7 Classic Rock Songs To Summarize 1961

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In 1961, the music scenes managed to develop unique styles and tune. There was various music heard on the radio, films, and TV shows. 1961 marks the early stage of rock n’ roll with rhythm and blues. Here’s our look at 7 Classic Rock Songs To Summarize 1961:


7. The Impressions – Gypsy Woman

Released in 1961 written by Curtis Mayfield in which The Impressions recorded. It was the group’s first single after their lead singer, Jerry Butler departed. The song reached No. 2 on the R&B chart and No. 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.


6. Ray Charles – Hit The Road Jack

The song is originally written by rhythm and blues artist Percy Mayfield. The song became famous when Ray Charles recorded it in 1961 and peaked at number one for two weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.



5. Del Shannon – Runaway

Written by Del Shannon and keyboardist Max Crook. The song became a major international hit in 1961 and a number-one Billboard Hot 100 song. Rolling Stone’s listed it at No. 472 on their 500 Greatest Songs of All Time in 2010. 


4. Roy Orbison – Running Scared

Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson recorded and released in 1961 by Monument Records. The track went number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and also reached No.9 in the UK Singles Chart. 


3. Gary U.S. Bonds – Quarter to Three

Quarter to Three was already a popular song in 1961 written by Gene Barge, Frank Guida, and Joseph Royster and was recorded and sung by Gary U.S. Bonds. The track peaked at number one on  Billboard Hot 100 in the United States for two straight weeks on June 26 of 1961.


2. Dion – The Wanderer

Originally written by Ernie Maresca and recorded by Dion in 1961. Rolling Stones ranked the song at number 243 on their list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.



1. Ben E. King – Stand By Me

King co-wrote the song with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The most popular song in 1961 and has been covered by various acts such as John Lennon, 4 the Cause, and Florence and the Machine to name a few. 400 recorded versions have been performed by many artists.