1960s Music – 1964, February 7th the place is New York – JFK Airport, some 5000 fans are all gathered to witness the arrival of the Beatles and the beginning of the British invasion. Their first album “Please Please Me” had stayed at #1 in the U.K. for 30 consecutive weeks but the record company because of licensing problems had not released it in the U.S. Instead they released the single “I Want To Hold Your Hand” which sold 2.6 million copies in the two weeks preceding their arrival. During the course of the year they would subsequently capture nine spots on the Top 100 charts with five of them in the #1 slot (see chart below for titles).
Their 3 consecutive appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show in February were no accident. Timed to coincide with their arrival in the U.S. Sullivan had originally offered the group top dollar to appear once. Their manager Brian Epstein however agreed to take the lowest pay scale in return for doing three shows in a row. Whether it was the brilliant marketing or just their innate talent and likability the Beatles were instant hits in America. Their success led to a desire for anything and everything British. Other British bands would capitalize on this desire. During the year The Animals, Chad & Jeremy, Dusty Springfield, Peter and Gordon, The Kinks and Manfred Mann would all have Top 100 hits with the Dave Clark Five charting five entries during the period.
Groups from the U.K. weren’t the only thing charting however The Supreme’s had their first hit with Motown Records, “Where Did Our Love Go” which was quickly followed by “Baby Love” and “Come See About Me” all three climbed to #1 on the charts. The only other multiple top spot performer was actually a early 1960’s favorite, Bobby Vinton who had “There! I’ve Said It Again” and “Mr. Lonely” both hit #1. Another perennial favorite Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons had three huge hits with “Rag Doll”, “Stay” and “Ronnie”.
|Number of Charted Songs Top 100:Beatles – 9|
Dave Clark Five – 5
Supremes – 3
Four Seasons – 3
Bobby Vinton – 2
Jan & Dean – 2
|And The Grammy Goes To:Record of the Year – “The Girl From Ipanema ” – Stan Getz|
Album of the Year – ” Getz/Gilberto” – Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto
Song of the Year – “Hello, Dolly!” – Jerry Herman
Best Rock and Roll Recording – “Downtown”- Petula Clark
Not as well known but certainly influential the Rolling Stones begin their U.S. tour by releasing their first self titled album “The Rolling Stones”. The group got it’s name from a Muddy Waters tune “Rollin’ Stone”. The Stones were the first popular group to mix R&B melodies with rock type rhythms, because of their “dirty” music and the lack of cute clothing and haircuts they received the reputation as being the “bad boys” of rock.
Jazz got a lot of attention this year with Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto’s single “The Girl From Ipanema” and their self titled album both winning Grammy Awards and doing well in the charts. Al Hirt a jazz horn player also had million seller hit with “Java”.
BILLBOARD #1 HITS 1964
|SONG||ARTIST(click to purchase)||# OF WEEKS||DATE|
|There! I’ve Said It Again||Bobby Vinton||4||1/04|
|I Want To Hold Your Hand||The Beatles||7||2/01|
|She Loves You||The Beatles||2||3/21|
|Can’t Buy Me Love||The Beatles||5||4/04|
|Hello, Dolly!||Louis Armstrong||1||5/09|
|My Guy||Mary Wells||2||5/16|
|Love Me Do||The Beatles||1||5/30|
|Chapel Of Love||The Dixie Cups||3||6/06|
|A World Without Love||Peter & Gordon||1||6/27|
|I Get Around||The Beach Boys||2||7/04|
|Rag Doll||Four Seasons||2||7/18|
|A Hard Day’s Night||The Beatles||2||8/01|
|Everybody Loves Somebody||Dean Martin||1||8/15|
|Where Did Our Love Go||Supremes||2||8/22|
|The House Of The Rising Sun||Animals||3||9/05|
|Oh, Pretty Woman||Roy Orbison||3||9/26|
|Do Wah Diddy Diddy||Manfred Mann||2||10/17|
|Leader Of The Pack||The Shangri-Las||1||11/28|
|Mr. Lonely||Bobby Vinton||1||12/12|
|I Feel Fine||The Beatles||3||12/26|