My Retro May 1969 Charts

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3rd May 1969

It’s a key week on top of both my retro review charts and my original charts – as Elvis’ In The Ghetto tops the anniversary reviews, and Tommy Roe tops the original. They were the first 2 records I bought with my own money in Singapore later in the year. Tommy had already topped the retro countdown in the first chart of 1969, Elvis is also a bit early, but not 5 months early! Up 24 places to 3 is The Hit Parade’s unknown gem Ah, Ha, Ha, Do Your Thing – I can’t find out anything about the band, or the record – except the writer/producer/arranger Sonny Casella started in 1964 and carried on releasing stuff right through the disco 70’s, 80’s and into the early 90’s under various names. He does a grand job on this new obsession of mine!

Val Doonican goes top 5, and Junior Walker & The All Stars enter at 6 with one of their best records, the glorious What Does It Take – so good it was totally “borrowed” by Stock Aitken Waterman in spirit if not the courts, for their terrific 1990 charity track You’ve Got A Friend. In at 10, The Monkees last great single for ooh 17 years or so, though not Mike Nesmith’s last great song for anything near that length of time – about a year or so in fact. Listen To The Band was on the budget Monkees compilation I bought in 1974, and became an obsession of mine for a while along with the other track new to me, She.

Smokey Robinson’s classic weepie Tracks Of My Tears is in at 41, Christine McVie is in at 51 with the blues classic, later covered by the likes of Ruby Turner, and earlier by the great Etta James. Chrissie of course is currently (back) in Mac, though she wasn’t for this week in 1969, but was not too far into the future with future hubbie John McVie. Dave Dee & co are back at 60 with their final catchy single, Snake In The Grass was another fave of the time, and I was pleased to get hold of a batch of oldies including this one from a Mansfield second-hand shop in 1975. I think they were actually shop closure stock rather than second-hand, so hooray for my good fortune!

In at 63 Andy Kim is back, not long before his own monster song appears to dominate world charts, but content to do a cover of Baby I Love You a song by Jeff Barry & Ellie Greenwich (& Phil Spector) as hit for The Ronettes. The Ronettes & Spector are in my charts, though on the original track the backing vocalists were Darlene Love & Cher! Cher also recorded a version, as did Dave Edmunds, who’d been in my charts with Love Sculpture, in multi-Wall-Of-Sound Phil Spector style in early 1973 when he topped my charts. That version was very much indebted to Andy Kim’s version. Andy Kim was on Jeff Barry’s record label and together they wrote Sugar Sugar and many other Archies tracks, which will have a mini invasion of my charts over the next 2 years, being as I was 11-years-old and I adored the cartoon group and TV show. The Ramones also had a 1980 hit with Baby I Love You – also produced by Phil Spector. I love it when facts are circular. The best version is Dave Edmunds’.

In the lower reaches, The Sir Douglas Quintet are not she’s about a mover, they are on a good flop single instead (shame!), while The Rascals have a style change before ending their career together (shame!), The Moody Blues flop (shame!), Dionne Warwick has a less obviously Bacharach melody, but still classy, and J.J. Jackson is funky groovesome.

1 ( 3 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
2 ( 2 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
3 ( 27 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 3
4 ( 1 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
5 ( 9 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5
6 ( NEW ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 6
7 ( 4 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
8 ( 6 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
9 ( 5 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
10 ( NEW ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 10

11 ( 23 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 11
12 ( 12 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
13 ( 11 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
14 ( 20 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 14
15 ( 15 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 15
16 ( 8 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
17 ( 7 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
18 ( 10 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10
19 ( 14 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
20 ( 13 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4

21 ( 16 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
22 ( 18 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
23 ( 17 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
24 ( 21 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
25 ( 22 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
26 ( 28 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 26
27 ( 19 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 19
28 ( 29 ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 28
29 ( 38 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 29
30 ( 35 ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 30

31 ( 24 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
32 ( 25 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
33 ( 31 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
34 ( 30 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
35 ( 46 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 35
36 ( 26 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 26
37 ( 39 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 37
38 ( 59 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 38
39 ( 52 ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 39
40 ( 34 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1

41 ( NEW ) TRACKS OF MY TEARS Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 41
42 ( 37 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
43 ( 32 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
44 ( 40 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
45 ( 41 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
46 ( 70 ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 46
47 ( 60 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 47
48 ( 50 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 48
49 ( 55 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe # 49
50 ( 56 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 50

51 ( NEW ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack # 51
52 ( 33 ) IF MY FRIENDS COULD SEE ME NOW Shirley MacLaine # 33
53 ( 36 ) I’M ALIVE Johnny Thunder # 30
54 ( 63 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 54
55 ( 66 ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 55
56 ( 42 ) HAIR The Cowsills # 19
57 ( 71 ) DARKNESS, DARKNESS The Youngbloods # 57
58 ( 53 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
59 ( 54 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
60 ( NEW ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 60

61 ( 43 ) STAND Sly & The Family Stone # 43
62 ( 44 ) CAROLINA IN MY MIND James Taylor # 44
63 ( NEW ) BABY I LOVE YOU Andy Kim # 63
64 ( 65 ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 64
65 ( 49 ) I CAN’T SEE MYSELF LEAVING YOU Aretha Franklin # 49
66 ( 61 ) WICHITA LINEMAN Glen Campbell # 1
67 ( 69 ) LOVE IS STRANGE Buddy Holly # 67
68 ( 51 ) (IF PARADISE IS) HALF AS NICE Amen Corner # 1
69 ( NEW ) IT DIDN’T EVEN BRING ME DOWN The Sir Douglas Quintet # 69
70 ( 72 ) LET ME Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay # 70

71 ( NEW ) SEE The Rascals # 71
72 ( NEW ) BUT IT’S ALRIGHT J.J. Jackson # 72
73 ( NEW ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 73
74 ( NEW ) NEVER COMES THE DAY The Moody Blues # 74
75 ( 48 ) BADGE Cream # 48

3rd May Retro-Then
1 ( 3 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 1 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
3 ( 2 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
4 ( 9 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
5 ( 6 ) GET BACK The Beatles
6 ( 4 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
7 ( 5 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
8 ( 8 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
9 ( 7 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
10 ( 18 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel

11 ( 14 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
12 ( NEW ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann
13 ( 11 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
14 ( 10 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
15 ( 20 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
16 ( 19 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin
17 ( 16 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye
18 ( 17 ) GAMES PEOPLE PLAY Joe South
19 ( NEW ) AQUARIUS/ LET THE SUN SHINE IN The Fifth Dimension
20 ( 13 ) IN THE BAD BAD OLD DAYS The Foundations

 

 

10th May 1969

It’s 2 weeks on top for Elvis at the top of his game, run closely by obscure new-to-me The Hit Parade and a Junior Walker classic. Highest new entry at 5 is yet another Hair musical cover – this from Oliver, melodic tuneful style version of Good Morning Starshine. As I headed abroad in just over 3 months time, this track, and one yet to come, were my obsessions. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be mad on a song – and then not be able to hear it again! Having to wait years to hear music is an alien concept these days, but way back then if radio didn’t play it and it wasn’t available to buy, then that was that! I eventually bought it in California in 1979, hooray, though I had by then taped it from the 5 Years Ago chart rundowns on Radio 1 in 1974.

The Manfreds & The Hermits both get another top 10, not too far behind their chart positions of that time for me, Creedence get that Bad Moon rising into the 20, & another future reissued chart-topper in the 90’s for me enters at 32 for Jethro Tull – Living In The Past is apt, and also their finest moment by far. Tom Jones is back with another jolly romp, Love Me Tonight entering much lower than it did 50 years ago for me, Herb Alpert covers Nilsson, making it the 3rd version of Without Her to chart, after Jack Jones also had a good ol go. Herb’s version isn;t quite as good but it’s not bad, the song is indestructible – even James Arthur would struggle to kill it dead.

Microbe enters with Groovy Baby, a longtime Juniors Choice fave for kids of my age and younger, and it’s still charming and it’s still groovy, baby. The Dells drop by with a song I associate with Cilla, I Can Sing A Rainbow, and one I associate with melodicas and Paul Mauriat, Love Is Blue. This soulfunk version isn’t bad, but not as good as the aforementioned. Sly & co enter as the previous single drops out, they certainly were prolific in 1969, I Wanna Take You Higher clearly influencing the 90’s Was (Not Was) big hit Walk The Dinosaur. The Bee Gees were about to combust internally as Robin buggered off and it showed in the odd choice of single Tomorrow Tomorrow, very much sub par compared to those that went before and after. That leaves a cover of Let’s Dance, the old Chris Montez track, from a band I’ve never heard of. Ola!

1 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
2 ( 3 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
3 ( 6 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 3
4 ( 2 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
5 ( NEW ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 5
6 ( 4 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
7 ( 5 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5
8 ( 10 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 8
9 ( 11 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 9
10 ( 15 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 10

11 ( 7 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
12 ( 26 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 12
13 ( 8 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
14 ( 9 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
15 ( 12 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
16 ( 13 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
17 ( 14 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 14
18 ( 18 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10
19 ( 19 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
20 ( 20 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4

21 ( 16 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
22 ( 17 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
23 ( 21 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
24 ( 22 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
25 ( 28 ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 25
26 ( 24 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
27 ( 23 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
28 ( 29 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 28
29 ( 37 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 29
30 ( 35 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 30

31 ( 25 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
32 ( NEW ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 32
33 ( 38 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 33
34 ( 41 ) TRACKS OF MY TEARS Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 34
35 ( 47 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 35
36 ( 39 ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 36
37 ( 27 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 19
38 ( 46 ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 38
39 ( 31 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
40 ( 54 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 40

41 ( 32 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
42 ( 30 ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 30
43 ( 34 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
44 ( 40 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
45 ( 33 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
46 ( 50 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 46
47 ( 43 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
48 ( 42 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1
49 ( 45 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
50 ( 44 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4

51 ( 51 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack # 51
52 ( 48 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 48
53 ( 55 ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 53
54 ( 60 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 54
55 ( NEW ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones # 55
56 ( 49 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe # 49
57 ( 57 ) DARKNESS, DARKNESS The Youngbloods # 57
58 ( NEW ) WITHOUT HER Herb Alpert # 58
59 ( 36 ) THESE EYES The Guess Who # 26
60 ( 63 ) BABY I LOVE YOU Andy Kim # 60

61 ( NEW ) GROOVY BABY Microbe # 61
62 ( 69 ) IT DIDN’T EVEN BRING ME DOWN The Sir Douglas Quintet # 62
63 ( 58 ) ELOISE Barry Ryan # 1
64 ( 59 ) I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE Marvin Gaye # 1
65 ( 73 ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 65
66 ( 70 ) LET ME Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay # 66
67 ( 71 ) SEE The Rascals # 67
68 ( 64 ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 64
69 ( NEW ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 69
70 ( 67 ) LOVE IS STRANGE Buddy Holly # 67

71 ( 72 ) BUT IT’S ALRIGHT J.J. Jackson # 71
72 ( 74 ) NEVER COMES THE DAY The Moody Blues # 72
73 ( NEW ) I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER Sly & The Family Stone # 73
74 ( NEW ) LET’S DANCE Ola and The Janglers # 74
75 ( NEW ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees # 75

RETRO THEN
1 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
3 ( 4 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
4 ( 3 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
5 ( 5 ) GET BACK The Beatles
6 ( 12 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann
7 ( 11 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 10 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 6 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
10 ( 8 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces

11 ( 7 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
12 ( 15 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
13 ( 9 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
14 ( NEW ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones
15 ( 19 ) AQUARIUS/ LET THE SUN SHINE IN The Fifth Dimension
16 ( 13 ) BOOM BANG A BANG Lulu
17 ( NEW ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell
18 ( NEW ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac
19 ( 14 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl
20 ( 16 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin

 

 

17th May 1969

It’s a first chart-topper for Junior Walker and that fab melody and sax riffs just pipping the new sheer pop joy of The Hit Parade – I could see this obscure catchy track in a spot in a big movie and taking off, all it would need is a Guardians Of The Galaxy placing :) The Monkees fave from my teen years is up to 3, and Creedence finally get a top 10. It won’t be the last. Big climbs for the soul fabness of Black Pearl and Mama Soul, neither tracks I knew a month ago, though the reggae version of Black Pearl lies in the near future.

Highest new entry is Mama Cass, It’s Getting Better at 33, another fave from those Music For Pleasure budget compilations of the early 70’s – this one, like The Monkees, I bought in 1974, by which time I was avidly buying records from my youth that I loved (I was 16 and already huge on pop nostalgia, being as I’d been loving music a decade already). Oddly, the other Monkees track at 36 isn’t one I knew until more recent compilations, as it didn’t feature on any early hits compilations or the TV episodes screened by the BBC – which were not always the same track listings as the US TV shows.

The Sir Douglas Quintet is another obscure gem I’ve taken a liking to, at 40, and new entries from Joni Mitchell with her own more subdued take on her Judy Collins hit song, Jackie Wilson getting a return chart run after his 1967 Retro chart run, and not for the last time – see 1975 and 1987. The Turtles are still making good records, this one I don’t know, at 65, The Isley Brothers funk phase is underway as they enter while charting big with their Motown phase, The Arbors enter, an obscure band with an obscure track that I’ve also taken a shine to, and finally Des O’Connor enters both my retro chart (scraping in) and my Then Charts with a kiddie song I liked at the time, though didn’t love as much as One Two Three O’Leary.

1 ( 3 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
2 ( 2 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
3 ( 8 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
4 ( 5 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 4
5 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
6 ( 4 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
7 ( 7 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5
8 ( 6 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
9 ( 12 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 9
10 ( 10 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 10

11 ( 9 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 9
12 ( 17 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 12
13 ( 11 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
14 ( 13 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
15 ( 15 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
16 ( 16 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
17 ( 38 ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 17
18 ( 35 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 18
19 ( 14 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
20 ( 32 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 20

21 ( 19 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
22 ( 28 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 22
23 ( 18 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10
24 ( 20 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
25 ( 21 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
26 ( 29 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 26
27 ( 23 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
28 ( 22 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
29 ( 24 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
30 ( 33 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 30

31 ( 26 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
32 ( 34 ) TRACKS OF MY TEARS Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 32
33 ( NEW ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 33
34 ( 40 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 34
35 ( 27 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
36 ( 52 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 36
37 ( 25 ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 25
38 ( 30 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 30
39 ( 46 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 39
40 ( 62 ) IT DIDN’T EVEN BRING ME DOWN The Sir Douglas Quintet # 40

41 ( 31 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
42 ( 55 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones # 42
43 ( 36 ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 36
44 ( 37 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 19
45 ( 51 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack # 45
46 ( 54 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 46
47 ( 39 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
48 ( 65 ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 48
49 ( 44 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
50 ( 42 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7

51 ( 60 ) BABY I LOVE YOU Andy Kim # 51
52 ( 45 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
53 ( 53 ) THE WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Dusty Springfield # 53
54 ( 49 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
55 ( NEW ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 55
56 ( 41 ) BABY DRIVER Simon & Garfunkel # 11
57 ( 47 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
58 ( 58 ) WITHOUT HER Herb Alpert # 58
59 ( NEW ) HIGHER AND HIGHER (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) Jackie Wilson # 59
60 ( 48 ) WHERE DO YOU GO TO (MY LOVELY) Peter Sarstedt # 1

61 ( 61 ) GROOVY BABY Microbe # 61
62 ( 50 ) RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH Ike & Tina Turner # 4
63 ( 69 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 63
64 ( 68 ) LOVE THEME FROM “ROMEO AND JULIET” Henry Mancini # 64
65 ( NEW ) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK IN THE RAIN The Turtles # 65
66 ( 72 ) NEVER COMES THE DAY The Moody Blues # 66
67 ( 73 ) I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER Sly & The Family Stone # 67
68 ( 42 ) DON’T LET ME DOWN The Beatles # 30
69 ( NEW ) I TURNED YOU ON The Isley Brothers # 69
70 ( 71 ) BUT IT’S ALRIGHT J.J. Jackson # 70

71 ( NEW ) I CAN’T QUIT HER The Arbors # 71
72 ( 74 ) LET’S DANCE Ola and The Janglers # 72
73 ( NEW ) SPINNING WHEEL Blood Sweat & Tears # 73
74 ( 75 ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees # 74
75 ( NEW ) DICK-A-DUM-DUM Des O’Connor # 75

wot I liked that week then

1 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
3 ( 6 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann
4 ( 3 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
5 ( 4 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
6 ( 8 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
7 ( 7 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
8 ( 5 ) GET BACK The Beatles
9 ( NEW ) GROOVY BABY Microbe
10 ( 14 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones

11 ( 15 ) AQUARIUS/ LET THE SUN SHINE IN The Fifth Dimension
12 ( 10 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
13 ( 17 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell
14 ( 9 ) CUPID Johnny Nash
15 ( 11 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who
16 ( 13 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison
17 ( 18 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac
18 ( 12 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
19 ( NEW ) DICK A DUM DUM Des O’Connor
20 ( 20 ) GENTLE ON MY MIND Dean Martin

 

24th May 1969

It’s a first week on top for the latest song from “Hair” to make my top 10 – this time, Oliver gets his only big hit (for me) with Good Morning Starshine, such a great tune bounding with flower power optimism amongst the dark themes in the musical. Straight in at 2 it’s another fab melody, the glorious Way Of Life was a huge fave in the summer of ’69, showcasing the lost arts of vocal male-female harmonies a la The Mamas & The Papas, and duelling hook-lines simultaneously playing over one another for the climax. Just brilliant. The Family Dogg was a UK/US combo featuring hitmaking songwriters Albert Hammond & Mike Hazelwood, and producer (and former movie star) Steve Rowland, who’d had a hand in some of the best Dave Dee & co, and The Herd, productions. All featured on vocals, along with Christine Holmes on backing vocals, later Kristine Sparkle wife of J.J. Barrie, and she co-wrote the actual Devil Woman classic for Cliff. Want more street-cred? Err, most of Led Zep played on tracks on the album of the same name, probably Bonham & Page on this track, and the star of a current movie – Rocketman – is definitely playing piano on it, though the film sadly avoids mentioning Elton John’s Lulu songwriting, Family Dogg ivory-tinkling, & Top Of The Pops albums covers lead vocals :)

In at 8, it’s the second-best track from Tommy James & The Shondells, the gorgeous Crystal Blue Persuasion, their second top 10, a track I knew of – but didn’t know for many years later. It was one of the songs featured in a couple of expensive books I bought which had some of the biggest hits of latter 1969 in, from an actual musical instruments shop in Changi Village, Singapore, a few months later. It was actual sheet music, one book was blue, one was orange, and it was designed for the Far East booming cover-version market, I’d say, being locally printed and probably publishing-avoiding. I’ll post some scans when I get a chance. Anyway, I so wanted to hear this record (having already got Mony Mony on album by this time), and when I did get to hear it properly in the 80’s I loved it. Still do.

In at 23, Kenny Rogers is back, with his greatest record, the Viet-Nam war referencing Ruby Don’t Take Your Love To Town – a paralysed Vet’s wife goes off to play about, quite adult in theme, and one ol’ Ken never bettered – yes I’m looking at you “You picked a fine time to leave me loose-heel”. Peter Sarstedt replaces himself in my chart with his follow-up, largely forgotten these days, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the tuneful Frozen Orange Juice, Cliff is back with his endless run of pop fodder in these days, Big Ship not being one of his best, and ditto Diana Ross & The Supremes who had just the one great record left in them before going their own ways.


1 ( 4 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
2 ( NEW ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 2
3 ( 2 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
4 ( 1 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
5 ( 3 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
6 ( 6 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
7 ( 5 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
8 ( NEW ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 8
9 ( 9 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 9
10 ( 7 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5

11 ( 8 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
12 ( 10 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 10
13 ( 18 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 13
14 ( 17 ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 14
15 ( 13 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
16 ( 11 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 9
17 ( 15 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
18 ( 20 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 18
19 ( 16 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
20 ( 33 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 20

21 ( 14 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
22 ( 12 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 12
23 ( NEW ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 23
24 ( 21 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
25 ( 22 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 22
26 ( 23 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10
27 ( 32 ) TRACKS OF MY TEARS Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 27
28 ( 30 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 28
29 ( 19 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
30 ( 24 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4

31 ( 25 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
32 ( 34 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 32
33 ( 27 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
34 ( 36 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 34
35 ( 28 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1
36 ( 29 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
37 ( 39 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 37
38 ( 26 ) TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye # 26
39 ( 40 ) IT DIDN’T EVEN BRING ME DOWN The Sir Douglas Quintet # 39
40 ( 42 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones # 40

41 ( 31 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
42 ( 46 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 42
43 ( 59 ) HIGHER AND HIGHER (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) Jackie Wilson # 43
44 ( 35 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
45 ( 45 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack # 45
46 ( 48 ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 46
47 ( NEW ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt # 47
48 ( 65 ) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK IN THE RAIN The Turtles # 48
49 ( 41 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
50 ( 61 ) GROOVY BABY Microbe # 50

51 ( 51 ) BABY I LOVE YOU Andy Kim # 51
52 ( 55 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 52
53 ( 49 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
54 ( 37 ) ANY DAY NOW Elvis Presley # 25
55 ( 58 ) WITHOUT HER Herb Alpert # 55
56 ( 38 ) I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT ANYMORE Dusty Springfield # 30
57 ( 63 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 57
58 ( 54 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
59 ( 69 ) I TURNED YOU ON The Isley Brothers # 59
60 ( 67 ) I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER Sly & The Family Stone # 60

61 ( RE ) LET ME Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay # 61
62 ( 47 ) CUPID Johnny Nash # 18
63 ( 52 ) WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND Noel Harrison # 6
64 ( 50 ) I CAN HEAR MUSIC The Beach Boys # 7
65 ( 43 ) ROSE GARDEN Joe South # 36
66 ( 44 ) HAPPY HEART Andy Williams # 19
67 ( 70 ) BUT IT’S ALRIGHT J.J. Jackson # 67
68 ( 71 ) I CAN’T QUIT HER The Arbors # 68
69 ( 72 ) LET’S DANCE Ola and The Janglers # 69
70 ( 74 ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees # 70

71 ( 57 ) PINBALL WIZARD The Who # 7
72 ( 73 ) SPINNING WHEEL Blood Sweat & Tears # 72
73 ( NEW ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard # 73
74 ( NEW ) NO MATTER WHAT SIGN YOU ARE Diana Ross & The Supremes # 74
75 ( NEW ) MOODY WOMAN Jerry Butler # 75

Then charts

1 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
3 ( 3 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann
4 ( 6 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 13 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell
6 ( 10 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones
7 ( 4 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits
8 ( 8 ) GET BACK The Beatles
9 ( 5 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
10 ( 11 ) AQUARIUS/ LET THE SUN SHINE IN The Fifth Dimension

11 ( 19 ) DICK A DUM DUM Des O’Connor
12 ( NEW ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich
13 ( 7 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
14 ( 18 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
15 ( 9 ) GROOVY BABY Microbe
16 ( 17 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac
17 ( 12 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker and The Aces
18 ( NEW ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
19 ( NEW ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack
20 ( NEW ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson

 

 

31st May 1969

It’s a first week on top for the gorgeous Way Of Life, Family Dogg claiming the latest of one-week chart-toppers. I say that because there are 2 high new entries yet again challenging, The Beatles (or rather Paul & John’s dual effort on the tale of John & Yoko’s recent shenanigans) at 4, and in at 2 In The Year 2525, a pounding futuristic folkrock bleak view on the future of homo sapiens – 50 years on and it seems, if anything, far too optimistic given how many things mentioned are already here 500 years early. Dystopia? Just look around. Zager & Evans imagined we’d be picking our test tube kids millennia in the future; having ruined the planet, taken and put back nothing. Yes, FAR too optimistic. Back in August 1969 when this topped the UK charts I was insanely-mad on this record, the message, the sci-fi feel, the tune, the passing years of the lyrics, and in an alternate universe this would have been the first record I ever bought, in Singapore. Sadly I never found it on release and Dizzy became the first one as a good alternative. 10 years later and I was in the South-West USA and finally bought the single along with others (Aquarius/In The Ghetto from 1969) from the oldies racks in a department store.

Marmalade enter at 24 with another fave, Baby Make It Soon showing their move more and more into ballads, this time with a Tony MacAuley song (just one of myriad huge hits he wrote or co-wrote from 1967 through 1976. Build Me Up Buttercup and Love Grows are probably the best-remembered). Peter Sarstedt’s Orange Juice (Frozen) is just behind with a climb, and it’s mostly slow moves elsewhere as the deluge of new entries keeps on a coming, both classic and lesser unknowns: at 61 Jackie DeShannon’s original hit version of the Annie Lennox & Al Green 80’s hit cover, Put A Little Love In Your Heart; a failed Hannah-Barbera cartoon project that resulted in a gloriously schizophrenic bubblegum/psychedelia track that stiffed – Captain Groovy must be heard it’s in entirety for the last-minute wig-out, the vocal sung by Joey Levine (he of Ohio Express, Kazenatz-Katz, and the future fab Life Is A Rock from Reunion in 1974).

Edwin Starr returns again, ditto Archie Bell, & the soul funk groove continues with the debut of Candi Staton a full 7 years early on her blissfully good Young Hearts Run Free UK debut, and a career that is still going.

1 ( 2 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
2 ( NEW ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager & Evans # 2
3 ( 1 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
4 ( NEW ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 4
5 ( 8 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 5
6 ( 4 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
7 ( 6 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
8 ( 3 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
9 ( 5 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
10 ( 10 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5

11 ( 9 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 9
12 ( 7 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
13 ( 18 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 13
14 ( 11 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
15 ( 20 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 15
16 ( 23 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 16
17 ( 12 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits # 10
18 ( 15 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
19 ( 16 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann # 9
20 ( 17 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1

21 ( 13 ) BLACK PEARL Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 13
22 ( 27 ) TRACKS OF MY TEARS Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 22
23 ( 19 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
24 ( NEW ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade # 24
25 ( 14 ) MAMA SOUL The Soul Survivors # 14
26 ( 47 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt # 26
27 ( 21 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
28 ( 28 ) WHERE’S THE PLAYGROUND SUSIE Glen Campbell # 28
29 ( 24 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
30 ( 22 ) JUST A LITTLE LOVIN’ Dusty Springfield # 12

31 ( 26 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac # 10
32 ( 37 ) LODI Creedence Clearwater Revival # 32
33 ( 43 ) HIGHER AND HIGHER (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) Jackie Wilson # 33
34 ( 31 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
35 ( 30 ) ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 4
36 ( 40 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones # 36
37 ( 33 ) HARLEM SHUFFLE Bob & Earl # 2
38 ( 42 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 38
39 ( 29 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers # 5
40 ( 35 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin # 1

41 ( 36 ) AQUARIUS/LET THE SUNSHINE IN (THE FLESH FAILURES) (MEDLEY) The 5th Dimension # 1
42 ( 52 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 42
43 ( 46 ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 43
44 ( 45 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack # 44
45 ( 41 ) YOU’VE LOST THAT LOVIN’ FEELING The Righteous Brothers # 1
46 ( 50 ) GROOVY BABY Microbe # 46
47 ( 39 ) IT DIDN’T EVEN BRING ME DOWN The Sir Douglas Quintet # 39
48 ( 48 ) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK IN THE RAIN The Turtles # 48
49 ( 25 ) NOWHERE TO RUN Martha & The Vandellas # 22
50 ( 34 ) SOMEDAY MAN The Monkees # 34

51 ( 51 ) BABY I LOVE YOU Andy Kim # 51
52 ( 49 ) DON JUAN Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 4
53 ( 57 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 53
54 ( 55 ) WITHOUT HER Herb Alpert # 54
55 ( 59 ) I TURNED YOU ON The Isley Brothers # 55
56 ( 53 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe # 1
57 ( 44 ) YOU CAME YOU SAW YOU CONQUERED The Ronettes # 9
58 ( 32 ) WHAT IS A MAN The Four Tops # 32
59 ( 60 ) I WANT TO TAKE YOU HIGHER Sly & The Family Stone # 59
60 ( 61 ) LET ME Paul Revere & The Raiders featuring Mark Lindsay # 60

61 ( NEW ) PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART Jackie DeShannon # 61
62 ( 58 ) I STARTED A JOKE The Bee Gees # 1
63 ( NEW ) CAPTAIN GROOVY AND HIS BUBBLEGUM ARMY Captain Groovy And His Bubblegum Army # 63
64 ( 68 ) I CAN’T QUIT HER The Arbors # 64
65 ( 70 ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees # 65
66 ( 67 ) BUT IT’S ALRIGHT J.J. Jackson # 66
67 ( NEW ) I’M STILL A STRUGGLING MAN Edwin Starr # 67
68 ( 69 ) LET’S DANCE Ola and The Janglers # 68
69 ( NEW ) GIRL YOU’RE TOO YOUNG Archie Bell & The Drells # 69
70 ( NEW ) THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL AND JOHN THE DIVINE (SIX-SIX-SIX) The Cowsills # 70

71 ( 73 ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard # 71
72 ( 72 ) SPINNING WHEEL Blood Sweat & Tears # 72
73 ( 74 ) NO MATTER WHAT SIGN YOU ARE Diana Ross & The Supremes # 73
74 ( NEW ) I’D RATHER BE AN OLD MAN’S SWEETHEART (THAN A YOUNG MAN’S FOOL) Candi Staton # 74
75 ( NEW ) THE BOOGALOO PARTY The Flamingos # 75

Retro Then
1 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
2 ( 5 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell
3 ( 3 ) RAGAMUFFIN MAN Manfred Mann
4 ( 2 ) GOODBYE Mary Hopkin
5 ( 4 ) THE BOXER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 11 ) DICK A DUM DUM Des O’Connor
7 ( 8 ) GET BACK The Beatles
8 ( 6 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones
9 ( 10 ) AQUARIUS/ LET THE SUN SHINE IN The Fifth Dimension
10 ( 7 ) MY SENTIMENTAL FRIEND Herman’s Hermits

11 ( 19 ) I’D RATHER GO BLIND Chicken Shack
12 ( 18 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
13 ( NEW ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard
14 ( 14 ) MY WAY Frank Sinatra
15 ( 13 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers
16 ( 16 ) MAN OF THE WORLD Fleetwood Mac
17 ( NEW ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
18 ( 9 ) COME BACK AND SHAKE ME Clodagh Rodgers
19 ( 12 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich
20 ( 20 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson

My 1969 Charts – December

school book

school book


videos click here

2nd December 1969

4th week on top for The Archies, holding off my Youtube dilemma for a while, as Rolf gets to 2. Bobbie Gentry joins herself in the top 5 with a cover duet of the Everley Brothers All I Have To Do Is Dream, with the great Glen Campbell. I’ll be honest, despite a catalogue of great songs, and apart from Cathy’s Clown, I much prefer the cover versions of Everley Brothers hits, including this one. In at 10, it’s Elvis with his 3rd Top 10 of the year, with what is generally regarded as his best record post-50’s. Suspicious Minds is a classic, but I barely got to hear it at all in Singapore, which is why it under-performs first time round. Not to worry, it has a second, third, fourth and fifth run to make up for it… cos it IS a classic after all.

1 ( 1 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
2 ( 4 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
3 ( 2 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 3 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
5 ( NEW ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry

6 ( 6 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
7 ( 5 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson
8 ( 8 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
9 ( 7 ) (CALL ME) NUMBER ONE The Tremeloes
10 ( NEW ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley

Talking of Singapore, at school in geography we were learning about kelongs which were dotted around the coast in those days – it’s a Malayan word and structure, wooden huts and poles sticking out into the sea and used for fishing. We even built a mini-model structure on a painted coastal scene, which I really enjoyed, it was bringing geography (and history) to life and certainly wouldn’t have featured in any UK syllabus in those days. The schools still followed the UK exam systems for 11plus, CSE’s, O Levels, A levels, but there seemed to be a bit more flexibility for teachers to pick topics they enjoyed and could be enthusiastic about. Mind you, Mrs Canavan, the English teacher, embarrassed me in front of the class when she found out I was still reading Enid Blyton books at 11 years old. There was always this horrible pressure to “grow up” in those days, as opposed to just tactfully suggesting there are other exciting books out there too. As it turned out I pretty much leaped straight into adult science fiction via forgotten children’s science-fiction adventure writer Hugo Walters within a year, but I didn’t need to be shamed into doing it, found those books in the library on my own. In the meantime I moved onto Just William books, and found the words to Bad Moon Rising written out in one of the pages. Hooray!

exotic letter-writing paper corners - ah letters, memories...!

exotic letter-writing paper corners – ah letters, memories…!


9th December 1969

5 weeks on top for Sugar Sugar – how sweet! Better get used to seeing the Archies, and in fact, vocalist Ron Dante in my charts. In at 9 it’s the Cuff Links with Tracy. Aka Ron Dante. Although in the UK the Archies are regarded as the ultimate one-hit wonders, that’s not quite accurate as The Cuff Links sounded like The Archies fairly obviously, both being studio projects with the same hired singer – Ron. They also had 2 hits in the UK and US, while The Archies had a 2 or 3-year run of chart entries in the States. Don’t be fooled by the hip and groovy video, the singer isn’t Ron Dante – he signed up with Don Kirshner Archies’ mastermind – and the group threatened to hold back royalties unless he agreed to tour. Rupert Holmes, of Pina Colada fame, was also hired for the album.

1 ( 1 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
2 ( 2 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
3 ( 3 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 5 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
5 ( 4 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
6 ( 6 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
7 ( 8 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
8 ( 7 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson
9 ( NEW ) TRACY The Cuff Links
10 ( 10 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley


I mentioned the school library for last week’s chart: I remember we had a visit from a small group of RAF Gurkhas in the small hall next to the library which impressed me. Short and stocky and affable, the Gurkhas had a fabulous awed reputation amongst British troops for loyalty and bravery, so it was great to have a lesson devoted to a question and answer session. The history of them: British Empire in Nepal, fighting against the Empire (one can see why they might be pissed off) they so impressed the elite they ended up becoming a historic part of the British forces throughout the centuries since. well, at least until the recent cutbacks decided they were no longer of requirement, nor were they entitled to live in the country they spent their lives serving from a country with links going back 200 years. Joanna Lumley, thanks for being more than Ab fab and Purdey, say I, as she rightfully put the politicians to shame.

I’ll just repeat the story that was bandied about at the time about Gurkhas in the RAF, even though it may or may not be apocryphal: The commander of the Gurkhas troop on a mission plane asked for volunteers to jump out of the plane. All of the soldiers stepped forward instantly. The commander was impressed with the loyalty shown, but was puzzled when the group ranking soldier looked a bit apologetic some minutes later when he came up to ask a question. “What is it?” asked the commander. “Will we be wearing parachutes?” he asked……

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school popcorn transfers and Neal Adams artwork (the correctly coloured ones not the pirate copies wrongly coloured)

school popcorn transfers and Neal Adams artwork (the correctly coloured ones not the pirate copies wrongly coloured)

16th December 1969

Christmas was coming, and The Archies were having a 6-week run on top. There were, of course, no such thing as christmas pop classics in those days, more a case of TV crooners covering standards or hymns. To be honest, though everyone knew the songs – Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, O Little Town Of Bethlehem – there wasn’t that joyous sense of familiarity you get with modern pop songs, just some tunes you liked more than others when you had to sing them at school, or heard them on TV. On the plus side, some great records hit chart peaks: Glen and Bobbie at 3, Stevie at 4, Kenny Rogers at 5. It’s worth pointing out that Stevie Wonder had been having hits for years at Motown and he was still a teenager at this time, and co-writing some of his own songs, such as My Cherie Amour, currently about to hit the UK top 2 charts (January 2015) in a butchered helium-induced form). Good to know teenagers can write songs that last!

1 ( 1 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
2 ( 2 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
3 ( 4 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 6 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
5 ( 7 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
6 ( 5 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
7 ( 9 ) TRACY The Cuff Links
8 ( RE ) FEELIN’ SO GOOD (S.K.O.O.B.Y.D.O.O) The Archies
9 ( 10 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
10 ( 8 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson


I don’t recall putting up the christmas trimmings at home, but I’m sure we did have a good go for the novelty of a sunny, sweltering christmas on the equator (give or take 85 miles), and I know mum tried to explain snow to Tan, our amah, by showing her the frozen stuff in the freezer of the fridge. She also did the same later on with Ah Choo our second, young amah (married with kiddie), who was related to Tan, I think. I googled her today, you never know, might still be out there in her mid-60’s. That would be great to find out.

Ah Choo 1970

Ah Choo 1970


23rd December 1969

7 weeks at 1, for The Archies, as they get another song in at 8, giving Ron dante 3 out of 10. Jingle Jangle was available on the back of a cereal packet imported from America, but I didn’t actually get hold of that one sadly, as it was a bonafide American single and actual hit – which I guess is why it didn’t find it’s way over to Singapore. In terms of imported stuff, Singapore was quite awesome, being a shipping crossroads for the region, you could get stuff from the USA, Australia, India, Malaya, Hong Kong, the UK and more. It was quite a fabulous multi-cultural jumble of bits from each. The UK, in the 60’s, was pretty much not noticeably international except for imported TV and some foodstuffs from Europe and the West Indies, and hi-tech products that were worldwide.

The other new entry is a bit of an afterthought cheat as I was running out of tracks for the chart. Creedence were very much of the period, and Green River sounds like it belongs in my chart, but I didn’t get to hear it for years afterwards – that I recall, at any rate. It may well have gotten some plays as follow-up to a big hit, but it didn’t stick in my mind if that’s the case. Good swamprock though.

1 ( 1 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
2 ( 2 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
3 ( 3 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 5 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
5 ( 4 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder

6 ( 6 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
7 ( 9 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
8 ( NEW ) JINGLE JANGLE The Archies
9 ( 7 ) TRACY The Cuff Links
10 ( NEW ) GREEN RIVER Creedence Clearwater Revival

buying actual stuff at christmas and beyond!

buying actual stuff at christmas and beyond!

30th December 1969

Rolf scrapes in at the end of the year with the huge hit beloved by everyone young at the time, Two Little Boys. It would have been his 3rd or 4th chart-topper had I been charting as a toddler and infant, being as I loved Sun Arise, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport, and Jake The Peg. Two Little Boys, despite everything (Thatcher choosing it for Desert Island Discs, Rolf’s conviction for underage stuff) was a sweet, touching story of war and brotherly love, pretty unique for a hit record to this day, and as at that time Rolf was guilty of nothing illegal I’m not going to retroactively rewrite history, though I won’t be showing any photos or videos, just the record. It does leave a regretful bitter taste in the mouth now sadly though so I’m demoting it to the end. In at 4, it’s Marmalade, not bubblegum anymore, it’s the gorgeous ballad Reflections Of My Life, harmonytastic and largely forgotten these days, but once well-thought of. Still is by me. It’s a bloody brilliant tune.

1 ( 2 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
2 ( 1 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
3 ( 3 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
4 ( NEW ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
5 ( 7 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
6 ( 8 ) JINGLE JANGLE The Archies
7 ( 6 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
8 ( 4 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
9 ( 5 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
10 ( 9 ) TRACY The Cuff Links

Christmas week, and for christmas brother and me got a brand new bike each with colourful plastic tassles sticking out of the handlebar ends. I still miss that bike, it was great riding up and down the local housing estate hills, not entirely unlike Elliot and ET and co. Only much much hotter. And no alien. School was out for a few weeks, I had loads more comics I was adoring, having scoured more and more of the second-hand book stalls in Changi Village, and having got hold of some more classic Adventure Comics Legion Of Super Heroes and many other new and old DC Comics. My collection was growing quite fast, pop music for the moment not eating into my pocket money, comics getting all of it! I can’t understate how exciting the Legion was to me, it was almost physically palpable, and the covers of DC superheroes at this time, and especially Batman, were designed and drawn by the fantastic acclaimed artist Neal Adams. His Batman and Superman remain the definitive versions, those were the ones I got in the popcorn transfers for my school bag and my own made-up transfer books, and those are the ones that command the top prices in archive comic shops for this period. His comic covers are works of Art, at least as good as many over-rated bullshit “serious” artists. Suddenly comics were getting more adult, and dealing with serious adult themes amongst the superhero stuff…