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The Top 40 Summer Song of all time

      COMETS, 1955, 1974

      The #1 summer song of all time is also the biggest selling rock and roll 
      single with 25 million copies sold. And it's our rock and roll national 

      "(We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock" by Bill Haley and the Comets was 
      originally recorded April 12, 1954 as the B side of "Thirteen Women"--and 
      it went nowhere at first. James Myers (a/k/a Jimmy DeKnight) refused to 
      give up on the song and when he got it to start the controversial movie, 
      "The Blackboard Jungle," the rest was musical history. As the first 
      bonafide rock and roll single to hit #1, it stayed at the top for eight 

      "Blackboard Jungle" was controversial because it depicted violence and 
      centered on juvenile delinquincy. Glenn Ford starred as the teacher who 
      turns a group of routy kids into kids who get motivated to learn. Sidney 
      Poitier and the lateVic Morrow were among the stars 

      "Rock Around The Clock" was revitalized in the 1970's when it became the 
      first theme song for the show "Happy Days." It even reentered the Top 40 
      in 1974. The song was played at the start of the year 2000 on the "Casey's 
      K2 Kountdown" special although it wasn't the original version that was 
      2:08 long. 

      With "Rock Around The Clock" being named by this site as the #1 summer 
      song of all time, there's a bit of sad irony to the Top two summer songs. 
      Percy Faith, whose "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" was the #2 summer song of 
      all time, died of cancer on February 9, 1976. Exactly five years later to 
      the day--February 9, 1981--Bill Haley died in his home in Harlingen, 
      Texas. While the cause of death was listed as "natural causes, most likely 
      heart attack," the latter years of Haley's life were plagued by alcoholism 
      and bouts with paranoia.


      ORCHESTRA, 1960 

      "Theme From 'A Summer Place'" by Percy Faith and his Orchestra was a #1 
      single for nine weeks in early 1960, became that year's biggest song, the 
      #2 song of the 1960's (behind "Hey Jude" by the Beatles)...and it's also 
      the #2 summer song of all time.

      It's one of the most successful rock era (1955-present) instrumentals 
      ever. Only "Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White" by Perez Prado from 1955 
      fared better as it spent 10 weeks at #1 (although it was on the Best 
      Seller Chart). Rob Durkee will today confess: He hated this Percy Faith 
      recording when it was a #1 hit. It took Rob a long time to grasp the 
      song's theme and beauty of what it stood for. It helped immensely when the 
      Lettermen remade it in 1965. THEN he got it!

      "There's a summer place...where it may rain or storm...but I'm safe and 
      warm...in your arms."

      Today, just hearing the flutes' opening lines gives Rob an "Oooo" and an 
      "Awww" along with mind-blowing visions of Troy Donahue and Sandra Dee 
      gettng romantically involved in the 1959 movie. 

      "Summer Place" won the Grammy for Record Of The Year and a disco version 
      of the song (also by Faith) reached #13 on the Adult Contemporary chart in 
      the mid-70's.

      Very few recording acts can lay claim to having two different singles 
      becoming the biggest for a calendar year. Percy Faith did it also with 
      "Theme From "Moulon Rouge" in 1953. Sadly, Percy Faith died of cancer on 
      February 9, 1976. He was 68. 

       Top 40 Summer Song of all time      

      1 (We're Gonna) Rock Around The Clock -- Bill Haley and the Comets, 1955 
      and 1974

      2. Theme From 'A Summer Place' -- Percy Faith and His Orchestra, 1960

      3. Surf City -- Jan and Dean, 1963

      4. I Get Around -- the Beach Boys, 1964

      5. Don't Be Cruel -- Elvis Presley, 1956

      6. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction -- the Rolling Stones *

      7. Summer In The City -- the Lovin' Spoonful, 1966

      8. Summertime Blues -- Eddie Cochran, 1958

      9. Surfin' USA -- the Beach Boys, 1965

      10. Unchained Melody -- the Righteous Brothers, 1965 & 1990

      11 Mony Mony -- Tommy James and the Shondells, 1968

      12. Respect -- Aretha Franklin, 1967

      13 It's Too Late / I Feel The Earth Move -- Carole King, 1971

      14. Surfin' Safari -- the Beach Boys, 1962

      15. Love Will Keep Us Together -- the Captain and Tennille, 1975

      16. Little Old Lady From Pasadena--Jan And Dean, 1964

      17. California Dreamin' -- the Mamas and the Papas, 1966

      18. Bette Davis Eyes -- Kim Carnes, 1981

      19. Good Vibrations -- the Beach Boys, 1966

      20. The Purple People Eater -- Sheb Wooley, 1958

      21. Chapel Of Love -- the Dixie Cups, 1964

      22. Shadow Dancing -- Andy Gibb, 1978

      23. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear -- Elvis Presley, 1957

      24. Tossin' And Turnin' -- Bobby Lewis, 1961

      25. California Girls -- the Beach Boys, 1965

      26. Dream Lover--Bobby Darin, 1959

      27. I Just Want To Be Your Everything -- Andy Gibb, 1977

      28. Windy -- the Association, 1967

      29. I Can't Help Myself -- the Four Tops, 1965

      30. Silly Love Songs -- Wings, 1976

      31. Wipe Out -- the Surfais, 1963 & 1966

      32. Mrs. Robinson -- Simon And Garfunkel, 1968

      33. In The Summertime -- Mungo Jerry, 1970

      34. It's Now Or Never -- Elvis Presley, 1960

      35. I Can't Stop Loving You -- Ray Charles, 1962

      36. Lean On Me -- Bill Withers, 1972

      37. Hot Fun In The Summertime--Sly and the Family Stone, 1969

      38. Wooly Bully -- Sam The Sham and the Pharoahs, 1965

      39. Wild Thing--the Troggs, 1966

      40. Summer Nights -- Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta, 1978

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