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"Wonderland by Night" was a number one single in January and Bert Kaemfert's album was on the top spot of the album chart in February.

Billboard Top 20,2/25/1961
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist

#1 .. 4 / 6 Pony Time-------------------------------Chubby Checker
#2 .. 1 / 12 Calcutta--------------------------------Lawrence Welk
#3 .. 5 / 9 There's a Moon Out Tonight--------------The Capris
#4 .. 24 / 2 Surrender-------------------------------Elvis Presley
#5 .. 15 / 5 Don't Worry About Me--------------------Marty Robbins
#6 .. 9 / 10 Dedicated to the One I Love-------------The Shirelles
#7 .. 11 / 7 Where the Boys Are----------------------Connie Francis
#8 .. 2 / 12 Shop Around-----------------------------The Miracles
#9 .. 18 / 5 Ebony Eyes------------------------------The Everly Brothers
#10 .. 10 / 8 Wheels----------------------------------The String-A-Longs
#11 .. 3 / 15 Will You Love Me Tomorrow---------------The Shirelles
#12 .. 12 / 8 Baby Sittin' Boogie---------------------Buzz Clifford
#13 .. 14 / 6 Good Time Baby--------------------------Bobby Rydell
#14 .. 8 / 16 Exodus----------------------------------Ferrante & Teicher
#15 .. 6 / 11 Calendar Girl---------------------------Neil Sedaka
#16 .. 7 / 9 Emotions--------------------------------Brenda Lee
#17 .. 13 / 14 The Wings of a Dove---------------------Ferlin Husky
#18 .. 21 / 9 Spanish Harlem--------------------------Ben E. King
#19 .. 19 / 9 ALL IN MY MIND--------------------------Maxine Brown
#20 .. 26 / 6 Apache----------------------------------Jorgen Ingmann

The Billboard Top Twenty for February 25, 1961 included three current and former number ones and one on its way to the top.  Chubby Checker’s “Pony Time” had just replaced “Calcutta” in the top spot.  “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” had preceded it.  “Surrender” would reach #1 in March.  Chubby Checker was just beginning to make his career with his dance records – “The Twist” had been a #1 record in 1960 and “The Huckebuck” reached number fourteen that year.  By the end of 1963, Checker would place fifteen records in the top twenty.  Checker had copied “The Twist” from Hank Ballard; “Pony Time” was copied from Don Convey who recorded it in 1960 with The Goodtimers. 

The Shirelles had the distinction of having two records in the top twenty at the same time.  As “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” was headed down, “Dedicated to the One I Love” was rising and would eventually peak at #3.  “Exodus” was another successful record headed down after peaking at #2 in January.  Ferrante & Teicher’s movie theme had the most weeks in the top forty in 1961 – eighteen.  Another motion picture theme, Connie Francis’s “Where the Boys Are” was climbing the chart and would peak at #4 in March. 

Two other records (besides “Exodus”) would complete their chart journey in the second position.  “Shop Around” was the first success for Barry Gordy’s Tamla label – it had peaked at #2 the previous week.  Just entering the top twenty on February 25th, “Apache” would finish at #2 in April.

 

In other news:

  • Ann Margaret signed with RCA records.

  • Chimpanzee “Ham” successfully completed a Mercury space mission.

  • Premier Patrice Lamumba of the Congo was killed.

  • President Kennedy signed an executive order creating the Peace Corps.

  • Frank Gifford announced he was quitting football to become an announcer.

  • Murray the K played “Blue Moon” by the Marcels nearly continuously on his New York show.

  • Bell Telephone launched the first trials of the push-button phone.

  • “Operation Looking Glass” began – for over 30 years, SAC would have a jet bomber continuously in the air.

  • The Beatles performed at the Cavern Club for the first time.

  • Neil Simon’s first play, “Come Blow Your Horn” debuted.
  • James Worthy was born.
One of Disney's most famous villains was starring at the box office in February 1961 -- can you identify the movie?
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