Babble recently published an article on the Top 10 girl babies’ names in 2018. The listing was based on Social Security applications.

For the second straight year Emma was the most popular girl’s name. It was followed in order of popularity by Olivia, Ava, Isabella, Sophia, Charlotte, Mia, Amelia, Harper and Evelyn.

Surprisingly, missing from the Top 10 girls’ names was Mary, which historically has been among them.

The music industry has used Mary in the titles of more than 100 songs. Here is a smattering of tunes with Mary in the title. The singers range from Johnny Mathis to Paul McCartney & Wings to Neil Diamond.

After rejecting a bid to try out for the 1956 U.S. Olympic team as a high jumper, Mathis first hit the charts in 1957 with four Top 15 hits, including his No. 1 smash “Chances Are.” His “Mary” song – “WHAT WILL MY MARY SAY” – peaked at No. 9 in 1963. It was one of his six Top 10 hits.

Mathis, who will celebrate his 84th birthday on Sept. 30, still performs concerts.

Trying to attract a young audience, McCartney, the ex-Beatle, wrote the song “MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB” and recorded it in 1972 with Wings, a group he formed in 1971 — one year after the breakup of the Fab Four.

The song was not one of his most successful with Wings as it peaked at No. 28.

Following that, McCartney and/or his new group met with tremendous success, notching 15 Top 10 hits including eight that went to No. 1.

They were “My Love” in 1973, “Band on the Run” in 1974, “Listen to What the Man Said” in 1975, “Silly Love Songs” in 1976, “With a Little Luck” in 1978, “Coming Up” in 1980, “Ebony and Ivory” with Stevie Wonder in 1982, and “Say Say Say” in 1983. The nursery rhyme was first published as a poem by Sarah Josepha Hale in May 1830 and was possibly inspired by an actual incident.

Diamond’s “Mary” tune was “OH MARY,” which was the signature song on his 2005 album “12 Songs.” It was never released as a single. The album reached No. 4 on the charts.

Diamond, who announced earlier this year that he no longer would be touring, has had 19 Top 10 albums, only one of which — “Home Before Dark” — in 2008 reached No. 1.

Here are some other songs with Mary in the title.

Ricky Nelson’s “HELLO MARY LOU” peaked at No. 9 in 1961. It was his 13th Top 10 hit. He was one of his era’s top rockers, amassing 20 Top 10 hits.

The Association had their first chart hit in 1966 when “ALONG COMES MARY” climbed to No. 7. The Los Angeles band proceeded to place three songs in the Top 5: “Cherish” in 1966 and “Windy” and “Never My Love” in 1967.

“MIDNIGHT MARY” was Joey Powers’ only chart single. It reached No. 10 in 1963.

Creedence Clearwater Revival was one of the nation’s top groups during the late 1960s and early 1970s. During that span, they had 10 Top 10 hits. Their second was “PROUD MARY,” which rose to No. 2 in 1968. CCR had four other songs that climbed to No. 2 but never had a No. 1 hit.

“MARY JANE” is a tune by funk singer Rick James. It was released in 1978 as the second single from his debut album “Come Get It.” The song peaked in the Top 5 on the R&B charts in 1978. The Buffalo, N.Y., native placed five songs in the Billboard Top 40.

Rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins had one Top 40 song when “MARY LOU” rose to 28 in 1959. He had one other memorable song with “40 Days” later in the year.

The Everly Brothers had another of their Top 20 hits in 1959 when “TAKE A MESSAGE TO MARY” climbed to 16. One of the most successful duos in rock history, the Everly Brothers had 14 Top 10 hits, three of which reached No. 1: “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Bird Dog” in 1958 and “Cathy’s Clown” in 1960.

Overall, they had 28 Top 40 tunes.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers first recorded “MARY JANE’S LAST DANCE” in 1994 as part of an album. The group charted 16 singles, but only two reached the Top 10.

Folk singer/actor Burl Ives had his fourth and last chart single in 1962 when “MARY ANN REGRETS” peaked at No. 39 during its lone week on the charts. Of his three other chart singles, “A Little Bitty Tear” and “A Funny Way of Laughing” made the Top 10. He never had a chart single after 1962.

Top 5 songs on September 22, 1957:

1) “That’ll Be the Day,” The Crickets

2) “Tammy,” Debbie Reynolds

3) “Diana,” Paul Anka

4) “Honeycomb,” Jimmie Rodgers

5) “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On,” Jerry Lee Lewis

Barry Levine is a columnist for The Albany Herald. You may contact him at

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