Top 30 Songs of the 1960’s Countdown

Some time ago, I was talked into presenting a few top 30’s on my then Radio Ga Ga web site. They were lost when the web site was closed down a few years back and so, it’s time to resurrect the idea, starting off with the Top 30 Songs of the 1960’s.

Let me be very clear – this is so incredibly difficult to do, given the amazing array of wonderful music that was recorded during the 1960’s but I’ve done it. It is very much MY OPINION – there’ll be some songs in the list that will surprise you and others that will surprise you by NOT being there. The key criterion is that, unless the song is quite a stand-out song, it will have charted nationally at some stage during the 1960’s – at this stage, there are only two songs in the countdown that charted in Melbourne but not on the national charts.

Let me tell you how much work went into this – plenty. To start with, there is a trawling through my favourite reference book for such matters – The Book: Top 40 Research by Steven Scanes and Jim Barnes – identifying candidates, being ruthless as I went through. In the end I brought it down to 40 and in the first post of the month, I’m going to list the ten that didn’t quite make it – interestingly, five of the songs arrived in the charts in a seven month period in 1968.

  • Are You Lonesome Tonight – Elvis Presley – 3 December 1960
  • Downtown – Petula Clark – 6 January 1965
  • You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – Dusty Springfield – 11 May 1966
  • Georgy Girl – The Seekers – 1 February 1967
  • Different Drum – The Stone Poneys – 20 December 1967
  • The Mighty Quinn – Manfred Mann – 28 February 1968
  • To Sir With Love – Lulu – 20 March 1968
  • Young Girl – Gary Puckett & The Union Gap – 3 April 1968
  • Help Yourself – Tom Jones – 7 August 1968
  • Hey Jude – The Beatles – 25 September 1968