These were the songs of summer in each year of the 1960s

Get some satisfaction with these huge summer hits from the 1960s by the Everly Brothers, the Association and more.

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Beach Party, the Beach Boys, Batman on a surfboard, drive-ins, hot rods — perhaps no decade is more associated with summer than the 1960s. The 1960s were all about youth, and kids are all about summer.

Of course, there was the Summer of Love in 1967, but each sunny, school-less season was one to adore in the decade of change. Look no further than the Billboard charts, which were a bounty of perfect pop songs, exciting rock & roll, surf guitar, soul and strings. 

With all the girl groups, British Invasion beat bands, psychedelic explorations and grooving R&B cuts, the decade was riddled with riches. So it can be rather difficult to narrow down each summer between 1960 and 1969 to one single song. We went with the charts, looking to see which tracks held on to the top of Hot 100 for the longest time in the summer. Beatlemania and Woodstock immediately come to mind, but these huge hits just might surprise you.

1. 1960: The Everly Brothers, "Cathy's Clown"

The brilliant harmonic duo held No. 1 from Memorial Day through the end of June with this longing love song. Clearly, across the Atlantic, John and Paul were listening closely.

Image: Discogs

2. 1961: Bobby Lewis, "Tossin' and Turnin'"

Overlooked today, this jumping number was a massive smash, dominating the pop charts from mid-July to the end of August. This horn-blasting shuffle from the Indiana-born, Detroit-bred singer would go on to become the best selling single of the year.

Image: Discogs

3. 1962: Ray Charles, "I Can't Stop Loving You"

Ray Charles was a man who could play anything and make it his own. In 1962, the pianist and singer proved the point with his Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. While Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion," which peaked on August 25, was better suited for the beach, this laid-back country cover was as refreshing as a cold glass of sun tea.

Image: Discogs

4. 1963: Kyu Sakamoto, "Sukiyaki"

Teens were riding the wave of surf rock in the summer of 1963, as "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Wipe Out" and "Surf City" spun on radio stations around the country. Yet it would be a true rarity that set records that summer. Japanese crooner Kyu Sakamoto would score one of the few non-English No. 1s in history with "Ue wo Muite Arukō" ("I Look Up as I Walk"). The single was rather insultingly and nonsensically dubbed "Sukiyaki" in America, named after a dish of thinly sliced beef. It topped the charts here for most of June and would sell about 13 million copies worldwide.

Image: Discogs


5. 1964: The Beach Boys, "I Get Around"

The Beach Boys inevitably had their day, scoring their first No. 1 with this. "I Get Around" landed at the top of the charts on July 4, which is perfect for an act as American as baseball and apple pie. The Boys were seen performing the cut in the concert film T.A.M.I. Show that summer.

Image: Discogs

6. 1965: The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"

Literally dreamt up in his sleep, that Keith Richard riff is immortal. The buzzing guitar line still sends shivers. By this point, the British Invasion was in full effect, with Herman's Hermits and the Yardbirds also charting top hits. No beach blanket bingo that summer would have been complete without some American jams, too, especially Sam the Sham and the Pharaoh's "Wooly Bully."

Image: Discogs

7. 1966: The Lovin' Spoonful, "Summer In The City"

Everyone across the country was still "California Dreamin'" with the Mamas and the Papas, but it would be the Lovin' Spoonful that provided the soundtrack to summertime in the city with this bluesy bubblegum hit. People today overlook just how huge this band was.

Image: Discogs

8. 1967: The Association, "Windy"

Atop the charts for most of July — eventually replaced by the Doors and the darker "Light My Fire" — "Windy" is the epitome of breezy pop.

Image: Discogs

9. 1968: Herb Alpert, "This Guy's in Love With You"

Alpert is best known for his perky trumpet and bubbly instrumentals with Tijuana Brass, yet from mid-June to mid-July in 1968 he showed off his pipes by singing this ballad, co-written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David.

Image: Discogs

10. 1969: Zager & Evans, "In The Year 2525"

In the late '60s, images from Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and 2001: A Space Odyssey were still reeling in the minds of youth. So it's no wonder that this sci-fi folk number stayed at No. 1 for six weeks. Only spring hits "Get Back" by the Beatles and hippie anthem "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In" would equal that feat that year.

Image: Discogs

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