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Billboard Top 20, May 26, 1962
Rank..Previous .. # Weeks .. Title .. Artist

#1 .. 2 / 11 Stranger On The Shore----------------Acker Bilk
#2 .. 1 / 10 Soldier Boy----------------The Shirelles
#3 .. 3 / 13 Mashed Potato Time----------------Dee Dee Sharp
#4 .. 21 / 4 I Can't Stop Loving You----------------Ray Charles
#5 .. 7 / 8 Old Rivers----------------Walter Brennan
#6 .. 8 / 7 Everybody Loves Me But You--------------Brenda Lee
#7 .. 5 / 11 She Cried----------------Jay & the Americans
#8 .. 9 / 9 P.T. 109----------------Jimmy Dean
#9 .. 4 / 13 Johnny Angel----------------Shelley Fabares
#10 .. 13 / 6 Lovers Who Wander----------------Dion
#11 .. 6 / 9 Shout Shout----------------Ernie Maresca
#12 .. 14 / 10 The One Who Really Loves You---------Mary Wells
#13 .. 18 / 9 Uptown----------------The Crystals
#14 .. 10 / 7 Funny Way of Laughin'----------------Burl Ives
#15 .. 15 / 7 Conscience----------------James Darren
#16 .. 17 / 9 I Wish That We Were Married--Ronnie & The Hi-Lites
#17 .. 11 / 11 Good Luck Charm----------------Elvis Presley
#18 .. 34 / 3 It Keeps Right On A Hurtin'-------------Johnny Tillotson
#19 .. 12 / 10 Shout------------Joey Dee & The Starliters
#20 .. 24 / 6 I Sold My Heart to the Junkman---The Blue-Belles

 

"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.

In other news:

  • President Kennedy sent 7th Fleet to Southeast Asia, in position for possible intervention in South Vietnam.
  • "Sneakers" began to be marketed in colors other than white.
  • Elizabeth Taylor announced that she would divorce husband Eddie Fisher.
  • Emilio Esteves was born.
  • Elizabeth Taylor announced that she would divorce husband Eddie Fisher.
  • Ed McMahon signed on to be Johnny Carson's sidekick when Carson becomes "Tonight Show" host in October
  • Don and Phil Everly were honorable discharged from the U.S. Marine Corps.
  • Joan Baez's concert at Carnegie Hall was sold out.
  • France performed its first underground nuclear test
  • The Beatles were signed by EMI Parlophone
"Gypsy," the biopic of exotic dance Gypsy Rose Lee debuted -- who played Gypsy?
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