220px-the_boy_from_new_york_city_ad_libs#14 – The Ad Libs – “The Boy From New York City” – (1964)

This top ten hit – a non-album single – was by The Ad Libs, a soul group from Bayonne, New Jersey. The lead singer was female and the male vocalists backed her in a doo-wop style. Couple that with the uptempo music and you get a really cool sound. This was the groups biggest hit (and yes, it came out in December of 1964).

220px-BeatlesforsaleThe Beatles – “No Reply” – (1964)

Okay, it’s apparently hard to find Beatles songs on YouTube. The video below sort of has the song, broken up by a bunch of weird, racist 60s cartoons. It’s not The Beatles’ best work, but it’s not terrible and is kind of underrated. 

BBXmasCoverThe Beach Boys – “Frosty the Snowman” – (1964)

Gotta love the Beach Boys. They were able to define summer and winter. There are many version of this song, but this is among the best. Why? Because of those vocals! Plus, Christmas music from the 1950s and 1960s is just better. There’s no denying that. And like every Beach Boys song, this song is short – coming in under two minutes.

The Beach Boys – “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” – (1964)

If you love vocal harmonies, then you better love the Beach Boys. This album is soooo good, this song being among the best on it. It has classic Beach Boys harmony but it also has a very 1960s Las Vegas feel to it with light backing brass for most of the song, punctuated by big brass hits here and there. It you want a nostalgic take on an already classic Christmas tune, then this is your song.

#11 – Shirley Bassey – “Goldfinger” – (1964)

This is one of the more well known Bond themes. I have no idea why. Shirley Bassey’s voice is so nerve-grating here that it’s almost unbearable. But you can’t help but keep listening. It’s Shirley Bassey’s signature song and whenever someone mentions this film, I just think of her saying “Golddd fingaaa!”

Vince Guaraldi – “Linus and Lucy” – (1964)

This isn’t technically a Christmas song but the only airplay it gets is every year around Christmastime. It’s famous for this because it appeared in the television special, A Charlie Brown Christmas and also on that soundtrack, in 1965. It’s a well-known piece of music and every time I hear it I picture Schroeder sitting at a mini-piano playing it while all the Peanuts characters dance around him. Some people think that this is the “Peanuts theme” but that’s not really true either, even though it did appear in most of the TV specials. Technically or not, in my mind, this is the song when it comes to Peanuts.

The Beach Boys – “The Man with All the Toys” – (1964)

Gotta love the harmonies here. “He’s the man – bop – with all – bop – the toys – bop.” Or at least I think they’re saying “bop,” I don’t really know. Since its St. Nick’s Day I thought I’d go with “Little Saint Nick” from the same Beach Boys Christmas Album but that song was already posted in our Christmas countdown. This is a nice little, original, song from the Beach Boys and one people seem to like.

#20 – The Beach Boys – “Little Saint Nick” – (1963 – rest of album in ’64)

The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album is one of the better all-Christmas albums ever released by a pop band. That may seem over-qualified, but it’s true – especially if you consider that two of the bigger hits are originals. The other was “The Man With All The Toys.” Their version of “Frosty The Snowman” is quite excellent as is their circus-like version of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.” Note: the videos linked to are all new and very few views, which makes me believe that whoever controls the Beach Boys catalogue is very stringent on the use of their songs – so if you want to hear them, you’d better be quick – they won’t be there for long (if they even still are).