The Rockin' Eddy Oldies Radio Show

Rockin’ Eddy’s Top 100 Songs From The Rock & Roll Era You May Not Have Heard But Should
Rockin’ Eddy’s Top 100 Songs From The Rock & Roll Era You May Have Not Heard But Should: Songs which pre-date the Beatles and which have been forgotten on oldies station. The Rock N’ Roll Era produced much more than just the King, the Everlys or Chuck Berry. The degree of material is mind-boggling. We just need to dig into the vaults to find these lassies but classies!
  1. The Cleftones – “Heart & Soul” – Gee Records ‘61
    Still get the urge to snap my fingers and stand out on a street corner whenever I hear this Doo-Wop masterpiece.
  2. Ray Sharpe – “Linda Lu” – Jamie Records ‘59
    Ok, this Texan, who was supposed to be white or at least white-sounding in ‘59, turns out to be black years later! Who cares?
  3. The Drifters – “Fools Fall In Love” – Atlantic Records ‘57
    The Drifters’ most underrated song of all-time, period! Why didn’t it ever catch on?
  4. The Jive Bombers – “Bad Boy” – Savoy Records ‘57
    Can you yodel?
  5. Rod Bernard – “Pardon Mr. Gordon” – Argo Records ‘58
    Was never a big charted hit in ’58, but proved how much fun Rock & Roll was. And there’s a lesson to be learned….never mess with a guy who’s 6’3 if you’re 5’10.
  6. The Chantels – “I Love You So” – End Records ‘58
    This gospel-tinged tune by one of the true early girl groups still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.
  7. The Pentagons – “I Wonder” – Jamie Records ‘61
    Very ahead of its time; this crossover of early Soul mixed to some Doo-Wop elements should have been a massive hit in its day.
  8. Jimmy Edwards – “Love Bug Crawl” – Mercury Records ‘58
    Big Bopper type song by unknown Jimmy Edwards; typical example of Rockabilly crossing over to plain Rock & Roll.
  9. The Five Keys – “Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind” – Capitol ‘56
    The graceful and elegant delivery of the Five Keys has a lot to say.
  10. The Revels – “Midnight Stroll” – Norgolde Records ‘59
    It’s chime time! Kind of creepy being in graveyards.
  11. The Addrisi Brothers – “Cherrystone” – Del-Fi Records ‘59
    Did Ritchie Valens collaborate? It’s not a coincidence that it was cut on his same record label in Los Angeles; Latino flavor here – – R-r-rock on, Cherrystone!
  12. Johnny Cannon – “Big Shot” – Fernwood Records ‘60
    Produced in Memphis, this instrumental couldn’t reach out as it came out of a tiny record label headed by Scotty Moore, but it’s a marvelous tune.
  13. Trade Martin – “That Stranger Used To Be My Girl” – Coed Records ‘62
    Can you hear the trombone in this song? Unknown Trade Martin took it to No. 28 nationally, but has disappeared from any oldies station around.
  14. Huey “Piano” Smith – “High Blood Pressure” – Ace Records ‘58
    Never charted, but you have to admit that it’s delightful enough to please anyone and beware of madness once the piano roll bridge approaches.
  15. Eddie Fontaine “Nothin’ Shakin’ (But The Leaves On The Trees) – Chess Records ‘58
    My namesake can really deliver; great Chess rockabilly.
  16. The Cellos – “Rang Tang Ding Dong (I Am The Japanese Sandman)” – Apollo Records ‘57
    There’s something about this tune that makes it timeless, whether it’s the lead singer’s rap and jive, the utterly stupid song meaning or the alien sound effects at the beginning. Another fine Doo-Wop smash!
  17. Chan Romero – “Hippy Hippy Shake” – Del-Fi Records ‘59
    Yes, folks! The original! Most of us didn’t know it existed when we first heard the Swinging Blue Jeans.
  18. The Kendall Sisters – “Yea Yea” – Argo Records ‘58
    How fun is this song? Proves that guys chased gals without chat rooms, cell phones or dating services; it’s old-fashioned flirting!
  19. Eugene Church & His Fellows – “Pretty Girls Everywhere” – Class Records ‘58
    Massive tune from Eugene Church after a brief period collaborating with Jessie Belvin. Definitely a song men love for its content and of course, musically speaking.
  20. Joe Barry – “I’m A Fool To Care” – Smash Records ‘61
    Many wanted to sound like Fats Domino, but actually Joe Barry took this tune from an original by Les Paul & Mary Ford. Go investigate!
  21. The Cliques – “Girl Of My Dreams” – Modern Records ‘56
    Jessie Belvin at his best! And great collaboration from Eugene Church!
  22. Sonny Knight – “Confidential” – Dot Records ‘56
    A very overlooked record; superb lyrics, superb style and from a superb record label.
  23. Glen Campbell – “Turn Around, Look At Me” – Crest Records ‘61
    No, the Vogues’ version was not the original! Here it is and from a very well-known name later in the 60s.
  24. The Kodoks – “Gee Oh Gosh” – Fury Records ‘58
    Frankie Lymon set the mood for teenage-sounding lead voices in the 1950s; much of the same here, although you never tired of listening to it.
  25. The Velvets – “That Lucky Old Sun” – Monument Records ‘61
    Their biggest hit “Tonight” from ’60 has nothing to prove compared to this uncharted Doo-Wop tune. One of those songs you turn up eagerly and what a finish; still get goosebumps!
  26. Buster Brown – “Madison Shuffle” – Fire Records ‘60
    His “Fannie Mae” is a classic, yes, indeed! But this instrumental is fine and dandy! Boy, can he blow that harmonica!
  27. Dr. Feelgood & The Interns – “Doctor Feel-Good” – Okeh Records ‘62
    When Rock & Roll came to the cities across America, DJs loved this tune by Dr. Feelgood.
  28. Gene Thomas – “Sometime” – United Artists ‘61
    This laid-back and somber delivery by Gene Thomas must be on the list of “Forgotten Oldies…”
  29. Roy Hamilton – “You Can Have Her” – Epic Records ‘61
    What a voice! This guy can really sing!
  30. The Lafayettes – “Life’s Too Short” – RCA Victor ‘62
    Showing signs of Garage Rock elements that later were to come and a tough guy voice and lyrics.
  31. Little Joe & The Thrillers – “Peanuts” – Okeh Records ‘57
    Later covered by Rick & The Keens on Smash Records, this original outdoes any other cover version; Little Joe can reach any pitch on this song!
  32. Kokomo – “Asia Minor” – Felsted Records ‘62
    Rejected by ten different record labels, it finally found its way when jazzman – – cut it for his Future Records and later sold to Felsted. One of those instrumentals which fail to appear anywhere.
  33. Lonnie Russ – “My Wife Can’t Cook” – 4J Records ‘62
    Before Jimmy Soul criticized his ugly wife and her lack of cooking, this tune was very much alive on AM radio.
  34. Rene & Ray – “Queen Of My Heart” – Donna Records ‘62
    Cut on Del-Fi’s subsidiary label, this record just barely charted back in ’62.
  35. Titus Turner – “We Told You Not To Marry” – Glover Records ‘59
    A word of warning for Mr. Turner, this tune was Titus’ best song; the female accompaniment
  36. The New Yorkers – “Miss Fine” – Wall Records ‘61
    A forgotten gem today simply ignored on many oldies stations because… does really anybody know this song existed?
  37. The Quotations – “Imagination” – Verve Records ‘62
    You sort of feel like being in an auction once this song is played. It’s fun to listen to and easy to sing along to as well.
  38. The Three Friends – “Dedicated To The Songs I Love” – Imperial Records ‘61
    Could be categorized as a novelty tune; based on the original “Dedicated To The One I Love” (not by the Shirelles) by the Five Royales.
  39. The Blue Jays – “Lover’s Island” – Milestone Records ‘61
    Doo-Wop was still very much alive in the early Sixties. I feel like slow dancing to this song so much.
  40. Harold Dorman – “Mountain Of Love” – Rita Records ‘60
    Johnny Rivers did a nice cover, but this original is precious! A great country crossover in its own right.
  41. Sammy Masters – “Rockin’ Red Wing” – Lode Records ‘60
    Can’t avoid the saxophone part of the song; all its energy is poured out there. Fine tune, indeed, but not played anywhere!
  42. The Cadets – “Stranded In The Jungle” – Modern Records ‘56
    There was no rap in the 1950s, but the song came close to a genre that was more than two decades. Originally done by the Jayhawks, this version outdoes the original.
  43. Nino & The Ebbtides – “Jukebox Saturday Night” – Madison Records ‘60
    Based on an old Glen Miller tune, there’s a hit medley between the classics “The Book of Love” by the Monotones and “Get A Job” by the Silhouettes.
  44. Wade Flemons & The Newcomers – “Here I Stand” – VeeJay Records ‘58
    You gotta love this song; early Soul at its best!
  45. Gene Allison – “You Can Make It If You Try” – VeeJay Records ‘57
    Lyrics repeat and repeat, but another fine output by an extraordinary label from the Windy City!
  46. Billy Myles – “The Joker” – Ember Records ‘57
    That’s what they call Mr. Myles and his friends said that he’s never been so gay; actually, nobody chuckled about it in the Fifties! He meant he was happy, of course.
  47. The Genies – “Who’s That Knockin’” – Shad Records ‘59
    Bang, bang, bang… An oldie but goodie in its own right; records were so simple like this, you really didn’t need all that sophistication that would dominate mainstream music in later decades.
  48. The Fi-Tones – “My Faith” – Old Town Records ‘57
    This gospel-tinged ballad is unknown to so many DJs and tossed out of “oldies” stations’ playlists and it’s a crying shame; massive delivery!
  49. Bobby Brinkley – “Tobacco Road” – Monument Records ‘61
    The Nashville Teens come nowhere close to this original. The momentum slows down and Brinkley definitely soothes out the tune in the chorus; released on the same label where Roy Orbison found his hit-making machine.
  50. The Five Chords – “Don’t Just Stand There” – Jamie Records ‘58
    The intro of this R&B tune is spectacular; surprised it never caught on.
  51. The Mellow Keys – “Listen Baby” – Gee Records ‘56
    Uncharted and obscure, but wow! This record jumps out at you! Very representative of the Doo-Wop sound and it’s got the Fifties feel all over it.
  52. The Regents – “Runaround” – Gee Records ‘60
    Their follow-up to “Barbara Ann” is simply ignored; here’s a style later to be heard by the Beach Boys.
  53. The Jarmels – “Gee Oh Gosh” – Laurie Records ‘62
    Again, uncharted but should have been a charted hit. Catchy, but nothing sophisticated.
  54. The Quintones – “Down The Aisle of Love” – Hunt ‘58
    Ah, the innocent times! When people dreamed to get married and walk down the aisle, precursor to the Dixie Cups’ “Chapel of Love.”
  55. Charlie Gracie – “Fabulous” – Cameo Parkway Records ‘58
    Gracie had the epitome of a Fifties rocker and his “Fabulous” was the epitome of a Fifties tune.
  56. Cookie & His Cupcakes – “Mathilda” – Judd Records ‘59
    There was a New Orleans’ sound called swamp rock in the Fifties and Cookie with his Cupcakes sang out its soul.
  57. Jivin’ Gene & The Jokers – “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do” – Mercury Records ‘59
    Before Neil Sedaka sang about how hard breaking up is, Jivin’ Gene warned us on yet another fine example of the New Orleans’ sound.
  58. Ronnie Love – “Chills & Fever” – Dot Records ‘60
    Very ahead of its time, way before all the Soul greats, unknown Ronnie Love charted on America’s record label – Dot.
  59. Ray & Bob – “Air Travel” – Ledo Records ‘62
    Barely charted in ’62, this duo harmonized to Air Travel when flying was safe and a pleasure.
  60. Rochell & The Candles – “Once Upon A Time” – Swingin’ Records ‘61
    A Doo-Wop ballad with a whole lot of smooth soul, baby!
  61. Bobby Parker – “Watch Your Step” – V-Tone ‘61
    Please listen to this song first and then listen to the Beatles’ “I Feel Fine” – now are you convinced that Rock & Roll could have done without the Fab Four?
  62. The Flares – “Foot Stomping Part 1” – Felsted Records ‘61
    In ’61, anything with “stomp” or “bongo” proved successful. Can you imagine foot stomping in sock hops? Ouch!
  63. The Beau-Marks – “Clap Your Hands” – Shad Records ‘60
    Simple songs were so catchy back then and they invited you to take part in them; we all clapped our hands to this one until our hands bled.
  64. The Knockouts – “Darling Lorraine” – Shad Records ‘59
    Another classic coming out of Shad Records, which was a very powerful plea to Lorraine. So compelling in its day!
  65. Nappy Brown – “Little By Little” – Savoy Records ‘57
    You gotta love this Latin-tinged delivery by Nappy Brown, so elegant and graceful.
  66. The Dubs – “The Chapel Of Dreams” – Gone Records ‘58
    Ok, yes, their best charted hit “Could This Be Magic” is still a favorite in my book, but how could you go wrong with this song?
  67. The Sherrys – “Pop Pop Pop Pie” – Guyden Records ‘62
    A complete unknown girl group and fun title tune before the Crystals came to the scene with “Da Doo Ron Ron.”
  68. Billy & Lillie – “Lucky Ladybug” – Swan Records ‘58
    Fine duo by rhyming counterparts out of the same record label which produced Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon!
  69. Tony & Joe – “The Freeze” – Era Records ‘58
    We all danced to this one in ’58 and we froze and froze and froze.
  70. Kenny Dino – “Your Ma Said You Cried In Your Sleep Last Night” – Musicor Records ‘61
    Cool cat Kenny Dino must have had the longest song title in the Rock & Roll Era and it even took him a while to utter out the line.
  71. The Aquatones – “You” – Fargo Records ‘58
    Lynn Nixon on the vocals is the closest thing next to Kathy Young; what an oldie but goodie!
  72. The Fascinators – “Oh Rosemarie” – Capitol Records ‘59
    Led by Tommy Passalacqua, don’t you just love that name? Here’s a fine example of lost doo-wop and brought out deep from the vaults.
  73. The Videos – “Trickle Trickle” – Casino Records ‘58
    “Trickle Trickle Splash Splash…” One of the great uptempo Doo-Wop songs of the Fifties in my books; DJ Jocko Henderson used to say “Mommy-Os and Daddy-Os, these are the Videos.”
  74. The Timetones – “In My Heart” – Times Square ‘61
    “There’s a story untold”… seems to pop up a lot after the Nutmegs cut such title on Herald in the mid-Fifties.
  75. The Halos – “Nag” – Seven Arts ‘61
    “You’re a nag – nag-gidy nag” really got a people’s nerves, but we didn’t care when we were cruisin’ in ‘61.
  76. Webb Pierce – “I Ain’t Never” – Decca ‘59
    A prime example of pure Country but still crossing over to the Pop Charts and appealing enough for people who didn’t really like Country.
  77. Sammy Turner – “Always” – Big Top Records ‘59
    His follow-up to “Lavender Blue” is early soul at its best, ahead of its time and would become a growing fondness in John Lennon’s mind.
  78. Bobby Marchan – “There Is Something On Your Mind” – Fire Records ‘60
    Originally done by Big Jay McNeely, there’s something about this version, the soul, which outdoes the original.
  79. The Showmen – “It Will Stand” – Minit Records ‘61
    Norman Johnson promised Rock & Roll would stand with the Showmen long before he performed with the Chairmen Of The Board.
  80. Noble Thin Man Watts & His Rhythm Sparks – “Hard Times (The Slop) – Baton Records ‘57
    There were many fine R&B tunes and many fine instros, but the combination here is magical; get blown away by the guitar bridge (Keith Richards, eat your heart out).
  81. Johnny Restivo – “The Shape I’m In” – RCA ‘59
    Pure energy musically speaking, but gentle singing performance by Restivo; fine rockabilly song.
  82. Cleveland Crochet & Band – “Sugar Bee” – Goldband ‘60
    Why do I feel like I’m in the 19th century with this song? Reminds me of all the square dancing we did in the gym.
  83. The Excellents – “Coney Island Baby” – Blast ‘62
    Modelled after Shep & The Limelites, Doo-Wop still had meaning by ’62.
  84. Rusty York – “Sugaree” – Chess ‘59
    Out of Chicago, Chess was known for producing some of the best R&B music nationwide, but “Sugaree” among others didn’t fit that genre and was hailed a great rockabilly production.
  85. Curtis Lee – “Under The Moon Of Love” – Dunnes ‘61
    Believed to be a one-hit wonder by most oldies stations which only play his highest chart hit “Pretty Little Angel Eyes,” this tune was not necessarily a miss – reached 46 in 1961.
  86. The Schoolboys – “Please Say That You Want Me” – Okey ‘57
    The name “Schoolboys” was only appropriate for a vocal group sounding very much like schoolboys.
  87. The Cues – “Why” – Capitol ‘57
    Jump blues still showing signs into Rock & Roll.
  88. Jimmy Dee & The Offbeats – “Henrietta” – Dot ‘57
    Very representative of pure rockabilly; it’s wild and Jimmy Dee is out of control with Henrietta.
  89. Timmie Rogers – “Back In School Again” – Cameo ‘58
    Strange how Rogers was asked to sing about school despite being already middle-aged; that mature voice didn’t match the teenage theme, but who cares?
  90. Bobby Gregg & His Friends – “The Jam Part 1” – Cotton ‘62
    Well before guitarists jammed in garages, Bobby Gregg did so with his friends. There were long guitar solos in ’62.
  91. The Velvets – “Lana” – Monument Records ‘61
    We feature another Velvets’ tune; this time a tune written by Roy Orbison, who discovered them and brought them to Monument.
  92. Don Gardner & Dee Dee Ford – “I Need Your Lovin’” – Fire Records ‘62
    Back in ’62 it was sinister, it was sexually charged, it was wild and you know it was forbidden by our parents.
  93. Georgie Young & The Rockin’ Bocs – “The Sneak” – Cameo Parkway Records ‘58
    Many instrumentals have gone unnoticed today; this one without doubt and it’s a shame – check out the saxophone part!
  94. Johnny Gibson – “Midnight” – Big Top Records ‘62
    Ah, another lost gem in the instrumental category from the same record label which was dominated by Del Shannon.
  95. The Crests – “Six Nights A Week” – Coed Records ‘59
    Why do all the other Crests’ recordings get all the attention, but not this one? And what a grand ending!
  96. Dwight Pullen – “Sunglasses After Dark – Carlton Records ‘58
    So tragic to see this guy leave this world so soon; a legend even in Europe for rockabilly enthusiasts!
  97. Dean & Jean – “Tra La La Suzy” – Laurie Records ‘63
    A real closet classic released on the show, which listeners claimed to have not heard in over 50 years; the duo already big hit makers in the Fifties under various labels, this song gets your adrenaline going.
  98. Johnny & Jackey – “Someday We’ll Be Together” – Tri-Phi Records ‘61
    Yes, folks, the original! The groundwork of Motown to come, Johnny Bristol and Jackey Beavers on vocals and written and produced by Harvey Fuqua.
  99. The Cleftones – “Little Girl Of Mine” – Gee Records ‘56
    This Doo-wop group deserves two spots on the countdown; very characteristic of what you would hear in ’56 and on Gee.
  100. Dickey Lee – “I Saw Linda Yesterday” – Smash Records ‘62
    This song is very overshadowed by his “Patches,” but not so in ’62 as it was banned on many stations for its suicidal theme; instead this foot tapping tune gave Dickey Lee a name and a place at Mercury’s great subsidiary label.