#1 Hits In The US In 1964

Almost everyone knows that The Beatles came to the United States in 1964 and became the most popular band of all time. They had 6 #1 singles that year (“I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “She Loves You,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Love Me Do,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” & “I Feel Fine.”)

The Beatles – “I Feel Fine”

But what else was #1 that year? How do the other big hits compare to the ones by The Beatles? I think looking at what else was popular during that year puts the musical revolution that was The Beatles in 1964 in context. Sometimes their early hits can sound quite tame compared to what’s been recorded since. But it’s only in hearing what else was around during that time that you can understand why The Beatles were such an exciting change in popular music in 1964.

Let’s take a listen to some of the #1 hits of ’64 NOT by the Beatles:

Bobby Vinton – “There! I’ve Said It Again”

Bobby Vinton – “Mr Lonely”

The Dixie Cups – “Chapel of Love”

Dean Martin – “Everybody Loves Somebody”

Lorne Greene – “Ringo” (No, not that Ringo.)


#1 Hits In 1963. I think this gives a better idea of the kind of popular music world The Beatles “blew up” in ’64.

9 thoughts on “#1 Hits In The US In 1964

  1. WeeWeeJumbo

    What a revealing post. I wasn’t alive back then so I’ve never really grasped the context of the Beatles’ contemporaries. Against this musical backdrop, the Beatles were *destined* to change everything. Jesus Christ.

  2. Marvin Marks Post author

    DrewBell – fair enough – although that was surely after The Beatles “invasion.” There were some more rocking songs recorded in 1964 as well – but they were all after The Beatles hit. Taking a look at 1963 may be even more informative. I may do that today.

  3. Marvin Marks Post author

    I should also add that I don’t think it’s fair to give The Beatles all of the credit for changing music in the 60s. Obviously folks like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, & Syd Barrett deserve a lot of credit for influencing countless songwriters and musicians since. I’m more trying to get people to understand the landscape that The Beatles arrived in – To understand the context of their early hits. To understand that in it’s way “I Want To Hold Your Hand” was as different in 1964 as “I Am The Walrus” was in 1967. In some ways even more so.

  4. God1

    And just look what those 4 lads did in 6 years.
    Yep- just 6 years- and here we are in 2008 still talking about and enjoying the music.

  5. Numnuts

    Aging myself,I grew up listening to these wonderful hits.
    I remember when the british invasion came to conquer America.They were recording songs that originally were some black hits here in the USA but never got airplay because of the racial times back then.
    Then came the San Fransico Tunes,then the jump back to folk/rock,then to disco hits,then punk rock,then Grundge tunes,then I lost it,Rap & Hip Hop entered the scene. I became old,reffering back to my 45 rpm days of the 50′s

  6. Badfrog

    The Beatles mixed US rock ‘n roll with a big dose of the syrupy German schlagers (hit) music and British skiffel music. The Beatles, as well as the Rolling Stones, the Hollies, and Jimmy Page and Van Morrison all started out in skiffle groups. The Beatles first really coalesced as a group playing in Germany, where they were exposed to schlagers and also to the Frence ye ye movement.

    The European music scene was influenced by their own indigenous folk and pop music scenes as well as by rock ‘n roll, and of course, American “race music” was also influenced by “white” music, which of course was also influenced by the blues and country and western music.

    Saying one race “stole” the music of the other is a circular argument. Blues and gospel were heavily influenced by white church and classical music and the celtic folk traditions, as well as going on to influence and be influenced by country and western music and jazz.

  7. Robert Rainwater

    I was born in 1964, and just wanted to see what songs were hits that year. I knew The Beatles would have hit songs because that’s the year they came to the United States.

  8. doogie

    wow, i didn’t know old crooners like Dean Martin and Bobby Vinton, as well as poppy girl-groups like the Dixie Cups, were still on the pop charts in 1964. i thought that by that point the British Invasion was in full swing because of the Beatles, and that other British bands like the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Animals, the Kinks, etc. were the hot new thing on the charts. but maybe they didn’t pop up on the charts until a year or two later.


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