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PCM's Official List of 1950s Songs By Category

All PCM Music Charts
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Popular Song Charts Of The 50s

About Music of the Fifties... Things You Need To Know

Rock and Roll, Jazz and Doo Wop evolved from the Blues, which came from the African-American community in the decades after slavery with gospel, spirituals, work songs, and chants which, with the addition of some instruments, became Rhythm and Blues. It's a much longer story than you can find on a web page, so check these books out.
Cleveland radio Dee-Jay Alan Freed was credited with inventing the phrase 'Rock and Roll,' but was unable to copyright the term. He was pushed out of the radio and TV industry over Payola - basically taking bribes to play some records over others. The 1978 film American Hot Wax was a fictionalized version of his life.
Frank Sinatra was not a big fan of rock and roll music at first. He called it "The most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear." On a related note, Frank Sinatra has not been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the 1950s, many songs by black artists were performed and then out-played on the radio by white artists. One of the first songs to break that barrier was Only You, by the Platters (#5), beating out the Hilltoppers (#8).
Conversely, Harry Belafonte's Calypso album edged out Elvis' Elvis Presley to be the first million-selling album, in 1956.
Bing Crosby had his last hit in 1956, True Love, which he sang with Grace Kelly (#3).
Who was Bing Crosby? To start with, he's the 'old guy' who sang Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth with David Bowie in 1977.
To get perspective, Elvis Presley wanted to be like Frank Sinatra, while Frank Sinatra WISHED he was Bing Crosby.
Bing had 36 #1 songs, and 317 in the top 40.
Elvis had 18 #1's and 114 top 40 hits.
The Beatles had 20 #1's and 'only' 52 top 40 hits.
Bing Crosby outscored both Elvis & The Beatles on the charts, combined!
The Day The Music Died: February 3, 1959
Outside of Clear Lake, Iowa, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, and pilot Roger Peterson died in a plane crash. "Three Stars" by Tommy Dee was a tribute song for the trio of rock stars, as was 1972's America Pie by Don McLean.

The 50s Bubblegum Pop Hits

1. Buy It! Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets
2. Buy It! Put Your Head On My Shoulder - Paul Anka
3. Buy It! School Day - Chuck Berry
4. Buy It! Oh Boy! - Buddy Holly
5. Buy It! Rockin Robin - Bobby Day
6. Buy It! Charlie Brown - The Coasters
7. Buy It! Bird Dog - The Everly Brothers
8. Buy It! The Children's Marching Song (Knick Knack Taddy Whack) - Mitch Miller
9. Buy It! The Ballad Of Davy Crockett - Bill Hayes
10. Buy It! Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como

The Fifties' Songs That Mom and Dad Hated

1. Buy It! Wake Up Little Suzie - The Everly Bothers
2. Buy It! Great Balls of Fire - Jerry Lee Lewis
3. Buy It! Tutti Fruitti - Little Richard
4. Buy It! Rumble - Link Wray
5. Buy It! Yakety Yak - Coasters
6. Buy It! Love For Sale - Billie Holiday
7. Buy It! Ragtime Cowboy Joe - The Chipmunks
8. Buy It! Endless Sleep - Jody Reynolds
9. Buy It! Standing On The Corner (Watching All The Girls Go By) - Four Lads
10. Buy It! Tequila! - Champs

The 50s Songs That Everybody Hated

1. Buy It! The Happy Organ - Dave "Baby" Cortez
2. Buy It! Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom) - Perry Como
3. Buy It! Beep Beep - The Playmates
4. Buy It! Lonely Boy - Paul Anka
5. Buy It! Banana Boat Song - Steve Lawrence
6. Buy It! Teen-Age Crush - Tommy Sands
7. Buy It! Kookie Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb) - Connie Stevens with Edd Byrnes
8. Buy It! Dance With Me, Henry - Georgia Gibbs
9. Buy It! Western Movies - The Olympics
10. Buy It! Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat - Paul Evans

Summer Songs 1900s-1959

1900-1959 Songs of the Summer listed are from the 'Great American Songbook' and the most popular songs of the first pop music era. While a modern song can streak to the top ten on the charts and disappear a few weeks later, songs from this era were often sung (and charted) by several artists, often within different genres and styles. Prior to the Pop/Rock era, where many artists wrote the songs they performed, music was very much controlled by the songwriters and/or copyright holders.
1. Buy It! Summertime Blues - Eddie Cochran, 1958
2. Buy It! Take Me Out To The Ball Game - Billy Murray (or many others), 1908
3. Buy It! We're Gonna Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley & His Comets, 1955
4. Buy It! Summertime - Sam Cooke, 1957
5. Buy It! Sleepwalk - Santo & Johnny, 1959
6. Buy It! Sh-Boom - Crew Cuts, 1954
7. Buy It! Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley, 1956
8. Buy It! Little Darlin' - The Diamonds, 1957
9. Buy It! School Day - Chuck Berry, 1957
10. Buy It! When Irish Eyes Are Smiling - Chauncey Olcott, 1913 (later associated with St. Patrick's Day)
11. Buy It! Summertime - Billie Holiday, 1936
12. Buy It! Harbor Lights - Sammy Kaye, Bing Crosby and various others, 1950
13. Buy It! There Goes My Baby - The Drifters, 1959
14. Buy It! Splish Splash Bobby Darin, 1958
15. Buy It! Mona Lisa - Nat 'King' Cole, 1950
16. Buy It! Teenager In Love - Dion and the Belmonts, 1959
17. Buy It! Little Star - The Elegants, 1958
18. Buy It! Love Letters In The Sand - Pat Boone, 1957
19. Buy It! Yakety Yak - The Coasters, 1958
20. Buy It! Stormy Weather - Leo Reisman or Ethel Waters, 1933

The Fifties' Dancehall Music Hits

1. Buy It! Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets
2. Buy It! Rock and Roll is Here To Stay - Danny & the Juniors
3. Buy It! Blueberry Hill - Fats Domino
4. Buy It! At The Hop - Danny and the Juniors
5. Buy It! Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris
6. Buy It! Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
7. Buy It! All Shook Up - Elvis Presley
8. Buy It! Little Darlin' - The Diamonds
9. Buy It! Come Go With Me - Dell-Vikings
10. Buy It! Kansas City - Wilbert Harrison
11. Buy It! Love Is Strange - Mickey and Sylvia
12. Buy It! Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent
13. Buy It! Peggy Sue - Buddy Holly
14. Buy It! School Day - Chuck Berry
15. Buy It! What'd I Say - Ray Charles
16. Buy It! The Stroll - The Diamonds
17. Buy It! I'm Walkin' - Fats Domino
18. Buy It! Goody Goody - Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
19. Buy It! Yakety Yak - The Coasters
20. Buy It! Chantilly Lace - Big Bopper

The 50s Party Rock Hits

1. Buy It! Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog - Elvis Presley
2. Buy It! Whole Lot Of Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis
3. Buy It! Maybellene - Chuck Berry
4. Buy It! Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
5. Buy It! Johnny B. Goode - Chuck Berry
6. Buy It! Rock and Roll Music - Chuck Berry
7. Buy It! Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
8. Buy It! Do You Want To Dance - Bobby Freeman
9. Buy It! Book Of Love - Monotones
10. Buy It! Rockin Robin - Bobby Day

The Fifties' Best Known Doo Wop Songs

1. Buy It! Earth Angel - Penguins
2. Buy It! In The Still Of The Night - Five Satins
3. Buy It! I Only Have Eyes For You - The Flamingos
4. Buy It! At The Hop - Danny and the Juniors
5. Buy It! Little Star - Elegants
6. Buy It! Little Darlin' - Diamonds
7. Buy It! A Teenager In Love - Dion & the Belmonts
8. Buy It! 16 Candles - The Crests
9. Buy It! Come Go With Me - Del-Vikings
10. Buy It! Gee - The Crows

The 50s Best Loved Top 15 Slow Jams

1. Buy It! Sea Of Love - Phil Phillips
2. Buy It! Earth Angel - The Penguins
3. Buy It! Chances Are - Johnny Mathis
4. Buy It! Sleepwalk - Santo and Johnny
5. Buy It! You Send Me - Sam Cooke
6. Buy It! In The Still of The Night - Five Satins
7. Buy It! It's All in The Game - Tommy Edwards
8. Buy It! Only You (And You Alone) - The Platters
9. Buy It! Put Your Head On My Shoulder - Paul Anka
10. Buy It! Come Softly To Me - the Fleetwoods
11. Buy It! It's Just a Matter of Time - Brook Benton
12. Buy It! I Only Have Eyes For You - Flamingos
13. Buy It! All the Way - Frank Sinatra
14. Buy It! Love Is A Many Splendored Thing - Four Aces
15. Buy It! April Love - Pat Boone

The 25 Fifties' Songs That You
Need To Make Your Collection Complete

1. Buy It! The ABC's Of Love - Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers
2. Buy It! Mack The Knife - Bobby Darin
3. Buy It! Stood Up - Ricky Nelson
4. Buy It! Book Of Love - Monotones
5. Buy It! The Banana Boat Song (Day-O) - Harry Belafonte
6. Buy It! That'll Be The Day - Buddy Holly and the Crickets
7. Buy It! The Great Pretender - Platters
8. Buy It! Whispering Bells - The Dell Vikings
9. Buy It! Tonite Tonite - The Mello-Kings
10. Buy It! Little Girl Of Mine - Cleftones
11. Buy It! Yakety Yak - The Coasters
12. Buy It! Cry - Johnny Ray
13. Buy It! Love Potion No. 9 - Clovers
14. Buy It! Rocket 88 - Jackie Brenston
15. Buy It! Woo-Hoo - Rock-A-Teens
16. Buy It! Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home) - Impalas
17. Buy It! Mr. Sandman - The Chordettes
18. Buy It! Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley
19. Buy It! I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts
20. Buy It! Bony Maronie - Larry Williams
21. Buy It! Hey Good Lookin' - Hank Williams
22. Buy It! Why Do Fools Fall In Love - Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers
23. Buy It! Red River Rock - Johnny and the Hurricanes
24. Buy It! Work With Me Annie - Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
25. Buy It! Sincerely - Moonglows

The 50s Big Money Songs and/or One Hit Wonders

1. Buy It! Donna/ La Bamba - Richie Valens
2. Buy It! Sea of Love - Phil Phillips
3. Buy It! Blue Suede Shoes - Carl Perkins
4. Buy It! Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home) - Impalas
5. Buy It! Trickle, Trickle - the Videos
6. Buy It! Silhouettes - The Rays
7. Buy It! To Know Him, Is To Love Him - The Teddy Bears
8. Buy It! Mr. Lee - Bobbettes
9. Buy It! Sea Cruise - Frankie Ford
10. Buy It! Woo-Hoo - Rock-A-Teens

The Late Fifties'
Biggest # 1 Hits According To Billboard

1. Buy It! Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog - Elvis Presley (1956) - 11 weeks
2. Buy It! Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White - Perez Prado (1955) - 10 weeks
3. Buy It! Sincerely - The McGuire Sisters (1955) - 10 weeks
4. Buy It! Singing The Blues - Guy Mitchell (1956) - 10 weeks
5. Buy It! Mack The Knife - Bobby Darin (1959) - 9 weeks
6. Buy It! All Shook Up - Elvis Presley (1957) - 9 weeks
7. Buy It! Rock Around The Clock - Bill Haley and His Comets (1955) - 8 weeks
8. Buy It! The Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant (1956) - 8 weeks
9. Buy It! Sixteen Tons - "Tennessee" Ernie Ford (1955) - 8 weeks
10. Buy It! Heartbreak Hotel - Elvis Presley (1956) - 8 weeks

The Early Fifties'
Biggest # 1 Hits According To Billboard

1. Buy It! The Tennesse Waltz - Patti Page (1950) -13 Weeks
2. Buy It! Goodnight Irene - Gordon Jenkins and the Weavers (1950) - 13 Weeks
3. Buy It! You Belong To Me - Jo Stafford (1952) - 12 Weeks
4. Buy It! Vaya Con Dios - Les Paul and Mary Ford (1953) - 11 weeks
5. Buy It! Third Man Theme - Anton Karas (1950) - 11 weeks
6. Buy It! Third Man Theme - Guy Lombardo (1950) - 11 weeks
7. Buy It! Cry - Johnny Ray (1951) - 11 weeks
8. Buy It! Because of You - Tony Bennett (1951) - 10 weeks
9. Buy It! Wheel of Fortune - Kay Starr (1952) - 10 weeks
10. Buy It! Song From 'Moulin Rouge' Where Is Your Heart - Percy Faith (1953) - 10 weeks

The 50s Most Naughty Songs

1. Buy It! Sixty Minute Man - The Dominoes
2. Buy It! It Ain't The Meat - The Swallows
3. Buy It! (When We Are Dancing) I Get Ideas - Louis Armstrong
4. Buy It! Baby Let's Play House - Elvis Presley
5. Buy It! Big Ten-Inch Record - Moose Jackson
6. Buy It! Get Hot Or Go Home - John Kerby
7. Buy It! I Got A Rocket In My Pocket - Jimmy Lloyd
8. Buy It! (I Love To Play Your Piano) Let Me Bang Your Box - The Toppers With Orchestra
9. Buy It! Whistle Bait - Lorrie And Larry Collins
10. Buy It! Whole Lot of Shakin' Going On - Jerry Lee Lewis

The Top 1950s Songs About AtomicWar, Death,
Heaven, UFOs, Aliens, Murder & End of the World

1. Buy It! 13 Women - Bill Haley and His Comets
2. Buy It! Purple People Eater - Sheb Wolley
3. Buy It! Stagger Lee - Lloyd Price
4. Buy It! A Wonderful Time Up There - Pat Boone
5. Buy It! The Blob - The Five Blobs
6. Buy It! The Flying Saucer - Buchanan & Goodman
7. Buy It! El Paso - Marty Robbins
8. Buy It! Endless Sleep - Jody Reynolds
9. Buy It! Little Blue Man - Betty Johnson
10. Buy It! Car Crash - The Cadets

The 50s Best (?)
Novelty & Comedy Songs & Recordings

1. Buy It! Purple People Eater - Sheb Wolley
2. Buy It! Banana Boat (Day-O) - Stan Freberg
3. Buy It! Alvin's Harmonica - The Chipmunks
4. Buy It! Stranded In The Jungle - The Cadets (or The Jayhawks)
5. Buy It! The Naughty Lady Of Shady Lane - The Ames Brothers
6. Buy It! The Flying Saucer - Buchanan & Goodman
7. Buy It! The Thing - Phil Harris
8. Buy It! What It Was, Was Football - Andy Griffith
9. Buy It! Uh! Oh! - The Nutty Squirrels
10. Buy It! Nuttin For Christmas - cracked the top 40 by Art Mooney & Barry Gordon, Joe Ward, Ricky Zahnd, The Fontane Sisters and Stan Freberg in 1955.

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