In the same year that Betty Friedan published "The Feminine Mystique," Peggy March took a song that celebrated feminine subservience to the top of the Billboard chart. In its sixth week in the top forty, "I Will Follow Him" reached number one. Peggy was only 15 years old – she was the youngest female to ever have a #1 record (beating out Brenda Lee's "I'm Sorry"). She protested having the record released under "Little Peggy March" but to no avail. Unfortunately her career didn't follow Brenda Lee's pattern. "I Will Follow Him" was her only top forty record.
In the early years of rock and roll, the boys had dominated the charts. But by 1963, the girls were experiencing significant success, especially the "girl groups." The Chiffons were an example. "He's So Fine" was on its way down the chart on April 27th, but it had been the top record the previous four weeks. Another girl group, The Cookies peaked with "Don't Say Nothin'" on April 27th. The Shirelles were one of the most successful of the girl groups in the early 1960's and "Foolish Little Girl" was just entering the top twenty – it would go on to reach #4, their sixth top twenty record. The Orlons were a mixed group who's "South Street" was on its way down from a #3 position.
In addition to the groups, Dee Dee Sperling of Dick & Dee Dee (with Dick St. John) and Jill Jackson of Paul & Paula (with Ray Hilderbrand) made the top twenty as vocal duos. "Young and in Love" was the second (and final) top twenty song for Dick & Dee Dee. Jackson & Hilderbrand had changed their recording names to "Paul & Paula" when their #1 record "Hey Paula" first started getting attention in Atlanta and the master was obtained by the Phillips label. "Young Lovers" was a sequel that had topped out at #6 the previous week. It would also be their final appearance in the top twenty.
In addition to Little Peggy March, the top twenty also included single recordings by females Dee Dee Sharp and Skeeter Davis. "Do The Bird" had been at its highest point the previous week (#10). "The End of the World" was the most successful female recording of 1963. It was in the top twenty for nine weeks climbing as high as #2 and was Billboard's #3 song of the year.
Adding Mary Travers of "Peter, Paul & Mary" with "Puff the Magic Dragon," female artists accounted for half of the top twenty songs on April 27th.
Also notable from this week is "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul. It would climb to #1 in May. The Beach Boys had their biggest hit to date with "Surfin' U.S.A." as it would climb to #3. And perhaps one of the most remembered songs from the April 27th chart is "On Broadway" which reached its top spot at #10.