If you’re old enough, you may have been humming or singing along to hit songs when they were popular back in the late winter of 1963. I find it hard to believe that was a half-century ago.
Every so often, I like to look back at the music of a period to see if I recall the popular songs of the day. In the case of March of 1963, I think I did pretty well.
Using Joel Whitburn’s compendium of the Billboard magazine Top 10 hits – a weekly history of the music charts – I found that Johnny Mathis’ syrupy “What Will Mary Say” held down the 10th position during the week of March 2. Lots of us can remember Mathis’ first hit, “Chances Are” in early 1957. At 77, he’s still working.
The Rebels’ “Wild Weekend” – a composition whose melody doesn’t immediately come to mind – ranked ninth that week. But I was able to at least hum the rest of the Top 10 back then.
“From a Jack to a King” by Ned Miller finished eighth. He was a one-hit wonder who never had another big song.
“Blame it on the Bossa Nova” was easy to recollect – Eydie Gormé made it a pretty fair hit. It was No. 7 that week. (Some folks around here might also remember that Gormé and husband Steve Lawrence came to Stevens Point during the years Sentry sponsored network TV specials – one featured the duo. During their Stevens Point visit, they performed on a stage set up on the west side of Sentry’s building as guests watched from the adjacent tiered landscape.)
Lawrence is now 77, and Gormé is 84. They haven’t toured together in recent years because of Gormé’s health problems.