Sunday, December 31, 2006

Virgin Radio: Top 100 Songs

Virgin Radio:

Top 100 Songs

Virgin Radio has done listeners’ polls to determine the Top 100 Tracks/Songs of All Time. Here is an exclusive Dave’s Music Database in which three of those lists have been consolidated into an aggregate list. See the sources at the bottom of the page.

Monday, December 25, 2006

R.I.P. James Brown: His Top 50 Songs

James Brown

Top 50 Songs

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, was born on May 3, 1933. With more than 130 charted hits, he became one of the most successful artists in history. According to Dave’s Music Database, he ranks at #13 on the list of the top acts of all time. He is also rated as the #5 R&B acts of all time.

Brown passed away on Christmas Day in 2006. In celebration of what would have been his 79th birthday, here is a list of Brown’s top 50 songs of all time as determined by an aggregate of multiple best-of lists, sales figures, chart data, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on the Billboard R&B charts (#1 RB) are noted, as are two songs which are ranked by Dave’s Music Database in the top 1000 songs of all time (DMDB 1000) and another three which are in the Grammy Hall of Fame (GHoF).

While this list focuses on songs, it should also be noted that Brown’s 1962 album, Live at the Apollo Volume 1, ranks as one of the top 100 albums of all time and at #1 on the DMDB’s list of the top live albums of all time.

For a complete list of this act’s DMDB honors, check out the DMDB Music Maker Encyclopedia entry.

Click here to see other acts’ best-of lists.


Top 50 Songs

Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists, appearances on compilations and live albums by the featured act, and songs’ chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards. Songs which hit #1 on various charts are noted. (Click for codes to singles charts.)

1. I Got You (I Feel Good) (1965) #1 RB
2. Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (1965) #1 RB
3. Get Up, I Feel Like Being a Sex Machine (1970)
4. It’s a Man Man’s Man’s World (1966) #1 RB
5. Please, Please, Please (1956)
6. Living in America (1985)
7. Cold Sweat (1967) #1 RB
8. Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud (1968) #1 RB
9. The Payback (1974) #1 RB
10. Prisoner of Love (1963)

11. Lost Someone (1961)
12. Get on the Good Foot (1972) #1 RB
13. Night Train (1962)
14. I Got the Feelin’ (1968) #1 RB
15. Mother Popcorn (You Got to Have a Mother for Me) (1969) #1 RB
16. Bewildered (1961)
17. Super Bad (1970) #1 RB
18. Hot Pants (1971) #1 RB
19. Bring It Up (1967)
20. Give It Up or Turnit a Loose (1969) #1 RB

21. Licking Stick Licking Stick (1968)
22. Make It Funky (1971) #1 RB
23. My Thang (1974) #1 RB
24. Funky Drummer (1970)
25. Talking Loud and Saying Nothing (1972) #1 RB
26. let a Man Come in and Do the Popcorn (Part 1) (1969)
27. I Don’t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (1969)
28. Papa Don’t Take No Mess (1974) #1 RB
29. Out of Sight (1964)
30. It’s a New Day (1970)

31. I Got Ants in My Pants (1973)
32. I Can’t Stand Myself When You Touch Me (1967)
33. Oh Baby, Don’t You Weep (1964)
34. Soul Power (1971)
35. Ain’t It Funky Now (1969)
36. Brother Rapp (1970)
37. Get Up Offa That Thing (1976)
38. I’m a Greedy Man (1971)
39. There Was a Time (1968)
40. Get Up, Get into It, Get Involved (1970)

41. Goodbye My Love (1968)
42. World (1969)
43. The Popcorn (1969)
44. King Heroin (1972)
45. Escape-ism (1971)
46. Get It Together (1967)
47. I Got a Bag of My Own (1972)
48. There It Is (1972)
49. Honky Tonk (1972) 50. Think (1960)

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 5/3/2012; last updated 6/5/2022.

Friday, December 8, 2006

50 years ago: “Singing the Blues” hit #1 on pop charts for first of 10 weeks

Singing the Blues

Marty Robbins

Writer(s): Melvin Endsley (see lyrics here)

First Charted: September 22, 1956

Peak: 17 US, 17 HP, 113Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): --

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 1.01 video, -- streaming

Singing the Blues

Guy Mitchell

First Charted: October 20, 1956

Peak: 110 US, 17 HP, 19 CB, 18 HR, 13 UK, 16 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 2.66 video, 1.91 streaming

Awards (Robbins):

Click on award for more details.

Awards (Mitchell):

About the Song:

For a man who became “one of country music’s most unique stars,” AC Marty Robbins surprisingly didn’t show much interest in music until after entering the Navy. He started learning guitar while on a ship in the Pacific and when he got home to Phoenix, Airzona, he persuaded an old friend who owned a night club to let him sit in with the house band. After getting a chance to sing, he became a regular headliner at the club. He started charting country hits in 1952, but four years later he had only six chart entries. He had a “tremendous voice and boundless energy” AC but “didn’t know who he wanted to be” AC which kept him from narrowing in a specific direction or style.

Around this time, songwriter Melvin Endsley had dreams of coming to Nashville and writing hits for Hank Williams. After Williams’ death, Endlsey said, “In all honesty, I still was writing songs for him after he died.” AC When he and a friend drove to Nashville in the summer of 1955, he naively dreamed of hitting it big, not realizing “that a country boy just didn’t drive into town, sell a big song and become a star. That only happened in the movies.” AC

However, Endsley and his friend went to a show and ran into Marty Robbins. Ensley said he’d written some songs and Robbins asked him to play some. He then asked him to come to the studio the next day to record. Robbins asked him to hold one song – “Singing the Blues” – for six months because he thought he might like to record it. A year later, Robbins released it as a single and it dethroned Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”/”Don’t Be Cruel” single from the top of the country charts.

Two months after that, a Detroit-born singer named Guy Mitchell covered the song and took it to #1 on the pop charts. He racked up nine top-ten hits from 1950 to 1960, including “Heartaches by the Number,” another #1 version of a song which was originally a country hit. Around the same time as Robbins and Mitchell’s takes on the song, Tommy Steele also released it and – like Robbins’ version – hit #1 in the UK.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Guy Mitchell
  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Marty Robbins
  • AC Ace Collins (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group. Pages 97-99.
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 8/27/2022.