1969 – the weekly pop charts

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Me n Bruv 1969 front room RAF Swinderby

JANUARY 1969

My 11th birthday, no party for me, which s bad news for my best schoolfriend Geoffrey Geeson who turns up with his parent for the party that never happened in his best clothes and a gift. I’d forgotten I’d said something along the lines that I might have a party and he’d be invited. I felt a fool! So he went home and mum did a party the next weekend, and a few select friends were invited along too. Hooray!

The music charts in January were really slow so I’ll just bung comments all together as there were few new entries. Two more weeks at the top for party classic Build Me Up Buttercup, and two for Manfred Mann, 60’s stalwarts though by this time Mike D’Abo was writing and singing lead for them. Who? He’s the bloke what wrote Build Me Up Buttercup! So that’s a whole month at the top! I saw the Manfred ‘s live 2 or 3 times, with both Mike and former lead singer Paul Jones. I may well go to see The Foundations live in April 2014 as the support for Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, Motown classics of Heatwave, Nowhere To Run and Dancing In The Street fame. Which was a re-issued big hit in January (and the Ready Steady Go clip is one I probably saw 5 years earlier). How amazing that I should be going to see them 45 years later!

Love Child peaks at 2, it’s utterly brilliant, and the Move get to 2 as well. That’s Roy Wood, Carl Wayne, Bev Bevan, of the first record ever played on Radio 1 fame, and ELO and Wizzard fame. Johnny Nash gets his second reggae top 5 hit, Simon & Garfunkel re-chart (or debut in my charts) with the classic theme tune to movie The Graduate, and finally Donald Peers makes my Top 10 with a very old-fashioned crooning ballad. Who he? Well, by 1969 he was an elderly crooner from the 1920’s and 1930’s, which seemed such a long time ago to me, yet it’s about as long ago as this chart is now! Aaaagh! That’s almost a century ago now!

7th January 1969 CHART

1 ( 1 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
2 ( 6 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
3 ( 2 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
4 ( 3 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
5 ( 4 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
6 ( 5 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
7 ( 8 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
8 ( 13 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
9 ( NEW ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
10 ( 10 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu

11 ( 7 ) ONE TWO THREE O’LEARY Des O’Connor
12 ( 12 ) RACE WITH THE DEVIL The Gun
13 ( 11 ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
14 ( 16 ) SABRE DANCE Love Sculpture
15 ( 14 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
16 ( 19 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
17 ( 20 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
18 ( 18 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
19 ( RE ) THIS OLD HEART OF MINE The Isley Brothers
20 ( RE ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold

14th January 1969

1 ( 1 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
2 ( 9 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
3 ( 2 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
4 ( 8 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
5 ( 3 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
6 ( 7 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
7 ( 6 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
8 ( 4 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
9 ( 5 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
10 ( 10 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu

11 ( 12 ) RACE WITH THE DEVIL The Gun
12 ( 17 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
13 ( NEW ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
14 ( 15 ) BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF HEARTACHE The Bandwagon
15 ( 11 ) ONE TWO THREE O’LEARY Des O’Connor
16 ( 13 ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
17 ( 18 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
18 ( 16 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
19 ( 20 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
20 ( 14 ) SABRE DANCE Love Sculpture

21st January 1969

1 ( 2 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
2 ( 4 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
3 ( 1 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
4 ( 3 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
5 ( 5 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
6 ( 8 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
7 ( 13 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
8 ( 7 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
9 ( 6 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
10 ( 9 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield

11 ( 12 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
12 ( 10 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
13 ( 11 ) RACE WITH THE DEVIL The Gun
14 ( 18 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
15 ( 15 ) ONE TWO THREE O’LEARY Des O’Connor
16 ( NEW ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
17 ( 16 ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
18 ( 19 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold
19 ( 17 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
20 ( NEW ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

28th January 1969

1 ( 1 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
2 ( 2 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
3 ( 3 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
4 ( 7 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
5 ( 5 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
6 ( 16 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
7 ( 4 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
8 ( 6 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
9 ( 20 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
10 ( 9 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder

11 ( 8 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
12 ( 10 ) SON OF A PREACHER MAN Dusty Springfield
13 ( NEW ) MRS ROBINSON Simon & Garfunkel
14 ( 11 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
15 ( 12 ) I’M A TIGER Lulu
16 ( 14 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
17 ( 19 ) THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro
18 ( 15 ) ONE TWO THREE O’LEARY Des O’Connor
19 ( 17 ) (I’M THE) URBAN SPACEMAN Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band
20 ( 18 ) LILY THE PINK The Scaffold

FEBRUARY 1969

It’s February, and Top Of The Pops on TV and Pick Of The Pops on radio were having a big impact on my cultural life, records meant a lot to me. 4th Feb chart and a new Number One – yes, Roy Wood on top for the first time (and not for the last time) in his fab first band The Move, who would eventually morph into the Electric Light Orchestra, Wizzard and solo stuff and via Jeff Lynne (yet to join) The Beatles in the 90’s productions – appropriately enough as Blackberry Way is a strings-driven Beatlesy Penny Lane-inspired pastiche that sounded just great to me).

Lots of new entries, 4 of the acts I’ve seen in concert since, and one sort of (excluding Diana Ross, I’ve seen Mary Wilson and the Temptations back when most of them were still alive) and one never (Wilson Pickett). Glen Campbell I’ve seen 3 times, the man is a legend, this is his greatest moment, and it was on the first album I ever had bought for me – This Is Glen Campbell. Yes, Wichita Lineman is still widely regarded as a classic, quite right too. Sheer brilliance.

I’m Gonna Make You Love Me was a superstar duet (sort of) of a great song that I loved lots, and which is in the UK singles chart this very week 45 years later (under the name of Chris Malinchack – I mean, c’mon Chris, surely it’s worth a “featuring” credit! With the heavy use of a sample of Di & co!!?). The very “of it’s time” French-sounding accordion folk song from Peter Sarstedt was another big fave of mine, and it still sounds deliciously unique, while Marv Johnson gets a follow-up hit to his You Got What It Takes in the UK, 9 years on and a Motown great in I’ll Pick A Rose. Showaddywaddy mercifully only covered the former….

4th February 1969 CHART[/b]

1 ( 2 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
2 ( 1 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
3 ( 6 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
4 ( 4 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
5 ( 3 ) BUILD ME UP BUTTERCUP The Foundations
6 ( NEW ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
7 ( 5 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
8 ( 9 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
9 ( 13 ) MRS ROBINSON Simon & Garfunkel
10 ( 8 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade

11 ( 7 ) LOVE CHILD Diana Ross & The Supremes
12 ( NEW ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
13 ( NEW ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
14 ( 11 ) AIN’T GOT NO…I GOT LIFE Nina Simone
15 ( 10 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
16 ( NEW ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
17 ( 16 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
18 ( 14 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
19 ( NEW ) I’LL PICK A ROSE Marv Johnson
20 ( NEW ) HEY JUDE Wilson Pickett

The 11th Feb sees The Righteous Brothers emote like no-one had emoted ever before with the reissued hit of You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’. My mum loved this record while I was growing up, Phil Spector’s greatest production and an awesome vocal from both the lads, by this time I’d already known it for 4 years, and really from here it recharted each decade and got bigger each time, because Time has shown it to be one of the greatest pop records ever., one of those magic works that improves as you get older.

11th February 1969

1 ( 1 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
2 ( 6 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
3 ( 2 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
4 ( 3 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
5 ( 13 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
6 ( 12 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
7 ( 4 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
8 ( 8 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
9 ( 7 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
10 ( 16 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell

11 ( 10 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
12 ( 15 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
13 ( NEW ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck
14 ( NEW ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
15 ( 19 ) I’LL PICK A ROSE Marv Johnson
16 ( 18 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
17 ( 17 ) PRIVATE NUMBER William Clay & Judy Bell
18 ( NEW ) SOUL SISTER BROWN SUGAR Sam & Dave
19 ( 20 ) HEY JUDE Wilson Pickett
20 ( NEW ) STOP HER ON SIGHT (SOS) Edwin Starr

Amen Corner get another hit, and a catchy insistent topper, but amazingly their penultimate hit. They had a string of great pop records, and Andy Fairweather-Low’s unusual vocals would pop back in the 70’s more than once. New entries for 18th Feb? Cilla’s back with a romping pop ditty, Dean Martin covers Glen Campbell (Jimmy Webb song, just like Wichita Lineman) and has a somnambulant-styled hit. Or drunken. Always hard to tell with Dean, but his TV shows, packed full of stars, were great fun. Jimmy Webb was just a kid, really, but his songs were amazingly sophisticated and he’d targeted minor pop star Glen Campbell’s wonderful vocal range as the one he wanted to sing them from his early teens, and made him a household name. Nina Simone, meanwhile covers a great Bee Gees song in her own style, before dropping off the pop radar for nearly 20 years.

18th February 1969

1 ( 2 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
2 ( 6 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
3 ( 1 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
4 ( 5 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
5 ( 4 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
6 ( 3 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
7 ( 10 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
8 ( 8 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
9 ( 13 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck
10 ( 14 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers

11 ( NEW ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
12 ( 7 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
13 ( 9 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
14 ( 15 ) I’LL PICK A ROSE Marv Johnson
15 ( 11 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
16 ( 12 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
17 ( NEW ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
18 ( 16 ) ALBATROSS Fleetwood Mac
19 ( 18 ) SOUL SISTER BROWN SUGAR Sam & Dave
20 ( NEW ) TO LOVE SOMEBODY Nina Simone

Talking of Bee Gees, the 25th Feb sees them back in their own right, with one of their most touching, subtle, gentle songs, and one of their least covered. To me, it’s a tear-jerking masterpiece in need of rediscovery. Talking of Masterpieces, Marvin Gaye, Grapevine, classic, and future multiple re-charter, such a perfect record, haunting, menacing, and that impassioned vocal. He means it when he sings it! No cover has ever come close to the brilliance of the original. Lastly, Sandie’s back with the last of her 60’s hits (and one she wasn’t that fond of, all perky and French-sounding as it was) – not up there with her glory days, but I loved it at the time and it has a certain period charm to it these days.

25th February 1969

1 ( 1 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
2 ( 4 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
3 ( 2 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
4 ( 7 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
5 ( 3 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
6 ( 11 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
7 ( 5 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
8 ( NEW ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
9 ( 6 ) FOX ON THE RUN Manfred Mann
10 ( 9 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck

11 ( 17 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
12 ( 10 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
13 ( 8 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
14 ( 13 ) SOMETHING’S HAPPENING Herman’s Hermits
15 ( NEW ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
16 ( 12 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
17 ( NEW ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
18 ( 15 ) OB LA DI OB LA DA Marmalade
19 ( 16 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
20 ( 14 ) I’LL PICK A ROSE Marv Johnson

MARCH 1969

4th March 1969 CHART

Sparky Comics, Doctor Who, cinema saturdays, and kiddie fave’s Cliff and Elvis as new entries! Fab, they were both in their prime, Elvis was critically acclaimed, Cliff less so, but kids didn’t care, he once drove a double-decker on a Summer Holiday! Amen Corner keep another quirky toon off the top, French at school and in the charts, courtesy of Peter Callendar’s English lyrics. Peter died two weeks ago, but he wrote many pop songs in the 60’s and 70’s, such as Hitchin’ A Ride.

Dean boozes his way up the chart, like Cliff and Elvis and Sandie and Cilla and Lulu, not really hurt by having variety TV shows at the time. Top Of The Pops was still the main thing though…and new in for The Beach Boys (minus Brian Wilson) and Joe South (another great songwriter, drenched in blues and country, of stuff like Steamy Windows)

1 ( 1 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
2 ( 8 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 2 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
4 ( 3 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
5 ( 6 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
6 ( 4 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
7 ( 11 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
8 ( 5 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
9 ( 7 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
10 ( NEW ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

11 ( 15 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 17 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
13 ( NEW ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
14 ( 10 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck
15 ( 12 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
16 ( 13 ) DANCING IN THE STREET Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
17 ( 16 ) YOU GOT SOUL Johnny Nash
18 ( NEW ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
19 ( 19 ) FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE Stevie Wonder
20 ( NEW ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

11th March 1969

UK topper Peter Sarstedt does it for me too, that’s a very French-sounding Top 2! The Bee Gees goooooorgeous First Of May goes top 5 two months early. One of the sweetest songs ever. Actor son-of-Rex Harrison, Noel, pops in with a great song from Steve McQueen’s The Thomas Crown Affair, I remember going to see it at the flicks, as we said then, and it was Ace, as we opined in those fab gear days. Noel recently died, but the song revived as an ad, and it’s unusual in that Noel speaks not sings for much of the song. It’s Eurovision, I watched the semis to pick the song for Lulu, which included songs from Elton somebody, and I was happy enough with the winner, it was very catchy! Meanwhile The Hollies, ever-present throughout my 60’s in the charts, pop back with a harmony fun pop ditty. It reminds me of making dens under the window tables during the school holidays with my brother and assorted kids at the “Tailors” on the main camp. Lots of housewives, including my mum worked pressing the uniforms, dry-cleaning, repairing whatever, and it had a very distinctive smell of moth balls and stuff, and was run by Mr Bhatti and his brother. I was friends with his son Pasha Bhatti who used to join us RAF kids in the holidays, so we had to make our fun and listen to the songs on the radio. Aaah good times…

1 ( 3 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
2 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 1 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
4 ( 7 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
5 ( 12 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
6 ( 4 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
7 ( 10 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
8 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
9 ( 6 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
10 ( 13 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley

11 ( 5 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
12 ( NEW ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
13 ( NEW ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
14 ( 9 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
15 ( NEW ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
16 ( 8 ) BLACKBERRY WAY The Move
17 ( 20 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
18 ( 18 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
19 ( 15 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers
20 ( 14 ) THE WAY IT USED TO BE Engelbert Humperdinck

18th March 1969

Aquiet chart week, newies from The Foundations and The Temps, and Lulu going top 5.

1 ( 1 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
2 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
3 ( 7 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
4 ( 13 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
5 ( 5 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
6 ( 12 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
7 ( 3 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
8 ( 10 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
9 ( 4 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
10 ( 15 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies

11 ( 8 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 6 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
13 ( 9 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
14 ( 17 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
15 ( 11 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
16 ( 14 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
17 ( 18 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
18 ( NEW ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
19 ( NEW ) GET READY The Temptations
20 ( 19 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELIN’ The Righteous Brothers

25th March 1969

And Noel does it, topping the charts. Hey he was cool and I loved the mood…! Big chart news was the first huge reggae hit for Desmond Dekker. I can’t understate how different this record sounded when it came out, it was from another planet. Well Jamaica, at least. It was instantly catchy, half-indecipherable, and Desmond was fab.

1 ( 6 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
2 ( 4 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
3 ( 10 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
4 ( 1 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
5 ( 2 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
6 ( 8 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
7 ( 3 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
8 ( 5 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
9 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
10 ( 14 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

11 ( 7 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner
12 ( 9 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 13 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
14 ( 12 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross & The Supremes & The Temptations
15 ( 18 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
16 ( 15 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
17 ( NEW ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
18 ( 19 ) GET READY The Temptations
19 ( 16 ) PLEASE DON’T GO Donald Peers
20 ( 17 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys

APRIL1969

1st April 1969 CHART

2 weeks for the Windmills, keeping off reggae classic The Israelites from the top, while Sam Cooke’s Cupid enters reggae-stylee from Johnny Nash, very much in the Sam Cooke vocal tradition, at 15, giving Johnny 3 out of 3. The Who pretty much do the first rock opera, that’ll be Tommy, and from it the epic Pinball Wizard pockets 18. Odd to think it was fresh and new once upon a time, it seems like it has always been. Eddy Grant slippers in with a forgotten pop ditty at 19, with The Equals, and keeping up the reggae theme, obviously, albeit 10 years in the future. In at 20, a really famous record. Honest. You might know it better as House Of Pain’s Jump Around, and much as I like that one, the original awesome searing intro needs to segue into the proper tune and lyrics…”well you moo-ove it to the left” not “Jump around jump around jump up..” etc No comparison, the original is best. Sorry 90’s kiddies….!

 

1 ( 1 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
2 ( 17 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 3 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
4 ( 2 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
5 ( 15 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
6 ( 5 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
7 ( 10 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
8 ( 4 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
9 ( 8 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
10 ( 7 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

 
11 ( 9 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
12 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 6 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
14 ( 13 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
15 ( NEW ) CUPID Johnny Nash
16 ( 18 ) GET READY The Temptations
17 ( 16 ) SURROUND YOURSELF WITH SORROW Cilla Black
18 ( NEW ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
19 ( NEW ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
20 ( NEW ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl

 
8th April 1969

Just the one new entry, so it may as well be straight in at the top. It’s Mary Hopkin’s belated 2nd release, a tuneful Paul McCartney song that I was just mad on, almost as much as Those Were The Days. It’s the melody you see, plus I was into Mary Hopkin the way 11 year-olds might be into One Direction these days. A lot. That put paid to Desmond’s shot at the top, really, at least until the next time it charted in 1975…

On an alternative note, apart from regularly watching Top Of The Pops, I found my brand new obsession about this time: DC Comics. dad brought a batch home, including a Giant Superboy which featured a colourful group of 14-year-old super-heroes with exotic super-powers and set in the far 30th Century. I fell instantly in love with them, The Legion Of Super Heroes, and it became my life mission to search out every issue of their achingly exciting and mind-blowing comics. Turns out they’d been going since 1958, so that was quite the mission. My first discovery remains my fave ever comic, bought from a newsagent comic rack in Lincoln for a shilling around April 1969, No Escape From The Circle Of Death. That comic would make a brilliant blockbuster movie on the scale of Marvel’s Avengers, it is epic in theme, invasion of earth by alien armies, and only a bunch of teens stand in their way. More remarkably than that it was written by a teen prodigy called Jim Shooter. Marvel, you may not be bothered to know, ripped off The Legion Of Super Heroes for many of their 60’s creations now pulling in the punters for billions. The main difference being the present-day setting and a bit more teen angst. Justice needs to be served!

 
1 ( NEW ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 1 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
4 ( 3 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
5 ( 5 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
6 ( 7 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
7 ( 4 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
8 ( 6 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
9 ( 8 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
10 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin

11 ( 16 ) GET READY The Temptations
12 ( 15 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
13 ( 11 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
14 ( 9 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
15 ( 18 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
16 ( 14 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
17 ( 19 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
18 ( 13 ) IF I CAN DREAM Elvis Presley
19 ( 20 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
20 ( 10 ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard

15th April 1969

2 weeks for Mary, 3 weeks for Desmond at 2, and a new entry for a pop lady, Clodagh Rodgers. Another record I really loved at the time, great melody, very catchy. Clodagh, like Mary, went on to Eurovision UK entrant-fame, followed by the usual End-of-Career subsequently for those not already established as long-term stars. Cupid up to 4, Pinball Wizard to 9, and Chesney Hawkes dad pops in at 18 with one of their less memorable minor hits. Less memorable as in nobody under 55 will have ever heard of it, and hardly anyone over 55 who’s surname isn’t Hawkes. Ne’er mind I always loved the Trems.

 

1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
3 ( 3 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
4 ( 12 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
5 ( 4 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
6 ( 7 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
7 ( 5 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
8 ( NEW ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
9 ( 15 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
10 ( 6 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South

 

11 ( 8 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
12 ( 10 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
13 ( 13 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
14 ( 9 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt
15 ( 17 ) MICHAEL AND THE SLIPPER TREE The Equals
16 ( 19 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
17 ( 14 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees
18 ( NEW ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes
19 ( 16 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell
20 ( 11 ) GET READY The Temptations

22nd April 1969

3 weeks for Mary at 1, and guess what? Paul McCartney writes another song and enters at 9 with Get Back. He was in a band called The Beatles, who were quite big, and they had a bit of publicity getting a telling off from the police for performing this song on a London roof-top. It was a bit of a surprise to see Paul all beardy on TOTP, and this was their least pop-melody single, more bluesy than anything. We were all not to know, as The Beatles were SO big, so so so big and part of everyday life, that this would turn out to be the last time we’d ever see them, bar the film of the breakdown Let It Be. Oh if only they hadn’t torn apart…

Very much Big Band new entries week, with The Beach Boys melodic I Can Hear Music at 16, albeit mostly not involving Brian these days. Carl’s fabulous vocals were more than enough to carry a great song though. Fleetwood Mac, following up a blues instrumental, opt for a gentle blues ballad, quite lovely, and also not far from a mental breakdown for Peter Green, main man, and a morphing of the band. The end of the 60’s was turning into the end of an era..

1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 8 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
3 ( 4 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
4 ( 3 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
5 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
6 ( 9 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
7 ( 5 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
8 ( 6 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
9 ( NEW ) GET BACK The Beatles
10 ( 7 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations

 

11 ( 16 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
12 ( 10 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
13 ( 11 ) MONSIEUR DUPONT Sandie Shaw
14 ( 13 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
15 ( 12 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
16 ( NEW ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
17 ( 18 ) HELLO WORLD The Tremeloes
18 ( RE ) GOOD TIMES (BETTER TIMES) Cliff Richard
19 ( 20 ) GET READY The Temptations
20 ( NEW ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac

 

 

 

29th April 1969

4 for Mary, 2 for Clodagh at 2 for an all-female domination – but not for long, because the first-ever record I bought with my own money enters at 3. 60’s hitmaker Tommy Roe has a comeback with the pure bubblegum pop of Dizzy, at 3, a record I became obsessed by. Those riffs and chorus just gripped me and wouldn’t let go. A neighbour friend bought the single, and I realised that if I saved enough money up I could buy one too! Not as easy as it sounded, that – I had to leave the country (dad was posted top RAF Changi in Singapore) and my great grandparents, born in the 19th century, gave me and my brother ten shillings each as a going away present, as they didn’t know if they would see us again. That 10 shillings paid for Dizzy, and another single, 2 dollars each, Changi evening market stalls. Played it to death.

Bubblegum pop was derided viciously by the older rock fraternity at the time. Being 11 years old, I didn’t care what they thought, I just knew it felt so good it had to be good. Vic Reeves got it to number one in the 90’s, and the brilliant Bassomatic Fascinating Rhythm sampled it heavily. Not bad for disposable pop. I have always preferred to disregard musos and their “I’m so cool” sniffiness when it comes to commercial pop, cos they always, always fail to appreciate that today’s 11-year-olds are tomorrow’s enthusiastic pop stars and music fans being inspired by it. I’ve had many a conversation over the decades about longevity of great pop singles in the charts (“but the charts are crap!”) and it’s easy to predict which will remain popular down the line, for the most part.

Lecture over, a teen pop act that hasn’t dated so well (sadly) is Peter Noone, cos Herman’s Hermits had quite a few good records and were huge in the USA, if you like they were the wholesome One Direction of the day. My Sentimental Friend was sweet enough, jaunty and wistful. The Isley Brothers bring another mid-60’s Motown record into the chart, and oh. my. god. Behind A Painted Smile is truly one of the forgotten 60’s classics, that bassline and frantic drumwork is epic, those guitars, that aching vocal, the manic pace of the “I’m devastated” break-up song is juuuuust awesome. One of the most exciting records ever made, one of the best intros and outros ever, one of the best drum and guitar riffs ever. Brilliance. In at 14.

But that’s not all, quietly in at 18 a gentle harmonic, yet gritty, folk story song from Simon & Garfunkel. The Boxer was the first inkling we had of another act about to break-up at their creative peak, and first release from what could well be a candidate for Greatest Album Ever, Bridge Over Troubled Water. It’s a brilliant song and I know every word to it, long though it might be. Ohhhh yes! In at 20, it’s Frank Sinatra. My Way. I liked it once upon a time, till it became a cabaret cliche, though to me not a patch on Strangers In The Night or Something Stupid. I wasn’t, and still aren’t, what you call a Frank Sinatra fan. Nancy Sinatra, on the other hand, has a back catalogue to die for. Frank? Over-rated much.

 
1 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
3 ( NEW ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
4 ( 3 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
5 ( 6 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
6 ( 9 ) GET BACK The Beatles
7 ( 4 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
8 ( 5 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
9 ( NEW ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
10 ( 11 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl

 

11 ( 8 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
12 ( 7 ) SORRY SUZANNE The Hollies
13 ( 10 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations
14 ( NEW ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
15 ( 16 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys
16 ( 14 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
17 ( 12 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
18 ( NEW ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
19 ( 15 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
20 ( NEW ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra

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