100 Greatest Songs From 1961

Criteria: These songs were chosen and ranked based on their initial and lasting popularity, and on their impact on the overall scope of musical history.

Note: Yearly song lists go by earliest 'release date' (Single, Album, or Country of first release). Not necessarily the year a song peaked in the U.S. charts.

1. Stand By Me
Ben E. King
2. Crazy
Patsy Cline
3. The Wanderer
4. Runaround Sue
5. Crying
Roy Orbison
6. Hit The Road Jack
Ray Charles
7. Runaway
Del Shannon
8. Quarter To Three
Gary U.S. Bonds
9. It Will Stand
10. Running Scared
Roy Orbison
11. Please Mr. Postman
12. Can't Help Falling In Love
Elvis Presley
13. Hello Mary Lou
Ricky Nelson
14. Blue Moon
15. Hey Baby
Bruce Channel
16. Duke Of Earl
Gene Chandler (Dukays)
17. Mother-In-Law
Ernie K. Doe
18. Unchain My Heart
Ray Charles
19. Cupid
Sam Cooke
20. Daddy's Home
Shep & the Limelites
21. I Like It Like That
Chris Kenner
22. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
23. I Don't Want To Cry
Chuck Jackson
24. Last Night
25. Gypsy Woman
26. You Better Move On
Arthur Alexander
27. Let's Go Trippin'
Dick Dale & His Del-Tones
28. The Red Rooster
Howlin' Wolf
29. Baby It's You
30. Barbara Ann
31. Hurt
Timi Yuro
32. Raindrops
Dee Clark
33. Walk Right Back
Everly Brothers
34. Tossin' And Turnin'
Bobby Lewis
35. Peppermint Twist
Joey Dee & the Starliters
36. Bristol Stomp
37. Pony Time
Chubby Checker
38. Let The Four Winds Blow
Fats Domino
39. (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame
Elvis Presley
40. Night Train
James Brown
41. School Is Out
Gary U.S. Bonds
42. Ya Ya
Lee Dorsey
43. Every Beat of My Heart
Gladys Knight & the Pips
44. Pretty Little Angel Eyes
Curtis Lee
45. Soothe Me
Sims Twins
46. Turn On Your Love Light
Bobby "Blue" Bland
47. My True Story
Jive Five
48. Heart And Soul
Cleftones / Jan & Dean
49. Dear Lady (Twist)
Gary U.S. Bonds
50. Smoky Places

51. Mama Said
52. The Mountain's High
Dick & Dee Dee
53. There's No Other
54. I Know
Barbara George
55. Little Sister
Elvis Presley
56. Travelin' Man
Ricky Nelson
57. Moon River
Jerry Butler
58. Please Stay
59. Lost Someone
James Brown
60. Surfin'
Beach Boys
61. You Don't Miss Your Water
William Bell
62. It's Gonna Work Out Fine
Ike & Tina Turner
63. Shake Your Moneymaker
Elmore James
64. I Fall To Pieces
Patsy Cline
65. Break It To Me Gently
Brenda Lee
66. Some Kind Of Wonderful
67. A Certain Girl
Ernie K-Doe
68. Let's Twist Again
Chubby Checker
69. Hats Off To Larry
Del Shannon
70. Crying In The Rain
Everly Brothers
71. Hideaway
Freddy King
72. Peanut Butter
73. A Little Bit of Soap
74. What's Your Name
Don & Juan
75. Let Me In
76. Heartaches
77. Every Breath I Take
Gene Pitney
78. Look In My Eyes
79. Little Egypt
80. Bright Lights, Big City
Jimmy Reed
81. I Pity The Fool
Bobby "Blue" Bland
82. Rainin' in My Heart
Slim Harpo
83. Just Out of Reach
Solomon Burke
84. Jambalaya
Fats Domino
85. Sweets For My Sweet
86. Watch Your Step
Bobby Parker
87. One Mint Julep
Ray Charles
88. I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)
89. Poor Fool
Ike & Tina Turner
90. 'Til
91. When We Get Married
92. Tonight (Could Be The Night)
93. I Really Love You
94. Saved
Lavern Baker
95. Footstompin'
96. I Hear You Knocking
Fats Domino
97. Dum Dum
Brenda Lee
98. Town Without Pity
Gene Pitney
99. That's What Girls Are Made For
100. Take Good Care of My Baby
Bobby Vee
20 more worth mentioning.
101. A Hundred Pounds of Clay
Gene McDaniels
102. You Don't Know What You've Got
Ral Donnner
103. The Boll Weevil Song
Brook Benton
104. This Time
Troy Shondell
105. I Feel So Bad
Elvis Presley
106. If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody
James Ray
107. Trust in Me
Etta James
108. Just Got To Know
Jimmy McCracklin
109. Who Put The Bomp
Barry Mann
110. Buzz Buzz A-Diddle-It
Freddy Cannon
111. Those Oldies But Goodies
Little Caesar & the Romans
112. Tower Of Strength
Gene McDaniels
113. I Love How You Love Me
Paris Sisters
114. Surrender
Elvis Presley
115. Tonight I Fell In Love
116. What A Price
Fats Domino
117. Nag
118. Lover's Island
Blue Jays
119. The Fly
Chubby Checker
120. I Don't Mind
James Brown
DigitalDreamDoor Editor Picks for 1961
An unheralded great record from 1961
Bruce's choice:
* Sweet Jelly Roll
Jessie Hill
Adam's choice:
* Free Me
Johnny Preston
Brett's choice:
* California Sun
Joe Jones
Lew's choice:
* Like, Long Hair
Paul Revere & the Raiders
    1960   |   1962

Edited By:
Last Updated: 2009-01-03