My 1970 Charts – May

Me and choc ice and beach

Me and choc ice and beach

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5th May 1970

2 weeks for The Beatles on top as The Long And Winding Road winds on, but in at 2 it’s an instant fave from Christie, Yellow River being a sort of poppier version of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a very catchy song indeed and often played on Singapore radio. Once upon a time it was very well-known, these days it’s fallen a bit out of favour, but for me it has such strong nostalgia associating with great Singapore days that I still have great fondness for it.

Julie Felix, If I Could, goes top 10, and there is only one more new entry, The Moody Blues have a Question at 18. My question is, why I never rated it enormously when I finally got to hear it once or twice (not a radio fave in Singapore), but it’s grown on me over the years as I got more familiar with it’s Alone Again Or vibe, like most of the Moody’s songs having finally got to see them in concert recently. Still good!

1 ( 1 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
2 ( NEW ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
3 ( 3 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
4 ( 2 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
5 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 4 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
7 ( 7 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
8 ( 19 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
9 ( 6 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
10 ( 11 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones

11 ( 9 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
12 ( 10 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
13 ( 14 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
14 ( 13 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
15 ( 18 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
16 ( 12 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
17 ( 16 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
18 ( NEW ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
19 ( 17 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
20 ( 15 ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink

In world events the Kent University, Ohio shooting of students by troopers shocked the world. The Vietnam War and other such student protests, such as environmentalism, were not looked on kindly by the establishment. The very famous photo of a victim with a woman kneeling over his body affected me, and if anything made me even more anti-violence, pro-peace, and pro-environment, pro-equal-rights and many other pro’s. It all seemed very simple and logical to this 12-year-old that some things were just plain wrong, and using deadly force against students was one of them. Vietnam was a lot closer to home in Singapore, and always loomed large on the news.

At the RAF cinema, which was always a bit behind the times, we weren’t yet watching the big movies A Man Called Horse, but mum and dad went to see when they got hold of a copy, very much in line with the mood of the times as Native Americans were no longer just baddie injuns for cowboys to shoot dead at every opportunity in the movies. The Aristocats also came out, but for some reason we never got to see that one, leaving a Disney hole in my childhood experiences, ditto Bedknobs And Broomsticks. After that, there was only really the next animated movie (Robin Hood) before I stopped altogether until Robin Williams voiced Aladdin 20 years later.


12th May 1970

Yellow River gets it’s first week at number one, fab! Tom Jones is up to 9, keeping his run of top 10 singles of at least one a year intact, and it’s the dramatic Daughter Of Darkness. New at 3, though, it’s a record I was insanely mad on, Honey Come Back was a huge hit for Glen Campbell and even though in retrospect it’s not his best single by any means, it was sweetly touching, tuneful and popular, and I just became obsessed by the hook and by Glen Campbell. Some of mum and dad’s friends had an album by Glen with it on, so I got to hear it when we went round, and this became the album I most wanted for Christmas, so I could get my own copy of the single. When they bought me an Australian mash-up of tracks from his previous two albums I was disappointed to say the least (they couldn’t find a copy), though I’m glad they did as This Is Glen Campbell had Wichita Lineman, Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and was a bloody timelessly brilliant album – even if I’m probably one of few to own an existing copy of those track-listings.

In at 18, Up The Ladder To The Roof, and The Supremes return without Diana Ross. I’ll be honest, I saw the split as a good thing, Diana Ross solo records were fantastic, and the new Supremes line-up was also fantastic, both were releasing terrific singles throughout the early 70’s. Sadly, public perception is that the Supremes dies without Diana Ross, but that’s not true, they had some classic singles to come, easily among the best, and the new girls (along with Mary Wilson) were great singers – Jean Terrell and Cindy Birdsong. This again was a single I barely heard at all at the time, and didn’t pick up on properly until 1975 on “5 Years Ago” charts on the radio in the UK. I won’t mention the host DJ. He’s already poisoned enough childhood memories for a generation.

1 ( 2 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
2 ( 1 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
3 ( NEW ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
4 ( 3 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
5 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 8 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
7 ( 6 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
8 ( 4 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
9 ( 10 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
10 ( 7 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension

11 ( 9 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
12 ( 15 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
13 ( 11 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
14 ( 18 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
15 ( 12 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
16 ( 13 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
17 ( 14 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
18 ( NEW ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
19 ( 16 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
20 ( 19 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin


19th May 1970

Glen Campbell gets his first number one, Honey Come Back, the only record in the summer of ’70 that I was more mad on is in at 3, Ray Stevens Everything Is Beautiful. Ray up to this point was largely known for novelty hits in the States, but was little-known in the UK even though some of them were rather amusing, such as Gitarzan. He also had dabbled with some straight songs though, like Mr. Businessman, but this gospel-flavoured kiddie-chorused, religious-tinted ballad propelled him into the big league. These days it’s seen as too saccharine to get much airplay, but I care not a jot – for some years into the late 70’s this was my all-time favourite record: the kids chorus start gave me goosebumps, the positive sentiment registered strongly with me, and the big choir finish was music to my ears. Plus it was a big family fave in Singapore, and I just hear it blaring out from the house one exotic sunny tropical morning into the street and garden as dad turned it up loud on the radio. Bliss!

In at 8 another Singapore fave, but one that left me frustrated: Butterscotch and Don’t You Know, one of those White Plains soundalike pop bands featuring songwriters Arnold, Martin and Morrow – who went on to write for Guys And Dolls, Barry Manilow, and others. It had a great tune, but I woke up one morning while dreaming of this song I’d never heard in my life before, as far as I was aware, only to go into the living room and switch the radio on and hear it suddenly coming out of the speakers. Now either I am psychic (nah, just perceptive) or I guess someone in a neighbouring house must have put the radio on accidentally loudly which interrupted my dream enough to wake me up, and I just managed to catch half of it on the radio. Or did I, doo doo doo doo Twilight Zone! Anyway, I sang the tune to myself for weeks and months afterwards but I never did get to hear it again, despite loving it, until I found a copy of the single in 1975, second-hand. Hooray! OK it was dated by then, but still pleasant.

At 15, The Jackson 5 have a soundalike, much-less-good, follow-up to I Want You Back, my least-fave of all their early singles, but hey-ho, still good and marvel at young Michael. In at 18, an instrumental novelty (sort of) the fab Groovin’ With Mr. Bloe, a cover of a Wind featuring Tony Orlando B side (without Tony Orlando), Elton John was involved, Dick James music was involved, and Elton John band musicians were involved. You might say it was Elton John’s breakthrough (on the other tracks which he wrote – his piano was re-recorded for the A side). You might not. I say yes, as Reg was busy singing Top Of The Pops cover album tracks of current hits at the time. Anyway it still sounds great fun and quirky. Finally, at 20, Marvin Gaye is back with a cover of Dion’s recent US hit Abraham Martin And John, done in a soul-style rather than folk-style, a tribute of course to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr and John Kennedy, violently murdered American political leaders.

1 ( 3 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
2 ( 2 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
3 ( NEW ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
4 ( 1 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
5 ( 4 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana

6 ( 6 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
7 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( NEW ) DON’T YOU KNOW Butterscotch
9 ( 9 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
10 ( 7 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum

11 ( 8 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
12 ( 12 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
13 ( 14 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
14 ( 10 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
15 ( NEW ) ABC The Jackson 5

16 ( 18 ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
17 ( 15 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
18 ( NEW ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe
19 ( 16 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
20 ( NEW ) ABRAHAM MARTIN AND JOHN Marvin Gaye

me wallowing beach near Changi 1970ish

me wallowing beach near Changi 1970ish


26th May 1970

2 weeks for Glen and his Honey on top. Sweet! The Jackson 5 make it 2 consecutive top 10’s, Mr Bloe grooves his way to 10, and The Beach Boys enter at 15 with an old Lead Belly blues song from 1940, Cottonfields being a rather different harmony version and pretty much drawing to a close the Beach Boys classic Capitol years and the hits after an awesome 8 year run. Ahead lay a succession of comebacks over nearly 45 years, some better than others, some solo, some collaborations, some new stuff, some covers, and even after the deaths of 2 of the Wilson Brothers. Not quite as great as the 60’s classics, but never bad.

1 ( 1 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
2 ( 3 ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
3 ( 2 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
4 ( 4 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
5 ( 8 ) DON’T YOU KNOW Butterscotch
6 ( 5 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
7 ( 7 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( 15 ) ABC The Jackson 5
9 ( 6 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
10 ( 18 ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe

11 ( 9 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
12 ( 10 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
13 ( 13 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
14 ( 11 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
15 ( NEW ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
16 ( 12 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
17 ( 20 ) ABRAHAM MARTIN AND JOHN Marvin Gaye
18 ( 14 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
19 ( 16 ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
20 ( 17 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder

In Singapore, the end of term wasn’t far off and English was all about preparing for the end of term play. Mum had to get involved in making a middle-eastern Sinbad-type-frock-smock for me to stand on stage looking and feeling stupid, chanting some lines as part of a chorus, and a couple on my own. Mum and dad travelled over to RAF Seletar one evening to watch it, and I’m sure mum was proud as punch she never criticised only encouraged school stuff I did. It was my first taste of being on stage in front of an audience, a very shy boy, and I made sure it was the last time for another 16 years! My next audience of adoring fans was on national Radio One on the Roadshow in Bournemouth. May as well look an idiot in front of as many folk as possible if you’re going to do it…!

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