My Retro March 1968 Charts

2nd March 1968

It’s a first week on top for Love, the great obscure classic Alone Again Or, better known by The Damned, and a track I didn’t know till 30 years later, beating out classics galore. Dave Dee, Union Gap, Monkees, Tom Jones, Otis Redding, Nancy & Lee, Beatles (most of them), Moody Blues, Four Tops, Scott Walker, for example all topped my charts as oldies in later decades. Highest new entry, of only 3, the lowest since I started doing these retro 1967/8 charts – which gives me a break to let records try to reach a decent chart position as they deserve – is The Monkees yet again, straight in with Valleri, a terrific record, and the final hit that was well worth being a bigger hit than it was. Their previous single peaks at 50, it’s a Nilsson Beatles-ish song (as Harry’s tended to be at this time) and it’s sweet – but it’s not in the same league as Valleri.

Jimmy Ruffin’s 1970 UK hit I’ll Say Forever My Love, joins the club of 70’s soul hits that were actually 1968 US hits, and a goodie it is too, nicely dramatic and stringstastic. Pet Clark leaps into the 30, as does Sandie Shaw more modestly into the 40, neither of them tracks I noticed particularly at the time. Tom Rush jumps nicely, and the final new entry is Bob Dylan, with a song I associate more with UB40 and Robert Palmer. It’s actually quite restrained and tuneful, gasp!

1 ( 2 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
2 ( 1 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
3 ( 5 ) YOUNG GIRL The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett
4 ( NEW ) VALLERI The Monkees
5 ( 3 ) LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU The Delfonics
6 ( 9 ) THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
7 ( 10 ) DELILAH Tom Jones
8 ( 4 ) WE CAN FLY The Cowsills
9 ( 6 ) WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Louis Armstrong
10 ( 7 ) (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding

11 ( 8 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
12 ( 15 ) LITTLE GREEN APPLES Roger Miller
13 ( 11 ) WORDS The Bee Gees
14 ( 16 ) MIGHTY QUINN Manfred Mann
15 ( 14 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
16 ( 13 ) NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN The Moody Blues
17 ( 22 ) ROSIE Don Partridge
18 ( 27 ) THE SON OF HICKORY HOLLER’S TRAMP O.C. Smith
19 ( 12 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Madeline Bell
20 ( 20 ) CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP Reparata & The Delrons

21 ( 17 ) PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN Status Quo
22 ( 18 ) KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
23 ( 19 ) EVERLASTING LOVE The Love Affair
24 ( NEW ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
25 ( 21 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
26 ( 31 ) ME THE PEACEFUL HEART Lulu
27 ( 23 ) WALK AWAY RENEE The Four Tops
28 ( 24 ) JACKIE Scott Walker
29 ( 36 ) MY GIRL Otis Redding
30 ( 47 ) KISS ME GOODBYE Petula Clark

31 ( 26 ) DON’T STOP THE CARNIVAL The Alan Price Set
32 ( 29 ) WORLD The Bee Gees
33 ( 33 ) DANCE TO THE MUSIC Sly & The Family Stone
34 ( 30 ) MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR The Beatles
35 ( 25 ) TOMORROW NEVER COMES Glen Campbell
36 ( 32 ) FIRE BRIGADE The Move
37 ( 41 ) CINDERELLA ROCKEFELLA Esther & Abi Ofarim
38 ( 28 ) I CAN TAKE OR LEAVE YOUR LOVING Herman’s Hermits
39 ( 34 ) A QUESTION OF TEMPERATURE The Balloon Farm
40 ( 49 ) TODAY Sandie Shaw

41 ( 39 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER The Monkees
42 ( 37 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
43 ( 52 ) JENNIFER JUNIPER Donovan
44 ( 35 ) YOU’RE YOUNG AND YOU’LL FORGET Glen Campbell
45 ( 38 ) BACK ON MY FEET AGAIN The Foundations
46 ( 43 ) DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt
47 ( 42 ) COME RAIN OR COME SHINE Ray Charles
48 ( 44 ) ONE Harry Nilsson
49 ( 66 ) NO REGRETS Tom Rush
50 ( 56 ) GREEN TAMBOURINE Sun Dragon

51 ( 45 ) SUDDENLY YOU LOVE ME The Tremeloes
52 ( 48 ) YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW The Beatles
53 ( 51 ) MASSACHUSSETS (THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN) The Bee Gees
54 ( 58 ) SCARBOROUGH FAIR (CANTICLE) Simon & Garfunkel
55 ( 57 ) WE’RE A WINNER The Impressions
56 ( 59 ) IN THE HEAT OF THE MORNING David Bowie
57 ( 46 ) GUITAR MAN Elvis Presley
58 ( 60 ) SOUL COAXING (AME CALINE) Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra
59 ( 54 ) BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX Glen Campbell
60 ( 75 ) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

61 ( 64 ) THE RADIO SONG The Parade
62 ( 62 ) SKY PILOT Eric Burden & The Animals
63 ( 63 ) COUNTRY GIRL – CITY MAN Billy Vera & Judy Clay
64 ( 40 ) TRY IT Ohio Express
65 ( 68 ) THE END OF OUR ROAD Gladys Knight & The Pips
66 ( 67 ) SWEET INSPIRATION The Sweet Inspirations
67 ( 53 ) LOVE IS BLUE Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra
68 ( NEW ) I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT Bob Dylan
69 ( 70 ) LOVE IS BLUE Jeff Beck
70 ( 61 ) HEY LITTLE ONE Glen Campbell

71 ( 71 ) IF YOU CAN WAIT Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
72 ( 55 ) BEND ME SHAPE ME Amen Corner
73 ( 73 ) AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS The Formations
74 ( 50 ) CUDDLY TOY The Monkees
75 ( 65 ) ANNIVERSARY WALTZ Anita Harris

 

9th march 1968

It’s a 3rd slightly-Spanish/acoustic guitar riffed chart-topper as The Monkees final classic single tops my chart, Boyce & Hart’s Valleri making it a 6th. Don Partridge one-man-bands it onto every TV show at the time, and it still sounds charming up to 8, Jimmy Ruffin and Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell both have some Motown climbing, along with The Four Tops cover of If I Were A Carpenter and Diana Ross & The Supremes under-rated Forever Came Today both entering.

Highest new entry is also another cover of a 1967 top 10 original – Andy Williams glorious cover of Frankie Valli’s classic Can’t Take My Eyes Off You. Not quite up to the brilliant campness of the U2 mash-up by the Pet Shop Boys, but up there. Cilla is back with a song written by Paul McCartney for her new TV show to kick of a variety show career. I wonder if that will be a success, hmmm.

In at 65, another childhood fave debuts, Ray Stevens was a bit of a hero with his novelty records and his straight country/gospel ballads – possibly the odd mix is why he’s not critically-appreciated, Gitarzan is not necessarily going to get music critics excited – but he had 3 chart-topping singles in my of-the-time 70’s charts. Unwind is a decent song written by Ray for his first serious album, and a minor US hit ahead of a run of bigger hits. The Paper Dolls enter with a MaCaulay/MacLeod song I loved at the time – sadly the girls missed out on the lined-up follow-up – Build Me Up Buttercup – owing to a studio recording mix-up. Oops!

1 ( 4 ) VALLERI The Monkees
2 ( 2 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
3 ( 3 ) YOUNG GIRL The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett
4 ( 1 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
5 ( 7 ) DELILAH Tom Jones
6 ( 6 ) THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
7 ( 5 ) LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU The Delfonics
8 ( 17 ) ROSIE Don Partridge
9 ( 9 ) WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Louis Armstrong
10 ( 10 ) (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding

11 ( 24 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
12 ( 18 ) THE SON OF HICKORY HOLLER’S TRAMP O.C. Smith
13 ( 11 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
14 ( 8 ) WE CAN FLY The Cowsills
15 ( 13 ) WORDS The Bee Gees
16 ( 20 ) CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP Reparata & The Delrons
17 ( 15 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
18 ( 16 ) NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN The Moody Blues
19 ( 12 ) LITTLE GREEN APPLES Roger Miller
20 ( 26 ) ME THE PEACEFUL HEART Lulu

21 ( 14 ) MIGHTY QUINN Manfred Mann
22 ( NEW ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Andy Williams
23 ( 60 ) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
24 ( 19 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Madeline Bell
25 ( 22 ) KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
26 ( 23 ) EVERLASTING LOVE The Love Affair
27 ( 29 ) MY GIRL Otis Redding
28 ( 30 ) KISS ME GOODBYE Petula Clark
29 ( 25 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
30 ( 21 ) PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN Status Quo

31 ( 27 ) WALK AWAY RENEE The Four Tops
32 ( 28 ) JACKIE Scott Walker
33 ( 37 ) CINDERELLA ROCKEFELLA Esther & Abi Ofarim
34 ( 49 ) NO REGRETS Tom Rush
35 ( NEW ) STEP INSIDE LOVE Cilla Black
36 ( 32 ) WORLD The Bee Gees
37 ( 43 ) JENNIFER JUNIPER Donovan
38 ( 34 ) MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR The Beatles
39 ( 31 ) DON’T STOP THE CARNIVAL The Alan Price Set
40 ( 54 ) SCARBOROUGH FAIR (CANTICLE) Simon & Garfunkel

41 ( 36 ) FIRE BRIGADE The Move
42 ( 41 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER The Monkees
43 ( 33 ) DANCE TO THE MUSIC Sly & The Family Stone
44 ( 35 ) TOMORROW NEVER COMES Glen Campbell
45 ( 39 ) A QUESTION OF TEMPERATURE The Balloon Farm
46 ( 42 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
47 ( NEW ) FOREVER CAME TODAY Diana Ross & The Supremes
48 ( 38 ) I CAN TAKE OR LEAVE YOUR LOVING Herman’s Hermits
49 ( 40 ) TODAY Sandie Shaw
50 ( 46 ) DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt

51 ( 44 ) YOU’RE YOUNG AND YOU’LL FORGET Glen Campbell
52 ( 56 ) IN THE HEAT OF THE MORNING David Bowie
53 ( 45 ) BACK ON MY FEET AGAIN The Foundations
54 ( 48 ) ONE Harry Nilsson
55 ( 58 ) SOUL COAXING (AME CALINE) Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra
56 ( 53 ) MASSACHUSSETS (THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN) The Bee Gees
57 ( 62 ) SKY PILOT Eric Burden & The Animals
58 ( 47 ) COME RAIN OR COME SHINE Ray Charles
59 ( 52 ) YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW The Beatles
60 ( 68 ) I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT Bob Dylan

61 ( 61 ) THE RADIO SONG The Parade
62 ( NEW ) IF I WERE A CARPENTER The Four Tops
63 ( 59 ) BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX Glen Campbell
64 ( 51 ) SUDDENLY YOU LOVE ME The Tremeloes
65 ( NEW ) UNWIND Ray Stevens
66 ( 73 ) AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS The Formations
67 ( 71 ) IF YOU CAN WANT Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
68 ( NEW ) SOMETHING HERE IN MY HEART The Paper Dolls
69 ( 55 ) WE’RE A WINNER The Impressions
70 ( 63 ) COUNTRY GIRL – CITY MAN Billy Vera & Judy Clay

71 ( 50 ) GREEN TAMBOURINE Sun Dragon
72 ( 66 ) SWEET INSPIRATION The Sweet Inspirations
73 ( 69 ) LOVE IS BLUE Jeff Beck
74 ( NEW ) SIT WITH THE GURU The Strawberry Alarm Clock
75 ( NEW ) IF I ONLY HAD TIME John Rawles

 

16th March 1968

It’s a first week on top for The Union Gap and the powerful vocals of Gary Puckett with the rather classic Young Girl, heading a classic top 5 and a brilliant obscure song from the first Nancy & Lee album on release this month – Sundown, Sundown is classic Lee Hazelwood, but just to show they can cover others songs, they also have the definitive version of Elusive Dreams enter at 24, the 1967 entry for Tammy Wynette & David Houston. So with 3 in the top 30, that puts Nancy’s solo Lee Hazelwood song, 100 Years, into the shade at 66.

The Beatles are back with new song Lady Madonna, fab of course, but not quite as fab as every single since Eleanor Rigby started the classic run, while the B Side from George sneaks in at 70. Bobby Goldsboro’s Honey is in at 13 – very much a marmite track this one, either touchingly sad, or nauseatingly cheesy, what with lush string arrangements, Bobby’s emotional delivery and especially the lyrics. The song hit 2 in the UK again in 1975 around the time a classmate was killed in a motorbike accident, so I’m emotionally leaning towards the former as it deals with tragic early loss. It topped my chart that Spring.

Honeybus, a tuneful fave of the time, pops in with I Can’t Let Maggie Go, Cliff’s Congratulations (he was officially robbed!) Eurovision perennial enters, and Robert John debuts with a sweet soul number. Who he? He had a hit US cover of The Lion Sleeps Tonight in 1972 which I rather liked, his vocals tending towards the Frankie Valli-style, and best of all a UK hit (as well as a huge summer of 79 radio biggie while I was touring the South West USA) with the fab Sad Eyes. So 11 years of waiting for that UK hit…

Leonard Cohen gets another cheerful entry with his early classic, Suzanne, Solomon Burke avoids getting sued by the estate of the late Sam Cooke by virtue of the court case establishing copying a previous record’s style meant getting done for royalties hadn’t been set (see Blurred Lines/Got To Give It Up), The Bee Gees get an obscure new entry, Elvis has given up Returning To Sender and taken on the job of the US Male himself, while The Intruders get another early chart entry 6 years ahead of UK success.

1 ( 3 ) YOUNG GIRL The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett
2 ( 1 ) VALLERI The Monkees
3 ( 2 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4 ( 5 ) DELILAH Tom Jones
5 ( 6 ) THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
6 ( NEW ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
7 ( 4 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
8 ( NEW ) LADY MADONNA The Beatles
9 ( 7 ) LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU The Delfonics
10 ( 11 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin

11 ( 9 ) WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Louis Armstrong
12 ( 10 ) (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
13 ( NEW ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
14 ( 13 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
15 ( 22 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Andy Williams
16 ( 20 ) ME THE PEACEFUL HEART Lulu
17 ( 8 ) ROSIE Don Partridge
18 ( 12 ) THE SON OF HICKORY HOLLER’S TRAMP O.C. Smith
19 ( 15 ) WORDS The Bee Gees
20 ( 23 ) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

21 ( 17 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
22 ( 18 ) NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN The Moody Blues
23 ( 14 ) WE CAN FLY The Cowsills
24 ( NEW ) ELUSIVE DREAMS Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
25 ( 16 ) CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP Reparata & The Delrons
26 ( 28 ) KISS ME GOODBYE Petula Clark
27 ( 19 ) LITTLE GREEN APPLES Roger Miller
28 ( 25 ) KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
29 ( 24 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Madeline Bell
30 ( 21 ) MIGHTY QUINN Manfred Mann

31 ( 26 ) EVERLASTING LOVE The Love Affair
32 ( 35 ) STEP INSIDE LOVE Cilla Black
33 ( 29 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
34 ( 31 ) WALK AWAY RENEE The Four Tops
35 ( 32 ) JACKIE Scott Walker
36 ( 27 ) MY GIRL Otis Redding
37 ( 30 ) PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN Status Quo
38 ( 62 ) IF I WERE A CARPENTER The Four Tops
39 ( 36 ) WORLD The Bee Gees
40 ( 47 ) FOREVER CAME TODAY Diana Ross & The Supremes

41 ( 34 ) NO REGRETS Tom Rush
42 ( 38 ) MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR The Beatles
43 ( 33 ) CINDERELLA ROCKEFELLA Esther & Abi Ofarim
44 ( 40 ) SCARBOROUGH FAIR (CANTICLE) Simon & Garfunkel
45 ( 42 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER The Monkees
46 ( 37 ) JENNIFER JUNIPER Donovan
47 ( 39 ) DON’T STOP THE CARNIVAL The Alan Price Set
48 ( NEW ) I CAN’T LET MAGGIE GO Honeybus
49 ( 46 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
50 ( 65 ) UNWIND Ray Stevens

51 ( NEW ) CONGRATULATIONS Cliff Richard
52 ( 60 ) I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT Bob Dylan
53 ( 61 ) THE RADIO SONG The Parade
54 ( 50 ) DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt
55 ( 68 ) SOMETHING HERE IN MY HEART The Paper Dolls
56 ( NEW ) IF YOU DON’T WANT MY LOVE Robert John
57 ( 44 ) TOMORROW NEVER COMES Glen Campbell
58 ( 66 ) AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS The Formations
59 ( 56 ) MASSACHUSSETS (THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN) The Bee Gees
60 ( 54 ) ONE Harry Nilsson

61 ( 41 ) FIRE BRIGADE The Move
62 ( 67 ) IF YOU CAN WANT Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
63 ( 51 ) YOU’RE YOUNG AND YOU’LL FORGET Glen Campbell
64 ( 74 ) SIT WITH THE GURU The Strawberry Alarm Clock
65 ( 52 ) IN THE HEAT OF THE MORNING David Bowie
66 ( NEW ) 100 YEARS Nancy Sinatra
67 ( 63 ) BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX Glen Campbell
68 ( 75 ) IF I ONLY HAD TIME John Rawles
69 ( 48 ) I CAN TAKE OR LEAVE YOUR LOVING Herman’s Hermits
70 ( NEW ) THE INNER LIGHT The Beatles

71 ( NEW ) SUZANNE Leonard Cohen
72 ( NEW ) PARTY PEOPLE Solomon Burke
73 ( NEW ) AND THE SUN WILL SHINE The Bee Gees
74 ( NEW ) U.S. MALE Elvis Presley
75 ( NEW ) COWBOYS TO GIRLS The Intruders

 

23rd March 1968

It’s a first week on top for The Voice in one of his biggest Foghorn performances, melodrama with a capital M. Tom Jones would certainly have topped my chart in 1965 (had I been charting) and It’s Not Unusual did eventually top my chart on its UK reissue in 1987, as did Delilah in the 90’s. Green Green Grass Of Home and What’s New Pussycat would also have been big as they were both kiddie faves too. Delilah is also on the 16 Big Hits album I keep mentioning, and replaces another track on top from it, as the 13th of the 16 tracks enters as highest newie at 25 for Four Jacks & A Jill, and the worldwide hit (except the UK) Master Jack. I’d never heard of it till dad bought the album, and rather liked it. It’s still sweet.

There’s a Motown invasion of the top 20, not to mention a Nancy & Lee invasion, and Aretha launches straight into the 40 with a great ballad new to me, the way better B Side of the track not in my chart, backed with amazing vocals from Whitney Houston’s mom Cissy, who’s Sweet Inspirations just dropped out of my chart. Another very familiar Hollies hit pops in, and 2 songs better known to me in covers: Cook & Greenaways hit machine song for Dorian Gray, Neil Diamond’s future UB40 monster, and also Archie Bell & The Drells Tighten Up, a band I went huge on 1972 when Here I Go Again was just fabulous. 

1 ( 4 ) DELILAH Tom Jones
2 ( 2 ) VALLERI The Monkees
3 ( 3 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4 ( 6 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
5 ( 1 ) YOUNG GIRL The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett
6 ( 8 ) LADY MADONNA The Beatles
7 ( 13 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
8 ( 5 ) THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
9 ( 7 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
10 ( 15 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Andy Williams

11 ( 9 ) LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU The Delfonics
12 ( 16 ) ME THE PEACEFUL HEART Lulu
13 ( 11 ) WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Louis Armstrong
14 ( 12 ) (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
15 ( 10 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
16 ( 20 ) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
17 ( 38 ) IF I WERE A CARPENTER The Four Tops
18 ( 40 ) FOREVER CAME TODAY Diana Ross & The Supremes
19 ( 14 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
20 ( 24 ) ELUSIVE DREAMS Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood

21 ( 19 ) WORDS The Bee Gees
22 ( 17 ) ROSIE Don Partridge
23 ( 21 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
24 ( 22 ) NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN The Moody Blues
25 ( NEW ) MASTER JACK Four Jacks And A Jill
26 ( 18 ) THE SON OF HICKORY HOLLER’S TRAMP O.C. Smith
27 ( 32 ) STEP INSIDE LOVE Cilla Black
28 ( 30 ) MIGHTY QUINN Manfred Mann
29 ( 28 ) KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
30 ( 23 ) WE CAN FLY The Cowsills

31 ( 29 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Madeline Bell
32 ( 27 ) LITTLE GREEN APPLES Roger Miller
33 ( 25 ) CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP Reparata & The Delrons
34 ( NEW ) AIN’T NO WAY Aretha Franklin
35 ( 31 ) EVERLASTING LOVE The Love Affair
36 ( 33 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
37 ( 34 ) WALK AWAY RENEE The Four Tops
38 ( 35 ) JACKIE Scott Walker
39 ( 50 ) UNWIND Ray Stevens
40 ( 48 ) I CAN’T LET MAGGIE GO Honeybus

41 ( 26 ) KISS ME GOODBYE Petula Clark
42 ( 39 ) WORLD The Bee Gees
43 ( 37 ) PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN Status Quo
44 ( 55 ) SOMETHING HERE IN MY HEART The Paper Dolls
45 ( 42 ) MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR The Beatles
46 ( 58 ) AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS The Formations
47 ( 51 ) CONGRATULATIONS Cliff Richard
48 ( 52 ) I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT Bob Dylan
49 ( 53 ) THE RADIO SONG The Parade
50 ( 56 ) IF YOU DON’T WANT MY LOVE Robert John

51 ( 45 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER The Monkees
52 ( 36 ) MY GIRL Otis Redding
53 ( 41 ) NO REGRETS Tom Rush
54 ( 49 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
55 ( NEW ) I’VE GOT YOU ON MY MIND Dorian Gray
56 ( NEW ) JENNIFER ECCLES The Hollies
57 ( 62 ) IF YOU CAN WANT Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
58 ( 54 ) DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt
59 ( 47 ) DON’T STOP THE CARNIVAL The Alan Price Set
60 ( 44 ) SCARBOROUGH FAIR (CANTICLE) Simon & Garfunkel

61 ( 68 ) IF I ONLY HAD TIME John Rowles
62 ( 73 ) AND THE SUN WILL SHINE The Bee Gees
63 ( 66 ) 100 YEARS Nancy Sinatra
64 ( 64 ) SIT WITH THE GURU The Strawberry Alarm Clock
65 ( 59 ) MASSACHUSSETS (THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN) The Bee Gees
66 ( 46 ) JENNIFER JUNIPER Donovan
67 ( 60 ) ONE Harry Nilsson
68 ( 71 ) SUZANNE Leonard Cohen
69 ( 70 ) THE INNER LIGHT The Beatles
70 ( 72 ) PARTY PEOPLE Solomon Burke

71 ( 74 ) U.S. MALE Elvis Presley
72 ( 67 ) BY THE TIME I GET TO PHOENIX Glen Campbell
73 ( NEW ) RED RED WINE Neil Diamond
74 ( NEW ) (YOU KEEP ME) HANGIN’ ON Joe Simon
75 ( NEW ) TIGHTEN UP Archie Bell & The Drells

30th March 1968

It’s a first week on top for the second Number One of 1968 for Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood, and Nancy’s 5th in total. Sundown Sundown was not a single, which is rather a bad record company decision considering it’s as good as anything Lee Hazelwood ever created. Boo!

The Four Tops get yet another top 10, very much the default position for the Tops in my charts during 1966-68, and Young Girl drops a bit in the week that NME named it one of the 10 most-unplayable tracks in 2018, on a par with Gary Glitter and The Rolling Stones Some Girls album. Nonsense of course, the man clearly says the girl has put on make-up, hidden her age, and looked much older leading him on, and soon as he finds out he says she should p*ss off back to her mother “before things go too far”, so not actually guilty of anything – which is more than Bill Wyman, the still-played Jerry Lee Lewis and the still-played R. Kelly can say with their 14/15-year-old partners/wives.

In at 11, it’s Tommy James classic Mony Mony, the 14th of the 16 Big Hits album tracks I keep mentioning, so good Billy idol covered it in 1987 and it charted in my 1975 charts on reissue to boot. His best record to date, still exciting played loud. In at 15, the first of 2 album tracks from Glen Campbell’s latest album of mostly covers – his fab version of the already fab Bob Lind, & Val Doonican, sublime song Elusive Butterfly. Another Singapore radio track we recorded on reel-to-reel – frankly anything Glen Campbell was recorded right off in our household, including his version of The Impossible Dream, a right theatrical stormer from Man Of La Mancha, better known by Jack Jones or Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine.

In at 45, it’s a belated UK 1978 novelty hit which I found amusing, and unusually one that bears repeat plays before the novelty wears off – it’s quite a clever loving-pastiche of the crooner-era records, and was a minor US and Australian hit in 1968, Loving You Has Made Me Bananas from Guy Marks, who popped up on Top Of The Pops in 1978 a decade late to the party. Laura Nyro’s second album is out, with a future-single stand-out track on hold till September, and her single-only Robert Kennedy-inspired single-only June track anthem yet to come, so that leaves the best two other tracks to enter my charts, Eli’s Coming a future hit for Three Dog Night, serial covers band, a sort of Showaddywaddy without the nostalgia. And the fun.

Fab Gene Pitney back as always with class, an obscure soul goodies, an MOR track, and a Stevie Wonder minor hit make up the other newies.

1 ( 4 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
2 ( 2 ) VALLERI The Monkees
3 ( 3 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
4 ( 6 ) LADY MADONNA The Beatles
5 ( 1 ) DELILAH Tom Jones
6 ( 7 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
7 ( 11 ) LA-LA MEANS I LOVE YOU The Delfonics
8 ( 5 ) YOUNG GIRL The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett
9 ( 8 ) THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE UGLY Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
10 ( 17 ) IF I WERE A CARPENTER The Four Tops

11 ( NEW ) MONY MONY Tommy James & The Shondells
12 ( 10 ) CAN’T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU Andy Williams
13 ( 9 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
14 ( 18 ) FOREVER CAME TODAY Diana Ross & The Supremes
15 ( NEW ) ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY Glen Campbell
16 ( 25 ) MASTER JACK Four Jacks And A Jill
17 ( 20 ) ELUSIVE DREAMS Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
18 ( 14 ) (SITTIN’ ON) THE DOCK OF THE BAY Otis Redding
19 ( 13 ) WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD Louis Armstrong
20 ( 12 ) ME THE PEACEFUL HEART Lulu

21 ( 15 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
22 ( 16 ) IF THIS WORLD WERE MINE Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
23 ( 19 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
24 ( 34 ) AIN’T NO WAY Aretha Franklin
25 ( 21 ) WORDS The Bee Gees
26 ( 27 ) STEP INSIDE LOVE Cilla Black
27 ( 23 ) HELLO GOODBYE The Beatles
28 ( 24 ) NIGHTS IN WHITE SATIN The Moody Blues
29 ( 39 ) UNWIND Ray Stevens
30 ( 40 ) I CAN’T LET MAGGIE GO Honeybus

31 ( 22 ) ROSIE Don Partridge
32 ( 50 ) IF YOU DON’T WANT MY LOVE Robert John
33 ( 29 ) KITES Simon Dupree & The Big Sound
34 ( 30 ) WE CAN FLY The Cowsills
35 ( 31 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU LOVE ME Madeline Bell
36 ( 26 ) THE SON OF HICKORY HOLLER’S TRAMP O.C. Smith
37 ( 46 ) AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS The Formations
38 ( 44 ) SOMETHING HERE IN MY HEART The Paper Dolls
39 ( 55 ) I’VE GOT YOU ON MY MIND Dorian Gray
40 ( 33 ) CAPTAIN OF YOUR SHIP Reparata & The Delrons

41 ( 35 ) EVERLASTING LOVE The Love Affair
42 ( 36 ) FOOL ON THE HILL The Beatles
43 ( 37 ) WALK AWAY RENEE The Four Tops
44 ( 38 ) JACKIE Scott Walker
45 ( NEW ) LOVING YOU HAS MADE ME BANANAS Guy Marks
46 ( 47 ) CONGRATULATIONS Cliff Richard
47 ( 42 ) WORLD The Bee Gees
48 ( 28 ) MIGHTY QUINN Manfred Mann
49 ( 32 ) LITTLE GREEN APPLES Roger Miller
50 ( 56 ) JENNIFER ECCLES The Hollies

51 ( 45 ) MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR The Beatles
52 ( 57 ) IF YOU CAN WANT Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
53 ( NEW ) SWEET BLINDNESS Laura Nyro
54 ( 51 ) DAYDREAM BELIEVER The Monkees
55 ( 43 ) PICTURES OF MATCHSTICK MEN Status Quo
56 ( 48 ) I’LL BE YOUR BABY TONIGHT Bob Dylan
57 ( 61 ) IF I ONLY HAD TIME John Rowles
58 ( 54 ) I AM THE WALRUS The Beatles
59 ( 62 ) AND THE SUN WILL SHINE The Bee Gees
60 ( 63 ) 100 YEARS Nancy Sinatra

61 ( NEW ) SOMEWHERE IN THE COUNTRY Gene Pitney
62 ( 64 ) SIT WITH THE GURU The Strawberry Alarm Clock
63 ( 58 ) DIFFERENT DRUM The Stone Poneys featuring Linda Ronstadt
64 ( NEW ) THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM Glen Campbell
65 ( 68 ) SUZANNE Leonard Cohen
66 ( NEW ) DOES YOUR MOTHER KNOW ABOUT ME? Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
67 ( 41 ) KISS ME GOODBYE Petula Clark
68 ( 74 ) (YOU KEEP ME) HANGIN’ ON Joe Simon
69 ( 65 ) MASSACHUSSETS (THE LIGHTS GO OUT IN) The Bee Gees
70 ( NEW ) ELI’S COMING Laura Nyro

71 ( 49 ) THE RADIO SONG The Parade
72 ( 73 ) RED RED WINE Neil Diamond
73 ( 59 ) DON’T STOP THE CARNIVAL The Alan Price Set
74 ( NEW ) GOIN’ AWAY The Fireballs
75 ( NEW ) SHOO-BE-DOO-BE-DOO-DA-DAY Stevie Wonder

My August 1970 Charts

4th August 1970

3 weeks for Cliff on top, and Elvis is on his heels at 2, how appropriate since Cliff modeled himself on early Elvis! Marmalade go for a 4th top 5, a melancholy Rainbow, and The Archies get a 5th Top 10 with a record that still has never been officially released in either the UK or the USA. Smokey Robinson gets a top ten song about tears, no not The Tracks Of My, this time it’s the equally classic Of A Clown.

Motown labelmates The Jackson 5, the hottest pop group around, enter at 13 with a third hit The Love You Save, a big improvement on ABC for me. They were the darlings of US variety shows of the time, not least the Ed Sullivan Show, which we had on TV in Singapore, albeit a while later. Look at the clip and marvel at Michael’s precociousness as performer. Fab. The other new record is at 20, Fairweather’s Natural Sinner. I’ve added it in retroactively as I didn’t hear it until 1975 while Andy Fairweather-Low was undergoing a solo career revival, having already had the hit pop group success with Amen Corner, including topping my charts in 1969 with Half As Nice. Not his finest hour, in all honesty.

1 ( 1 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
2 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
3 ( 3 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
4 ( 2 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 12 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
6 ( 5 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
7 ( 13 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
8 ( 14 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
9 ( 8 ) LOLA The Kinks
10 ( 10 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles

11 ( 9 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
12 ( 6 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( NEW ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
14 ( 17 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
15 ( 16 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
16 ( 15 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
17 ( 19 ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
18 ( 18 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
19 ( 20 ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
20 ( NEW ) NATURAL SINNER Fairweather


Talking of Ed Sullivan. As I’ve said before, in many ways my TV world of the 60’s and early 70’s was much more American than British, and that held true especially in Singapore – there were UK shows but they tended to be the sci-fi shows like Doctor Who and UFO, which was the latest, most exciting. mind-blowing show for me to get hooked on. Gerry Anderson had gone into live action TV, keeping the model-making for the space-age vehicles and flying saucers, as we called them in those days. I loved it. I also loved American variety shows like Ed Sullivan, though he was very, very dull. He also regularly had an awful cute mime mouse on far too often (once was more than enough, never mind 50 times in 8 years) Topo Gigio. If I’ve repeated myself here, apologies, just take it as a warning as it’s still on youtube! Avoid!

11th August 1970

A second number one from The Archies, Love Vibrations was featured on Archie’s Funhouse, an hour-long mix of songs and sketches and short stories, with a supposed live audience of kids. See lower down for more info! On an otherwise still-dull chart, Smokey Robinson goes top 5, Jackson 5 top 10, both Motown, and there are 2 new entries, both songs Tom Jones has recorded. Just as well as his version of I (Who Have Nothing) is in at 16, a terrific dramatic ballad, with The Voice on fine form. Shirley Bassey had the UK 1963 hit version (produced by George Martin) but this was a cover of Ben E. King’s US original English-language version of an Italian hit 1961 song by Joe Sentieri.

At 20, is another cover by Three Dog Night, this time Randy Newman’s Mama Told Me Not To Come, typically lyrically quirky and interesting and 2 or 3 decades before he became a big-deal movie composer for Pixar and others. I’d prefer to hear Randy, but this passed the time till Tom Jones covered it for his Reloaded album with Stereophonics.
1 ( 7 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
2 ( 2 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
3 ( 3 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
4 ( 5 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
5 ( 8 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
6 ( 4 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
7 ( 1 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
8 ( 6 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
9 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
10 ( 13 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5

11 ( 9 ) LOLA The Kinks
12 ( 10 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
13 ( 14 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
14 ( 11 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
15 ( 16 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
16 ( NEW ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
17 ( 15 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
18 ( 18 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
19 ( 17 ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
20 ( NEW ) MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME Three Dog Night


Archie’s Funhouse and Love Vibrations: I’ve bought the series DVD in haze of rose-tinted bliss, and it’s excruciating to sit through – except for the songs. I enjoyed the Archie comics, but I loved the cartoon band pop to bits and recorded this direct off the TV at the time, tinny and all from a hand microphone onto my mid-60’s reel-to-reel (well, technically dad’s recorder but my need was greater and I acquired it pretty much so I could record every song I loved from that moment on. That was a LOT of songs and a lot of blank reel-to-reel tapes for me to save up to buy for the next 20 years. I’m obviously biased but I still love this song, written by one Neil Brian Goldberg, a songwriter who never made it but who impacted me and I hope other young kids of the time.

What happened was that music maestro and Archies producer/songwriter Jeff Barry was moving on (he of hit songwriting married couple Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich, many a legendary song like Be My Baby, Da Do Ron Ron, Leader Of The Pack, River Deep Mountain High, and of course Sugar Sugar also for the Archies without Ellie). He took on Neil who ignored instructions to dumb down the hit machine and aim for 7-year-olds – instead his subject matter for songs was the world, the environment, civil rights, fairly serious topics for kiddie-pop. I noticed. I also noticed the promo cartoon videos to accompany and the fab tunes still sung by Ron Dante. Only 4 of the dozens of songs ever made it to limited release and none are available to buy to this day, including this one. So this will be the only chart it has ever appeared in. Boo! Hiss! It’s sweet (or twee), ever-so-slightly hippie psychedelic and melodic bubblegum.

18th August 1970

It’s Elvis on top, with his second number one in just over a year, following on from In The Ghetto. The Wonder Of You was originally a 1959 hit for Ray Peterson, but Elvis notched up the drama, now entering his Las Vegas phase and it was essentially Showbiz City from here on. I was still mad on Elvis and it would be another 2 years before the increasingly naff singles caused me to lose my love – in retrospect it all started here, really, give or take, as Parody Elvis killed off Gospel Elvis. These days, The Wonder Of You is nowhere near the top of my list of classic Presley.

Cat Stevens gets to 2, just ahead of a new entry for a new act, Bread. Bread was essentially David Gates, a great songwriter with an angelic sweet vocal, which I loved, but which provoked the same reaction amongst musos as The Carpenters – sweet equals sickly in their eyes, totally unable to appreciate the song quality. Make It With You is gorgeous, and was covered in the 90’s by Let Loose, to reasonable effect.

In at 5, one of my all-time fave bands of the 70’s debut – Hot Chocolate, fresh off The Beatles Apple label, and now with Micky Most’s RAK Records, loved that yacht logo on the vinyl. Errol Brown led the mixed race combo, in itself a statement at that time, and Errol and bandmate Tony Wilson showed they were nifty songwriters pretty much immediately (writing for other acts like Mary Hopkin). The organ and strings riffs of Love Is Life and that shuffling percussive rhythm were irresistible to me, and that soaring melody just fabulous. Still love it to bits.

Also in, at 19, Andy Williams is back with It’s So Easy, my top-rated crooner of the time. Andy was never bad, and I loved that he covered current hits on his show and albums. Just look at him singing this bouncy joyous pop ditty live – effortless and stylish.

1 ( 2 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
2 ( 3 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
3 ( NEW ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 7 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
5 ( NEW ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate

6 ( 1 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
7 ( 4 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
8 ( 6 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 5 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
10 ( 8 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry

11 ( 10 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
12 ( 9 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( 11 ) LOLA The Kinks
14 ( 13 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
15 ( 16 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones

16 ( 19 ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
17 ( 15 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
18 ( 14 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
19 ( NEW ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
20 ( 18 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free

Back in Singapore, time for some end-of-holiday musings and summary: the long summer holiday from school was pretty literal there, hot days, comics, music, TV, swimming pool, beach, catching fish for my tank, and yet more comics. I was getting a pretty good set of new Action Comics by this time, as well as back issues of Adventure Comics, all featuring my beloved Legion Of Super-Heroes (and Superboy and Superman). I can’t understate how shaky and sweaty I would get when I came across a new issue – the surge of excitement overcame everything else. I had to have them, no matter what. By this time I was off on longer bus journeys, to Katong and Siglap bookstores and roadside kiosks, to Changi Village second-hand bookstores, and to Singapore City plush department stores newsagent sections (with grown-ups, that one, it was just that bit too daunting to go into the city on my own). Just as well I didn’t always tell where I’d been (I used to say Bedok, near where we first lived, and bring back fish from the tropical fish store for the tank as proof). Ah happy days, and I even got friend Dale to accompany me too, eventually – his parents also didn’t know. Given the red-flag bombs left locally aimed at us kids, as I’ve already said, I had to get my priorities right. I knew the risks, took no chances straying from the main bus route and the shops, and I wouldn’t have trusted strangers, but those comics were meant for me, I had to have them! I still have them….

I noticed by now that the comics I brought over from the UK were getting a bit brown and stained round the edges, so hot and humid was it, constantly. I had moth balls in the draw I kept them in, but that didn’t stop it. The expensive new ones needed to be kept as mint as possible in my obsessive eyes. I came up with a solution. Bread rolls. Or rather the bags the rolls came in, labelled with Bakers logos and so on, but otherwise transparent – I washed them out, dried them off for a day or two, and stored my comics in them one in each bag. Then inside a larger bag. It worked – they are still inside the same bags 46 years later, fairly airtight and stacked in my childhood wooden box. Some might call that anal retentive and they’d be right. But my comics are still near mint and worth a bob or two now.

25th August 1970

School hols nearly over, and it’s a reggae new entry at 1 for Desmond Dekker, finally getting the top spot after peaking at with Israelites the previous year. Written by Jamaican reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, You Can Get It If You Really Want was a fab melodic pop groove released on the super-cool reggae label Trojan. Back in 1970, though, Desmond was the big reggae star. Hot Chocolate go up to 2 with the fantastic Love Is Life, and Marmalade hold at 3 with the lovely Rainbow. New at 11, a future Kylie cover, the soulful funk of Chairmen Of The Board, starting their string of hits with one of their great singles, Give Me Just A Little More Time. Lead singer General Johnson had a terrific voice, and the creative team was ex-Motown legends Holland-Dozier-Holland on their new Invictus record label. Funkier, but still fab.

1 ( NEW ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
2 ( 5 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
3 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 1 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 2 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
6 ( 6 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
7 ( 7 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
8 ( 8 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 10 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
10 ( 9 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

11 ( NEW ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
12 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
14 ( 11 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
15 ( 15 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
16 ( 14 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
17 ( 19 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
18 ( 16 ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
19 ( 18 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
20 ( 20 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free


Back in the tropics, what kind of games were popular in our house? I got a fab game called Battling Tops for christmas which dad and his RAF mates also pissed themselves over – it was like an old amphitheatre but curved. Basically you wrapped up to 4 spinning tops in nylon rope, placed them in the 4 starter blocks at 90 degrees around the arena, and pulled hard. They then went mad, spinning towards each other and colliding, and the winner was the one who didn’t get chucked out the arena and who spun the longest.

The grown-ups were big on Canasta, very much a social thing among young married couples, or a ladies-only bit of fun – I still adore card games but they seem to be a thing of the past generally these days. Anyway, I watched avidly behind each grown-up watching how they played till I picked it up, and eventually I got to play too. Yay!

The other big social do, again for couples, but also men’s beer-drinking gatherings at our house (cos we had a dartboard) was darts. Mum and dad went onto the main RAF camp for nights out (we stayed on our own, brother & I, locked indoors with neighbours opposite keeping an eye on the house), I was quite sensible from an early age, these days you’d be done for child abandonment but at 12 or 13 years old I certainly didn’t feel I needed a baby sitter to control my younger brother and a bit of squabbling now and then. Anyway, they won loads of team darts awards, albeit some as runners-up (still have the little wooden plaques and cups) and I got to play darts as much as I wanted. Never did get great at it, though, preferred DC Comics and pop music and American TV.

Other board games: Monopoly (of course), Careers, Scrabble, Mouse Trap, and minor ones like draughts, snakes and ladders, ludo and so on. My big new board game, though, was Chess. I joined the chess club at Seletar Secondary Modern in my first year, and liked it, and ended up getting my own super-funky magnetic chess board (still have it) which I took to my new upcoming school, where I basically spent breaks with the other nerds playing chess. Yes my days of hanging about with the cool kids running round school playgrounds and playing fields were over, the new RAF Changi Grammar School was a whole different ball game, so to speak, and I pretty quickly got labelled a “swot” which was the social kiss of death for any shy boy. To be continued in September, and day one at school…

 

My 1970 Charts – July

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7th July 1970

5 weeks and Everything Is still Beautiful for Ray Stevens. Simon & Garfunkel go up to 4 with Cecilia up in my bedroom, Lady D’Arbanville gives Cat Stevens a royal climb to 6, and Lola gives The Kinks a manly leg-up into the top 10. New at 10, and The King is back, fresh from a run of classic 1969 singles, including chart-topper In The Ghetto, but this time it’s not cool soulful gospel Elvis, it’s the start of Las Vegas live cabaret Elvis who covers other people’s records for a living. This one is 1959 Ray Peterson hit The Wonder Of You, and is still his best cabaret period track, well OTT but a bit of fun, and Elvis had yet to become a caricature of himself.

In at 14, and back in the chart groove, Jimmy Ruffin keeps those Motown soul-sounds going with I’ll Say Forever My Love, a terrific record in a run of great singles from Jimmy. In at 19, Joni Mitchell finally charts in her own right, having been covered by others prior to Big Yellow Taxi. It’s a great song, still popular, but not by any means my favourite Joni song, not even close. 5 years on she took a re-recorded version into my charts, and it would be 4 years before she actually got a follow-up chart track enter my charts.

1 ( 1 ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
2 ( 2 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
3 ( 3 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
4 ( 5 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 4 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
6 ( 10 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
7 ( 6 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
8 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
9 ( 7 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
10 ( NEW ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley

http://youtube.com/v/NQH_Wj5lj5g

11 ( 8 ) SALLY Gerry Monroe
12 ( 9 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
13 ( 12 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
14 ( NEW ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
15 ( 14 ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
16 ( 18 ) REACH OUT AND TOUCH (SOMEBODY’S HAND) Diana Ross
17 ( 15 ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe
18 ( 19 ) SOMETHING Shirley Bassey
19 ( NEW ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
20 ( 16 ) WHO’S YOUR BABY?/SENORITA RITA The Archies

http://youtube.com/v/ZgMEPk6fvpg


So, as they like to start sentences with these days, Singapore lazy hazy days of summer. My school popcorn transfer collection was becoming pretty comprehensive – I’d covered my cardboard hardboard suitcase-style school bag (everyone had them) in them, inside and out, and I’d decided to save them for posterity in a DIY mini-album made from A4 sheets cut in half and folded over, and stapled together. I still have it of course, and I am right now gazing at my gorgeous Neal Adams figures of Superman, Batman, Batgirl and Robin, still the best DC Comics artist of all time. I also had my el cheapo Far east rip-off versions of Batman/ Superman which had the hair the wrong colour, the costumes the wrong colour, and other hilarity I guess was intentionally done to avoid copyright prosecution. Either that or the artist was colour-blind. Then there’s my 2001: A Space Odyssey transfers, still sexy and still futuristic even though it’s 14-years beyond 2001 now. Not to mention my “Monkey” animation transfers (I’m sure I have already mentioned these, but y’know, whatever!) as Far East culture was just as much fair game as American to kids like me. Think of it as an early version of Kung Fu Panda! Then there’s the Cowboy transfers (think Toy Story’s Woody), the Daktari TV show transfers (Clarence The Cross-Eyed Lion was a hit long before The Lion King), and loads of Anime superheroes in the style of hit Japanese TV show Marine Boy. Anime was big news in Singapore for kids, and I have vague memories of an obscure series called Phantoma so I googled and I youtubed and he looks nothing like I recall (see link) so I’m thinking it may have been a local TV station rename for Space Ghost who does look like I recall (a Hanna Barbera cartoon) so here’s the Japanese language version. Anyways, all in all, a big yah-boo-sucks to later trends and cults for kids, beat ya all to it, so there hah (raspberry!).

http://youtube.com/v/DEFxejz3g18


14th July 1970

Mungo Jerry finally get on top in the summertime, or in Singapore where it’s perpetually summer, summer sounds seemed doubly appropriate. Once upon a time it was fresh and new and unusual, before a plethora of adverts, TV spots, film slots and a cover by Shaggy rendered it all a bit old hat, but I retain affection for it as long as I don’t hear it too often! Highest new entry at 12 is Hotlegs with the insistent plodding beat of Neanderthal Man. It seemed like a novelty record, which is not quite right as the band went on to become 75% of 10CC, who also started off with what seemed to be a novelty record, before it became quite clear that they specialised in musical pastiches, witty lyrics and versatility of sound. Prior to Hotlegs, Eric Stewart was in and sang lead vocal on the Mindbenders gorgeous Groovy Kind Of Love, another of many childhood faves of mine. After leaving the chart, Graham Gouldman joined Lol Creme, Kevin Godley and Eric (joint owner of Strawberry Studios, where they recorded, along with Graham) and that was essentially 10CC formed.

1 ( 2 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
2 ( 1 ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
3 ( 3 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
4 ( 4 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 8 ) LOLA The Kinks
6 ( 6 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
7 ( 5 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
8 ( 10 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
9 ( 7 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
10 ( 9 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie

 

http://youtube.com/v/wiWu7Csn2HY

11 ( 14 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
12 ( NEW ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( 11 ) SALLY Gerry Monroe
14 ( 12 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
15 ( 13 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
16 ( 18 ) SOMETHING Shirley Bassey
17 ( 15 ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
18 ( 19 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
19 ( 16 ) REACH OUT AND TOUCH (SOMEBODY’S HAND) Diana Ross
20 ( 17 ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe


Around about this time dad started buying colour slide films for the new half-frame camera – this was quite a revelation, as once he’d got a screen and slide projector we had the multicolour 60’s experience recorded for posterity at 72 shots a roll of film, and shown in glorious multicolour afterwards as big as you wanted. This was amazing, as it just captured everything about a largely-disappearing period-piece, our youth, and in the years (and decades) afterwards it kept the whole tropical Singapore world fresh and vivid. I still have boxes and boxes of slides (now sometimes looking worse for wear as time starts to let fungus and the like creep in) and no way of transferring to digital which does them justice – the focus is not quite right, the colours too pastel, the bits of dust and stuff on them stands out too much. What I need is time and expensive kit to have them back to life and saved. Here’s one of mum, dad, brother and life then ins Singapore city: mum’s crocheted handbag (arts and crafts were big with the housewives), the bottle of fanta (you needed lotsa bottles of fizzy drinks on a day out), the umbrella (when it rained it poured), the cool fashions: I’m sorry, for me fashion peaked in 1970 and it has been at it’s best since when it’s returning to similar styles of the late 60’s and very early 70’s. Call me old-fashioned…!


21st July 1970

Cliff gets his first chart-topper after a couple of number 2’s. I say first, actually Cliff’s career was the same age as me (still is, obviously!) and he’d moved over into family pop fairly early into his career and pretty much stayed there, but with an increasingly bubblegum tendency that didn’t go down well with music critics. Goodbye Sam Hello Samantha was melodic pop that appealed well enough to 12 year-old’s, about a boy dumping his mates for girls, not about tomboys blossoming into women, or boys going the Lola route (sadly, as that would have been quite a media sensation). In a hypothetical world where I started my pop charts at age 5, not 10, Cliff would have had Summer Holiday, Bacholer Boy, All My Love, The Day I Met Marie and maybe Congratulations hit the top spot, cos I loved them all. The Day I Met Marie eventually did top my chart, and there’s still time for The Next Time (double A with Bacholer Boy) to do the same, though the others have all passed that point now.

Simon & Garfunkel get yet another single fall just short of the top spot, the fab Cecilia at 2, as Elvis and Cat go top 5, Hotlegs go top 10, and the highest new entry at 13 is one I was mad on, recorded direct off the TV with a hand microphone from The Archies Fun House show. Love Vibrations inexpicably remains unreleased 45 years later, and of course is therefore the record I most want to be available on download, or CD, or vinyl. It’s just a great tune, and much better than a number of their rather odd singles choices following the monster that was Sugar Sugar. Pretty sure it never appeared in any chart, therefore, on the whole Planet Earth, so I’m singing it’s praises a lone voice in the wilderness, albeit through childhood rose-tinted specs. At 18, and much better-known, it’s Stevie Wonder again, Signed, Sealed, Delivered he’s yours. Even covered by Stevie himself in 2003 with Blue (it wasn’t an improvement on the original) it gave him a 21st century UK chart hit that wasn’t Superstition (it usually is). The youtube clip is a gem, cool Stevie and spot missus Syreeta on backing vocals. At 20, Pickettywich sneak in briefly again with a sad old movie, kinda. S’OK.

http://youtube.com/v/Po1ffbk5JA0

1 ( 3 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
2 ( 4 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
3 ( 1 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
4 ( 6 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
5 ( 8 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
6 ( 5 ) LOLA The Kinks
7 ( 7 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
8 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
9 ( 9 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
10 ( 10 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie

http://youtube.com/v/zxexKLsLpw0

11 ( 11 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
12 ( 18 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
13 ( NEW ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
14 ( 14 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops
15 ( 15 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
16 ( 13 ) SALLY Gerry Monroe
17 ( 17 ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
18 ( NEW ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
19 ( 16 ) SOMETHING Shirley Bassey
20 ( NEW ) (IT’S LIKE A) SAD OLD KINDA MOVIE Pickettywich

http://youtube.com/v/cbKVfq49tII

What was reading at this time, apart from comics? Just William books (very British), The Bobbsey Twins books (very American), Enid Blyton books (still) though I’d moved more into the “Secret” and “Adventure” books and away from The Famous Five and The Secret Seven (very Dorset). I’d already dipped into Arthur C. Clarke (Dolphin Island, a long-forgotten pro-dolphin sci-fi yarn aimed at kids) which whetted my appetite for science-fiction, without actually being aware that was what it was, or that more was available in that genre. My fave books of all-time, though were The Secret Island (Blyton) and Dolphin Island (Clarke) and the 1858 R. M. Ballantyne novel The Coral Island. Hmmm, I seem to have a thing for being marooned on/or living on isolated islands, particularly tropical ones, and ones with animals I can love (as opposed to eat). It all seemed so glamorous being able to do exactly what you want, in co-operation, on a marvellous adventure. Or maybe I just liked living in my own world cos the real one is quite cruel. No change there then….

28th July 1970

2 weeks for Cliff and Samantha, Cat hits 3 with his lady, and Jimmy Ruffin gets a 2nd top 10 in a row. In at 12 it’s another country-flavoured melodic ballad from the under-rated Scottish band Marmalade, Rainbow is another sweet-sad pop song in the style of The Hollies or Crosby Stills & Nash, and follows-up my chart-topper Reflections Of My Life. Like The Monkees they generally (against their wishes) were forced to record songs by professional songwriters, (good records all the same) but in 1969 switched to Decca and produced their own songs. Their line-up had Junior Campbell, later of solo gospel-tinged singles success, and they rather sensibly changed the band name from The Gaylords. Pity they didn’t choose The Jam rather than The Marmalade though! Hendrix was an early supporter, little-known fact.

At 14, it’s an oldie, and a classic. Yes, shockingly, Tears Of A Clown was an obscure 1967 Smokey Robinson & The Miracles album track which Motown bizarrely failed to recognise as a smash hit classic. The UK was a big supporter of 60’s Motown tracks well into the 70’s, and this one actually topped the UK singles chart before happening in the USA – it also stopped Smokey leaving the band for another 2 years! The record? It’s perfect. The circus-themed riffs, the clever lyrics, the great vocal, and the tune, all perfect. No cover version, including the hit ska cover by The Beat, comes close to matching the sheer beauty of the original. Smokey is a much-admired songwriter by other professional songwriters, and he even had a song all about him: ABC’s When Smokey Sings. Nuff said. In at 19, Chicago are back with 25 Or 6 To 4 – no I still have no idea what it means either. It’s a great jazz-tinged rock groove though, with some mighty riffs. The future held decades of tedious ballads (mostly) but in 1970 they were still cool.

1 ( 1 ) GOODBY SAM HELLO SAMANTHA Cliff Richard
2 ( 2 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
3 ( 4 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
4 ( 5 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 3 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry

6 ( 8 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
7 ( 7 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
8 ( 6 ) LOLA The Kinks
9 ( 11 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
10 ( 9 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles

http://youtube.com/v/MeMS8SuHPs0

11 ( 10 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
12 ( NEW ) RAINBOW Marmalade
13 ( 13 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
14 ( NEW ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
15 ( 14 ) IT’S ALL IN THE GAME The Four Tops

http://youtube.com/v/HsI-DB-25e8

16 ( 12 ) BIG YELLOW TAXI Joni Mitchell
17 ( 18 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
18 ( 15 ) ALL RIGHT NOW Free
19 ( NEW ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
20 ( 17 ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys

http://youtube.com/v/WLiuMkGCOC4


The youtube clip of Tears Of A Clown is taken from The Andy Williams Show, Andy was coolest of the crooners and a family fave, his variety show had his extended family on it (actual wife Claudine Longet, and unrelated regulars The Osmond Brothers) and big big Hollywood and TV superstars, and big singers and up and coming upstarts like Elton John and The Jackson 5. The Cookie Bear was a running gag beloved of kids like me, and in this clip you have Ray Stevens doing his novelty hit Along Came Jones with Andy doing the female role, comic Danny Thomas joining in, and 7-year-old Jimmy Osmond as cowboy hero Jones. Cute!

http://youtube.com/v/0d4ahG7kh-Y