The 2008 Eleventh Annual Top 77 All Time Favorite Hits

Presented by Mike Riccio and Tom Natoli

Compilation by Tom Natoli

Commentary and analysis by Mike Riccio

Technical Director Frank Thomas

Technical assistance from Craig Harris and Chad Olszyk

(as voted by site visitors 10/21/08 through 12/14/08)

For a "countdown" version of the results, click here:

For your own copy of the expanded version of the Top 77, all the way down to #750, just email Mike and Tom at

Once more, Tom and I were brave enough to do this all again, and pretty much forfeit having a life for the last three months of the year! (Oy Vey!)

And now, thanks to the requests that came in both last year and this year, I am once again doing the detailed summary and analysis pages of the survey for you. But before I get on down to the real nitty gritty (as Shirley Ellis would say), I MUST take a minute to thank those who made this possible.

First and foremost, without fellow "Survey Guy" Tom Natoli, this survey would NOT have gotten done these last few years. Tom pretty much acts as a human computer from October through December to get these numbers together. He compiled the votes, calculated the positions, checked for errors, verified song years and data, and sent hundreds of emails out to past survey participants to remind them to get involved in this year's survey. It's an incredible amount of work, and no amount of thanks can truly express my gratitude for Tom's involvement with this annual project.

Both Tom and I are overwhelmingly grateful to our technical crew. Craig Harris and Chad Olszyk did a tremendous amount of work setting up the basics of the compilation systems. But it was Frank Thomas who really stepped up this year and developed a program that helped make all the tabulations much easier than ever before. In addition, it's Frank's handiwork you see on all the results pages, as he worked long and hard to get the graphics together and to establish a layout that worked.

Thank you to Bob Radil, for allowing Tom and I to take over his show for one night in order to present a live audio version of the countdown. Again, the prep work and technical details that Bob had to handle were no easy task. So for that we are very grateful.

Thanks also go to those who put up links for us so voters could find their way to the polls. We give a tip of the hat to Ron Kovacs ( and Bill Danning (

And finally, thanks to Allan Sniffen for continuing to host the server that keeps the "Oldies Message Board" going. That's the board I moderate which is so closely connected to this survey.

So I send kudos to all of these people. They are all key elements in the Top 77 project.

Now then, let's take a closer look at exactly what the heck went on this year as you guys voted for the ELEVENTH time for your very favorite songs.

5-10-15-20-25-30-35-40 YEARS OF WORK...AND A NEW PRESIDENT!

Yup, the work involved for this survey started with the voting on October 14 and took us right through the fall, right through Halloween, and Thanksgiving, right through Christmas and even right through an election and a new president… and beyond! And our voting didn't even have any hanging chads or Chad and Jeremys! (Wait a minute! NEWS FLASH! "A Summer Song" from Chad Stewart and Jeremy Clyde from 1964 DID come in at #499.)

Actually, this year you guys (and gals) kept us WAAAAAY busy. Approximately 700 of you voted for 2369 songs! (And for those curious, "You're Still a Young Man" from Tower of Power finished at #2369. But Tower of Power fans should look at the bright side...lots of songs didn't even get THAT high!)

81.2% of the voting points came from the guys. Gals...ya GOTTA start spreading the news and get that "Grrrl Power" going next year to get out the vote!

And what about the state of the states (and countries)? Well, this year 40 of our illustrious 50 states voted, with NEW JERSEY actually edging out NEW YORK by four voters to become the survey’s states leader! (Could it have been all those Bruuuuuuuce fans?). What state had the third highest number of voters? Believe it or not, it was NOT a state close to the storied MusicRadio WABC, but good ol' Cal-i-forn-i-a with one out of every twenty voters!

Now then, SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, shame on you (if you can't dance, too!) to Alaska (too busy getting out the vote for Sarah?) Hawaii (what else could you POSSIBLY find to do in Hawaii to take you away from the voting?), Idaho (I know, I know. You had potatoes to plant), Iowa, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. As the Grass Roots sang, "Where Were You When I Needed You"? WHYYYY YOOOO! I'll let ya off the hook for now, but you better mark your calendar to get out and VOTE next time!

And BIG grins to the nine foreign countries and territories that got in on the fun this year...HELL-O to Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. Virgin Islands!

It all added up to just about the MOST participation EVER in this survey, which continues to grow year after year!


You guys had me wondering about your writing skills as it seemed LOTS of you voted for songs that, whether you realized it or not, told a story just by their titles. Well, at least - I - put together the titles to get some GREAT story lines!

I wonder if New York's Artie Mandel realized that the songs he voted have a great storyline, "Dancing in the dark at the hop, I want you, I need you, I love you. Oh boy!" And what about another New Yorker Warren Vandewater? Do you think HE'S as relaxed as can be by voting for "Take it easy, let it be. I'm still standing"? Hey, Kentucky's "Doodler" ...I wonder what's on YOUR mind by voting for "Hello, I love you honky tonk women. Get down tonight, Brandy".

Miss Andrea from Massachusetts votes “Are you lonesome tonight? Maybe!” And Maine’s Irwin Gratz voted his sentiments, “My girl, I should have known better because you can’t hurry love”.

And there were such sweet sentiments, intended or not, from Jersey’s Tom Shields as he voted for, “Can’t help falling in love, angel baby. Don’t say you don’t remember pillow talk. I love how you love me…so rare!” Whoa, I feel like I’m intruding on something there. Jersey’s Big Tom Lawler voted, “I wonder why you’ve really got a hold on me. What am I gonna do with you in a moment at the top of the stairs. Do you love me?” (cough-cough). And Debi Schnellbacher from New Jersey had me hoping for an invitation to HER place when she voted for “Hot mama, wonderful tonight…save a horse, ride a cowboy”. And then, “Brandy… smoke on the water, and…beer for my horses…” Hey wait a minute! I don’t smoke, and WHAT”S THIS about HORSES???

Look at the songs Edward Koop from New York liked. Was Ed thinking of Yankees ace reliever Mariano Rivera when he voted for Mariano’s theme of “Enter Sandman” (Metallica), After all, when Mariano throws his “Heatseeker” (AC/DC) on a “Sunny Afternoon” (Kinks), it’s “Kind of a Drag” (Buckinghams) for the other team, who “Cry Like a Baby” (Box Tops). Of course, to counter that, we have Alabama’s Wes Brown voting for Damn Yankees with “High Enough”. And there’s more! Although Steve “seaverfever” from New Jersey didn’t vote for “Let’s Go Mets!”, New Jersey’s Stu Dolgon DID vote for “Meet the Mets”. Hey Stu, that song, “Meet the Mets”, WAS in contention to make the Top 77, but for the second year in a row, it lost out on the last day of the voting season. (Ouch, sorry, I couldn’t resist!)

Mike Milligan from the U.K. voted for “Half a World Away” (R.E.M.) and then voted for a SONG that IS half a world away, “Nur Ein Wort” by Wir Sind Helden. Gang, I can’t make this stuff up! Check out the video (click or copy and paste):

I guess they never heard of Bob Dylan in Germany…

Wisconsin’s Tim Neely voted for this S.O.S., “Help! I’ve gotta get a message to you. He stopped loving her today.” Hey Tim, mind your own business! And David Piercy from North Carolina must have a “Fascination” (Jane Morgan) with Hollywood and women who “Make All Your Dreams Come True” (Ronnie Dove) when he votes for songs from “You Got the Love” (Candi Staton) to songs by Marilyn Monroe and Mae West. “GREAT BALLS OF FIRE”. And there will be absolutely no comment from me.


It was good to see so many loyal board friends stopping by to vote. Original Oldies Message Board moderator and #1 DJ Bob Shannon checked in to vote for some real obscure gems, like Ervin Rucker, the Mavericks and the Bracelets. And you might be surprised to know that a Hank Williams tune was one of Bob’s top 7 favorites (but I’ll let you guess which one). DJ legend Pat St. John voted from NJ for some great tunes by the Animals, Beach Boys, Temptations, Jerry Lee Lewis and Spencer Davis, and I LOVED his choice of Sounds Orchestral “Cast Your Fate to the Wind”, one of my favorites too. But Pat, what happened to your usual vote for “The Twist”?

Radio programming great Bob Buchmann wished us good luck and voted for “Maggie May” as his fave. Old buddy Ted David took a break from reporting the news to giving us the news that Jr. Walker was his all time favorite, and DJ legend Dave Herman did his best to honor Mr. Zimmerman by voting “Like A Rolling Stone” as his number one. Programming legend Larry Berger voted for some GREAT 70’s and 80’s tunes, led by The Whispers “And the Beat Goes On”.

Jersey’s ace DJ Don Tandler still loves the Season’s “Tell It to the Rain”. West Haven’s WNHU host Bob Radil did a GREAT job bringing you this countdown over the air, and added balance to all those votes for “Lightnin’ Strikes” by voting for “Lightning Crashes” by Live. And Ron Kovacs from RadioMaxMusic, who was so instrumental in bringing you past audio countdowns on his great internet channel, voted Kid Rock’s “All Summer Long” (A/K/A “Werewolves of London in Disguise”) as his number one favorite.

New York Daily News Radio Reporter Extraordinaire David Hinckley voted for some great songs led by Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle and Roll”. And one of the ORIGINAL survey guys Ken Williamson really mixed things up with votes for Bobby Rydell, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and Artie Shaw’s big band.

New Jersey's Ralph Hahn checked in to vote for "Taxi" for the umpteenth time as his fave, but he DID vote for many new tunes he hadn't voted for before, led by Nazz's "Hello It's Me". Larry Zamparelli from NYC tries and tries again each year to see that a certain female got her "Cher" of the survey by voting for "I Got You Babe" and "The Way of Love", and added "Why not make it 10 songs instead of seven?" OK, Larry, but YOU do the tabulating!

Board pal and "Hz So Good" C.E.O. Rich Appel checked in with songs from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. What gives, Rich? You discriminate against Rudy Vallee and the Roaring 20's? Fellow Jersey media man Sean Ross slipped a “Mickey” (Toni Basil) into his list. Terry Morgan kept that surfin’ music alive with votes for the Beach Boys and Jan and Dean. And New York’s Paul Brownstein joined the fun and wrote “These are my 7 songs today. Tomorrow may yield a different 7. That’s the way it is.” WHOA! Yes SIR!

Friend Allan Ross saluted 1963, a favorite year of mine too, (nice going, Allan) with a vote for the Cookies “Will Power” (even NICER going, Allan). Pete Kanze took time out from working on WABC’s Rewound show to vote for his faves, including the Five Satins, while Linda Cohen from New York loves the Four Tops and “I Can’t Help Myself” as her all-time favorite. It was good to see Norm N. Nite’s engineer and Cleveland friend Jim Davison voted for his favorites, led by “These Eyes” (Guess Who). And Spencer Morasch took time out from posting to his wonderful YouTube site to vote from New Jersey.

Jersey board contributor Jeff Scheckner set the theme with a vote for “Come and Get These Memories", while Mick T. liked a Beatles song about strawberries as his fave. Marion G. loved Elvis and couldn’t help falling in love with the song she put as her #1. Board friends Pennsylvnia’s Mike Piazza (no not the former Met), New York’s MJ Rosenbluth, and PA’s Jim Griffey all checked in. And Hilary from Pennsylvania voted for Eric Clapton’s “Reconsider Baby”. With a name like Hilary, could that be a comment on the nominations? Hmmmm…

Kate Palmer from Pennsylvania checked in with her favorite, “Tighter Tighter”. And board friend and the man who makes such wonderful predictions of the Top 77 each year, Jim Fraas of Massachusetts, voted for some GREAT music from Five Satins to Led Zep to Chubby to LeAnn Rimes! (Good choice there, Jim!)

Regular voter Andrea Chikofsky from New Jersey remembered Miriam Makeba with a vote for “Pata Pata”. Hi to New York’s Nick Sarames who voted “Teo Torriatte” by Queen as his favorite. WCWP buddy and WABC alum Mike Phillips remembered the economy by voting for “Busted”. And all of the Gallants led by California’s Mike checked in, with Mike voting for the eleventh year and remarking how it’s “…great to learn that the Top 77 tradition continues on. You guys are awesome!” Gee, thanks Mike {{{b l u s h}}} even if you ARE right about that!

Howard Kotlus from New York picked a goodie from the Kalin Twins, “When”. Regular voter Joe Postove from Virginia voted for his faves (The Beach Boys and Chubby Checker, of course). And Pennsylvanian and good friend Jim Farmer remembered some GREAT tunes led by The Dells and “The Love We Had”.

After all these years of voting and cryptic comments from Pennsylvania’s Steve Green, I finally could FINALLY understand him when he wrote, “…when many guests drop by…they…sing along… and seem to enjoy (the oldies) from a new perspective.” Steve, all I can say is keep playing that rock and roll.

Pink Lady Patty, whose heart is in New York, led the pack with election songs like “Yes We Can Can”. And she got LOTS of people to vote this year (thanks, baby!) like Rhonda Ferguson from Mississippi, and A.C. Smith from Texas (And no, A.C. Smith did NOT vote for O.C. Smith.) And then there was Tom from Pennyslvania, who felt a bit brain dead in trying to pick his favorites since he’s “…turning 40 in a few…very few days…” (I know, I know. It’s all downhill after 30!)

Hi to board friend Fred Clemens from New Jersey, who voted for “The Shelter of Your Arms” by Sammy Davis Jr. as one of his faves. But Fred, I have a sneaking suspicion that the fact that your favorite Napoleon XIV wrote that song went a long way in your decision!

Fellow survey fan and leader Bill Danning checks in with a vote for the classic “Whispering Bells” by The Del-Vikings as his #1. Michael Judge voted for two “very old songs” (“Wonderland by Night” and “Stand By Me”), which make him “feel old”. But Michael, it SEEMS like those songs were just OUT yesterday. Doesn’t THAT count?

College buddy Bobby “G” Guthenberg voted for “Hey Jude” as his fave (Hi Bob! I guess even after ALL these years, I’ll never convince you to vote for The Archies, huh?) Brooklyn’s very own Frank Schmitt voted for my favorite, “He’s a Rebel”, along with “Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get” (Does that title have anything to do with those NSFW emails you send out? Just kidding Frank, just please remember to keep warning us…LOL.)

“Jersey Girls” site master and interviewing guru Ronnie Allen voted for the first time this year, remembering some greats like “Navy Blue”, “The Battle of New Orleans”, and “Party Girl” from Bernadette Carroll. And to the Queen Diva Andrea Wiener, I say thanks for voting again this year. You made some great choices there, Andrea, with The Quotations’ “Imagination” and The Toys’ “A Lovers Concerto”.

Big John Libynski from Arizona sends “Greeting from the land of sunshine!” And then he voted for songs that were #1 on his birthday. Hmmm, interesting twist, Big Bad John!

Tom Natoli thanks all his current and past co-workers for voting. And Tom’s mom Florence voted for Bing and Patti Page and Peggy Lee and Tom Jones and The Kinks. HUH? The Kinks??? (Seems like her SON has been influencing her!)

Speaking of name-dropping (were we?) and sending thanks, we ALL thank Barbara Natoli, Tom’s wife, for putting up with his late nights and his computer-hogging as he feverishly and diligently worked his butt off to get the numbers done. Barbara LOVES her Bon Jovi, but we LOVE Barb for giving up her Tom for just “a little” bit of time (cough, cough). And Tom, you owe her some NICE dinners out.

And what about us, moi? The guys who put this together? Well, Chief Tekkie Extraordinaire Frank Thomas says he’s “…still trying to forgive William Shatner for slaughtering…” his #1 choice, “Rocket Man” (Elton John). Chad Olszyk (who helped set up the calculation program) writes “I’ve never had a favorite in the Top 77, but I still like to try.” Well Chad, “Tom Sawyer” by Rush came in #889, so you’re getting closer. Fellow “Survey Guy” and Top 77 partner Tom Natoli loves his Kinks, but especially “Days”, a very special and significant song for him (and many of us, listen to the lyrics sometime). Tom writes, “Last year, ‘Days” was for my aunt. This year, it’s for my hero, my dad.” Wow, Tom. NOTHING more needs to be said.

And little ol’ me? I’m still voting for “He’s a Rebel” by the Crystals as my fave, a-wishin’ and desperately hoping it will someday surpass “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by MISS Ross.


Doubters, all! So many of ye of little faith thought your songs would NOT make the survey. “I don’t know if any of these songs will make the Top 77”, said California’s Frankie D. “But at least I am true to my favorites.” Well, Frankie, you’re only PARTLY right. “John the Revelator” (Depeche Mode) missed the cut. But “Incense and Peppermints” did really well.

And Connecticut’s Carlo Marinuzzi wrote, “I’m sure none of these songs will make the year end list… top 40 music…needs to return and it needs to return now!” Good sentiment, Carlo, but if you keep voting for songs like your #1 choice, “Wiwwian Wevy” by Pastrami Malted, your prediction about none of your songs making the Top 77 will likely hold true.

New Jersey’s Ken Van Dongen wrote, “Probably not one of these will make the Top 77. Guess “MacArthur Park” is one of those “love it or hate it” tunes”. Yes, Ken, but most here LOVE it. It finished in the top 20.

New York’s Tony Wilson from Sony’s Trivia Night doubts that “…any of these will make it onto your survey”. WRONG, Tony. Two of your choices made the Top 77 (“Baker Street” was #46, and The Cowsills were #67.) And buddy Alan Seltzer wrote, “I’d be shocked if more than two of these songs I voted for make it…” Ah, but Alan, you were WRONG! Every ONE of your songs made the top 2369! (Actually, FOUR of your songs even made the Top 77, so there!)


Lots of great comments and remembrances of WABC and that era came from your keyboards. Gary Koop from Oregon wrote "How I would love to hear Dan Ingram...Another survey should be top ten Dan Ingram intros. #1 would be 'Kiss and Say Goodbye". And Washington’s Kevin Parker could just about hear “…WABC playing in the background” as he chose his favorites. New York’s Tom Resue remembers the WABC countdowns, and especially remembers “the best year end jingle…Dan Ingram’s voice over the beginning of ‘Love Child’”. (That WAS a good one!) Former Alaska DJ Peter Sammon from New Jersey remembered the “…Dan Ingram era at WABC…I LUV this stuff. Keep up the good work!”

New Jersey’s Jim Tichenor loved that golden era when he “…was listening to the WMCA Good Guys back in the 60’s and then WABC.” Yup, Jim, that’s what this project is all about. Even Charlie Jordan from New Haven remembered sending away “…for the WABC Top Songs of the Year lists…from 1967 to 1977…and I still have them.”

Rosemary Lloyd from New Jersey said, “I grew up with these songs and each one has a special meaning…these are only the tip of the iceberg". Arneil Dewitt from Jersey remembered the Tuesday afternoon 40 years ago that he heard WABC first play “MacArthur Park”. It’s been his fave ever since, as he wrote, “Rest in Peace, Richard. We still miss you”. Yes, we sure do.

New York’s Michael Ryan is encouraged “…to know that many still remember 77 radio so fondly”. Mike, I’d be more shocked if so many people DIDN’T remember this great station. And Massachusetts’ Pete Stassa remembers the music on the survey fondly as he writes, “More often than not, I was in the car,,,it was my cue to roll the windows down, crank up the volume, and sing along at the top of my lungs!” Virginia’s Tom Casey adds the “Music Pow Pow Power” jingle in his comments while voting for “I Feel Fine”.

Other comments had me seriously wondering about you guys. Bill Wall from Illinois thinks like a certain governor when he writes "Whaddya mean I can't vote the Chicago way --- early and often?" Hmmm, OK Bill, I'll take $100 to assign your favorite "Golden Teardrops" by the Flamingos as #1.

New Jersey’s John Reilly voted with a hope to take the Top 77 “…into a whole new direction” with heavy metal songs. Sorry John, but for every Metallica song you vote for, there will ALWAYS be an Archies’ song getting votes. Michigan’s Chris Stinson went with songs “…I DON’T get tired of, no matter how many times I hear them”. And then voted for “See” (Rascals), “Susan” (Buckinghams), “I Am the…” Aw, forget about it. I’m getting tired of listing his songs…

Nebraska’s Andy Agree thinks we should restrict eligible songs to the WABC era. Well Andy, I can’t…agree… (sorry about that…). We LOVE the variety of votes. This year, we even got votes for songs from the 1700’s! Bill Hollis from New Jersey wrote, “Hopefully, you will play the songs in stereo, not mono.” I guess he was talking about the audio version of the show on WNHU. But all I can say is, Bill, what’s stereo??? David Cranmer from Georgia voted “MacArthur Park” by Richard Harris as his favorite because it “…reminds me of a sunny May day in the spring…” But David, the song is about a cake getting rained on!

What was North Carolina’s Tom Fowlers’ top choice for the song that, as he puts it, “…still pops in his head 40+ years later…”? It was… "1-2-3, Good Lah-vin!” by the Rascals (who I believe were still “Young”, at the time.) And talk about “waxing poetic”…Luis Boki from the west coast wrote that “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” …is a…mantra for always reaching for your dreams. It is uplifting, inspiring and a song we need in these…tough times.” Great thoughts, Luis. (Oh by the way, there’s a thick envelope from a MISS Ross waiting for you.)

Rebekah Koropsak from New Jersey wrote that, “Tool is the most underrated band of all time”. Yes, Rebekah, I see your point. And if I were a carpenter, I would definitely vote for “Tool”. (Ouch, that was a BAD joke!) Asbury Park DJ Tommy Lynch from WJLK voted for the songs that were his favorites AND his 10 and 11 year-old kids’ favorites, led by Jan and Dean’s “Surf City”. And, in what is STILL a mystery to me, Ryan Kay from New Jersey voted and then wrote, “I hope I win.” Ryan, my question is…win WHAT???

But how better to wrap up this segment than with the song that says it all, voted for by Arizona’s Harry Shapiro. That would be The Angels, “Thank You and Goodnight”.


Whoa! What strange bedfellows these surveys make. You guys really voted for some odd combinations of songs and artists! Jersey's Michael Klass proved himself to be a "Klass" act as he voted for the Black Eyed Peas AND Glenn Miller. Another New Jersey-ite, Jessica Dell'Orto voted for sweet, laid back John Denver along with VIOLENT FEMMES (!) YIKES! Gemme outta here! And Glen from Massachusetts is all over the place with his faves, from Metallica and Violent Femmes (again!) to Barry White and Frankie Valli.

You’d expect to get votes for “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and “Whole Lotta Love”, but “Whole Lotta Rosie” (AC/DC)? Well, that’s what Indy’s Melinda voted for. Wisconsin’s Joe Sita really mixed things up by voting for Led Zeppelin, Millie Small AND the Fenderman (“Good morning, cap-tinn! Huh-ha-ha-huh-huh-ha”). Marshal Goldberg from New York seems hung up on cars, with TWO votes for the Cars, and votes for “DRIVE” and “Paradise by the DASHBOARD Lights”. Umm, Marshal, better be alert for your other vote…the POLICE!

Several Jersey residents got into the act, like Mike Grayeb who voted for both “Taxi” and “Fast Car”. Mike, that IS an oxymoron, at least in New York City rush hour. Megan voted for both the Flamingos and Led Zeppelin. And Jackie Elder felt patriotic, voting for “American Pie” and “American Girl” (Tom Petty).

Pennsylvania’s Jeff Demko remembered those we love the most with votes for “Color Him FATHER”, “Don’t Cry DADDY’, and “I’ll Always Love My MAMA”. And PA’s Scott Mundry “…voted for the first seven songs… (he) loaded up on the Ipod.” Wanna know his first? It was “Jungleland” by Bruce Springsteen.

“Tomorrow Never Knows”, a rather obscure and odd Beatles track, got LOTS of votes from New York’s Pietrina Scaraglino and Mike McHugh and Canada’s Greg Simpson. To which I only say…WHY??? And international flavor came from Washington’s Peter DiTuri who voted for Domenico Modugno, Girogio Moroder, Emilio Pericoli, Rocco Granata, Renato Carosone and Righeira. Peter, my boy, all I can say is MAGNIFICO! (Is that a word?)

Al in Naugatuck stayed true to the Seasons, voting all seven for the Four, if ya know what I mean. New York’s Cindy R. voted for songs from 1962 to 2006 (Steve Lawrence to Pink). New York’s Tamara voted for all Christmas songs, led by Andy Williams’ “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. Pennsylvania’s Dave Scott couldn’t decide if it was day or night as he voted for “Those Were the Days”, “Strangers in the Night”, What a Difference a Day Makes” and “Wonderland by Night”. Dave, you could have easily solved this dilemma by just voting for “Night and Day”.

Michael Howard from New York really mixed it up with a variety of votes that spanned from Dion to The Diamonds to The Flying Pickets to Luciano Pavarotti. And John Piccini from Pennsylvania answered the question “What’s new?” by voting for “New York State of Mind”, “New Kid in Town” and “New York, New York”. And that’s NEWS to us, John.

New York’s Ira Sonin complained about squeezing in only seven songs to vote for, but then made one of his top 7 “(She Got a) Nose Job”, from an insert record in a 1961 issue of Mad Magazine. HUH??? Fellow New Yorker Beki Castaneda (is that a cute name, or what?) voted for OTHER cute names, like “Bobby’s Girl”, “Johnny Angel’, “Dawn”, and “Sherry”.

Mike Baronio from the Empire State wrote, “Gotta have variety!”, and boy, did he EVER pick “variety”, as in Led Zep, Alison Kraus, My Chemical Romance, Meat Puppets and Bad Religion. Hey Mike, how come there are no votes for Sinatra or the Singing Nun???

Minnesota’s Alexander Rousseau writes, “Long live disco!” and then voted for “Chuck E’s in Love” and “Alone Again (Naturally). HUH? Connecticut resident R. Bellach’s self proclaimed “unconventional tastes” included Miles Davis, The Beatles, The Deviants, The Ventures and Neu! To which I say “Whew!” to “Neu!” and the others TOO!

Friend Bob Thomas from New Jersey headed for the “hills” with his votes for “Solsbury Hill” (Peter Gabriel) and “Blueberry Hill” (Fats Domino). And how appropriate is it that Ken from the land down under (Australia) voted for “Upside Down” by MISS Ross?

Bonnie W. from NJ says she “could have easily done 20!’ (songs, that is) and then uses just TEN words to vote for SIX of her favorites. How’d she do THAT? Simple, by voting for…”Hey Jude”, “Layla”, “Tainted Love”, “Clocks”, “At Last” and “Ruby Tuesday”. Nice, if brief, job, Bonnie. New York’s Steve NOBEL gets the PRIZE (get it?)…for having for three of his seven songs get into the Top 77. And finally, Florida’s Steve Lindenauer voted late, using the excuse that “…the dog ate my previous email!” Hey Steve, I ain’t buying it! Go stand in the corner, and you WILL miss recess today!


Yup, lots of you seemed to consciously or UN-consciously be saying something with the songs you voted for. How about New York gal Rhonda Johnson voting for "This GIRL Is a WOMAN Now", "LADY Willpower", "WOMAN, WOMAN", "Young GIRL", "Over You' and "Don't Give In to Him". Whoa! Get out of her way, guys! I guess she (and Gary Puckett) are firmly entrenched in the GRRRL Power thing!

And Ron from Florida wrote how “…some songs remind me of the high points in my life…some the low points. I’d rather ride life’s rollercoaster, than not.” So did he vote high, or low? After seeing his votes for “Crazy”, “Help!” and “Don’t Bring Me Down”, all I can say, Ron, is “Look out be-loooooow!”


There were so many "naturals" to vote for that you guys missed! Jersey's Tom Gaffney voted for five songs that were over five minutes long, but what, with an email of "TommyWithHat" you couldn't vote for Men WITHOUT Hats? Larbo from New York...NO votes for Lobo? Good to see board friend Mary Shaw with an email name of "Babylou" VOTE for "Lou"...Christie, that is! But NO vote for “Baby Love” from “Babylou”? Frank Cavaliere writes "I enjoy listening to the results on Bob Radil's show. I commend you guys for the work involved." But Frank, no votes for Felix Cavaliere from you? And the "eyes" have it as votes came in for "The Story in Your Eyes" and "In Your Eyes" by New York's Don Divine. But Don...whaaa happened??? No "Divine Miss M" songs?

Maureen Pelletreau from Florida, with an email name of "Maurasaurus", you couldn't vote for T-Rex? Or even Hotlegs' "Neantherthal Man"? Hi to "Down Under's" very own Ian Wright. Yes, "Ian of Oz" checked in, but DID NOT vote for "Ding, Dong! The Witch Is Dead" or even "Over the Rainbow". SHAME on you, Ian! Maryland’s Charlemange, with an email of “TheBoonDocks”, you couldn’t make Billy Joe Royal happy and vote for “Down in the Boondocks”?

Hey, Massachusetts' David Crockett, no votes for Steve Alamo (or is that "Alaimo"?) And D.J. Giant Gene Arnold from Pennsylvania, how dare you not vote for “The Jolly Green Giant”! Florida’s Johnny Dark just must have forgotten to vote for “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia”. And Frank Flood from New York, I would have bet that you’d vote for “The River Is Wide”. And you KNOW what songs I was hoping Illinois’ V. Ribbon would vote for…Either that Tony Orlando hit or at LEAST Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky”. Why do you all let me down so much?

To California’s “Old Billy Goat”, if you’re gonna call yourself THAT, at least have the decency to vote for Walter Brennan’s mule song, “Old Rivers”. To the U.K.’s Johnny G, no votes for the Fantastic Johnny C? And New York’s Frank Venis, how could you not vote for “Venus” or “Venus” or AT LEAST “Venus” (Frankie Avalon, Shocking Blue, Bananarama)? And what’s this? No Jack Jones or Tom Jones for Tim Jones from England? And speaking of English royalty, New Yorker Rita G has an email nickname of “GalaxyQueen” but voted for neither that famous Bohemian Rhapsody or “Star Wars Theme”. And how come New York’s Paul Stingo did NOT vote for Sting or even The Police?

Benson Stone from Illinois has an email of “StoneFamily”. So wha, wha, WHA??? Not ONE song by Sly and HIS family, Stone? And Jersey’s Tom Albert, you COULD have voted for “Albert Flasher” (Guess Who). The New York voter who identified himself simply as “Joel” did NOT vote for Billy. And once again, neither did Betty Joel from Massachusetts, who included some great artists but no Billy for Betty. And to New York’s Annie Gross, did you forget to vote for Henry Gross’ “Shannon”? Greg Berry from New Hampshire just must have forgotten to vote for brother Chuck.

George Brew from New Jersey didn’t vote for “Strange Brew”, Nevada’s “Music Maestro” didn’t vote for Johnny, and I’m still trying to figure out why someone from Indiana who called himself “Loved the Big 89” voted for “Summer of ‘69”. That seems wrong, no? Hey, Ken Storey from Vermont, thanks for voting from up north, but you AT LEAST should have voted for “Brother Louie” by Stories. Hello to Texas and Jimmy Walker, but NO he did not vote for “Dyn-o-Mite!” (

I’m still trying to figure out how Robert Meadus, with an email name of “elvis”, voted for THREE Eagles songs but NO songs from “The King”. Robert, my friend, I think Elvis would like YOU to leave the building! And to friend Ward Olmsted, you have an email of “WonderfulWard” yet you DIDN’T vote for “What a Wonderful World”…or “What a Wonderful Ward”, or…whatever! I was surprised to see that New York’s Tom Rooney didn’t vote for “Mickey”! . And from North Carolina Mark Nemeth even remembered the “WABC…D I N G ! But Mark Nemeth DIDN’T remember to vote for Mike Nesmith.

Dennis Conti from New Jersey didn’t vote for Bill’s “Theme from Rocky”, but then again Massachusett’s Dan Frey didn’t vote for Glenn. New York’s mysterious “E”, yeah YOU, you couldn’t vote for “Pop Muzik” by “M”? California’s “Rod” did NOT vote for Mr. Stewart.

And doncha think Dr. Johnny P. Love Train from Florida would have voted for “Calling Dr. Love” by KISS. But nooooo, his fave is “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John. Hey, wait a minute Johnny. Come to think of it, getting physical with Olivia probably is more popular than KISS for me, too. Ummm, unless it was a Kiss FROM Olivia!

It WAS comforting, however, to find SOMEONE who got it right. Texas’ very own David ROUNDS voted for “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Thank you, David, and amen!


Some GREAT (and forgotten) songs were remembered this year by our voters. Like Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans" (#619) by New Jersey's Carman Puma. Or William Esposito from New York who remembered the Brenda Lee great, “I’m Sorry” (#1244). Dennis from New Jersey got those dance steps RIGHT by voting for both "The Locomotion" by Little Eva (#2321) AND "Mashed Potatoe Time" by Dan that "Mashed POTATO Time" (#752) by Dee Dee Sharp (...sorry...). Remember “Teardrop” (#2312, Santo and Johnny) and “Undertow” (#2102, Fabulous Continentals)? Charlie Tahaney from PA remembered. Good choices! Jersey’s Cathy loved the Shirelles and voted for some of their goodies, especially “Soldier Boy” which always seems to be overlooked on this list. (It came in #1093 this year…way too low in my opinion.)

Bob Mayben from Alabama writes, “The only thing in life I am good at is knowing oldies”, and then voted for “Be My Baby, “Then He Kissed Me” (#246), AND a great lost oldie, “All Strung Out” (#1402) by Nino Tempo and April Stevens. Good choices, Bob. New York’s Joe McCombs voted for a good one with Lighthouse and “Pretty Lady” (#1303). And Sal Faticio from Florida picked a great choice with Kenny Vance and the Planotones and “Looking for an Echo” (#328).

Melinda DeMaio from New York and Frank Gussie of New Jersey picked a great forgotten hit, The Moody Blues with “Your Wildest Dreams” (#627). New Jersey’s Paul Herman remembered a goody, “Buy for Me the Rain” (#1895) by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

Barbara Demt from Nevada remembered The Four Seasons’ “Beggin’” (#930) and The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron” (#191). And I LOVE Ohio’s Jane Kasmer’s picks of “Where the Boys Are” (#566) by Connie Francis and “For Your Eyes Only” (#981) by the GORGEOUS Sheena Easton. (Note to Sheena --- Call me, I’m STILL waiting…STILL, Sheena…er, um…SHEENA? Hmm, she STILL doesn’t seem interested.)

New York’s Bobby Ryan checked in with a great song, “Pepe” from Duane Eddy (#2258), and a GREAT email name, wwwOldies! And good for you, Pete O’Rourke from New York for remembering Lynyrd Skynyrd (who got ptomain poisoning last night after dinner’d) with a GREAT lost hit, “I Know a Little” (#2198).

Thanks to New Jersey’s Jack McDougall and several others who finally remembered to vote for a GREATLY OVERLOOKED classic, “Louie Louie” (#268) by The Kingsmen, Illinois’ J. Foster dug down deep and came up with a great one to vote for, “The Breakup Song” by Greg Kihn (#1813). And fellow Illinoisan (Or is that Ill-Annoyin’???) Doris Foster liked Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” (#1957). Great choice, Doris! Massachusetts’ Jack Stearns picked some goodies, including “Tammy” (#748), the Debbie Reynolds gem from 1957.

Both Bill Paradine from Louisiana and Mike Paradine from New Jersey remembered a great Kinks’ tune, “Celluloid Heroes”. James Plumb from New Jersey voted for some classic hard rock artists like Guns N’ Roses, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Van Halen, Metallica, and Aerosmith. At the other end of the musical spectrum, Charlie D. from New Jersey made sure lots of the classic oldies acts were represented, like The Platters, The Temptations and The Olympics. Another New Jersey-ite, Donna Nesmith, voted for some great songs from THIS decade like “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by the GORGEOUS Kylie Minogue.

Some other terrific classics and forgotten oldies got votes, like “Come Softly to Me” (#1657) remembered by New York’s Bobby C. and Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” (#80), which nearly made the Top 77 and was celebrated by many, including New York’s Maxine Bergman.

Washington state’s John Lovejoy loved love’s “Wicked Game” (#1846) by Chris Isaak. Remember that great song from “Dirty Dancing”? Which one, you say? Well, Beverly Langston from New Jersey knows which song I’m talking about, since she voted for Solomon Burke’s “Cry to Me” (#1436). From the Sunshine State, board friend Tony Marzocco checked in with some GREAT songs from The Crystals, "Da Doo Ron Ron" (#191), Skeeter Davis and "I Can't Stay Mad at You" (#429), "Kiss Me Sailor" (#1266) with Diane Renay, and Bobby Rydell's "Forget Him" (#635). And bless you, Jay Goldberg in Florida, for putting up a voting chad for that WONDERFUL “Chick-A-Boom” by Daddy Dewdrop (#1192).


Well led, of course, by New Jersey's Tony Nardini, we get "Some song...ANY song HAS to dethrone the stupidity of why 'Hey Jude' has continued to be voted as number one. PLEEEEASE...tell me 'Hey Jude' will not be number one again this year". OK, Tony, "Hey Jude" will not be #1 again this year. Maybe...

Oh my, oh my. Why oh why do so many of you speak so unkindly of SUCH a popular song, one that's been on top of this list for just a wee bit of time? What song is that, you say?

Listen to Dave from Ohio: "One of my all-time most hated songs is 'Hey Jude'...Man, I just don't get how that song stays so popular." New Yorker Ronald Gerson writes, “I hope it is NOT a forgone conclusion that…”Hey Jude” will ALWAYS be #1. Eric Marto from Jersey says, “Hopefully the dominance of ‘Hey Jude’ will come to an end sooner than later”. And Paul Richards from New Jersey writes, “…that ‘Hey Jude’ continues to rule, minute after minute (with) the same words, I just don’t get it.” To which all I can say is…”Na-na-na-na-na-na-NA!”

Hey, Tom and I just call ‘em as we see ;em. And that song has proven to be ENORMOUSLY popular with voters for a long time now. Anyway you cut it, and regardless of any opinion you have, the song IS a classic!

AND BESIDES…ALL of you just wait and SEE what topped the list this year! YOU JUST MAY BE IN FOR A SURPRISE!


I asked you to vote for three songs when I started it, then it became five, then seven…and now? I get the message, OK! Read on. From David Egurrola in Jersey, "It was hard getting it down to seven songs." Naureen Lorentz from Florida wrote, "This was very nice of you to do, but why do you limit it to seven?...". Connecticut’s Mike Rich wrote, “It’s almost impossible to pinpoint one’s favorites when you think about all of the great songs out there.” The U.K.’s Chris Carty joined in with “I could have picked 77!” Radio historian William Brown from New York said that if he could vote for 77 songs his list could be filled “lickety-split”. New York’s Robert Raimondi wanted to vote for 25 songs.

And oh, the pain you all suffered! Delaware’s Tom Drake was absolutely tortured by all this! “Oh! The agony of indecision. Only 7. Only 7. No fair.” Another man in pain, “Mark the Shark” Haft, karaoke connoisseur and dj, wrote “It hurts just to vote for seven songs.” Jersey friend John Porcaro agreed, “It is tough to vote for only 7 songs.” And then Wisconsin’s Ellis Bromberg chimed in, “You’re killing me…can I vote twice, please? He gave us his top seven and then added seven for good measure! (Sorry, Ellis, we could only count the first seven.)

Florida’s Rick Studer wrote, “So many choices! Could be 70X7 and still wouldn’t catch ‘em all”. Hmm, so maybe next year we’ll ask for your top 490! Pennsylvania’s Al Vandersloot echoed how it’s “tough to pick only seven” but added, “These are the songs I love to hear.” And the #1 song he loves to hear? It was “Dawn” by the Four Seasons.

Kim Dodson from Texas wrote, “There is too much good music to say these are always my favorites”. And Dan Rothj from Georgia has it figured out for us… “…pick 20 seconds, divided into groups of 5 (1-5, 6-10, etc) without ranking them individually”. Ok, Dan. Gotcha…………HUH??? (But thanks for the thought anyway, and thanks for voting!)

Lance Clifford Hastings from Connecticut wanted to include more, more, more hits from “…Lighthouse, Chase, France Joli…and The Andrea True Connection…but there wasn’t enough room, or time.” Jersey’s Hillary Nardini is submitting her votes, “…under protest. No way can I choose seven song! More like 7000!”

Jeff Hegedus from Pennsylvania also wanted to see more than just the Top 77. “Will you be compiling a top 500 this year?” And Georgia's "Bob the Media Guy", Bob Nagengast, wrote "...I wish you expand it to the Top 100 songs, just like the original MusicRadio 77 Top 100." Well, if you guys mean having people VOTE for 100 songs, fah-ged-a-bowt-it! But if you mean seeing MORE of the results...hmmm...stay tuned!

From Greg Simpson in Canada, we got “How can you expect us to limit it to seven?”. OK, OK, Bobby. But just keep voting for The Beatles “Tomorrow Never Knows” as your #2 favorite and we just may limit YOU to ONE vote! (JUST KIDDING! :D )

And count New York’s Alan Berman in the camp who “…wish(es) the list was 10 songs because there are so many great songs…through the years”. New Jersey’s Lynn Lamperiello has a big ”YIKES!” and continued on about how hard it is “to limit the selection to just seven songs --- but these are the ones that kept sticking when I went over and over my list of favorites”. And what was her VERY favorite? “Things I’d Like to Say” by The New Colony Six.

So here’s what – I – have to say. You may now start voting for your favorite 770 songs. Tom and I will begin the compilation process, and you can check back here in the year 2525…BECAUSE THAT’S ABOUT HOW LONG THE PROCESS WOULD TAKE! Again I say, “Oy Vey!” (and I’m not even Jewish!)


Tom and I certainly appreciate the kind words from many of you. Ray Chmielewski from New Jersey wrote, “Tom, great stuff! Amazing how far this has come!” Another New Jersey voter, Joe Myers, wrote, “Tom is the best!”. And Dean Hartman from New York said “Tom, great job…keep up the great work…” Umm, hey Ray…and Tom…and Dean…what am I, Swiss cheese???

From Florida’s Cyril DeFazio: “Keep up the great work! I know it’s grueling stuff, but fun at the same time” Oh yeah, Cyril? FUN, you say?. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

New York’s Mary Ruth Goodley thanked us and says that the survey is “always interesting”. From Sal Tallerico in New York, we heard, “…Big undertaking, much appreciated.” Tampa Bay DJ Big Ed Edwards from WWPR voted for “Burning Love” (dedicated to the girls at the free clinic) and added, “I enjoy your survey each year…keep up the good work!” Friend Gary Pfeifer from Arizona voted for “Gloria” by the Shadows of Knight as his fave, and says, “Thanks guys for keeping this going year after year.”

Evan Marcus from New Jersey wrote, “Keep up the good work, guys, this is a lot of fun.” And New York’s Thomas Kammerer wrote, “Thanks much for taking the time to do this” before voting “The Sounds of Silence” as his favorite. Another New Yorker, Andrea, wrote, “I really love this survey. It gives us the chance to choose the songs we want. Keep up the good work!”

England’s David Oliver wrote so graciously, “Thanks for taking the trouble to run the survey again, (It’s) the only reliable guide to what people really like”. Joey Prout from New Jersey said, “Thanks for doing this…I truly look forward to it each year.” California’s Randall Huff wrote, “Thanks for doing this…I also enjoy the 77 MusicRadio Website with its airchecks by the great Dan Ingram.” Same here, kemosabe.

Florida’s Merrick Wolfe said, “Great fun…it’s been a very long time since I’ve been over to…you’re doing a good deed getting folks like me to get back to the board.” Well actually, that would be a thank you to Tom, who sent HUNDREDS of email reminders to all our past voters. And New Jersey’s Michael Chance wrote, “Great work, guys! Love what you’re doin’!” New York’s Cara Seiden said, “Thank you so very much for doing this.” And Ohio’s Joe Madigan thanked Tom and me for “…keeping classic top 40 alive!”

New York’s Richard Citron wrote, “I appreciate all your work and efforts…looking forward to the results.” Pennsylvania’s Bill Benintende thanked us for “…keeping this classic holiday tradition going!” And we read, “Thanks for keeping the survey alive! Love the countdown!” from Ed Newlands from NY.

Florida’s Ruben Rios wrote that he “…look(s) forward to this every year I wonder if I can download the countdown on my MP3 player”. Well, here’s the next best thing, Ruben, you can download the countdown show from Bob Radil of WNHU by clicking the link on this post:


So all that said (or written, in this case), let me say thanks to every one of you for voting. This truly is a labor of love, but Tom and I do it mostly because of the GREAT response from you guys, and the urging to keep up the tradition. So, we give a heartfelt thanks to all of you.

Now then, here’s a reminder how we calculated this whole thing. Voters were asked to choose their seven all-time favorite songs from any era, not just the years that WABC was a music station. A song received seven points if it was voted as a number one favorite, six points as a number two favorite, etc. down to one point for a number seven vote. Points were tallied and those songs with the most points were ranked highest. The number of people who voted for each song was also factored in with a variably weighted system for the final ranking. Ties were broken based on the number of voters for each song, then by the number of #1, #2 and #3 votes, etc. for the song, and finally, if still tied, by the higher ranking song on the WABC and national surveys.

SO let's reveal, from bottom to top, this year's all-time faves! The asterisks indicate former #1 songs on WABC Radio in New York.

Last Year This Year TITLE ARTIST YEAR / Years On Top 77   
-- 77 Time Won't Let Me Outsiders 1966 / 3
-- 76 *Close To You Carpenters 1970 / 4
69 75 *Incense And Peppermints Strawberry Alarm Clock 1967 / 9
-- 74 Please Please Me Beatles 1964 / 1
63 73 *Windy Association 1967 / 3
28 72 *Will You Love Me Tomorrow Shirelles 1961 / 5
-- 71 *Penny Lane Beatles 1967 / 5
22 70 *Nights In White Satin Moody Blues 1972 / 11
-- 69 Surf City Jan & Dean 1963 / 2
62 68 What A Wonderful World Louis Armstrong 1968 & 1988 / 4
-- 67 *The Rain, The Park, & Other Things Cowsills 1967 / 6
-- 66 *Can't Take My Eyes Off You Frankie Valli 1967 / 2
-- 65 Someday We'll Be Together Diana Ross & The Supremes 1969-70 / 1
-- 64 Don't Be Cruel Elvis Presley 1956 / 1
72 63 Summer Wind Frank Sinatra 1966 / 3
66 62 Free Bird Lynyrd Skynyrd 1974 & 1977 / 2
30 61 Gimme Shelter (from "Let It Bleed") Rolling Stones 1970 / 2
14 60 A Day In The Life (from "Sgt. Peppers...") Beatles 1967 / 9
-- 59 *Reach Out, I'll Be There Four Tops 1966 / 1
73 58 Only You Platters 1955 / 2
-- 57 Midnight Confessions Grass Roots 1968 / 5
-- 56 *The Sounds Of Silence Simon & Garfunkel 1965 / 1
59 55 *I Can't Help Myself Four Tops 1965 / 1
53 54 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen 1976 & 1992 / 5
-- 53 I Only Have Eyes For You Flamingos 1959 / 3
41 52 *The Twist Chubby Checker 1960 & 1962 / 8
-- 51 *You Can't Hurry Love Supremes 1966 / 2
43 50 Sweet Caroline Neil Diamond 1969 / 3
-- 49 *The House Of The Rising Sun Animals 1964 / 5
-- 48 Brandy Looking Glass 1972 / 7
35 47 *Yesterday Beatles 1965 / 8
-- 46 Baker Street Gerry Rafferty 1978 / 3
49 45 *Honky Tonk Women Rolling Stones 1969 / 7
-- 44 *Turn! Turn! Turn! Byrds 1965 / 4
-- 43 Walk Away Renee Left Banke 1966 / 3
-- 42 Won't Get Fooled Again Who 1971 / 3
23 41 *Help! Beatles 1965 / 5
52 40 Mack The Knife Bobby Darin 1959 / 9
-- 39 He's A Rebel Crystals 1962 / 7
15 38 Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers 1965 & 1990 / 10
5 37 *Let It Be Beatles 1970 / 11
39 36 *Maggie May Rod Stewart 1971 / 6
-- 35 Beyond The Sea Bobby Darin 1960 / 7
-- 34 Don't Worry Baby Beach Boys 1964 / 4
34 33 God Only Knows Beach Boys 1966 / 8
11 32 Earth Angel Penguins 1955 / 4
-- 31 Like A Rolling Stone Bob Dylan 1965 / 9
-- 30 Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley 1969 / 4
46 29 *Sherry Four Seasons 1962 / 6
-- 28 Dawn (Go Away) Four Seasons 1964 / 5
19 27 In My Life (From "Rubber Soul") Beatles 1966 / 9
13 26 Hotel California Eagles 1977 / 7
32 25 Waterloo Sunset Kinks 1967 / 3
45 24 Born To Run Bruce Springsteen 1975 / 7
27 23 My Girl Temptations 1965 / 10
29 22 Layla Derek & The Dominos 1971 & 1972 / 10
18 21 *Lightnin' Strikes Lou Christie 1966 / 5
57 20 Taxi Harry Chapin 1972 / 10
55 19 *Be My Baby Ronettes 1963 / 6
44 18 Because Dave Clark Five 1964 / 10
40 17 *Cherish Association 1966 / 8
-- 16 *A Horse With No Name America 1972 / 10
6 15 Imagine John Lennon 1971 / 11
24 14 Can't Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley 1962 / 7
21 13 MacArthur Park Richard Harris 1968 / 11
16 12 *Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel 1970 / 11
26 11 *Rag Doll Four Seasons 1964 / 10
10 10 Good Vibrations Beach Boys 1966 / 11
25 9 *She Loves You Beatles 1964 / 11
9 8 *American Pie Don McLean 1972 / 11
8 7 *I Want To Hold Your Hand Beatles 1964 / 11
12 6 Light My Fire Doors 1967 / 11
3 5 Stairway To Heaven (From "Led Zeppelin IV") Led Zeppelin 1971 / 11
7 4 *Satisfaction Rolling Stones 1965 / 11
4 3 In The Still Of The Nite Five Satins 1956 / 11
2 2 *Ain't No Mountain High Enough Diana Ross 1970 / 11
1 1 *Hey Jude (11th Year at #1) Beatles 1968 / 11
There you have it!
The 2008 Eleventh Annual Top 77 All Time Favorite Hits
- As voted by you!

So, let’s review some things, gang… First of all, let’s tackle this “How many songs should you vote for?” question. We found that having you vote for seven songs rather than five or three accomplished two things. First, it gave us a broader variety of music overall on the list. And secondly, it helped to ensure that only the strongest across-the-board entries made the survey. A classic hit that otherwise might not make an individual's top 3 or top 5 list would be more likely to be somewhere in someone's top 7, and so it had a better chance to make the Top 77.

As far as having you vote for more songs? Well, I dunno. Lots and LOTS of you want that. But it’s a question of practicality how much longer it would take to compile?), technical aspects (how much tweaking and adjusting would need to be done with the calculation system?), and most important, accuracy (since Tom and I base this survey on random sampling models, how would more songs affect the overall accuracy of the results?). So all I can say is that I DO promise you that we’ll look this over and come up with the best decision all the way around for the next time.

Other than that, there were lots of interesting stats regarding this year’s results. Of the Top 77, 27 songs, just over 35%, were not on the list last year. And five of these were NEVER on the Top 77 before. 33 of the songs you voted into the Top 77 (43%) were former number one songs on WABC.

Your favorite decade again proved to be the 60’s with 50 songs in the Top 77 (just under 65%) falling into that time frame. 21 songs in the Top 77 came from the 70's (27.3%), five from the 50's landed in the Top 77 (6.5%), one from the eighties (a re-release) and two from the nineties (again, both re-releases) made the Top 77. (This total figure of songs from each decade adds up to more than 77 because some songs were counted as having been from more than one decade.) The percentage of songs from each decade based on ALL songs that got votes is in the summary review that follows this analysis.

The highest ranking songs that were NOT re-releases from the later decades were “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones, representing the 80’s from 1981 (#119), “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion, representing the 90’s from 1996 (#256), and “All Summer Long” by Kid Rock, representing the current decade from 2008 (#172).

The Beatles once again finished on top in just about every category in which they were eligible. Led by the incredible repeat performance of “Hey Jude” as #1 for the eleventh straight year, the Fab Four had ten songs in the Top 77, plus John Lennon’s solo hit “Imagine”. That means they accounted for one out of every seven songs, or just over 14%, of the Top 77. Early on, “Hey Jude” languished behind the competition as “In the Still of the Nite”, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and even “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” made runs at the top spot. But in the end, and especially over the last two weeks of the voting, “Hey Jude” came on strong to overcome the competition and finish at the top once again.

As Tom Natoli reports, just over 50% of the people who voted this year did not vote last year. This leads credibility to the consistency and accuracy of this list. And as for “Hey Jude”, the overwhelming majority of voters for that song did NOT vote for the song last year. This again only supports the fact that, although it has some very vocal detractors, “Hey Jude” is the overwhelming, legitimate favorite of the majority of survey voters.

89% of the votes for “Hey Jude” came from men. But you might be surprised to know that 74% of the votes for the #2 song, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, also came from the guys. In fact, the most popular hits for the gals based on voting percentages were “Rag Doll” by the Four Seasons and “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. In both cases, one out of three voters for these songs came from women. And here’s something interesting: Can you guess the ONLY song in the top 20 that made the list SOLELY on male voters? Believe it or not, that would be #13, the one and only Richard Harris and “MacArthur Park”. That song did not receive a single female vote. (And you thought only WOMEN loved those syrupy, cake-is-soaking-wet-in-the-rain songs!)

The Beatles were again the survey's most voted-for act, with 63 of their songs and 15 of their solo hits getting votes overall, which represents about one of every 30 songs that got votes. It’s interesting to note that although “A Day in the Life” continues to be the most popular LP cut overall on our list through the years, “In My Life” is slowly gaining ground. The two songs remain tied with nine appearances on the Top 77, and this year “In My Life” trumps “A Day in the Life”, the former finishing at #27, the latter at #60. It's interesting to note that two of the biggest drops from the top of the list last year were from The Beatles, as John Lennon's "Imagine" falls from #6 to #15, and "Let It Be" takes a huge tumble from #5 to #37.

As for Diana Ross and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”, it continues to reign as the diva’s favorite song here, more popular than any of her other million sellers and most surprisingly more popular than ANY of her hits with the Supremes. It’s #2 for the sixth straight year and is the only song besides “Hey Jude” to finish in the top ten for every single year of the Top 77.

What were some other surprises on the list? Well, I cannot POSSIBLY avoid talking about “A Horse with No Name” by America. This song just kept sailing along every single year, finishing in the top 20 nine straight times. Then for who-knows-what reason it fell out of sight from #4 in 2006 to #1198 in 2007, only to jump all the way back onto the survey as the highest debuting song this year at #16. Try to figure out THAT one!

This year FIVE songs made the Top 77 for the first time ever, led by Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sounds of Silence” (#56). The other new debuts were “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops (#59), “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes (#64 ), “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis (#65) and “Please Please Me” by the Beatles (#74).

The Beach Boys remain strong on the Top 77 with “Good Vibrations” coming in at #10 for the second straight year. But the “surprise” from The Beach Boys this year was finding two of their “B” sides back to back at #33 and #34, respectively “God Only Knows” and “Don’t Worry Baby”.

It was great to see the classic Flamingos hit “I Only Have Eyes for You” back on the survey for the first time since 2000 when it finished at #17. Another 50’s classic, “Earth Angel”, wound up a strong #32 (although it did drop down from #11 last year). But when it comes to 1950’s classics, “In the Still of the Nite” continues to reign, this year finishing at #3, in the top ten for the ninth straight year, and one of only 15 songs to make our Top 77 every single year.

Congratulations again go to the Kinks with "Waterloo Sunset" at #25. It’s on our Top 77 for the third straight year, and although it’s a well-known tune to Kinks fans world-wide, most top 40 listeners in the U.S.A. would likely think of many other Ray Davies hits before this one would come to mind.

The biggest drop off the Top 77 this year was “Runaway” from Del Shannon, which fell from #17 to #120.

This year the oldest song to make the Top 77 was "Earth Angel" by The Penguins, which first hit the chart on Christmas Day of 1954. Ah, but God bless our voters. The oldest song to get a vote OVERALL on the survey this year came from 1716. It was “Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring” by Johann Sebastian Bach (remember him?).

And finally, this year’s "Missed It by THAT Much" award goes to #78, "Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by the Rolling Stones from 1968. And, just in case you didn’t catch it when I mentioned this earlier, the "Missed It by TOO Much" award this year goes to "You're Still a Young Man” by Tower of Power, which managed to finish dead last on the survey at #2369.

Now here are some more specific breakdowns based on all the voting, not just the songs that made the Top 77.

Who Voted?

Here are the top states based on overall percentage.

  1. New Jersey 26.76%
  2. New York 26.16%
  3. California 5.08%
  4. Pennsylvania 4.93%
  5. Florida 3.89%
  6. Connecticut 3.14%
  7. Massachusetts 2.84%
  8. Illinois 1.79%
  9. Ohio 1.64%
  10. Texas 1.49%

It’s interesting to note that Canada tied with Texas for the tenth spot in overall voter participation. This year, New York and New Jersey swapped places from last year as the #1 and #2 states. Also, Connecticut and Florida swapped positions five and six from last year. And Illinois jumped into the top ten from #17 last year. Tennessee took the biggest drop out of the top ten, falling from #8 to #26.

(Number of songs with comparisons to last year’s stats in brackets)

  1. Beatles (63 songs, #1 with 63 songs last year)
  2. Rolling Stones (29 songs, #2 with 25 songs last year)
  3. Elvis Presley (28 songs, #3 with 23 songs last year)
  4. (Tie) Beach Boys (20 songs, #5 with 16 songs last year)
      (Tie) Kinks (20 songs, Tied for #9 with 11 songs last year)
  5. Supremes (19 songs, #4 with 20 songs last year)
  6. Four Seasons (18 songs, Tied for #7 with 13 songs last year)
  7. Elton John (17 songs, Tied for #6 with 15 songs last year)
  8. Bee Gees (16 songs, Tied for #9 with 11 songs last year)
  9. Four Tops (15 songs, Tied for #11 with 9 songs last year)
  10. (Tie) Who (14 songs, #8 with 12 songs last year)
      (Tie) Stevie Wonder (14 songs, Tied for #11 with 9 songs last year)
      (Tie) Bruce Springsteen (14 songs, Tied for #7 last year with 13 songs)
      (Tie) Temptations (14 songs, Tied for #8 last year with 12 songs)
      (Tie) Diana Ross (14 songs, #12 last year with 8 songs)

Ironically as Motown celebrates its 50th anniversary, the only new songs to the top ten this year are all Motown acts, The Four Tops, Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. Dropping off from last year’s top ten are Shirley Bassey, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, and The Eagles.

(I thought it would be interesting to GREATLY expand this section so you guys could see a better cross section of songs that got votes. You should enjoy this!) Thanks to Tom for his exhaustive research in tracking down all the dates for some of these obscure songs.

1910’s (.08% of all songs voted)

  1. Missouri Waltz – Frederick Knight Logan (1914)

1920’s (.08%)

  1. Rhapsody in Blue – George Gershwin (1924)
  2. Amazing Grace – Reverend J.M. Gates (1922)

1930’s (.17%)

  1. In the Mood – Glenn Miller (1939)
  2. Begin the Beguine – Artie Shaw and His Orchestra (1938)
  3. Dancing in the Dark – Bing Crosby (1931)

1940’s (.21%)

  1. White Christmas – Bing Crosby (1942)
  2. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – Andrews Sisters (1941)
  3. I’ll Be Home for Christmas – Bing Crosby (1943)

1950’s (8.1%)

  1. In the Still of the Nite – Five Satins (1956)
  2. Earth Angel – Penguins (1955)
  3. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin (1959)
  4. I Only Have Eyes for You – Flamingos (1957)
  5. Only You – Platters (1955)
  6. Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley (1956)
  7. I Wonder Why – Dion & the Belmonts (1958)
  8. Since I Don’t Have You – Skyliners (1959)
  9. Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley & the Comets (1955)
  10. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry (1958)
  11. Whispering Bells – Dell-Vikings (1957)
  12. Golden Teardrops – Flamingos (1953)
  13. A Sunday Kind of Love – Harptones (1954)
  14. Maybe – Chantels (1958)
  15. Tonite Tonite – Mello-Kings (1957)
  16. This I Swear – Skyliners (1959)
  17. Speedoo – Cadillacs (1956)
  18. Why Do Fools Fall in Love – Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers (1956)
  19. Little Star – Elegants (1958)
  20. The Wind – Diablos (1954)
  21. That’ll Be the Day – Buddy Holly & The Crickets (1957)
  22. Chances Are – Johnny Mathis (1957)
  23. Dream Lover – Bobby Darin (1959)
  24. At My Front Door – Eldorados (1955)
  25. Venus – Frankie Avalon (1959)
  26. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley (1957)
  27. Blueberry Hill – Fats Domino (1956)
  28. The Twelfth of Never – Johnny Mathis (1957)
  29. The Closer You Are – Channels (1956)
  30. The Great Pretender – Platters (1956)

1960’s (37.95%)

  1. Hey Jude – Beatles (1968)
  2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones (1965)
  3. Light My Fire – Doors (1967
  4. I Want to Hold Your Hand – Beatles (1964)
  5. She Loves You – Beatles (1964)
  6. Good Vibrations – Beach Boys (1966)
  7. Rag Doll – Four Seasons (1964)
  8. MacArthur Park – Richard Harris (1968)
  9. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley (1962)
  10. Cherish – Association (1966)
  11. Because – Dave Clark Five (1964)
  12. Be My Baby – Ronettes (1963)
  13. Lightnin’ Strikes – Lou Christie (1966)
  14. My Girl – Temptations (1965)
  15. Waterloo Sunset – Kinks (1967)
  16. In My Life – Beatles (1966)
  17. Dawn (Go Away) - Four Seasons (1964)
  18. Sherry – Four Seasons (1962)
  19. Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley (1969)
  20. Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan (1965)
  21. God Only Knows – Beach Boys (1966)
  22. Don’t Worry Baby – Beach Boys (1964)
  23. Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin (1960)
  24. Unchained Melody – Righteous Brothers (1965)
  25. He’s a Rebel – Crystals (1962)
  26. Help! – Beatles (1965)
  27. Walk Away Renee – Left Banke (1966)
  28. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) – Byrds (1965)
  29. Honky Tonk Women – Rolling Stones (1969)
  30. Yesterday – Beatles (1965)

1970’s (30.69%)

  1. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross (1970)
  2. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin (1971)
  3. American Pie – Don McLean (1972)
  4. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
  5. Imagine – John Lennon (1971)
  6. A Horse with No Name – America (1972)
  7. Taxi – Harry Chapin (1972)
  8. Layla – Derek & the Dominos (1972)
  9. Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen (1975)
  10. Hotel California – Eagles (1977)
  11. Maggie May – Rod Stewart (1971)
  12. Let It Be – Beatles (1970)
  13. Won’t Get Fooled Again – Who (1971)
  14. Baker Street – Gerry Rafferty (1978)
  15. Brandy – Looking Glass (1972)
  16. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (1976)
  17. Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones (1970)
  18. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd (1974)
  19. Someday We’ll Be Together – Diana Ross & the Supremes (*1969-70)
  20. Nights in White Satin – Moody Blues (1972)
  21. Close to You – Carpenters (1970)
  22. Jazzman – Carole King (1974)
  23. Band of Gold – Freda Payne (1970)
  24. The Way We Were – Barbra Streisand (1974)
  25. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye (1971)
  26. Cat’s in the Cradle – Harry Chapin (1974)
  27. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum (1970)
  28. The Wonder of You – Elvis Presley (1970)
  29. Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress) – Hollies (1972)
  30. Alone Again (Naturally) – Gilbert O’Sullivan (1972)

  (*Note that “Someday We’ll Be Together” by Diana Ross and the Supremes spent its chart time split evenly in 1969 and 1970. It spent 16 weeks on the survey, eight in each year, and it hit its chart peak of #1 nationally in a week that covered five days of 1969 and two days of 1970.)

1980’s (12.62%)

  1. What a Wonderful World (re-release)– Louis Armstrong (1988)
  2. Start Me Up – Rolling Stones (1981)
  3. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey (1982)
  4. Do You Love Me (re-release) – Contours (*1988)
  5. Wanted Dead or Alive – Bon Jovi (1987)
  6. With You or Without You – U2 (1987)
  7. Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses (1988)
  8. Endless Love – Diana Ross & Lionel Richie (1981)
  9. Pride (In the Name of Love) – U2 (1984)
  10. Gypsy – Fleetwood Mac (1982)
  11. Addicted to Love – Robert Palmer (1986)
  12. Theme from “New York”, New York” – Frank Sinatra (1980)
  13. Holiday – Madonna (1984)
  14. Upside Down – Diana Ross (1980)
  15. Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams (1985)
  16. Take On Me – A-Ha (1985)
  17. You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC (1980)
  18. The Winner Takes It All – ABBA (1981)
  19. I Love Rock and Roll – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (1982)
  20. Billie Jean – Michael Jackson (1983)

 (*Note that “Do You Love Me” by The Contours was re-released in 1988 and so technically placed on the top 20 for the 80’s at #4; however, this song was substantially more popular in its original release date in 1962.)

1990’s (5.32%)

  1. Unchained Melody (re-release) – Righteous Brothers (*1990)
  2. Bohemian Rhapsody (re-release) – Queen (**1992)
  3. Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion (1996)
  4. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston (1992)
  5. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion (1999)
  6. Looking for an Echo – Kenny Vance and the Planotones (1996)
  7. Enter Sandman – Metallica (1991)
  8. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (1992)
  9. November Rain – Guns N’ Roses (1992)
  10. High Enough – Damn Yankees (1990)
  11. Jeremy – Pearl Jam (1992)
  12. Under the Bridge – Red Hot Chili Peppers (1991)
  13. Vogue – Madonna (1990)
  14. Ants Marching – Dave Matthews Band (1998)
  15. Forty-Six And Two – Tool (1996)

  (*Note that “Unchained Melody” by The Righteous Brothers was re-released in 1990 in two separate versions, the original 1965 version and a re-recorded version. Therefore, technically, the song placed on the top 20 for the 90’s at #1; however, this song was substantially more popular in its original release date in 1965.)

  (**Note that “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen was re-released in 1992. Therefore, technically, the song placed on the top 20 for the 90’s at #2. In fact, this song was more successful in its re-release in 1992 than it was in its original release in late 1976.)

2000’s (4.64%)

  1. All Summer Long – Kid Rock (2008)
  2. Smooth – Santana & Rob Thomas (*1999-2000)
  3. When You Were Young – Killers (2006)
  4. No Air – Jordan Sparks (2008)
  5. Anything But Fine – Zox (2005)
  6. Breakaway – Kelly Clarkson (2004)
  7. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol (2006)
  8. Come Around – M.I.A. featuring Timbaland (2007)
  9. Dreamboy, Dreamgirl – Johnny O. & Cynthia (2005)
  10. Human – Killers (2008)
  11. If I Were a Boy – Beyonce (2008)
  12. Living In Fast Forward – Kenny Chesney (2005)
  13. Endless Obsession – Between the Buried and Me (2005)
  14. Black Parade – My Chemical Romance (2006)
  15. Bright Spring Morning – Suburban Legends (2003)

(*Note that the chart run for “Smooth” began in July, 1999 and ended 58 weeks later in September of 2000. On October 23, 1999, it began a twelve-week term at #1. Therefore, the song reached its peak position of #1 in 1999 but spent the majority of its weeks on the chart in 2000.)

TOP SONGS BY ARTIST (Last year’s rank follows the title)

Beatles Top 20

1. Hey Jude (1)
2. I Want To Hold Your Hand (3)
3. She Loves You (7)
4. In My Life (5)
5. Let It Be (2)
6. Help! (6)
7. Yesterday (8)
8. A Day In The Life (4)
9. Penny Lane (13)
10. Please Please Me (17)
11. I Saw Her Standing There (11)
12. I Feel Fine (19)
13. We Can Work It Out (--)
14. If I Fell (--)
15. I Am the Walrus (--)
16. The Long and Winding Road (16)
17. Something (20)
18. Get Back (9)
19. Day Tripper (15)
20. Paperback Writer (--)

The biggest changes from last year to this year are the jumps in popularity of “She Loves You” (from #7 to #3), “Penny Lane” (#13 to #9), “Please Please Me” (#17 to #10), “I Feel Fine” (#19 to #12), “We Can Work It Out” (debuting at #13), “If I Fell” (debuting at #14) and “I Am the Walrus” (debuting at #15). Conversely, “Let It Be” drops substantially (#2 to #5), along with “A Day in the Life” (#4 to #8), “Get Back” (#9 to #18), “Strawberry Fields Forever” (#10 to off the list), “And I Love Her” (#12 to off the list) and “A Hard Days Night” (#14 to off the list).

Rolling Stones Top 10

1. Satisfaction (1)
2. Honky Tonk Women (3)
3. Gimme Shelter (2)
4. Jumpin' Jack Flash (9)
5. Brown Sugar (--)
6. Start Me Up (--)
7. Sympathy for The Devil (--)
8. You Can't Always Get What You Want (10)
9. Miss You (--)
10. Tell Me (You're Coming Back) (--)

For the Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” takes a big jump this year (#9 to #4), along with debuts “Brown Sugar” (#5) and “Start me Up” (#6). Biggest dop-offs on the Stones top ten list this year are “Ruby Tuesday” (from #4) and “Time Is On My Side” (from #5).

Elvis Presley Top 10

1. Can't Help Falling in Love (1)
2. Suspicious Minds (7)
3. Don't Be Cruel (--)
4. The Wonder of You (--)
5. Kentucky Rain (2)
6. Jailhouse Rock (10)
7. My Way (9)
8. If I Can Dream (--)
9. One Night (--)
10. Are You Lonesome To-night? (--)

For the “king”, “Suspicious Minds” (#7 to #2), “Don’t Be Cruel” (from off to #3), and “The Wonder of You” (from off to #4) are the big jumpers into his top ten. Surprisingly, many HUGE Elvis songs dropped off, as “Don’t Be Cruel” replaced its “B” Side “Hound Dog” at #3, and we lost “All Shook Up” (from #4), “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame” (from #5) and “Love Me Tender” (from #6).

Elton John Top 10

1. Your Song (--)
2. Philadelphia Freedom (1)
3. Bennie and the Jets (3)
4. Rocket Man (--)
5. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding (2)
6. Tiny Dancer (--)
7. Crocodile Rock (4)
8. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (6)
9. I'm Still Standing (--)
10. Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (--)

Elton’s big news is all about “Your Song” showing up as the top voted song for him after not even appearing in the top ten last year. “Rocket Man” and “Tiny Dancer” also came up big, debuting at #4 and #6 respectively. At the same time, “Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding” dipped (from #2 to #5), and “Someone Saved My Life” is ON life support this year, as it falls off the list (from #5).

Supremes Top 10

1. You Can't Hurry Love (9)
2. Someday We'll Be Together (4)
3. Come See About Me (1)
4. You Keep Me Hangin' On (--)
5. Stop! In The Name of Love (3)
6. Where Did Our Love Go (6)
7. Up the Ladder To The Roof (--)
8. The Happening (--)
9. Reflections (2)
10. Back in My Arms Again (--)

Lots of changes happened for The Supremes this year, with “You Can’t Hurry Love” jumping to #1 (from #9). “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” enters the list (at #4), while “Reflections” takes a nosedive (from #2 to #9) and “Love Child” falls off (from #5 to off the top ten.)

Beach Boys Top 10

1. Good Vibrations (1)
2. God Only Knows (2)
3. Don't Worry Baby (3)
4. Sloop John B (6)
5. I Get Around (--)
6. California Girls (4)
7. Surfin' USA (--)
8. Help Me Rhonda (--)
9. 409 (9)
10. Heroes and Villains (--)

There was very little movement with The Beach Boys’ fans’ favorites this year, with the exception of “I Get Around” jumping onto the list (from off to #5) and the surprising inclusion of one of the Boys of Summer’s lesser-known songs, “Heroes and Villains” (debuting at #10). “I Can Hear Music” dropped off (from #5).

Four Seasons Top 10

1. Rag Doll (1)
2. Dawn (Go Away) (5)
3. Sherry (2)
4. Let's Hang On! (3)
5. Walk Like A Man (4)
6. December 1963 (6)
7. Candy Girl (7)
8. Save It for Me (8)
9. And That Reminds Me (--)
10. Tell It to the Rain (10)

The Four Seasons were the models of stability this year as five songs stayed in the same spot as last year, and three others were within one position of where they were last time around.

Kinks Top 10

1. Waterloo Sunset (1)
2. You Really Got Me (4)
3. Lola (2)
4. Sunny Afternoon (5)
5. Celluloid Heroes (6)
6. Days (3)
7. A Well Respected Man (--)
8. Better Things (7)
9. All Day and All Of The Night (--)
10. Victoria (9)

For the Kinks, “Come Dancing” (from #8) and “Apeman” (from #10) drop off, but the rest of the list stays pretty stable, with “Waterloo Sunset” remaining at the head of the class.

Motown Top 20

1. Ain't No Mountain High Enough-Diana Ross (1)
2. My Girl (2)
3. You Can't Hurry Love (--)
4. I Can't Help Myself (4)
5. Reach Out, I'll Be There (--)
6. Someday We'll Be Together (17)
7. What's Going On (3)
8. What Does It Take (To Win Your Love) (--)
9. I Heard It Through The Grapevine- Marvin Gaye (6)
10. Just My Imagination (--)
11. Come See About Me (7)
12. I Want You Back (5)
13. Do You Love Me (--)
14. Ain't Too Proud To Beg (--)
15. I'll Be There (--)
16. Endless Love (--)
17. You Keep Me Hangin' On (--)
18. Stop! In The Name Of Love (16)
19. Don't Leave Me This Way (--)
20. This Old Heart of Mine (--)

There were some big changes here, mainly with all the new additions (12) onto the top 20. What was the biggest drop? Well, “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye) drops from #8 to off the list completely.

British Invasion Top 20

1. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – Rolling Stones (1965) (1)
2. I Want to Hold Your Hand – Beatles (1964) (2)
3. She Loves You – Beatles (1964) (4)
4. Because – Dave Clark Five (1964) (6)
5. Help! – Beatles (1965) (3)
6. Yesterday – Beatles (1965) (5)
7. The House of the Rising Sun – Animals (1964) (13)
8. Please Please Me – Beatles (1964) (15)
9. I Saw Her Standing There - Beatles (1964) (7)
10. I Feel Fine – Beatles (1964) (17)
11. Glad All Over – Dave Clark Five (1964) (--)
12. We Can Work It Out – Beatles (1966) (--)
13. If I Fell – Beatles (1964) (--)
14. Downtown – Petula Clark (1965) (8)
15. You Really Got Me – Kinks (1964) (--)
16. Day Tripper – Beatles (1966) (12)
17. Ticket to Ride – Beatles (1965) (16)
18. And I Love Her – Beatles (1964) (9)
19. Bits and Pieces – Dave Clark Five (1964) (--)
20. I Only Want to Be with You- Dusty Springfield (1964) (11)

  (All songs listed were released by 12/31/65)

Well, there are no big surprises here. Eleven of the top “British Invasion” hits came from The Beatles, led by “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. The Fab Four also led the pack with the song that took the biggest drop OUT of the top 20. That was “A Hard Days Night” (#11 last year). In fact, that title song from the boys’ 1964 debut movie took a huge tumble overall this year, falling from #111 last year on the Top 77 to #1157 on the 2008 list. Look out below! The Rolling Stones hold down the top slot, but didn’t place a single additional song in the top 20. And The Dave Clark Five placed three songs on the top 20, led by #4 “Because”. They also had the highest debut to the “British Invasion” top 20 this year, with “Glad All Over”.


Now then, am I done yet? Yes, please? PRETTY please??? Ah, but first, some wrap-up work must be done. So let me get REAL serious for a moment or three.

Each year, I wonder if this project will return for another “go”. The first several years had me going bonkers as the participation and popularity of this project grew while I continued to do it all by myself. It was only after fellow original “Survey Guy” Tom Natoli came on board and offered to help me that this project really soared to new levels. First of all, before Tom joined I had just about reached a burnout point with the survey. It was my goal to come up with as accurate and honest a list as possible, but to do so it’s hard to express the toll that the hours and hours of work take on a person; however with Tom’s assistance not only was the workload lessened, but we were able to begin automating and computerizing the process to make things run smoother and somewhat easier. There are still literally hundreds of hours involved in data entry, cross checking, verifying, collating, assembling, writing, and proof-reading, but at least this enormous job has become somewhat more palatable and far more organized.

So to Tom, I say a heartfelt “thank you”, which is something all of you who enjoy this list should do.

And this year was likely the best list we’ve ever had. The participation was fantastic, the feedback we got was great, and the list itself was one that would do just about any music lover proud. For this, I am grateful and I know I also speak for Tom in expressing that.

Again, thanks to our super-tekkies Craig Harris and Chad Olszyk for helping to set up our initial database programs. But special thanks goes to Frank Thomas, who stepped in this year to help with the technical data entry system so all you guys could vote and so Tom and I had a way to get those votes more directly into the voting database. Frank also set up the website to run and view this project, and he’s the guy who put together all the visuals, graphics and layouts so you could view the results. Frank, you’re the best!

And finally, thanks to all of you who voted and sent comments, encouragement and good wishes during the voting period. I'll say it again, like I do every year. The overwhelming response we get is really the main reason we continue with this massive project every year. In reality, YOUR participation has made this as much of a tradition as it was in the days of the WABC top 100's of the year.

Please let us know what you think. (And you can even let us know how many songs YOU think each person should vote for.) Send your comments to me and Tom at . Or, post your comments at the Oldies Message Board at the link below:

So kiddies, with that I leave you with the immortal words of one Little Willie John…

  “Sleep, sleep, sleep
  How we love to sleep
  At the close of day
  When the joys of the day fade away

  And the mem'ries sweet
  Of the days repeat
  In our dreams they creep
  While we sleep, sleep, sleep”

So, please, just let ME sleep, sleep, SLEEP for a few days, or months, or whatever, to recover from this whole project. Wake me up sometime in the fall, and we’ll decide if we’ll do this one MORE time.

Mike Riccio

- Mike Riccio ( "Survey Guy")

The 2008 Top 77 (Countdown Style)

Oldies Message Board