My 1970 Charts – February

vids 1970…. click!

4th February 1970

Love Grows gets 2 weeks on top of my last ever top 10, from here-on it’s Top 20’s as in Singapore we move house to a bungalow with very high ceilings located next door to the rear of the infamous wartime Changi Prison. 122F Tanah Merah Besar was opposite barbed wire fencing, and our house was overlooked from that fence by a tall guard tower, manned by armed prison officers. Burglary didn’t really go on much round here! We were also pretty much a short walk from the end of RAF Changi’s forces airfield runway, so we had regular drowning-out of the TV and radio from loud aircraft taking off, especially the VC10’s. On the plus side I got to see plenty of airplanes for nearly 2 years.


changi prison viewed from our garden

changi prison viewed from our garden

Speaking of jet planes, in the chart, Peter Paul & Mary take John Denver’s song to 2, as Mary Hopkin takes the tropical Temma Harbour to 4, and yes we could see banana plants and coconut trees from our house, hooray! Keeping on with the singer-songwriter cover version theme, in at 7, the pure-voiced folk-ish Judy Collins enters with a gorgeous harpsichord-flavoured cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, a song I randomly found already recorded on a reel-to-reel tape accompanying our first ever second-hand 4-track tape recorder, which revolutionised my pop music experiences cos I could now repeat-listen to songs as often as I wanted to hear them. Paradise! Buying blank reel-to-reel tapes became important to me, immediately! Both Sides Now is a flawless song, much-covered, but probably only bettered in this version by a male act who charts soon with it. The great white soul songwriter Laura Nyro never achieved any chart success herself, but she provided songs for many others to cover successfully, especially The Fifth Dimension, who had been having hits for 3 years already, including my top 3 Hair track, Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine from 1969. I love their versions of her songs, starting with Wedding Bell Blues, harmony soul delight in at 10.

Which leaves only one other new entry, a kiddie/teen Motown family pop-soul all-male band called The Jackson 5, jointly-fronted by a precociously talented kid who was only 6 months or so younger than 12-year-old me, and his name was Michael. They were sometimes on variety shows imported from the States on TV, so I got to see them sing, and they looked so cool. I Want You Back is brilliant, of course, so good it’s been a hit on several occasions over the decades, a great song, production and passionate vocals from a boy. I wonder what happened to The Jackson 5…

1 ( 1 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
2 ( 4 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
3 ( 2 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
4 ( 7 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
5 ( 3 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies

6 ( 8 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fayre
7 ( NEW ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
8 ( 5 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
9 ( NEW ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
10 ( NEW ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool


11th February 1970

At 1, and completing her hat-trick of consecutive chart-toppers, it’s Mary Hopkin and the lovely Temma Harbour. Notable for being the longest-span to get a hat-trick (3 calendar years), for being the first act to do it, and for doing it with her first 3 releases. It would another 14 years before the next act did that (Frankie Goes To Hollywood).

Vanity Fayre go top 5 for the second time, and a load of re-entries peppered about the expanded top 20, but it’s the new entries that count: Actor Lee Marvin growls his way in at 13 with the fab Wanderin’ Star from the movie Paint Your Wagon, a future UK chart-topper, a film loved so much by my family that dad bought the soundtrack album which we played to death. Most famous these days for the brilliant song They Call The Wind Mariah, from which Ms Carey was named. True fact. Also infamous for an even worse vocal performance than Lee Marvin’s endearing growl, yes it’s Clint Eastwood in at 18 with the B Side, I Talk To The Trees. It’s kinda sweet, but Clint never repeated the experience, though to be honest I’ve heard much worse on X Factor’s final shows.

At 15, Glen Campbell was on a roll, and his muse Jimmy Webb was behind him, but ti mattered not as he was hot on country-pop hit gems like Try A Little Kindness, a romping great song, which was a discovery on the afore-mentioned reel-to-reel tape we acquired. I loved it, I played it. A lot. Glen Campbell was pretty much my most favourite pop star in the world in 1970, hot off seeing him True Grit and singing the fab movie theme (not eligible for my chart but it would have been a number 1). At 16, the now-obscure follow-up to huge hit Saved By The Bell, Robin Gibb was still mad at his 2 brothers and on a wistful waltzing-ish ballad groove, another song I loved. It’s pleasant, sweet, nice. Not bad words to me! At 20, Jonathan King starts his long run of whimsical multiple alter-ego hits using his own name, the fun Let It All Hang Out.

1 ( 4 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 1 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
3 ( 2 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
4 ( 6 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fayre
5 ( 3 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
6 ( 7 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
7 ( 9 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
8 ( 5 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
9 ( 10 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
10 ( RE ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger

11 ( 8 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
12 ( RE ) FRIENDS Arrival
13 ( NEW ) WANDERIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
14 ( RE ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
15 ( NEW ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
16 ( NEW ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
17 ( RE ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
18 ( NEW ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
19 ( RE ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations
20 ( NEW ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King


Back in sunny Singapore, I was on a new ghari (white RAF bus) to RAF Seletar, on a new route up Tampines Road, which was a bit more rural than the Bedokville route, though on Singapore island (17 miles wide) all things are relative. Next to our hilly road adjacent Changi Prison we had Lloyd Leas Estate, which had a great monsoon river running through it, a great place to re-stock my tropical fish tank with plainly-coloured guppies (multi-colours and frilly fins not being that helpful for survival in monsoon streams). I loved them anyway, been fascinated by fish in rivers since my 6-year-old stickleback-catching days. And lollipop sticks floating down monsoon drains, around obstacles, the shapes the mud flats made. Ah we had to make our entertainment then, no computer games to waste a life away on….

swimming lessons RAF Changi

swimming lessons RAF Changi


18th February 1970

2 weeks for Mary on top, giving her the most weeks on top in total for any artist in the whole 18 months of pre-teen charting. Judy Collins goes top 3, and Lee Marvin is Wandrin’ up the top 10, and there are 4 new entries: Sacha Distel gets yet another movie Western song into the top 20 (the third) as he covers Burt Bacharach/Hal David’s song from Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid and enters at 16. From this distance the very French crooning isn’t a patch on the much-superior film version by B.J.Thomas, a big American pop star of the period who had a long string of great pop hits, one of them later covered by Jonathan King (at 17 this week) Hooked On A Feeling, which in turn was covered by Blue Swede and as featured in Guardians Of The Galaxy in 2014. At 19, The Brotherhood Of Man debut, though not the Eurovision line-up of singers, it was instead Tony Burrows (at 2 with Edison Lighthouse) leading the way in the early days. This is a great Tony Hiller ballad (creator of the group and co-writer of their later biggest hits), very Eurovision, but in a good way. Lastly, veteran soul group The Tams debut at 20 with the sweet Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy, as the Northern Soul circuit was about to rescue the seeming has-beens from obscurity in a big way in 1971, long after their career had more-or-less faded away and they were looking quite elderly to teenagers like me who were buying their records suddenly.

At 18, it’s John and Yoko, with their second solo hit, and it’s terrific, Instant Karma, complete with Yoko knitting while on Top Of The Pops (not that I saw it at the time, of course, being out of the country and all). The hook We All Shine On is fab, John is in great voice, and we had no idea that The Beatles were actually over, just over 7 years of chart hits from start to finish. Or to put it into perspective, that would be like a musical act dropping out of the blue with new innovative, creative, timeless, and influential material in late 2008, releasing 3 or 4 singles a year, all chart-toppers and usually not on albums, while also releasing a record-breaking 1 or 2 albums a year, giving songs away, making 3 movies, TV specials and touring before calling it a day around now. No wonder they burnt out quickly, that sort of intense career is unthinkable in the modern era. Rihanna comes closest, co-incidentally now working with Paul McCartney. I love a nice link.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 2 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
3 ( 6 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
4 ( 7 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
5 ( 3 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
6 ( 4 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fare
7 ( 5 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
8 ( 13 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
9 ( 16 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
10 ( 15 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell

11 ( 10 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
12 ( 11 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
13 ( 9 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
14 ( 18 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
15 ( 14 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
16 ( NEW ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
17 ( 20 ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King
18 ( NEW ) INSTANT KARMA The Plastic Ono Band
19 ( NEW ) UNITED WE STAND Brotherhood Of Man
20 ( NEW ) BE YOUNG BE FOOLISH BE HAPPY The Tams

In Singapore, my swimming badges were coming along nicely, and we getting them sewn onto our swimming gowns – actually that sounds a bit gay now I say it, but they were really just towels you could wear, and it was early evening so the temperatures sometimes dropped as low as ooh the upper 70’s (25C) and it felt a bit chilly after the heat of the day. Perhaps that’s why I still prefer those sort of temperatures, and loathe the cold to this day. Hey, ho, anyway, distance badges were nearly done, and we were by now moving on to learning how to blow up our pyjamas (for life-belt purposes) and diving for bricks – which as we all know is a very useful skill to develop. Who hasn’t accidentally dropped a brick into a river or pond or pool that they just had to retrieve?! Anyways, considering I couldn’t swim 5 months earlier, I did OK.

me n my comics and drawing

me n my comics and drawing


25th February 1970

3 weeks for Temma Harbour anchored on top, Judy Collins is still looking at both sides now, while Robin Gibb looks at his calendar and gets a second solo top 3 hit. There are only two new entries, but my word they are great: At 15, Bridge Over Troubled Water is the title track to one of the greatest albums of all time, and pure genius in it’s own right, talk about going out on top! Yes, The Beatles weren’t the only ones splitting at the top of their game, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were also going it alone, admittedly because Paul Simon felt as the songwriter he could do whatever he wanted, and did. Paul Simon is a poet, and he’s a gifted folkpop songwriter, but in this case Bridge Over Troubled Water was basically Paul’s gospel tour-de-force sung as a solo by Art, and what a combination that made. The word Epic is over-used, but it’s totally deserved for Bridge Over Troubled Water, future UK chart-topper singles and albums charts, and in the case of the album for 2 years or so on and off. For me, Simon and Garfunkel were big with the young married RAF crowd, we borrowed the album from our next-door neighbours, and recorded it onto reel-to-reel, plus Bridge was regularly on 2-Way Family Favourites, so it remains a huge record for me – without ever being my single-fave record of the moment until I bought the album myself in 1976, played it to death, and would say it’s comfortably one of my top 10 of all-time.

Venus, by Dutch band Shocking Blue and in at 20, was fantastic too, a sort of hippie rock pop anthem, so good it got covered kitschtastically by Bananarama 16 years later.

1 ( 1 ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
2 ( 3 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Judy Collins
3 ( 9 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb
4 ( 4 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
5 ( 2 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
6 ( 8 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
7 ( 5 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
8 ( 10 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
9 ( 7 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
10 ( 14 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood

11 ( 6 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fare
12 ( 11 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
13 ( 16 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD Sacha Distel
14 ( 12 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
15 ( NEW ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
16 ( 17 ) LET IT ALL HANG OUT Jonathan King
17 ( 18 ) INSTANT KARMA The Plastic Ono Band
18 ( 19 ) UNITED WE STAND Brotherhood Of Man
19 ( 13 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The Fifth Dimension
20 ( NEW ) VENUS Shocking Blue

My 1970 Charts – January

My fish tank and mum - and my first ever single (Dizzy by Tommy Roe) is on the rack under the tank

My fish tank and mum – and my first ever single (Dizzy by Tommy Roe) is on the rack under the tank


youtube video links can be found with my charts here


6th January 1970

A new year a new decade, and the futuristic-sounding 1970 heralded the best year of my life by far, to date. Two Little Boys had a 2nd week at 1, The Archies go top 5, and the only new entry was the goodbye single from Diana Ross and The Supremes. Someday We’ll Be Together, sings Ms. Ross. She lies, no way no how not ever ever have she and Mary Wilson patched things up enough to arrange that (barring one-off performances), to my disappointment. I saw Mary Wilson in concert a few years back and she was great fun. Fun and Diana Ross, aren’t necessarily concepts that sound right, I guess, which is a shame as she had a fantastic honey-sweet vocal ability that set off an epic ballad a treat, not to mention the odd powerful uptempo stomper, dance or otherwise, and I would have loved to see them (and Cindy Birdsong) do a proper 60’s-inspired album together. Sadly, it was increasingly mundane post-1986 for our Diane, till she just gave it all up.

1 ( 1 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
2 ( 3 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
3 ( 2 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 4 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
5 ( 6 ) JINGLE JANGLE The Archies

6 ( 7 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
7 ( 8 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
8 ( 5 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
9 ( 9 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
10 ( NEW ) SOMEDAY WE’LL BE TOGETHER Diana Ross And The Supremes

In Singapore, I could mention we still lived in our 4-bedroom rented house in Bedokville, but the cost was becoming an issue and we had our name on the waiting list for a cheaper place nearer RAF Changi. Which was a great pity, I enjoyed the suburban feel of the estate, the neighbours – we went to a wedding of a tall RAF lad and his much-shorter pretty young Chinese girlfriend, and they moved in diagonally opposite out place. Big RAF do’s involved lots of booze, mini-skirted other-halves, and kids running around everywhere, and with few above 35 in attendance. I also loved Bedok Junction, there was a furniture-maker where we eventually bought some hand-carved ornate Chinese-styled designs on coffee tables of various sizes and shapes, lamp stands, newspaper racks and a linen chest, all made of teak, which looked gorgeous. I love them all still 40 years later, though of course we now know that teak is very much a no no, being rainforest and old timber, and devastating to the environment to chop down. In those days information on such things was few and far between, or else I would have nagged my parents not to buy them, being increasingly anti-war, social-equality and environmentally-friendly as I had now hit the advanced age of 12, virtually grown-up, and had opinions on a world that seemed all unfair.

In the world, The Beatles last studio recording (while all were still alive) was the day after my birthday, though as yet we all thought they would go on forever, so much were they part of 60’s life. Back in the UK we had a new Doctor Who, Jon Pertwee, though it meant nothing to me as Patrick Troughton’s run was still being run in Singapore hooray!

The 1970 wedding, mum and friends seated - pregnant Jill, Pete, Lofty

The 1970 wedding, mum and friends seated – pregnant Jill, Pete, Lofty


13th January 1970

3 weeks for Rolf presiding over a still-short and inactive chart, but at least Marmalade’s fab Reflections goes up to 2, equalling their cover of Paul McCartney’s Beatles Ob La Di Ob La Da. Talking of Paul McCartney covers, he wrote a jolly poprock track for The Iveys, now known as Badfinger and signed to The Beatles Apple Records. Come And Get It was a great pop track, and introduced the very good (and ill-fated) Badfinger to the chart-world. They ended up getting more great hits (self-written), writing Without You for Nilsson, and recently had the closing song on Breaking Bad’s TV series. Sadly by then, following the legal mess of Apple Records, they had struggled commercially and the two main songwriters/singers had both killed themselves at ages 27 and 36 respectively.

More happily, a reggae track pops in at 8, instrumental The Liquidator, which is not actually a Singapore track I recall hearing or liking but when I heard it on returning to the UK it sounded so familiar I included it in my charts of the time, so Harry J & The All Stars get their only hit (barring re-issues). Harry was a Jamaican record producer who went on to hit with the classic Bob & Marcia hit Young Gifted And Black, but was one of the key tracks for skinheads, a youth movement that had started up. By the time I got back UK-bound in late 1971, skinhead’s were fairly obvious in those longer-haired times and had based their movement around reggae music, which in the 80’s had morphed into a racist-fringed aggressive cult. Irony?

1 ( 1 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
2 ( 4 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
3 ( 3 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 2 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
5 ( NEW ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger

6 ( 6 ) SOMETHING The Beatles
7 ( 8 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
8 ( NEW ) THE LIQUIDATOR The Harry J All Stars
9 ( 7 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition
10 ( 5 ) JINGLE JANGLE The Archies


My DC comics hobby was getting pretty exciting as I got random 1969 (and older) issues of Legion of Super-Heroes, Superman, Supergirl, Teen Titans, Justice League Of America, Batman, Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, Superboy and World’s Finest in particular. To be honest, though, if I had the cash available I’d take anything labelled DC. Marvel Comics? I don’t recall them even being about, never mind being an attraction. I look back at the cover issues and get massive pangs of nostalgia transporting me back to the happy tropics.

Singapore got it’s constitution this week, and the Biafran War ended after several bloody and famine-stricken years in Nigeria, around a million dead, and after watching the awful images on television as I was growing up. Biafra was a wannabe breakaway state, and Nigeria (independent in 1960 from the UK) wasn’t keen. It’s worth repeating that a MILLION people died and then despair over human nature. For all of the current terrible problems in the world, there is at least an awareness these days of foreign events unfolding which can put pressure on them ending before they escalate to ever-more terrible conclusions and atrocities. The roots of the conflict? Religious, oil and historical (the British Empire boundary-defining). No change there then in basic causes of conflicts that continue elsewhere in the world…


20th January 1970

Things finally start to happen in my charts, as Marmalade grab their first well-deserved chart-topper with the touching Reflections Of My Life. Badfinger go up to 4 and there are 4 new entries, the highest from Edison Lighthouse, the fantastic (or “Ace” as we tended to say then) Love Grows, a huge pop UK chart-topper that was pretty popular on Singapore radio and Forces network shows. Showcasing (of course) the great pop vocals of Tony Burrows who famously appeared on Top of the Pops around this time as lead singer for Edison Lighthouse, White Plains and Brotherhood Of Man. Pretty successful! Written by Tony Macauley and Geoff Stephens who each had a massive string of hit songs in the 60’s and 70’s (loads of them are still well known), it couldn’t really go wrong, and didn’t.

In at 7 it’s a John Denver debut – as songwriter. Peter Paul and Mary were pretty well-known in the 60’s, with folk-hits like Blowin’ In The Wind and Puff The Magic Dragon, the latter a kiddie tearjerker loved by all, and here they were with a last hurrah with the lovely Leaving On A Jet Plane. Sweet. As I’d been on a jet plane recently, it spoke to me. At 9, one that has grown with the years for me, these days I absolutely love the Temptations in their funk heyday from 1969 through to 1973, and especially the brilliant I Can’t Get Next To You, a record I love more and more the older I get. I liked it, then by the 80’s I liked it a lot, in the 90’s I loved it, and now I’ve REALLY gone big on it. The psychedelic youtube live performance video is great but the recorded record on loud? Awesome! At 10, a pleasant-enough ballad from group Arrival, Friends, unless you’re typing too fast, in which case Fiends.

1 ( 2 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
2 ( 1 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris
3 ( 3 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 5 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
5 ( NEW ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse

6 ( 4 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry
7 ( NEW ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
8 ( 7 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley
9 ( NEW ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations
10 ( NEW ) FRIENDS Arrival


One of the first purchases to reflect our Forces-overseas affluence (relative to being at home, only, of course) was a proper actual record-player/FM radio with 2 actual speakers for actual stereo, which was a revelation in sound for me. The old blue portable record-player dad bought in Aden was functional, but it was tinny in sound to say the least. This was black plastic, wooden framed class in comparison, and music suddenly was wide-screen. Dad started buying appropriately wide-screen albums and EP’s, like Barbra Streisand’s Funny Girl EP, which had the big Don’t Rain On My Parade for me to singalong to. Radio also benefitted though, it just sounded so much better! Hooray!

fish tank brother mother records and all from a polaroid instamatic camera photo new miracle invention and chemical smells that linger 45 years later

fish tank brother mother records and all from a polaroid instamatic camera photo new miracle invention and chemical smells that linger 45 years later


27th January 1970

Edison Lighthouse get that number one, one-hit wonders in actual fact here, but singer Tony Burrows would eventually get another under the name First Class. Peter Paul And Mary also go up, to 4. At 8, Vanity Fayre return with another catchy pop ditty, Hitchin’ A Ride, I loved the tune, though the version I was more familiar with (off the radio) was a version by Frank Ifield of all people, early 60’s yodelling favourite. I suppose in truth I should replace Vanity Fayre with Frank in my chart – I did get a tape copy of it off the local radio in Singapore, but it’s been utterly unavailable on vinyl, CD, download, streaming youtube or anyplace in the whole wide world for 45 years or so: till I just googled it and found it on a vinyl album in Brighton for £25. Hmmm, how much do I want it….?

The big news is the belated 3rd hit for big fave singer Mary Hopkin, who was still trying for her hat-trick of number ones, though very much not in a hurry, Those Were The Days in 1968 and Goodbye in 1969, averaging one single a year! Temma Harbour was gorgeously tropical and evocative, sort of calypso-flavoured in a honey-sweet folk coating with lush strings taking me to an aural tropical paradise. Actually, I heavily associate the record with Singapore, the lyrics make references to sunshine, sea, waves, catching fish and coconut trees and that pretty much summed up my way of life at the time. So, not very Asian, more Caribbean, but still tropical images for me.

1 ( 5 ) LOVE GROWS (WHERE MY ROSEMARY GOES) Edison Lighthouse
2 ( 1 ) REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE Marmalade
3 ( 3 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 7 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul And Mary
5 ( 2 ) TWO LITTLE BOYS Rolf Harris

6 ( 4 ) COME AND GET IT Badfinger
7 ( NEW ) TEMMA HARBOUR Mary Hopkin
8 ( NEW ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE Vanity Fayre
9 ( 10 ) FRIENDS Arrival
10 ( 6 ) (ALL I HAVE TO DO IS) DREAM Glen Campbell and Bobbie Gentry

Talking of catching fish… it wasn’t to kill, though, it was for my tropical fish tank, which we got at Bedok Junction fish shop, whole tanks of multi-coloured fish of all shapes and sizes just waiting to be put together in one tank – on the one hand I have brilliant vivid memories of shiny green neon tetra, exotic angel face, nippy tiger barb’s, cleaning sucker fish loach, grey catfish, zebra fish, black mollies and especially guppies to devote hours of watching on, on the other hand I also have traumatic memories of the fast-growing angel fish bullying other fish and on one horrendous occasion watch one chop a guppy in half, the poor thing had a horrible slow death because I couldn’t bear having to put it out of it’s torment. Angel fish are not cute, trust me. Guppies are. I used to go fishing for guppies in monsoon drains some months later – the wild males weren’t as multi-coloured as the shop ones, and had smaller tails, but I liked to think I was giving them a good home. Plus it reminded me of days by the river in Chesham, when I was 6 years old and used to catch sticklebacks to keep as pets. At least till they died overnight in the bucket, the inconsiderate little things just didn’t return my love by staying alive and eating bread! Happily the guppies all survived, by and large. Hooray!