The top three songs on April 22nd were all number ones. On April 15th, "Runaway" by Del Shannon, in its seventh week in the top forty, climbed to the #2 spot on the Billboard chart. On April 22nd it replaced "Blue Moon" (Marcels) as the top record in the country. It remained there for the next three weeks and would be the #5 Billboard record on the year end chart for 1961. It would be Del Shannon's most successful recording. "Runaway" was a product of a collaboration with Max Cook who played the special electronic organ called the "musictron" that was used on the recording.
"Blue Moon" was knocked out of the top spot on April 22nd, but it had had a strong four week run of its own as #1. A Rogers & Hart composition from the 1930's, it was given a doo-wop treatment by The Marcels. It was almost never recorded as it was the product of some left over time at the end of a recording session -- the group learned the song right there in the studio. When the disc jockey, Murray The K heard it in New York, he played it 26 times on one show and it became an immediate hit.
Ernie K. Doe's "Mother-in-Law" would sit behind "Runaway" for the next three weeks before ascending to the top spot on May 20th. Ernie literally got the song out of the trash at Minit records in New Orleans. In the midst of marital problems at the time, he found the subject matter compelling and insisted on recording it. The bass voice intoning "mother-in-law" was not Ernie K. Doe -- it was provided by Benny Spellman. "Mother-in-Law" was a one-hit-wonder as it was Ernie's only top forty recording.
Other notables from the April 22nd top twenty include: "Surrender," a former #1; "Daddy's Home" which would reach #2 in May; "Apache" which had been #2 on April 1st.