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March on Washington: What They Listened To

Illustration for article titled March on Washington: What They Listened To

(The Root) — The following singles achieved the highest chart positions in the months surrounding the historic March on Washington in August 1963. These pop jingles, R&B tunes and girl anthems boomed out of transistor radios and filled dance halls. They provided an impromptu soundtrack to a period fraught with much transition, protest and activism.  


'I Will Follow Him'

Little Peggy March (David Redfern/Getty Images)

"What do teenagers know about love?" people ask. A then 15-year-old Little Peggy March crooned about being devoted to her man. 


'If You Wanna Be Happy'

Jimmy Soul (Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Jimmy Soul cheerfully described how to be happy for the rest of your life.

'It's My Party'

Lesley Gore (Keystone/Getty Images)

Lesley Gore's anthem encouraged girls to express their emotions about their unfaithful boyfriends, singing, "You would cry, too/If it happened to you."

'Easier Said Than Done'

The Essex (GAB Archive/Redferns)

The Essex's only female member, Anita Humes, took the lead on this hit, singing about how acting on love can be difficult. 


'So Much in Love'

The Tymes (Echoes/Redferns)

The Tymes' syrupy tune about being in love.

'Fingertips, Part 2'

Stevie Wonder (James Kriegsmann/Getty Images)

Motown Record's youngest act at the time, Little Stevie Wonder, performed this crowd pleaser with his famed harmonica in tow. 


'He's So Fine'

The Chiffons (Gilles Petard/Redferns)

The Chiffons offered a tune for when lusting after eye candy: "He's so fine/I wish he were mine."


'She Loves You'

The Beatles (Popperfoto/Getty Images)

The Beatles, the world's leading teen heartthrobs at the time, chimed, "She loves you/Yeah, yeah, yeah!"


'Be My Baby'

The Ronettes (Fred Mott/Getty Images)

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