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henry mancini
60s Instrumental Hits
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Do you remember the sixties? I do. I have put together a list of the best instrumentals for the decade of the sixties. I remember many of these great hits while going to high school and serving in the military. Some of these songs became background music for some great TV commercials.

This list was compiled by using the following formula: The highest position reached on the charts, number of weeks in the peak position, number of weeks in the top 10, number of weeks in the top 40, and finally the total number of weeks charted.

Here is the list of the top 100 greatest instrumental hits of the 60s. The list shows the rank, title, artist, peak position () and the year the record reached the peak position.

  1. The Theme From A Summer Place/Percy Faith (1) 1960
  2. Love Is Blue/Paul Mauriat (1) 1968
  3. Wonderland By Night/Bert Keampfert (1) 1961
  4. Telstar/The Tornadoes (1) 1962
  5. Calcutta/Lawrence Welk (1) 1961
  6. Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet/Henry Mancini (1) 1969
  7. Grazing In The Grass/Hugh Mesekela (1) 1968
  8. Stranger On The Shore/Acker Bilk (1) 1962
  9. The Stripper/David Rose (1) 1962
  10. Last Date/Floyd Cramer (2) 1960
  11. The Horse/Cliff Nobles & Co. (2) 1968
  12. Classical Gas/Mason Williams (2) 1968
  13. Apache/Jorgen Ingmann (2) 1961
  14. Exodus/Ferrante & Teicher (2) 1961
  15. Walk Don't Run/The Ventures (2) 1960
  16. Wipeout/The Surfaris (2) 1963
  17. The Good The Bad And The Ugly/Hugo Montenegro (2) 1968
  18. Midnight In Moscow/Kenny Ball (2) 1962
  19. Washington Square/The Village Stompers (2) 1963
  20. Wheels/The String-A-Longs (3) 1961
  21. Last Night/Mar-Keys (3) 1961
  22. Out Of Limits/The Marketts (3) 1964
  23. Green Onions/Booker T & The MG's (3) 1962
  24. No Matter What Shape/The T-Bones (3) 1966
  25. Pipeline/Chantay's (4) 1963
  26. Because They're Young/Duane Eddy (4) 1960
  27. Java/Al Hurt (4) 1964
  28. On The Rebound/Floyd Cramer (4) 1961
  29. Yellow Bird/Arthur Lyman Group (4) 1961
  30. Hawaii Five-O/The Ventures (4) 1969
  31. The "In" Crowd/Ramsey Lewis Trio (5) 1965
  32. Memphis/Lonnie Mack (5) 1963
  33. Time Is Tight/Booker T & The MG's (6) 1969
  34. Maria Elena/Los Indois Tabajaras (6) 1963
  35. The Lonely Bull/Herb Alpert (6) 1962
  36. Taste Of Honey/Herb Alpert (7) 1965
  37. Alley Cat/Bent Fabric (7) 1962
  38. Let There Be Drums/Sandy Nelson (7) 1961
  39. Mexico/Bob Moore (7) 1961
  40. One Mint Julep/Ray Charles (8) 1961
  41. Walk Don't Run 64/The Ventures (8) 1964
  42. More/Kai Winding (8) 1963
  43. Wild Weekend/The Rebels (8) 1963
  44. Asia Minor/Kokomo (8) 1961
  45. Tonight/Ferrante & Teicher (8) 1961
  46. San Antonio Rose/Floyd Cramer (8) 1961
  47. Hang 'Em High/Booker T & The MG's (9) 1969
  48. White Silver Sands/Bill Black's Combo (9) 1960
  49. Our Winter Love/Bill Pursell (9) 1963
  50. Theme From The Apartment/Ferrante & Teicher (10) 1960
  51. Watermelon Man/Mongo Santamaria (10) 1963
  52. Caste Your Fate To The Wind/Sounds Orchestral (10) 1965
  53. Rinky Dink/Dave "Baby" Cortez (10) 1962
  54. Percolator (Twist)/Billy Joe & The Checkmates (10) 1962
  55. Red Roses For A Blue Lady/Bert Keampfert (11) 1965
  56. Mercy, Mercy, Mercy/Cannonball Adderley (11) 1967
  57. Hang On Sloopy/Ramsey Lewis Trio (11) 1965
  58. Don't Be Cruel/Bill Black's Combo (11) 1960
  59. Zorba The Greek/Herb Alpert (11) 1966
  60. A Walk Through The Black Forest/Horst Jankowski (12) 1965
  61. Quentin's Theme/Charles Randolph Grean Sounde (13) 1969
  62. Tracy's Theme/Spencer Ross (13) 1960
  63. A Swingin Safari/Billy Vaughn (13) 1962
  64. Twine Time/Alvin Cash & The Crawlers (14) 1965
  65. Fly Me To The Moon Bossa Nova/Joe Harnell (14) 1963
  66. Shangri-La/Robert Maxwell (15) 1964
  67. Desafinado/Stan Getz (15) 1962
  68. Wonderland By Night/Louis Prima (15) 1961
  69. Cotton Candty/Al Hurt (15) 1964
  70. Beatnik Fly/Johnny & The Hurricanes (15) 1960
  71. Perfidia/Ventures (15) 1960
  72. Music To Watch Girls By/Bob Crewe Generation (15) 1967
  73. Baby Scratch My Back/Slim Harpo (16) 1966
  74. Keem-O-Sabe/Electric Indian (16) 1969
  75. Blue Tango/Bill Black's Combo (16) 1960
  76. Tuff/Ace Cannon (17) 1962
  77. Soul Twist/King Curtis (17) 1962
  78. Smokie Part 2/Bill Black's Combo (17) 1960
  79. Batman Theme/The Marketts (17) 1966
  80. Soul Finger/Bar-Kays (17) 1967
  81. Soul Limbo/Booker T & The MG's (17) 1968
  82. The Work Song/Herb Alpert (18) 1966
  83. Josephine/Bill Black's Combo (18) 1960
  84. Pepe/Duane Eddy (18) 1961
  85. Penetration/Pyramids (18) 1964
  86. Wade In The Water/Ramsey Lewis Trio (19) 1966
  87. Never On Sunday/Don Costa (19) 1960
  88. Let's Go/Routers (19) 1962
  89. Look For A Star/Billy Vaughn (19) 1960
  90. Bonanza/Al Calola (19) 1961
  91. I've Got A Woman Part 1/Jimmy McGriff (20) 1962
  92. I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman/Whistling Jack Smith (20) 1967
  93. Hearts Of Stone/Bill Black's Combo (20) 1961
  94. Groovin'/Booker T & The MG's (21) 1967
  95. Mr. Lucky/Henry Mancini (21) 1960
  96. Walk On The Wild Side Part 1/Jimmy Smith (21) 1962
  97. Bumble Boogie/B. Bumble & The Stingers (21) 1961
  98. Last Date/Lawrence Welk (21) 1960
  99. Wiggle Wobble/Les Cooper (22) 1963
  100. Caste Your Fate To The Wind/Vince Guaraldi Trio (22) 1963

If you were like me, I was quite surprised by this list. Maybe you have the same reaction. These are great songs in their own right. To make this list the song had to rank nationally in the top 40 which is quite a feat. Hopefully you have many of these songs in your collection.

If this list was of interest to you I have a list of the top 100 fifties instrumentals.

Happy listening!


Street Talk

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