This week 56 years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago White Sox to win the World Series in six games; the first test of an anti-satellite weapon took place; Pan Am began flights around the world; American singer and actor Mario Lanza died; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Poison Ivy," The Coasters
You've got to respect the legendary songwriting team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for making a hit out of a song comparing a girl to an itchy condition and saying she's worse than a slew of other diseases — including whooping cough. Also, kudos for rhyming "ocean" with "calamine lotion."
9. "Red River Rock," Johnny and the Hurricanes
If this sounds slightly familiar it's because it's an instrumental version of the folk song "Red River Valley," but, you know, more "rock."
8. "Mr. Blue," The Fleetwoods
The perfect song for someone heartbroken to listen to as they stare blankly out of a window as it rains outside. This song eventually went to No. 1.
7. "I'm Gonna Get Married," Lloyd Price
"I'm Gonna Get Married" was the last big hit for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member (you may also recognize some of his other smashes, especially "Personality" and "Stagger Lee"). Price also wrote "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," my favorite title of a song later recorded by Elvis Presley.
6. "Teen Beat," Sandy Nelson
Get it? Beat. Because it's a drum-heavy instrumental. And, like, youthful-sounding for 1959.
5. "The Three Bells," The Browns
A No. 1 pop and country hit, "The Three Bells" featured three Brown siblings, and yes, one is named Jim Brown, so is this song's subject him? Is it just a coincidence? Someone clear this up. Either way, slightly weird.
4. "('Till) I Kissed You," the Everly Brothers
Man, listen to those girls shout. Don Everly penned this instantly identifiable-as-the-Everly-Brothers track, which featured Chet Atkins on the guitar.
3. "Sleep Walk," Santo & Johnny
This song IS the 1950s.
2. "Put Your Head On My Shoulder," Paul Anka
When Paul Anka wasn't writing "She's a Lady" for Tom Jones or writing the lyrics to "My Way," he was busy in 1959 churning out classics like this.
1. "Mack the Knife," Bobby Darin
No. 1 for nine weeks (with one week of "Mr. Blue" sandwiched in), "Mack the Knife" became, of course, Darin's signature song, despite being written in 1928. And in German. And for a musical drama, "The Threepenny Opera." This may have one of the oddest backstories for a Hot 100 chart-topper, but who cares? It's still awesome today.