These posts are about the songs that can accurately claim to crossed the key line of chart success, becoming Top 40 hits on Billboard, but just barely. Every song featured in this series peaked at number 40.
The Olympics were a doo-wop group from Los Angeles that began life under a moniker that relied on the name of their lead singer. Using the name Walter Ward and the Challengers, they released a single called “I Can Tell.” After it didn’t do much on the charts, the band tried a name change, releasing “Western Movies” on the Demon Records label in 1958. The song, perhaps buoyed by an era when cowtown bullets flew freely on television, became a Top 10 hit. They would never experience quite that level of success again, releasing a flurry of singles on several different labels, but only skirting close to the Top 40 once in the years immediately following their initial hit.
In fact, the Olympics only had one other Top 40 hit, and it peaked at that very number. They released “The Bounce” on the Tri-Disc label in 1963. The strident dance song features a terrifically rough lead vocal and a sax solo that urges the energy of the track along. It’s the kind of song that was just aching for that stereotypical teenager reviews of, “It’s got a good beat, and you can dance to it.”
There was one more hit for the Olympics, although they weren’t the primary beneficiaries of the tremendous success the song eventually enjoyed. The released “Good Lovin'” on the Loma label in 1965. It stalled out at #81 on the charts, but a year later, the Young Rascals recorded their own version, taking it all the way to #1 as one of the defining hits of sixties rock ‘n’ soul.
—“Just Like Heaven” by The Cure.
—“I’m in Love” by Evelyn King
—“Buy Me a Rose” by Kenny Rogers
—“Who’s Your Baby” by The Archies
—“Me and Bobby McGee” by Jerry Lee Lewis
—“Angel in Blue” by J. Geils Band
—“Crazy Downtown” by Allan Sherman
—“I’ve Seen All Good People” and “Rhythm of Love” by Yes
—“Naturally Stoned” by the Avant-Garde
—“Come See” by Major Lance
—“Your Old Standby” by Mary Wells
—“See the Lights” by Simple Minds
—“Watch Out For Lucy” by Eric Clapton
—“The Alvin Twist” by Alvin and the Chipmunks
—“Love Me Tender” by Percy Sledge
—“Jennifer Eccles” by the Hollies
—“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Olympics