The 2013 Top 77 Final Results!
Commentary and analysis by Mike Riccio. 

One more time!

Yes, for the SIXTEENTH time, we've compiled the results of your votes for the best music ever ! After weeks of voting and thousands of songs receiving votes, here are the biggest hits as decided by YOU in our 16th annual poll of the "Top 77 Songs All Time."

Below, we present the "countdown" version of the results, where, in print, we count down the hits" from #77 to #1, with an interesting insight on each act or the song involved!

As a bonus, we're starting off with the "extras"...the songs that just missed the top 77. And then we'll continue each day revealing more of the results until we get to #1…

So without further delay…DRUMROLL PLEASE!...

And now, ladies and gentlemen...YOUR 16th annual All-Time Top 77 Songs!

(Asterisks {*} indicate a former #1 song on WABC.)


100 - You Don't Own Me - Lesley Gore – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #2)

99 - Burning Love - Elvis Presley – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #2)

98 - Wouldn't It Be Nice - Beach Boys – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #5, Nat’l #8)

97 - Day After Day – Badfinger – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #4)

96 - The Wanderer – Dion – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #5. Nat’l #2)

95 - Let's Hang On - Four Seasons – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #3)

94 - I Wonder Why - Dion & the Belmonts  - 1958 (Peaks: WABC – Pre-dates chart, Nat’l #22)

93 - My Sweet Lord - George Harrison – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #1)

92 - *The Twist - Chubby Checker – 1960 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

91 -*I Will Follow Him - Little Peggy March – 1963 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

90 - Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good) - Neil Diamond – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #4)

89 - *Crimson And Clover - Tommy James and the Shondells – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

88 - *Help – Beatles – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

87 - *Big Girls Don't Cry - Four Seasons – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

86 - Someday We'll Be Together - Diana Ross & the Supremes – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1)

85 – Denise - Randy and the Rainbows – 1963 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #10)

84 - In My Life – Beatles – 1966 From the LP "Rubber Soul" (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart)

83 - Mr Dieingly Sad – Critters – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #6, Nat’l #17)

82 - Then He Kissed Me – Crystals – 1963 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #6)

81 - Brown Sugar - Rolling Stones – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #1)

80 - *Good Lovin' - Young Rascals – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1)

79 - Please Please Me – Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #3)

78 - Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #3)


Now let’s move right into the Top 77, as YOU voted for it!



#77 - Because - The Dave Clark Five - 1964 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat'l #3) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Four top 20 songs that hit the chart in 120 days.

#76 - Days - The Kinks - 1968 (Peaks: WABC - Did Not Chart, Nat'l - Did Not Chart) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The end of The Kinks British Invasion chart run. From 1964 through 1966, they had eight top 40 hits. Then, two singles did no better than #70, and this song failed to make the chart at all. The Kinks would not return to the Top 100 until 1970.

#75 - *Sugar Sugar - The Archies- 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #1) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A top 20 novelty hit for Ron Dante, the ACTUAL voice of The Archies. Ron got to #19 nationally as lead singer of The Detergents on "Leader of the Laundromat" in 1964.

#74 - *California Dreamin' - The Mamas and the Papas - 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #4) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A demo recording of this song by none other than Barry McGuire ("Eve of Destruction") and an early Grass Roots band. Ultimately, Barry's voice track was erased and The Mamas and The Papas voices were added.

#73 - *To Sir With Love - Lulu - 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #1) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Only one charted song - a version of the classic "Shout" from five years earlier, done with her group as "Lulu and the Luvers".

#72 - Tonite Tonite - The Mello-Kings - 1957 (Peaks: Pre-dates WABC's chart, Nat'l #77) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A name change. This group was originally known as The Mello-Tones, but another group that already had charted earlier in the year were called The Mello-Tones, so the name was changed and a classic was born.

#71 - *Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees - 1978 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #1) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A number one song, "How Deep Is Your Love". In fact, by the time the "Saturday Night Fever" LP was released, this act already HAD four number one hits and 21 top 40 songs.

#70 - Morning Girl - Neon Philharmonic - 1969 (Peaks: WABC - Did Not Chart, Nat'l #17) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Members of that orchestra backed Tupper Saussy and Don Gant when they decided to begin a project to develop a pop hit record, so they, in effect, WERE Neon Philharmonic.

#69 - *One Less Bell to Answer - 5th Dimension - 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #2)  - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS: Seven top 100 songs from January through August of 1970. But not ONE of them made the top 20.

#68 - He's a Rebel - The Crystals - 1962 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat #1) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The ill-fated "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)". Did producer Phil Spector REALLY think a song with abusive lyrics to match this ridiculous title would be a hit? Or was he just trying to infuriate his partners so they would sign over complete control of the Philles record label to him?

#67 - *Will You Love Me Tomorrow - Shirelles – 1961 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat'l #1) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A stutter-start to their career, with "I Met Him on a Sunday" faltering at #49, a first-time release of "Dedicated to the One I Love" stopping at #83 and "Tonight's the Night" halting at #39. It was only when this song was rewritten as a soul/pop tune instead of a country song that their success began.

#66 – River Deep, Mountain High – Ike and Tina Turner – (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l #88) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Two years of non-chart activity and five years since their last top 20 song, 1961’s “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine”.

#65 - *Penny Lane – The Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A fateful visit to an art exhibit. On November 9, 1966, John Lennon decided to visit the Indica Art Gallery where he met an artist dressed entirely in black. Her name was Yoko Ono. A month later, the band recorded “Penny Lane” originally meaning it to be released on the “Sgt. Pepper’s…” LP.  It was released as a single instead.

#64 - Your Song – Elton John – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #10, Nat’l #8) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Reginald Kenneth Dwight’s decision to change his name to honor singers Elton Dean and Long John Baldry. And a release called “Border Song” that peaked at #92, his first top 100 song. There would be more. Many more.

#63 – Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl) – Looking Glass – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? CBS Records producers like Steve Cropper failing to click with these guys. It finally took manager Mike Gershman and the band deciding to be their own producers before they turned their talents into this #1 national hit.

#62 – *Lightning Strikes – Lou Christie – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A toss into the wastepaper basket. Lou took this to an MGM Record exec who promptly dismissed it and threw it into the garbage. Lou moved to California to promote the record anyway, and it clicked, getting to #1 by February.

#61 - Since I Don’t Have You – Skyliners – 1959 (Peaks: Pre-Dates WABC Chart, Nat’l #12) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Blown deals with Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler, Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Finally, after rejections from 13 labels, one of which said “A song with 13 you’s at the end will never sell”, Calico Records said “yes” and the song became a classic.

#60 – *Daydream Believer – Monkees – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Three consecutive double-sided hits, and another #1 song with “Believer” in the title (“I’m a Believer”). Ironically, after one more top 3 song (“Valleri”) followed this one, The Monkees would never again have a top ten record.

#59 – Midnight Confessions – The Grass Roots – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #5) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Three different attempts to get a “Grass Roots” band together before finally settling on the “final draft”.  First came P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri, then next was a group originally called The Bedouins, and finally it was The 13th Floor that became the hit group we all remember as The Grass Roots.

#58 - *You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Two top 20 hits that performed well below the usual Supremes standards. “My World Is Empty Without You” only got to #5 and “Love Is Like an Itching in My Heart” peaked at #9. So this #1 hit was their first chart-topper in almost 10 months after having six number one songs in a span of 15 months.

#57 – Beatles – Something – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #7, Nat’l #3) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A national top ten song that was controversial and wasn’t really even The Beatles. “The Ballad of John and Yoko”, essentially a John Lennon song with Paul chipping in, only got to #8 and was banned on many radio stations, hesitant to air lyrics that many felt bordered on swearing.

#56 – Dream On – Aerosmith – 1976 (Peaks: WABC #9, Nat’l #6) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? THIS song came before this! Originally released as their first single in 1973, Aerosmith only got to #59 then before emerging with a top ten hit upon the re-release in 1976.

#55 – Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #34, Nat’l #8) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? 18 other singles that had charting “B’ sides. 7 other double-siding charters would follow, for a total of 26 records in which BOTH SIDES of the 45 hit the top 100.

#54 - *Yesterday – The Beatles – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The release of the LP “Help!” in Britain, where this song was included as an album cut and never released as a single until 1976. In 1965, Matt Monro’s version was the hit in the U.K., climbing to #8.

#53 - *I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – The Four Tops – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Three single top 100 songs, none of which made it into the top ten. Starting with this song, eleven of their next 12 Motown charters would make the top 20.

#52 - *Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Brian Jones’ funeral. Although he was a mess and at times unreliable due to his addictions, Jones did participate in the recording sessions for the “Let It Bleed” LP. “Honky Tonk Women” never made it onto the album.

#51 - *Stoned Soul Picnic – The 5th Dimension – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #3) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A full year since their last top ten song. Although growing more and more popular by the day, the group couldn’t quite click with another top 20 hit, missing with “Paper Cup” and “Carpet Man”. It took this song to break the spell and become the first top ten song for them since “Up – Up and Away” got to #7.

#50 – Beginnings - Chicago – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #11, Nat’l #7) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A failed release of this very same song. It was in 1969 that Columbia Records released this to follow up the group’s initial single, “Questions 67 And 68”, which had only go to 71. This song didn’t dent the chart back then at all.

#49 – Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley (Peaks: Pre-dates WABC chart, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? 24 top 100 hits and seven #1 songs in just over 1 ½ years. It was the beginning of a legendary career that would produce 151 top 100 songs.

#48 - *Crystal Blue Persuasion – Tommy James & the Shondells (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Tommy’s final #1 song. It was “Crimson and Clover” from the very beginning of the year. The follow-up, “Sweet Cherry Wine” climbed to #7 and then THIS release made it to #2, but Tommy James never made the top 3 again once “Crystal Blue Persuasion” dropped off the chart.

#47 - *Runaway – Del Shannon - 1961 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Absolutely nothing! And with this song Del became a member of the elite club of acts whose first charted song went to #1.

#46 – Elusive Butterfly – Bob Lind – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #6, Nat’l #5) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Or at least at the same time…a version of this song by Irish recording artist Val Doonigan, which charted in England, competing with the original, where both versions peaked at #5. Without the competition, Bob Lind’s version likely would have topped the chart there.

#45 – Taxi – Harry Chapin – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #9, Nat’l #24) - WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? An unsuccessful early album with his brothers Tom and Steve…and an intended career as a documentary film-maker. But after the success of his own solo album, Harry turned his talents strictly to music.

#44 – Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home) – The Crystals (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #3) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Two hit songs by The Crystals that were NOT sung by The Crystals. Both “He’s a Rebel” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love” were actually sung by super-talented Darlene Love, and the vocal track for this song was done by Darlene. But producer Phil Spector decided to put La La Brooks’ voice on this instead of Darlene’s, and from this point forward, The Crystals’ songs were actually sung by The Crystals.

#43 – Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Not a single #1 song for seven years. Even though Elvis had 18 number one songs, 1962’s “Good Luck Charm” would be his last until this song topped the chart in 1969.

#42 – I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #29, Nat’l #19) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Capitol records being forced to release it here earlier than planned. It was already number one in England when Washington D.C. deejay Carroll Baker played this and the “A” side, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and created enough demand to force the label to release the single over two weeks early on December 26, 1963. In New York City alone, 10,000 copies flew off the shelves every hour. And by the time they appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, the boys already had six songs on the national top 100.

#41 – You Really Got Me – The Kinks – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #7) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The Beatles. Without the Fab Four opening the doors for the “British Invasion” and the demand for anything English, acts like The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who and dozens of others may have gone undiscovered in the USA.

#40 – Can’t Find the Time – Orpheus – 1969 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l #80) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A release of this same song in March of 1968. It only got to #111. Then came “Brown Arms in Houston”, which got no higher than #91 nationally. With high hopes, the band re-released “Can’t Find the Time”. And it DID do better this time, getting to…#80, So by late 1969, Orpheus was no more, at least as far as the charts went.

#39 - *Sherry – The Four Seasons – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A 1956 release as The Four Lovers called “You’re the Apple of My Eye”. That one got to #62. After “Sherry”, the boys as “The Four Seasons” would have only three releases that charted any lower than #60.

#38 – Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers – 1965/1990 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #4) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? THIS song, on the chart  FIVE times. It charted for Les Baxter, Al Hibbler, Roy Hamilton and June Valli in 1955 and for Vito and the Salutations in 1963.

#37 - *Love Is Blue (L’Amour Est Bleu) – 1968 – (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) - Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “Theme from a Summer Place” by Percy Faith. And Percy’s song from 1960 would end up being the only instrumental in the sixties to have more success chart-wise than “Love Is Blue”.

#36 - *Happy Together – The Turtles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The Crossfires. That was the name of the group before White Whale requested they come up with something new. So looking at the popularity of The Byrds, they chose “The Tyrtles”, but later relented to a more conventional spelling of the group.

#35 - *Downtown – Petula Clark – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? An entire career many fans of hers from “Downtown” never knew about. It started for her as a nine-year old in 1942 on a radio broadcast and continued via TV and movie appearances throughout the 1950’s and several hit records overseas in the early 1960s. By the time “Downtown” clicked, 33-year old Petula was a star pretty much everywhere BUT the USA.

#34 - *The Sound(s) of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Starts and stops, and lots of luck. As “Tom and Jerry” they got to #49 in 1957, but numerous solo and group efforts went nowhere. Then this song played acoustically on a 1964 LP called “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” went pretty much unnoticed until Columbia decided to electrify it. The result was a career with twelve top 20 songs and three #1 songs.

#33 – A Day in the Life – The Beatles (from the LP “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”) – The Beatles – 1967 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Two songs canned from the album. Both “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever” were meant to be released as part of this album. But Capitol Records needed a new Beatles single for the beginning of 1967, and so George Martin clipped those two songs from the LP and offered them to the record label. WABC never played “A Day in the Life” because of lyrics they considered to be questionable. The song went on to become one of The Beatles most well-known classics.

#32 – Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley – 1962 (Peaks: WABC #8, Nat’l #2) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A European song called “Plasir d’Amour” which was the inspiration and pretty much the same melody as this Elvis hit.

#31 - *You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Six releases on the Moonglow label to start their career. The highest any of those releases got was #49.  Once the switch to Phil Spector’s Philles label took place, their next six releases all made the top 20, with two going to #1 and four of five making the top five.

#30 – Beyond the Sea – Bobby Darin – 1960 (Peaks: Pre-Dates WABC Chart, Nat’l #6) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “Mack the Knife” and a change in direction for Bobby. Up until “Mack…”, Bobby’s teen idol songs were essentially rock and roll tunes, but he decided to spread his wings and show his more “adult oriented” sound, and from “Mack the Knife” on, Bobby would release primarily “middle-of-the-road” music.

#29 - *Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures) – The 5th Dimension – 1969 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Billy Davis’ lost wallet. Actually, he left it in a cab. The wallet was found by one of the producers of the musical play “Hair” and when he returned the wallet to Billy, Billy invited him to see The 5th Dimension in person. The producer reciprocated with tickets to the play for the group, who were blown away by the music and decided to record songs from the soundtrack themselves. And you KNOW what happened next!

#28 - *Cherish – The Association – 1966 – (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A pad of paper with one word on that paper. And the word on that paper was “Cherish”; hence “cherish is the word”. It was jotted down by group member Terry Kirkman, who liked the word but had no lyrics to go with it. Three weeks later, he came up with words. And the rest of the group rejoiced!

#27 – God Only Knows – The Beach Boys – 1966 – (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l #39) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “You Didn’t Have to Be So Nice” by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Brian Wilson said that some of the melody of “God Only Knows” was inspired by the Spoonful’s 1965 hit song.

#26 - *Incense and Peppermints – Strawberry Alarm Clock – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles. When group members realized that two other acts had similar names to their original name, Thee Sixpence, they turned to Billboard’s top 100 chart and randomly pointed to song titles to come up with a NEW name. Their fickle finger of fate landed on The Beatles’ hit.

#25 – Won’t Get Fooled Again – The Who – 1971 – (Peaks: WABC - #21, Nat’l - #15) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A movie that was never made. That movie, called “Lighthouse”, was abandoned and never completed. But this song, written for that movie, survived big time.

#24 – Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen – 1975 – (Peaks: WABC - #36, Nat’l #23) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Dr. Zoom and the Sonic Boom. Really, no kidding. This was just one of Bruce’s late 60s-early 70s groups before met several people who would change his life. Those men were new managers Mike Appel and Jim Cretecos, and Columbia talent scout John Hammond.

#23 – Hotel California – The Eagles – 1977 – (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A phone call to group member Don Felder’s housekeeper. Felder had laid down some wonderful guitar riffs on his four-track Teac tape recorder for a new song for their album, but unfortunately he misplaced the master at his Los Angeles studio. So he had his housekeeper rummage through dozens of pieces of sliced tape until she located the missing pieces that became “Hotel California”.

#22 – Dawn (Go Away) – The Four Seasons – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #3) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “More” by Kai Winding. That’s right…originally written as a slightly slower folk ballad, “Dawn )Go Away)” was sped up by arranger Charles Calello. Frankie Valli's suggested adding a galloping rhythm guitar borrowed from Kai Windings version of "More".

#21 – Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks – 1967 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A romance between actors Julie Christie and Terence Stamp, the stars of the 1967 movie, “Far from the Madding Crowd”. The song was rumored to be about that romance. Kink member Ray Davies denied that.

#20 – My Girl – The Temptations – 1965 –(Peaks: WABC - #4, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? An appearance with The Miracles at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York. Between shows, The Temptations heard Smokey Robinson laying down the rhythm tracks for “My Girl” which he had just written and begged him to let them record the finished product. Smokey agreed.

#19 – Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin – 1959 – (Peaks: Pre-Dates WABC Chart, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Louis Armstrong’s version of the song. Satchmo had a top 20 hit in 1956, competing with five other versions. Darin recorded it for his album “That’s All”, but didn’t want it released as a single. His label Atco thought differently and prevailed. And Darin had his biggest career hit.

#18 - *A Horse with No Name – America – 1972 – (WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Enrollment at London’s Central High School in Bushey Park, England. As sons of American military personnel that was based in the U.K., the group members met at the school and formed a band called The Daze, which later evolved into America. Although “I Need You” was supposed to be their first release, they decided on “A Horse With No Name” instead, and it became the first of two number one hits for them.

#17 - *Be My Baby – The Ronettes – 1963 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #2) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? DJ Murray the K’s “Dancing Girls” and sneaking into the Peppermint Lounge. After the girls showed up at the famous club made up to look older so they could get in, the manager mistook them for Joey Dee’s back up dancers, and Ronnie, Estelle and Nedra ended up performing on stage, which in turn led to them becoming “Dancing Girls” at Murray the K’s DJ shows. An audition for Phil Spector followed within the year, and this hit was released by the fall of 1963.

#16 - *Let It Be – The Beatles – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? New Year 1969 and the recording of the “White Album”. That’s when this song was originally recorded But it was not released until 1970. Initially meant to be part of an album titled “Get Back”, it ended up as a single release in March of 1970 and – in a different version and mix – as a track on the “Let It Be” LP released in May of 1970.

#15 – Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan – 1965 (Peaks: WABC #3, Nat’l #2) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS?  “Subterranean Homesick Blues”. And that one only got to #39 as his initial chart entry. In fact, the “B” side, “She Belongs to Me”, was a bigger hit for Rick Nelson than the “A” side was for Dylan!

#14 – Imagine – John Lennon Plastic Ono Band – 1971 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #3) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “Grapefruit” and “Cloud Piece”. “Grapefruit” was Yoko Ono’s 1964 book of poetry that “Cloud Piece”, the work that most inspired “Imagine”, came from. “Imagine the clouds dripping, dig a hole in your garden to put them in” were some of the words most inspirational to Lennon.

#13 – Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys – 1966 (Peaks: WABC #4, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “Pet Sounds”. Brian Wilson worked on that album from the beginning of 1966, inspired by the work of Phil Spector. It was only after he completed the album that he began working on “Good Vibrations”.

#12 - *American Pie – Don McLean – 1972 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Rejection by 34 record labels. Finally, “Tapestry” was picked up by Mediarts and released in 1970. The “American Pie” LP and legendary hit song made the Mediarts label heads seem like geniuses.

#11 - *Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon and Garfunkel – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Renting a house on Blue Jay Way in Los Angeles. That’s where Paul Simon and his wife Peggy stayed while Paul wrote this song. It was the same house that inspired George Harrison to write the tune that bears the street’s name.

#10 – MacArthur Park – Richard Harris – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #2, Nat’l #2) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Bones Howe’s poor decision. Bones was the producer for The Association, and he decided to pass on this song when writer Jimmy Webb approached Howe with it. On the other hand, Richard Harris couldn’t wait to record it when he met Webb.

#9 – *She Loves You – The Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Capitol Records’ rejection of The Beatles. In 1963, Brian Epstein offered “Please Please Me” to EMI’s American label but the label heads said no. Vee Jay Records picked up both “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You” but neither cracked the top 100. “She Loves You”, leased to Philadelphia-based Swan Records, did no better. Capitol Records took advantage of the opportunity to redeem itself when it finally signed the group in late 1963.

#8 – Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin – 1971 (Peaks: WABC – Did Not Chart, Nat’l – Did Not Chart) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The group’s biggest hit, at least on the top 100. That would be “Whole Lotta Love”, which reached #4 when released in late 1969. Who knows how high “Stairway to Heaven” would have charted if it were released as a single? But the group refused to do that.

#7 - *I Want to Hold Your Hand – The Beatles – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A flight to New York by Brian Epstein on November 5, 1963. That’s the day that Epstein  met with Brown Meggs of Capitol Records to make one more plea to be signed by the label. It was just 24 hours after The Beatles performed for the Queen Mother at the annual Royal Performance Command Performance variety show,  The investment in Epstein’s airline ticket paid off.

#6 – In the Still of the Nite – The Five Satins – 1956 (Peaks: Pre-Dates WABC Charts, Nat’l #24) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? “The Jones Girl” being designated as the “A” side of this record. Label heads wisely relented.

#5 – *(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction- The Rolling Stones – 1965 (Peaks; WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Seven chart entries in the USA, none of which cracked the top 5. “Time Is On My Side” came closest, peaking at #6. But once “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” got to the top, it opened the door for a total of eight #1 songs for the Stones.

#4 - *Light My Fire – The Doors – 1967 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The album “The Doors” and a failed single. “Break on Through”, although now a Doors staple, never charted for the group, prompting  Elektra Records to go with a shorter version of another song from the LP to use as a single release. That song was “Light My Fire”.

#3 - *Rag Doll – The Four Seasons – 1964 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? A decision to stop writing this song. Or at least a thought of doing that. Bob Gaudio and Bob Crewe just couldn’t come up with an ending to the song, both lyrically and musically. Frustrated, they were ready to dump the entire idea before finally being inspired to finish the song and release it as a single and not an album cut, as originally intended.

#2 - *Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Diana Ross – 1970 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? The Supremes. Diana had twelve #1 songs and 22 top 20 hits as a member of that group. Solo, she had six #1 songs and 20 top 20 hits.

#1 - *Hey Jude – The Beatles – 1968 (Peaks: WABC #1, Nat’l #1) – WHAT CAME BEFORE THIS? Their lowest charting hit in four years. “Lady Madonna” from the spring of 1968 only got to #4 on the Hot 100. Not since the release of “Match Box”, which peaked at #17 in the fall of 1964, did The Beatles fail to make it to the top three with a 45 rpm Capitol single.

There you have it! The “Countdown” version of the 16th Annual Top 77 of All-Time as YOU voted it.