My 1969 Charts – July

JULY 1969

1st July1969

Tommy Roe’s 9th and final week on top, and the 4th actual bona-fide “what I wrote down” chart I did. School was in the process of drawing to an end, the end of my primary school years fresh with the news that I’d failed my 11-plus exams. I say I failed, what I mean to say is that Bassingham Primary School had had a succession of replacement teachers all year, which made lessons great fun, but not that focused on exams. One kid (son of two teachers, funnily enough) passed the exam in our year. In those days that meant no Grammar School for me or the other kids. Not that it mattered, as we were also packing our stuff into crates to be stored for 2 years as we were being shipped off to RAF Changi in September, the tropics adventure loomed.

Packing also meant that other childhood trauma – having to dump stuff every time we moved. It’s no wonder that I turned into a hoarder having to wave goodbye to beloved toys each year (not that we had that many to begin with) – the main casualty this time was my collection of Sparky comics, I still lament the adventures of the metal-globe-shaped ark that saved animals as the world drowned. Happily, I only had a few DC comics, so my beloved Legion Of Super Heroes, Superman, Batman comics were saved, even if it meant 2 years without reading them, a lifetime at 11. On TV it was Top Of The Pops with all my fave pop stars and hits, and Doctor Who entering into a marathon 10-episode goodbye for Patrick Troughton, Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury – yes a real end of an era for me as the hot summer shined on the Lincolnshire countryside.

Of more concern, our cat (one of grandma’s cat’s offspring from Liverpool) Susie (Watch for the Amen Corner song which I still associate with her) had got herself pregnant, and she climbed inside one of the boxes in our bedroom and had a litter of kittens. All very complicated and worrying to me, knowing we were off to Singapore, and Susie and any kittens we couldn’t home before then would be taken to live with grandma (near Stanley Park, a run-down urban area of Liverpool), her partner, Dinah the dog and Smokie the cat, both serial reproducers. My late dog Toby had been one of Dinah’s many many pups. That’s what turned out to happen, and I never saw Susie or the kittens again, so anxieties fulfilled then, a valuable lesson that sometimes the expectations and worse-case scenarios are very much “life’s a bitch” moments.

Hey, what about the music? Elvis is up to 2, so that’s the 2 first singles I bought on top, Galveston is back for Glen Campbell, the first album I had bought on request, and Hello Susie (see above) enters for Amen Corner, with a Roy Wood song, then of the Move, and 4 years later my teen pop hero: life is just so co-incidental at times, it looks almost fated! Others: Marmalade were back again with a great ballad, Desmond Dekker followed-up with It Mek, a record that was even harder to work out than Israelites (but catchy).

 

1 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 5 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
3 ( 2 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
4 ( 7 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
5 ( 3 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
6 ( 8 ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard
7 ( 6 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
8 ( 4 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 9 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
10 ( RE ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell

11 ( NEW ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
12 ( NEW ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
13 ( 10 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
14 ( NEW ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
15 ( RE ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones
16 ( 11 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac
17 ( 14 ) GET BACK The Beatles
18 ( 18 ) GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVING Crazy Elephant
19 ( RE ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
20 ( 13 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys

 

8th July 1969

A new number one! It’s Elvis’ first (official) chart-topper – he would have had loads earlier, of course, had I been charting. In The Ghetto remains a powerful gospel track, and the B Side Any Day Now is one I still have ambitions to update 2015-stylee. The Beach Boys shoot up to 3 with one of the their most-melodic hits, while the third single I ever bought goes up to 5 for Thunderclap Newman. Jethro Tull re-enter at 10, and new in at 13 the first (virtually) solo Beatles record, the peace anthem Give Peace A Chance from John Lennon (with the missus Plastic Ono Band) to add to the Ballad Of John And Yoko. Heroes, even if everyone slagged them off at the time. Another Apple Records spin-off from the only act to get a credit with The Beatles, too, as Billy Preston enters with the gospel That’s The Way God Planned It, and the Rolling Stones classic Honky Tonk Women pops in at 20 to give them their first chart hit. Beatles or the Stones? Beatles every time!

1 ( 2 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
3 ( 20 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
4 ( 3 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
5 ( 13 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
6 ( 11 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
7 ( 4 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
8 ( 12 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
9 ( 5 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
10 ( RE ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull

11 ( 9 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
12 ( 14 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
13 ( NEW ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
14 ( RE ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
15 ( 6 ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard
16 ( 18 ) GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVING Crazy Elephant
17 ( RE ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
18 ( 19 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
19 ( NEW ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
20 ( NEW ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones

15th July 1969

2 weeks for Elvis on top with Beach Boys as runners-up, these days I would switch them round, but the lads had to make do with a peak of 2. Plastic Ono Band and famous mates in the choir, meanwhile shoot up to 4, Desmond Dekker gets his 2nd top 10, and Donovan gets together with Jeff Beck to come out with a distinctively less-folky, less-whimsical, more prog-rock single. Sadly, every one of his great tracks pre-dated my charts so this was his only chart entry for some decades. In at 20, Irish crooner Joe Dolan with a record I was mad on, Make Me An Island. My Aunty Eileen (who is about 10 years older than me, and visited regularly while courting Tony) bought the record around the time of their wedding, so I always associate it with them. Tony, who was a mate of dad in the RAF, was mad on The Beach Boys and had all their albums. That’s a LOT of albums even up to 1969 – 2 albums a year wasn’t uncommon in those days, as opposed to 2014 flogging 12 tracks to death over a 2-year-period to maximise profits before sticking 8 sub-standard tracks on the album to flog it even more till there’s no spark of life left in it. Happily, the first festival I ever saw was the classic Beach Boys line-up. Sadly Tony passed away 2 years ago.

1 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 3 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
3 ( 2 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
4 ( 13 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
5 ( 8 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
6 ( 4 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
7 ( 5 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
8 ( 6 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
9 ( 12 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
10 ( 11 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles

11 ( 19 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
12 ( 7 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
13 ( 20 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
14 ( 10 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull
15 ( 9 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
16 ( 18 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
17 ( 14 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
18 ( 17 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
19 ( NEW ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group
20 ( NEW ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan

22nd July 1969

The last of my original 1969 charts has a Beatle on top, the fabs at 3, their “with” Get Back partner at 5 (Billy Preston). It would have come as a shock to realise that The Beatles were in their final throws as a band after a mere 7 years ruling the musical world. That’s not hyperbole, by the way, it’s an easily substantiated fact. The world’s biggest album of the 21st Century, 30 years after they ceased to exist, and 15 years into the new century? The Beatles 1.
Rivals, the Stones, meanwhile get their first Top 10, and new in the late Jim Reeves (a family favourite, and on Forces Radio a 2-way Family Favourite as they used to call acts they played a lot), Clodagh’s great follow-up single (another one I loved), and Robin Gibb’s first solo record. The Bee Gees had had a drug-fuelled spat and Robin had left the group, leaving Barry and Maurice as a duo. First off the mark, Saved By The Bell was a plaintive OTT ballad classic, it was terrific. It was also the first single (of two) that mum ever bought, in Singapore 3 months later, so it’s one I acquired and loved, and the B Side Mother And Jack is pure 60’s charm. Classic.

1 ( 4 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
2 ( 2 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
3 ( 10 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
4 ( 5 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
5 ( 11 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
6 ( 13 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
7 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
8 ( 17 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
9 ( 8 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
10 ( 19 ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group

11 ( 20 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
12 ( 12 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
13 ( NEW ) WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Jim Reeves
14 ( 7 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
15 ( 18 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
16 ( 14 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull
17 ( NEW ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
18 ( 16 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
19 ( NEW ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
20 ( 15 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers

29th July 1969

The 3rd single I ever bought gets to number one, the epic Something In The Air, one-hit wonders if ever there was one (Thunderclap Newman) – though lead singer Speedy Keen would eventually pop up again in 1975. I still find this record inspirational, a social commentary and optimistic anthem in the same spirit as the one it knocks off the top, Give Peace A Chance. Pity no-one listened to the sentiments. The people spitting venom and bitterness still seem to dominate and the nice folk get stepped-on. Time we had a Nice Revolution. Hey ho, pop music influences attitude, at least for me it did. New in? Cilla’s back with a good ballad, The Love Affair get their final pop hit, and Steviw’s back with a crooner classic, My Cherie Amour, just ahead of the Bee Gees Tomorrow Tomorrow – a forgotten Bee Gees hit, to say the least. It appeared as though Robin was the more talented Gibb at this point….!

Weekend magazine clipping 1969

Weekend magazine clipping 1969

1 ( 14 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
2 ( 1 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
3 ( 7 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
4 ( 11 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
5 ( 6 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
6 ( 4 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
7 ( 2 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
8 ( RE ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
9 ( 5 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
10 ( 19 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb

11 ( RE ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
12 ( 17 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
13 ( 3 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
14 ( 9 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
15 ( 10 ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group
16 ( NEW ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
17 ( NEW ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affiar
18 ( 8 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
19 ( NEW ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
20 ( NEW ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees

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