started to have that sixties sound, leaving the fifties behind. Contributing greatly to the change were new genres: soul, surf, and folk music. Songs like “Just One Look”, and “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” were early examples of soul that had made their way into the mainstream. “Pipeline” and “Wipe Out” defined surf music and beckoned youngsters from all over the country to head for the California surf. “Dominique” may seem like a strange tune to become a hit, but it fit right in with other folk songs at the time which were very popular. The fact that it was in the French language was not a problem. This was the era of JFK, camelot, the Peace Corps, and America reaching out to much of the world. We welcomed many foreign cultures, so the Japanese hit “Sukiyaki” also met no barriers. [The actual title of the song was “Ue o Muite Arukō” which translates as “I Look Up as I Walk”. It was given the name “Sukiyaki” for the American market because it was a Japanese word that was already familiar to the US public which we’d have no trouble remembering.]

Genres that carried over from the fifties, but with a younger sound, included torch songs such as “You’re My World” and “Suspicion” and love songs such as “(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet”. Of course rock ‘n roll was still ever popular, represented here by “Dirty Water” (kids loved it, older generations hated it), and “Keep on Dancing” which clearly was still holding on to the 1950s sock hops. “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” is a little harder to define; maybe just call it pop music?

As the sixties moved on, the music became more and more creative, as the upcoming one hit wonders of the second half of the decade will demonstrate.

1963 – “Just One Look” – Doris Troy (2:33):

1963 – “Pipeline” – The Chantays (3:07):

1963 – “Sukiyaki” – Kyu Sakamoto (3:09):

1963 – “Dominique” – The Singing Nun (3:09):

1963 – “Wipe Out” – The Surfaris (2:18):

1963 – “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” – The Jaynetts (3:10):

1964 – “(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet” – The Reflections (2:12):

1964 – “You’re My World” – Cilla Black (2:57):

1964 – “Suspicion” – Terry Stafford (2:35):

1965 – “Dirty Water” – The Standells (2:41):

1965 – “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon” – Jonathan King (2:34):

1965 – “Keep on Dancing” – The Gentrys (2:04):

Question of the Night: What one country would you like to visit that you’ve never been to before?

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About Richard Doud 622 Articles
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