Category Archives: 1959


Mixes By Year: 1959 Most Recommended Albums


Musically, 1959 is primarily known for “The Day the Music Died”- the February 3rd plane crash which killed Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper & Ritchie Valens, and the end of the first wave of the rock n’ roll revolution. Little Richard temporarily left music for the church and Elvis was now a soldier in the army. The way that the music history books tell the story is that plastic teen idols like Bobby Sherman, Fabian & Frankie Avalon ruled the teen market and collegiate graduated to folk music. Motown, the Phil Spector led girl groups and the Beatles-led British invasion, were still a few years around the corner 1959 may not have been one of music’s great years, it’s often painted as a musical dark age which I think is vastly overstated. There was plenty of great music to be had and there were significant leaps particularly in soul & jazz.

By ’59 America’s economy was booming and Americans, at least white Americans, were living with unprecedented freedom and wealth. The American middle class had disposable income that it had never previously enjoyed. The huge demographics of the baby boomer generation, then entering their pre-teens, along with the disposable income of their parents created a commercial market and a political power that no other group of teenagers previously had. This helped to lead to the racial and societal upheavals of the 1960’s. During prosperous ’59 the change had yet to take place and many of the pop hits of the day mirrored the conservatism of the time (see the fresh faced, sexually “safe” teen idols mentioned above). But there is always a counter culture running parallel to the mainstream and in 1959 nothing exemplified the counter culture more than jazz. ’59 was an absolutely pivotal year in jazz in which the dominant sound in the music was moving away from Bebop and toward modal forms of jazz where various soloists were given room and freedom to explore. The four huge jazz albums of ’59 were “Ah Um” by Charles Mingus, “Time Out” by Dave Brubeck, “The Shape Of Jazz to Come” by Ornette Coleman, which helped spark the free jazz movement, and especially “Kind Of Blue” by Miles Davis, which is the most renowned jazz album of all time. “Kind Of Blue” and “Time Out” remain two of the best selling jazz albums ever as well and “Ah Um” is likely Mingus’s most well known.

There was much to talk about in vocal jazz as well. Ella Fitzgerald was in the middle of releasing her great songbook series. ’59 would see the issue of her monstrous George & Ira Gershwin set. Frank Sinatra continued his fantastic mid-late 50’s run with excellent tracks like “Come Dance With Me” and “Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week”. Nina Simone, still at the early stages of her career, released the excellent “Nina Simone At Town Hall”, which contains the standard “Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair”. Cool jazz artists like Mose Allison & Lambert, Hendricks & Ross released key albums containing signature cuts like “Eyesight To the Blind” and “Twisted”. Half crooner/half rock n’ roller Bobby Darin had huge hits in both genres with the standard “Mack the Knife” and the nearly as mighty “Dream Lover”.

Though white pop & rock n’ roll did seem to get more boring and staid in the late 50’s/very early 60’s, soul music didn’t seem to miss a beat. All of soul music’s originators dropped at least one classic song in 1959- Sam Cooke, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jackie Wilson, James Brown and especially Ray Charles who released the great “Genius of Ray Charles” album along with one of his signature tracks “What’d I Say”. Plenty of lesser known soul n’ B artists dropped a classic single or two like Phil Phillips with “Sea Of Love”, Frankie Ford with “Sea Of Love”, Wilbert Harrison with “Kansas City” and Lloyd Price with “Personality” and “I’m Gonna Get Married”. The Doo-Wop movement was still in full swing as well with several groups like the Drifters, the Coasters, the Platters, Dion & the Belmonts & the Clovers becoming absolute stars. Rock N’ Soul standard like “There Goes My Baby” (Drifters), “That Is Rock N’ Roll”, “Poison Ivy” & Charlie Brown”(The Coasters), A Teenager In Love” (Dion) along with classics by slightly lesser known groups like “Since I Don’t Have You” (The Skyliners), the original version of “Shout” (The Isley Brothers) and my pick for the greatest vocal Doo-Wop song of all time “I Only Have Eyes For You” (The Flamingos) all came out in 1959. A few more blues-based soul artists dropped great records in ’59 as well including the aforementioned Bobby Bland, along with Jimmy Reed, the lesser known but massively influential Little Willie John, Marv Johnson & Professor Longhair.

Even though the monumental Buddy Holly had passed earlier in the year a handful of great singles were released posthumously in ’59 like “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”, “Peggy Sue Got Married”, “Raining In My Heart” and “Crying, Waiting & Hoping”, each one brilliant and more sophisticated than his earlier singles. It’s a wonder how far Holly could have gone musically had he lived. He died at the tragic age of 23. Though Little Richard abandoned rock n’ roll temporarily for the ministry he did release his one last great single of the 50’s “Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey”. Though Elvis was busy serving in the army he did manage the #1 single “Big Hunk O Love”. Though not on the level of Elvis’s run of classic singles between ’56 and ’58, it’s still a pretty great song. Though he was super clean cut and marketed as a teen idol, heartthrob Ricky Nelson of the “Ozzie & Harriet Show” released a string of great singles as well. “It’s Late” was his best cut of ’59. The great Bo Diddley released his “Go Bo Diddley!” album in ’59, which includes great tracks like “Dearest Darling”, “Crackin’ Up” and his biggest hit “Say Man”. Though Diddley was never a monster on the charts, his style was mimicked a countless amount of time and he is considered today to be one of the true giants of rock n’ roll’s first wave. Two of rock n’ roll’s original biggest hitmakers went right on chugging during ’59. Chuck Berry delivered a slew of hits included “Back In the U.S.A.”, Memphis, Tennessee”, “Almost Grown” & “Little Queenie”. New Orleans own Fats Domino had huge hits with “I’m Ready”, “I Want To Walk You Home” & “Be My Guest”.















Buy Kind Of BlueAmazon

















Buy Time Out Amazon
















Buy Ah UmAmazon












Buy The Shape Of Jazz To Come (US Release) Amazon 

















BuyGo Bo DiddleyAmazon

Mixes By Year: Best of 1959 Volume 1

Best of 1959 Volume 1 (5/23/02)

1. Chuck Berry- Back In the U.S.A.

Buy Back In The U.S.A. (Single Version)<strongAmazon


2. Little Richard- Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey

Buy Medley: Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey"<strongAmazon


3. Johnny Kidd & the Pirates- Shakin’ All Over

Buy Shakin’ All OverAmazon


4. The Coasters- That is Rock and Roll

Buy That Is Rock And Roll (LP Version) Amazon


5. The Drifters- There Goes My Baby Amazon

Buy There Goes My Baby (Single/ LP Version)"<strongAmazon


6. Sam Cooke- Only Sixteen

Buy Only Sixteen Amazon


7. Jackie Wilson- That’s Why (I Love You So)

Buy That’s Why (I Love You So)Amazon


8. Dion & the Belmonts- A Teenager In Love

Buy A Teenager In LoveAmazon


9. The Flamingos- I Only Have Eyes For You

Buy I Only Have Eyes for You Amazon


10. Phil Phillips- Sea Of Love

Buy 01-Sea of Love Amazon

11. The Vicounts- Harlem Nocturne

Buy Harlem NocturneAmazon


12. Jimmy Reed- Baby What You Want Me To Do

Buy Baby What You Want Me To DoAmazon


13. Fats Domino- I Want To Walk You Home

Buy I Want To Walk You Home (2002 Digital Remaster) Amazon


14. James Brown- Good Good Lovin’

Buy Good Good Lovin’Amazon


15. Eddie Cochran- Somethin’ Else

Buy Somethin’ Else Amazon


16. George Jones- White Lightning

Buy White Lightnin’Amazon


17. Buck Owens- Under Your Spell Again

Buy Under Your Spell Again Amazon


18. Bobby Darin- Mack The Knife

Buy Mack The Knife Amazon


19. The Clovers- Love Potion #9

Buy Love Potion Number 9 Amazon


20. The Falcons- You’re So Fine

Buy You’re So Fine Amazon


21. The Everly Brothers- (Til I) Kissed You

Buy (’til) I Kissed You Amazon


22. Little Willie John- Let Them Talk

Buy Let Them TalkAmazon


23. Buddy Holly- It Doesn’t Matter Anymore

Buy It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Single Version) Amazon


24. Bobby Bland- I’ll Take Care Of You

Buy I’ll Take Care Of You (Single Version)"<strongAmazon


25. The Skyliners- Since I Don’t Have You

Buy Since I Don’t Have You (Digitally Remastered)Amazon


26. Bo Diddley- Say Man

Buy Say ManAmazon


27. Ray Charles- What’d I Say (Parts 1 & 2)

Buy What’d I Say [Pt. 1]Amazon


28. The Isley Brothers- Shout (Parts 1 & 2)

Buy Shout (Parts 1 & 2)Amazon

Mixes By Year: Best Of 1959 Volume 2

Best of 1959 Volume 2 (5/30/02)

1.  Wilbert Harrison- Kansas City

Buy Kansas CityAmazon


2.  Fats Domino- I’m Ready

Buy I’m Ready (2002 Digital Remaster)Amazon


3.  The Rock-A-Teens- Woo-Hoo

Buy Woo HooAmazon


4.  Chan Romero- The Hippy Hippy Shake

Buy Hippy Hippy ShakeAmazon


5.  Link Wray & His Wraymen- Rawhide

Buy Raw-HideAmazon


6.  Vince Taylor & His Playboys- Brand New Cadillac

Buy Brand New CadillacAmazon


7.  Hank Ballard & the Midnighters- The Twist

Buy The TwistAmazon


8.  The Drifters- Dance With Me

Buy Dance With Me Amazon


9. Little Anthony & the Imperials- Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop

Buy Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko-Ko-BopAmazon


10.  The Impalas- Sorry (I Ran All the Way Home)

Buy Sorry (I Ran All The Way Home)Amazon


11.  Norman Foxx & the Rob Roys- Pizza Pie

Buy Pizza PieAmazon


12.  The Eternals- Babalu’s Wedding Day

Buy Babalu’s Wedding DayAmazon


13.  The Shirelles- Dedicated To the One I Love

Buy Dedicated To The One I Love Amazon


14.  Buddy Holly- Peggy Sue Got Married

Buy Peggy Sue Got MarriedAmazon


15.  Frankie Ford- Sea Cruise

Buy Sea CruiseAmazon


16.  Lambert, Hendricks & Ross- Twisted

Buy TwistedAmazon


17. Bobby Darin- Beyond the Sea

Buy Beyond The Sea Amazon


18.  Jackie Wilson- I’ll be Satisfied

Buy I’ll Be SatisfiedAmazon


19.  Ricky Nelson- It’s Too Late

*Not available via Amazon


20.  The Platters- Enchanted

Buy EnchantedAmazon


21.  The Passions- Just To Be With You

Buy Just To Be With YouAmazon


22.  Sam Cooke- Little Things You Do

Buy The Little Things You DoAmazon


23.  Ray Charles- I Believe To My Soul

Buy I Believe To My Soul (Remastered Version)Amazon


24.  Frank Sinatra- Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week

Buy Saturday Night (Is The Loneliest Night In The Week) (Album Version) Amazon


25.  Nina Simone- Cotton-Eyed Joe (Live)

Buy Cotton Eyed Joe (live) Amazon


26.  Mose Allison- Eyesight to the Blind

Buy Eyesight To The Blind (Album Version)Amazon


27.  Johnny Cash- Luther Played the Boogie

Buy Luther Played The BoogieAmazon


28.  The Everly Brothers- Poor Jenny

Buy Poor JennyAmazon


29.  Little Willie John- Leave My Kitten Alone

Buy Leave My Kitten AloneAmazon


30.  Chuck Berry- Almost Grown

Buy Almost Grown (Single Version)Amazon


31.  The Coasters- Charlie Brown

Buy Charlie Brown Amazon


32.  Lloyd Price- Personality

Buy (You’ve Got) PersonalityAmazon


33.  The Fleetwoods- Come Softly To Me

Buy Come Softly To Me (1993 Digital Remaster)Amazon

Mixes By Year: Best Of 1959 Volume 3

Best of 1959 Volume 3 (11/2/13)

1.  Miles Davis- So What

Buy So What Amazon


2.  Dave Brubeck Quartet- Take Five

Buy Take Five Amazon


3.  Santo & Johnny- Sleepwalk

Buy Sleepwalk Amazon


4.  Bobby Darin- Dream Lover

Buy Dream Lover Amazon


5.  Cliff Richard- Living Doll

Buy Living Doll Amazon


6.  Chuck Berry- Little Queenie

Buy Little Queenie (Single Version) Amazon


7.  Freddy Cannon- Talahassie Lassie

Buy Tallahassee Lassie Amazon


8.  Hank Ballard & The Midnighters- Sugaree

Buy Sugaree Amazon


9.  Lloyd Price- I’m Gonna Get Married

Buy I’m Gonna Get Married Amazon


10.  Marv Johnson- You’ve Got What It Takes

Buy You’ve Got What It Takes Amazon


11.  Fats Domino- Be My Guest

Buy Be My Guest Amazon


12.  Dave “Baby” Cortez- The Happy Organ

Buy The Happy Organ Amazon


13.  Frank Sinatra- Come Dance With Me

Buy Come Dance With Me (1998 Digital Remaster) Amazon


14.  Sam Cooke- Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha

Buy Everybody Loves To Cha Cha Cha (2005 Remastered) Amazon


15.  Dion & The Belmonts- Where Or When

Buy Where Or When Amazon


16.  Nina Simone- Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair (Live)

Buy Black Is The Color Of My True Love’s Hair Amazon


17.  Charles Mingus- Better Git It In Your Soul

Buy Better Git It in Your Soul Amazon


18.  Ray Charles- Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying

Buy Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying Amazon


19.  Buddy Holly- Raining In My Heart

Buy Raining In My Heart (Single Version (Stereo)) Amazon


20.  Ray Price- Heartaches By The Number

Buy Heartaches By The Number Amazon


21.  Ronnie Hawkins- Forty Days

Buy Forty Days (Single Version) Amazon


22.  The Coasters- Along Came Jones

Buy Along Came Jones Amazon


23.  Bo Diddley- Crackin’ Up

Buy Crackin’ Up (Single Version) Amazon


24.  The Bell Notes- I’ve Had It

Buy I’ve Had It Amazon

Mixes By Year: Best Of 1959 Volume 4

Best Of 1959 Volume 4 (11/2/13)

1.  The Fabulous Wailers- Tall Cool One

Buy Tall Cool One Amazon


2.  Jack Scott- The Way I Walk

Buy The Way I Walk Amazon


3.  Fats Domino- I’m Gonna Be A Wheel Someday

Buy I’m Gonna Be a Wheel Someday Amazon


4.  Professor Longhair- Cuttin’ Out 

Buy Cuttin’ Out Amazon


5.  Tarheel Slim- Number “9” Train

Buy Number Nine Train Amazon


6.  Dave Brubeck Quartet- Blue Rondo Ala Turk

Buy Blue Rondo À La Turk Amazon


7.  Chuck Berry- Memphis

Buy Memphis Tennessee Amazon


8.  Ray Charles- I’m Movin’ On

Buy I’m Movin’ On (Single/LP Version) Amazon


9.  Louis Prima- Lazy River

Buy Lazy River (1999 Digital Remaster) Amazon


10.  Miles Davis- Freddie Freeloader

Buy Freddie Freeloader Amazon


11.  Charles Mingus- Fables Of Faubus

Buy Original Faubus Fables Amazon


12.  Lambert, Hendricks & Ross- Moanin’

Buy Moanin’ (Album Version) Amazon


13.  Buddy Holly- Crying, Waiting, Hoping

Buy Crying, Waiting, Hoping (Overdubbed Version) Amazon


14.  The Fleetwoods- Mr. Blue

Buy Mr. Blue Amazon


15.  Sam Cooke- No One Can Take Your Place

Buy No One Can Take Your Place Amazon


16.  Ronnie Hawkins- Mary Lou

Buy Mary Lou Amazon


17.  Bo Diddley- Dearest Darling

Buy Dearest Darling (Single Version) Amazon


18.  Jim Reeves- He’ll Have To Go

Buy He’ll Have To Go Amazon


19.  Ray Price- The Same Old Me

Buy The Same Old Me (Single Version) Amazon


20.  Ronnie Dawson- Rockin’ Bones

Buy Rockin Bones Amazon


21.  Jimmy Reed- Take Out Some Insurance

Buy Take Out Some Insurance Amazon


22.  The Coasters- I’m A Hog For You

Buy I’m A Hog For You Baby Amazon


23.  Elvis Presley- A Big Hunk O’Love

Buy A Big Hunk O’ Love Amazon