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Music the Week JFK Died
by Alex Cosper (12/17/12)

Sacramento Bee, November 22, 1963

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. Below is a list of songs listed on national charts such as Billboard for the "week ending November 23, 1963." In a rare move, many radio stations, including high energy top 40 stations, flipped to classical or soft instrumental music as the nation mourned the loss. Radio veteran Johnny Hyde spoke of this format shift in a video series about top 40 radio history.

Ironically, Robert Dale Houston, who had the number one hit in America that week called "I'm Leaving It All Up to You" by Dale & Grace, waved to President Kennedy on Main Street just a few moments before the shooting. Houston did not hear the news of the shooting until hours later. The song remained number one on Billboard's Hot 100 the following week before "Dominique," sung in French by the Singing Nun, took the top spot the rest of the year.


Dale & Grace - I'm Leaving It All Up To You
Village Stompers - Washington Square
Impressions - It's All Right
Leslie Gore - She's a Fool
Tommy Roe - Everybody


Nino Temple & April Stevens - Deep Purple
Jimmy Gilmer and the Fireballs - Sugar Shack
Los Indios Tabajaras - Maria Elena
Bobby Bare - 500 Miles Away From Home
Rick Nelson - Fools Rush In
Roy Orbison - Mean Woman Blues
Ray Charles - Busted
Skeeter Davis - I Can't Stay Mad At You
Nat King Cole - That Sunday, That Summer
Sunny & The Sunglows - Talk To Me
Dion DiMuci - Donna the Prima Donna
Ronettes - Be My Baby


Elvis Presley - Bossa Nova Baby
Singing Nun - Dominique
Dixie Belies - (Down at) Papa Joe's
Rufus Thomas - Walking The Dog
Major Lance - Hey Little Girl
Sam Cooke - Little Red Rooster
Robin Ward - Wonderful Summer
Barry & The Tamerlanes - I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight
Chubby Checker - Loddy Lo
Beach Boys - Be True To Your School
Lenny Welch - Since I Fell For You
Kingsmen - Louie Louie
Beach Boys - In My Room


Caravelles - You Don't Have To Be a Baby To Cry
Marvin Gaye - Can I Get a Witness
Dion DiMuci - Drip Drop
Johnny Tillotson - Talk Back Trembling Lips
Duprees - Have You Heard
Jack Jones - Wives and Lovers
Neil Sedaka - Bad Girl
Secrets - The Boy Next Door
Joey Powers - Midnight Mary
Garnet Mimms and the Enchanters - Baby Don't You Weep
Bobby Rydell - Forget Him
Dean and Jean - Tra La La La Suzy
Bobby Vee - Yesterday and You
Freddie Scott - I Got a Woman
Marvelettes - As Long As I Know He's Mine
Essex - She's Got Everything
Sunny and the Sunliners - Rags to Riches
Trini Lopez - Kansas City
Shirley Ellis - The Nitty Gritty
Martha & The Vandellas - Quicksand
Murmaids - Popsicles and Icicles
Betty Everett - You're No Good
Bobby Vinton - There! I've Said It Again
Peter, Paul and Mary - Stewball
Dick and Deedee - Turn Around


Gene Pitney - Twenty-Four Hours From Tulsa
Steve Lawrence - Walking Proud
Al Martino - Living a Lie
Connie Francis - Your Other Love
Lloyd Price - Misty
Angels - I Adore Him
New Christy Minstrels - Saturday Night
Betty Harris - Cry To Me
Mary Wells - You Lost the Sweetest Boy
Dee Dee Sharp - Wild!
Elvis Presley - Witchcraft
Patti LaBelle and the Blue Belles - Down the Aisle
Johnny Cash - The Matador
Orlons - Crossfire!
Miracles - I Gotta Dance To Keep From Crying
Murry Kellum - Long Tall Texan
Kingston Trio - Ally, Ally Oxen Free
Tommy Hunt - I Am a Witness
Dynamics - Mysery


The Byrds - He Was a Friend of Mine
Lou Reed - The Day John Kennedy Died
Bob Dylan - Desolation Row
Beach Boys - Warmth of the Sun
Ry Cooder - President Kennedy
Concrete Blonde - Tomorrow Wendy
Phil Ochs - Crucifixion
Pearl Jam - Brain of J
Was (Not Was) - 11 Miles an Hour
Mickey Hart - Down the Road

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