"Stranger on the Shore" would be Billboard's number one song for 1962, but it actually only spent one week in the top position. On May 26th, it replaced The Shirelle's "Soldier Boy" and would itself be replaced the next week by Ray Charles' "I Can't Stop Loving You." But "Stranger On The Shore" would spend 15 weeks in the top forty and 13 weeks in the top twenty. Bernard Stanley Bilk was a jazz clarinetest in Britain and was asked to provide a theme song for a children's tv series, "Stranger on the Shore." Instead of writing something new, he re-titled a previous composition, "Jenny" and sent it to the BBC. It became very popular in England, spending nearly 40 weeks on the British charts in 1961. In 1962 it was released in the U.S.
In addition to "Soldier Boy" and "I Can't Stop Loving You," there were two other number one songs on the May 26th chart. "Johnny Angel" and "Good Luck Charm" had both been in the top spot in April. "Mashed Potato Time" had been #2 at the beginning of May.
A couple of novelty tunes were in the top twenty on May 26th. Jimmy Dean's ode to President Kennedy, "P.T. 109" reached its peak position on May 26th. The song which glorified the exploits of JFK when he was serving as a Navy ensign in World War II, concluded with the declaration, "Which proves it's hard to get the best of a man named John." The other novelty song was Walter Brennan's "Old Rivers," a narrative about a small boy's friendship with a black share cropper. It was somewhat of a tear-jerker with the concluding line, "Across the field I see, that mule, Old Rivers, and me."
Another record of note in the May 25th top twenty was "Shout." It wasn't the original which had been released by The Isley Brothers in 1959. That version, although it has become a rock classic only reached as high as #47. The Joey Dee version had peaked at #6.