Tag Archives: The Penguins Earth Angel

post updated; 50s and 60s songs


I have added some new selections.


50’s (and some early 60’s) songs

Have fun.


Roger W. Smith

50’s (and some early 60’s) songs


Music distills, packages, and holds emotion. — Roger W. Smith



My choice of the greatest 1950’s (and some early 1960’s) hit songs — they give me an adrenaline rush — consists of the following:


The Platters

Only You (And You Alone) (1955)


The Diamonds

Little Darlin’ (1957)



The Platters

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (1958)


The Penguins

Earth Angel (1955)



Fred Paris and the Satins (aka The Five Satins)

In the Still of the Night (1956)



The Chantels

Maybe (1957)



The Teddy Bears

To Know Him Is To Love Him (1958)


Dion and the Belmonts

I Wonder Why (1958)


Dion and the Belmonts

A Teenager in Love (1959)



Phil Phillips

Sea of Love (1959)


The Shirelles

Will You Love Me Tomorrow (1960)



Del Shannon

Runaway (1961)



Runaround Sue (1961)


The Ronettes

Be My Baby (1963)


Skeeter Davis

The End of the World (1963)



The Crystals

Da Doo Ron (1963)


The Crystals

Then He Kissed Me (1963)


Lesley Gore

You Don’t Own Me (1963)





What experience or qualifications do I have as a rock or pop music critic? Zero. I heard these tunes over and over again growing up. They kind of get drilled into you and never leave you. The experience is a pleasant one.

Music has a place in practically everyone’s lives. I know, it’s a cliché. But popular music proves this is true.

Your armchair critic feels that the following was true of musical developments of my youth. That the first popular music I recall hearing, on the radio, consisted of Hit Parade tunes such as “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window” and “Love and Marriage” that were INSIPID, if catchy. Things changed — undeniably for the better — when rock and roll and doo wop came along. Rock music got worse in the Sixties, I feel — it’s probably a minority opinion. The singers were worse and the music was less emotionally engaging.

Enjoy the tunes. And my thoughts, if you care, for whatever they’re worth.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   January 2019; updated April 2022



Addendum: Black singers and groups and the musical styles they seemed to have learned early on — or imbibed, so to speak — had a particular importance. It’s no accident, I feel, that they wrote and performed so many of the best songs. Lead tenor Tony Williams of the Platters is in a class by himself. His voice is spellbinding.