7

243: Ricky Nelson, “I’m Walkin'”

You can’t understand popular culture without understanding why it was worth waiting half an hour for Ricky. Thunder on the horizon.

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7

237: Wilbert Harrison, ‘Kansas City’

“C’mon, Wilbert, pick up them feet, you shiftless shuffler you! The lady’s a-waiting!”
“Hey, I ain’t sweating or fretting or agitating for no woman.”

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6

235: The Singing Nun, ‘Dominique’ (#1 Hits of 1963)

The #1 hits from 1963, all 21 of them. Our lives before The Beatles.

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11

234: Carole King, ‘Up On the Roof’ (Live, 1971)

Carole King’s remarkable metamorphosis from teen mom songsmith to Earth Mother poetess.
She composed the soundtrack of our times on her piano, and wrought the template of our times with her life.

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3

221: The Drifters (Doc Pomus), ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’

The maelstrom of emotion – Doc Pomus watches from his wheelchair as his new bride dances with another guy. All in 2’34”.

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5

218: Bo Diddley, ‘Who Do You Love’

The pogroms in Częstochowa, the African-American folk magic tradition of hoodoo, and how my bootlegging booze across state lines prevented my girlfriend from being picked up by a blues legend.

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6

213: Tommy Tucker, ‘Hi-Heel Sneakers’

Quarantined? Put on your red dress, baby.
Paralysed by existential angst? Take a lesson from Robert Higginbotham.

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0

196: Ray Charles, ‘You Don’t Know Me’

Ray pretty much invented soul and then cornered the market. Instead of leaving well enough alone, he went and invaded Nashville, dressing a string of Country and Western classics in his jazz/pop/soul style, but with fiercely personal interpretations. Something new under the sun. Something indelibly beautiful.

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