My February 1967 Retro Charts

5th Feb 1967

Cat Stevens songs at 2 and 6, a childhood fave song and band in at 11 (Herman’s Hermits) and a so classic happy pop song from The Turtles, the cool side of 60’s pop.

1 ( 2 ) LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE The Monkees
2 ( 1 ) MATTHEW AND SON Cat Stevens
3 ( 3 ) I’M A BELIEVER The Monkees
4 ( 7 ) LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU’RE GONE The Supremes
5 ( 8 ) STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE The Four Tops
6 ( 19 ) HERE COMES MY BABY The Tremeloes
7 ( 5 ) SITTING IN THE PARK Georgie Fame
8 ( 6 ) GEORGY GIRL The Seekers
9 ( 13 ) FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH Buffalo Springfield
10 ( 10 ) RUBY TUESDAY The Rolling Stones

11 ( NEW ) THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH Herman’s Hermits
12 ( 27 ) GO WHERE YOU WANNA GO The Fifth Dimension
13 ( 4 ) SUNSHINE SUPERMAN Donovan
14 ( 9 ) SINGLE GIRL Sandy Posey
15 ( 22 ) THIS IS MY SONG Petula Clark
16 ( 11 ) SUGAR TOWN Nancy Sinatra
17 ( 28 ) TRIP, STUMBLE AND FALL The Mamas & The Papas
18 ( 21 ) IT TAKES TWO Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
19 ( NEW ) HAPPY TOGETHER The Turtles
20 ( 23 ) DEADLIER THAN THE MALE The Walker Brothers

21 ( 33 ) I’M A MAN The Spencer Davis Group
22 ( 12 ) (I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE The Monkees
23 ( NEW ) THE LOOK OF LOVE Dusty Springfield
24 ( 14 ) SUMMER WINE Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
25 ( 25 ) I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW Tommy James & The Shondells
26 ( 26 ) SHE The Monkees
27 ( 29 ) I DON’T NEED ANYTHING Sandie Shaw
28 ( 15 ) I FEEL FREE Cream
29 ( 18 ) I’VE PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE Jimmy Ruffin
30 ( 39 ) PEEK-A-BOO The New Vaudeville Band

31 ( 17 ) I’VE BEEN A BAD BAD BOY Paul Jones
32 ( 16 ) NIGHT OF FEAR The Move
33 ( 24 ) YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON The Supremes
34 ( 30 ) THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE The Casinos
35 ( 20 ) (I KNOW) I’M LOSING YOU The Temptations
36 ( 36 ) CALIFORNIA NIGHTS Lesley Gore
37 ( NEW ) STAY WITH ME BABY The Walker Brothers
38 ( NEW ) MELLOW YELLOW Donovan
39 ( 42 ) YOU GOT TO ME Neil Diamond
40 ( 45 ) I’M GONNA MISS YOU The Artistics

41 ( 43 ) YOUR AUNTIE GRIZELDA The Monkees
42 ( 34 ) FRIDAY ON MY MIND The Easybeats
43 ( 35 ) GOOD VIBRATIONS The Beach Boys
44 ( 32 ) BABY I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Johnny Rivers
45 ( 56 ) IT’S NOW WINTER’S DAY Tommy Roe
46 ( 37 ) WE AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ YET The Blues Magoos
47 ( 48 ) RELEASE ME Engelbert Humperdinck
48 ( 54 ) HARD LOVIN’ Guy Darrell
49 ( 51 ) LOOK OUT (HERE COMES TOMORROW) The Monkees
50 ( 52 ) 96 TEARS Big Maybelle

51 ( 31 ) 98.6 Keith
52 ( 44 ) WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN-HEARTED Jimmy Ruffin
53 ( 59 ) SUNDAY MORNING The Velvet Underground & Nico
54 ( 57 ) SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK’N’ROLL STAR The Byrds
55 ( 47 ) GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME Tom Jones
56 ( 38 ) WORDS OF LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
57 ( 41 ) HEY JOE The Jimi Hendrix Experience
58 ( 40 ) IT MAY BE WINTER OUTSIDE (BUT IN MY HEART IT’S SPRING) Felice Taylor
59 ( 46 ) HAPPY JACK The Who
60 ( 65 ) THE LITTLE BLACK EGG The Nightcrawlers

61 ( 49 ) THE BEAT GOES ON Sonny & Cher
62 ( 55 ) KIND OF A DRAG The Buckinghams
63 ( 53 ) I’VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG The Young Rascals
64 ( 62 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE The Four Tops
65 ( NEW ) I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT The Electric Prunes
66 ( 58 ) WHAT WOULD I BE Val Doonican
67 ( NEW ) JUST BE SINCERE Jackie Wilson
68 ( 63 ) DISTANT DRUMS Jim Reeves
69 ( NEW ) EDELWEISS Vince Hill
70 ( 67 ) KNOCK ON WOOD Eddie Floyd

71 ( 50 ) JUST ONE SMILE Gene Pitney
72 ( NEW ) GIRLS ARE OUT TO GET YOU The Fascinations
73 ( 68 ) LET’S SPEND THE NIGHT TOGETHER The Rolling Stones
74 ( 69 ) BABY WHAT I MEAN The Drifters
75 ( NEW ) PUCKER UP BUTTERCUP Junior Walker & The All-Stars

 

12th Feb 1967

The Monkees utterly dominated my music taste, TV watching, and also again in 1974 when I bought albums. It’s only fair they dominate my chart, not to mention the cover-version of She by Del Shannon)

Cat Stevens has 2 in the top 5 with the Trems moving up, and the Mamas & Papas is a genuinely great lost single-that-should-have-been that I loved back in ’74 too. The Turtles were fabulous, and are still, I adored Hermans Hermits as a kid, Buffalo Springfield is one I discovered in the 80’s, and fantastic it is too. Spencer Davis’ version of I’m A Man is better than the version I knew better (Chicago).

Loved The Fifth Dimension in the 60’s and early 70’s, used to watch them on the Ed Sullivan Show in Singapore in 69-71 (my TV viewing was heavily American), and Dusty is pure perfection, greatest singer of all-time for me. That means the Stones have to fall! Johnny Rivers is one I discovered on oldies Florida radio in the 90’s, Tommy Roe’s is brand new to me! Bear in mind, the first single I ever bought was Dizzy, the first CD album I ever bought was Tommy Roe’s Greatest Hits and I’ve seen him in concert so it’s fab to discover an unknown sweet gem.

The Nightcrawlers has a riff to die for, The Mar-Kays brings back memories of Bottom, a fab comedy, and 2 60’s faves from the Hollies and Harpers Bizarre enter lower down, held down by the sheer volume of stuff I’m loving as I rediscover and discover stuff from 50 years ago!

1 ( 1 ) LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE The Monkees
2 ( 2 ) MATTHEW AND SON Cat Stevens
3 ( 4 ) LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU’RE GONE The Supremes
4 ( 3 ) I’M A BELIEVER The Monkees
5 ( 6 ) HERE COMES MY BABY The Tremeloes
6 ( 17 ) TRIP, STUMBLE AND FALL The Mamas & The Papas
7 ( 19 ) HAPPY TOGETHER The Turtles
8 ( 11 ) THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH Herman’s Hermits
9 ( 9 ) FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH Buffalo Springfield
10 ( 21 ) I’M A MAN The Spencer Davis Group

11 ( 15 ) THIS IS MY SONG Petula Clark
12 ( 12 ) GO WHERE YOU WANNA GO The Fifth Dimension
13 ( 23 ) THE LOOK OF LOVE Dusty Springfield
14 ( 5 ) STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE The Four Tops
15 ( 8 ) GEORGY GIRL The Seekers
16 ( 20 ) DEADLIER THAN THE MALE The Walker Brothers
17 ( 10 ) RUBY TUESDAY The Rolling Stones
18 ( 30 ) PEEK-A-BOO The New Vaudeville Band
19 ( 26 ) SHE The Monkees
20 ( 7 ) SITTING IN THE PARK Georgie Fame

21 ( 14 ) SINGLE GIRL Sandy Posey
22 ( 16 ) SUGAR TOWN Nancy Sinatra
23 ( 27 ) I DON’T NEED ANYTHING Sandie Shaw
24 ( 22 ) (I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE The Monkees
25 ( 25 ) I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW Tommy James & The Shondells
26 ( 18 ) IT TAKES TWO Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
27 ( 13 ) SUNSHINE SUPERMAN Donovan
28 ( 37 ) STAY WITH ME BABY The Walker Brothers
29 ( 44 ) BABY I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Johnny Rivers
30 ( 45 ) IT’S NOW WINTER’S DAY Tommy Roe

31 ( 24 ) SUMMER WINE Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
32 ( 29 ) I’VE PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE Jimmy Ruffin
33 ( 41 ) YOUR AUNTIE GRIZELDA The Monkees
34 ( 38 ) MELLOW YELLOW Donovan
35 ( 39 ) YOU GOT TO ME Neil Diamond
36 ( 40 ) I’M GONNA MISS YOU The Artistics
37 ( 48 ) HARD LOVIN’ Guy Darrell
38 ( 50 ) 96 TEARS Big Maybelle
39 ( 46 ) WE AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ YET The Blues Magoos
40 ( 60 ) THE LITTLE BLACK EGG The Nightcrawlers

41 ( 33 ) YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON The Supremes
42 ( 28 ) I FEEL FREE Cream
43 ( 36 ) CALIFORNIA NIGHTS Lesley Gore
44 ( 54 ) SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK’N’ROLL STAR The Byrds
45 ( NEW ) LAST NIGHT The Mar-Keys
46 ( 47 ) RELEASE ME Engelbert Humperdinck
47 ( 49 ) LOOK OUT (HERE COMES TOMORROW) The Monkees
48 ( 34 ) THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE The Casinos
49 ( 43 ) GOOD VIBRATIONS The Beach Boys
50 ( 42 ) FRIDAY ON MY MIND The Easybeats

51 ( 32 ) NIGHT OF FEAR The Move
52 ( NEW ) ON A CAROUSEL The Hollies
53 ( 53 ) SUNDAY MORNING The Velvet Underground & Nico
54 ( NEW ) THE 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
55 ( 31 ) I’VE BEEN A BAD BAD BOY Paul Jones
56 ( 63 ) I’VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG The Young Rascals
57 ( 35 ) (I KNOW) I’M LOSING YOU The Temptations
58 ( 52 ) WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN-HEARTED Jimmy Ruffin
59 ( 51 ) 98.6 Keith
60 ( 65 ) I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT The Electric Prunes

61 ( 55 ) GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME Tom Jones
62 ( 58 ) IT MAY BE WINTER OUTSIDE (BUT IN MY HEART IT’S SPRING) Felice Taylor
63 ( 67 ) JUST BE SINCERE Jackie Wilson
64 ( 57 ) HEY JOE The Jimi Hendrix Experience
65 ( 56 ) WORDS OF LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
66 ( 69 ) EDELWEISS Vince Hill
67 ( 64 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE The Four Tops
68 ( 70 ) KNOCK ON WOOD Eddie Floyd
69 ( NEW ) DETROIT CITY Tom Jones
70 ( 72 ) GIRLS ARE OUT TO GET YOU The Fascinations

71 ( RE ) TRY A LITTLE TENDERNESS Otis Redding
72 ( 61 ) THE BEAT GOES ON Sonny & Cher
73 ( 74 ) BABY WHAT I MEAN The Drifters
74 ( NEW ) GONNA GET ALONG WITHOUT YA NOW Trini Lopez
75 ( NEW ) SHE Del Shannon

 

19th Feb 1967

The only group that could top The Monkees at the time enter at 1, with the song that got all the airplay at the time. Penny Lane was very famous and Strawberry Fields wasn’t – to be honest I didnt get to hear it at all until the early 70’s, and didnt get to love it properly until I bought the Blue Album in 1975. So it’s proper that Penny Lane should grab the top spot first off, as it did in America.

1 ( NEW ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
2 ( 3 ) LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU’RE GONE The Supremes
3 ( 1 ) LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE The Monkees
4 ( 2 ) MATTHEW AND SON Cat Stevens
5 ( 7 ) HAPPY TOGETHER The Turtles
6 ( 6 ) TRIP, STUMBLE AND FALL The Mamas & The Papas
7 ( 4 ) I’M A BELIEVER The Monkees
8 ( 8 ) THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH Herman’s Hermits
9 ( 11 ) THIS IS MY SONG Petula Clark
10 ( 12 ) GO WHERE YOU WANNA GO The Fifth Dimension

11 ( 5 ) HERE COMES MY BABY The Tremeloes
12 ( 13 ) THE LOOK OF LOVE Dusty Springfield
13 ( 9 ) FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH Buffalo Springfield
14 ( NEW ) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
15 ( 10 ) I’M A MAN The Spencer Davis Group
16 ( 19 ) SHE The Monkees
17 ( 18 ) PEEK-A-BOO The New Vaudeville Band
18 ( 28 ) STAY WITH ME BABY The Walker Brothers
19 ( 33 ) MELLOW YELLOW Donovan
20 ( 23 ) I DON’T NEED ANYTHING Sandie Shaw

21 ( 17 ) RUBY TUESDAY The Rolling Stones
22 ( 15 ) GEORGY GIRL The Seekers
23 ( 30 ) IT’S NOW WINTER’S DAY Tommy Roe
24 ( 39 ) THE LITTLE BLACK EGG The Nightcrawlers
25 ( 32 ) YOUR AUNTIE GRIZELDA The Monkees
26 ( 21 ) SINGLE GIRL Sandy Posey
27 ( 22 ) SUGAR TOWN Nancy Sinatra
28 ( 20 ) SITTING IN THE PARK Georgie Fame
29 ( 14 ) STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE The Four Tops
30 ( 16 ) DEADLIER THAN THE MALE The Walker Brothers

31 ( 24 ) (I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE The Monkees
32 ( 35 ) I’M GONNA MISS YOU The Artistics
33 ( 37 ) 96 TEARS Big Maybelle
34 ( 36 ) HARD LOVIN’ Guy Darrell
35 ( 54 ) THE 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
36 ( 31 ) SUMMER WINE Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
37 ( 27 ) SUNSHINE SUPERMAN Donovan
38 ( 25 ) I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW Tommy James & The Shondells
39 ( 34 ) YOU GOT TO ME Neil Diamond
40 ( 26 ) IT TAKES TWO Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

41 ( 45 ) LAST NIGHT The Mar-Keys
42 ( 52 ) ON A CAROUSEL The Hollies
43 ( 29 ) BABY I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Johnny Rivers
44 ( 44 ) SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK’N’ROLL STAR The Byrds
45 ( 47 ) LOOK OUT (HERE COMES TOMORROW) The Monkees
46 ( 40 ) YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON The Supremes
47 ( 41 ) I FEEL FREE Cream
48 ( 32 ) I’VE PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE Jimmy Ruffin
49 ( 60 ) I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT The Electric Prunes
50 ( 63 ) JUST BE SINCERE Jackie Wilson

51 ( 38 ) WE AIN’T GOT NOTHIN’ YET The Blues Magoos
52 ( 42 ) CALIFORNIA NIGHTS Lesley Gore
53 ( 49 ) GOOD VIBRATIONS The Beach Boys
54 ( NEW ) I’LL TRY ANYTHING Dusty Springfield
55 ( 56 ) I’VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG The Young Rascals
56 ( 50 ) FRIDAY ON MY MIND The Easybeats
57 ( 48 ) THEN YOU CAN TELL ME GOODBYE The Casinos
58 ( 46 ) RELEASE ME Engelbert Humperdinck
59 ( 55 ) I’VE BEEN A BAD BAD BOY Paul Jones
60 ( 70 ) GIRLS ARE OUT TO GET YOU The Fascinations

61 ( 51 ) NIGHT OF FEAR The Move
62 ( 53 ) SUNDAY MORNING The Velvet Underground & Nico
63 ( 58 ) WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN-HEARTED Jimmy Ruffin
64 ( 66 ) EDELWEISS Vince Hill
65 ( 68 ) KNOCK ON WOOD Eddie Floyd
66 ( NEW ) (IN THE) COLD LIGHT OF DAY Gene Pitney
67 ( RE ) PUCKER UP BUTTERCUP Junior Walker & The All-Stars
68 ( 61 ) GREEN, GREEN GRASS OF HOME Tom Jones
69 ( 69 ) DETROIT CITY Tom Jones
70 ( NEW ) THE LOVE I SAW IN YOU WAS JUST A MIRAGE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

71 ( 59 ) 98.6 Keith
72 ( 67 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE The Four Tops
73 ( NEW ) HOLD ON I’M COMING Chuck Jackson & Maxine Brown
74 ( NEW ) AL CAPONE Prince Buster
75 ( NEW ) THIS IS MY SONG Harry Secombe

 

26th Feb 1967

A second week on top for The Beatles’ Penny Lane, which is pretty much what I loved at the time, just ahead of the track I loved most of all in 1967 and the years afterwards, in at 2 for The Mamas & The Papas’ Dedicated…, a cover version appropriately as they get covered at 10, and replace themselves in my top 10 with a single that should have been.

So many new entries, most of the high entries from tracks I loved at the time, bar Brenda & The Tabulations which is new to me and is fab. I came across my mid-70’s rates (I compiled my top 100’s of each year from 1964 onwards based on the NME book of top 20 singles) and some tracks like Petula, Herman’s Hermits, and the dropping-out Edelweiss were way higher in my love in those days. The Vince Hill song is not a patch on The Sound Of Music original though, which I still love.

Elsewhere a pre-Monkees Micky Dolenz pops in, along with a bunch of US minor hits and some flops. One of the songs is very famous now though!

1 ( 1 ) PENNY LANE The Beatles
2 ( NEW ) DEDICATED TO THE ONE I LOVE The Mamas & The Papas
3 ( 3 ) LAST TRAIN TO CLARKSVILLE The Monkees
4 ( 2 ) LOVE IS HERE AND NOW YOU’RE GONE The Supremes
5 ( 14 ) STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER The Beatles
6 ( 4 ) MATTHEW AND SON Cat Stevens
7 ( 9 ) THIS IS MY SONG Petula Clark
8 ( 5 ) HAPPY TOGETHER The Turtles
9 ( 10 ) GO WHERE YOU WANNA GO The Fifth Dimension
10 ( 12 ) THE LOOK OF LOVE Dusty Springfield

11 ( 8 ) THERE’S A KIND OF HUSH Herman’s Hermits
12 ( 18 ) STAY WITH ME BABY The Walker Brothers
13 ( 7 ) I’M A BELIEVER The Monkees
14 ( 6 ) TRIP, STUMBLE AND FALL The Mamas & The Papas
15 ( 11 ) HERE COMES MY BABY The Tremeloes
16 ( 19 ) MELLOW YELLOW Donovan
17 ( NEW ) JIMMY MACK Martha & The Vandellas
18 ( NEW ) DRY YOUR EYES Brenda & The Tabulations
19 ( 16 ) SHE The Monkees
20 ( NEW ) SIMON SMITH AND HIS AMAZING DANCING BEAR The Alan Price Set

21 ( 13 ) FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH Buffalo Springfield
22 ( NEW ) BEGGIN’ The Four Seasons
23 ( 17 ) PEEK-A-BOO The New Vaudeville Band
24 ( NEW ) I WAS KAISER BILL’S BATMAN Whistling Jack Smith
25 ( 23 ) IT’S NOW WINTER’S DAY Tommy Roe
26 ( 21 ) RUBY TUESDAY The Rolling Stones
27 ( 15 ) I’M A MAN The Spencer Davis Group
28 ( 22 ) GEORGY GIRL The Seekers
29 ( 35 ) THE 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
30 ( 26 ) SINGLE GIRL Sandy Posey

31 ( 24 ) THE LITTLE BLACK EGG The Nightcrawlers
32 ( 41 ) LAST NIGHT The Mar-Keys
33 ( 28 ) SITTING IN THE PARK Georgie Fame
34 ( 27 ) SUGAR TOWN Nancy Sinatra
35 ( 66 ) (IN THE) COLD LIGHT OF DAY Gene Pitney
36 ( 42 ) ON A CAROUSEL The Hollies
37 ( 31 ) (I’M NOT YOUR) STEPPIN’ STONE The Monkees
38 ( 25 ) YOUR AUNTIE GRIZELDA The Monkees
39 ( 20 ) I DON’T NEED ANYTHING Sandie Shaw
40 ( 36 ) SUMMER WINE Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood

41 ( 30 ) DEADLIER THAN THE MALE The Walker Brothers
42 ( 33 ) 96 TEARS Big Maybelle
43 ( 34 ) HARD LOVIN’ Guy Darrell
44 ( 45 ) LOOK OUT (HERE COMES TOMORROW) The Monkees
45 ( 37 ) SUNSHINE SUPERMAN Donovan
46 ( 29 ) STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF LOVE The Four Tops
47 ( 49 ) I HAD TOO MUCH TO DREAM LAST NIGHT The Electric Prunes
48 ( 32 ) I’M GONNA MISS YOU The Artistics
49 ( 50 ) JUST BE SINCERE Jackie Wilson
50 ( 46 ) YOU KEEP ME HANGIN’ ON The Supremes

51 ( 40 ) IT TAKES TWO Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston
52 ( 54 ) I’LL TRY ANYTHING Dusty Springfield
53 ( 38 ) I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW Tommy James & The Shondells
54 ( 69 ) DETROIT CITY Tom Jones
55 ( 60 ) GIRLS ARE OUT TO GET YOU The Fascinations
56 ( 47 ) I FEEL FREE Cream
57 ( 53 ) GOOD VIBRATIONS The Beach Boys
58 ( 43 ) BABY I NEED YOUR LOVIN’ Johnny Rivers
59 ( 39 ) YOU GOT TO ME Neil Diamond
60 ( 70 ) THE LOVE I SAW IN YOU WAS JUST A MIRAGE Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

61 ( 44 ) SO YOU WANNA BE A ROCK’N’ROLL STAR The Byrds
62 ( 48 ) I’VE PASSED THIS WAY BEFORE Jimmy Ruffin
63 ( NEW ) WESTERN UNION The Five Americans
64 ( NEW ) SPICKS AND SPECKS The Bee Gees
65 ( 67 ) PUCKER UP BUTTERCUP Junior Walker & The All-Stars
66 ( NEW ) DON’T DO IT Micky Dolenz
67 ( 56 ) FRIDAY ON MY MIND The Easybeats
68 ( NEW ) THE TIDE IS HIGH The Paragons
69 ( NEW ) KEEP IT OUT OF SIGHT Paul & Barry Ryan
70 ( 52 ) CALIFORNIA NIGHTS Lesley Gore

71 ( NEW ) THE HUNTER GETS CAPTURED BY THE GAME The Marvelettes
72 ( NEW ) LET’S FALL IN LOVE Peaches and Herb
73 ( 63 ) WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKEN-HEARTED Jimmy Ruffin
74 ( NEW ) THE DARK END OF THE STREET James Carr
75 ( NEW ) I NEVER LOVED A MAN (THE WAY I LOVED YOU) Aretha Franklin

My 1970 Charts – April

record plastic bag from Singapore

record plastic bag from Singapore

1970 videos


7th April 1970

It’s a first Eurovision song chart-topper for Dana, All Kinds Of Everything won the first of many victories for Ireland and the pretty teenager with the pretty voice and pretty song. Everybody say aaaahh! I did love it at the time, less so these days though. The UK’s entry has to make do with 4, as Knock Knock Who’s There shockingly fails to go on top after 3 singles in a row to hit my number one. Not so shocking, actually, as it got very little airplay in Singapore, and Dana was always on 2-way Family Favourites. The classic Bridge Over Troubled Water is at 3, and the also classic Spirit In The Sky is up to 8.

New at 17, Blue Mink are back with another good single, Good Morning Freedom, I loved Madeleine Bell and happily caught her on TV the other day talking about her days as Dusty Springfield’s backing vocalist during Dusty’s classic period. The single is SO catchy! At 18, and Stevie is really on a roll, Never Had A Dream Come True is a great single towards the tail-end of his early Motown soul-crooner days, and before he became a serious album’s artist on top of hitmaker of singles. Creedence were also on a roll, Travelling Band being one of their big UK hits, but one I like less than some of their minor UK hits which hit it big in the USA around 1970 and 1971. Always good though.

1 ( 2 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
2 ( 1 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
3 ( 4 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
4 ( 9 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
5 ( 3 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
6 ( 8 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
7 ( 5 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
8 ( 16 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
9 ( 6 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
10 ( 7 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell

11 ( 13 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
12 ( 12 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
13 ( 17 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
14 ( 20 ) I CAN’T HELP MYSELF The Four Tops
15 ( 15 ) AUGUST OCTOBER Robin Gibb

16 ( 14 ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
17 ( NEW ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink
18 ( NEW ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
19 ( 18 ) I TALK TO THE TREES Clint Eastwood
20 ( NEW ) TRAVELLIN’ BAND Creedence Clearwater Revival


In Singapore, I had a new friend from an adjacent bungalow to the rear of the house, Robert Gough, who went to the Grammar School at Changi, had a warrant officer dad (all my dad’s mates were low-ranking so this was virtual hob-nobbing with the elite!) and he got sent home to private school in the UK for a while. When it was his birthday I got a real treat in a Katong upstairs restaurant, my first-ever banana split, and some money to spend in the big Robinson’s store in the city – where I got a brand new copy of Action Comics 386, which featured an ageing immortal Superman in a continuing story set in the far future, and a legion Of Super-Heroes back Zap Goes The Legion! which had a fave minor villainess Uli Algor, who plotted to turn their super-powers against the featured legionnaires – she got beaten by a punch. Always poor planners, villains! It was a great evening out though, and of course I still have that comic, still precious to me and in good condition, with the 55 cents Singapore price-tag stamped on it. These things matter when you’re 12 (or 57)!

action-comics-386

At the Oscars, it was Midnight Cowboy, John Wayne (in True Grit, which I loved), and Maggie Smith – sadly, not for Sister Act, that was still nearly 20 years away! On TV I was watching reruns of The Ice Warriors Doctor Who (well re-runs to me, having watched them 2 years earlier in the UK), while the UK was stuck with Jon Pertwee episodes – he just wasn’t the Doctor! I was also watching The Banana Splits which aired just before it, I loved the cool Drooper, the animated cartoons, the crap gags, and especially the theme tune and funky songs. Oldies on TV? Gilligan’s Island, My Favorite Martian, The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis, Car 54 Where Are You? and other US 60’s sitcoms. My pop culture is pretty much American pop culture, British sitcoms were dull in comparison. All of ‘em. The first sitcom that appealed to me was just out in the UK – Up Pompeii – and that was very much in the Carry On tradition. Carry On films still came out regularly and played at the RAF Changi cinema – I remember going to see Carry On Loving in 1971 and not getting the “cooking fat” gag for a cat’s name. Cos he spits, I thought, naively!

our TV and fish tank

our TV and fish tank


14th April 1970

2 weeks for Dana on top, and Spirit In The Sky hits 5, but a quiet week overall, just The Band’s Rag Mama Rag at 20 (not even their best single) and The Archies EP at 9: this was an EP mum and dad bought with my own pocket money. I’d asked them to get me The Partridge Family EP – EP’s were quite pricey, but you got 4 good quality tracks as I was mad on the new TV show and songs, but they knew I was also mad on The Archies songs from TV shows, too – I even took to recording them direct from the TV with a hand-held microphone on our reel-to-reel recorder, tinny quality but they also happened to be generally pretty good, and many of them remain unreleased to this day, to my ongoing annoyance. Anyhoo, Sugar Sugar had already topped, but the other tracks were also good, I already knew the theme tune (which was fun) and Bang Shang A Lang was jolly bubblegum pop that had hit the US charts before Sugar Sugar. Of course, I also bought the comics if I had spare cash after grabbing every DC superhero comic I could find from second-hand bookstalls and shops. The cover of the EP (the first I ever bought) is also the one used by the youtube link

1 ( 1 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
2 ( 2 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
3 ( 3 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
4 ( 4 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
5 ( 8 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum

6 ( 7 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
7 ( 5 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
8 ( 6 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
9 ( NEW ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
10 ( 10 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell

11 ( 9 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam
12 ( 13 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
13 ( 12 ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5
14 ( 11 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
15 ( 17 ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink

16 ( 18 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
17 ( 14 ) I CAN’T HELP MYSELF The Four Tops
18 ( 16 ) EVERYBODY GET TOGETHER The Dave Clark 5
19 ( 20 ) TRAVELLIN’ BAND Creedence Clearwater Revival
20 ( NEW ) RAG MAMA RAG The Band

In the news world, there were 2 major stories around the world, and very much in Singapore too: The Beatles split up! Paul McCartney announced the unthinkable, the fab four were no more, they were an ex-world-conquering-megastar-act. These days we are used to seeing bands fold, even big ones, and even at the height of their success, but back then there had never been a band as big as The Beatles (and never would be again), and they really were rewriting all of the rule books, including ending at the top of their game. For me personally, it all seemed a bit distant (quite literally), and as I’d already loved Give Peace A Chance the prospect of solo Beatles singles seemed to still be a very good thing, and to be honest I’m not sure I (or the media, or anyone else) thought that it would be forever. I just seemed so unlikely that the biggest pop group in the world as far back as I could remember would not be back. Good thing I didn’t know the reality!

The other event was Apollo 13. It gripped the world media over the next 2 weeks, as it lifted-off on it’s doomed (but ultimately heroic) voyage to the moon. Apollo 11 had been Earth-shattering, Apollo 12 was a bit like watching a repeat, only without a camera – the lack of images was a major PR disaster and was the start of the grumbling backlash from critics and taxpayers. Apollo 13 was different. We honestly had no idea what would happen, and I recall one of mum’s friend’s soberly offering an opinion that she thought they would die, which kind of brought it all home how serious the situation was. I can’t do better than suggest watching the Tom Hanks movie Apollo13, that pretty much tells the whole story of Jim Lovell and co, and perfectly captures what 1970 looked like and sounded like, the fashions, the media. My mum was 30-ish and wore mini-skirts, so did her friends. I was mad on the space missions and was gutted when they cancelled them. I cut out colour splash photos of Apollo 14 on the moon, as it got a temporary boost and subsequent missions had the cool Lunar Rover to motor about as well as proper decent colour video pictures. Awesome then, awesome now, and as part of history now taken for granted. I suggest taking a look at the recent high-def images of the moon’s surface, taken from satellite, they are incredible, you can make out every rover trail, footprints and every bit of equipment left on the surface of the moon. They will stay there, barring return visits which look less likely with every passing decade, for centuries, long after all of the crackpot “Moon-landing hoax” money-making charlatans have been forgotten. For every event there is a conspiracy theorist jumping out of the woodwork to get rich on other people’s paranoia and naivety.

mobile brush and carpet man, mum and ahtchoo

mobile brush and carpet man, mum and ahtchoo


21st April 1970

3 weeks for Dana, summertime, wintertime, spring and autumn too, nothing is shifting her, not even The Archies at 3, or Stevie Wonder up to 8. Highest new entry, though, is a personal obscure fave of mine written by blue-eyed soul/gospel singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. She was a fantastic songwriter but never made it as an artist, but her songs were often covered successfully by acts of the time, and especially by The Fifth Dimension, the ultimate sweet soul harmony band. Like contemporaries The Carpenters, considered a bit too MOR and uncool, I think they are long overdue a critical re-appraisal. Save The Country was a social-conscience gospel song with lyrical sentiments that still apply. I’d like to see it covered, modern-stylee, and not just because it evokes strong feel-good nostalgic memories of 1970 Singapore (which it does, the group were often on US variety shows broadcast) or the general music-scene vibes of 1970 (which it should, not being a million miles away from Hair – and their hit version of Aquarius).

Tom Jones is back, 2 years of popchartfreak-hit-making (pah! 2 years! Currently on about 46 years…) and Daughter Of Darkness was one of his more sombre darker-story-songs, and it packed a punch enough. Arguably his last record to do that for, ooh, 18 years. The Hollies meanwhile can’t tell the bottom from the top, not a problem I generally have, and it’s a decent enough pop song (as always). Finally House Of The Rising Sun is back, very famous, one of those songs that always seemed to have existed in pop culture, but not The Animals! No, it’s a hippie prog rock version from Frijid Pink. Alecia Moore might have something to say about that, I’d hazard a guess!

1 ( 1 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
2 ( 2 ) LET IT BE The Beatles
3 ( 9 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
4 ( 3 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
5 ( 5 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum

6 ( 4 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
7 ( 6 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
8 ( 16 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
9 ( 8 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
10 ( NEW ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension

11 ( 12 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
12 ( 7 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
13 ( 15 ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink
14 ( 10 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
15 ( 14 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin

16 ( 19 ) TRAVELLIN’ BAND Creedence Clearwater Revival
17 ( NEW ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
18 ( 17 ) I CAN’T HELP MYSELF The Four Tops
19 ( NEW ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
20 ( NEW ) HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN Frijid Pink

the garden plants, me and baby brother

the garden plants, me and baby brother


Back in home-life anecdote vogue, we had local gardeners come round to cut the lawn – not exactly grass in the European sense, the plants had broader leaves and were quite tough under-foot as they needed to be to avoid getting washed away in monsoon rains. The main gardener was usually a Malay man with a couple of kids tagged on, and they planted a few decorative shrubs with pink and white flowers around, one they called the poo-poo tree. Maybe they were having us on, it was quite nice! The garden was quite exposed to the sun at this time, little natural shade, so I was fascinated to see them stick a twig in the ground by the fence and monsoon drain behind it in the front garden facing our fold-out door – the front room had no windows at all, basically the whole frontage just folded into wooden doors that folded inward and opened up the room to the garden (and insects and chit-chat geckos). More fascinating was the twig actually growing rapidly, sprouting leaves, and within a year or 18 months it was shady tree big enough to climb into (at least for me and my brother). I also became interested in growing exotic fast-growing plant-pot plants and seeds outside. Still am. Still do.


28th April 1970

It’s a new entry, the only act that can stop The Archies from topping my chart – yes it’s The Beatles getting a 3rd Number One, all of them Paul McCartney songs, and the Fabs replace themselves in the chart as Let It Be prematurely vacates the UK singles chart but The Long And Winding Road heads to the top of the US chart, and gets plenty of Singapore exposure. Paul wasn’t that keen on the Phil Spector strings arrangement, but I was a huge 12-year-old fan of it, and the climactic emotional build. Sentimental? Absolutely. Mushy? A bit. Brilliant? Too right! It was the end of the Long And Winding Road for The Beatles, and a good one to go out on as much as Let It Be was. Not a UK single of course, like so many classic Beatles tracks, though it did eventually top the UK charts, err for Gareth Gates and Will Young. Better late than never.

The World Cup was apparently a thing in 1970. I say that as I had no inkling about anything to do with it, other than the song Back Home which was listed in the Daily Mirror Top 30 charts when we got a massive bundle of newspapers all glued and packaged together like a telephone book every month or so. At least I got to hear about some of the hits even if not actually hear them. So, in at 18 an actual decent World Cup song, and it’s from the England squad on their way in the summer to not actually winning for a second time in a row. Ne’er mind, sure there’ll be another victory soon, lads…. No? In at 19, a folk singer often on UK TV, Julie Felix does a quick cover of the Simon And Garfunkel album track. I liked Julie, but let’s be honest, not as good as the S&G version. Which leaves The Move returning after a number one in 1969 with Blackberry Way, but with a difference – Roy Wood had inducted his Brummie mate in the band, name of Jeff Lynne, and The Brontosaurus was a monster combo. A bit heavy, not one of my fave Move tracks, but it was essentially the seeds of The Electric Light Orchestra being sown before our eyes. Nobody remembers the Move anymore (sadly), but ELO and Roy Wood are still a bit famous!

1 ( NEW ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
2 ( 3 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
3 ( 1 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
4 ( 5 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
5 ( 4 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel

6 ( 6 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
7 ( 10 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
8 ( 7 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin
9 ( 9 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
10 ( 8 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder

11 ( 17 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
12 ( 11 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
13 ( 12 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
14 ( 19 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
15 ( 13 ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink

16 ( 14 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
17 ( 15 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
18 ( NEW ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
19 ( NEW ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
20 ( NEW ) BRONTOSAURUS The Move

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