Yes,I have the 45 of Groovy Baby by Billy Abbott and I must agre that 1963 was a dynamite year for pop music.
Some of my favorites from that year you didn't mention-Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis,Daughter by the Blendells,Mama Didn't Lie by Jan Bradley,Donna The Prima Donna by Dion,The Bounce by the Olympics,Hot Pastrami by the Dartells and Drag City by Jan and Dean.
The Essex were real smooth.Were'nt they USAF personnel stationed in England at the time?Maybe they could say they were on the first wave of the British Invasion.
OH,and 1963.Lets not forget Sally Go Round the Roses.
Now just WHAT was that song about?
So many other great tunes from that year -- "This Is My Prayer" by Theola Kilgore; "Just One Look" by Doris Troy; "I'll Take You Home" by The Drifters; "Talk To Me" by Sonny and the Sunglows; "You Can't Sit Down" by The Dovells.
There were the early strains of Motown -- "Pride And Joy" and "Come And Get These Memories" and "Fingertips" and "Mickey's Monkey." Some of the prominent male soloists had hits like "Blue Bayou" by Roy Orbison and "True Love Never Runs Smooth" by Gene Pitney and "Two Faces Have I" by Lou Christie and the pre-bubble gum Tommy Roe with a strong blue eyed soul effort in "Everbody."
The same station that might play Theola Kilgore or Maxine Brown would also play country crossovers like "Detroit City" by Bobby Bare or "Six Days On The Road" by Dave Dudley or "Ring Of Fire" by Johnny Cash or "I Can't Stay Mad At You" by Skeeter Davis.
A few guilty pleasures for me from that year included Barry and the Tamerlanes "I Wonder What She's Doing Tonight" and the melodramatic "Hello Heartache, Goodbye Love" from Little Peggy March. Remember "He's Mine" by Alice Wonderland? Or the Big Dee Erwin rendition of "Swingin' On A Star"?
The market had not yet fragmented and hardened into inviolable genres. And in that year, before we had the British Invasion, we had already been invaded by Japan ("Sukiyaki"), Belgium ("Dominique"), Australia ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down") and Brazil ("Maria Elena"), plus wherever it was Ray Baretto was from ("El Watusi.") Wonderful stuff.
One last note from that year, a song that always reminds me of the JFK assassination because I remember hearing it on the only station that I could get that was still playing its regular programming during those three or four days -- the treacly "Wonderful Summer" by Robin Ward. She is better known as the vocalist on those Rice-A-Roni commercials!