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Billboard Top 20, 6/23/1958
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist


#1 .. 1 / 4 The Purple People Eater-------------Sheb Wooley
#2 .. 2 / 10 All I Have To Do Is Dream-------The Everly Brothers
#3 .. 8 / 4 Yakety Yak----------------The Coasters
#4 .. 3 / 11 Witch Doctor----------------David Seville
#5 .. 4 / 8 Secretly----------------Jimmie Rodgers
#6 .. 5 / 12 Return To Me----------------Dean Martin
#7 .. 7 / 7 Do You Wanna Dance----------------Bobby Freeman
#8 .. 6 / 11 Looking Back----------------Nat King Cole
#9 .. 10 / 6 Jennie Lee----------------Jan & Arnie
#10 .. 19 / 6 Endless Sleep----------------Jody Reynolds
#11 .. 13 / 8 Big Man----------------The Four Preps
#12 .. 14 / 8 Sugar Moon----------------Pat Boone
#13 .. 9 / 12 Twilight Time----------------The Platters
#14 .. 15 / 14 He's Got The Whole World---Laurie London
#15 .. 12 / 10 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck----Elvis Presley
#16 .. 16 / 11 Chanson D'Amour----------------Art & Dotty Todd
#17 .. 17 / 16 Oh Lonesome Me----------------Don Gibson
#18 .. 11 / 9 Johnny B. Goode----------------Chuck Berry
#19 .. 17 / 6 Zorro----------------The Chordettes
#20 .. 20 / 9 Rumble----------------Link Wray & His Ray Men

In the 25th week of 1958, Sheb Wooley's "Purple People Eater" was in its third of eight weeks at the #1 position on Billboard. Wooley wrote the song based on a joke his kids had told him: "What has one eye, flies, has a horn, and eats people?" When a selection of ballads was rejected by MGM, he pitched "Purple People Eater" which he called "bottom of the barrel." It climbed up the chart even though Wooley wasn't able to promote it much as his time was taken as a member of the cast of the television series "Rawhide."

All of the top four records of June 23rd were #1 records. "Witch Doctor," which had been in the top slot in April, shared the "Purple People Eater" technique of speeding up the playback of a record to produce the funny voices -- a technique David Seville would use later in the year to create "The Chimunk Song." "All I Have To Do Is Dream" had preceded "Purple People Eater" as #1 and "Yakety Yak" would follow "Purple People Eater" to the top position in June. "Twilight Time" and "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" were former #1's from April.

Also significant in the top twenty from June 23rd is "Johnny B. Goode," Chuck Berry's somewhat autobiographical contribution which although only reaching #8, would be identified by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of the "Most Influential Songs" of rock and roll. "Jennie Lee" was a harbinger of what would come later when Jan Berry would team up with Dean Torrence. On the flip side of "Oh Lonesome Me" was "I Can't Stop Loving You" which Ray Charles would make into a #1 record in 1962.

In other news:

  • A U.S. Air Force plane with nine men aboard was forced down by Soviet fighter planes inside Soviet territory
  • Todd Storz bans all Columbia Records from its radio stations for two weeks in retaliation for Mitch Miller's attack on rock and roll and his top-40 format
  • Dick Clark boroacast his Saturday night television show by remote from Atlantic City, NJ
  • Prince was born
  • The Hearst Castle was opened to the public for guided tours
  • Dean Martin signed to star with John Wayne in "Rio Bravo."
  • Chuck Berry was arrested on a concealed weapons charge in St. Charles, Mo.
"No Time For Sergeants" was #1 at the Box Office -- can you identify the star of the movie?
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