VoteTop77

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2008 Top 77 Final Results

Check this page for updates on the 2008 Top 77 Songs Of All Time Survey!  

For your own copy of the expanded version of the Top 77, all the way down to #750, just email Mike and Tom at VoteTop77@Yahoo.com

Well, what do you know! It's CHRISTMAS TIME already, which means it's also time to let you know what songs you voted for as the GREATEST of all time!

So, enough with the suspense. Let's just get this over with! NUMBER ONE this year is...

OUCH! OOOH, hold on! I'm being clobbered over the head by Tom Natoli and Frank Thomas and Chad Olszyk and Craig Harris and all of our super team of survey calculators to MAKE THIS SUSPENSEFUL and worthy of the hours and hours and hours and hours (and minutes and seconds, too) that have been spent putting this list together.

This could NOT have happened without Tom's tireless devotion and unending patience in counting the list and checking it twice.

Super tech help from Frank Thomas helped make the voting and the posting of the results possible.

And help from Chad and Craig going back several years now laid down the foundation from compiling this list from index cards to setting it up into much more efficient and accurate Excel files.

So, we're off and running...

As a bonus, we're starting off with the "extras"...the songs that just missed the top 77 on the list that we usually don't reveal. (We'll reveal the actual Top 77 shortly, and then go from #77 to #1 in groups of about 20 songs a day until we get to #1 on the weekend.)

More detailed info on each song will start once we get to #77...but for now...

Here are the results of YOUR eleventh annual All-Time Top 77! Starting with the songs that just missed making the Top 77...

#100!

#95!

#94!

#91!

#88!

#86!

 #84!

#81!

#80!

#79!

#100! The Wonder Of You - Elvis Presley (1970)

#99! Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum (1970)

#98! We Can Work It Out - Beatles (1966)

#97! Since I Don't Have You - Skyliners (1959)

#96! You Belong To Me - Duprees (1962)

#95! California Dreamin' - Mamas & the Papas (1966)

#94! Cat's In The Cradle - Harry Chapin (1974)

#93! Gloria - Shadows Of Knight (1966)

#92! Glad All Over - Dave Clark Five (1964)

#91! What's Going On - Marvin Gaye (1971)

#90! Crimson And Clover - Tommy James & the Shondells (1969)

#89! The Way We Were - Barbra Streisand (1974)

#88! I Feel Fine - Beatles (1964)

#87! Can't Find The Time - Orpheus (1969)

#86! Band Of Gold - Freda Payne (1970)

#85! You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Righteous Brothers (1965)

#84! Jazzman - Carole King (1974)

#83! I Saw Her Standing There - Beatles (1964)

#82! Time Has Come Today - Chambers Brothers (1968)

#81! I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts (1958)

#80! Crazy - Patsy Cline (1961)

#79! Runaround Sue - Dion (1961)

#78! Jumpin' Jack Flash - Rolling Stones (1968)



 

#99!

#98!

#97!

#96!

#93!

#92!

#87!

#85!

#83!

#78!

(Click on any image or song title below to see the YouTube video!)


DAY ONE: The beginning of the end...that is, the end of the list of the Top 77 songs! Hundreds of votes came in, and thousands of songs got votes...But we're kicking things off with the best of the best...Countin' them down and reaching for the stars! (Hey wait! Haven't I heard that someplace before?) Well anyway, let's get going with...

#77! #77!...a group that's back for the third time on our Top 77, and the first time since 2005. It's the Outsiders featuring Sonny Geraci, who was the lead singer of the Outsiders in 1966 when this next hit peaked at #5 nationally and #6 on WABC. Some of you might know that Sonny would return on another top 3 hit in 1972 as lead singer on the song "Precious and Few" by Climax. But few people know that Jimmy Fox, who was the drummer on the Outsiders' first album, later formed The James Gang with Joe Walsh.
#77 - "TIME WON'T LET ME" - Outsiders (1966) YouTube
#76! #76!Here's a song back on the list for first time since 2006, and the fourth time overall on the Top 77. And if label head and recording star Herb Alpert wasn't so sensitive about singing the lyrics "...so they sprinkled moon dust in your hair...", he might have had his biggest hit since "This Guy's in Love with You". Ah, but so goes history. Instead, these kids from New Haven, Connecticut connected with this song, and it became the very first top 20 hit and the first of three #1 songs for the Carpenters.
#76 - CLOSE TO YOU - The Carpenters (1970) YouTube
#75! #75!This next hit has missed our Top 77 only twice in eleven years! Originally called "Thee Six-Pence", these guys changed their name to "Strawberry Alarm Clock" after the then-current Beatles hit, "Strawberry Fields Forever". Even stranger, the lead singer on this song was filling in for a friend of the band when the song was recorded. After the recording session, that fill-in disappeared and was never heard from again! It was #1 for one week both nationally and on WABC. Here's the song originally called "The Happy Whistler". It's
#75 - "INCENSE AND PEPPERMINTS" - Strawberry Alarm Clock (1967) YouTube

#74! #74!This year, there were only five new entries to the Top 77, and you might be surprised to learn that this was one of them. John Lennon wrote this as a bluesy, slow tempo song, something close to Roy Orbison's "Only The Lonely". He was also intrigued by the words to a Bing Crosby song that went, "Please lend a little ear to my pleas" with the double use of the word "please". Originally the song didn't even contain any harmonies or responses, nor did it have the harmonica intro. But after 18 takes and some tweaking by producer George Martin which included increasing the tempo, a hit was born on November 28, 1962. It peaked at #3 both nationally and on WABC.
#74 - "PLEASE PLEASE ME" - The Beatles (1964) YouTube

#73! #73!Back for the second year in a row after going M.I.A. since 1998 is the hit from these L.A. natives who started out as a 13 man group called "The Men" but ended up as a six man band after an argument resulted in seven less "men". The song was their second of two number one songs both nationally and on WABC. Completed in a recording session that lasted over 16 hours, by the time the end of the session came around at 6:30 in the morning, the group's voices were so strained that they had to call on writer Ruthann Friedman and any visitors hanging around the studio to join in and get them through the final choruses. One of five national top 20 hits...
It's #73 - "WINDY" - The Association (1967) YouTube

#72! #72! Returning for the fifth time this year, here's one of seven top 20 hits and two number one songs for this New Jersey act. Originally called The Poquellos and then The Honeytones, they became The Shirelles after deciding to honor their favorite group, the Chantels, by coming up with a similar sounding name. Lead singer Shirley Alston hated this song until producer-writer Luther Dixon changed the sound of the song from country and western to pop. With the group that charted 26 times nationally between 1958 and 1967, here's the song that stayed on top for two weeks nationally and six weeks on WABC.
#72 - "WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW" - The Shirelles (1961) YouTube

#71! #71! With 16 number one songs on WABC and 20 national #1 hits, here's the most successful recording act in history back on the Top 77 for the fifth time with a song recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions. And although "Penny Lane" is a road in Liverpool, the song is really a reference to the Penny Lane Bus Station (now gone) next to "The shelter in the middle of the roundabout" (now the Sgt. Peppers bistro). When the boys were young they used to meet here since it was centrally located to all of them. Street signs began disappearing after this song was released, so now the town just paints "Penny Lane" on buildings to avoid theft. And although this was the Beatles' first single since "Please Please Me" four years earlier that didn't hit #1 in England, here in the states it topped both the national and WABC charts.
##71 - "PENNY LANE" - The Beatles (1967)YouTube

#70! #70! This next song has finished as high as #16 and as low as #71 on the Top 77. But regardless of where it ends up, it's managed to be one of only a handful of songs that have made the list every single year. It's the song from the Birmingham, England band that was originally released from "Days of Future Passed" in 1968. It wasn't until its re-release over four years later that it reached its peak position on the chart, making it to #2 nationally and #1 on MusicRadio WABC. One of six national top 20 hits. As the boys say... "Breathe Deep!..."
It's time for #70 - "NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN" - The Moody Blues (1972) YouTube

#69! #69! SURF'S UP, GUYS! Get that wet suit! Grab your woody! (Huh???) Alright, scratch that. At any rate, back for the first time since 2002, it's the song written by Beach Boy Brian Wilson for his own group that he ended up giving to buddy Dean Torrence. It would go on to peak at #3 on WABC. And nationally, out of seven top 20 songs. this would be the only #1 song for these guys.
#69 - "SURF CITY" - Jan and Dean (1963) YouTube

#68! #68! Here's a song that you voted onto the Top 77 for the fourth time. Surprisingly, it was NEVER played on WABC. Originally released in 1967, it didn't make the national top 100 chart until 1988 when it reached #32 after being featured in the Robin Williams film "Good Morning Vietnam". Born in New Orleans in 1901, he's the guy nicknamed "Satchmo"...
#68 - "WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD" - Louis Armstrong (1968/1988) YouTube

#67! #67! It's FIELD TRIP time, kiddies! Up we go, Rhode Island way, for the five brothers, sister and mom known as the Cowsills. Discovered on NBC's "Today Show", they became the inspiration for The Partridge Family, and wound up with three national top 20 songs. Recorded BEFORE mom Barbara joined the group, here's the song that peaked at #2 nationally and #1 on WABC. It's on our list for the fifth time.
#67 - "THE RAIN, THE PARK AND OTHER THINGS" - The Cowsills (1967) YouTube

#66! #66! I guess having 21 national top 20 hits and five national number ones as lead singer of the Four Seasons just wasn't enough for Francis Castaluccio! As a solo act starting in 1967, he had six more national top 20's and two number ones. This one got to #2 nationally, kept out of the top spot by the #73 song on the list, "Windy" by the Association. But in New York it made it all the way to #1. His stage name comes from "Texas Jean" Valley, the singer who took him to his first audition. It's back on our Top 77 for only the second time.
#66 - "CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU" - Frankie Valli (1967) YouTube

#65! #65! Here's another one of only five new entries to the Top 77 this year. And although it's thought of as the last Supremes song with Diana Ross, it REALLY was Miss Ross' first SOLO effort, since neither of the other Supremes were in the studio at the time. Actually, it was Maxine and Julia Waters along with writer-performer Johnny Bristol who supplied the backing vocals. Number one for one week nationally, and peaking at #4 on WABC...
It's #65 - "SOMEDAY WE'LL BE TOGETHER" - Diana Ross and the Supremes (1969) YouTube

#64! #64! It's time for back-to-back first-timers to the list with one of 15 number one songs and one of over 60 national top 20 songs. And along with "Hound Dog", this would go on to be the biggest two-sided hit in chart history. The king stayed on top with this song for eleven weeks, and the recording session at the RCA Studios in New York that resulted in this monster hit would be his very last recording session ever in New York.
#64 - "DON'T BE CRUEL" - Elvis Presley (1956) YouTube

#63! #63! Shoo-bee-doo-bee-DOO! (Or is it SKOOBY DOOBY DOO???). Well anyway, here's the "Chairman of the Board" himself back on the list this year with a relatively minor hit that only peaked at #25 nationally and #33 on WABC, sandwiched between two top ten songs "Strangers in the Night" and "That's Life". But it's still a classic.
#63 - "SUMMER WIND" - Frank Sinatra (1966) YouTube

#62! #62! "What song is it you wanna hear?" Well OK, this year I'll pick "Snowbird" by Anne Murray! Huh??? Oh, sorry, WRONG BIRD! We REEEEEELY WANT..."Freeeee Birrrrd!!!...Yeah, maaaan!" Now then, class, you remember...Lynyrd Skynyrd? Here's their song that charted twice, first peaking at #19 nationally in 1974 and then getting to #38 three years later in a "live" version. The group has pretty much played this only as an instrumental since the 1977 plane crash that killed lead singer Ronnie Van Zant. The band played the song as an instrumental and the crowd would sing the words. And as for music giant WABC in New York, well, they never even played this song!
#62 - "FREE BIRD" - Lynyrd Skynryd (1974) YouTube

#61! #61! Here come the "Bad, yet Elderly, Boys of Rock and Roll" with the lead-off track from the "Let It Bleed" album. A high-keyed second vocal track is sung by guest vocalist Merry Clayton. Mick Jagger said that "The use of the female voice was the producer's idea." It remains one of the most prominent contributions to a Rolling Stones track by a female vocalist.
#61 - "GIMME SHELTER" - Rolling Stones (1969) YouTube

#60! #60! OK...Hold your breath! Keep going...keep going...See if you can hold your breath for as long as the last chord on this classic. That would be 42 seconds worth of breath-holding as The Beatles return for the NINTH time with the wrap-up track from their biggest LP, "Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band", a number one album for 15 weeks. A combination of two unfinished songs, one by Paul, the other by John, this song was first called "In the Life of...".
#60 - "A DAY IN THE LIFE" - The Beatles (1967) YouTube

#59! #59! The third song to make its debut on this year's Top 77 is another Motown classic from Levi Stubbs and company. Recorded in just a few takes, it was originally thought that it would be an LP cut by the group. But Motown label head Berry Gordy knew immediately that this song could become the biggest hit of this group's career. It was #1 both nationally and on WABC.
#59 - "REACH OUT I'LL BE THERE" - Four Tops (1966) YouTube

#58! #58! Here's one of 40 top 100 national hits for the next group on our survey, and for the second year in a row, they have VERY FIRST 1950's song to crack our Top 77. Originally recorded by this Los Angeles-based group in 1954, it was re-recorded a year later and became the first of 15 top 20 hits between 1955 and 1967 for this act.
#58 - "ONLY YOU" - The Platters (1955) YouTube

#57! #57! Back for the fifth time our our Top 77 with this song, here's the group formed in San Francisco in 1964 that took four years to have their biggest hit. That came in the fall of 1968 with one of the most recognizable bass lead-ins in music history. And as popular as this song was, it NEVER got to #1 nationally or on WABC, only peaking at #5 and #3 respectively.
#57 - "MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS" - The Grass Roots (1968) YouTube

#56! #56! Here's ANOTHER first-timer on our Top 77, and it's from the guys who had a #49 national hit in 1957 called "Hey Schoolgirl" as Tom Graph and Jerry Landis. But it took them until 1965 to get to the top of the charts with a song written in 1963 and recorded in 1964 in an acoustic version. Producer Tom Wilson added an electric guitar after he finished recording Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" on June 15, 1965. Peaking at #1 both nationally and on WABC, SHHHHHHH!
It's #56 - "THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE" - Simon and Garfunkel (1965) YouTube

#55! #55! Look who's back for the sixth time on our Top 77 with their first top ten hit. It's the the Motown group formed as the Four Aims in 1953. They'd wind up with an incredible 45 top 100 songs nationally, 20 of which made the top 20 and 14 of which made the WABC top 20. Written by the superstar team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, lead singer Levi Stubbs didn't like this particular take of the song and never intended for it to be released this way. But writer Brian Holland had other ideas. So the song we've been singing along to for 42 years is, in reality, the version of this hit that the Four Tops NEVER wanted to release. All together now..."Oh, sugar pie, honey bunch, you know that I lo-oo-ve yooooo!"
#55 - "I CAN'T HELP MYSELF" - The Four Tops (1965) YouTube

#54! #54! Magnificato! Splendido! Look what's back again for the FIFTH time on the Top 77! It's QUEEN with a song that peaked at #9 nationally and #3 on WABC when it was first released in 1976. Then in 1992, Wayne and Garth lip-synched the words in the movie "Wayne's World", and the song became even bigger, jumping to #2 on the national top 100. And do you REALLY want to know what the late Freddy Mercury is singing about when he goes on about "Scaramouch, Scaramouch"? Actually, that means "a boastful coward".
#54 - "BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY" - Queen (1992/1976) YouTube

#53! #53! Here's the song you voted onto the Top 77 for the third time, but the FIRST time since 2000! Formed in Chicago in 1953, the Flamingos would have their biggest seller with an old standard originally recorded by Dick Powell in 1934 and featured in dozens of movies and TV shows. They wound up with eleven national top 100 songs, but this was the only one to make the top 20, peaking at #11.
#53 - "I ONLY HAVE EYES FOR YOU" - The Flamingos (1959) YouTube

#52! #52! Let's welcome his chubbiness, as Mr. Ernest Evans, who we know better as one "Chubby Checker", returns in earnest for the eighth time with this classic, It's the only song in Top 100 history to become #1 in two separate runs on the chart. And Danny and the Juniors must still be regretting not doing this song when it was offered to them way back when. In the fall of 1960 it was #1 for one week nationally and five weeks on WABC. Then in January of '62 it was re-released and hit the top again for two weeks nationally and one week on WABC.
#52 - THE TWIST - Chubby Checker (1960/1962) YouTube

#51! #51! On we go with ANOTHER superHIT with superSTARS from the Motown library. This song started out as a take-off on the sound of "Come See About Me" but ended up sounding more like a gospel song, according to the writers. One of 12 national #1 songs the group had in the U.S., it also reached the top of the WABC chart.
#51 - YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE The Supremes (1966) YouTube

#50! #50! Next up is a song that's so nice, it was done THRICE! HUH??? First charting on June 28, 1969, there are three mixes of this song. The original mono 45 mix had a loud orchestra and glockenspiel compared to the stereo version on the "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" LP. The third version had the orchestra mixed down and the background vocals mixed up with a longer fade. It's found only on the "His 12 Greatest Hits" CD. And recently, the singer revealed that President John F. Kennedy's daughter, Caroline Kennedy, was the inspiration for this song. One of 25 national top 20 songs for this guy, it peaked at #4 and was his very first top 5 hit. On WABC, it got to #2.
#50 - "SWEET CAROLINE" - Neil Diamond (1969) YouTube

#49! #49! We hardly ever hear the original version of this next song anymore, with most stations playing the long album version that was NEVER aired in America when the song was out. This was the biggest hit and the only #1 song for this Newcastle, England group, one of ten national and five WABC top 20 hits. In fact, after this hit, they could get no higher than #9 nationally and #15 on MusicRadio. This is the fifth time you've made it part of our Top 77.
#49 - "THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN" - Animals (1964) YouTube

#48! #48! Let's visit JOISEY, er...make that "Jersey"...for the one-hit wonders who got to #1 nationally and #2 on WABC with this song and are on the Top 77 for the seventh time. First titled "Randy" after the writer's high school sweetheart, that name didn't work with the rest of the lyrics, so "Randy" became "Brandy".
#48 "BRANDY" Looking Glass (1972) YouTube

#47! #47! Back for the EIGHTH time (wow!) on our Top 77 list, this song should probably have been listed as done by "The Beatle" since John, George and Ringo weren't even in the studio when Paul recorded this. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, it's one of the most recorded songs in the history of music. And it was number one for two weeks in 1965, following "Help!" to become their tenth number one song nationally. It was also #1 on WABC. Since we all know its' working title of "Scrambled Egg", all together now, let's sing along..."Scrambled egg, all my omelettes seem so far away..."..
#47 - "YESTERDAY" - The Beatles (1965) YouTube

#46! #46! He's kinda "Stuck in the Middle with You" on the 2008 Top 77 at #46... and he DID have a top ten hit in 1973 as co-leader of the one-hit wonder group Stealers Wheel. But the song you voted for next was his biggest solo hit . It peaked at #2 both nationally and on MusicRadio.
#46 - "BAKER STREET' - Gerry Rafferty (1978) YouTube

#45! #45! The Bad Ol' Men of Rock and Roll are back with this song for the seventh time on our Top 77. With 41 national top 40 hits and 24 top 20 hits on WABC, these guys put this song on top for five weeks in 1969 on WABC's Music Power Survey and four weeks on the national chart. It was released just one day after the funeral for group member Brian Jones. And the ensuing tour in 1969 was the Stones' first in three years. The cost to see the Rolling Stones in 1969? A whopping $4.50 to $7.50 a ticket - the most expensive concert ticket EVER at the time.
#45 - "HONKY TONK WOMEN" - The Rolling Stones (1969) YouTube

#44! #44! Here's the second and final top ten song for this five man L.A. based group who had reached #1 the previous summer with "Mr. Tambourine Man". This song, the group's third release, was lead singer Jim McGuinn's take on a Pete Seeger song based on the bible's Book of Ecclesiastes, making it the oldest chart topper of the rock era. It took more than 50 takes to produce the track that was released as a single. Peaking at #1 both nationally and on WABC, here's...
#44 - "TURN! TURN! TURN! (TO EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON)" - The Byrds (1965) YouTube

#43! #43! Not to sound like a broken record...or is that "Baroque-en" record?...well anyway, let's hear from a "Baroque Rock" group out of New York called the Left Banke. Peaking at #5 nationally, this hit got all the way to #2 on WABC's All American Survey. Keyboardist Michael Brown would later go on to have a #1 song with the group Stories and "Brother Louie" in 1973, making him one of only a few singers to have only one top ten hit with two different groups. It's on our Top 77 for the third time.
#43 - "WALK AWAY RENEE" - Left Banke (1966) YouTube

#42! #42! And now, ladies and gents, boys and girls, entering the ring and making the the top 77 for the third time with this song, let's welcome London's Who! (What? Who?) Well, yup, it's the legendary rock band that shockingly NEVER had a top ten song on WABC, and only had ONE national top ten hit ("I Can See for Miles"). Although this song only peaked nationally at #15 and in New York on WABC at #21, it's one of their most popular songs.
#42 - "WON'T GET FOOLED AGAIN" - The Who (1971) YouTube

#41! #41! The movie was supposed to be called "Eight Arms to Hold You" after the eight-armed god Kali in the flick, but when the Fab Four realized that THAT title needed help, they did just that and changed it to "Help!". Recorded on April 13, it was #1 for Labor Day of that year. Curiously, John Lennon said he always felt the song was too fast and he would have preferred a slower version to be released. It's back for the fifth time on our Top 77 survey.
#41 - "HELP!" - The Beatles (1965) YouTube

#40! #40! Look out. ol' BOBBY is back...for the ninth time on the Top 77 with the song you voted as high as #2 on our second list in 1999. Another Bronxite, he was born Walden Robert Cassotto and had hits with musical styles that ran from pop to rock to country to folk to soul. We lost this legend in 1973 to heart failure at the age of 37. With one of 41 national top 100 hits, here's the song that stayed at #1 for nine weeks nationally and for 14 weeks in New York on WMGM radio. And a song that comes in second only to "Unchained Melody" for the most versions to make the national top 100 charts.
#40 - "MACK THE KNIFE" - Bobby Darin (1959) YouTube

#39! #39! This next hit is on the Top 77 for the seventh time! And although the label says "The Crystals", it's really super-session singers Darlene Love and the Blossoms on this song written by Gene Pitney. Producer Phil Spector wanted it recorded immediately to beat out Vicki Carr's version, and the real Crystals just weren't available. In fact, by the time the Crystals heard their new record for the first time, it was already a hit on the radio! It was #1 for two weeks nationally, and it peaked at #2 on WABC.
#39 - "HE'S A REBEL" - The Crystals (1962) YouTube

#38! #38! Here's the most charted title in the history of the top 100! It made the list ten different times by seven different artists on the national top 100 surveys. In 1955, three versions of this song were in the top 20 at the same time...by Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, and Roy Hamilton, while a fourth version by June Valli peaked at #29. And the Righteous Brothers had two of their own versions of this song in the top 20 at the same time when, in 1990, the song was featured in the "Ghost" movie soundtrack. Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield's re-release of the original got to #13 while a re-recorded version peaked at #19. In 1965, the original peaked at #4 nationally and on WABC. It's back for the tenth time and came in at #38 ...
#38 - "UNCHAINED MELODY" - The Righteous Brothers (1965/1990) YouTube

#37! #37! Our next hit was the very last Beatles #1 nationally and on WABC. And although it stayed on top for only two weeks nationally, on WABC it held the record as the Fab Four's longest running #1 song, staying there for seven weeks as one of 16 number one songs on MusicRadio." In fact, this was the #1 song on April 10, 1970 when the Beatles announced their break-up. The song was inspired by Paul McCartney's mother Mary...and John absolutely hated it.
#37 - "LET IT BE" - Beatles (1970) YouTube

#36! #36! Time for the superstar who amassed an amazing 49 top 100 national hits and 25 top 20 songs, with this one being one of four number one hits for him, staying on top for five weeks nationally and six weeks on WABC. Ironically enough, it started out as a flip side, barely included on the "Every Picture Tells a Story" LP. Rod insists it's based on a true story. Oh Rod, you naughty, naughty man! It's on our Top 77 for the sixth time.
#36 - "MAGGIE MAY" - Rod Stewart (1971) YouTube

#35! #35! Back on our list for the seventh time and the first time since 2005, here's Walden Robert Cossotto, 23 years old at the time, who as Bobby Darin had 14 national top 20 hits before dying from heart failure in 1973. This song was the follow-up to the classic "Mack the Knife", and was originally done by Benny Goodman in 1948. Based on the 1945 French song titled "La Mer", it peaked at #6 nationally and #3 in New York on WMGM (WABC wasn't doing Top 40 at the time).
#35 - "BEYOND THE SEA" - Bobby Darin (1960) YouTube

#34! #34! Here comes a Beach Boys song that's become MUCH bigger now than it ever was when it was released! It's been on our list only three times before, and not since 2006. It wasn't even the main side of the single when it was released in 1964. Nationally the "A" side, "I Get Around", was a #1 hit, while this side petered out at a weak #24. WABC played the song for two weeks as a "Hot Prospect" and that was it. The song came about when the writer attempted to put together something that was similar to "Be My Baby." But whenever he heard the Ronettes' song on the radio, he doubted aloud if he could match it. It was his wife who would always reassured him with the words that became the title of the song.
#34 - "DON'T WORRY BABY" - The Beach Boys (1964) YouTube

#33! #33! These surveys always turn up surprises and strange combinations. And here's one now, yet ANOTHER Beach Boys' flip side back to back with "Don't Worry Baby". It's here for the eighth time, having finished as high as #17 on our 2001 Top 77. And it's ANOTHER song NEVER played on WABC. That was largely because in 1966, most radio stations were playing the "A" side, "Wouldn't It Be Nice" (which has only made our Top 77 twice). But somehow through the years this song, which only got to #39 nationally, has become a fan favorite. Said to have inspired The Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere", it's Carl Wilson on lead on brother Brian's song.
#33 - "GOD ONLY KNOWS" - Beach Boys (1966) YouTube

#32! #32! Here's the oldest song on the Top 77, on our list for the fourth time. First charting on Christmas Day in 1954, it was recorded in a backyard garage and has sold over 10 million copies to date. This Los Angeles group led by Cleveland Duncan was named for the "Willie the Penguin" Kool cigarettes trademark mascot, and even though their song is considered a doo-wop classic, it only got to #8 nationally.
#32 - "EARTH ANGEL" - The Penguins (1955) YouTube

#31! #31! After mysteriously dropping off the Top 77 last year, our next hit is back for the ninth time to the Top 77. It's one of the earliest top 20 hits that was over five minutes in its full version. The title comes from the phrase "A rolling stone gathers no moss", a theme out of Hank Williams' "Lost Highway" with a line that goes, "I'm a rolling stone, I'm alone and lost." Born Robert Allan Zimmerman, it's the folk-rock legend who took his name after an uncle named Dillon, and not after poet Dylan Thomas, as many believed. One of six national top 20 hits, it peaked at #2 nationally and #2 on WABC.
#31 - "LIKE A ROLLING STONE" - Bob Dylan (1965) YouTube

#30! #30! Ah, Elvis has NOT left the building. Why, here he is again with the second of three songs on this year's Top 77. This song is back for the fourth time on the survey, and the first time since 2005. It was a former national #1, but how many Elvis ALBUMS do you think made it to #1? Actually, nine Elvis LPs made it to the top, and 49 of his albums charted on the national list, making him second only to...those guys from England. This hit was the last national #1 single for Elvis during the WABC era. It came out of the first recording session since 1955 that the King had in Memphis. Backed by Ronnie Milsap and Jeannie Greene, it peaked at #4 on WABC...
#30 - "SUSPICIOUS MINDS" - Elvis Presley (1969) YouTube

#29! #29! Here's one of the songs that had us singing all about our "Bay-Yay-Bee" back in the 60's. It's the Jersey Boys known through the years as the Variatones, Frankie Love and the Four Lovers, Frankie Valle and the Romans, Billy Dixon and the Topics, the Village Voices, and eight other names before finally settling on "The Four Seasons" after a New Jersey bowling alley. This was their first hit, #1 for five weeks nationally and six weeks on WABC. It's on our list for the sixth time and the fifth year in a row.
#29 - "SHERRY" - The Four Seasons (1962) YouTube

#28! #28! Well now, back-a-to-back, and a-belly-to-belly...looky here! The Seasons Four are back for more! On WABC, they had 25 top 20 hits and four #1's. And this song holds the unique record of being the only song ever to finish in a tie for #2 on the weekly WABC survey when on March 10, 1964, it tied with the Beatles and "I Want to Hold Your Hand". Nationally, it halted at #3. It's on our Top 77 for the fifth time.
#28 - "DAWN (GO AWAY)" - The Four Seasons (1965) YouTube

#27! #27! The Fab Four return with their highest ranking album cut on our list. It's here for the eighth straight time and the ninth time overall. Originally released on the "Rubber Soul" LP, the album stayed on the charts for 6 months with six weeks at #1. Although never released as a single, this tune was voted the best song of all time by a panel of songwriters in a 2000 Mojo magazine poll with panelists that included Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Lamont Dozier, and Carole King.
#27 - "IN MY LIFE" - The Beatles (1966) YouTube

#26! #26! Here's a song from one of the biggest rock albums of all time, an album that stayed at #1 for eight weeks. So how did these guys follow up this monster release? With an album called "The Long Run" that was #1 for nine weeks! How's THAT for bettering yourself. This is the seventh time the single has made our Top 77, and it's a song that peaked at #1 nationally and #2 on WABC.
#26 - "HOTEL CALIFORNIA" - Eagles (1977) YouTube

#25! #26! Back for the third straight year is the ONLY song to ever make our Top 77 from these British superstars. With lyrics from the viewpoint of a solitary man on the south bank of the Thames watching (or imagining) the romantic encounters of a couple at Waterloo Bridge, the recording features Ray Davies' first wife Rasa on background vocals. It reached number 2 on the British charts in mid 1967. And a London FM radio poll in 2004 named this the "Greatest Song About London". Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time placed this one at #42. This year you voted it...
#25 - "WATERLOO SUNSET" - The Kinks (1967) YouTube

#24! #24! Arrrrightttt! Time to hear from da boss! "Bruuuuuuuuuce!!!" Yup, back for the seventh time on our Top 77, Bruce landed 13 top 20 national hits and three #1 albums. But this, a tune many consider to be his signature song, only got to #23 nationally and #36 on WABC.
#24 - "BORN TO RUN" - Bruce Springsteen (1975) YouTube

#23! #23! This superhit has made the Top 77 every year but one (2002). It's by the group that started as two acts, the Distants and the Primes. And the song, which writer Smokey Robinson originally planned to record with his group the Miracles, was written as a companion piece to Mary Wells' "My Guy". It was a #1 national and #4 WABC hit in 1965.
#23 - "MY GIRL" - Temptations (1965) YouTube

#22! #22! If at first you don't succeed...Well, you'll see what I mean...It's another song that's missed making the Top 77 only once in eleven years. And when the song was first released in 1971, it only got to #51 on the national top 100. Re-released in 1972, it resurfaced in its full, unedited seven minute and ten second version and this time soared to #10 nationally and #7 on WABC. With vocals from Eric Clapton, it's the song titled after a Persian tale of unrequited love and dedicated to Patti Boyd. Only problem was that Patti was married to his friend Beatle George Harrison at the time. Oops!...
#22 - "LAYLA" - Derek and the Dominos (1972) YouTube

#21! #21! Lightnin' Lou...how we love YOOOOO! (Or at least on this survey, we do). Back for the seventh time, it's Pittsburgh native Lugee Gino Sacco with a #1 hit, the biggest of his four national and five New York Top 20 hits. It peaked at #1 both nationally and in New York on WABC.
#21 - "LIGHTNIN' STRIKES" - Lou Christie (1966) YouTube

#20! #20! Here's yet another song that only missed making the Top 77 once, back in 1999. And how much better can it get than for a former taxi driver than to have a hit with a song called "Taxi"? Yup, Harry Chapin really DID drive a taxi in Long Beach on Long Island before he ever hit the charts. This song got to #9 in New York on WABC but nationally only got to #24. In an ironic twist of fate, it took eight years for Harry Chapin to release part two of this tale, a song called "Sequel" in 1980. And that made this story both his very first and very last chart hit. We lost him way too early at age 39 from an auto crash in 1981...
#20 - "TAXI" - Harry Chapin (1972) YouTube

#19! #19! Get ready for those drum beats. Boom-boom-boom...BOOM! If you feel like the wall of sound is closing in on you, it can only mean that the Ronettes have entered the room! Back for the sixth time on the Top 77, it's New York City's Ronnie, Estelle and Nedra with their only national top 20 song, peaking on those charts at #2. But fellow New Yorkers put their song at #1 on WABC, one of three Ronettes tunes to make the MusicRadio top 20. It's the group formerly known as D.J. Murray the K's "Dancing Girls". And this year, it finished in its highest position ever on our Top 77.
#19 - "BE MY BABY" - The Ronettes (1963) YouTube

#18! #18! Now here's the song that's proven through the years and on this survey to be the most popular Dave Clark Five song. In fact, it missed making the Top 77 only once, in the very first year 1998. Finally inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008, these guys, who formed in Tottenham, England, had 14 national top 20 songs beginning in 1964. This one peaked at number three nationally and number four on WABC. And the guy you hear on lead on this song - and mostly all of the group's hits - was Mike Smith. Group founder Dave Clark is on drums.
#18 - "BECAUSE" - The Dave Clark Five (1964) YouTube

#17! #17! So what do you get when you cross a salesman (Terry Kirkland) with a sailor (Greg Alexander)? You get the core of a 13-man group called "The Men". An argument caused seven men to leave "The Men", so six remaining men decide to man a new group called The Aristocrats. Got it so far? There's more! That name was rejected so Terry's wife Judy found another name on the same page of the dictionary and the men from "The Men" became the six men who formed The Association. Whew! Here's their biggest song on our Top 77, back for the eighth time and ALMOST recorded by the New Christy Minstrels. Written in just over a half-hour and originally intended to be a slow, waltz-like melody, it's one of five top 20 hits for these guys and a former number one song nationally and on WABC.
#17 - "CHERISH" - The Association (1966) YouTube

#16! #16! Well, well, well, look what's back this year! After making the Top 77 every single year and the top ten six times, this song mysteriously dropped off the survey last year from #4 in 2006! WHOA! This year, it's back with a vengence. Formed in England in 1969, it's America with a tune originally titled "Desert Song", inspired by the desert countryside and their homesickness for the USA while overseas. A number one song on WABC and number one for 3 weeks nationally, it was the first of eight national top 20 hits for them.
#16 - "A HORSE WITH NO NAME" - America (1972) YouTube

#15! #15! Here's s song back for the eleventh straight year. After The Beatles' breakup, both George and John called on Phil Spector to help produce their own solo efforts. Three of the four singles he co-produced with John made the national top 20, with this one peaking at #3 nationally and #4 on WABC. It was one of 12 national top 20 hits for John. In 1975, it got to #6 in England when it was first released as a single in 1975. Shortly after Lennon's death in 1980, it was re-released there and hit #1, to be replaced by Lennon's "Woman". That marked the first time an act replaced itself on top of the UK charts since the Beatles followed "She Loves You" with "I Want To Hold Your Hand".
#15 - "IMAGINE" - John Lennon (1971) YouTube

#14! #14! The King has just re-entered the building! Here King, here King! Good boy! Actually, it's Elvis returning with this ballad for the seventh time with a song that peaked at #2 nationally but strangely only got to #8 in New York on WABC. Based on the French tune "Plasir D'Amour", the King dedicated it to his one and only, Miss Priscilla Beaulieu, when he recorded it. One of over 150 top 100 entries on the national chart for Elvis, here's...
#14 - "CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE" - Elvis YouTube

#13! #13! Another of the songs that have made the Top 77 every single year, here's that song from the actor-singer who will, once again, get us soaked in the pouring rain to tell us all about his confounded cake! Turned down by the Association, this tune was presented to Richard Harris by writer Jimmy Webb, and Harris absolutely loved it. As for the much misunderstood, often maligned lyrics, Webb is amazed at the confusion. He says "I see it as a relatively simple love song with some very sad imagery...about things passing away and never being the same again." In other words, gang, ruined by carelessness, a great love might never come again. Gee, and to think of all the nights I lay awake trying to figure out those lyrics! It peaked at #2 both nationally and on WABC.
#13 - "MACARTHUR PARK" - Richard Harris (1968) YouTube

#12! #12! 38 years later and in all my bird watching through those years I have YET to spot a "silver bird" sailing on at my bird feeder! But at any rate, here's the superhit from a supergroup back for the super eleventh straight super time. And isn't that SUPER? As one of 13 national top 20 hits, it spent six weeks on top nationally and four weeks at #1 on WABC. And although the album and single won six Grammies, it would be the last studio LP for these guys, as tension caused them to split up right after this song made the charts.
#12 - "BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER" - Simon & Garfunkel (1970) YouTube

#11! #11! This next hit missed the Top 77 in the first year only, 1998, and has made the survey every year since. It was so hot back in 1964 that it was the only song ever to go from WABC's "Pick Hit of the Week" directly to #1, where it stayed for six weeks. Nationally, it was number one for two weeks. Written by Bob Gaudio, it was inspired by a little girl who cleaned his windshield while he was stopped at a light on New York's Westside Highway. And this year, you voted it...
#11 - "RAG DOLL" - The Four Seasons (1964) YouTube

#10! #10! Hey babe, wanna check out my theremin? HUH??? Well, actually, nothing wrong with that! In fact, that newfangled thingamajig heard on our next song really wasn't "newfangled" at all. It appeared in the soundtrack of the 1945 movie "Spellbound". And as for the song itself, it was a #1 hit nationally and took more than two months, 90 hours of studio time, 70 hours of taping (Hey! That's almost as long as it takes to put together this survey!) and $40,000 to complete, making it the most expensive pop song ever recorded at the time. Mysteriously, it stalled at #4 on WABC. Click on the video for a VERY interesting version of the song!
#10 - "GOOD VIBRATIONS" - Beach Boys YouTube

#9! #9! On we go with a song that finished as high as number four on our Top 77 in 1998. In 1964, even the German version of this song, called "Sie Liebt Dich", got to #97 nationally, whereas the version we all love and understand got to number one for two weeks nationally and six weeks on MusicRadio. It was producer George Martin's idea for the group to use the "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah's" in the song, and that phrase became a Beatles signature. Recorded in July, 1963, this was the biggest selling Beatles song in England.
#9 - "SHE LOVES YOU" - The Beatles (1964) YouTube

#8! #8! Now it's time for a song that's been a favorite of Top 77 voters for a LONG, LONG, LOOOONNNNNGGG, LONG time. And although 34 labels rejected his LP before Mediarts picked it up, those 34 labels were eating crow when "American Pie" hit the chart in late 1971 and rapidly went to number one for four weeks nationally and six weeks on WABC. The record company split the single version into two parts since eight minutes, twenty-seven seconds was just too long for one side of a 45 rpm vinyl single. Most radio stations played the complete song anyway. It finishes in our top ten for the tenth straight year. Click the video for a rare live performance from Don. One of three top 20 hits, it's...
#8 - "AMERICAN PIE" - Don McLean (1971/1972) YouTube

#7! #7! The demand for our next top ten hit was so strong that, in the first three days alone, a quarter million copies had already been sold. In New York City, 10,000 copies flew off the shelves every hour. Capitol was so overloaded by the demand, it contracted part of the job of pressing copies to Columbia and RCA. And by February 1, The Beatles achieved their first number one in America. It was recorded on October 19, 1963 along with "This Boy", and was already number one in England when Washington D.C. deejay Carroll Baker played it and forced Capitol to release the single over two weeks early on December 26, 1963. By the time the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, they already had six songs on the national top 100. This song stayed on top for seven weeks before being knocked off by the very song it knocked off the top in Britain, "She Loves You". On WABC, it was #1 for six weeks, the first of 16 #1 songs on MusicRadio....
#7 - "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND" - The Beatles (1964) YouTube

#6! #6! "Come on Buick, Light My Fire"? Huh??? Well, if it wasn't for Jim Morrison refusing to allow it to be used in a commercial, we just might remember this classic for cars rather than rock. The group never intended to release this as a single. And even though it was their biggest hit and signature song, Morrison despised it and hated performing it. It's one of six Doors top 20 hits. And since the original version was six minutes and fifty seconds, the band - at the request of the record label - re-recorded the song as a shorter version for single release. But they weren't happy with the result, and hesitantly agreed to allow Elektra Records to edit the instrumental bridge out of the original LP version. It was #1 for three weeks nationally and four weeks on WABC.
#6 - "LIGHT MY FIRE" - Doors (1967) YouTube

#5! #5! So does anyone remember "laughter"? And what exactly IS a "hedgerow"? These and other timeless questions are answered in our next survey song. It's an album classic that was never released as a single because lead singer Robert Plant refused to edit the song down to an acceptable length for commercial release. Plant's own explanation of the lyrics was that it "was some cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration". Surprisingly, although the group had eleven top 20 albums and six #1 LPs, the album this song was on, the group's untitled fourth LP, only got to number two.
#5 - "STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN" - Led Zeppelin (1971) YouTube

#4! #4! Now here's the classic that was actually recorded in Chicago for the first take, and then completed in Hollywood over a period of 18 hours during the "Out of Our Heads" session. It was written by Keith Richards one night when he couldn't fall asleep, and "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" was Mick Jagger's working title, never originally meant to stick. Keith claims that the famous guitar riff was based on Martha and the Vandellas' 1964 hit "Dancing in the Street", and he wanted it done with horns. He also felt the song was not commercial enough to be a hit, but the other group members disagreed. Voted the "Best Rock and Roll Song of All Time" on VH1, it was one of eight national number one songs and a number one song of WABC for four weeks.
#4 - "(I CAN'T GET NO) SATISFACTION" - The Rolling Stones (1965) YouTube

So, here we go again, the pinnacle of the pinocle deck, the creme de la creme, the cafe au lait, s'il vous plait? HUH??? Oh, ok. Here are the coveted top three slots on this year's Top 77 survey...the songs you voted the very best. And yes, I cram them all into big, annoying paragraphs to keep the suspense going and force you to read all this to find out who the big winners are...heh, heh, heh. SO...


#3! #3! ...At number three, we drive to New Haven, Connecticut, to that famed church basement where this song was recorded. The group made the national Top 100 seven times, but three of those times it was with this song! Lead singer Fred Parris wrote it while he was in the army and, in fact, Fred was stationed in Japan when this became a hit. To support the song, the group re-formed with Bill Baker as lead singer and Parris rejoined the group when he came back to the states in 1958. To date, the song has sold over 45 million copies. And the misspelling of "Night" was intentional. Surprisingly, the song never got any higher than #24. Even in New York, it only peaked at #13 on WMGM radio.
#3 - "IN THE STILL OF THE NITE" - The Five Satins (1956) YouTube

#40! #2! What's number two this year? For that, we'd have to drive from Connecticut up to...hmmm...maybe Mt. Everest??? It's LADY DIANA, back again for the sixth straight year at #2. Aw shucks! It's always a bridesmaid and never a bride for Diane Ernestine Earle, better known as Diana Ross, er...that's STILL "Miss Ross" to you! She is indeed a diva, one who has captured a Tony Award, seven American Music Awards, a special Golden Globe Award, nominations for twelve Grammy Awards and an Academy Award for Best Actress! Her albums and singles sales are estimated at more than 100 million, and in 1976, Billboard magazine named her the female entertainer of the century, with Guinness World Records declaring her to be the most successful female music artist of the 20th century. She had a total of 18 national number one singles, 12 as lead singer of The Supremes and six as a solo artist. Ross was also the first female solo artist to score six number ones, and is one of the few artists to have two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one as a solo artist and the other as a member of the Supremes. In 1999, as a solo artist, she was ranked #38 on VH1's "100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll", while The Supremes ranked #16. Lots of WOWS, huh? This song has never finished lower than number seven on our list, and this year the former number one hit nationally and on WABC comes in as...
#2 - "AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH" - Diana Ross (1970) YouTube

#40! #1! Ah, to the top we go...our number one song out of 2,369 songs that you voted for this year...And, in a shocker, the winner is... "It's the Same Old Song" by the Four Tops!...Oops, hey wait, my mistake. That should be...number one this year is the same old song! Simply unbelievable! As the highest ranked of TEN songs the Fab Four placed on the Top 77, "Hey Jude" repeats as number one for the eleventh straight year! It's one of 37 top 20 hits on WABC and 69 national top 100 hits for this group. And this one stayed on top for six weeks on MusicRadio and nine weeks nationally. Its length of 7 minutes and eleven seconds made it the longest song ever to get to #1 when it was released. Written by Paul originally as "Hey Jules" for John's son Julian, it's...
#1 - "HEY JUDE" - The Beatles (1968) YouTube

And it's the song that you've voted to the very top of our Top 77 year after year!

So there you have it, the complete Top 77 results in our eleventh year of voting. Thanks for making this our most successful year to date. Although Tom Natoli and I need about six months to recover from all this, it's a project that well worthwhile, made more so by your incredible participation and continuous kind words and encouragement.

Be sure to check out the detailed summary and breakdown of the stats for this year's list on the main page.

But for now, I do need some SERIOUS sleep...ZZZZZZZZZZZZ....ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzz.....zzzzzzzzzzzzz...zzz...zz......z....

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