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.
In 1960, the year that Jackie Wilson’s “Your One and Only Love” peaked at #40, the phenom singer had six songs that made the Billboard Top 40. That tally included “Alone at Last,” which went to #8, and “Night,” which made it all the way to #4, his career best. Wilson was known as “Mr. Excitement,” but the music he was using to storm the charts at this point in his career owed less to the frantic new clamor of rock ‘n’ roll and more to the lush trappings of classic pop. His label boss was convinced he could do more than howl and shimmy like those other guys, so Wilson was paired with arranger Dick Jacobs who bathed the songs in grandiose, operatic flourishes. That style is in full evidence on “Your One and Only Love.”
Wilson continued recording into the mid-nineteen-seventies, a professional doggedness that came to a hard end when he suffered an onstage heart attack at the age of 41. Though he has his place in the official halls of rock ‘n’ roll tribute, Wilson may now be more commonly discussed in relation to his tumultuous life that included a shooting that cost him a kidney, multiple tempestuous relationships and other assorted sordidness. The songs may be sweet, but that’s doesn’t automatically mean the singer can be described the same way.
—“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
—“The Bounce” by the Olympics