Legendary Michigan Songs

4.) 96 Tears - ? and The Mysterians

Artist Name: ? And The Mysterians
Year Inducted: 2007

"96 Tears" (R. Martinez) - ? and The Mysterians;  Pa-Go-Go and Cameo labels,  # 1 Billboard Hot 100 - 1966.  Inducted in 2007.

"96 Tears" was recorded at the Art Schiell Recording Studio located at the rear of Schiell's home on Raymond Street in Bay City, Michigan.  The melody grew out of a jam session between guitarist Bobby Balderrama and keyboard player Frank Rodriguez in the Rodriguez family basement built around a song idea that Rudy (?) Martinez had with the working title of "Too Many Teardrops".

Drummer Eddie Serrato suggested the title "69 Tears"; but the band wisely decided to reverse the numbers to avoid the sexual connotation and increase the chances of radio airplay. Originally released on the small Pa-Go-Go label, it was picked up for national distribution by Cameo Records. 

"96 Tears" and "Hanky Panky" are the only garage rock singles to ever reach # 1 on Billboard's Hot 100. Driven by the instantly identifiable organ riffs of Frankie Rodriguez and ?'s compelling vocal, "96 Tears" has been recognized by both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 500 greatest rock and roll songs of all time. 

Because "96 Tears" was recorded in the Schiell Recording Studio, it was proclaimed 'Bay City's Official Rock and Roll Song' by Mayor Chris Shannon on August 14, 2014.

YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7uC5m-IRns