This week 51 years ago, the Warren Commission began its investigation into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped at a Lake Tahoe casino (he is later returned), instant reply was used for the first time, in an Army-Navy game, and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Walking the Dog," Rufus Thomas
Thomas, who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, was a fan of "Dog" songs. He also recorded "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog," "Somebody Stole My Dog" and "The Dog." The Rolling Stones covered the song in 1964.
9. "Washington Square," the Village Stompers
The Village Stompers were a popular 1960s jazz band in New York City so, yes, the title is referencing the NYC park of the same name. It eventually reached No. 2 (!) on the Hot 100 chart.
8. "Be True to Your School," the Beach Boys
Released between "Surfer Girl" and "Little Saint Nick," the prideful "Be True to Your School" was later parodied by Twisted Sister in the song "Be Crool to Your Schuel."
7. "You Don't Have to Be a Baby to Cry," the Caravelles
One hit wonder British girl group! Funny fact: One of the members, Lois Wilkinson, tried to break big as a solo artist using the name "Lois Lane."
6. "Sugar Shack," Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs
"Sugar Shack" had previous spent five weeks at No. 1 and was the biggest-selling song of 1963.
5. "She's a Fool," Lesley Gore
As with Gore's other bit hits ("It's My Party," "Judy's Turn to Cry," "You Don't Own Me"), "She's a Fool" was produced by then-30-year-old Quincy Jones.
4. "Louie Louie," the Kingsmen
Written by Richard Berry in a calypso style, the Kingsmen's version keeps the lyrics but adapts a rock sound, which scared some government officials — the governor of Indiana banned the song. In fact, the lyrics were pretty innocent (about a sailor coming home to see his love), though unrecognizable in this version.
3. "Everybody," Tommy Roe
Perhaps better known for the No. 1 hit "Dizzy" and "Sweet Pea," Roe's "Everybody" actually charted higher than "Sweet Pea." According to Roe's website, he still tours and has performances scheduled in Las Vegas in January.
2. "I'm Leaving it Up to You," Dale & Grace
Dale (Houston) and Grace (Broussard) were not romantically involved -- they met through a record executive who had asked Houston about teaming up with a female singer. This song was No. 1 during the week Kennedy was assassinated.
1. "Dominique," the Singing Nun
Perhaps the most improbable No. 1 hit in Billboard history, "Dominique" was a French-language ode to a Spanish-born priest (Saint Dominic), song by an actual Belgium-born nun (Jeanine Deckers) who was a member of the Dominican Order. It was No. 1 for four (!) weeks and charted around the world (Debbie Reynolds starred in the 1965 film "The Singing Nun," a fictionalized version of Deckers' story). Deckers committed suicide in 1985 with her companion, reportedly because of financial issues.Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun