A Brief Guide to Pop Culture in 1966

Music

The biggest hit singles of the year across international charts were:

1. “Strangers in the Night,” Frank Sinatra
2. “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” — Nancy Sinatra
3. “Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby” — The Beatles
4. “Good Vibrations” — The Beach Boys
5. “Paperback Writer” — The Beatles

The songs that topped the American Billboard charts in 1966 were (in rough chronological order):

“The Sound of Silence” — Simon & Garfunkel
“We Can Work It Out” — The Beatles
“My Love” — Petula Clark
“Lightnin’ Strikes” — Lou Christie
“These Boots Are Made For Walkin'” — Nancy Sinatra
“The Ballad Of The Green Berets” — Sgt Barry Sadler
“(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration” — The Righteous Brothers
“Good Lovin'” — The Young Rascals
“Monday, Monday” — The Mamas & The Papas
“When A Man Loves A Woman” — Percy Sledge
“Paint It, Black” — The Rolling Stones
“Paperback Writer” — The Beatles
“Strangers In The Night” — Frank Sinatra
“Hanky Panky” — Tommy James
“Wild Thing” — The Troggs
“Summer In The City” — The Lovin’ Spoonful
“Sunshine Superman” — Donovan
“You Can’t Hurry Love” — The Supremes
“Cherish” — The Association
“Reach Out I’ll Be There” — Four Tops
“96 Tears” — ? & the Mysterians
“Last Train To Clarksville” — The Monkees
“Poor Side Of Town” — Johnny Rivers
“You Keep Me Hangin’ On” — The Supremes
“Winchester Cathedral” — The New Vaudeville Band
“Good Vibrations” — The Beach Boys
“I’m A Believer” — The Monkees

The classic and enduring albums Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, and Revolver were all released that year — it was also the year John Lennon famously quipped that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus,” drawing some amount of controversy.