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Pop and Rock Chart Archive
and Music Encyclopedia

All Instrumental Top 20 Songs

All the best instrumentals since 1960 including every Pop Top 20 popular instrumental song since 1960, and more, on four pages.
September 1962 through October 1966, page two


Dec 1959
through
Jun 1962
Sep 1962
through
Oct 1966
Oct 1966
through
Jun 1973
Nov 1973
through
present
Hit Rock
Instrumentals

Tune Timeline of Hit Instrumentals


blue # = pop chart

  1 A Swingin' Safari 17   Sep 1962  
  Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Bert Kaempfert.  

  2 Rinky Dink 19   Sep 1962  
  Dave Baby Cortez  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Baby Cortez was later known as Dave Baby Cortez. This song was written by David Clowney.  

  3 Green Onions 2   Sep 1962  
  Booker T. & The MG's  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Green Onions. It was written by: Steve Cropper, Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones, Lewis Steinberg.  

  4 Alley Cat 15   Sep 1962  
  Bent Fabric And His Piano  
    YouTube download at Amazon  

  5 Desafinado 6   Nov 1962  
  Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd  
    YouTube    

  6 I've Got A Woman   Nov 1962  
  Jimmy McGriff  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was a top 20 near miss, and made #34 Cashbox and #20 Billboard. The single was broken up into Part I and Part II on both sides. This song was written by Jimmy McGriff.  

  7 The Lonely Bull (El Solo Torro) 14   Dec 1962  
  The Tijuana Brass Featuring Herb Alpert  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The Lonely Bull featured audio from an actual Mexican bullfight. The song was written by Sol Lachoff. and from album The Lonely Bull.  

  8 Let's Go (pony)   Dec 1962  
  The Routers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was a Pop Top 20 near miss, and made #27 Cashbox and #19 Billboard. This song was written by Larry Duncan and Robert Duncan.  

  9 Telstar 1   Dec 1962  
  The Tornadoes  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Telstar was inspired by the United States launch of the first communications satellite, which provided the first TV broadcasts across the continents. The Tornadoes followed-up Telstar with other instrumental songs that received some radio airplay like Ridin' The Wind and Robot. Telstar was written by Joe Meek.  

  10 Wiggle Wobble 14   Jan 1963  
  Les Cooper And The Soul Rockers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although Wiggle Wobble was the only top 20 hit for Les Cooper And The Soul Rockers, the group received slight radio airplay with other songs like Twistin' (One More Time).
In the 1950s, Les Cooper was a singer with The Empires. Wiggle Wobble was written by Les Cooper.
 

  11 Cast Your Fate To The Wind 4   Feb 1963  
  Vince Guaraldi Trio  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Cast Your Fate To The Wind was a top 20 one hit wonder for Vince Guaraldi, a jazz writer and piano player. The follow-up, Mr. Lucky, received slight airplay. Vince Guaraldi was best known for performing Peanuts themes for movies and TV specials. Cast Your Fate To The Wind was written by Vince Guaraldi.  

  12 Fly Me To The Moon-Bossa Nova 6   Feb 1963  
  Joe Harnell And His Orchestra  
    YouTube    
  This song was written by Bart Howard.  

  13 Wild Weekend 8   Mar 1963  
  The Rebels  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Wild Weekend was the only top 20 hit for The Rebels. The group received some airplay as The Hot-Toddys and as The Rockin' Rebels with songs like Rockin' Crickets and Buffalo Blues. This song was written by Tom Shannon and Phil Todaro.  

  14 Our Winter Love 9   Mar 1963  
  Bill Pursell  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Our Winter Love was the only top 20 hit for piano player Bill Pursell. He followed-up with Loved, which received slight radio airplay. Our Winter Love was written by John Cowell and Bob Tubert.  

  15 Watermelon Man 6   Apr 1963  
  Mongo Santamaria Band  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Herbie Hancock.  

  16 Pipeline 10   Apr 1963  
  Chantay's  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Pipeline was the only top 20 hit for Chantay's. The group followed-up with other songs that received slight radio airplay, like Monsoon. This song was written by Brian Carman and Bob Spickard.  

  17 Memphis 5   Jul 1963  
  Lonnie Mack  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Chuck Berry.  

  18 Wipe Out 2   Aug 1963  
  The Surfaris  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although instrumental song Wipe Out was the only top 20 hit for The Surfaris, the group received some radio airplay with other songs like Surfer Joe. In 1987, Fat Boys And The Beach Boys remade Wipe Out and it hit number 12.  

  19 More (Theme From Mondo Cane) 10   Aug 1963  
  Kai Winding & Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Kai Winding was a pre-rock era trombone player who was featured in many recordings. As a solo artist, he recorded under varied names like, in 1946, Kai's Krazy Kats with the song Loaded. The song was from the movie Mondo Cane. This song was written by Nino Oliviero and Riz Ortolani.  

  20 Maria Elena 10   Nov 1963  
  Los Indios Tabajaras  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Instrumental song Maria Elena was a Mexican song first made popular in 1941 by Jimmy Dorsey And His Orchestra, and a top 20 one hit wonder for Los Indios Tabajaras, who were members of the Brazilian Tabajara tribe. This song was written by Ernesto Lecuona.  

  21 Washington Square 3   Nov 1963  
  The Village Stompers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Washington Square was a park in Greenwich Village, New York City. This song was written by Bob Goldstein and David Shire.  

  22 Out Of Limits 9   Feb 1964  
  The Marketts  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Out Of Limits was originally titled Outer Limits, based on the TV show. The name was changed when the band was sued. Aside from the title, the song itself was influenced by TV show Twilight Zone.  

  23 Java 4   Feb 1964  
  Al Hirt  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The song Java was used as theme music for UK TV show The Benny Hill Show.  

  24 Penetration 18   Mar 1964  
  The Pyramids  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Penetration was the only top 20 hit for The Pyramids.The group received slight airplay with other songs like Midnight Run. This song was written by Steve Leonard.  

  25 Shangri-La 19   May 1964  
  Robert Maxwell His Harp And Orchestra  
    YouTube    
  This song was written by: Matt Halneck, Robert Maxwell, Carl Sigman.  

  26 Cotton Candy 20   Jun 1964  
  Al Hirt  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Russ Damon.  

  27 Walk-Don't Run '64 9   Aug 1964  
  The Ventures  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by John Smith.  

  28 Hawaii Tattoo 11   Jan 1965  
  The Waikikis  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Hawaii Tattoo was the only US hit for Belgian instrumental group The Waikikis. The song was written by Michael Thomas. and from album Hawaii Kai.  

  29 Twine Time 12   Feb 1965  
  Alvin Cash & The Crawlers  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album Twine Time. It was written by Andre Williams and Verlie Rice.  

  30 Red Roses For A Blue Lady 12   Mar 1965  
  Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  In 1949, Red Roses For A Blue Lady was a popular song for Vaughn Monroe With The Moon Maids, and for others like Guy Lombardo. The 1965 Vic Dana version with vocals, coming out just a few weeks before the Bert Kaempfert instrumental version, was a number 12 hit song. This song was written by Roy Brodsky and Sid Tepper.  

  31 Cast Your Fate To The Wind 15   May 1965  
  Sounds Orchestral  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Vincent Guaraldi.  

  32 Soul Sauce (Guacha Guaro) 16   Jun 1965  
  Cal Tjader  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Mostly instrumental song Soul Sauce was a rework of Dizzy Gillespie song Guacha Guaro. Drummer Cal Tjader was a fixture of the San Francisco Latin music scene, working with many famous artists. Soul Sauce, however, was a top 20 one hit wonder. This song was written by Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie.  

  33 A Walk In The Black Forest 15   Jun 1965  
  Horst Jankowski  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Although the instrumental song A Walk In The Black Forest was the only top 20 hit for Horst Jankowski, he was a popular jazz and swing piano player. He received some radio airplay with other songs like his remake of the 1950 Bing Crosby song Play A Simple Melody. A Walk In The Black Forest was written by Horst Jankowski.  

  34 The In Crowd 2   Oct 1965  
  Ramsey Lewis Trio  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Dobie Gray reached number 8 with The In Crowd a few months before Ramsey Lewis Trio made this instrumental version. This song was written by Billy Page.  

  35 A Taste Of Honey 1   Nov 1965  
  Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  A Taste Of Honey won the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year. The song was written by Ric Marlow and Bobby Scott. and from album Whipped Cream & Other Delights.  

  36 Hang On Sloopy 16   Dec 1965  
  The Ramsey Lewis Trio  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  Ramsey Lewis Trio remade the number one song Hang On Sloopy by The McCoys as an instrumental, and reached the top 20 just a few weeks later.  

  37 Harlem Nocturne 20   Dec 1965  
  The Viscounts  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  The instrumental song Harlem Nocturne was the only top 20 hit by The Viscounts. The song was actually a top 20 near miss in 1960, but finally made the top 20 in 1965 The group received some airplay with other songs too, like the popular 1921 Isham Jones And His Orchestra song Wabash Blues.  

  38 No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In) 5   Jan 1966  
  The T-Bones  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  No Matter What Shape was taken from an Alka-Seltzer commercial. This song was written by Granville Burland and Sascha Burland.  

  39 Batman Theme 15   Mar 1966  
  The Marketts  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from TV show Batman. It was written by Neil Hefti.  

  40 The Work Song 18   Jul 1966  
  Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was from album S.R.O.. It was written by Nat Adderly and Oscar Brown Jr..  

  41 Wade In The Water 12   Sep 1966  
  Ramsey Lewis Trio  
    YouTube download at Amazon  
  This song was written by Ramsey Lewis.  


Related Song Features for All Instrumental Top 20 Songs


Top 100 Instrumental Songs

Overall top 100 best instrumental songs since 1960 in popularity order

Top Instrumentals Of The 1960s

1The Theme From A Summer Place
 Percy Faith And His Orchestra
2Wonderland By Night
 Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra
3Exodus
 Ferrante & Teicher
4A Taste Of Honey
 Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass
5Love Is Blue (L'amour Est Bleu)
 Paul Mauriat And His Orchestra
6The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
 Hugo Montenegro
7Last Date
 Floyd Cramer
8Calcutta
 Lawrence Welk
9Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet
 Henry Mancini, His Orchestra And Chorus
10The Stripper
 David Rose And His Orchestra
11Grazing In The Grass
 Hugh Masekela
12Telstar
 The Tornadoes
13Green Onions
 Booker T. & The MG's
14Wipe Out
 The Surfaris
15Walk--Don't Run
 The Ventures
16Stranger On The Shore
 Mr. Acker Bilk
17The In Crowd
 Ramsey Lewis Trio
18Midnight In Moscow
 Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen
19Washington Square
 The Village Stompers
20Apache
 Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitar
21Hey, Leroy, Your Mama's Callin' You
 Jimmy Castor
22The Horse
 Cliff Nobles & Co.
23Soulful Strut
 Young-Holt Unlimited
24Java
 Al Hirt
25Last Night
 The Mar-Keys
26Classical Gas
 Mason Williams
27Time Is Tight
 Booker T. & The MG's
28Because They're Young
 Duane Eddy
29Cast Your Fate To The Wind
 Vince Guaraldi Trio
30Soul Finger
 The Bar-Kays
31No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach's In)
 The T-Bones
32Desafinado
 Stan Getz/Charlie Byrd
33Wheels
 The String-A-Longs
34Memphis
 Lonnie Mack
35One Mint Julep
 Ray Charles
36Soul Twist
 King Curtis And The Noble Knights
37Theme From The Apartment
 Ferrante & Teicher
38Watermelon Man
 Mongo Santamaria Band
39Afrikaan Beat
 Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra
40Out Of Limits
 The Marketts

Instrumental Downloads

Click on the album covers to go
15 best instrumental songs of the 1950s and 1960s. 12 of these were top 20 songs. The other three were big instrumentals too.
 
18 best instrumental songs of the 1960s. 12 are original top 20 songs listed here. The other 7 were all top 20 near miss songs.
 
18 pop-soul best instrumental songs of the 1960s. 15 of these are original top 20 hits listed here. The other three were very popular too.
 
18 best instrumental songs of the 1970s. 14 of these best instrumentals are original top 20 hits listed here.

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