Ol'55 Picks

Ol'55 Picks


With Frankie J and Wilbur hogging the limelight with interviews and the like following the release of  Ol’55’s Time for Rock’n’Roll: The Anthology (read more about that here) and the announcement of a reformation tour to happen next month (check out the tour dates here), we thought it was time to give other members - Rockpile Jones, Patrick Meatballs Drummond and Jimmy Manzie - a bit of airtime. So we asked them for a list of their favourite songs from eras gone by.

Jimmy, the brains of the band, of course gave the most detailed answers. Check out the lists below and stay tuned for more content from the guys in the near future.

Here's the ten best songs of the '50s, '60s & '70’s according to...


  1. Stranger On The Shore - Acker Bilk
  2. Youve Got What It Takes - Brook Benton
  3. Something - The Beatles
  4. The Wind Cries Mary - Jimi Hendrix
  5. Goofin Around - Bill Haley And The Comets
  6. Sounds Of Silence - Simon And Garfunkel
  7. Albatross - Fleetwood Mac
  8. Ever Lovin Man - The Loved Ones
  9. Just Runnin Scared - Roy Orbison
  10. Son Of A Preacher - Dusty Springfield
  11. Whole Lotta Love - Led Zeppelin
  12. Ol55 - Eagles
  13. Stay While The Night Is Young - Ol’55
  14. Only Singin Rock N Roll (For You) - Ol’55


  1. The Platters - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
  2. Paul Anka - Dianna
  3. Roy Orbison - Crying
  4. Rolling Stones - Paint It, Black
  5. Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade of Pale
  6. Richard Harris - MacArthur Park
  7. Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
  8. Jimi Hendrix - Foxy lady
  9. Cream - White room
  10. Beatles - Sergeant pepper’s lonely hearts club band



1. Hey Jude. Beatles. Simple positive uplifting lyrics, written and sung by Paul to help a friend in need. First record out on Apple, when the Beatles were under a lot of pressure to deliver the goods. Great big anthem sing a long coda at the end.  The song of 1968 that captured a hopeful mood in a very tragic year of wars and riots and assassinations.

2. Cathy's Clown. The Everly Brothers. The first song I can remember hearing as a child.

3. Good Vibrations. Beach Boys vocals, and Brian's writing at their absolute peak. So imaginative, so ambitious on all levels. Ground breaking music at a time when musicians were reaching for the stars  in the recording studio.

4. Rock Around the Clock/ Bill Haley and Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry. These two set the template for rock for decades, and their subject matter is rock n roll itself. I love that. Witty lyrics that tell a story. And is the guitar solo in Rock Around the Clock still the best ever? 

5. Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns. (eg Sea Cruise , Rockin Pneumonia and A Boogie Woogie Flu. ) Great New Orleans boogie rock. New Orleans is the only city in America where the people live  for music and food! Complex unusual rhythms, shuffle feels, boogie piano, strange call and response backing vocals ,Cajun slang, it is all pretty exotic and amazing.  Think Fats Domino, Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair.  Great musical heritage for the world to enjoy.

6. I Can See for Miles. The Who. So angry, so harsh, such energy, drums and guitars are interlocking so tight.  In counterpoint, the vocals are  smooth , clean and harmonic. The Who at their very best, and they are my favorite 60's group.

7. Street Fighting Man. Rolling Stones.  Great adventurous arrangement on a rock track. Brian Jones on sitar, he always made the Stones sound like a lot more than a white R and B band . Tough lyrics for a revolutionary time.

8. Eloise. Barry Ryan. I love one hit wonders, and this song is off the hook. Wild out of control passionate lead vocal.  Big orchestral arrangement, never to be repeated. 

9. California Dreaming.  Mamas and Papas.  Such a intriguing love song, is he going or staying? Is he in love, or not? A lot of mystery, and a long flute or recorder solo for your enjoyment. It is so magically  produced and played by top LA session musicians the Wrecking Crew .I lived in LA for 25 years, and this song always seemed to suggest the hazy beauty and openness of California, the endless possibilities, freedoms and opportunities of that seductive culture. And yet there is something mellow and sad in there too.

10. Spanish Harlem, Drifters.   Downtown, Petula Clark. These songs suggest the city as an enchanting place where love and friendship is all around. Ben E King is one of my all time favorite singers. Downtown was on the radio when my family was planning our  move to Cronulla, it holds many memories of Sunday drives and swims at the beach.

10a. Oh I can't leave out Why Do Fools Fall in Love by Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. This hard wired my doo wop addiction for life. Big shout out to Daddy Cool, they loved their doo wop also.

11. Wonderful Land. Apache. The Shadows. Hank Marvin was the original guitar hero. Every beginner guitarist in my day had to learn Apache.

12. A Change is Gonna Come. Sam Cooke.

13. Be My Baby. Ronettes. Phil Spector was at his best as record producer of this track.

14. Here Comes the Sun. Beatles, By this late stage George was arguably writing better songs than John and Paul. On Abbey Road.

15. Waterloo Sunset. The Kinks. The singer admits he is too lazy to go out ! Not very rock n roll but charming nonetheless.

16. Spirit in the Sky.  Norman Greenbaum.  Man, this song has turned up in a thousand movies . Christians love it, and atheists too. What exactly is he saying? Is he down with religion or not? And what about that distorted guitar sound at the beginning? Never been bettered. Ok, maybe Jimi Hendrix on Hey Joe could match it.

17. Lightning Hopkins. Delta Blues from one of the originals. Raw, edgy, authentic to its time and place.

18. Hully Gully. The Olympics. Surfer Bird.The Trashmen. Tutti Fruiti . Little Richard. Low fi punkish catchy hits . Rock/ Pop can be great when it is completely silly and fun.

19. Tin Soldier. Small Faces.  Super power pop. Steve Marriot one of the great voices of pop/rock.

20. Unforgotten Dreams. King Fox. Great song by local Sydney schoolboys. They really showed that music is open to all and  inexperience is ok . I was encouraged to give it a go by their example  Big guitar jam at the end, classic 60's style.

- DL

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