Classic singles that still sound great, and props for a Motown legend...

(Courtesy of Capitol Records)

10/17/1964 (53 years ago today) - Actually, the song was first recorded by a group called The Exciters, but it was Manfred Mann's version of "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" that started a two week run at No. 1 on the U.S. chart (with a little help from the burgeoning British Invasion, and perhaps the first No. 1 with a "Nonsense Song Title"?) -- It knocked Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman" out of the top spot, and was not related in any way to "Diddy Wah Diddy", which was also a mighty cool, catchy classic (first done back in 1956 and written by blues masters Willie Dixon and Bo Diddley) -- By the way, that band The Exciters had a big hit with "Tell Him" in 1962 (oh, you know it, Linda Ronstadt scored with it too, in 1982) and none other than the one and only Captain Beefheart got on the charts {talk about rarities!} with his cover of "Diddy Wah Diddy" in 1966! Lots goin' here, I know, guess that's enough for now...

10/17/1970 (47 years ago today) - Impressive stats: The Jackson Five kick off five weeks in a row at No. 1 with the classic single "I'll Be There", their fourth Number One of the year! Motown claimed that by the end of 1970, The J 5 had sold over 10 million records! Whether that was true or not, the group was mega-mega-hot at this point in their career -- The other No. 1's were equally classic: "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save", followed by two more chart-toppers, 1971's "Never Can Say Goodbye" and "Dancing Machine" (1974) -- Looks like you can't really go wrong with a Jackson Five "Greatest Hits" collection, is what we're saying...

10/17/2008 (9 years ago today) - He had one of the best voices in all of Motown: Four Tops lead singer Levi Stubbs passed away at his home in Detroit, after a long bout with cancer and various other health ailments that forced him to stop touring in 2000; he was 72 years old. Some of the classics that feature Levi on lead vocal include "Baby I Need Your Loving", "Reach Out I'll Be There", "It's The Same Old Song", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love", "Bernadette" and one of the best reasons for being a human being on Planet Earth, "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)". Nice stuff indeed...

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"When you snap your finger or wink your eye/I come a-running to you...", xoxo!