Category Archives: 1963


Mixes By Year: 1963 Most Recommended Albums


1963 marked a huge cultural sea change in the U.S. America was in the midst of President Kennedy’s Camelot- a promising time when the country’s middle class was thriving, much of the public was supportive of the young, charismatic leader and almost anything seemed possible. In the music world the girl group sound, surf music & soul music ruled the airwaves, but seeds of change were being planted as well. New York City folk hero Bob Dylan released his first big album (his debut was little heard) with “Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”, which would soon become massively influential not only on the folk scene, but youth culture at large. Across the pond in Great Britain, the Beatles were already making waves. They had released their debut single “Love Me Do” in late 1962 & ’63 saw the release of their first two full lengths “Please Please Me” and “With The Beatles” along with a slew of huge singles. One hit wonder group The Kingsmen had a huge hit with frat-rock staple “Louie Louie”. Its grittier and sloppier tone sat in huge contrast to the impeccably produced studio pop coming out of the Brill Building in New York and the high level studios in L.A. at the time. “Louie Louie” also hearkened back to the no holds barred excitement of mid-50’s rock n’ roll. It can comfortably be called the first “Garage Rock” track. Garage rock was a diverse collection of DIY (Do It Yourself) music made throughout the 60’s, which hugely influenced punk. The huge success of the Beatles and the like sparked many teenage kids to form bands. Most were not expert players, but were able to come up with one or a handful of great songs. Some actually became hit records and many were left to obscurity. President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. It would be the first of several assassinations of high-level American politicians and civil rights leaders and would serve as a marker of the true beginning of one of America’s most turbulent decades. Music styles would change along with the culture.

Doo-Wop music, one of 1950’s biggest musical trends, which had experienced a revival in the early 60’s, had pretty much died out by 1963. Though there were a few of the older style groups that had hits like The Thymes with “So Much In Love” and the Duprees with “Have You Heard”, the older style had given way to either a more polished sounding white act like the Four Seasons, Jan & Dean or the Beach Boys, a studio concocted, producer-focused girl-group like the Ronettes, the Crystals or the Chiffons or a vocal group heavily indebted to soul music. Berry Gordy’s Detroit label Motown had been steadily growing in influence throughout the 60’s and ’63 was their biggest year yet. Mary Wells and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, the two biggest hit-makers in Motown’s earliest years, continued to scale the charts, the Supremes had their first note-worthy hit with “The Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes” and Martha Reeves & the Vandellas had a huge year with soul classic “Heatwave” being released along other standouts like “Come and Get These Memories” and “Quicksand”. The Temptations had one of their first minor hits with the underrated gem “I Want a Love I Can See”. Solo artist Little Stevie Wonder had his first smash single with “Fingertips” and Marvin Gaye had a run of successful singles including “Hitch Hike”, “Pride and Joy” and “Can I Get A Witness”. The Motown label would grow even larger and more prominent throughout the 60’s and would dominate the charts along with the Beatles, the Beach Boys & the Rolling Stones.

Several other vocal soul groups had huge years outside of the Motown label. The long-running Drifters who had been releasing records since the early 50’s and had an ever-changing membership had one of the biggest hits of their career with “On Broadway”. And Chicago group the Impressions, led by lead vocalist Curtis Mayfield, released their self-titled debut album, which included huge hits “It’s Alright” and “Gypsy Woman”. The Impressions would write a host of tracks, which would become anthems of the civil rights struggle. Aside from the groups soul music was in fine shape. Founding soul artist James Brown released his legendary “Live At The Apollo 1962” album, still heralded as one of the best and exciting live albums of all-time. Sam Cooke released his best studio album “Night Beat” and had big hits with “Another Saturday Night” and “Send Me Some Lovin’”. Jackie Wilson scored a huge chart hit with “Baby Workout” and Ray Charles was still going strong and had a hit with “Busted”. Newer soul artists, many of which were from the American south, were emerging as well. Otis Redding released “Pain In My Heart”. Solomon Burke had some of his first hits and Wilson Pickett’s first singles came out. There were great one-hit (or two-hit) wonders by the likes of Major Lance, Garnett Mimms, Bob & Earl, Freddie Scott & Little Johnny Taylor. More blues-based soul music also hot high on the R&B charts. Sonnyboy Williamson had a hit with “Help Me”. Jimmy Reed, one of the more accessible of the bluesmen, extended his chart run with “Shame, Shame, Shame” and Bobby “Blue” Bland hit big with “Call On Me” & “That’s The Way Love Is”.

Some of the best and most talented writers and producers in the music business helped to create the girl group sound of the early 60’s. There had been big girl group hits prior to ’63 by the likes of the Shirelles and the Chantays and ’63 is when the scene really exploded. The writer/producers recognized the potential of the sound and either recruited already existing groups to write and produce for, or they created their own groups in the studio. Several writers and producers are known for creating, writing and producing for certain groups. Gerry Goffin and Carole King handled the output for Little Eva and the Cookies. Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, who had produced so many of the great 50’s records by Elvis Presley and the Coasters wrote tracks for the Exciters, the Dixie Cups and later the Shangri-La’s (who were produced by legendary eccentric Shadow Morton). Other important writers who helped shape the scene with Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil along with Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich. But the biggest writer/producer of all was Phil Spector. His stable of groups included the Ronettes, the Crystals, Darlene Love & Bobb B. Soxx & the Bluejeans. 1963 was likely the biggest year of Spector’s career. He produced momentous singles like “Da Doo Run Run”, “Not To Young to Get Married”, “Then He Kissed Me”, “Baby I Love You”, and the perfect “Be My Baby”. At the end of the year he gave us the “A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector” which is a collection of Christmas songs by groups on his roster. Nearly every song is a rock n’ roll classic and it may just be the best Christmas album ever made.
Along with the girl groups, surf music dominated by L.A. scene. Guitarist Dick Dale pioneered the raw, surf-guitar sound and vocal group the Beach Boys gave the music an image and brought it to the masses. The Beach Boys sound had nearly nothing to do with Dale, who appealed more to instrumental groups like the Chantays, the Tornadoesm the Lively Ones, the Marketts and especially the Surfaris, who had a #1 hit in ’63 with “Wipeout”. All were indebted to Dale for their sound and many paid their respect by covering his songs. Though a few of these bands had a hit or two most remained a regional concern and never got too big outside of southern California. The Beach Boys and Jan & Dean to a lesser extent took the subject matter of surf and California youth culture and combined it with the vocal harmonizing of Doo-wop and non rock n’ roll vocal group the Four Freshmen, added the best studio musicians in the business to play behind them in the studio. The Beach Boys had their first hit in 1962 with “Surfin’ Safari” but exploded in ’63 with “Surfin’ U.S.A., “Surfer Girl”, “In My Room” & Little Deuce Coup. They were the biggest bands in America of the 1960’s before the Beatles.

It’s been written that once the Beatles invaded America nothing was the same and they wiped out everything that came before them. While the former statement is true and the latter is way overstated. Motown and other soul music existed alongside the Beatles the whole decade. The Beach Boys got huge before the Beatles and remained that way until main writer/producer Brian Wilson’s meltdown in late 1966. New Jersey vocal group the Four Seasons, led to lead singer Frankie Valli, also continued to get stronger into the mid 60’s. The Four Seasons had huge hits in 1963 including “Candy Girl”, “Stay”, and the great “Walk Like A Man”. That said the Beatles really were game-changers. They wouldn’t “invade” the U.S. until the winter of ’64 but there immediate impact was truly staggering. They had 11 top ten hits in that year alone in America and 7 #1’s including “Love Me Do”, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”, “She Loves You”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “A Hard Day’s Night”, “I Feel Fine” and “Eight Days A Week”. “Twist and Shout”, and “Do You Want To Know A Secret” both hit #2. Those tracks are taken from four separate studio albums, and that was just albums that came out in Great Britain. America, annoyingly packaged the Beatles differently so they released even more albums. Many of their ’64 hits actually did come out in Britain in ’63. What the Beatles did in those two years both in America and in their native country was unprecedented. It wasn’t done before and hasn’t been done since. Not even close. The Beatles would of course head a stable of like-minded groups from Great Britain, known in America, as the British invasion. Several groups like Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Searchers & the Rolling Stones had already gotten started and had hits (in Great Britain only) in 1963. Many others would soon follow. These groups would shape much of music culture for the next half-decade.


the beatles_please please me










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James Brown_Live At The Apollo 1962










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Sam Cooke_Night Beat










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Bob Dylan_Freewheelin' Bob Dylan










Buy The Freewheelin’ Bob DylanAmazon



the beatles_with the beatles











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phil spector_a Christmas Gift For You








Buy A Christmas Gift For You From Phil SpectorAmazon

Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 1

Best of 1963 Volume 1 (6/4/02)

1.  The Kingsmen- Louie Louie

Buy Louie Louie Amazon


2.  The Four Seasons- Walk Like a Man

Buy Walk Like A Man Amazon


3.  Link Wray- Run Chicken Run

Buy Run Chicken Run Amazon


4.  The Chantays- Pipeline

Buy Pipeline Amazon


5.  The Trashmen- Surfin’ Bird

Buy Surfin’ Bird (Original Single Version)Amazon


6.  Major Lance- Monkey Time

Buy The Monkey Time Amazon


7.  Lesley Gore- It’s My Party

Buy It’s My Party Amazon


8.  Dion- Donna The Prima Donna

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9.  Marvin Gaye- Can I Get A Witness

Buy Can I Get A Witness (Album Version (Stereo))Amazon


10.  Martha & the Vandellas- Heatwave

Buy Heatwave (Stereo) Amazon


11.  The Surfaris- Wipe Out!

Buy Wipe Out Amazon


12.  Johnny Cash- Ring Of Fire

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13.  Ray Charles- Busted

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14.  James Brown- Prisoner Of Love

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15.  The Beach Boys- In My Room

Buy In My Room (2001 – Remaster)Amazon


16.  Otis Redding- Pain In My Heart

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17.  Roy Orbison- In Dreams

Buy In Dreams Amazon


18.  The Jaynettes- Sally Go Round The Roses

Buy Sally, Go ‘Round the RosesAmazon


19.  Dionne Warwick- Anyoene Who Had A Heart

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20.  The Ronettes- Be My Baby

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21.  The Crystals- Then He Kissed Me

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22.  Bob Dylan- Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

Buy Don’t Think Twice, It’s All RightAmazon


23.  The Chiffons- He’s So Fine

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24.  The Impressions- It’s Alright

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25.  Sam Cooke- Another Saturday Night

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26.  The Beatles- Twist And Shout

*Track not available via Amazon


27.  The Drifters- On Broadway

Buy On Broadway (Single/ LP Version)Amazon


28.  Barbara Lewis- Hello Stranger

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29.  Darlene Love- Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Buy Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)Amazon


30.  The Marketts- Out Of Limits

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Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 2

Best Of 1963 Volume 2 (6/6/02)

1.  The Beatles- Please Please Me

*Track not available via Amazon


2.  The Supremes- When the Lovelight Starts Shining Through His Eyes

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3.  Darlene Love- A Fine, Fine Boy

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4.  The Ronettes- Baby, I Love You

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5.  The Impressions- Talking About My Baby

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6.  The Righteous Brothers- Little Latin Lupe Lu

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7.  Chris Kenner- Land Of 1000 Dances

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8.  Marvin Gaye- Hitch Hike

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9.  Martha & the Vandellas- Come And Get These Memories

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10.  The Essex- Easier Said Than Done

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11.  Doris Troy- Just One Look

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12.  The Crystals- Do Doo Run Run

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13.  Solomon Burke- If You Need Me

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14. Sam Cooke- Love Will Find A Way

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15.  Bobby Bland- That’s The Way Love Is

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16.  Little Johnny Taylor- Part Time Love

Buy 06 Part Time Love – Little Johnny TaylorAmazon


17.  Bob Dylan- A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Buy A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna FallAmazon


18.  Garnett Mimms & The Enchanters- Cry Baby

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19.  Roy Orbison- Blue Bayou

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20.  Mary Wells- You Lost The Sweetest Boy

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21.  Jackie Wilson- Baby Workout

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22.  Dion- Ruby Baby

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23.  The Angels- My Boyfriend’s Back

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24.  The Chiffons- One Fine Day

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25.  The Beach Boys- Surfin’ U.S.A

Buy Surfin’ U.S.A. (2001 – Remaster)Amazon


26.  Jack Nitzche- The Lonely Surfer

Buy The Lonely Surfer (Album Version)Amazon


27.  Buck Owens- Love’s Gonna Live Here

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28.   Patsy Cline- Sweet Dreams (Of You)

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Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 3

Best of 1963 Volume 3 (2/12/04)

1.  Stevie Wonder- Fingertips (Part 2)

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2.  Dick Dale- King Of Surf Guitar

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3.  Jan & Dean- Surf City

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4.  The Beach Boys- Surfer Girl

Buy Surfer Girl (2001 – Remaster)Amazon


5.  Martha & the Vandellas- Quicksand

Buy Quicksand (Single Version (Mono))Amazon


6.  Sonny Boy Williamson- Help Me

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7.  James Brown- I Don’t Mind (Live)

Buy I Don’t Mind (Live At The Apollo Theater/1962)Amazon


8.  Wilson Pickett- If You Need Me

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9.  Bobby Bland- Call On Me

Buy Call On Me (Single Version)Amazon


10.  Sam Cooke- Send Me Some Lovin’

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11.  Randy & The Rainbows- Denise

Buy Denise (Original Hit Version)Amazon


12.  The Cookies- Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad About My Baby

Buy Don’t Say Nothin’ (Bad About My Baby)Amazon


13.  The Beatles- She Loves You

*Track not available via Amazon


14.  Darlene Love — (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Mary

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15.  Lesley Gore- Judy’s Turn To Cry

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16.  Lou Christie- Two Faces Have I

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17.  Elvis Presley- Devil In Disguise

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18.  Jimmy Reed- Shame, Shame, Shame

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19.  Betty Everett- You’re No Good

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20.  The Exciters- Tell Him

Buy Tell Him (Unedited Version)Amazon


21.  The Rooftop Singers- Walk Right In

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22.  Bob Dylan- Blowin’ In The Wind

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23.  Mongo Santamaria- Watermelon Man

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24.  Smokey Robinson & The Miracles- Mickey’s Monkey

Buy Mickey’s Monkey (Single Version (Mono))Amazon


25.  Marvin Gaye- Pride And Joy

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26.  Jerry Butler- Need To Belong

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27.  Buck Owens- Act Naturally

Buy Act Naturally (2006 Remastered)Amazon


28.  The Ronettes- Frosty The Snowman

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Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 4

Best of 1963 Volume 4 (2/14/04)

1.  The Beatles- It Won’t Be Long

*Track not available via Amazon


2.  The Ronettes- Sleigh Ride

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3.  Darlene Love- Marshmallow World

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4.  The Four Season- Candy Girl

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5.  Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs- Sugar Shack

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6.  Little Peggy March- I Will Follow Him

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7.  Skeeter Davis- I Can’t Stay Mad At You

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8.  Lesley Gore- She’s A Fool

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9.  The Temptations- I Want A Love I Can See

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10.  Brook Benton- Hotel Happiness

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11.  Sam Cooke- Fool’s Paradise

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12. Gene Pitney- Half Heaven, Half Heartache

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13.  Dave Van Ronk- Cocaine Blues

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14.  George Jones & Melba Montgomery- We Must Have Been Out Of Our Minds

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15.  Jan & Dean- Drag City

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16.  The Beach Boys- Little Deuce Coup

Buy Little Deuce Coupe (2001 – Remaster)Amazon


17.  Rufus Thomas- Walkin’ The Dog

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18.  Bob & Earl- Harlem Shuffle

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19.  The Five Du Tones- Shake a Tailfeather

*Track not available via Amazon


20.  Frank Sinatra- Luck Be A Lady

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21.  Wayne Newton- Danke Shoen

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22.  Jimmy Soul- If You Want To Be Happy

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23.  The Dartells- Hot Pastrami

*Track not available via Amazon


24.  Dion- Drip Drop

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25.  Betty Harris- Cry To Me

Buy 13 Cry to Me – Betty HarrisAmazon


26.  Roy Orbison- Mean Woman Blues

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27.  Bob Dylan- Masters Of War

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28.  Ben E. King- I (Who Have Nothing)

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Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 5

Best of 1963 Volume 5 (4/20/06)

1.  The Beatles- I Saw Her Standing There

*Track not available via Amazon


2.  The Rolling Stones- I Wanna Be Your Man

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3.  Del Shannon- Little Town Flirt

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4.  The Beach Boys- Shut Down

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5.  The Rip Chords- Hey Little Cobra

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6.  The Tornadoes- Bustin’ Surfboards

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7.  The Lively Ones- Surf Rider

Buy Surf Rider (LP Version)Amazon


8.  The Rocky Fellers- Killer Joe

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9.  The Rivingtons- The Bird’s The Word

Buy The Bird’s The Word Amazon


10.  Otis Redding- Mary’s Little Lamb

Buy Mary’s Little Lamb ( LP Version )Amazon


11.  Dion- This Little Girl

Buy This Little Girl Amazon


12.  Bob Dylan- The Girl From North Country

Buy Girl From The North Country (2010 Mono Version)Amazon


13.  Solomon Burke- You’re Good For Me

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14.  The Showmen- 39-21-46

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15.  The Chiffons- A Love So Fine

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16.  The Tymes- So Much In Love

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17.  The Duprees- Have You Heard

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18.  Sam Cooke- Smoke Rings

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19.  Johnny “Guitar” Watson- Gangster Of Love

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20.  The Exciters- He’s Got The Power

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21.  Nina Simone- Blackbyrd (Single Version)

*This version not available via Amazon


22.  Dave Dudley- Six Days On The Road

Buy Six Days On The Road – OriginalAmazon


23.  Bobby Bare- 500 Miles Away From Home

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24.  Gene Pitney- Twenty Four Hours From Tulsa

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25.  Smokey Robinson & the Miracles- I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying

Buy I Gotta Dance to Keep from CryingAmazon


26.  The Dovells- You Can’t Sit Down

Buy You Can’t Sit Down Amazon


27.  The Tams- What Kind Of Fool (Do You Think I Am)

Buy What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)Amazon


28.  Darlene Love- Wait Til My Bobby Gets Home

Buy Wait ’til My Bobby Gets Home Amazon

Mixes By Year: Best of 1963 Volume 6

Best of 1963 Volume 6 (12/4/63)

1.  The Beatles- I Want To Hold Your Hand

*Track not available via Amazon


2.  The Searchers- Sweets From My Sweet

Buy Sweets For My Sweet Amazon


3.  Gerry & The Pacemakers- How Do You Do It?

Buy How Do You Do It? (2002 – Remaster)Amazon


4.  The Beach Boys- Catch A Wave

Buy Catch a Wave (2007 – Remaster)Amazon


5.  The Surfaris- Point Panic

Buy Point Panic Amazon


6.  Dick Dale- Hava Nagila

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7.  The Ran-Dells- Martian Hop

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8.  BBC Radiophonic Orchestra- Doctor Who (Original Theme Song)

Buy Doctor Who (Opening Theme)Amazon


9.  Charles Mingus- Track A- Solo Dancer

Buy Track A – Solo Dancer (Stop! Look! And Listen, Sinner Jim Whitney!) (Album Version)Amazon


10.  Sam Cooke- Little Red Rooster

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11.  Gene Chandler- Man’s Temptations

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12.  Ike & Tina Turner- Mojo Queen

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13.  Otis Redding- That’s What My Heart Needs

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14.  Freddie Scott- Hey Girl

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15.  Dorothy Berry- You’re So Fine

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16.  Jan Bradley- Mama Didn’t Lie

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17.  Martha & the Vandellas- A Love Like Yours (Doesn’t Come Knockin’ Every Day)

Buy A Love Like Yours (Don’t Come Knocking Everyday)Amazon


18.  The Raindrops- The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget

Buy The Kind Of Boy You Can’t ForgetAmazon


19.  The Four Pennies- When The Boy’s Happy (The Girl’s Happy Too)

Buy When The Boy’s Happy (The Girl’s Happy Too)Amazon


20.  The Crystals- Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

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21.  The Ronettes- I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

Buy I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa ClausAmazon


22.  Darlene Love- Winter Wonderland

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23.  Bob B. Soxx & The Blue Jeans- Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts

Buy Why Do Lovers Break Each Others HeartsAmazon


24.  Ruby & The Romantics- Our Day Will Come

Buy Our Day Will Come Amazon


25.  Roy Orbison- Falling

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26.  Bob Dylan- I Shall Be Free

Buy I Shall Be Free (2010 Mono Version)Amazon


27.  Bobby Bare- Detroit City

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28.  Skeeter Davis- The End Of The World

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