Song: “Strangers In The Night” by Frank Sinatra
Reached #1: July 2, 1966 (his second, 1 week)
Frank Sinatra famously hated rock music. He called its players “cretinous goons” and its listeners “sideburned delinquents”.
So you’d think he would have enjoyed taking the #1 spot on the pop charts a decade into the Rock Era, knocking the Beatles’ “Paperback Writer” off.
You’d be wrong. He also hated “Strangers In The Night”. He called it “the worst ****ing song I’ve ever heard” and said he hated singing it in concert. But since he always went where the money was, he held his nose and dove in, scoring his biggest pop hit.
A followup album in 1970 tanked, leading to Sinatra’s first retirement – but not before he sang Paul Anka’s “My Way”. The song would become his other signature song and, yes, he hated that one, too. He wound up “retiring” for a couple of years in 1971.
You’re seeing a pattern here, and from all accounts, you’d be right. Sinatra pretty much hated everything that wasn’t Sinatra – and often, hated himself, too. His daughter, Nancy, who shared a #1 single with him a year after “Strangers”, speculated that if Zoloft had existed in the ‘60s, Sinatra would have been a much different person.
As it was, his success came despite the fact he was a prickly person who clearly didn’t like being around most people – proof that you can get away with not being cuddly if you make up for it by being superbly talented.
Tomorrow, an ‘80s band who recruited two of its members off the floor of a nightclub with 10 days to go before a scheduled tour.
Other songs that reached #1 on July 2:
1977 – “Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)” by Bill Conti (his first, 1 week)
1988 – “Dirty Diana” by Michael Jackson (his tenth, 1 week)
2005 – “Inside Your Heaven” by Carrie Underwood (her first, 1 week)