Friday Five: January 1960

5. “I’ll Take Care of You” by Bobby Bland
A mainstay of the late 50s/early 60s R&B charts, Bobby Bland was a blues singer with a softer touch than most. His skills, honed on Beale Street with contemporaries like B.B. King and Junior Parker, are all over this minor hit which peaked at #4 on the R&B charts in late January 1960.

4. “Talk that Talk” by Jackie Wilson
One of the greatest of the early era, Jackie Wilson’s voice, passion, and energy are among the foundations of modern “soul” music. This minor hit harnesses (in both senses of the word) a lot of his signature attributes into an orchestral-backed single that peaked at #3.

3. “El Paso” by Marty Robbins
Country star Marty Robbins started the 1960 calendar year sitting atop the Billboard “Hot 100” with this, his biggest crossover hit and most well-known song.

2. “Be My Guest” by Fats Domino
New Orleans raised Fats Domino is one of the foundational sounds of rock ‘n roll. His first hit—”Fat Man”—was released in 1949, when he was only 21. It is often cited as the first million-selling record of the rock ‘n roll era. He’d have even bigger hits once the that era got firmly established, songs like “Ain’t that a Shame” and his signature “Blueberry Hill.” By 1960, his biggest hits were behind him but in songs like this one (which peaked at #2 on January’s R&B charts) we can see how the “Fats Domino sound” had become something of a recipe for both him and his record label.

1. “Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning
This one-hit-wonder hit it big with this tragically sad song of teenage love and death. Written by Mark’s sister and brother-in-law, the song was released in October 1959 to very little support. As the story goes, many radio stations refused to play it because it was too depressing. But the kids loved it! It peaked at #4 in January 1960 before hitting the top spot in early February, where it sat for two weeks.