29 Best Songs From 1960

Music was about to change. While many bands from the 1950s returned to the charts in the 60s, rock and roll music was starting to top the charts. R&B and country songs also found their way onto the charts.

This all led to a lot of top songs from 1960, much of which we showcase below.

“It’s Now or Never” by Elvis Presley

Song Year: 1960

“It’s Now or Never” was Presley’s biggest hit of 1960. Recorded at RCA Studio B in Nashville, the song went straight to the top of the charts upon release. “It’s Now or Never” spent five weeks at number one and sold over twenty million copies.

Based on the Italian song “O Sole Mio,” Presley took inspiration from the song while with the U.S. Army in Germany. The ballad is one of Presley’s biggest songs and inspired countless musicians, including Barry White and The Beatles.

“The Twist” by Chubby Checker

Song Year: 1960

“The Twist” took America by storm in 1960. The song inspired a dance craze based on its lyrics. Originally recorded by Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, the song was a modest hit.

It wasn’t until Chubby Checker covered the song in 1960 that “The Twist” found mainstream success. Checker’s version peaked at number one in September of 1960.

The song received countless accolades over the years, including awards from Rolling Stone Magazine and the National Recording Registry.

“Wild One” by Bobby Rydell

Song Year: 1960

While “Wild One” never hit number one on the charts, it’s still one of the best songs from 1960. Written by Dave Appell, Kal Mann, and Bernie Lowe, “Wild One” is a story of a man wanting to tame an outgoing and wild woman that he’s in love with.

The song peaked at number two on the charts and spent sixteen weeks in that position. “Wild One” also had success in Australia and the UK, reaching seven on the UK charts and eleven on the Australian chart,

“Theme From A Summer Place” by Percy Faith

Song Year: 1960

Recorded for the feature film, “A Summer Place,” Percy Faith delivered a memorable instrumental tune that stands the test of time.

During a time when rock and roll started to dominate the charts, “Theme From A Summer Place” showed orchestral tunes were just as popular as ever in 1960.

“He’ll Have to Go” by Jim Reeves

Song Year: 1960

Country music was popular in 1960 as well. Jim Reeves topped the pop and country charts with his rendition of “He’ll Have to Go” in 1960. “Reeves peaked at number two on the Hot 100 while reaching the top of the country charts.

The song is about a woman’s infidelity. The singer realizes his girlfriend is with another man while talking to her on the phone.

“Cathy’s Clown” by The Everly Brothers

Song Year: 1960

The Everly Brothers wrote and recorded “Cathy’s Clown” in 1960. It was a worldwide smash hit and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot R&B single chart, and the UK singles chart.

The song has an odd structure, begins with a chorus, and has no verses. Even with this structure, the song was the Everly Brothers' biggest hit.

“Teen Angel” by Mark Dinning

Song Year: 1960

Released in late 1959, “Teen Angel” hit the charts in 1960. Peaking at number one on the Hot 100, “Teen Angel” was Mark Dinning’s biggest hit.

The song follows the tragedy of two teens dating. During the song, the girl dies in a collision. The controversial content of the song caused several radio stations to ban “Teen Angel.”

“Handy Man” by Jimmy Jones

Song Year: 1960

While several musicians recorded “Handy Man” the version by Jimmy Jones was the most popular in 1960. The R&B single was a big hit and crossed over onto the pop charts. The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

The song reemerged on the pop charts when James Taylor recorded a version in 1977. Taylor’s version broke through and peaked at number one.

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

Song Year: 1960

Another big country music track, “El Paso” found success on the country and pop charts in 1960. It reached number one on both charts and won the Grammy Award for best country and western recording.

The song follows a cowboy who falls in love with a Mexican dancer. Unfortunately, he has a rival for her love and challenges them to a gunfight. While he wins the fight, the law is now hunting for him and he’ll never see his love again.

“Alley Oop” by The Hollywood Argyles

Song Year: 1960

Based on the “Alley Oop” caveman comic strip, “Alley Oop” is a fun, comedic tune with a groovy vibe. The song was a big hit and reached number on the Hot 100 and number three on the R&B charts.

Over the years, several other musicians recorded versions, including Dante & the Evergreens and Sha Na Na.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *