Worst Songs List

Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1961

1961 isn’t as bad as 1960, but it’s another dull year in popular music. Most of the same trends are still present. I wish I had more to say with this preamble, but this time period is not giving me much to work with. The late 50s to early 60s are a wasteland of mostly mediocre, forgettable songs. Let’s just start the list.

1961

10.

Remember The Twist by Chubby Checker? Of course, you do. In the early 60s, the twist was a dance craze that swept the entire nation and gave Chubby Checker his first big hit. Well, he decide to try and recapture lightning in a bottle and made Let’s Twist Again. Let’s get this out the way: it’s just The Twist part 2. Like an underwhelming sequel to a movie, it basically copy-pasted everything from the original and didn’t put any effort to make it stand out on its own. I betcha the creative process (if there was any) behind this song was like, “let’s just do the same thing again.” And the worst part? This won’t be the last time Chubby Checker would do this. More on that in the next list.

9.

Image result for highwaymen michael

Let’s talk spirituals. For those who don’t know, spirituals are songs sung by black people back during slavery times that combined the Christian faith with the hardships of slavery. Even when stripped of their indigenous culture and identity, black people have always been connected through music. What if a folk band consisting of a bunch of white dudes did a cover to one of those spirituals? Well, that’s what happened when the Highwaymen did their own version of Michael Row The Boat Ashore simply called Michael. It’s a slogging Christian song made up of acoustic guitars and whistling and another example of white artists ripping off black culture. Granted, it’s a really old part of black culture, but the principle still applies. On a random note, these guys covered a song called Cotton Fields. Yikes.

8.

Image result for i've told every little star linda scott

And now we move from the boring to the annoying courtesy of Linda Scott. This 16 year old (at the time) makes an appearance on this list for I’ve Told Every Little Star. From looking at this song, there’s clearly some communication issues. Linda Scott mentions that she told every single person she knows that she loves this guy, but she never told him how she feels about him. Also, he never told her how he felt. See what I mean when I say that there’s some communication problems? Why would they be together like this? Also, this takes up a good chunk of the song.

Dum-da-dum, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da
Dum-da-dum, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da
Dum-da-dum, da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da-da

And that’s where the annoying comes from. But we’re gonna run into some more annoying songs on this list.

7.

Image result for baby sittin boogie

You know? Just because you put “boogie” after something doesn’t mean it’s gonna be cool. Well, someone didn’t tell Buzz Clifford that when he made Baby Sittin’ Boogie. This song features baby noises throughout the entirety of its 2-minute run as the baby is apparently dancing along to a rock & roll record. Yes, this is a real song. And it was a Top 10 hit. Stop looking at me like I’m crazy. I doubt even children would enjoy this. Is that an actual real baby or is it an adult doing a baby impersonation? Who knows and who cares? The song still sucks.

6.

Image result for who put the bomp

And we go into more dumb shit. Great. In Who Put The Bomp (In The Bomp Bomp Bomp) (stop laughing), Barry Mann is singing about how his girl fell in love with him after hearing a bunch of doo-wop records and he’s thanking the people who made such records. Most of the lyrics are complete gibberish and the song is framed as some kind of satire about how doo-wop songs have nonsensical lyrics. Well, it’s not a good satire as it’s just doing the same shit that other doo-wop records are doing and all it’s saying is, “my girl fell in love with me after hearing nonsensical music.” Not exactly the strongest point, especially when the song becomes the very thing it satirizes to where it invokes Poe’s Law.

5.

Eddiehodgesknockonyourdoorpicsleeve.jpg

And now for another kid star, Eddie Hodges, who starred in the 1960 film adaptation of The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn. He also had a music career with his biggest hit being I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door. I’ll sum up the big problem with this song in one sentence: Eddie Hodges is an annoying little shit. He’s knocking on the door of the house where the girl he likes lives and it’s clear that this kid doesn’t know the meaning of self-control, uncontrollably knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, and be an overall nuisance. Even worse is the music imitating the sounds of knocking and doorbells. If I was this girl or her parents, I would open the window, throw something at the kid, and be like, “SHUT UP, YOU SNOT-NOSED TWERP!!” I bet if a black kid did the same shit Eddie Hodges did, he would probably have the police called on him.

4.

Image result for does your chewing gum loses its flavor

This just goes to show that they’ll make a song about anything. Just look at this title. Does Your Chewing Gum Loses Its Flavor (On The Bedpost Overnight). Eat your heart out, Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. Lonnie Donegan got you beat in songs that have unnecessarily long titles. That sounds like a jingle for a gum commercial, which this might as well been since it presents random scenarios that ends in a question involving chewing gum. It’s stupid, unfunny, and is given the hokiest instrumentation that anyone could dig up. Note to anyone wanting to be funny: random does not mean funny and I like strawberries.

3.

Yep. Even the King Of Rock & Roll himself isn’t safe from songs with low-key creepy undertones. On the surface level, Little Sister seems like a typical Elvis song, but then you get to the writing, which gets really uncomfortable. See, Elvis is reluctant to date a girl because he used to date her older sister who then cheated on him with several guys, including one named Boll Weevil for some reason (must have a bug fetish). But then he said “fuck it” and gave the little sister a chance.

Well, I used to pull your pigtails
And pinch your turned-up nose
But you been a growing
And baby, it’s been showing
From your head down to your toes

Reminder: Elvis was 26 years old when this song was released. And he’s talking about dating this little sister. Fucking WHY?! You had ladies who want to rock & roll with you all night, why go for someone who isn’t of legal age?

2.

Image result for daddy's home shep and the limelites

I gave the Worst of 1973 to Jermaine Jackson, who covered the song that would be number 2 on this list, Daddy’s Home by Shep And The Limelites. Every criticism I’ve made about the Jermaine Jackson version applies to the original as well. Calling yourself “daddy” in the context of your lover is creepy as hell and sounds incestuous. Honestly, this is worse than the Jermaine Jackson version because of the slow 60s instrumentation that just makes the song feel more unsettling. This almost topped the list, but as you can see, it got beat out by something worse.

And now, here are some dishonorable mentions.

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS

  • Gene McDaniels-A Hundred Pounds Of Clay
  • Steve Lawrence-Portrait Of My Love
  • Neil Sedaka-Calendar Girl
  • Ferlin Husky-Wings Of A Dove
  • Adam Wade-Take Good Care Of Her
  • Chubby Checker-The Fly
  • Paul Anka-Tonight My Love, Tonight
  • Bobby Vee-Rubber Ball
  • Ray Peterson-Missing You
  • Bobby Darin-You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

And finally, the worst song of 1961 IS…….

drum roll

1.

I’m going to assume that some of you don’t know who Pat Boone is and why he has such a bad rep within the music community. Pat Boone was one of the biggest music acts in the 50s, being a contemporary to Elvis Presley. Now both artists are mentioned when it comes to the gentrification of black music, but there are major differences. Elvis had a cool voice and he can dance, Pat Boone was legitimately terrible, making the most vanilla, saccharine music ever. Comparing these two is like comparing Eminem to Post Malone. Anyways, here’s Moody River, which is yet another teen tragedy song. In this song, a guy goes to see his girl at an oak tree where they usually meet up. But the girl committed suicide and left a note saying that she cheated and that she can’t live with what she did to him. And because Pat’s a Christian fundamentalist, there’s a few religious references. Now suicide is an issue that’s not to be taken lightly. It is possible that the girl who killed herself had some mental health issues, but considering that people didn’t know as much about mental health back in the 60s as we do now and there’s nothing in the song that indicates such, I doubt it. From what I got in Moody River, the girl killed herself because she felt bad about cheating on this dude, which feels a bit extreme. In conclusion, the subject matter of the song was poorly handled and the music and Boone himself are as boring as plain bread. Congratulations to Moody River for being the worst song of 1961.

And those were the worst songs of 1961. In three weeks, BACK TO THE 60s continues with the Worst Songs of 1962.

1961.png

Peace!!

SONG OF THE WEEK

Open Your Eyes-Bobby Caldwell

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9 thoughts on “Top 10 List: Worst Songs of 1961

  1. Agree with your preamble. I also don’t have much to say about 1961 to the point where it’s hard just to create a list for this year and the whole early 60s era because of how dull and forgettable many of these songs are. Just like with 1960, I got bored with a lot of the 1961 songs when listening to the year end list. 1961 is basically just a continuation of the trends from 1960. I liked what Mark from Spectrum Pulse said recently in his livestream saying a lot of the late 50s-early 60s pop music sucked and that the pop chars from 1959 to 1963 are miserable if you weren’t listening to much black music. I was listening to the 60s music station recently and I noticed that they rarely play 60s music from before 1964 which shows that people know how much of the music from the early 60s sucked. Most people’s perception about the 60s is it being the era of free love, hippies, Vietnam, protest music, psychedelic while that was only the last 3-4 years of the 60s. The first three years of the 60s was basically a continuation of the whole conservative happy go lucky attitude of the 50s even with JFK being President and a lot of the music reflected that attitude for better or for worse.

    Despite it being a blatant retread of The Twist, I still find Let’s Twist Again fun for a dance song even though it doesn’t pack as much of a punch as the original. Michael was boring. I’ve Told Every Star was meh. Baby Sittin Boogie is very stupid and annoying with the baby noises throughout. Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp Bomp Bomp) is really stupid both in the title and lyrics but I still find it fun to listen to and sing along with. Satire doesn’t work when you’re a part of the institution you are satirizing. With the way he sings about it, I certainly wouldn’t want Eddie Hodges knocking on my door if I were that girl. Can’t imagine a song like that getting popular today. Does Your Chewing Gum Love Its Flavour is another dumb and stupid novelty song. I share your opinion on Elvis in that I’m not a big fan of his music but respect his place in pop culture as the King of Rock and Roll. Last summer when I was in Memphis on a family vacation, I got to go on a tour of his Graceland mansion and gravesite. It happened to be on the 40th anniversary of his death so there were lots of people there who wanted to pay their respects to Elvis. It was amazing to see how Elvis’s legacy still lives on today. My dad said Elvis is much bigger now than when he was ever alive. On that same vacation, I went to an Elvis impersonator talent show and a discussion with several studio musicians who played and performed on many songs with Elvis. I didn’t know Elvis had charting success in the early 60s after his return from the military mainly cause he’s more known in this period for all the dumb movies he made than any music. I like the instrumentation but yeah the whole premise of dating a girl’s younger sister is awkward. Aside from the disturbing implications, Daddy’s Home is just another boring doo-wop song of the time. Moody River is another boring teen tragedy song of the time. Agree with comparing Pat Boone to Post Malone. Just have Post Malone make covers of songs from black artists and the comparison is complete. People who accuse Elvis of watering down black music for white audiences should really listen to Pat Boone cause he’s the real offender.

    Agree with a lot of your best list. Stand By Me and Hit the Road Jack are great classics and I hear Runaround Sue at a lot of family weddings.

    Here’s my best and worst lists I created for 2001
    Best Hit Songs of 2001
    1)Beautiful Day by U2
    2)Fallin by Alicia Keys
    3)Ms. Jackson by OutKast
    4)Drive by Incubus
    5)Thank You by Dido
    6)Family Affair by Mary J. Blige
    7)All for You by Janet Jackson
    8)It Wasn’t Me ft. RikRok/Angel ft. Rayvon by Shaggy
    9)U Remind Me by Usher
    10)Hero by Enrique Iglesias
    Honorable Mentions
    Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me) by Train
    If You’re Gone by Matchbox 20
    Let Me Blow Ya Mind by Eve ft. Gwen Stefani
    Where the Party At by Jagged Edge ft. Nelly
    Ride Wit Me by Nelly ft. City Spud
    What Would You Do? by City High
    Survivor by Destiny’s Child
    Lady Marmalade by Christina Aguilera, Lil Kim, Mya, and P!nk
    South Side by Moby ft. Gwen Stefani
    Get Ur Freak On by Missy Elliot
    Someone to Call My Lover by Janet Jackson
    I’m Like a Bird by Nelly Furtado
    Jaded by Aerosmith
    Differences by Ginuwine
    Izzo (H.O.V.A) by JAY-Z
    Only Time by Enya
    Never Had a Dream Come True by S Club 7
    Southern Hospitality by Ludacris ft. Pharrell
    Contagious by The Isley Brothers ft. R. Kelly and Chanté Moore
    Music by Erick Sermon ft. Marvin Gaye
    Here’s to the Night by Eve 6

    Worst Hit Songs of 2001
    1)My Baby by Lil Romeo
    2)Oochie Wally by Nas ft. The Bravehearts
    3)Peaches and Cream by 112
    4)I Wanna Be Bad by Willa Ford
    5)He Loves U Not by Dream
    6)Bootylicious by Destiny’s Child
    7)No More (Baby I’ma Do Right) by 3LW
    8)Put It On Me ft. Lil Mo and Vita/Livin It Up ft. Case by Ja Rule
    9)Butterfly by Crazy Town
    10)I’m Real (Remix) by Jennifer Lopez ft. Ja Rule
    Dishonorable Mentions
    Follow Me by Uncle Kracker
    Don’t Tell Me by Madonna
    When It’s Over by Sugar Ray
    This I Promise You by *NSYNC
    Crazy For This Girl by Evan and Jaron
    I Do by Toya
    Irresistible by Jessica Simpson
    Loverboy by Mariah Carey ft. Cameo

    What are your thoughts on the following songs?
    Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles
    Pony Time by Chubby Checker
    Travelin Man by Ricky Nelson

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again, zero disagreements. I can tell the 60s are gonna be the most agreeable when it comes to these types of lists. Also, fuck Pat Boone and anyone of his ilk in their wrinkly, old, Christian fundamentalist asses. Need I say more?

    Anomalies:

    Worst:

    The Everly Brothers – Walk Right Back
    Bobby Lewis – Tossin’ & Turnin’/One Track Mind
    Carla Thomas – Gee Wiz (Look At His Eyes)
    The Four Preps – More Money For You & Me

    Best:

    Brook Benton – The Boll Weevil Song
    The Lettermen – The Way You Look Tonight
    Faron Young – Hello Walls
    Connie Francis – Breakin’ In A Brand New Broken Heart

    Like

  3. “On a random note, these guys covered a song called Cotton Fields. Yikes.” I’m guessing Cotton Fields is going to be on your worst of 1962 list?

    Like

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