TDP Sweet Sixteen Playlist: Dr. Nassiff

Here is what Dr. Nassiff, Head of the Science Department and advisor to the amazing BHS Chess Club, was listening to when he was sixteen:

 1.    “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You”–Elvis Presley  

As a young teenager who just broke up with his girlfriend, this one tore at my heartstrings!  Wise men say, “Only fools rush in!”  I recommended this for my son’s wedding.


 2. “Duke of Earl”–Gene Chandler  

 I loved the bass man.  A good bass man was essential to Rock-n-Roll in my era, and this is the best. My friends and I used to try and imitate him. Bom de de Bon…

 3.”To the Aisle” -The Five Satins

Romantic and what teenagers of my era dreamed about. Where I grew up, not many went on to college; many married right after high school.                                            

 4.”Play Those Oldies, Mr. DJ” –Anthony and the Sophomores

This one has snippets from popular Rock-n-Roll songs that were often our requests.


 5. “Chances Are” –Johnny Mathis

Romantic and fun to dance to at the sock hop.  As one sage said, “Dancing is 90 degrees away from sin!”  Johnny Mathis was very popular for his slow-dancing tunes.

 6. “When We Get Married”–The Dreamlovers

Fantasize on what a wonderful life is circa the 1950’s.  See #3.

 7. “Blueberry Hill”–Fats Domino

Classic early Rock-n-Roll.  The Fatman could really croon.  Note the lack of instrumentation.

Jerry Lee Lewis at piano 8. “Great Balls of Fire” –Jerry Lee  Lewis

Jerry Lee really put on a show with his pounding of the piano.  Really got us going.

 9. “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel” (B-side) –Elvis Presley

 The first 45 I owned. I was fairly poor so a 45 record was a big deal.  I recall it cost a buck.  A buck is what I earned per hour in a summer job. The reason both songs are together is that both were on the same 45 and both were #1 hits.

 10. “Rama Lama Ding Dong”–The Edsels  

So what is an Edsel?  Look it up. This says a lot about the song. I love the rhyming nonsense lyrics. Also mentioned in #4.


 11. “Up on the Roof”–The Drifters  

As a teenager, I had problems with rejection and this is one group’s answers to how to deal with it.

 12. “Those Oldies but Goodies Remind me of You”–Little Caesar and The Romans

Little Caesar (Carl Burnett) was one of the best lead singers of the era.  You needed a strong tenor voice with a good backup.


13. “Johnny B Goode”–Chuck Berry

Loved this song.  Berry was famous for his duck walk and is mentioned (sort of) in the movie “Back to the Future” when Berry’s cousin’s band played at the Enchantment Under the Sea sock hop. I saw him live when I was in grad school. He was quite an entertainer. Berry was one of my favorites and had many hits

 14.”Summertime Blues”–Eddie Cochran  

This was my theme song as I tried my hardest to find a summertime job in Sioux City to help pay for my college tuition.


 15 “Peggy Sue”–Buddy Holly

Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran died in the same airplane crash.  But that is too bad because I really loved “Peggy Sue.”  As A teenager I would sometimes sing this with my latest crush’s name.

 16.”Bye Bye Love”–Everly Brothers  

Don and Phil had a bunch of hits but I liked this one the best.  Summed up our teenage emotions when a couple broke up.


“Little Darlin’”–The Diamonds  

Who can forget the clanging cowbell at the start, and the ay-yay-ay-yay. It is etched in my memory.

 “Earth Angel”—Penguins

One of the earliest Rock-n-Roll songs, but I still like it


 “Get a Job”—Silhouettes

Dip-Dip-Dip-Dip, Boom-Boom-Boom- Boom Get a Job

“Lonely Teardrops”–Jacky Wilson

Late Rock-n-Roll, but I loved Wilson and the song.

 “Poison Ivy” and “Charlie Brown”–The Coasters

A very popular group.  Fe Fe Fi Fi Fo Fo Fum Who’s that  smoking in the auditorium?  Charlie Brown!

 “Transfusion”–Nervous Norvus

The words are a gas. See what happens when you drive fast?


My wife and I have season subscriptions to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Handel and Hayden Society.  I also love opera. I went to the Met Opera last year, and almost always go to the HD presentations in theaters.  I always loved classical music but never had a chance to listen to it seriously until I got to college, and then married a cultured lady. So there you have it.  This is how we spend our entertainment dollars.  Classical music and opera.


  1. I can’t even describe how awesome this whole project is.

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