Looking Back At The Most Popular Songs Each Month In The 1960s

Looking Back At The Most Popular Songs Each Month In The 1960s | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Eric Burdon of The Animals - NoMadU55555 / Youtube

Dig out your platform shoes and crank up the record player, because we’re taking a trip down memory lane! The 1960s was a decade bursting with cultural change, and music was right at the forefront.

From the early days of doo-wop and rock and roll to the rise of the British Invasion and the birth of psychedelic rock, the music of the 60s continues to hold a special place in our hearts.

Thanks to the amazing folks at the Top Culture YouTube channel, we have a unique opportunity to relive this musical era on a month-by-month basis. They’ve meticulously curated a list of the most popular songs from each month throughout the 1960s. 

So, get ready to revisit some forgotten gems and sing along to timeless classics – it’s time to see what topped the charts and rocked the airwaves back in the groovy decade!


The year 1960 offered a diverse range of chart-toppers, reflecting the evolving sounds of the decade. Johnny Preston’s “Running Bear” kicked things off with a playful doo-wop vibe, while Mark Dinning’s “Teen Angel” and Jim Reeves’ “He’ll Have To Go” showcased the enduring popularity of ballads.

Orchestral grandeur arrived with Percy Faith’s “Theme From a Summer Place,” a perfect soundtrack for those hot summer days. Elvis Presley, ever the dominant force, secured two #1 hits: the playful “Stuck on You” and the dramatic “It’s Now or Never.” This variety set the stage for a decade filled with musical exploration.

January 1960 – “Running Bear” – Johnny Preston

February 1960 – “Teen Angel” – Mark Dinning

March 1960 – “He’ll Have To Go” – Jim Reeves

April 1960 – “Theme From a Summer Place” – Percy Faith

May 1960 – “Stuck On You” – Elvis Presley

June 1960 – “Cathy’s Clown” – The Everly Brothers

July 1960 – “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” – Connie Francis

August 1960 – “I’m Sorry” – Brenda Lee

September 1960 – “Apache” – The Shadows

October 1960 – “It’s Now Or Never” – Elvis Presley

November 1960 – “Save The Last Dance For Me” – The Drifters

December 1960 – “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – Elvis Presley


1961 saw a shift towards new sounds and rising stars. The dreamy melody of Bert Kaempfert’s “Wonderland By Night” ushered in the new year, while The Shirelles’ “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” introduced a powerful new voice in girl groups. Elvis Presley remained a force, with the sentimental “Wooden Heart” and the dramatic “Surrender” topping the charts.

However, other artists began to make their mark, like Del Shannon with the electrifying rock anthem “Runaway” and Ricky Nelson’s ode to the restless spirit, “Travelin’ Man.” The year closed out with two iconic songs: Ray Charles’ powerful plea, “Hit The Road Jack,” and the playful rock and roll of Dion’s “Runaround Sue.”

January 1961 – “Wonderland By Night” – Bert Kaempfert

February 1961 – “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” – The Shirelles

March 1961 – “Wooden Heart” – Elvis Presley

April 1961 – “Blue Moon” – The Marcels

May 1961 – “Runaway” – Del Shannon

June 1961 – “Surrender” – Elvis Presley

July 1961 – “Travelin’ Man” – Ricky Nelson

August 1961 – “You Don’t Know” – Helen Shapiro

September 1961 – “Take Good Care Of My Baby” – Bobby Vee

October 1961 – “Hit The Road Jack” – Ray Charles

November 1961 – “Runaround Sue” – Dion

December 1961 – “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” – The Tokens


1962 was a year of genre-hopping chart-toppers. The year kicked off with Cliff Richard & The Shadows’ upbeat “The Young Ones,” a sign of the continued popularity of British rock. Elvis Presley remained a dominant force, scoring hits with the romantic ballad “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and the playful novelty tune “Good Luck Charm.” However, the year also saw the rise of new sounds.

Ray Charles’ soulful rendition of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” showcased the power of R&B, while Little Eva’s dance craze anthem “The Loco-Motion” ushered in the era of the girl group. The instrumental phenomenon continued with The Tornados’ space-age themed “Telstar,” while The Four Seasons’ “Sherry” brought a new sophistication to doo-wop. This musical diversity set the stage for a decade of constant evolution and innovation.

January 1962 – “The Young Ones” – Cliff Richards & The Shadows

February 1962 – “Can’t Help Falling In Love” – Elvis Presley

March 1962 – “Hey! Baby” – Bruce Channel

April 1962 – “Wonderful Land” – The Shadows

May 1962 – “Good Luck Charm” – Elvis Presley

June 1962 – “I Can’t Stop Loving You” – Ray Charles

July 1962 – “Roses Are Red (My Love)” – Bobby Vinton

August 1962 – “The Loco-Motion” – Little Eva

September 1962 – “Speedy Gonzales” – Pat Boone

October 1962 – “Sherry” – The Four Seasons

November 1962 – “Telstar” – The Tornados

December 1962 – “Return To Sender” – Elvis Presley


1963 continued the trend of genre-bending chart-toppers. The year opened with the folksy charm of The Rooftop Singers’ “Walk Right In,” a reminder of the enduring appeal of folk music.  However, new sounds were bubbling under the surface. The girl group sound flourished with The Chiffons’ sassy “He’s So Fine” and Lesley Gore’s empowering anthem, “It’s My Party.”  Even Elvis got in on the act with the bluesy swagger of “(You’re The) Devil In Disguise.”

A global influence emerged with Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki,” a Japanese novelty song that became a surprise hit. The year closed with a powerful message of hope from Gerry & The Pacemakers’ “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the unexpected success of Soeur Sourire’s novelty song, “Dominique,” sung by a French nun. 1963 proved that music truly had no borders.

January 1963 – “Walk Right In” – The Rooftop Singers

February 1963 – “Hey Paula” – Paul & Paula

March 1963 – “Summer Holiday” – Cliff Richards & The Shadows

April 1963 – “He’s So Fine” – The Chiffons

May 1963 – “I Will Follow Him” – Little Peggy March

June 1963 – “It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

July 1963 – “Sukiyaki” – Kyu Sakamoto

August 1963 – “(You’re The) Devil In Disguise” – Elvis Presley

September 1963 – “Blue Velvet” – Bobby Vinton

October 1963 – “Sugar Shack” – Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs

November 1963 – “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – Gerry & The Pacemakers

December 1963 – “Dominique” – Soeur Sourire


1964 witnessed a seismic shift in the musical landscape with the arrival of The Beatles. Their infectious melodies and youthful energy dominated the charts for the first half of the year, with “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and “A Hard Day’s Night” all reaching #1. While Beatlemania gripped the world, other artists carved their own space.

Mary Wells’ soulful declaration “My Guy” became a girl group classic, and Peter and Gordon offered a more introspective take on love with “A World Without Love.” The Four Seasons continued their doo-wop reign with “Rag Doll,” while The Animals’ haunting ballad “The House of the Rising Sun” showcased the rise of folk rock. Roy Orbison’s dramatic “Oh, Pretty Woman” and The Supremes’ Motown masterpiece “Baby Love” rounded out the year, proving that 1964 was a year of incredible musical diversity, forever marked by the arrival of the Fab Four.

January 1964 – “She Loves You” – The Beatles

February 1964 – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” – The Beatles

March 1964 – “I Saw Her Standing There” – The Beatles

April 1964 – “Can’t Buy Me Love” – The Beatles

May 1964 – “My Guy” – Mary Wells

June 1964 – “A World Without Love” – Peter and Gordon

July 1964 – “Rag Doll” – The Four Seasons

August 1964 – “A Hard Day’s Night” – The Beatles

September 1964 – “The House Of The Rising Sun” – The Animals

October 1964 – “Oh, Pretty Woman” – Roy Orbison

November 1964 – “Baby Love” – The Supremes

December 1964 – “Mr. Lonely” – Booby Vinton


1965 was a year of dominance by the British Invasion, but also saw the rise of American countercurrents. The Beatles juggernaut continued with chart-topping hits like the driving “I Feel Fine,” the jangly “Eight Days A Week,” and the playful “Ticket to Ride.” However, a new challenger emerged: The Rolling Stones. Their rebellious anthem “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” resonated with a growing youth movement, while their bluesy rocker “The Last Time” offered a grittier alternative to the Beatles’ sound. 

American groups also made their mark. The Byrds reimagined Bob Dylan’s “Mr. Tambourine Man” with folk-rock sensibilities, and Sonny & Cher’s catchy duet “I Got You Babe” captured the carefree spirit of the era. The year ended with two Beatles classics: the introspective ballad “Yesterday” and the psychedelic rock of “Help!,” hinting at the musical explorations to come in the latter half of the decade.

January 1965 – “I Feel Fine” – The Beatles

February 1965 – “Downtown” – Petula Clark

March 1965 – “Eight Days A Week” – The Beatles

April 1965 – “The Last Time” – The Rolling Stones

May 1965 – “Ticket To Ride” – The Beatles

June 1965 – “Mr. Tambourine Man” – The Byrds

July 1965 – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” – The Rolling Stones

August 1965 – “I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

September 1965 – “Help!” – The Beatles

October 1965 – “Yesterday” – The Beatles

November 1965 – “Get Off My Cloud” – The Rolling Stones

December 1965 – “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)” – The Byrds


1966 showcased the growing sophistication of popular music. The Beatles continued to push boundaries, with the optimistic “We Can Work It Out” and the introspective “Nowhere Man” reflecting a more mature sound. However, the competition remained fierce. Petula Clark returned to the top with the elegant ballad “My Love,” while Nancy Sinatra’s sassy anthem “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” became a feminist icon’s anthem.

The emerging sounds of psychedelic rock arrived with The Rolling Stones’ brooding masterpiece “Paint It Black,” a stark contrast to Frank Sinatra’s classic crooning on “Strangers In The Night.” Summer vibes were captured by The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer In The City” and The Supremes’ soulful plea “You Can’t Hurry Love.” The year closed with two innovative works: The Beatles’ whimsical “Yellow Submarine” and The Beach Boys’ groundbreaking psychedelic epic “Good Vibrations,” both hinting at the musical revolution to come.

January 1966 – “We Can Work It Out” – The Beatles

February 1966 – “My Love” – Petula Clark

March 1966 – “These Boots Are Made For Walking” – Nancy Sinatra

April 1966 – “Nowhere Man” – The Beatles

May 1966 – “Monday, Monday” – The Mamas & The Papas

June 1966 – “Paint It Black” – The Rolling Stones

July 1966 – “Strangers In The Night” – Frank Sinatra

August 1966 – “Summer In The City” – The Lovin’ Spoonful

September 1966 – “You Can’t Hurry Love” – The Supremes

October 1966 – “Yellow Submarine” – The Beatles

November 1966 – “Reach Out I’ll Be There” – Four Tops

December 1966 – “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys


1967 was a year of surprising hits and burgeoning movements. Tom Jones’ powerful ballad “Green, Green Grass of Home” kicked off the year, showcasing the continued popularity of traditional pop music. The Monkees, a manufactured pop band for a television show, defied expectations with the catchy “I’m a Believer,” proving their musical merit. The Beatles continued to innovate, with the whimsical charm of “Penny Lane” offering a glimpse into their psychedelic explorations.

A touch of sappy romance entered the charts with Frank Sinatra and Nancy Sinatra’s sweet duet “Somethin’ Stupid.” Meanwhile, the soundscape expanded with Procol Harum’s haunting rock masterpiece “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” a song that redefined the genre’s possibilities. The year closed with another Monkees hit, the upbeat “Daydream Believer,” while the burgeoning counterculture movement found its voice in Scott McKenzie’s anthemic “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair).”

January 1967 – “Gren, Green Grass Of Home” – Tom Jones

February 1967 – “I’m A Believer” – The Monkees

March 1967 – “Penny Lane” – The Beatles

April 1967 – “Somethin’ Stupid” – Frank Sinatra & Nancy Sinatra

May 1967 – “Puppet On A String” – Sandie Shaw

June 1967 – “Silence Is Golden” – The Tremeloes

July 1967 – “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” – Procol Harum

August 1967 – “All You Need Is Love” – The Beatles

September 1967 – “The Letter” – The Box Tops

October 1967 – “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” – Scott McKenzie

November 1967 – “Massachusetts” – Bee Gees

December 1967 – “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees


1968 was a year of contrasts, with established artists sharing the spotlight with new voices. The Beatles remained a dominant force, with the playful “Hello, Goodbye” and the epic ballad “Hey Jude” topping the charts. However, lighter fare also found success, like the novelty song “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band and Bobby Goldsboro’s sentimental ballad “Honey.”

A touch of social commentary emerged with Simon & Garfunkel’s introspective “Mrs. Robinson,” capturing the anxieties of the times. The burgeoning sound of soul music gained wider recognition with Marvin Gaye’s powerful “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” released near the end of the year. This musical diversity set the stage for a year of social and musical revolution.

January 1968 – “Hello, Goodbye” – The Beatles

February 1968 – “Judy In Disguise (With Glasses)” – John Fred And His Playboy Band

March 1968 – “Love Is Blue” – Paul Mauriat

April 1968 – “Lady Madonna” – The Beatles

May 1968 – “Honey” – Bobby Goldsboro

June 1968 – “Mrs. Robinson” – Simon & Garfunkel

July 1968 – “This Guy’s In Love With You” – Herb Alpert

August 1968 – “Mony Mony” – Tommy James And The Shondells

September 1968 – “Harper Valley P.T.A.” – Jeannie C. Riley

October 1968 – “Hey Jude” – The Beatles

November 1968 – “Those Were The Days” – Mary Hopkin

December 1968 – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye


1969 was a year that reflected the changing social and musical landscape. The playful pop of Marmalade’s “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” and the Bee Gees’ introspective ballad “I Started a Joke” kicked off the year. Tommy Roe’s energetic “Dizzy” showcased the enduring popularity of bubblegum pop. However, a new era was dawning. The 5th Dimension’s “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” captured the optimism of the flower power movement, while The Beatles themselves explored social issues with “The Ballad of John and Yoko.”

Technological anxieties surfaced in Zager & Evans’ sci-fi novelty song “In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus).” The Rolling Stones brought back a dose of rock and roll swagger with “Honky Tonk Women,” while Creedence Clearwater Revival’s swampy blues rock with “Bad Moon Rising” offered a different sonic experience. The year ended with two iconic songs: The Archies’ bubblegum pop masterpiece “Sugar, Sugar” and The Beatles’ beautiful ballad “Something,” a testament to the enduring power of melody and songwriting.

January 1969 – “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” – Marmalade

February 1969 – “I Started A Joke” – Bee Gees

March 1969 – “Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

April 1969 – “Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In” – The 5th Dimension

May 1969 – “Get Back” – The Beatles & Billy Preston

June 1969 – “The Ballad Of John And Yoko” – The Beatles

July 1969 – “In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)” – Zager & Evans

August 1969 – “Honky Tonk Women” – The Rolling Stones

September 1969 – “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedence Clearwater Revival

October 1969 – “Sugar, Sugar” – The Archies

November 1969 – “Suspicious Minds” – Elvis Presley

December 1969 – “Something” – The Beatles