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Top Songs of 1962

Updated on December 15, 2012

1962 was an exciting year in music, pop music and rock and roll was staking a firm place on radio. While standards and easy listening music also made it to the charts, it was slowly being taken over. It was before the British Invasion, the charts were a healthy mix of pop music, ballads and what were to become easy listening classics. Women were making more and more strides in popular music and were reaching the charts more often.

I was 6 during that year and had just discovered the joys of pop music. In my first year at school the year before I had a wonderful teacher who introduced me to classical music (in the form of Peter and the Wolf) and to classical English folk songs. I joined the school choir in 1962.


I had two older sisters who were very much into the popular music of the day so I was always exposed to the latest songs. Also, on our television I was exposed to The Ed Sullivan Show and other musical shows.

A Mixed Bag

I have chosen 10 songs for this article which are a mixture of the songs that were being played on the radio and that were making history on the Billboard charts.They range from smokey ballads, to pop classics, to history making sound and to one song that became a pop culture classic.

Turn Turn Turn – Judy Collins and Pete Seeger

I didn’t realize that this song had been written (the music anyway, the lyrics are from the Bible) by Pete Seeger in the 1950s. It was a huge hit for the Byrds in the mid-60s. Pete Seeger released his version in 1962 and it made the charts.

Sherry – Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons

Frankie Valle and the Four Seasons had so many great songs. Their harmonies were soaring and Frankie Valle had one of the best falsetto's ever. The band is now the subject of a very successful Broadway show called Jersey Boys.

The Twist – Chubby Checker

It seems that everyone was doing The Twist in 1962, even the President and First Lady were doing it at the White House. I remember attempting it as a child; it always showed up at parties and dances. Chubby Checker later released Let’s Twist Again.

He’s a Rebel – The Crystals

Before Phil Spector was crazy, or maybe he was then but hid it better, he was an amazing record producer who created the “wall of sound”. This was one of the first hits he produced.

It’s My Party - Lesley Gore

I have always loved this song, it is just so upbeat and poppy. Of course, it is about a not so great subject (a girl being cheated on by her boyfriend). Lesley Gore had such a perfect voice for pop music.

Rainy Night in Georgia - Brooke Benton

This song actually makes you feel like you are experiencing a rainy night in Georgia. He had one of the best voices of the 60s.

Girl from Impenema - Astrud Gilberto

You could not go anywhere in the 1960s without hearing this song. It seemed to always be on the radio or on television. It is a very compelling song.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do - Neil Sedaka

Neil Sedaka was one of the most prolific songwriters of the 1960s who decided to record his own songs. He had success with a number of hit songs.

Sheila - Tommy Roe

I had a little bit of a crush on Tommy Roe in the late 60s. His songs were part of the soundtrack of my life.


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  • Alecia Murphy profile image

    Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

    I like the music of the sixties alot, especially the Beatles and Motown. They're catchy, timely, and timeless all at once. My favorite song you mentioned has to be Sherry by The Four Seasons- no one compares to Frank Valli! Neat hub :)!

  • Youniverse World profile image

    Youniverse World 7 years ago from USA, New York

    Rainy Night in Georgia - Brooke Benton is my favorite song!

  • attemptedhumour profile image

    attemptedhumour 7 years ago from Australia

    I was ten at the time so these songs were shaping me as a person. Frankie Valle did have that incredible falsetto, discovered by accident when he was fooling around on stage in front of an audience of one. Luckily his manager heard him and encouraged him to use it. Brooke Benton had a voice like melting chocolate. Bobby Darin, one of the best singers ever. The Crystals were great, i think that clip is from 'Top of the pops in' in England. I have a tape with a lot of American artists on it. Great hub. Loved it. Long live the Sixties.

  • The Quail 1957 profile image

    The Quail 1957 7 years ago

    I love the older tunes. Nicely done.

  • K9keystrokes profile image

    India Arnold 7 years ago from Northern, California

    Pete Seeger! Man, does that bring back some memories! I always enjoy your hubs so much UW. Thanks for another fun trip down memory lane.


  • purpleangel47 profile image

    purpleangel47 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

    Good heavens UW! Why is it that I not only know these songs, but learned to like them long ago? I was just born! :) (Feb.1,1962)

    While I didn't know the artists for "He's a Rebel" I recall the song; and who hasn't heard Frankie Avalon's shrill voice crooning "Sherrie" or watched Chubby Checker twisting his butt! Love these! Thanx for sharing!

  • SteveoMc profile image

    SteveoMc 7 years ago from Pacific NorthWest

    Breaking up is hard to do....remember when....through the this one. I remember singing along all the time, I was 14 and only dreamed about having a girlfriend. It did eventually happen. I hate the fact that I know all of these old songs. But I love most of them and this is one of my favorites. Thanks so much for the flash back.

  • FloBe profile image

    Flo Belanger 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    A tribute to my year of birth?? Nicely done...enjoyed the tunes!