Tales from the Atomic Age

The Twist: Ballard's Brainchild,
Checker's Change of Fortune

Gary (U.S.) Bonds, with "Dear Lady Twist" and "Twist, Twist Señora," was the only artist besides Checker to rack up more than one top ten hit based on the dance. Sam Cooke couldn't resist the urge either, "Twistin' the Night Away" into the top ten. If there was any doubt the older crowd had joined in the fun, Frank Sinatra made an official statement on their behalf with "Ev'rybody's Twistin," adapting a trendy new set of lyrics to Fats Waller's 1935 chart ... MORE ››

Top 100 Lists

Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte contributes his calypso sound to the list of the Top 100 Folk Hits of the '50s and '60s! Delve into the era of "hootenanny hitmakers" ... MORE ››

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Spanky and Our Gang

Note to future rock stars: be careful what you call yourself...you may end up having to live with a silly name for the rest of your life! The members of Elaine McFarlane's mid-'60s folk trio thought it was a clever idea to call themselves Spanky and Our Gang after characters from the classic comedy shorts of the '20s, '30s and '40s. Elaine had the same last name as cherubic Our Gang ringleader George "Spanky" McFarland...okay, not quite...and someone from her previous group thought she even resembled the famous tyke. Thus the name...pretty funny, huh? New York rockers The Rascals found themselves in a similar predicament when their manager decided the band would be called The Young Rascals...they were even hornswoggled into wearing ... MORE ››

Vinyl Attack Billy Williams

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
♦ by Billy Williams ♦

Some of the 1950s songs we refer to as "oldies" (at least in the way deejay Art Laboe, creator of the surprise hit Oldies But Goodies album series, popularized the term) were remakes of much older oldies (as in the Tin Pan Alley variety, pre- and post-Depression era). Take for instance "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and ... MORE ››