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Top 100 Instrumental Songs
The overall best instrumentals in popularity order.

Top Instrumentals of the 1960s
60's Instrumentals in popular order
other decades: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s

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


Instrumental Downloads
Click on the pictures 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.



jamberry nails


     

All Instrumental Top 20 Songs

Every top 20 popular instrumental song since 1960,
December 1959 - June 1962, page 1 of 4
Dec 1959
through
Jun 1962
blue # = pop chart
     
  1. 5
     
    Dec 1959
     
       
     
    In The Mood by Ernie Field's Orchestra listen
    In The Mood by Ernie Field's Orchestra listen
    find a song
     
     
    In The Mood was originally made popular in 1940 by Glenn Miller And His Orchestra. Ernie Fields followed-up his version with other instrumental remakes, but his version of In The Mood was a top 20 one hit wonder.
     
     
  2. Smokie - Part 2

     
    Jan 1960
     
       
     
    Smokie - Part 2 by Bill Black's Combo listen
    Smokie - Part 2 by Bill Black's Combo listen
    find a song
     
     
    Smokie was broken up into parts one and two on the single record. Part two was the famous part. This song was written by Bill Black.
     
     
  3.  
    Feb 1960
     
       
     
    The Theme From A Summer Place by Percy Faith And His Orchestra listen
    The Theme From A Summer Place by Percy Faith And His Orchestra listen
    find a song
     
     
    Well into the rock era, band leader Percy Faith brought this orchestra instrumental to number one. The song became the top song of the year 1960, top song of the decade, and won Grammy Awards for both Song and Record Of The Year. The song also became a Christmas classic. There were many instrumental and vocal versions, including some by Percy Faith himself. This song was from the movie A Summer Place. This song was written by Max Steiner.
     
     
  4. Tracy's Theme

     
    Feb 1960
     
     
    Spencer Ross
     
     
    Tracy's Theme by Spencer Ross listen
    Tracy's Theme by Spencer Ross listen
    find a song
     
     
    Tracy's Theme was an instrumental from the television production of Philadelphia Story. Spencer Ross took his stage name from the characters. The song was featured as the back side of the single The Theme From A Summer Place by Percy Faith. Spencer Ross became a top 20 one hit wonder. Tracy's Theme was written by Robert Ascher.
     
     
  5. Beatnik Fly

     
    Mar 1960
     
     
    Johnny And The Hurricanes
     
     
    Beatnik Fly by Johnny And The Hurricanes listen
    Beatnik Fly by Johnny And The Hurricanes listen
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    Jimmy Crack Corn was an American folk song from before the US Civil War. The song was repopularized in 1948 by Burl Ives And The Andrews Sisters as Blue Tail Fly. Johnny And The Hurricanes updated the song for the rock era, removing the words and changing the title. The writer of this traditional song is uncertain.
     
     
  6.  
    Apr 1960
     
       
     
    White Silver Sands by Bill Black's Combo listen
    White Silver Sands by Bill Black's Combo listen
    find a song
     
     
    Bill Black took his instrumental remake of White Silver Sands to number 13. The vocal version of White Silver Sands was a 1957 number 11 hit for Don Rondo.
     
     
  7. Because They're Young

     
    Jul 1960
     
       
     
    Because They're Young by Duane Eddy listen
    Because They're Young by Duane Eddy listen
    find a song
     
     
    This song was from movie Because They're Young. It was written by: Don Costa, Wally Gold, Aaron Schroeder.
     
     
  8.  
    Jul 1960
     
       
     
    Josephine by Bill Black's Combo listen
    Josephine by Bill Black's Combo listen
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    This song was written by: Burke Bivens, Gus Kahn, Wayne King.
     
     
  9.  
    Aug 1960
     
     
    Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra
     
     
    Look For A Star by Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra listen
    Look For A Star by Billy Vaughn And His Orchestra listen
    find a song
     
     
    This instrumental version of Look for A Star was a top 20 near miss here, but made #13 Cashbox and #19 Billboard both of which included sales data. The song was from the movie Circus Of Horrors. This song was written by Tony Hatch.
     
     
  10. Walk--Don't Run

     
    Sep 1960
     
     
    The Ventures
     
     
    Walk--Don't Run by The Ventures listen
    Walk--Don't Run by The Ventures listen
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    Instrumental song Walk--Don't Run was released in 1959. It became popular the next year. This song was written by John Smith.
     
     
  11. Theme From The Apartment

     
    Sep 1960
     
       
     
    Theme From The Apartment by Ferrante & Teicher listen
    Theme From The Apartment by Ferrante & Teicher listen
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    Theme From The Apartment was originally titled Jealous Lover. The name was changed when the instrumental song was used for the movie The Apartment. This song was written by Charles Williams.
     
     
  12.  
    Oct 1960
     
     
    Don Costa
     
     
    Never On Sunday by Don Costa listen
    Never On Sunday by Don Costa listen
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    Never On Sunday was an instrumental from the movie Never On Sunday. It was a top 20 one hit wonder. A few weeks earlier, Don Costa had a top 20 near miss with another instrumental movie score, Theme From The Unforgiven (The Need For Love).
     
     
  13.  
    Nov 1960
     
       
     
    Don't Be Cruel by Bill Black's Combo listen
    Don't Be Cruel by Bill Black's Combo listen
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    Don't Be Cruel was an instrumental remake of the 1956 song by Elvis Presley. The song was written by Otis Blackwell. and from album Solid And Raunchy.
     
     
  14. Last Date

     
    Dec 1960
     
       
     
    Last Date by Floyd Cramer listen
    Last Date by Floyd Cramer listen
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    This song was written by Floyd Cramer.
     
     
  15.  
    Dec 1960
     
       
     
    Wonderland By Night by Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra listen
    Wonderland By Night by Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra listen
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    This original instrumental version of Wonderland By Night was one of three top 20 versions in about a year, including a vocal version by Anita Bryant.
     
     
  16. Blue Tango

     
    Dec 1960
     
       
     
    Blue Tango by Bill Black's Combo listen
    Blue Tango by Bill Black's Combo listen
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    Blue Tango was a popular 1952 song by Leroy Anderson And His Orchestra. This song was written by Leroy Anderson and Mitchell Parrish.
     
     
  17. Exodus

     
    Jan 1961
     
       
     
    Exodus by Ferrante & Teicher listen
    Exodus by Ferrante & Teicher listen
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    This song was from movie Exodus. It was written by Ernest Gold.
     
     
  18.  
    Jan 1961
     
     
    Louis Prima
     
     
    Wonderland By Night (Wunderland Bei Nacht) by Louis Prima listen
    Wonderland By Night (Wunderland Bei Nacht) by Louis Prima listen
    find a song
     
     
    Louis Prima and Bert Kaempfert both had top 20 versions of Wonderland By Night in 1961.
     
     
  19.  
    Jan 1961
     
     
    Lawrence Welk
     
     
    Calcutta by Lawrence Welk listen
    Calcutta by Lawrence Welk listen
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    The full artist title for Calcutta was Lawrence Welk And His Orchestra Featuring Frank Scott On Harpsichord. It was performed on the popular TV program The Lawrence Welk Show. This song was written by: Hans Bradtke, Heino Gazel, Lee Pockriss, Paul Vance.
     
     
  20. Pepe

     
    Feb 1961
     
       
     
    Pepe by Duane Eddy listen
    Pepe by Duane Eddy listen
     
     
     
    This song was written by Daniel Langdon and Hans Wittstatt.
     
     
  21. Wheels

     
    Mar 1961
     
       
     
    Wheels by The String-A-Longs listen
    Wheels by The String-A-Longs listen
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    Number 7 hit instrumental song Wheels was a top 20 one hit wonder for The String-A-Longs. The group followed-up with other instrumentals that received moderate airplay. Wheels was written by Richard Stephens and Jimmy Torres.
     
     
  22. Hearts Of Stone

     
    Mar 1961
     
       
     
    Hearts Of Stone by Bill Black's Combo listen
    Hearts Of Stone by Bill Black's Combo listen
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    This song was written by Rudy Jackson and Eddy Ray.
     
     
  23.  
    Apr 1961
     
     
    Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitar
     
     
    Apache by Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitar listen
    Apache by Jorgen Ingmann & His Guitar listen
    find a song
     
     
    In 1960, The Shadows had a UK number one instrumental song with Apache. Jordan Ingmann brought the song to the US, and reached number 2. He became a top 20 one hit wonder, but followed up with many instrumentals that received airplay, including Anna. Apache was written by Jerry Lorden.
     
     
  24. On The Rebound

     
    Apr 1961
     
       
     
    On The Rebound by Floyd Cramer listen
    On The Rebound by Floyd Cramer listen
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    This song was written by Floyd Cramer.
     
     
  25. Asia Minor

     
    Apr 1961
     
     
    Kokomo
     
     
    Asia Minor by Kokomo listen
    Asia Minor by Kokomo listen
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    Instrumental song Asia Minor was based on Piano Concerto in A Minor by Edvard Grieg. Kokomo was actually Jimmy Wisner, hiding his identity from other classically trained musicians. Kokomo was a top 20 one hit wonder, but Jimmy Wisner received some airplay with other songs as Jimmy Wisner Trio also. The 1970s group Kokomo was unrelated.
     
     
  26. One Mint Julep

     
    Apr 1961
     
       
     
    One Mint Julep by Ray Charles listen
    One Mint Julep by Ray Charles listen
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    Ray Charles had an instrumental hit with this cover of the 1952 song by The Clovers. This song was written by Rudy Toombs.
     
     
  27. Bonanza

     
    May 1961
     
     
    Al Caiola
     
     
    Bonanza by Al Caiola listen
    Bonanza by Al Caiola listen
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    This song was from TV show Bonanza. It was written by Ray Evans and Jay Livingston.
     
     
  28. Yellow Bird

     
    Jul 1961
     
     
    Arthur Lyman Group
     
     
    Yellow Bird by Arthur Lyman Group listen
    Yellow Bird by Arthur Lyman Group listen
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    This song was written by: Alan Bergman, Marilyn Keith, Norman Luboff.
     
     
  29. San Antonio Rose

     
    Jul 1961
     
       
     
    San Antonio Rose by Floyd Cramer listen
    San Antonio Rose by Floyd Cramer listen
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    This song was written by Bob Wills.
     
     
  30. You Can't Sit Down

     
    Jul 1961
     
     
    Philip Upchurch Combo
     
     
    You Can't Sit Down by Philip Upchurch Combo listen
    You Can't Sit Down by Philip Upchurch Combo listen
     
     
     
    You Can't Sit Down was an instrumental top 20 one hit wonder. The 45 RPM single had parts one and two on its sides. Part two was more famous. This was the most popular song by Philip Upchurch Combo, later known as Phil Upchurch. He received slight radio airplay with other songs, like Softly, and played guitar on many records for decades to come.
     
     
  31.  
    Aug 1961
     
       
     
    Last Night by The Mar-Keys listen
    Last Night by The Mar-Keys listen
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    The Mar-Keys were a Memphis instrumental band who had a top 20 one hit wonder with Last Night. A few other songs by the group received some airplay.
     
     
  32. Mexico

     
    Oct 1961
     
     
    Bob Moore And His Orchestra
     
     
    Mexico by Bob Moore And His Orchestra listen
    Mexico by Bob Moore And His Orchestra listen
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    Although instrumental song Mexico was a top 20 one hit wonder for Bob Moore, he received some airplay in 1963 with another regional instrumental, Kentucky. Mexico was written by Boudleaux Bryant.
     
     
  33. Take Five

     
    Oct 1961
     
     
    Dave Brubeck Quartet
     
     
    Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet listen
    Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet listen
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    This song was from album Time Out Featuring Take Five. It was written by Paul Desmond.
     
     
  34. Tonight

     
    Dec 1961
     
       
     
    Tonight by Ferrante & Teicher listen
    Tonight by Ferrante & Teicher listen
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    The Ferrante & Teicher version of Tonight was mostly instrumental. This song was written by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim.
     
     
  35. Let There Be Drums

     
    Dec 1961
     
     
    Sandy Nelson
     
     
    Let There Be Drums by Sandy Nelson listen
    Let There Be Drums by Sandy Nelson listen
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    This song was written by Sandy Nelson and Richard Podolor.
     
     
  36. Moon River

     
    Dec 1961
     
     
    Henry Mancini And His Orchestra
     
     
    Moon River by Henry Mancini And His Orchestra listen
    Moon River by Henry Mancini And His Orchestra listen
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    This instrumental version of Moon River won the Grammy Award for Record Of The Year. The song was from the album Moon River & Other Great Movie Themes, and from the movie Breakfast At Tiffany's. This song was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer.
     
     
  37. Afrikaan Beat

     
    Mar 1962
     
       
     
    Afrikaan Beat by Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra listen
    Afrikaan Beat by Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra listen
     
     
     
    This song was written by Bert Kaempfert.
     
     
  38. Tuff

     
    Mar 1962
     
     
    Ace Cannon
     
     
    Tuff by Ace Cannon listen
    Tuff by Ace Cannon listen
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    Tuff was a top 20 one hit wonder instrumental for Ace Cannon. The follow-up, Blues (Stay Away From Me) was fairly popular too. Ace Cannon was a saxophone player for Bill Black's Combo, whose group played on solo records by Ace Cannon too. The song Tuff was from album Tuff-Sax. This song was written by Ace Cannon.
     
     
  39. Midnight In Moscow

     
    Mar 1962
     
       
     
    Midnight In Moscow by Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen listen
    Midnight In Moscow by Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen listen
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    Midnight In Moscow was an instrumental adaptation of a famous Russian traditional vocal tune. The song was from album Midnight In Moscow.
     
     
  40. Percolator (Twist)

     
    Mar 1962
     
     
    Billy Joe & The Checkmates
     
     
    Percolator (Twist) by Billy Joe & The Checkmates listen
    Percolator (Twist) by Billy Joe & The Checkmates listen
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    Instrumental song Percolator (Twist) was a top 20 one hit wonder for Billy Joe And The Checkmates. He followed-up with Rocky's Theme, which received slight play.
    Billy Joe was actually Lew Bedell, a record producer, a New York radio and TV star, and comedian. The Checkmates here are not related to the Emile Ford Checkmates nor to The Checkmates, Ltd. This song was written by Lou Bideu and Ernie Freeman.
     
     
  41. Soul Twist

     
    May 1962
     
     
    King Curtis And The Noble Knights
     
     
    Soul Twist by King Curtis And The Noble Knights listen
    Soul Twist by King Curtis And The Noble Knights listen
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    This song was written by Curtis Ousley.
     
     
  42. Stranger On The Shore

     
    May 1962
     
     
    Mr. Acker Bilk
     
     
    Stranger On The Shore by Mr. Acker Bilk listen
    Stranger On The Shore by Mr. Acker Bilk listen
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    Stranger On The Shore was originally named Jenny after Acker Bilk's daughter. The song was written by Acker Bilk and Leon Young. and from album Stranger On The Shore.
     
     
  43. The Stripper

     
    Jun 1962
     
     
    David Rose And His Orchestra
     
     
    The Stripper by David Rose And His Orchestra listen
    The Stripper by David Rose And His Orchestra listen
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    The Stripper lived for years in Noxema commercials. The song was written by David Rose. and from album The Stripper And Other Fun Songs For The Family.
     


     






 
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