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Billboard Top 20, 7/8/1961
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist

#1 .. 2 / 12 Tossin' and Turnin'----------------Bobby Lewis
#2 .. 3 / 9 The Boll Weevil Song----------------Brook Benton
#3 .. 1 / 8 Quarter to Three----------------Gary U.S. Bonds
#4 .. 4 / 11 Raindrops----------------Dee Clark
#5 .. 5 / 9 The Writing On The Wall----------------Adam Wade
#6 .. 8 / 9 Every Beat of My Heart----------------The Pips
#7 .. 6 / 11 Moody River----------------Pat Boone
#8 .. 10 / 7 Yellow Bird----------------Arthur Lyman
#9 .. 13 / 6 Hats Off to Larry----------------Del Shannon
#10 .. 12 / 7 Dance On Little Girl----------------Paul Anka
#11 .. 16 / 6 San Antonio Rose----------------Floyd Cramer
#12 .. 7 / 12 Travelin' Man----------------Ricky Nelson
#13 .. 20 / 4 Dum Dum----------------Brenda Lee
#14 .. 25 / 7 I Like It Like That----------------Chris Kenner
#15 .. 9 / 11 Those Oldies But Goodies---Little Caesar & the Romans
#16 .. 11 / 10 Stand by Me----------------Ben E. King
#17 .. 21 / 6 Please Stay----------------The Drifters
#18 .. 19 / 8 Tell Me Why----------------The Belmonts
#19 .. 19 / 5 I'm Comin' On Back To You---------------Jackie Wilson
#20 .. 33 / 3 Together----------------Connie Francis

 

The song that would be Billboard's #1 for 1961 climbed to the top spot on July 8th. Bobby Lewis was a former circus performer, had appeared with Soupy Sales, and was "discovered" by Jackie Wilson when he happened to audition for Beltone records that had a song they wanted him to try. He said he never thought it would be a hit, but "Tossin' and Turnin'" ended up spending 17 weeks in the top forty and was number one for 7 weeks. Lewis only had one other top forty song, "One Track Mind" later in 1961. By the time "Tossin' and Turnin'" was replaced as number one by Joe Dowell's "Wooden Heart" on September 26th, only "I Like It Like That," "Dum Dum," and "Together" would still be in the top twenty. "I Like it Like That" would rank second to "Tossin' and Turnin'" for four of the seven week while "The Boll Weevil Song" was held out of the top spot fo the other three weeks..

Three other songs from the July 8th top twenty were number ones. "Quarter to Three" and "Moody River" had both been chart toppers in June, while "Travelin' Man" had been a number one in May.

"The Writing on the Wall," "Every Beat of My Heart," "Dance on Little Girl," "Tell Me Why," and "I'm Comin' On Back To You" all hit their highest ranking on July 8th.

In other news:

  • Bobby Vee signed to make his film debut in "Swingin' Along" for 20th Century Fox
  • Navy Wave Lt. Charlene Suneson became the first woman assigned to active sea duty as a line officer.
  • 12 Freedom Riders were arrested at a white only waiting room in the Greyhound bus terminal in Jackson, Mississippi
  • President Kennedy activated reserve units in response to the Berlin crisis.
  • General Electric announced production of an FM stereo radio
  • Princess Diana was born
  • Russian Astronaut Yuri Gagarin visited Cuba.
  • An Eastern Airlines flight was hijacked to Cuba.
  • John Chancellor became the news anchor of the "Today Show."
  • Woody Harrelson was born.
"The Guns of Navarone" was one of the most popular movies. Can you identify the cast member who would later in the year have a #3 hit single?
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