Worst Songs List

Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1960

Now, we’re beginning our journey through the 60s and we start with one of the most boring years in pop music history. 1960 was a chore to sit through. The 50s have not truly ended by this point and let me remind you that the 50s is my least favorite decade for popular music. You have rock & roll, pop, country, soul, doo-wop, big band, and a shit ton of ballads. This was one of my least favorite years in popular music and counting down the worst that it had to offer was a difficult task, but someone has to do it. So let’s get started.

1960

10.

If Pat Boone was a woman, I believe that he would be Anita Bryant. Like Boone, Anita Bryant is a stereotypical white Christian conservative and her music is just as bad. Only thing she didn’t do is cover songs from black artists. Her biggest hit was called Paper Roses, which is an apt name because this song is bland like a blank sheet of paper. The instrumentation is duller than a used No. 2 pencil and the writing revolves on a paper-thin story of a guy who doesn’t love someone. Anita Bryant doesn’t bring any sense of emotional investment to the song, this sounds more like someone phoning it in for a check. 13 years later, Marie Osmond did a cover to this song because of course. This is unrelated, but Anita is also a major homophobe, spending most of the 70s campaigning against LBGT+ rights which killed her career. Couldn’t have happened to a better person.

9.

Another big trend of the late 50s and early 60s were the teen tragedy songs. Basically, these songs revolve around dead teenagers. You read that right: dead teenagers. As you can guess, the times weren’t that cheerful. Well, let’s look at one of those songs, Mark Dinning’s Teen Angel. Dreary production aside, it’s the story of a young couple who go out on a drive when suddenly, their car stops working and they’re stuck on train tracks. And wouldn’t you know it, a train is approaching. They both get out, but the girl goes back to the car and… well, you can figure that out. When they find her body, it turned out that she went back for a high school class ring. Seriously. Not to make light of something like death, but no ring is worth getting hit by a train over. Just go get a new one. They’re probably cheap back in those days, right?

8.

Image result for frankie avalon why

There was a lot of teen idols in the 50s and 60s. The number of teen idols at the time probably rivals that of the late 90s and 2000s. One of those teen idols is Frankie Avalon, who makes the list for Why, which perfectly sums up his music catalog. The production and instrumentation is safe, cookie-cutter crap and the writing gave us another generic love song that’s disgustingly saccharine. Not helping is Frankie Avalon’s fragile performance that’s supposed to sound romantic, but is just lame. Also, this.

I’ll never let you go
Why? Because I love you
I’ll always love you so
Why? Because you love me

There was a lot of songs like this in this time and artists like Frankie were part of the reason why.

7.

Remember back in my Worst of ’72 list when I talked about Donny Osmond’s Puppy Love? Well, like I said back then, it was a cover to the Paul Anka song of the same title. Many of the things I’ve said about Osmond’s version applies to the original: sappy instrumentation, Paul Anka’s weak ass voice, and the lyrics. With a title like Puppy Love, you know what to expect. It’s a teenybopper love song with all of the sugarcoated sappiness that comes with it. Is it really a surprise that Donny covered this song 12 years later?

6.

Image result for forever little dippers

A friend of mine on Twitter said that music has always had a disposable nature to it and they were right. Anyone talking about music today sounding monotonous, have them go through the year-end lists of the 50s and 60s and see if they have that same tone. You’re going to hear a lot of songs that sound like Forever by The Little Dippers. The slow, grainy instrumentation, the poor mixing even for the times, and undercooked lyrics. Seriously, these are the only lyrics of the song.

Hold me, kiss me,
Whisper sweetly
That you love me
Forever.

Hold me, kiss me,
Whisper sweetly
That you love me
Forever.

Forever, huh? Okay. I wouldn’t even have a problem with this if the music was interesting, but this shit shit sounds like a lullaby. It pretty much is old people music and I’m going to pass on this big time.

5.

Image result for CRADLE OF LOVE JOHNNY PRESTON

Here’s two songs that suck for different reasons and they’re both from Johnny Preston. First, we have Running Bear, which was written by J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson, who died in the same plane crash that took Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens’ life. It’s another teen tragedy song revolving two Native American teenagers from rival tribes falling in love and it plays out a bit like Romeo & Juliet, ending with both of them drowning in the river that separates the tribe. Yep. A white guy singing about Native American people. And it goes as well as you’d expect. Throughout the song, there’s chanting that I’m pretty sure is fake. Preston’s other big hit in 1960 is Cradle Of Love, which incorporates nursery rhymes into its lyrics and none of them mesh together well. It also generates some ugly implications in terms of what you do in bed. Note to songwriters: if your song lyrics could be unintentionally recited by kindergartners, you need to start over ASAP.

4.

You know this song. We all do. It’s been used in movies and commercials. Brian Hyland’s Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I should’ve phrased that better because now, there’s the mental image of the dude above wearing that exact outfit. Anyways, the song. It’s about a shy girl who’s at the beach wearing a yellow polka dot bikini and she’s too embarrassed to show it off, so she resorts to hiding in the locker room, covering herself up in a blanket, and when she goes into the ocean, she stays there in fear of coming out. I’d understand if she has self-esteem issues about how she looks and I’d understand if this was back when people were more conservative, but she does know that she doesn’t have to wear that kind of bikini, right? But more importantly, Hyland sounds like a creep. He sees this poor girl who has very little confidence and all he’s focused on is her swimwear. As a matter of fact, how does he know what she was wearing? Every time I question this song, I unravel more disturbing implications. This shit is wack, end of story. Next.

3.

Image result for let the little girl dance

I don’t know if this is a spoiler or not, but the Top 3 songs on this list triggers a heavily negative response from me. Let’s look at Let The Little Girl Dance by Billy Bland. On the surface, this seems like just another rock & roll song with some R&B influences and it’s about a girl who wants to dance. Let me rephrase that: a little girl who wants to dance. Little girl. Maybe it was just the times, but there’s two ways that this could be interpreted: either she’s the same height as Peter Dinklage or the worst option, she’s underage. Maybe I’m reading too much into this. After all, it is just dancing. But then again, it could lead to something else along the lines. Let’s just move on.

2.

Image result for kiddio brook benton

You want to hear something disturbing? No? Well, too bad because you’re going to suffer with me as we look at Kiddio by Brook Benton. This song has no pedophilic connotations thankfully, but it has something just as disturbing: verbal abuse. If you don’t believe me, then look at these lines.

A-won’tcha say yes? Don’tcha say no
Make me feel good, kiddio

Say yes, don’t say no. Wow. Talk about being used to getting what you want. This whole song reads as a look into the mind of an abusive, controlling spouse. This is the type of dude who thinks women’s only purpose is making him a sandwich and sex. No woman should be with this dude. Can’t believe the shit that they let fly back then. And there’s only one song that’s worse.

And now, here are some dishonorable mentions

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Steve Lawrence-Pretty Blue Eyes
  • Freddy Cannon-Way Down Yonder In New Orleans
  • Larry Verne-Mr. Custer
  • Bobby Vee-Devil Or Angel
  • The Four Preps-Down By The Station
  • Ray Peterson-Tell Laura I Love Her
  • Neil Sedaka-Stairway To Heaven
  • Skip & Flip-Cherry Pie
  • Joe Jones-You Talk Too Much
  • Anita Bryant-My Little Corner Of The World

And finally, the worst song of 1960 IS………..

drum roll

1.

Oh, great. Here’s another song that revolves around little girls and it’s bluntly called Little Bitty Girl by Bobby Rydell. Seriously, what is with these songs and their obsession with little girls? And this one’s even worse than Let The Little Girl Dance because we have Bobby Rydell explicitly tell us that he’s searching for a little bitty girl. How did no one think about how this would sound? This sounds like something R. Kelly would say while on tour. The innocent-sounding production only makes this song even creepier. Parents, guardians, keep an eye on your kids when this dude is around. Congratulations to Little Bitty Girl for being the worst song of 1960.

And those were the worst songs of 1960. In two weeks, BACK TO THE 60s continues with the Worst Songs of 1961.

Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 4.04.57 PM.png

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Crazy Classic Life-Janelle Monae

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11 thoughts on “Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1960

  1. I used to think the 2010 was the worst year in mainstream music history alongside 1997, and while it’s still one of the worst, the 50’s and early 60’s sure as heck give them competition. Heck, at least the songs from those years have more of a pulse than back then, when most of the songs were boring and all sounded the same. I thought the teens idols started back in the late 80’s, but it turns out they go way back to the late 50’s and early 60’s, there’s probably even more of them back then that now and in the late 90s/early 00’s. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between any of them since they all sound identical. The only positive thing I can say about these artists from back in the day is that they’re all good singers, but being a good singer is not enough if the music you make is boring and uninteresting as fuck. And old people say the music today all sounds the same and sucks? Fuck off, it wasn’t any better back then, I’d argue it was even worse. And yeah I agree with you, the 50’s are no doubt the worst decade in popular music. I’d rather listen to the 2000’s and 2010’s than ever listen to all that boring shit from then. Except Elvis and some cool rock and roll and R&B songs, it’s not a decade worth revisiting, which is why you don’t much 50’s music (or any previous decade for that matter) on oldies stations. 1960 is just a continuation of that boring shit, with some exception. Other than the songs on your best list and a few others, I can’t remember how most of those songs even went since they were all interchangeable from each other. Even the songs on your worst list don’t evoke much of a response from me other than pure boredom and maybe say “people got away with those lyrics”. I actually consider the 60’s to be the best decade in music history, but the first 3 years rank among some of the worst. Aside from that, I got nothing, these songs don’t leave me much to work with. Looking forward to the 1961 list.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Agree with you on 1960! I was listening to some of the 1960 year end list in preparation and I got bored after a while with a lot of the hits from this year. A lot of these songs from this time are very forgettable and haven’t held up well. They’re so forgettable that I forgot how some of the songs go which goes for a lot of early 60s songs. Every time I listen to early 60s music, a lot of the songs just go in one ear and out the other and leaves no impression on me. Agree that music has always been disposable and it’s nothing new to how it is today other than adapting to the newer technology. People who complain about music being stupid, boring, and samey-sounding today should listen to the 50s and early 60s songs and realize how better off we are today with music. At least in today’s music, there’s more variety in the sounds and styles. Like with the first year of every decade, 1960 was a continuation of the 50s styles and trends and nothing much changed to reflect the new decade. By this point, rock and roll was at a standstill and had lost its initial edge after Elvis was drafted, the Buddy Holly plane crash among others events and in its place was a bunch of safe teen idols, sappy teenage puppy love songs, stupid novelties, and the overexposure of dance crazes like The Twist. I can see why many people don’t think about the early 60s when thinking about 60s music as a whole. And I also agree with your opinion of the 50s cause aside from the birth of rock and roll, nothing much really stands out to me. Popular music for me begins in the 60s when the Beatles came to America. Aside from how boring the music this year was, 1960 is a special year for me since it’s the year my father was born and when my favorite President JFK got elected.

    I honestly don’t have much to say about many of the songs you listed cause they’re just so boring that they don’t provoke much of a response from me. Between Frankie Avalon and Jadakiss, I guess there can never be a good song named Why. I can see why people only really remember Frankie Avalon for that Beauty School Drop Out song he did in Grease. Running Bear was the number one song the week my dad was born on January 20th (just great! *sarcasm*). Cradle of Love was just weird with the whole nursery rhyme interpolations. Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, aside from being creepy, is really annoying like a grade school taunt. I read that this song actually helped to make bikinis more acceptable in society since it was still considered risqué with the whole conservative attitude people had back then. I also find it funny how they end the song by saying “I guess there isn’t any more” I guess little girl was the slang male singers used back then for singing about girls. I’m sure some of the slang singers and rappers use today are gonna be seen as creepy in 50 years from now. I noticed how a lot of songs from 1960 like Little Bitty Girl use the 50s doo wop chord progression which explains why a lot of these songs sound the same. I find it funny there’s another song called Stairway to Heaven but I’ll easily stick with the Led Zeppelin classic and not the Neil Sedaka song.

    Agree with a lot of your best list. They’re the few songs that have held up from this very boring year. I can see why Bennett the Sage called Georgia on my Mind his best number one hit song of all time cause it is a really beautiful song. Like a lot of people my age, I know Beyond the Sea for its usage in Finding Nemo.

    What are your opinions on these songs?
    Theme from A Summer Place by Percy Faith and his Orchestra
    He’ll Have To Go by Jim Reeves
    The Twist by Chubby Checker
    Stay by Maurice Williams and The Zodiacs
    The Village is St. Bernadette by Andy Williams

    https://youtu.be/6VHQ6yZlWRU Here’s a good video I think you’ll like that tells the history of rock and roll in the first half of the 60s.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t disagree at all with any of this. 1960 was a total slog to get through. That said, there’s a reason Bennett The Sage considers Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles to be the best song to hit #1 on the Hot 100. That song hits like a ton of bricks.

    Anomalies:

    Worst:

    Jimmy Charles – A Million To One
    Brenda Lee – That’s All You Gotta Do

    Best:

    Percy Faith & His Orchestra – Theme From A Summer Place
    Connie Francis – Mama/Among My Souvenirs
    The Everly Brothers – When Will I Be Loved
    Chubby Checker – The Twist
    Bill Black’s Combo – White Silver Sands
    Johnny & The Hurricanes – Beatnik Fly

    Like

  4. One thing I’d Like to mention is Paul Anna is 2016 era Shawn amended of the late 50 / early 60. As in a teen idol from Canada with an obnoxiously chipper vocal performance.

    I’m not sure how the rest of the pre-1964 ‘60s compare to it, but 1960 is atrocious.

    Like

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