Wednesday, March 10, 2010


It's a pretty simple question: Which songs have made the Top Forty in three different decades? Casey Kasem isn't around to answer these kinds of things any more, but I'm happy to handle this for you.

First of all, I found two songs that made the Top Forty in four different decades. These are:

"Everlasting Love"
Robert Knight, 1967
Carl Carlton, 1974
Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet, 1981
Gloria Estefan, 1995

"The Way You Do the Things You Do"
Temptations, 1964
Rita Coolidge, 1978
Hall and Oates, 1985 (in a medley with "My Girl")
UB40, 1990

I wouldn't have thought there were any four-decade hits, but then again, I also wouldn't have thought there were this many three-decade hits, either. And this list may not be complete.

I'm going to put my notes up here, in case you're "too busy" to read the whole list. It's funny how many names repeat here; Cheap Trick, Lloyd Price and Bette Midler all show up twice, as does Bill Black's Combo. Also, I made the executive decision to not count re-released versions of the same song, but that didn't prevent "Stand by Me" from making the list.

The newest song on the list is "Baby, I Love Your Way," which first charted in 1976. The biggest hit, however you want to measure it, is "The Loco-Motion," which went to Number One in the 1960s, Number One in the 1970s, and Number Three in the 1980s. Here's my full list:

"Ain't That a Shame"
Fats Domino, 1955
Pat Boone, 1955
Four Seasons, 1963
Cheap Trick, 1979

"All I Have to Do Is Dream"
Everly Brothers, 1958
Richard Chamberlain, 1963
Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry, 1970

"Baby, I Love Your Way"
Peter Frampton, 1976
Will to Power (medley with "Free Bird"), 1988
Big Mountain, 1994

"Can't Help Falling in Love"
Elvis Presley, 1962
Corey Hart, 1987
UB40, 1993

Sam Cooke, 1961
Johnny Nash, 1970
Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1976
The Spinners, 1980 (medley with "I've Loved You for a Long Time")

"Daddy's Home"
Shep and the Limelites, 1961
Jermaine Jackson, 1973
Cliff Richard, 1982

"Deep Purple"
Billy Ward and His Dominoes, 1957
Nino Tempo and April Stevens, 1963
Donny and Marie Osmond, 1976

"Do You Want to Dance"
Bobby Freeman, 1958
Beach Boys, 1965
Bette Midler, 1973

"Don't Be Cruel"
Elvis Presley, 1956
Bill Black's Combo, 1960
Cheap Trick, 1988

"Hearts of Stone"
Fontane Sisters, 1955
The Charms, 1955
Bill Black's Combo, 1961
Blue Ridge Rangers, 1973

"Hey There Lonely Girl (Boy)"
Ruby and the Romantics, 1963
Eddie Holman, 1970
Robert John, 1980

"I Only Want to Be With You"
Dusty Springfield, 1964
Bay City Rollers, 1976
Samantha Fox, 1989

"It's All in the Game"
Tommy Edwards, 1958
Cliff Richard, 1964
The Four Tops, 1970

"Last Kiss"
J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers, 1964
Wednesday, 1974
Pearl Jam, 1999

"Little Bitty Pretty One"
Thurston Harris, 1957
Clyde McPhatter, 1962
Jackson 5, 1972

"The Loco-Motion"
Little Eva, 1962
Grand Funk, 1974
Kylie Minogue, 1988

Johnny Mathis, 1959
Lloyd Price, 1963
Ray Stevens, 1975

"Stagger Lee"
Lloyd Price, 1959
Wilson Pickett, 1967
Tommy Roe, 1971

"Stand by Me"
Ben E. King, 1961
Spyder Turner, 1967
John Lennon, 1975
Mickey Gilley, 1980
Ben E. King, 1986

Kyu Sakamoto, 1963
A Taste of Honey, 1981
4 P.M., 1995

"Summertime Blues"
Eddie Cochran, 1958
Blue Cheer, 1968
The Who, 1970

Domenico Modugno, 1958
Dean Martin, 1958
Bobby Rydell, 1960
Al Martino, 1975

"When a Man Loves a Woman"
Percy Sledge, 1966
Bette Midler, 1980
Michael Bolton, 1991

"Wild World"
Cat Stevens, 1971
Maxi Priest, 1989
Mr. Big, 1993

"Without Love (There Is Nothing)"
Clyde McPhatter, 1957
Ray Charles, 1963
Tom Jones, 1970

"You're All I Need to Get By"
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, 1968
Aretha Franklin, 1971
Tony Orlando and Dawn, 1975
Method Man with Mary J. Blige, 1995


  1. I thought you had have left out "Since I Don't Have You" (Skyliners 1959, Don McLean 1981, Guns N' Roses 1993), but the GN'R version stalled at #69.

  2. And Art Garfunkel took it to Number 53 in 1979, meaning it was almost a four-bagger.

  3. for what it's worth... "I Only Want To Be With You" was also covered by "The Tourists" (featuring Annie Lennox) a predecessor to the Eurythmics.

    cool post.

  4. I think I like the Tourists more than I like Eurythmics.