This week in music: 1960 Running Bear

This week in music: 1960 Running Bear

(KFVS) - Let's head back to the swingin' 1960's.

Let's check out the records the DJ's were spinning on this week 58 years ago.

For the final week of January in 1960, Billboard Magazine's Hot 100 had Freddie Cannon at number five with Way Down Yonder in New Orleans. The song dates all the way back to 1922.  It would peak at number three in both the U.S. and Great Britain and was the biggest hit of Cannon's career.

Get this! Three of the top five songs this week feature someone dying tragically.  At number four was Teen Angel by Mark Dinning.  It tells the story of a teen couple whose car stalls on a set of railroad tracks with a train approaching.  They manage to get out of the car, but the girl rushes back inside as the train hits the car.  In the final lines of the song, the girl's body is found with the boy's high school class ring clutched tightly in her fist. Apparently she went back in the car to retrieve the ring.

Frankie Avalon was at number three with Why which was a former number one song.  In fact during it's chart run it was the final number one of the 1950's and the first number one of the 1960's.

Another one of those songs with a tragic ending was in the number two spot.  El Paso by Marty Robbins tells the story of a cowboy, his love for a Mexican girl named Feleena and a gunfight.  The song ends with the cowboy being fatally shot by a posse and dying in the arms of Feleena.  The song features a Spanish guitar which gives distinctive Tex-Mex feel.  El Paso won Robbins a Grammy Award and is his best known song.  If you're a Breaking Bad fan, the song was featured in the series' final episode.

And in the top spot for this week in 1960 was another one of those songs which ends in tragedy.  Running Bear by Johnny Preston tells the story of  a "young Indian brave", and Little White Dove, an "Indian maid".  Their two tribes were enemies which prevented them from being together.  They end up jumping into a raging river to unite.   After sharing a kiss, they are pulled under the water by the swift current and drown.  But after their deaths, they were always together in the "happy hunting ground."

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