220px-Elvis_presley_nowornever#2 – Elvis Presley – “It’s Now or Never” – (1960)

Oh well, this single was released in the middle of 1960. It’s Elvis’ second-best-selling single and one of the biggest singles of all time. I consider it to be the greatest vocal performance there is. It’s based on “O Sole Mio,” the famous Italian song. A #1 hit, it is said the song was written in about 30 minutes.

220px-At_Last_-_Etta_James#6 – Etta James – “At Last” – (1960)

This is one of the greatest songs of all time. It’s Etta’s signature song but was originally written for a movie in 1941 where it was performed by Glenn Miller. It only reached #47 on the Hot 100, but it’s since been enshrined in the Grammy Hall of Fame and in wedding videos from coast to coast.

R-3031020-1312499893.jpeg#15 – Jorgen Ingmann – “Apache” – (1960)

Released in November of 1960, this song hit #2 on the Hot 100 in 1961. Written by Jerry Lorden, the song was originally recorded by Bert Weedon and later The Shadows, but Ingmann (who is Danish), had the biggest hit with it. It was later heavily sampled by The Sugarhill Gang and then their song was sampled by Sir Mix-A-Lot’s “Jump on It.” This is the rock instrumental that keeps on giving.

R-2777265-1342084633-6089.jpeg#16 – Neil Sedaka – “Calendar Girl” – (1960)

Neil Sedaka released this single at the tail end of 1960. It climbed the charts, peaking at #4 and becoming his first top five single.

R-4051077-1353605320-5137.jpeg#17 – The Church Street Five – “A Night With Daddy ‘G'” – (1960)

If this sounds pretty familiar, it’s because Gary U.S. Bonds pretty much straight took it and turned it into “Quarter to Three” – but he was nice enough to leave a lyric in there about dancing with “the Church Street Five.” It’s a funky, upbeat instrumental. This band is relatively obscure compared to Bonds.

#13 – Brenda Lee – “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – (1960)

Yeah, so this was in Home Alone as well. But who doesn’t love the guitar in this song? It’s so singular in nature and every time I hear it I picture a cardboard cut-out of Michael Jordan riding a miniature train set around a window – in silhouette of course. Also featured prominently in Home Alone (which has to be the greatest movie soundtrack as far as Christmas music goes) was “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” I think the version from the movie might have been by Mel Torme, but I prefer the Judy Garland original. And, although I don’t much care for it – even though everyone else seems to – I feel compelled to at least mention the 1953 cult-hit “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by then 10-year-old Gayla Peevey.