My Retro October 1969 Charts

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Bruv, school uniform and our new Bedokville house – taken on his new budget camera

4th October 1969

It’s 2 weeks on top for John Barry, and the Hollies go top 10 along with the 5th Dimension grabbing a 3rd or 4th top 10. Highest new entry is Stevie Wonder’s fab Yester-Me, shockingly just a minor us hit, but a uk smash and one of his great pre Talking Book Motown tracks. In at 22 Peter Paul and Mary are back with their best record – John Denver’s prophetic Leaving On A Jet Plane. This marked his emergence and their goodbye as music forces.

More Beatles invasions as Abbey Road takes over with Because and Ringo’s jolly Octopus get a look in and Come Together climbs to 46. Marsha Shaw follows where the 5th Dimension charted first with Californian Soul, Esther Ofarim gets a 3rd hit and her first solo effort with a Mason Williams song, the Five Stairsteps family return with another decent single, Mel and Tim debut, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band also return with a Mike Nesmith song, Mike slso indide the 40 with one of his other songs, and the Nitty Gritty’s ahead of a starring role in movie Paint Your Wagon, out in a couple of weeks. Barry Ryan sneaks in at the lower end.

1 ( 1 ) THEME FROM “MIDNIGHT COWBOY” John Barry # 1
2 ( 2 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry # 1
3 ( 4 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam # 3
4 ( 5 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell # 4
5 ( 3 ) AM I THE SAME GIRL Dusty Springfield # 1
6 ( 6 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson # 3
7 ( 12 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY…HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies # 7
8 ( 8 ) GOOD CLEAN FUN The Monkees # 8
9 ( 7 ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 1
10 ( 13 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The 5th Dimension #10

11 ( 16 ) HERE COMES THE SUN The Beatles # 11
12 ( 10 ) MAYBE Betty Everett #10
13 ( 20 ) SOMETHING The Beatles # 13
14 ( 9 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley #6
15 ( 11 ) PUT YOURSELF IN MY PLACE The Isley Brothers # 7
16 ( 14 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
17 ( 15 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
18 (NEW) YESTER-ME YESTER-YOU YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder
19 ( 17 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 1
20 ( 19 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME The Bee Gees # 4

21 ( 21 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 14
22 (NEW) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul and Mary
23 ( 23 ) GOLDEN SLUMBERS The Beatles # 23
24 ( 43 ) DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO The Four Tops # 24
25 ( 29 ) MY WOMAN’S GOOD TO ME George Benson # 25
26 ( 33 ) YOU LITTLE ANGEL, YOU The Archies # 26
27 ( 28 ) MY BALLOON’S GOING UP Archie Bell & The Drells # 27
28 ( 18 ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations # 5
29 ( 37 ) IS THAT ALL THERE IS Peggy Lee # 29
30 ( 25 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1

31 ( 22 ) LET ME BE THE MAN MY DADDY WAS The Chi-Lites # 9
32 ( 26 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
33 ( 27 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
34 ( 24 ) BICYCLES, ROLLERSKATES AND YOU The Archies # 24
35 ( 47 ) MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC Mama Cass # 35
36 ( 31 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 5
37 ( 38 ) THROW DOWN A LINE Cliff Richard & Hank Marvin # 37
38 ( 32 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 5
39 ( 44 ) CIRCLE OF BLUE The Archies # 39
40 ( 34 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 6

41 ( 49 ) BABY I’M FOR REAL The Originals # 41
42 ( 48 ) TRACY The Cuff Links featuring Ron Dante # 42
43 ( 39 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
44 ( 30 ) WALK ON BY Isaac Hayes # 12
45 ( 42 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
46 ( 73 ) COME TOGETHER The Beatles # 46
47 ( 36 ) WORLD PARTS 1 & 2 James Brown # 28
48 ( 56 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple # 48
49 ( 52 ) PENNY ARCADE Roy Orbison # 49
50 ( 61 ) WE’LL CRY TOGETHER Maxine Brown # 50

51 ( 35 ) JIVE Bobby Darin # 25
52 ( 41 ) STREETS OF LONDON Ralph McTell # 16
53 ( 45 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 6
54 ( 63 ) ROCK & ROLL MUSIC The Archies # 54
55 ( 40 ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR’ BLOE Wind featuring Tony Orlando # 27
56 ( 66 ) OH WELL Fleetwood Mac # 56
57 ( 57 ) MOMMY AND DADDY The Monkees # 57
58 ( 53 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
59 ( 69 ) BALL OF FIRE Tommy James & The Shondells # 59
60 ( 65 ) EVIL WOMAN DON’T PLAY YOUR GAMES WITH ME Crow # 60

61 ( 64 ) SO GOOD TOGETHER Andy Kim # 61
62 ( 58 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
63 (NEW) BECAUSE The Beatles
64 ( 68 ) DON’T TOUCH MY GUITAR The Archies # 64
65 (NEW) CALIFORNIA SOUL Marsha Shaw
66 (NEW) SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE WORLD Esther Ofarim
67 ( 71 ) GET RHYTHM Johnny Cash # 67
68 ( NEW ) WE MUST BE IN LOVE The Five Stairsteps and Cubie
69 (NEW) OCTOPUS’S GARDEN The Beatles
70 ( 74 ) PROUD MARY Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 70

71 ( 75 ) SHE BELONGS TO ME Rick Nelson & The Stone Canyon Band # 71
72 (NEW) BACKFIELD IN MOTION Mel and Tim
73 (NEW) SOME OF SHELLY’S BLUES The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
74 (NEW) WE GOT LATIN SOUL Mongo Santamaria
75 (NEW) THE HUNT Barry Ryan

And in the week, more or less, we settled into our new house at Bedokville…

Wot I liked Back Then:

1 ( 2 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 3 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
4 ( 5 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
5 ( 6 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
6 ( 4 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
7 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
8 ( 9 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
9 ( 12 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
10 ( NEW ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

 

11th October 1969

It’s 3 weeks on top for the gorgeous classy John Barry theme to Midnight Cowboy. You can compare how great it is by listening to the horrendously amateur cover version that hit the US top 10 in the coming weeks. Just awful. The Hollies reach anew post 1966 peak of 2 with He Ain’t Heavy – it did actually top my charts in 1988, but there’s some big new entries from another fave movie soundtrack on the way, so will it make the top first-time round? The Beatles leapfrog themselves a couple of times, as Something goes top 10, and Peter, Paul & Mary grab a top 20 along with a debut 20 for George Benson, and yet more for The Four Tops and The Archies.

Highest new entry is the one that Nilsson wrote for Midnight Cowboy, which was rejected along with Dylan’s Lay Lady Lay in favour of the admittedly brilliant Everybody’s Talking – still in the top 10 in it’s 2nd run – the fab I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City. Mike Nesmith gets a second simultaneous song in the 40 as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band shoot into the 40 ahead of their debut film appearance with a much lesser song about beans. In at 38, Junior Walker outdoes The Guess Who as These Eyes enters, showing what a great vocalist can do with a song – Junior was thought of mainly as a great sax player, so much so that the brilliant What Does It Take was passed over by Motown, but he was just as good a singer.

Creedence enter at 45 with the then-less-well-known side of the usual double-hit in the USA – the other side will join it shortly for about the 8th of the year – but Fortunate Son’s use in movies about Viet-Nam has given it a much higher profile these days, quite rightly. Carlos Santana makes an appearance as the 60’s start to become history, with Jingo – a 50’s song I didn’t know at the time, but became an 80’s hit for Jellybean – 5 years before I really noticed Santana with the fab Samba Pa Ti, and 30 years before they finally topped my chart with Smooth, the first of 2 chart-toppers.

Frank Sinatra is back, so’s Gladys Knight, and also Jose Feliciano, while a couple of ska staples pop in and Holland-Dozier-Holland get cracking on Hot Wax, their new label, with Honey Cone debuting at 75 with Girls It Ain’t Easy. So who have I got to see in concert in my chart this week? Glen Campbell, The Monkees, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, The Beach Boys all multiple times, and one each for Macca & Ringo of The Fabs, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Gladys Knight, The Bee Gees, The Chi-Lites, Santana, The Rolling Stones. Missed loads I wanted to catch though…

1 ( 1 ) THEME FROM “MIDNIGHT COWBOY” John Barry # 1
2 ( 7 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY…HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies # 2
3 ( 3 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam # 3
4 ( 2 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry # 1
5 ( 5 ) AM I THE SAME GIRL Dusty Springfield # 1
6 ( 4 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell # 4
7 ( 6 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson # 3
8 ( 10 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The 5th Dimension # 8
9 ( 13 ) SOMETHING The Beatles # 9
10 ( 8 ) GOOD CLEAN FUN The Monkees # 8

11 ( 11 ) HERE COMES THE SUN The Beatles # 11
12 ( 9 ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 1
13 ( 18 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder # 13
14 ( 14 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley # 6
15 ( 12 ) MAYBE Betty Everett # 10
16 ( 22 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul & Mary # 16
17 ( 24 ) DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO The Four Tops # 17
18 ( 15 ) PUT YOURSELF IN MY PLACE The Isley Brothers # 7
19 ( 25 ) MY WOMAN’S GOOD TO ME George Benson # 19
20 ( 26 ) YOU LITTLE ANGEL, YOU The Archies # 20

21 ( 16 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
22 ( 17 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
23 ( 23 ) GOLDEN SLUMBERS The Beatles # 23
24 ( 29 ) IS THAT ALL THERE IS Peggy Lee # 24
25 ( 19 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 1
26 ( 35 ) MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC Mama Cass # 26
27 ( 27 ) MY BALLOON’S GOING UP Archie Bell & The Drells # 27
28 ( 20 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME The Bee Gees # 4
29 ( 21 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 14
30 ( NEW ) I GUESS THE LORD MUST BE IN NEW YORK CITY Nilsson # 30

31 ( 39 ) CIRCLE OF BLUE The Archies # 31
32 ( 37 ) THROW DOWN A LINE Cliff Richard & Hank Marvin # 32
33 ( 30 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
34 ( 32 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
35 ( 73 ) SOME OF SHELLY’S BLUES The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band # 35
36 ( 28 ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations # 5
37 ( 33 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
38 ( NEW ) THESE EYES Junior Walker & The All Stars # 38
39 ( 46 ) COME TOGETHER The Beatles # 39
40 ( 56 ) OH WELL Fleetwood Mac # 40

41 ( 31 ) LET ME BE THE MAN MY DADDY WAS The Chi-Lites # 9
42 ( 34 ) BICYCLES, ROLLERSKATES AND YOU The Archies # 24
43 ( 36 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 5
44 ( 50 ) WE’LL CRY TOGETHER Maxine Brown # 44
45 ( NEW ) FORTUNATE SON Creedence Clearwater Revival # 45
46 ( 38 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 5
47 ( 43 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
48 ( 63 ) BECAUSE The Beatles # 48
49 ( 40 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 6
50 ( 54 ) ROCK & ROLL MUSIC The Archies # 50

51 ( 45 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
52 ( 41 ) BABY I’M FOR REAL The Originals # 41
53 ( 42 ) TRACY The Cuff Links featuring Ron Dante # 42
54 ( 44 ) WALK ON BY Isaac Hayes # 12
55 ( 59 ) BALL OF FIRE Tommy James & The Shondells # 55
56 ( 60 ) EVIL WOMAN DON’T PLAY YOUR GAMES WITH ME Crow # 56
57 ( 67 ) GET RHYTHM Johnny Cash # 57
58 ( 52 ) STREETS OF LONDON Ralph McTell # 16
59 ( 70 ) PROUD MARY Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 59
60 ( 69 ) OCTOPUS’S GARDEN The Beatles # 60

61 ( 58 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
62 ( NEW ) JINGO-LO-BA Santana # 62
63 ( 66 ) SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE WORLD Esther Ofarim # 63
64 ( 72 ) BACKFIELD IN MOTION Mel & Tim # 64
65 ( 53 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 6
66 ( 68 ) WE MUST BE IN LOVE The Five Stairsteps & Cubie # 66
67 ( 74 ) WE GOT LATIN SOUL Mongo Santamaria # 67
68 ( NEW ) LOVE’S BEEN GOOD TO ME Frank Sinatra # 68
69 ( 75 ) THE HUNT Barry Ryan # 69
70 ( NEW ) FRIENDSHIP TRAIN Gladys Knight & The Pips # 70

71 ( NEW ) RETURN OF DJANGO The Upsetters # 71
72 ( NEW ) LONG SHOT KICK DE BUCKET The Pioneers # 72
73 ( NEW ) AND THE SUN WILL SHINE Jose Feliciano # 73
74 ( NEW ) TAKE A LETTER MARIA R.B. Greaves # 74
75 ( NEW ) GIRLS IT AIN’T EASY Honey Cone # 75

RETRO THEN

1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 5 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
4 ( 3 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
5 ( NEW ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
6 ( 4 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
7 ( 6 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
8 ( 8 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
9 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
10 ( 10 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

 

18th October 1969

It’s a first week on top for The Hollies classic He Ain’t Heavy… it may not be their absolute best track (that would be Bus Stop or Air That I Breathe) but it’s up there at a time when the Beatles aren’t even top 5! Just to rub Fabs salt into the wound pop rivals The Tremeloes shoot in at 4 with their best record (Call Me) Number One. The Beatles at least get 2 top 10’s from Abbey Road though they are being chased by Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops and second-highest new entry They Call The Wind Maria (pronounced Mariah, as in the pop star who was named after the song) from the soundtrack to Paint Your Wagon, out this week. The film was a huge family fave back in 1970, dad bought the album, and recorded himself singing along to it – he easily keeps up with the amazing vocals of Harve Presnell, Broadway star and actor in TV such as Lois & Clark and movies like Saving Private Ryan. Dad coulda been a professional singer quite easily.

Maria is the showstopper of the film, but others enter lower down, the famous Wand’rin’ Star for Lee Marvin in at 32 a few months before it became a UK chart-topper, and a song that I could sing better – and that’s not easy, my singing voice is only marginally better than Marvin! At 55 The Gospel Of No Name City is the catchy singalong track of the movie, amusing and upbeat, while more chorus-oriented tracks pop in lower-down, including another Harve Presnell feature, and the intro to the film. Talking of songs from films – at 21 Bacharach/David give us the huge US B.J.Thomas smash Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head from Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid – I’ll be honest I was more familiar with (and loved) the Sacha Distel 1970 cover at the time, but thankfully I’ve seen the light and stick with the film version these days.

Reggae pops in courtesy of the great Jimmy Cliff at 48, and Harry J’s All Stars at 61, another Dusty track in a busy Dusty year – this time on an early Philly Soul track off a Gamble & Huff (& Thom Bell on this track) album out in the new year. Dusty should have credit for being ahead of the game, they dominated the early 70’s non-Northern Soul oldies disco scene until KC, Hues Corporation & Gloria Gaynor gave us Disco. Lastly, the Creedence A side appears after the B side, Marv Johnson returns with Motown, along with the Marv-Johnson-alettes (HHOK!) Motown, and Three Dog Night pop in withe second Laura Nyro cover in the charts, t’other The 5th Dimension.

1 ( 2 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY…HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies # 1
2 ( 1 ) THEME FROM “MIDNIGHT COWBOY” John Barry # 1
3 ( 3 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam # 3
4 ( NEW ) (CALL ME) NUMBER ONE The Tremeloes # 4
5 ( 4 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry # 1
6 ( 5 ) AM I THE SAME GIRL Dusty Springfield # 1
7 ( 6 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell # 4
8 ( 9 ) SOMETHING The Beatles # 8
9 ( 11 ) HERE COMES THE SUN The Beatles # 9
10 ( 13 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder # 10

11 ( 17 ) DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO The Four Tops # 11
12 ( 7 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson # 3
13 ( 16 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul & Mary # 13
14 ( NEW ) THEY CALL THE WIND MARIA Harve Presnell # 14
15 ( 8 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The 5th Dimension # 8
16 ( 12 ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 1
17 ( 10 ) GOOD CLEAN FUN The Monkees # 8
18 ( 20 ) YOU LITTLE ANGEL, YOU The Archies # 18
19 ( 24 ) IS THAT ALL THERE IS Peggy Lee # 19
20 ( 14 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley # 6

21 ( NEW ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas # 21
22 ( 15 ) MAYBE Betty Everett # 10
23 ( 19 ) MY WOMAN’S GOOD TO ME George Benson # 19
24 ( 26 ) MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC Mama Cass # 24
25 ( 18 ) PUT YOURSELF IN MY PLACE The Isley Brothers # 7
26 ( 30 ) I GUESS THE LORD MUST BE IN NEW YORK CITY Nilsson # 26
27 ( 21 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
28 ( 22 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
29 ( 31 ) CIRCLE OF BLUE The Archies # 29
30 ( 35 ) SOME OF SHELLY’S BLUES The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band # 30

31 ( 25 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 1
32 ( NEW ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin # 32
33 ( 23 ) GOLDEN SLUMBERS The Beatles # 23
34 ( 38 ) THESE EYES Junior Walker & The All Stars # 34
35 ( 28 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME The Bee Gees # 4
36 ( 40 ) OH WELL Fleetwood Mac # 36
37 ( 39 ) COME TOGETHER The Beatles # 37
38 ( 27 ) MY BALLOON’S GOING UP Archie Bell & The Drells # 27
39 ( 48 ) BECAUSE The Beatles # 39
40 ( 29 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 14

41 ( 33 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
42 ( 34 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
43 ( 37 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
44 ( 44 ) WE’LL CRY TOGETHER Maxine Brown # 44
45 ( 45 ) FORTUNATE SON Creedence Clearwater Revival # 45
46 ( 32 ) THROW DOWN A LINE Cliff Richard & Hank Marvin # 32
47 ( 36 ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations # 5
48 ( NEW ) WONDERFUL WORLD BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE Jimmy Cliff # 48
49 ( 59 ) PROUD MARY Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 49
50 ( 55 ) BALL OF FIRE Tommy James & The Shondells # 50

51 ( 47 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
52 ( 43 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 5
53 ( 46 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 5
54 ( 41 ) LET ME BE THE MAN MY DADDY WAS The Chi-Lites # 9
55 ( NEW ) THE GOSPEL OF NO NAME CITY Alan Dexter # 55
56 ( NEW ) HOLLY HOLY Neil Diamond # 56
57 ( 57 ) GET RHYTHM Johnny Cash # 57
58 ( 51 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
59 ( 60 ) OCTOPUS’S GARDEN The Beatles # 59
60 ( 62 ) JINGO-LO-BA Santana # 60

61 ( NEW ) LIQUIDATOR Harry J All Stars # 61
62 ( 63 ) SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE WORLD Esther Ofarim # 62
63 ( NEW ) THERE’S A COACH COMIN’ IN Harve Presnell & Chorus # 63
64 ( 64 ) BACKFIELD IN MOTION Mel & Tim # 64
65 ( 61 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
66 ( 42 ) BICYCLES, ROLLERSKATES AND YOU The Archies # 24
67 ( 67 ) WE GOT LATIN SOUL Mongo Santamaria # 67
68 ( 68 ) LOVE’S BEEN GOOD TO ME Frank Sinatra # 68
69 ( 56 ) EVIL WOMAN DON’T PLAY YOUR GAMES WITH ME Crow # 56
70 ( NEW ) A BRAND NEW ME Dusty Springfield # 70

71 ( NEW ) THAT’S HOW HEARTACHES ARE MADE The Marvelettes # 71
72 ( NEW ) PAINT YOUR WAGON ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MAIN TITLE (I’M ON MY WAY) Paint Your Wagon Chorus # 72
73 ( NEW ) DOWN ON THE CORNER Creedence Clearwater Revival # 73
74 ( NEW ) I MISS YOU BABY (HOW I MISS YOU) Marv Johnson # 74
75 ( NEW ) ELI’S COMING Three Dog Night # 75

wot I liked that week then
1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 3 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
4 ( 5 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
5 ( 6 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
6 ( 8 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
7 ( 9 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
8 ( 7 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
9 ( RE ) A BOY NAMED SUE Johnny Cash
10 ( 10 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

 

25th October 1969

It’s a first week on top for yet another movie song – this time from Paint Your Wagon, but not the one you might think, this one is the Mariah-Carey-naming fab They Call The Wind Maria. The soundtrack, and this song especially, and the film, loomed large in our Singapore family lives back then. Wandrin’ Star meanwhile takes Lee Marvin into the 20 many months early, as he enters with yet another track also featuring Clint Eastwood, who should have taught Pierce Brosnan a lesson by going nowhere near a microphone to sing ever again, and also the great Ray Walston, childhood fave star of My Favourite Martian sitcom (and also South Pacific the movie).

Nilsson replaces himself in the 20, NItty Gritty Dirt Band replace The Monkees with another Mike Nesmith song, and Laura Nyro replaces Three Dog Night’s cover of Eli’s Coming in the 75 by entering with her own new-album-track Time And Love. Highest new entry is the debut classic hit for The Jackson 5 – starring young Michael, he of the jaw-dropping pre-pubescent vocals delivered with a maturity and style he had to work to achieve once his voice broke. As a kid he could soar effortlessy. I Want You Back, though, does feature Jermaine and the brothers, and obviously launched a major world star. At the time they were groovy black kids from the ghetto, pushed by Motown via Diana Ross’ TV special show, and they were on many a variety show aired in Singapore, not least Ed Sullivan. Diana Ross, meanwhile joins the Supremes for their goodbye single just before she went solo, and before Mary Wilson became the only remaining original member for their last 3 fab years of singles. I’ve seen Mary Wilson in concert, but not Diana Ross. Diana is finally headlining Glasto and coming out of semi-retirement to tour. Of course, she was totally lying, they have never gotten back together: Someday We’ll Be Together, as if!

Jimmy Cliff gets his first top 40, Shocking Blue enter with Venus, a European smash for the Dutch band that was not far from conquering the US, and the UK a little later, in 1970. Cards on the table, I love the Bananarama version more, but the original is still very good, and this week it was riding high in the Swiss top 10. Riding high in the Canadian top 10 was another future UK 1970 hit, getting them in early because my Chart Rule is, if it was available to buy somewhere – anywhere – it’s eligible for my “Streaming” version of 1969 charting: Terry Jacks as the creative force and member of The Poppy Family, and Which Way You Going Billy? In at 67 a full 4 and a bit years before Seasons In The Sun became a massive hit for him.

Clodagh’s back with a song I didn’t know at the time, but heard of in later years, and finally got to hear on CD compilation in the early 90’s, Biljo. The O’Jays are back with a track from the US Soul top 40 that has yet to pop up in the Hot 100 breakers, Branded Bad. Branded Good, I say, I was grooving along to the epic Love Train at my brothers 60th bash last weekend. By 1969 they’d already almost a decade of US singles success, albeit minor success. In at 72, Marty Wilde is back using his US pseudonym Shannon, and singing his own UK hit-song Jesamine (a hit for The Casuals that is), Nina Simone enters with future reggae classic Young, Gifted & Black, and errr in the Austrian top 10 this week, a little bubblegum ditty from a man who changed the course of popular music. Name of Giorgio. A little Papa Ooh Mow Mow-chorus-nicking bit of bubblegum named Looky Looky. It’s very catchy, and some might recognise the mini-background-hook in it. Most won’t, but it’s the same as the one Chicory Tip used on Good Grief Christina in 1973. Produced by a certain G. Moroder esq, following up their chart-topping synth-pioneering Son Of My Father. Yes there are synths on this song, albeit almost incidental background scenery towards the end. Took him another 8 years to get his own UK hit-single….

1 ( 14 ) THEY CALL THE WIND MARIA Harve Presnell # 1
2 ( 2 ) THEME FROM “MIDNIGHT COWBOY” John Barry # 1
3 ( 1 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY…HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies # 1
4 ( 4 ) (CALL ME) NUMBER ONE The Tremeloes # 4
5 ( 5 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry # 1
6 ( 8 ) SOMETHING The Beatles # 6
7 ( 3 ) NA NA HEY HEY KISS HIM GOODBYE Steam # 3
8 ( 10 ) YESTER-ME, YESTER-YOU, YESTERDAY Stevie Wonder # 8
9 ( 9 ) HERE COMES THE SUN The Beatles # 9
10 ( 6 ) AM I THE SAME GIRL Dusty Springfield # 1

11 ( 11 ) DO WHAT YOU GOTTA DO The Four Tops # 11
12 ( 7 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell # 4
13 ( 13 ) LEAVING ON A JET PLANE Peter, Paul & Mary # 13
14 ( 21 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas # 14
15 ( 26 ) I GUESS THE LORD MUST BE IN NEW YORK CITY Nilsson # 15
16 ( 18 ) YOU LITTLE ANGEL, YOU The Archies # 16
17 ( 32 ) WAND’RIN’ STAR Lee Marvin # 17
18 ( 12 ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson # 3
19 ( 15 ) WEDDING BELL BLUES The 5th Dimension # 8
20 ( 30 ) SOME OF SHELLY’S BLUES The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band # 20

21 ( 16 ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 1
22 ( 24 ) MAKE YOUR OWN KIND OF MUSIC Mama Cass # 22
23 ( 17 ) GOOD CLEAN FUN The Monkees # 8
24 ( 20 ) SUSPICIOUS MINDS Elvis Presley # 6
25 ( 34 ) THESE EYES Junior Walker & The All Stars # 25
26 ( 19 ) IS THAT ALL THERE IS Peggy Lee # 19
27 ( 36 ) OH WELL Fleetwood Mac # 27
28 ( 23 ) MY WOMAN’S GOOD TO ME George Benson # 19
29 ( 37 ) COME TOGETHER The Beatles # 29
30 ( 27 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1

31 ( 28 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
32 ( 25 ) PUT YOURSELF IN MY PLACE The Isley Brothers # 7
33 ( NEW ) I WANT YOU BACK The Jackson 5 # 33
34 ( 31 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 1
35 ( 39 ) BECAUSE The Beatles # 35
36 ( 29 ) CIRCLE OF BLUE The Archies # 29
37 ( 22 ) MAYBE Betty Everett # 10
38 ( 48 ) WONDERFUL WORLD BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE Jimmy Cliff # 38
39 ( 45 ) FORTUNATE SON Creedence Clearwater Revival # 39
40 ( 49 ) PROUD MARY Sonny Charles & The Checkmates # 40

41 ( 44 ) WE’LL CRY TOGETHER Maxine Brown # 41
42 ( 35 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER ME The Bee Gees # 4
43 ( 55 ) THE GOSPEL OF NO NAME CITY Alan Dexter # 43
44 ( 41 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
45 ( 42 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
46 ( 43 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
47 ( 61 ) LIQUIDATOR Harry J All Stars # 47
48 ( 70 ) A BRAND NEW ME Dusty Springfield # 48
49 ( 33 ) GOLDEN SLUMBERS The Beatles # 23
50 ( 63 ) THERE’S A COACH COMIN’ IN Harve Presnell & Chorus # 50

51 ( 40 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles # 14
52 ( NEW ) VENUS Shocking Blue # 52
53 ( 56 ) HOLLY HOLY Neil Diamond # 53
54 ( 71 ) THAT’S HOW HEARTACHES ARE MADE The Marvelettes # 54
55 ( 38 ) MY BALLOON’S GOING UP Archie Bell & The Drells # 27
56 ( 51 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
57 ( 47 ) I CAN’T GET NEXT TO YOU The Temptations # 5
58 ( 60 ) JINGO-LO-BA Santana # 58
59 ( NEW ) SOMEDAY WE’LL BE TOGETHER Diana Ross & The Supremes # 59
60 ( 62 ) SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE WORLD Esther Ofarim # 60

61 ( 50 ) BALL OF FIRE Tommy James & The Shondells # 50
62 ( 72 ) PAINT YOUR WAGON ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK MAIN TITLE (I’M ON MY WAY) Paint Your Wagon Chorus # 62
63 ( NEW ) BILJO Clodagh Rodgers # 63
64 ( 58 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
65 ( 52 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 5
66 ( 53 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 5
67 ( NEW ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family featuring Terry Jacks # 67
68 ( 68 ) LOVE’S BEEN GOOD TO ME Frank Sinatra # 68
69 ( NEW ) BEST THINGS Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood & Ray Walston # 69
70 ( NEW ) TIME AND LOVE Laura Nyro # 70

71 ( NEW ) BRANDED BAD The O’Jays # 71
72 ( NEW ) JESAMINE Shannon aka Marty Wilde # 72
73 ( NEW ) LOOKY LOOKY Giorgio (Moroder) # 73
74 ( NEW ) TO BE YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Nina Simone # 74
75 ( NEW ) YOU GOT TO PAY THE PRICE Gloria Taylor # 75

Wot I liked then
1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 4 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 3 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
5 ( 8 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
6 ( 6 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
7 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson
8 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
9 ( NEW ) OH ME OH MY (I’M A FOOL FOR YOU) Lulu
10 ( NEW ) (CALL ME) NUMBER ONE The Tremeloes

My Retro July 1968 Charts

6th July 1968

It’s 2 weeks on top for the epic Last Night In Soho, holding off a challenge from the equally epic Dusty Springfield song I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten, my all-time fave Dusty song of many close challengers. Not only are these 2 of my fave songs of 1968, the 60’s, but easily right up there in my all-time list. How much do I love the music of this period? Well, Jackie Wilson enters at only 17 with the brilliant my-actual-chart 1972 top 10, 1975 top 30 and 1987 chart-topper, I Get The Sweetest Feeling. Mama Cass topped my chart in 1997 and is only at 6, Steppenwolf did it in the 90’s and yet can only hold at 18. Just fantastic records all.

In at 34, a song I’ve always loved – but never heard the original before! In comes Jerry Jeff Walker at 34, it’s writer. Robbie Williams did a fab cover, among many like Sammy Davis Jr. Martha Reeves and The O’Jays have good climbs into the 40 as the lower end of the chart is awash with goodies new to me, and familiar both. Tammy Wynette scrapes into the 50 – it did slightly better in 1975 when I only compiled a 50 so that’s a handy yardstick for 1968 retro charts. P.P. Arnold’s good, but not as good as Merrilee Rush’s, version of Angel Of The Morning is in at 58, Bobby Vinton’s good, but not as good as Bully Fury’s, version of Goffin & King’s Halfway To Paradise is in at 68, and The Nice’s ELP-ish (not surprisingly) good, but not as good as the movie soundtrack’s, version of America is at 73, and Otis Redding’s, and just as good as The Black Crowe’s, version of Hard To Handle is at 72.

Some familiar fab soul from The Four Tops enters at 62, and unfamiliar enters at 64 for Curtis Mayfield & chums, and some Stevie “sounding familiar but not” Wonder at 75, leaving just some brand new to me Bubblegum from 1910 Fruitgum Co. at 70. I think I’ve overdosed on Simon Says over the 50 years, cos 1, 2, 3 Red Light sounds much fresher, and makes me feel 10 years old without having ever heard it in 1968. Bizarre!

1 ( 1 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
2 ( NEW ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
3 ( 6 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
4 ( 2 ) YESTERDAY HAS GONE Cupid’s Inspiration
5 ( 3 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
6 ( 12 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
7 ( 4 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
8 ( 9 ) KEEP ON Bruce Channel
9 ( 13 ) FIRE The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
10 ( 5 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap

11 ( 7 ) MY NAME IS JACK Manfred Mann
12 ( 8 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
13 ( 20 ) WALK ON Roy Orbison
14 ( 11 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC The 5th Dimension
15 ( 17 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY Laura Nyro
16 ( 10 ) DREAMS OF THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE Glen Campbell
17 ( NEW ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
18 ( 18 ) BORN TO BE WILD Steppenwolf
19 ( 15 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
20 ( 16 ) VENUS Johnny Mathis

21 ( 14 ) JUMPING JACK FLASH The Rolling Stones
22 ( 19 ) MACARTHUR PARK Richard Harris
23 ( 32 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
24 ( 21 ) THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
25 ( 22 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
26 ( 23 ) NEXT Scott Walker
27 ( 24 ) (WE’LL BE) UNITED Peaches & Herb
28 ( 28 ) WHITE HORSES Jackie
29 ( 27 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC Laura Nyro
30 ( 39 ) SOUL LIMBO Booker T. & The MG’s

31 ( 25 ) IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME Gladys Knight & The Pips
32 ( 26 ) BLUE EYES Don Partridge
33 ( 31 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts
34 ( NEW ) MR. BOJANGLES Jerry Jeff Walker
35 ( 34 ) ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY Glen Campbell
36 ( 35 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
37 ( 33 ) A MINHA MENINA Os Mutantes
38 ( 54 ) FORGET ME NOT Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
39 ( 60 ) LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER The O’Jays
40 ( 38 ) MONY MONY Tommy James & The Shondells

41 ( 36 ) THE EYES OF A NEW YORK WOMAN B. J. Thomas
42 ( 30 ) BOY Lulu
43 ( 37 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
44 ( 29 ) ONE MORE DANCE Esther & Abi Ofarim
45 ( 47 ) WITH PEN IN HAND Billy Vera
46 ( 40 ) RAINBOW VALLEY The Love Affair featuring Sue Glover
47 ( 49 ) THERE AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE A SONG Elvis Presley & Nancy Sinatra
48 ( 44 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
49 ( 45 ) VALLERI The Monkees
50 ( 56 ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette

51 ( 41 ) REACH OUT OF THE DARKNESS Friend & Lover
52 ( 59 ) SEALED WITH A KISS The Toys
53 ( 58 ) THE SNAKE Al Wilson
54 ( 52 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
55 ( 46 ) LOVIN’ THINGS Marmalade
56 ( 63 ) I’VE NEVER FOUND A GIRL (TO LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO) Eddie Floyd
57 ( 42 ) YOUNG BOY Barbara Greene featuring The Dells
58 ( NEW ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING P.P. Arnold
59 ( 70 ) I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY Randy Newman
60 ( 57 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood

61 ( 43 ) WHERE IS TOMORROW Cilla Black
62 ( NEW ) YESTERDAY’S DREAMS The Four Tops
63 ( 66 ) HERE COMES THE JUDGE Pigmeat Markham
64 ( NEW ) I LOVED AND I LOST The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield
65 ( 67 ) THE STORY OF ROCK AND ROLL The Turtles
66 ( 75 ) LIFE Sly & The Family Stone
67 ( 71 ) TWO-BIT MANCHILD Neil Diamond
68 ( NEW ) HALFWAY TO PARADISE Bobby Vinton
69 ( 69 ) (LOVE IS LIKE A) BASEBALL GAME The Intruders
70 ( NEW ) 1, 2, 3 RED LIGHT 1910 Fruitgum Co.

71 ( 50 ) AMERICA Simon & Garfunkel
72 ( NEW ) HARD TO HANDLE Otis Redding
73 ( NEW ) AMERICA The Nice
74 ( 53 ) HURDY GURDY MAN Donovan
75 ( NEW ) YOU MET YOUR MATCH Stevie Wonder

 

13th July 1968

It’s a first week on top for Dusty Springfield’s most fabulous vocal performance and melodramatic song – in my very first retro chart compiled when I got hold of a book of charts in the 70’s – Sept 1968 was my starting point – Dusty was still hanging in the UK charts and so started off at 2 before dropping out as she fell out of the UK charts (strictly based on the UK charts in those days). Most likely she would have had a good 5 chart-toppers by this point had I started earlier. Rival girliepop chanteuse Petula is back again with another of her classic Hatch/Trent tunes in at 4, quite probably my all-time fave of hers give or take Downtown or in recent years the fab cool Cut Copy which topped my chart a few years back. An obsession of mine from Singapore reel-to-reel days, Don’t Give Up is all sweeping strings and stirring melody.

Jackie Wilson enters my top 10 with the ever-recurrent classic, The Moody Blues get a 2nd top 10 with one I didn’t know until recently, and one of The Beach Boys best late-60’s post-Brian tracks is in at 22, Do It Again, nostalgia slipping in for the old surfer days. Tom Jones is also back again with another goodie, at 32, Help Yourself was upbeat and jolly and ol Tom flung ’em out with ease those days. Big climbs into the 40 for The Four Tops, The Toys and P. P. Arnold replacing the original Angel Of the Morning.

A Fleetwood Mac blues classic enters at 42, a future Kirsty MacColl hit enters at 46 for The Kinks – remarkably a record I don’t associate with 1968 at all, just don’t recall it being around then. One I very much DO associate with the Summer of ’68 is Sunshine Girl at 48 for Herman’s Hermits. There was an alternate playground version which ran rampant in the Junior School and area I lived in at the time. It went “Sunshine Girl I’m Looking down your bra, I see 2 round things, I wonder what they are, will you invite me, to squeeze them tightly – not bloody likely, my Sunshine Girl!” You had to be 10 years old, I guess…..

Some fab James Brown, some fab Bill Medley, some good Archie Bell, some good Ray Stevens, and some decent enough Bobby Vancouver, Nancy Sinatra & The Rascals bring them all back into my charts. That leaves a debut from Flavor. Who? No idea but they sound like Spencer Davis’ Gimme Some Lovin’ morphed with bubblegum, and that’s a reasonable reason to chart it.

1 ( 2 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
2 ( 1 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
3 ( 3 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
4 ( NEW ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
5 ( 6 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
6 ( 5 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
7 ( 4 ) YESTERDAY HAS GONE Cupid’s Inspiration
8 ( 8 ) KEEP ON Bruce Channel
9 ( 17 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
10 ( 23 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues

11 ( 7 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
12 ( 13 ) WALK ON Roy Orbison
13 ( 18 ) BORN TO BE WILD Steppenwolf
14 ( 15 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY Laura Nyro
15 ( 12 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
16 ( 11 ) MY NAME IS JACK Manfred Mann
17 ( 10 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
18 ( 9 ) FIRE The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
19 ( 14 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC The 5th Dimension
20 ( 19 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert

21 ( 16 ) DREAMS OF THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE Glen Campbell
22 ( NEW ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
23 ( 20 ) VENUS Johnny Mathis
24 ( 22 ) MACARTHUR PARK Richard Harris
25 ( 21 ) JUMPING JACK FLASH The Rolling Stones
26 ( 30 ) SOUL LIMBO Booker T. & The MG’s
27 ( 25 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
28 ( 24 ) THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
29 ( 34 ) MR. BOJANGLES Jerry Jeff Walker
30 ( 28 ) WHITE HORSES Jackie

31 ( 26 ) NEXT Scott Walker
32 ( NEW ) HELP YOURSELF Tom Jones
33 ( 38 ) FORGET ME NOT Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
34 ( 29 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC Laura Nyro
35 ( 62 ) YESTERDAY’S DREAMS The Four Tops
36 ( 27 ) (WE’LL BE) UNITED Peaches & Herb
37 ( 39 ) LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER The O’Jays
38 ( 58 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING P.P. Arnold
39 ( 52 ) SEALED WITH A KISS The Toys
40 ( 35 ) ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY Glen Campbell

41 ( 36 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
42 ( NEW ) I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD Fleetwood Mac
43 ( 40 ) MONY MONY Tommy James & The Shondells
44 ( 64 ) I LOVED AND I LOST The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield
45 ( 33 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts
46 ( NEW ) DAYS The Kinks
47 ( 32 ) BLUE EYES Don Partridge
48 ( NEW ) SUNSHINE GIRL Herman’s Hermits
49 ( 31 ) IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME Gladys Knight & The Pips
50 ( 48 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich

51 ( 49 ) VALLERI The Monkees
52 ( 68 ) HALFWAY TO PARADISE Bobby Vinton
53 ( 59 ) I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY Randy Newman
54 ( 37 ) A MINHA MENINA Os Mutantes
55 ( 56 ) I’VE NEVER FOUND A GIRL (TO LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO) Eddie Floyd
56 ( 66 ) LIFE Sly & The Family Stone
57 ( 67 ) TWO-BIT MANCHILD Neil Diamond
58 ( 46 ) RAINBOW VALLEY The Love Affair featuring Sue Glover
59 ( NEW ) I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO CRY, CRY, CRY James Brown & The Famous Flames
60 ( 54 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love

61 ( 60 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
62 ( 42 ) BOY Lulu
63 ( NEW ) BROWN EYED WOMAN Bill Medley
64 ( 75 ) YOU MET YOUR MATCH Stevie Wonder
65 ( 41 ) THE EYES OF A NEW YORK WOMAN B. J. Thomas
66 ( 70 ) 1, 2, 3 RED LIGHT 1910 Fruitgum Co.
67 ( 51 ) REACH OUT OF THE DARKNESS Friend & Lover
68 ( NEW ) I CAN’T STOP DANCING Archie Bell & The Drells
69 ( NEW ) FUNNY MAN Ray Stevens
70 ( 72 ) HARD TO HANDLE Otis Redding

71 ( NEW ) I AM YOUR MAN Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
72 ( 43 ) HANG ‘EM HIGH Hugo Montenegro, His Orchestra & Chorus
73 ( NEW ) SALLY HAD A PARTY Flavor
74 ( NEW ) HAPPY Nancy Sinatra
75 ( NEW ) PEOPLE GOT TO FREE The Rascals

 

20th July 1968

It’s a second week on top for Dusty in a quiet week for new entries, thankfully, giving great songs a chance to reach at least a chart position that is more deserving than the one’s they are being forced to accept. Most of my top 20 has been, or would have been if reissued, chart-toppers as oldies. It’s not just the sheer volume of great tracks, it’s the variety musically, something that modern streaming-based charts lack. I suspect growing up in an era of innovative new music across a whole spectrum, and coming across music from a wide variety of cultures in Singapore, is the reason i find the one-dimensional nature of the worldwide streaming hits a bit frustrating. Still great records in there, but many more don’t become hits like they used to.

Steppenwolf go top 10, as does Roy Orbison, technically for the first time, though it really isn’t as Pretty Woman would have topped my 6-year-old-me charts for weeks, I was obsessed with it. The Beach Boys go top 20, as is the norm, as they Do It Again, and Andy Williams covers The Impossible Dream, following in the shoes of Glen Campbell, from his then-latest album and a 2017 TV advert backdrop which worked very well. Andy was pure class when he did covers (as he usually did), crooning with style and it’s a great dramatic song and performance.

Fleetwood Mac soar into the 30, and James Brown calms down the funk to my approval, a sort of 50’s retro soul combo which works well as it cries it’s way into the 40. Bill Medley hits the emotional power soul button and leaps up too, as Bobby Vinton’s sweet cover of Halfway To Paradise isn’t far behind. Another week, another Marvin & Tammi new entry, and another great one: one of the big surprises to me of doing these retro charts is just how many hits they had, and how good they were. Pretty much from my 70’s onwards viewpoint it was The bloody Onion Song and that was it, until a few acts started covering them. Outrageous that they should hit big with one of their most annoying records in the UK.

Ray Stevens gets a 2nd chart entry hot on the heels of his serious re-record of Funny Man. Mr. Businessman was a nice spot of social commentary for the time, and still remains ideologically relevant. Canned Heat debut with On The Road Again – one I quite liked at the time, but always had slight problems with the vocal style. I’ve grown to like the late Alan Wilson vocals these days, tragically dead in 1970. Timebox cover the Four Seasons – well, who hasn’t – and Beggin’ went from being quite obscure to being one of their most-famous songs in the 21st century, following Jersey Boys and a Madcon hit cover version. Fab song, this version is decent enough. Patti Drew debuts, groovily, and lastly Nirvana grab a second much-lesser track on the chart. It’s OK but no Rainbow Chaser.

1 ( 1 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
2 ( 2 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
3 ( 4 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
4 ( 3 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
5 ( 5 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
6 ( 10 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
7 ( 9 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
8 ( 6 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
9 ( 13 ) BORN TO BE WILD Steppenwolf
10 ( 12 ) WALK ON Roy Orbison

11 ( 7 ) YESTERDAY HAS GONE Cupid’s Inspiration
12 ( 14 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY Laura Nyro
13 ( 11 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
14 ( 22 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys
15 ( 15 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
16 ( 8 ) KEEP ON Bruce Channel
17 ( 17 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
18 ( 16 ) MY NAME IS JACK Manfred Mann
19 ( 18 ) FIRE The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
20 ( 20 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert

21 ( 19 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC The 5th Dimension
22 ( 21 ) DREAMS OF THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE Glen Campbell
23 ( 23 ) VENUS Johnny Mathis
24 ( 35 ) YESTERDAY’S DREAMS The Four Tops
25 ( 32 ) HELP YOURSELF Tom Jones
26 ( 29 ) MR. BOJANGLES Jerry Jeff Walker
27 ( NEW ) THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM Andy Williams
28 ( 42 ) I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD Fleetwood Mac
29 ( 37 ) LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER The O’Jays
30 ( 38 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING P.P. Arnold

31 ( 24 ) MACARTHUR PARK Richard Harris
32 ( 27 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
33 ( 59 ) I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO CRY, CRY, CRY James Brown & The Famous Flames
34 ( 63 ) BROWN EYED WOMAN Bill Medley
35 ( 28 ) THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
36 ( 30 ) WHITE HORSES Jackie
37 ( 31 ) NEXT Scott Walker
38 ( 52 ) HALFWAY TO PARADISE Bobby Vinton
39 ( 39 ) SEALED WITH A KISS The Toys
40 ( 25 ) JUMPING JACK FLASH The Rolling Stones

41 ( 44 ) I LOVED AND I LOST The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield
42 ( 34 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC Laura Nyro
43 ( 26 ) SOUL LIMBO Booker T. & The MG’s
44 ( 36 ) (WE’LL BE) UNITED Peaches & Herb
45 ( 48 ) SUNSHINE GIRL Herman’s Hermits
46 ( 46 ) DAYS The Kinks
47 ( 40 ) ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY Glen Campbell
48 ( 41 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
49 ( 53 ) I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY Randy Newman
50 ( 43 ) MONY MONY Tommy James & The Shondells

51 ( 55 ) I’VE NEVER FOUND A GIRL (TO LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO) Eddie Floyd
52 ( 33 ) FORGET ME NOT Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
53 ( 56 ) LIFE Sly & The Family Stone
54 ( 50 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
55 ( 45 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts
56 ( NEW ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
57 ( 57 ) TWO-BIT MANCHILD Neil Diamond
58 ( NEW ) MR. BUSINESSMAN Ray Stevens
59 ( 51 ) VALLERI The Monkees
60 ( 64 ) YOU MET YOUR MATCH Stevie Wonder

61 ( 69 ) FUNNY MAN Ray Stevens
62 ( 66 ) 1, 2, 3 RED LIGHT 1910 Fruitgum Co.
63 ( 61 ) SOME VELVET MORNING Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
64 ( 73 ) SALLY HAD A PARTY Flavor
65 ( 60 ) ALONE AGAIN OR Love
66 ( 71 ) I AM YOUR MAN Bobby Taylor & The Vancouvers
67 ( 47 ) BLUE EYES Don Partridge
68 ( 68 ) I CAN’T STOP DANCING Archie Bell & The Drells
69 ( NEW ) ON THE ROAD AGAIN Canned Heat
70 ( 70 ) HARD TO HANDLE Otis Redding

71 ( NEW ) BEGGIN’ Timebox
72 ( NEW ) WORKIN’ ON A GROOVY THING Patti Drew
73 ( 58 ) RAINBOW VALLEY The Love Affair featuring Sue Glover
74 ( 74 ) HAPPY Nancy Sinatra
75 ( NEW ) PENTECOST HOTEL Nirvana

 

27th July 1968

It’s back up to number one for Last Night In Soho, epic melodrama of the first order, and a record I never get bored with, not ever. 3 weeks on top, and so under-rated (or rather, unknown) in the wider world. When I started this re-charting, I assumed in the final weeks leading up to the point that my own charts started (with Hey Jude) that The Bee Gees and The Beach Boys would be straight in at 1, just as they topped the UK charts. Oops! The actual competition is way harder than that, so the Bee Gees enter at 7 with their classic story of a man on death row (a popular 60’s theme), and The Beach Boys are idling at 10, both records topped my charts in later decades.

One that has never been a reissued classic re-entry is in at 4 for Nilsson, the future Midnight Cowboy classic stiffed almost everywhere this week in 1968 in terms of charts, but Everybody’s Talking is one of the most beautiful and haunting songs of all-time, so good the Beautiful South had a good old go at it too in the 90’s. Nilsson’s 2nd top 10, following on from One. Andy Williams cover of The Impossible Dream follows Glen Campbell’s cover into the 20, and The O’Jays get a first top 20, and very much not the last. Big climbs for Marvin & Tammi, as always into the 40, and Ray Stevens’ Mr. Businessman.

New entries lower down for Amen Corner’s High In The Sky, still bold and brassy and uptempo, and one I liked a lot at the time, The Who with Magic Bus, their best track since I Can See For Miles, Deep Purple debut with their hit US cover of Hush, all psychedelic as opposed to blues rock like Billy Joe Royal’s version. Martha Reeves & co drop out the chart – but also enter with I Can’t Dance To That Music You’re Playing, a future UK hit for Betty Boo & Beastmasters, Billie Davis is back and charts a 3rd version of Angel Of The Morning inside the 75, a song that it’s hard to ruin and is open to any interpretation. The Chambers Brothers big (future) Viet-Nam psychedelic anthem pops in, Jackie De Shannon covers The Band and beats them to it, and Sly & co replace Life with M’Lady.

1 ( 2 ) LAST NIGHT IN SOHO Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
2 ( 1 ) I CLOSE MY EYES AND COUNT TO TEN Dusty Springfield
3 ( 3 ) DON’T GIVE UP Petula Clark
4 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY’S TALKIN’ Nilsson
5 ( 4 ) LIGHT MY FIRE Jose Feliciano
6 ( 6 ) TUESDAY AFTERNOON (FOREVER TUESDAY) The Moody Blues
7 ( NEW ) I’VE GOTTA GET A MESSAGE TO YOU The Bee Gees
8 ( 5 ) DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME Mama Cass
9 ( 7 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
10 ( 14 ) DO IT AGAIN The Beach Boys

11 ( 8 ) GOTTA SEE JANE R. Dean Taylor
12 ( 11 ) YESTERDAY HAS GONE Cupid’s Inspiration
13 ( 10 ) WALK ON Roy Orbison
14 ( 13 ) CLASSICAL GAS Mason Williams
15 ( 9 ) BORN TO BE WILD Steppenwolf
16 ( 12 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY Laura Nyro
17 ( 15 ) RAINBOW CHASER Nirvana
18 ( 27 ) THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM Andy Williams
19 ( 29 ) LOOK OVER YOUR SHOULDER The O’Jays
20 ( 16 ) KEEP ON Bruce Channel

21 ( 17 ) LADY WILLPOWER Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
22 ( 20 ) THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU Herb Alpert
23 ( 18 ) MY NAME IS JACK Manfred Mann
24 ( 24 ) YESTERDAY’S DREAMS The Four Tops
25 ( 25 ) HELP YOURSELF Tom Jones
26 ( 26 ) MR. BOJANGLES Jerry Jeff Walker
27 ( 21 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC The 5th Dimension
28 ( 28 ) I NEED YOUR LOVE SO BAD Fleetwood Mac
29 ( 19 ) FIRE The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
30 ( 30 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING P.P. Arnold

31 ( 22 ) DREAMS OF THE EVERYDAY HOUSEWIFE Glen Campbell
32 ( 33 ) I GUESS I’LL HAVE TO CRY, CRY, CRY James Brown & The Famous Flames
33 ( 23 ) VENUS Johnny Mathis
34 ( 34 ) BROWN EYED WOMAN Bill Medley
35 ( 56 ) YOU’RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
36 ( 32 ) A MAN WITHOUT LOVE Engelbert Humperdinck
37 ( 38 ) HALFWAY TO PARADISE Bobby Vinton
38 ( 58 ) MR. BUSINESSMAN Ray Stevens
39 ( 31 ) MACARTHUR PARK Richard Harris
40 ( 41 ) I LOVED AND I LOST The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield

41 ( 36 ) WHITE HORSES Jackie
42 ( 35 ) THIS WHEEL’S ON FIRE Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity
43 ( 37 ) NEXT Scott Walker
44 ( NEW ) HIGH IN THE SKY Amen Corner
45 ( 45 ) SUNSHINE GIRL Herman’s Hermits
46 ( 46 ) DAYS The Kinks
47 ( 51 ) I’VE NEVER FOUND A GIRL (TO LOVE ME LIKE YOU DO) Eddie Floyd
48 ( 40 ) JUMPING JACK FLASH The Rolling Stones
49 ( 49 ) I THINK IT’S GOING TO RAIN TODAY Randy Newman
50 ( 39 ) SEALED WITH A KISS The Toys

51 ( 47 ) ELUSIVE BUTTERFLY Glen Campbell
52 ( 48 ) SUNDOWN, SUNDOWN Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood
53 ( 50 ) MONY MONY Tommy James & The Shondells
54 ( 69 ) ON THE ROAD AGAIN Canned Heat
55 ( 44 ) (WE’LL BE) UNITED Peaches & Herb
56 ( 42 ) STONED SOUL PICNIC Laura Nyro
57 ( 54 ) THE LEGEND OF XANADU Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich
58 ( 61 ) FUNNY MAN Ray Stevens
59 ( 60 ) YOU MET YOUR MATCH Stevie Wonder
60 ( 62 ) 1, 2, 3 RED LIGHT 1910 Fruitgum Co.

61 ( 43 ) SOUL LIMBO Booker T. & The MG’s
62 ( 64 ) SALLY HAD A PARTY Flavor
63 ( 59 ) VALLERI The Monkees
64 ( NEW ) MAGIC BUS The Who
65 ( 68 ) I CAN’T STOP DANCING Archie Bell & The Drells
66 ( NEW ) MIDNIGHT CONFESSIONS The Grass Roots
67 ( NEW ) HUSH Deep Purple
68 ( NEW ) I CAN’T DANCE TO THAT MUSIC YOU’RE PLAYING Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
69 ( 72 ) WORKIN’ ON A GROOVY THING Patti Drew
70 ( 71 ) BEGGIN’ Timebox

71 ( 55 ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Merrilee Rush & The Turnabouts
72 ( NEW ) ANGEL OF THE MORNING Billie Davis
73 ( NEW ) TIME HAS COME TODAY The Chambers Brothers
74 ( NEW ) THE WEIGHT Jackie De Shannon
75 ( NEW ) M’LADY Sly & The Family Stone

My 1969 Charts – October

mum n dad looking cool

mum n dad looking cool

OCT 1969

7th Oct 1969

It’s a new number one, Bobbie Gentry’s gorgeous version of the Bacharach/David song, and again a version that improves on the Dionne Warwick recording, Bobbie’s husky singing voice just being so emotive. This was the 4th single I ever bought, sadly I bought it off an evening market record stall again (I think this time though, it was one near Siglap in the middle of a housing estate, bizarrely), and it was clearly well-played (an 11-year-old-kid’s a a good opportunity to dump used product) cos it forever got stuck in the same spot on the record. For anyone not used to vinyl, sometimes the needle either refused to follow a groove due to a blockage and just went into an endless loop till you forced it onwards, or it jumped a couple of seconds as it slipped out of a groove. I still expect to hear the same line repeated…

My chart gets reduced to a top 10, as I’d run out of new records. A new entry at 10, though, for a record I was aware of, thanks to a couple of sheet music books I bought for the lyrics of some of my top-notch fave songs, and He Ain’t Heavy was in it. They were pretty good value actually, 15 or 20 sheet music current American hits per book. Fab! Still got them, of course. The Hollies of course would eventually get a proper chart run in 1988 when it hit the UK number one, but first-time round, I liked it. Now I love it, a terrific ballad, and Allan Clarke is an under-rated singer these days (along with the Hollies, who were huge at the time, and were a few hits into my charts already).

Singapore memories? I was at my first Secondary School, a 3-storey white building with air con. Hooray for Seletar Secondary Modern! OK, some of the classrooms were old-fashioned huts with fans on the ceilings and no glass in the windows, sweltering-muchness going on, but at least they were mixed in with some lessons inside the main building so you could cool down. On my first day there were two of us starting new, Stephen Game being the other wavy-black-haired kid, and he became my new best friend for the next year, which was great cos he was cool and likeable, he wore hipster shorts, and I got lots of friends and got to be in with the coolish kids who spent breaks and lunchtimes running extended versions of British Bulldog around the large school-site. We were constantly hot, sweaty, and good at long-distance running in equatorial heat, no sunscream, no hats, lots of sweat. Before that, though, we were introduced to our new class: Form 1H2, short for Hannah. The forms were all named after RAF heroes: Gibson, Cheshire and, I think, Malcolm – need to check on that one in the school yearbook, though! They were allocated colours, Hannah was red, Gibson green, Cheshire blue, the other was yellow. Very handy for sports day competitions. Mrs Gibson was our form tutor, slim and shoulder-length black hair. I’ll be honest, at the end of the school year we all signed each other’s books so I still have names of some of the school-mates, and as is often the way in RAF life I ran into some of them again in years in the future. It’s a small Forces world…

swimming pool (me on the board) RAF Changi

swimming pool (me on the board) RAF Changi

1 ( 2 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 3 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
4 ( 5 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
5 ( 6 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
6 ( 4 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
7 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
8 ( 9 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
9 ( 12 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
10 ( NEW ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

14th October 1969

2 weeks for Bobbie at 1, 2 weeks for Oliver at 2, and Mama Cass up to 3, but not much movement at all really, save the very famous million-selling, 8-weeks as the UK number one, Sugar Sugar, by cartoon band The Archies. Lots of people hate the record, but they are all SO wrong. It’s simplicity is it’s charm, it’s bubblegum, a hint of soul, nicely-produced, and with great vocalists for pure pop. Largely regarded as bubblegum novelty, that it continues to sell 45 years later should tellingly beg to differ. People buying it have never heard of, never mind seen, the TV show. For the record, and to repeat: Sugar Sugar was the first EP I bought, the first album I bought, and I used to record the songs from the show onto reel-to-reel tape. I recently bought the DVD’s of The Archie Funhouse, which is the series after the ones being made circa 1969/70, and errr…they are godawful. I never DID like the cartoon segments much, but they are just terrible. Nostalgia just can’t change that fact! The music, though, oh just sweeeet. With songwriters like Jeff Barry and Andy “Rock Me Gently” Kim, though, they should have something to contribute musically – largely rip-offs, granted, but catchy enough tunes, with a bit of social commentary thrown in. Not kidding there, either, pollution, racism and other topics happily resting there amongst the love songs, and odes to Hot Dog (the pet dog) and rock n roll music. You’ll never find them in the Critics Hall Of Fame, but as kiddie music goes, a cut above all those that followed in their kiddie music footsteps.

view from RAF Changi pool of Changi Hospital

view from RAF Changi pool of Changi Hospital


Meanwhile, back at school, my first week at school introduced me to breaktime popcorn and cherryade fizzy drinks from the tuck shop, streaming for English and Maths (Band 2 for both I think, based on whatever quick test they threw at me and Stephen on the first day): these were monitored term by term, and kids moved up or down each term based on how well you were doing. I’ll be honest, I liked the competitive element, I moved up in Maths, and it tended to be good for the smarter kids who moved ahead faster. All other subjects were mixed ability, which meant progress was more leisurely as you had to take into account the kids who struggled more. I was also introduced to two things that caused me stress:

Homework. Groaaan! Lost leisure time as far as I was concerned, though I was pretty good at doing it. The other one was sports. More specifically, Stephen & I had to sit in the changing room while the boys changed, then played cricket, or athletics, and then showered. That came as quite a shock to me, and very anxiety-creating, the thought of having to parade around naked in front of other boys stressed me out more than the team games did. My “kit hadn’t arrived” from the UK for a few weeks (Stephen took the plunge earlier than I did) till I couldn’t get away with it anymore, and had to join the throng. I was in and out of that shower faster than you could say “Streaker”.

Got used to it eventually, of course, and was pretty damn good at long-distance running (second to Lee Green, in the Hannah house. Lee turned up again in Gloucester in the 5th year, 5 years on, by which time I was absolutely rubbish at running the freezing UK weather to be avoided at all costs, give me scorching sweaty humidity any day). Cricket was loathsome though, punishingly-hard balls, lumps of wood to hit it with and numb your hands, running up and down a stupid bit of short grass, and the dumbest rules of any game ever invented. I took a dislike to it right away, and as the school-years went by, dislike turned to hatred at the pointlessness of it all. Volleyball or Rounders/Baseball, though, yay! Proper games, fast, points, running, balls don’t kill you or give you major bruises. Cricket is a British Empire anachronism that needs to be dumped in the nearest skip. Just my opinion of course (ptui!).

1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 5 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
4 ( 3 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
5 ( NEW ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
6 ( 4 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
7 ( 6 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
8 ( 8 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
9 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
10 ( 10 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

21st October 1969

3 weeks for Bobbie at 1, 3 weeks for Oliver at 2, yes so little new UK chart music about, though Dylan goes up to 6, a chart position he didn’t beat until the reissue of Like A Rolling Stone 35 years on.

1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 3 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
4 ( 5 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
5 ( 6 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
6 ( 8 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
7 ( 9 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
8 ( 7 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
9 ( RE ) A BOY NAMED SUE Johnny Cash
10 ( 10 ) HE AIN’T HEAVY..HE’S MY BROTHER The Hollies

28th October 1969

…and 4 weeks for Bobbie at 1, poor old Oliver should have grabbed at least one week on top instead of 4 at 2 (I certainly loved it enough to do so) but I loved Bobbie just a little bit more. Hooray, though, 3 new entries! Nilsson debuts at 7 with the utterly brilliant and gorgeous Everybody’s Talking, from the film Midnight Cowboy. Obviously far to young to see the film till years later, I was a bit miffed to find the version I knew wasn’t quite the same in the film – these things matter to me, I don’t rate “wrong versions”. Regardless Harry Nilsson was a supreme and under-rated vocalist, and this record is spine-tingling.

At 9, Lulu’s back, and my word what a change! Months ago it was all teenpop I’m A Tiger and Boom Bang A Bang, and now it’s slick soul, and a huge American hit to follow-on from the sublime US-only hit To Sir With Love, one of the criminally-ignored British single greats of the decade in the UK. I may not have loved Oh Me Oh My as much as I’m A Tiger at the time, but it’s dated much better! Lastly, The Trems are back with another song I was aware of from the Daily Mirror Top 30 charts, but frustratingly didn’t get to hear for some time: (Call Me) Number One. Catchy and singalong, like most Tremeloes singles, they have been banished into the mists of time, save the occasional Chesney Hawkes reference or Four Seasons footnote for Silence Is Golden, but they had a good ol’ run of pop singles, and this one is fun.

1 ( 1 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
2 ( 2 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
3 ( 4 ) SUGAR SUGAR The Archies
4 ( 3 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
5 ( 8 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival

6 ( 6 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
7 ( NEW ) EVERYBODY’S TALKING Nilsson
8 ( 7 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
9 ( NEW ) OH ME OH MY (I’M A FOOL FOR YOU) Lulu
10 ( NEW ) (CALL ME) NUMBER ONE The Tremeloes

Changi beach and views of the islands

Changi beach and views of the islands


Back at home in Bedokville, I’d gotten into little plastic boxes of sweets, hexagon, square, circular, with transparent covers, from the shack shop at the back of the house on the other side of the monsoon drains that ran down every street. I liked the boxes. Monsoon drains were essential on the equator, as we found out fairly quickly. When it rained, it POURED. It was like the shower being on full everywhere, and torrents of temporary rivers ran downhill wherever they could. Quite thrilling, not remotely cold, you could (and we did) quite happily dance about getting soaking wet in the garden. I still love a good tropical thunderstorm.

A big discovery was the mobile chinese magazine seller, a motorbike and sidecar-box, which had newspapers, and COMICS! New DC Comics. OMG! Talk about trembling with excitement, I talked dad into buying me the coverless legion Action Comics 378 which was there with a cover, brand new for 55 cents, along with Adventure Comics 381, in which it suddenly became clear why the Legion featured only in the back-up story in Action: some twat had gone against all common commercial sense and moved the Legion of Super-Heroes from the main feature in Adventure so that Supergirl could get her own comic. This was disastrous! To state it clearly, the Legion were the most fan-based popular DC comic of the 60’s (the fans got it brought back by demanding it when it had all but fizzled out) and sales of the Legion comic were stunning my modern standards. A comic in 2014 sells a few tens of thousands if they’re lucky, worldwide. In 1969 Adventure Comics with the Legion was pushing a million. The first Supergirl comic was great (featured Batgirl as guest) but it was no substitute for epicness! She limped on through declining sales for 4 years and then it was all over. The Legion, revived, took over Superboy’s comic in 1973 and became one of the 2 big DC sellers of the 80s’, creatively brilliant. Editors: listen to the kids!

My 1969 Charts – September

Changi Village

Changi Village



SEPT 1969

2nd Sept1969

Not much happening music-wise, just shuffling positions, and a second week at one for Zager And Evans, by virtue of being on an RAF DC10 heading for the Far East 1st Sept. Flights on those days were LONG. The first leg was to Bahrain (Muharraq), which was night-time when we landed and very humid and warm. I read my precious 30th Century superheroes Legion comic on the way, The Tornado Twins were the debut guest stars. Aka Super-speed descendant twins of The Flash, Barry Allen, who is getting a hot new TV series any day now.

Second Leg was to Gan, an RAF island base in the Indian Ocean, which closed in 1976 and is now part of the Maldives. It had a huge impact on me, as the first real view I had of land from the air was of this green tropical jewell in a blue sea of bright sunshine. I fell in love with palm trees, sunshine, beaches pretty much from that moment on. This wasn’t grey black and white TV UK, this was gorgeous widescreen tropical technicolour life. The RAF lads wore shorts as their uniform, we got served orange sherbet drinks in the waiting room, hot with ceiling fans spinning, and I was amazed to watch a giant fruit bat soaring through the sky. Awesome!

The final stage to RAF Changi and we landed 2nd Sept, late afternoon-ish, I think, bundled together and sitting with luggage in a very crowded small waiting room, until the RAF bus (pure white, known as Ghari’s, an Indian word) took us to the Cameron Hotel, the main stop-off for newly arrived families waiting to find lodgings. A short walk from Bedok Junction shop-shacks, and my first impression was of Chinese girls buzzing about the small hotel outside eating area. Turns out they weren’t girls, they were ladies, just shorter than I was used to seeing adults, hotel staff. we had one-room for the four of us, plus a shower-room, the first-time I’d ever seen a shower. Yes, honestly! The hotel menu was unusual, I think we had shark one day, it was a bit tough, and I would very much be against any hotel serving shark these days.

I also had my first introduction to my life-long battle with my nemesis: the mosquito. They were everywhere in Singapore, and smoking coils, electric aroma pads were only minor inconveniences to them. Being as my sweet body odour continues to be irresistible to the little buggers, in a football crowd of people I’m the one they zoom in on, and some nights I got eaten alive by any dashing in through the air vents above windows, the slatted windows during cleaning, or any door left open, sitting outside, standing at bus stops, playing in gardens. One night I woke up with 70-odd swollen bites from craftily-hidden stalking mozzies, looking like I’d been beaten up. No exaggeration the teachers thought I’d been beaten up, swollen eyes, puffy face, red arms and legs, dad took photos of it. I hate the little blood-sucking gobshites. The main armory in those days was flit. That sounds so sweet. It’s actually a now-banned toxic poison called DDT and it was liberally sprayed everywhere to kill them and the zillions of cockroaches, which were also everywhere and detestable. On a happier note, the walls of the hotel inside and out had dozens of chit-chats zipping about eating the insects: wall geckos were so cute, but had a nasty habit of leaving their tail twitching in your hand if you tried to grab one. Oops!

TBC

1 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 3 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
3 ( 5 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
4 ( 6 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
5 ( 7 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
6 ( 2 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
7 ( 4 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
8 ( 8 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
9 ( 11 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
10 ( 10 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black

11 ( 12 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
12 ( 13 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
13 ( 14 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
14 ( 17 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe
15 ( 9 ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention
16 ( 16 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
17 ( 18 ) I’M A BETTER MAN Engelbert Humperdinck
18 ( 15 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affiar
19 ( 20 ) TOO BUSY THINKING BOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye
20 ( 19 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells

Changi Road and a white ghari (bus)

Changi Road and a white ghari (bus)

9th September 1969

3 weeks for In The Year 2525, a record I was truly mad on in a futuristic sci-fi way. Tommy Roe gets a Top 5 follow-up, based on memory more than actually hearing it, cos there was no radio and no TV so no music for me, and as we settled in to finding a house, dad still had to go to work, though we managed to avoid going to school right away. The only new entry is Bobbie Gentry, which did find it’s way onto 2-way Family Favourites, broadcast in Singapore for the forces abroad and on Radio 2. Only MOR or inoffensive pop ever found it’s way onto the show, so much of the stuff in the UK charts, like Space Oddity, Marrakesh Express and other classic future faves weren’t known to me until the mid-70’s or even early 80’s in some cases. “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again” though was a Burt Bacharach cover that was just gorgeous, I loved her husky voice, and the melody, and it became my 4th ever single purchase at an evening market record-stall, a month or two later. The concept of being able to shop in the evening was also a novelty to post-war UK which was firmly shut all over every evening and Sundays. It was fab and bustling.

This was the week I was introduced properly to two things: swimming, and severe sunburn, both connected. The RAF brochure to newbies stated quite firmly not to stay in the sun, cos it’s on the equator and You. Will. Burn. We must have missed that warning, cos after going to RAF Changi swimming pool with our new friends from the hotel The Marshalls and their 2 girls, we ended up horrifically sunburnt to the point where just moving was sooo painful, especially on the back, lying on the front suffering was about the size of it for a few days. Swimming was also new to me, really, apart from a few traumatic forced sessions when I was 6 or so in Chesham when I really wasn’t happy being taken out of my depth! So, 11-years-old, and a rubber ring in the baby pool. So not cool! Once everyone left me to my own devices though, essentially I taught myself to swim, at first with the help of the ring, then on my own bit by bit, ringless. I was quite proud of that. Yay for young me!

1 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 2 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
3 ( 3 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
4 ( 14 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe
5 ( 5 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
6 ( 4 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
7 ( 6 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
8 ( 8 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
9 ( 13 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
10 ( 9 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers

11 ( 10 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
12 ( 11 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
13 ( 16 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
14 ( 12 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
15 ( NEW ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry

Changi Village buses old and new

Changi Village buses old and new


16th September 1969

4 weeks for Zager & Evans on top, Bobbie Gentry being the only real challenge for my love. A bit of music was to filter through from the British charts though, notably fave Mama Cass’ fab It’s Getting Better, as she tended to be a family friendly radio and variety show guest, especially the American variety shows which were all over the TV – Andy Williams, Dean Martin and black comic Flip Wilson were the biggest, but The Osmond Brothers and The Jackson 5 and the likes of them were regulars along with big names like Frank, Sammy and their cronies. More relevant was Hare Krishna Mantra, George Harrison-backed Radha Krishna Temple Indian chanting pop hit, which might not have been typical of the sort of Indian music widely heard on Singapore TV and radio, but it was an introduction to me of world music. The other major style of music was Chinese Mandarin-language, either modern pop-styled or more authentic. I wouldn’t say I ran out to buy either types of music, but they slowly got through in terms of hearing them regularly and having an impact on me in later years.

In Singapore for week 2, still in the hotel, still avoiding school, and getting more used to travelling by buses, all single-deckers, regularly running between Changi Village, past the infamous World War 2 Changi Prison and the RAF airport, and Singapore City. The buses were either new and cool or ricketty things from the 50‘s, which were a real pain to ride on. We went to view a brand new 4-bedroom house built on a very American-looking new housing estate called Bedokville. 42 Jalan Limau Perut, it wasn’t cheap but new friends the Marshalls were taking the house next door and we needed to get out of the hotel, so it was looking good, it was HUGE (to us) compared to every flat and house we’d ever lived in, and it had a fridge! Luxury! OK there was a smelly monsoon drain and sewerage works behind the house, but the Malay kampong (wooden house settlement) behind that was interesting. Quite a variation from the middle class houses, too. I was keen, cos it looked so much like every American suburban TV and movie film I’d seen, houses running up the short hill into the distance until the non-urban tropics popped back just over the brow of the hill. Incredibly, it’s all still there, on google map, just looking a lot more burglar-alarmed and walled, as opposed to wire fenced and open in 1969, and our house (as it became) still stands. Yes, modern technology gives good nostalgia!

1 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 3 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
3 ( 2 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
4 ( 15 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
5 ( 4 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe
6 ( 9 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
7 ( 6 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
8 ( 13 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
9 ( 7 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
10 ( 8 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan

11 ( 5 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
12 ( 10 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
13 ( NEW ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
14 ( NEW ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass
15 ( 12 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones

RAF Changi swimming pool with the Marshalls

RAF Changi swimming pool with the Marshalls

23rd September 1969

5 weeks for Zager And Evans, and a late surge by Robin Gibb to signify mum buying Saved By The Bell (once our basic record player/radio arrived from the UK in a crate of clothes and stuff sent over – dad bought it in Aden when he was sent on a year’s unaccompanied service in 1966, and we lived in a Liverpool slum flat with mice scuttling about the place, and fleas). Good Morning Starshine hits the top 5, I adored that melody. New in? Johnny Cash’s San Quentin prison-track, an album we borrowed eventually, and a sort of novelty hit, A Boy Named Sue. I was about the right age, and was glad I hadn’t been named Sue, being a sweet (wet) boy and all. Bob Dylan also sneaks in with a record that had once-in-a-blue-moon radio plays, but for Dylan, at that time, it was more pop-friendly (if naughty).

In the Cameron Hotel, named for the Cameron Highlands in Malaya, I think, an upland holidaying cooller area for Europeans seeking some heat-relief, we were in the process of moving out. Into our new luxury home. Me and my brother dashed upstairs to claim a bedroom each, the first time we’d had our own, he grabbed the first one he went into, I got the bigger front one I think, next to mum and dad’s, it had a balcony over the front garden. The back ones looked over the Kampong and sewerage works. I say garden – as it was a new house it was basically a lawn (not grass as the UK knows it, a sort of wide-leaved variation) plus a few random flowering weeds on the driveway up to the covered verandah/car port. I was fascinated by the teeny tiny titchy lil’ butterflies fluttering round these flowers. So tiny! In contrast to the effing huge spiders on the wall. Massive! I mean, REALLY big, they virtually stared at you. The little ones were just as bad, cos they had a nasty habit which my brother found out about when he started tormenting one – it jumped right at him. He jumped pretty well himself, then. Funny.

We also had a cleaner. She was very nice, a slim older Chinese lady called Tan, and the whole concept of having someone else do the housework was really a leftover from the Stiff Upper Lip colonial days, which were very much in their closing days. British women were too frail to do housework in the humid heat (it was thought in the olden days, and it sort of hung over into the 60’s) and local labour wasn’t that expensive relative to increased income (for being posted abroad). I really never felt at ease Tan doing the work as an Amah (as they called it), so I tended to feel sorry for all the workers and be nice to them and help. I’m sure the extra cash was helpful, but that’s besides the point, I was and am working class from a poor background. This was luxury! We had a fridge with a freezebox and we could make ice-lollies! It was sunny! It was hot! It was exotic…

On the downside, a school bus picked kids up on the corner outside, a white Ghari and there was no getting away from heading for my first secondary (Big) school at RAF Seletar (on the other side of the island), and my brother to his junior school at RAF Changi….

1 ( 1 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 9 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
3 ( 4 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Bobbie Gentry
4 ( 8 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver
5 ( 2 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
6 ( 6 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival
7 ( 13 ) HARE KRISHNA MANTRA Radha Krishna Temple
8 ( 7 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
9 ( 10 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
10 ( 14 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass

11 ( 5 ) HEATHER HONEY Tommy Roe
12 ( 11 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
13 ( 15 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
14 ( NEW ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan
15 ( NEW ) A BOY NAMED SUE Johnny Cash

Bruv, school uniform and our new house

Bruv, school uniform and our new house