Hit Me Again!

The Top 5 Songs with the most charted hits

  1. “Unchained Melody” has 22 charted versions making it by far and away the number one song on the list. It was written by Hy Zaret and Alex North for the Movie Unchained (1955) and it was performed by Todd Duncan. On the week ending April 2, 1955, it hit with Al Hibbler #19 (peak #5) and Les Baxter #20 (peak #2), less than three weeks later Roy Hamilton hit #14 (peak #9). Also that year June Vali would hit #29 and Jimmy Young with Bob Sharples hit #1 in the UK. In 1963 Vito & The Salutations hit #66, in 1964 in the UK Jimmy Young was back again with The Mike Sammes Singers reaching #43. Then the big one in 1965 that was credited to The Righteous Brothers but it was a solo effort by Bobby Hatfield, reaching #4 in the US and #14 in the UK in 1965. David Garrick hit #14 in The Netherlands in 1967, The Sweet Inspirations #73 in 1968, Blue Haze hit #7 in Belgium in 1972, a Live version by Elvis Presley hit #6 in Canada and the US Country chart. Heart reached #83 in 1980. Leo Sayer hit #54 in 1985. After it was used in the movie Ghost the Righteous Brother/Hatfield song hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary (A/C) in the US #14 Hot 100 and#1 on the UK Singles chart in 1990. It would appear on 14 other charts around the world reaching anywhere from #24 to #1. The Robson & Jerome version hit #1 in the UK in 1995. LeAnn Rimes hit #3 on the Country chart in 1997. Pop Idol contestant Gareth Gates hit #1 in the UK in 2002. Barry Manilow hit #20 on the US A/C in 2006 and in 2013 Harrison Craig reached #2 in Australia. If you think the song might be slowing down there have been over a dozen versions since 2020 and there are currently 592 versions of the song.
  2. Everlasting Love” has 12 charted versions. It was written by Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden and first recorded by Robert Knight in 1967, reaching #13 in the US and #19 in the UK, that same year The Love Affair released it and it hit #1 in the UK in 1968, followed by The Town Criers at #13 in Australia. Carl Carlton #6 in the US in 1974, Rex Smith and Rachel Sweet hit with it as did Sandra in her native Germany as well #8 in the Netherlands in 1987; Also charting were Worlds Apart in 1993, Gloria Estefan in 1995, a charity version by the cast from the UK series Casualty hit in 1998, Jamie Cullum hit #20 in the UK in 2004, and finally Willy Sommers charted in The Netherlands with a Dutch version in 2011. There are 72 versions of the song.
  3. I Only Want to be with You” has 7 charted versions. The song was written by Mike Hawker and Ivor Raymonde and in 1964 Dusty Springfield charted #4 in the UK and #12 in the US. The Bay City Rollers had the same chart positions in 1976. The Tourists also hit #4 but only #83 in the US. Nicolette Larson charted #53 in the US in 1982, the 1998 version by Samantha Fox charted across Europe, Australia and New Zealand, #16 in the UK #32 in the US. There are 144 versions of this song.
  4. My Melancholy Baby” has 6 charted versions. Some trickery by the record company on the song credits but it was written by Ernie Burnett and Maybelle Watson (who successfully sued for royalties in 1940) with revised lyrics by George A. Norton. The first recording in 1915 by Walter Scanlon was a ‘hit’ song though there were no charts at that time. Gene Austin was #3 in the US in 1928, Al Bowlly #20 in 1935, the following year Ella Fitzgerald hit #6 in the UK, the last one was Bing Crosby in 1939 who hit #14 but the song has been recorded well over 100 time since then for a total of 385 versions.
  5. Send Me the Pillow You Dream On” and “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” have 5 charted versions. The first song was written by Hank Locklin and his version reached #7 on the Country and Western chart in 1949, followed by Lydia and Her Melody Strings in 1959, The Browns in 1960, Johnny Tillotson in 1962 and finally Dean Martin in 1964, recorded dozens more time since then there are 134 versions. The second song “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” was written by Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield the first release was Gladys Knight & The Pips who charted #2 in 1967, Marvin Gaye charted #1 in both the US and UK in 1968, Creedence Clearwater Revival charted in Europe in 1970, Roger (Troutman) hit #1 on the R&B in 1981. The last ones to chart were the Soultans in Europe in 1997. There are 278 versions of the song.

There are over a dozen songs with four charted versions, and I know you are expecting it and yes “I Will Always Love You” by Dolly Parton is there as well as “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb and “Without You” by Badfinger written by Tom Evans and Pete Ham.

Statistics from Seconghandsongs.com

References: 1, 2, 3

20 thoughts on “Hit Me Again!

  1. There is no doubt who number 1 is wow…that is a huge drop off between one and two.
    As far as Everlasting Love….really the only version I like is The Love Affair version which Americans didn’t get to hear over here.
    I also liked the Tourists with I Only Want to Be With You.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting list! ‘Heard it through the Grapevine’ I might have guessed would be high up there but some surprises, especially ‘Everlasting Love’. I personally do like that song a lot but only recently found out it wasn’t a Carl Carlton original. Had no idea there were more than two versions anyone heard.

    Liked by 1 person

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