My September 1970 Charts

tanah merah exterior

122F Tanah Merah Besar – now under the new Changi Prison I think, tragically. Note no tree at the front of the house. By the time we left it was 2 or 3m tall. 

 

1st September 1970

1 year to the day since leaving for Singapore and Desmond Dekker tops my chart for a second week – when I left it was It Mek that I was just getting in to before cruelly not being able to hear it for another few years! This one though got some radio airplay. 2 new entries, Canadians The Poppy Family became better known as Terry Jacks – well, one of them did anyway. Bobby Bloom pops in with another Caribbean-flavoured song for 1970, following Mary Hopkin’s Temma Harbour.

1 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
2 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
3 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 5 ) LADY D’ARBANVILLE Cat Stevens
6 ( 9 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
7 ( 8 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( 7 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
9 ( 6 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 11 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board

11 ( 10 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
12 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
13 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
14 ( 17 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
15 ( NEW ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
16 ( 14 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
17 ( NEW ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
18 ( 15 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
19 ( 16 ) SIGNED SEALED DELIVERED I’M YOURS Stevie Wonder
20 ( 19 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin

 

8th September 1970

3 weeks on top for Desmond, 3 weeks at 2 for Hot Chocolate, 4 weeks at 3 for Bread… not much happening!

The Poppy Family leap into the top 5, and Bobby Bloom to 7, but the big news is THREE new entries, whooo! At 12, Jimmy Cliff’s lovely Cat Stevens cover is in, It’s A, It’s A, It’s A Wild World as Jonathan King covered it post-Pet Shop Boys not-guilty but not entirely dissimilar It’s A Sin. Holland-Dozier-Holland, ex-Motown Masterminds of brilliance (or Tamla Motown as we called the label in the UK in those days, let’s be accurate about it) set up their new label/production company Invictus – Chairmen Of The Board and Freda Payne were on it – cue the sheer brilliant Band Of Gold, a heart-rending tale of a newly-wed who’s husband isn’t up to the job on the wedding night, or thereafter. Gotta feel for her, what a rat! That leaves Three Dog Night, back with a Randy Newman cover. Like all their covers it’s not as good as the original. Or any other cover, though it’s a close call in this case with the Tom Jones and Stereophonics 90’s hit cover.

1 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
2 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
3 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 15 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
6 ( 8 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
7 ( 17 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
8 ( 7 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel
9 ( 10 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
10 ( 9 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies

11 ( 11 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
12 ( NEW ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
13 ( 14 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
14 ( 12 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
15 ( NEW ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
16 ( 13 ) LOLA The Kinks
17 ( 16 ) THE LOVE YOU SAVE The Jackson 5
18 ( 20 ) I’LL SAY FOREVER MY LOVE Jimmy Ruffin
19 ( 18 ) I (WHO HAVE NOTHING) Tom Jones
20 ( NEW ) MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME Three Dog Night

 

15th September 1970

There’s some actual chart movement as the Tremeloes enter at 1 with the fab stomping guitar-riffed Me And My Life, their only chart-topper, though I’d known the band for years – ironically this was pretty much their last fling as far as big hits were concerned, though they had further chart hits with me for another 4 years. Jimmy Cliff climbs to 6, his biggest hit here, and Diana Ross not only covers Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell’s song, she turns it into a monster dramatic ballad and gets her second solo hit. It’s an epic version that sets the template for the next 2 years of fab singles, and another 4 years of lesser singles before an abrupt change was called for.

2 metal classics enter at 15 and 20, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, both of them to chart again in 1980. Paranoid is the best of the two, and Deep Purple aren’t technically debuting as in my “retro” charts of 1967 and 1968 (ie ones I’m doing now to comprehensively survey the weekly music scenes of that era) they more or less charted as Episode Six (with Morning Dew) and also with a cover of Joe South’s Hush, a bigger hit for Kula Shaker into the future.

1 ( NEW ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 1 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
3 ( 2 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
4 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
5 ( 5 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
6 ( 12 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
7 ( 3 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
8 ( NEW ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
9 ( 10 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 8 ) CECILIA Simon And Garfunkel

11 ( 6 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
12 ( 15 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
13 ( 11 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
14 ( 9 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
15 ( NEW ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
16 ( 7 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
17 ( 14 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
18 ( 16 ) LOLA The Kinks
19 ( 13 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams
20 ( NEW ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple

Life then…
A week or so into yet again playing the “new boy” at yet another school, this time RAF Changi Grammar, with my new brown leather school bag for all the extra books and work I had to do (much more homework at this school, so I had to up my game to do well, rather than just comfortably coast). I was in the second year, and fellow RAF Seletar transferee Stephen Mears joined at the same time, the two new boys in Mr Chapman’s form. My best friend at Seletar (Stephen Game) was sporty, so that the was the gang I hung in, new friend Stephen was more into chess – so that was the gang I hung in here. Suited me, as apart from running, rounders, volleyball, swimming, team games really didn’t agree with me, rugby and cricket in particular. Another new mate called Stephen (bit of a trend here!) who I knew from 2 terms at Seletar was also here, he was taller and a bit clumsy, not at all sporty, and also into chess and Snagglepuss impressions – so that was it really, I was in with what they called “the swots” in those days, rather than “one of the boys”. To be fair, though, there was very little bullying going on in either RAF school, which completely left me blissfully unaware of the reality of the average British non-forces Secondary Schools. Frankly one of the teachers was more scary…but that’s another tale.

2005_0813slides0103

RAF Changi Grammar School, the building is still there. The art block is at the front near the road, the school hall just behind it. It had aircon! This was a step up from RAF Seletar Secondary Modern which still had outlying classrooms with no aircon and just room fans, some along the sports pitch, some on some land to the rear of the bus gathering area. My concentration wandered when I was sweating profusely. My form room was to the right of the entrance on the first floor I think, above the library which was adjacent the school hall. 

 

22nd September 1970

2 weeks on top for The Trems, as The Carpenters debut at with the Bacharach/David gem Close To You. Just. Gorgeous. Karen’s angelic voice just fit into Singapore culture and radio beautifully, being as it was regarded as “Easy Listening” as they called it in those days. Class, I call it. Ditto Simon & Garfunkel having the fourth top 10 off possibly the greatest album of all-time, which my neighbours had, and had loaned to dad to record the top tracks, including this definitive version – note not the UK hit version by Julie Felix. Freda Payne goes top 10, as I hadn’t actually rated it as highly as I do now.

1 ( 1 ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 2 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
3 ( NEW ) (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU The Carpenters
4 ( 8 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
5 ( NEW ) EL CONDOR PASA Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 4 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
7 ( 3 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate
8 ( 6 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
9 ( 9 ) LOVE VIBRATIONS The Archies
10 ( 12 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne

11 ( 15 ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
12 ( 7 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
13 ( 5 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
14 ( 11 ) RAINBOW Marmalade
15 ( 13 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
16 ( 20 ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple
17 ( 17 ) NEANDERTHAL MAN Hotlegs
18 ( 14 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
19 ( 16 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
20 ( 19 ) IT’S SO EASY Andy Williams

Back at RAF Changi, it was getting to know the teachers and schoolmates, like outgoing and assertive Lee Kleinhans, a kid from South Africa, my best friend next-door was also there, in the first year, along with his older sister a couple of years up from me. Short Gary was likeable – the same couldn’t be said for the fearsome Mr Mynett, the Physics teacher, who put the fear of God into kids with his OTT Sgt-Major-styled methods – short and sharp in appearance and nature. Mr. Magnet we called him. Put me off Physics pretty much. I preferred the nice Biology teacher lady, though I am still waiting for an answer to a question I asked (I never asked questions in class) when she said all fruits had seeds and I asked about bananas. “I’ll tell you later” she said, and never did.

Kids remember these things!

 

29th September 1970

3 weeks on top for The Trems, rather amazingly their only chart-topper in my charts, even in my retrospective charts (I’ve started from January 1967 charting songs new to me and old to me, comprehensively top 50’s – and they don’t come close even though I loved them as a kid). The Carpenters are up to 2, and Simon & Garfunkel at 3 with the track covered by Julie Felix, and highest new entry is at 6 – The Archies are back with a minor US hit, and a track I adored at the time (taping it off their TV show) the joyous bubblegum of Sunshine, which deserves to be better known – or rather known at all. Written by Jeff Barry and Bobby Bloom, that’ll be Sugar Sugar and the chap at number 16 with the also-tropical-sounding Montego Bay.

Black Sabbath are a bit Paranoid at being leap-frogged by a cartoon band, but then they DID have their own cartoon character in Ozzy…. In at 17, the soul-funk powerful social commentary of The Temptations’ Ball Of Confusion, Chicago pop back in at 19, and in at 20 one of my recent raves Our World. Blue Mink were fab, but tend to be under-appreciated, quite unfairly as they had a variety of singles, all great quality – this track was written by Herbie Flowers, later of “Grandad” success and Walk On The Wild Side bassline fame, and Kenny Pickett. Madeline Bell did the original version of I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, pre-Diana Ross & Co, which has made my retro 1968 charts – see my wordpress popchartfreak account for those shortly.

1 ( 1 ) ME AND MY LIFE The Tremeloes
2 ( 3 ) (THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU The Carpenters
3 ( 5 ) EL CONDOR PASA Simon And Garfunkel
4 ( 2 ) YOU CAN GET IT IF YOU REALLY WANT Desmond Dekker
5 ( 4 ) AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH Diana Ross
6 ( NEW ) SUNSHINE The Archies
7 ( 11 ) PARANOID Black Sabbath
8 ( 10 ) BAND OF GOLD Freda Payne
9 ( 6 ) THE WONDER OF YOU Elvis Presley
10 ( 7 ) LOVE IS LIFE Hot Chocolate

11 ( 8 ) WILD WORLD Jimmy Cliff
12 ( 13 ) WHICH WAY YOU GOING BILLY? The Poppy Family
13 ( 12 ) MAKE IT WITH YOU Bread
14 ( 16 ) BLACK NIGHT Deep Purple
15 ( 15 ) TEARS OF A CLOWN Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
16 ( 19 ) MONTEGO BAY Bobby Bloom
17 ( NEW ) BALL OF CONFUSION The Temptations
18 ( 18 ) GIVE ME JUST A LITTLE MORE TIME Chairmen Of The Board
19 ( RE ) 25 OR 6 TO 4 Chicago
20 ( NEW ) OUR WORLD Blue Mink

My 1970 Charts – July

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7th July 1970

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

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

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

http://youtube.com/v/NQH_Wj5lj5g

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

http://youtube.com/v/ZgMEPk6fvpg


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

http://youtube.com/v/DEFxejz3g18


14th July 1970

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

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

 

http://youtube.com/v/wiWu7Csn2HY

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


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


21st July 1970

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

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

http://youtube.com/v/Po1ffbk5JA0

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

http://youtube.com/v/zxexKLsLpw0

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

http://youtube.com/v/cbKVfq49tII

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

28th July 1970

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

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

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

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

http://youtube.com/v/MeMS8SuHPs0

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

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

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

http://youtube.com/v/WLiuMkGCOC4


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

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

My 1975 Charts – May

Gloucester

Gloucester


6th May 1975

Born this week: David Beckham
Died This week: Moe from the Three Stooges, the last-surviving member

It’s a new old number one of an even older record than it seems: Tami Lyn, with the fab Northern Soul stormer I’m Gonna Run Away From You hit the UK charts all over again 4 years after going top 5, and 9 years after it’s first release in the USA. That’s bad news for Desmond Dekker, peaking at 2 6 years on from it’s original chart run with The Israelites, and for Tommy James and Mony Mony at 3. The real loser though is Disco Tex – if not for all the oldies it would have been a second chart-topper of the year, but to be fair the other three are all much better!

Highest new entry is Save Me by Silver Convention, a German-based lush-strings-disco girl group very much in the mode of Love Unlimited and Barry White. It might be derivative but it’s still a great pop record and should have been bigger – they eventually had big hits in both the UK and the USA, but this was the first and best. Caston & Majors go top 10, while Jackie Wilson gets a second bout Higher And Higher inside the top 10. In at 13, The Sharonettes, a girl group cover of an early 60’s novelty doo-wop song minor hit by The Rivingtons. Later in the year the same song would put a stop to Gary Glitter’s run of UK top 10 hits (he should have learned from this version flopping sales-wise!) but it’s main claim to fame was being used as the basis for Surfer Bird (along with another Rivingtons song The Bird’s The Word) a big U.S. hit in 1963 for The Trashmen (No. 4), and then made huge by Family Guy’s brilliant TV series and a big UK hit in 2010 (No. 3). Well, I liked this version even if no-one else did!

Betty Wright makes the top 20, and Mud scrape in at 20, their lowest single to date, as another Tammy with an old record enters at 19 – the country music standard Stand By Your Man, from Tammy Wynette, finally becoming a UK number one hit 5 years late, and 3 years since Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman came out (see it at 6) and helped make it a bit of an old-fashioned sentiment – but then it appealed to older music fans who were looking back to older styles of music, as disco, glam, rock, reggae, funk, and new-fangled synthesisers (see Kraftwerk) scared the bejeebers out of them. As I never found a style of music I didn’t like, in it is here, and Tammy was on her way to country superstardom that paid back KLF-stylee 18 years later.

Talking of old music styles: The Wombles’ Mike Batt turns his many talents to the 40’s swing orchestra sounds and Fred Astaire-stylee-but-new-song Wombling White Tie And Tails for an unlikely 5th Wombles hit single. It was becoming clear that Mike had no intention of repeating a formulaic sound for the little furry creatures, and he was using it as an excuse to pastiche music loves of the past. Hooray! Great fun. Talking of old-fashioned Tammy’s: there’s another one in at 29, Welsh TV regular Tammy Jones won several weeks of TV talent show Opportunity Knocks and was rewarded with a hit single, Let Me Try Again. Talking of Gary Glitter: in at 35 with Love Like You And Me, and the quality was definitely dropping by now. Slade were also notably not-Glam-rock-tastic to the same degree, in at 36 with the otherwise good Thanks For The Memry. Yes, thanks, lads!

Talking of old-fashioned music styles (part 6): Abba are back at 41, confounding the music press by insisting on having a third UK hit with the singalong I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do. I’ll be honest, it was my least-fave Abba single to date, a bit too singalong for me, but no matter it improved with age and gave them a 5th chart entry (and 6th song) in a year. At 42 Barry Blue still is around, cos we make him happy when he’s Blue – it was a sweet-ish low-key lush ballad but not really the glam-rock-pop or retro-50’s we were used to, and flopped. Ironically, his biggest track in my charts Do You Wanna Dance pops up at 43 – for Joe And Didi – and I’m assuming it’s a cover of the 60’s track of the same name, as there’s no mention of it on the internet and my memory of it is also zero. So here it is now, a mystery track mentioned on the internet for the first time (probably)! At 44, Imagine Me Imagine You – yes Fox finally release another single, as quirky as the first chart-topper, and almost as good.

1 ( 9 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
2 ( 7 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
3 ( 8 ) MONY MONY Tommy James And The Shondells
4 ( 2 ) I WANNA DANCE WIT’ CHOO (DO DAT DANCE) Disco Tex And The Sex-o-lettes
5 ( 1 ) STAND BY ME John Lennon
6 ( 6 ) I AM WOMAN Helen Reddy
7 ( NEW ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
8 ( 11 ) CHILD OF LOVE Caston And Majors
9 ( 3 ) SEND SOME LOVE Lelly Boone
10 ( 12 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson

11 ( 4 ) GET DOWN TONIGHT K.C. And The Sunshine Band
12 ( 5 ) DING-A-DONG Teach-In
13 ( NEW ) PAPA OOM MOW MOW The Sharonettes
14 ( 14 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
15 ( 13 ) HURT SO GOOD Susan Cadogan
16 ( 15 ) SKIING IN THE SNOW Wigan’s Ovation
17 ( 23 ) WHERE IS THE LOVE Betty Wright
18 ( 20 ) LOST AND FOUND Whiskey Mac
19 ( NEW ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
20 ( 21 ) OH BOY Mud

21 ( 16 ) PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM The Elton John Band
22 ( 17 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE Gloria Gaynor
23 ( 10 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE IN THE MOONLIGHT Middle Of The Road
24 ( NEW ) WOMBLING WHITE TIE AND TAILS The Wombles
25 ( 22 ) HOLD ON TO LOVE Peter Skellern
26 ( 18 ) JIGSAW GIRL Clifford T. Ward
27 ( 39 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk
28 ( 32 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Eric Clapton
29 ( NEW ) LET ME TRY AGAIN Tammy Jones
30 ( 25 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures

31 ( 30 ) FOX ON THE RUN The Sweet
32 ( 27 ) SWING YOUR DADDY Jim Gilstrap
33 ( 29 ) ONLY YESTERDAY The Carpenters
34 ( 31 ) ONE GIRL TOO LATE Brenda And The Tabulations
35 ( NEW ) LOVE LIKE YOU AND ME Gary Glitter
36 ( NEW ) THANKS FOR THE MEM’RY (WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM) Slade
37 ( 28 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
38 ( 24 ) GRINGO IN MEXICO Maria Muldaur
39 ( 26 ) HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN MELLOW Olivia Newton-John
40 ( 34 ) CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD The Electric Light Orchestra

41 ( NEW ) I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO Abba
42 ( NEW ) YOU MAKE ME HAPPY WHEN I’M BLUE Barry Blue
43 ( NEW ) DO YOU WANNA DANCE Joe And Didi
44 ( NEW ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
45 ( 35 ) LET ME BE THE ONE The Shadows
46 ( 41 ) PLAY ME LIKE YOU PLAY YOUR GUITAR Duane Eddy and The Rebelettes
47 ( 38 ) HASTA LA VISTA Sylvia
48 ( 19 ) LADY MARMALADE LaBelle
49 ( 33 ) A LITTLE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING Gilbert Becaud
50 ( 40 ) FEEL THE NEED Graham Central Station

youtube links via buzzjack

13th May 1975

Desmond Dekker finally gets to number one after a week at 2 in 1975 and 3 weeks at 2 in 1969 (with the Aces and the original recording) – The Israelites is such a great ska-reggae breakthrough, semi-novelty in the patois lyrics and vocal style, but Desmond was great. Up to 3, and the top new song, goes Save Me (Silver Convention), as two Tammy/Tami’s nestle inside the top 5, Wynette joining Lyn with an oldie. Talking of oldies, Mungo Jerry return with 1970 number one, the famous In The Summertime, one I loved at 12 years old, and still nostalgically was into at 8, the highest new (old) entry. Yes I was getting very into old music (if you can call 5 years old)!

All these oldies, though, knock back the ground-breaking Autobahn to 10 (it would otherwise be at 3 ignoring covers and reissues), which is a shame for Kraftwerk. The Wombles hit 13 for a bit of White Tie and Tails variety, as Fox shoot up 30 places to 14 with the terrif Imagine Me Imagine You. Abba keep the run of top 40 entries going, they do they do they do they do they do, as Mac And Katie Kissoon keep the brotherly/sisterly love running, Don’t Do It Baby in at 42, and Hot Chocolate make it a non-stop run of chart entries with all their singles since Love Is Life in 1970, as a serious change in sound brings them in at 43 – funky Disco Queen ringing the changes from earlier ballads, soul, and pop. Always did ring in the genre changes did Errol and the boys.

Meanwhile It’s A Miracle at 48 – Barry Manilow charts in my chart with the follow-up to Mandy and flops in the UK singles chart (though not the USA). I’ll be honest, by the time Bazza became a UK chart fixture he was past his best, bar one or two singles. Hey ho. Gladys Knight is in at 49, with her soulful slowed-down cover of Barbra Streisand’s monster film song The Way We Were, which passed me by in 1974 pretty much, along with the UK singles buyer. At 50, Retta Young has a dance hit with Sending Out An SOS – I think it was an All Platinum (Sylvia Robinson label) hit, but not one I’ve heard lo many a year. I liked it enough to remember it though.

1 ( 2 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
2 ( 1 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
3 ( 7 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
4 ( 19 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
5 ( 4 ) I WANNA DANCE WIT’ CHOO (DO DAT DANCE) Disco Tex And The Sex-o-lettes
6 ( 5 ) STAND BY ME John Lennon
7 ( 13 ) PAPA OOM MOW MOW The Sharonettes
8 ( NEW ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
9 ( 3 ) MONY MONY Tommy James And The Shondells
10 ( 27 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk

11 ( 11 ) GET DOWN TONIGHT K.C. And The Sunshine Band
12 ( 8 ) CHILD OF LOVE Caston And Majors
13 ( 24 ) WOMBLING WHITE TIE AND TAILS The Wombles
14 ( 44 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
15 ( 12 ) DING-A-DONG Teach-In
16 ( 9 ) SEND SOME LOVE Lelly Boone
17 ( 17 ) WHERE IS THE LOVE Betty Wright
18 ( 28 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Eric Clapton
19 ( 10 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
20 ( 6 ) I AM WOMAN Helen Reddy

21 ( 14 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
22 ( 16 ) SKIING IN THE SNOW Wigan’s Ovation
23 ( 15 ) HURT SO GOOD Susan Cadogan
24 ( 21 ) PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM The Elton John Band
25 ( 22 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE Gloria Gaynor
26 ( 36 ) THANKS FOR THE MEM’RY (WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM) Slade
27 ( 35 ) LOVE LIKE YOU AND ME Gary Glitter
28 ( 33 ) ONLY YESTERDAY The Carpenters
29 ( 37 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
30 ( 25 ) HOLD ON TO LOVE Peter Skellern

31 ( 41 ) I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO Abba
32 ( 26 ) JIGSAW GIRL Clifford T. Ward
33 ( 31 ) FOX ON THE RUN The Sweet
34 ( 32 ) SWING YOUR DADDY Jim Gilstrap
35 ( 30 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
36 ( 18 ) LOST AND FOUND Whiskey Mac
37 ( 23 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE IN THE MOONLIGHT Middle Of The Road
38 ( 29 ) LET ME TRY AGAIN Tammy Jones
39 ( 20 ) OH BOY Mud
40 ( 38 ) GRINGO IN MEXICO Maria Muldaur

41 ( 42 ) YOU MAKE ME HAPPY WHEN I’M BLUE Barry Blue
42 ( NEW ) DON’T DO IT BABY Mac And Katie Kissoon
43 ( NEW ) DISCO QUEEN Hot Chocolate
44 ( 39 ) HAVE YOU NEVER BEEN MELLOW Olivia Newton-John
45 ( 45 ) LET ME BE THE ONE The Shadows
46 ( 46 ) PLAY ME LIKE YOU PLAY YOUR GUITAR Duane Eddy and The Rebelettes
47 ( 40 ) CAN’T GET IT OUT OF MY HEAD The Electric Light Orchestra
48 ( NEW ) IT’S A MIRACLE Barry Manilow
49 ( NEW ) THE WAY WE WERE/TRY TO REMEMBER Gladys Knight And The Pips
50 ( NEW ) SENDING OUT AN S.O.S. Retta Young


At the movies, Monty Python And The Holy Grail was a must, though it took some getting used to having an actual ongoing plot/setting as opposed to a short sketch. The big moment of course was the aggressive knight (John Cleese) who just kept shouting abuse despite the ongoing loss of his limbs. At school, big exam time, GCE O’ Level revision was in full swing and the winding down of the 6th form life was looming – sadly, for me. For the first time in 4 or 5 years I’d had a year of school life that I enjoyed, no bullies, treated like adults, people mostly getting along. The raising of the school leaving age to 16 had now happened and those who should have left at 15 had gone taking their disinterest with them. Hooray! Life was good, tennis on hot days, comics and pop music were good, money from babysitting continued, and only exams were the main tedium.

On TV: Survivors was the show of the summer, a post-apocalyptic world where most people had been wiped out by disease (and a plot borrowed by many movies since), this was gripping stuff. Rutland Weekend Television was a Python Eric Idle breakaway project, and it was goodbye to long-running TV Western Gunsmoke after 20 years, although it hadn’t been screened in the UK for some time so it kind of passed us by. A Man Called Ironside, disabled rights actual TV detective also finished, and the more recent cult fave Kung Fu died away as the Kung Fu craze also started to die down, most notably following the Goodies Ecky Thump episode, where a poor viewer actually died laughing so hard at it.


20th May 1975

It’s yet another oldie on top, as Mungo Jerry return five years after In The Summertime hit number one. No youtube video though as it’ll be on my 1970 chart soon. I think the HP Sauce ad in the late 70’s killed the song for me forever, which is a shame! If not for the oldies Fox would have grabbed a second chart-topper in 1975, but have to settle for 4 and Imagine Me Imagine You. The Wombles get a second top 10 out of 6 chart hits, not bad! There’s a sudden spate of new entries, Showaddywaddy highest at 13 with a pretty good cover of Eddie Cochran’s posthumous UK chart-topper, Three Steps To Heaven. This, of course, became a career template for them – old rock ‘n’ roll covers.

Best of all, though, is in at 15, ex-Beatle Paul McCartney follows up the huge Band On The Run album with this lead track off Venus And Mars. The summer of ’75 was hot and sunny, and I was eating a lot of Instant Whip to cool down while revising for exams – I used to trot round to the newsagent at Innsworth (near Gloucester) through a garages access road, and someone often used to be playing the album as I passed by, Wings blaring out the window to my great pleasure. The critics weren’t so kind, comparing it to Band On The Run, but this summery sax-driven sauntering melodic harmony track was just gorgeous – Listen To What The Man Said sounded like a Morecambe And Wise “the play wot I wrote” moment of a title, and they sing “says” anyway, and it’s fab. Macca is never far from my charts, any decade you pick.

Talking of Ex-Beatles, Neil Sedaka was starting to happen in the USA charts after being UK based to restore his career and reputation as a songwriter, and he had a US hit with the fantastic The Immigrant, a song about John Lennon’s battle to stay in the States – the authorities regarded him as an undesirable. Tragically not a UK hit, it’s a heartfelt ballad statement, though of course, in hindsight I wish John HAD been deported, the music world could have been very different. Neil still sings this in concert, and he sounds no different from the recorded vocal, he really has a timeless voice. In at 23. At 18, Judy Collins returns for a 3rd chart hit, 5 years after Both Sides Now, with a cover of much-recorded showtune classic Send In The Clowns, Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music more recently had Dame Judi Dench singing this classic, but Judy Collins version is pretty flawless vocally, if not emotionally.

Gladys Knight leaps to 20, hang on while I try to remember the way we were…yes that’s right, that long spoken intro segueing into the main actual song. I hope to watching her sing this in 2 weeks time on the day I get back from holiday, as the Pip-less Gladys will be in town and I’ve never had the pleasure. Till then I’ve Got To Use My Imagination, which was her last chart hit here in 1974. Oh I love a good tenuous link! Life is soooooo pleasingly circular sometimes. There’s A Raincoat at 35, no not a dirty mac, he loves you for your mind (not your body) and sounds uncannily like Sparks on this flop track (en route to being in late 70’s band Tonight, apparently), while there’s a Stripper at 36 – not that famous instrumental, no, this is a sombre ballad about a girl who DOES perform for the dirty mac brigade in Soho. Quill who? No idea but it’s on itunes, very unexpectedly!

At 38, Hello get a third hit, this time covering Amen Corner’s 1968 funtastic Bend Me Shape Me (or covering the US cover hit from The American Breed if you are American). The original 1966 version was recorded by The Outsiders, and co-written by Scott English, who’d just been back in my charts with Brandy, the original of the song made famous by Barry Manilow, Mandy. The song more recently featured as a Bender love-interest tune on Futurama, so that’s cool enough for me. Meanwhile, Dutch band The Cats pop back with Be My Day, which sneaked briefly into my chart in 1974, this time at 39, just ahead of The Stylistics Sing Baby Sing at 40, now 3 years of falsetto soul chart entries and counting.

1 ( 8 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
2 ( 2 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
3 ( 1 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
4 ( 14 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
5 ( 4 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette
6 ( 3 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
7 ( 10 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk
8 ( 5 ) I WANNA DANCE WIT’ CHOO (DO DAT DANCE) Disco Tex And The Sex-o-lettes
9 ( 6 ) STAND BY ME John Lennon
10 ( 13 ) WOMBLING WHITE TIE AND TAILS The Wombles

11 ( 7 ) PAPA OOM MOW MOW The Sharonettes
12 ( 18 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Eric Clapton
13 ( NEW ) THREE STEPS TO HEAVEN Showaddywaddy
14 ( 9 ) MONY MONY Tommy James And The Shondells
15 ( NEW ) LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID Wings
16 ( 12 ) CHILD OF LOVE Caston And Majors
17 ( 11 ) GET DOWN TONIGHT K.C. And The Sunshine Band
18 ( NEW ) SEND IN THE CLOWNS Judy Collins
19 ( 26 ) THANKS FOR THE MEM’RY (WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM) Slade
20 ( 49 ) THE WAY WE WERE/TRY TO REMEMBER Gladys Knight And The Pips

21 ( 15 ) DING-A-DONG Teach-In
22 ( 16 ) SEND SOME LOVE Lelly Boone
23 ( NEW ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
24 ( 19 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
25 ( 29 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson
26 ( 42 ) DON’T DO IT BABY Mac And Katie Kissoon
27 ( 21 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
28 ( 23 ) HURT SO GOOD Susan Cadogan
29 ( 20 ) I AM WOMAN Helen Reddy
30 ( 31 ) I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO Abba

31 ( 22 ) SKIING IN THE SNOW Wigan’s Ovation
32 ( 24 ) PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM The Elton John Band
33 ( 25 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE Gloria Gaynor
34 ( 43 ) DISCO QUEEN Hot Chocolate
35 ( NEW ) I LOVE YOU FOR YOUR MIND (NOT YOUR BODY) A Raincoat
36 ( NEW ) THE STRIPPER Quill
37 ( 30 ) HOLD ON TO LOVE Peter Skellern
38 ( NEW ) BEND ME SHAPE ME Hello
39 ( NEW ) BE MY DAY The Cats
40 ( NEW ) SING BABY SING The Stylistics

41 ( 35 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
42 ( 37 ) HITCHIN’ A RIDE IN THE MOONLIGHT Middle Of The Road
43 ( 32 ) JIGSAW GIRL Clifford T. Ward
44 ( 34 ) SWING YOUR DADDY Jim Gilstrap
45 ( 33 ) FOX ON THE RUN The Sweet
46 ( 27 ) LOVE LIKE YOU AND ME Gary Glitter
47 ( 28 ) ONLY YESTERDAY The Carpenters
48 ( 50 ) SENDING OUT AN S.O.S. Retta Young
49 ( 17 ) WHERE IS THE LOVE Betty Wright
50 ( 36 ) LOST AND FOUND Whiskey Mac


27th May 1975

Silver Convention get a week on top with their debut record, Save Me, and under-rated lush disco track with a great vocal hook and an even better strings section hook. European disco had arrived! Up to 5, Wings are listening carefully for news of Paul McCartney’s 6th top 5 since leaving The Beatles, while straight in at 6 Roy Wood gets his first solo entry for a year, his 4th solo hit, not including 8 with Wizzard, 1 with ELO, and 6 with The Move for a grand total of 19, 2 ahead of Paul McCartney at this time.

New at 15, it’s the start of a long list of cover versions of Four Seasons hits (not including those more or less contemporary during the 60’s): The Proud One is even better than the original version, and one of The Osmonds best singles, it just hits the right balance of harmony and vocal passion, and the song is fantastic. It’s no surprise to me that Jersey Boys became a massive show, The Four Seasons have such a massively great back catalogue of songs and a fascinating rags to riches to rags to riches story. Hey You – it’s Bachman-Turner Overdrive with a 3rd single chart entry, though sadly a flop in the real world it’s in at 18, one ahead of Status Quo, who enter with Roll Over Lay Down, a typically riff-heavy 6th goodie from Quo.

At 41, The Bee Gees return a year on from the soulful Mr. Natural and show they have gone the whole soul-funk hog. Jive Talkin’ gets labelled disco, but it’s more funky than that, and the later falsettos that conquered the world are restrained. It’s a fantastic change in musical direction, very different from their previous 7 years of a dozen chart entries (not to mention several cover hits from The Marbles, Nina Simone and co). White funk vocalists weren’t unknown (see KC/ Average White Band for starters) but it was unheard of for a ballad/pop band to transform a decade into their career into another genre. It was big pop news. It was also a bandwagon that others followed within a few years when it became a huge worldwide hit.

Speedy Keen was the lead vocalist on Thunderclap Newman’s utterly brilliant social themed chart-topper in 1969 (with a hand from Pete Townsend) – that was the 3rd single I ever bought with my own pocket money in Singapore, so I had a bit of nostalgia going for Speedy when he went solo and got a bit of airplay with Someone To Love. It’s a nice ballad, but he never made a success out of his solo career and died young. Jackie Blue, on the other hand, was a huge US hit single, and UK flop inexplicably (it did get some airplay), a sort of bitter-sweet country-harmony pop in the vein of The Eagles, and it’s also a brilliant song that deserves to be better known. Fab. Happily DJ Paul Gambaccini on Radio One was keeping me in touch with the American charts, along with the American Forces Network and DJ Kasey Casem, aka Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

1 ( 6 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
2 ( 1 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
3 ( 2 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
4 ( 3 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
5 ( 15 ) LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID Wings
6 ( NEW ) OH WHAT A SHAME Roy Wood
7 ( 13 ) THREE STEPS TO HEAVEN Showaddywaddy
8 ( 4 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
9 ( 7 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk
10 ( 5 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette

11 ( 8 ) I WANNA DANCE WIT’ CHOO (DO DAT DANCE) Disco Tex And The Sex-o-lettes
12 ( 9 ) STAND BY ME John Lennon
13 ( 20 ) THE WAY WE WERE/TRY TO REMEMBER Gladys Knight And The Pips
14 ( 23 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
15 ( NEW ) THE PROUD ONE The Osmonds
16 ( 12 ) SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT Eric Clapton
17 ( 10 ) WOMBLING WHITE TIE AND TAILS The Wombles
18 ( NEW ) HEY YOU Bachman-Turner Overdrive
19 ( NEW ) ROLL OVER LAY DOWN Status Quo
20 ( 11 ) PAPA OOM MOW MOW The Sharonettes

21 ( 18 ) SEND IN THE CLOWNS Judy Collins
22 ( 22 ) SEND SOME LOVE Lelly Boone
23 ( 17 ) GET DOWN TONIGHT K.C. And The Sunshine Band
24 ( 21 ) DING-A-DONG Teach-In
25 ( 14 ) MONY MONY Tommy James And The Shondells
26 ( 30 ) I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO Abba
27 ( 16 ) CHILD OF LOVE Caston And Majors
28 ( 34 ) DISCO QUEEN Hot Chocolate
29 ( 24 ) (YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTING ME) HIGHER AND HIGHER Jackie Wilson
30 ( 25 ) I GET THE SWEETEST FEELING Jackie Wilson

31 ( 35 ) I LOVE YOU FOR YOUR MIND (NOT YOUR BODY) A Raincoat
32 ( 36 ) THE STRIPPER Quill
33 ( 19 ) THANKS FOR THE MEM’RY (WHAM BAM THANK YOU MA’AM) Slade
34 ( 27 ) HONEY Bobby Goldsboro
35 ( 28 ) HURT SO GOOD Susan Cadogan
36 ( 45 ) FOX ON THE RUN The Sweet
37 ( 33 ) REACH OUT I’LL BE THERE Gloria Gaynor
38 ( 32 ) PHILADELPHIA FREEDOM The Elton John Band
39 ( 31 ) SKIING IN THE SNOW Wigan’s Ovation
40 ( 48 ) SENDING OUT AN S.O.S. Retta Young

41 ( NEW ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees
42 ( 37 ) HOLD ON TO LOVE Peter Skellern
43 ( 38 ) BEND ME SHAPE ME Hello
44 ( 44 ) SWING YOUR DADDY Jim Gilstrap
45 ( NEW ) SOMEONE TO LOVE Speedy Keen
46 ( NEW ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
47 ( 29 ) I AM WOMAN Helen Reddy
48 ( 26 ) DON’T DO IT BABY Mac And Katie Kissoon
49 ( 41 ) HAWAII FIVE-0 The Ventures
50 ( 39 ) BE MY DAY The Cats

My 1970 Charts – May

Me and choc ice and beach

Me and choc ice and beach

youtubers click here


5th May 1970

2 weeks for The Beatles on top as The Long And Winding Road winds on, but in at 2 it’s an instant fave from Christie, Yellow River being a sort of poppier version of Creedence Clearwater Revival, and a very catchy song indeed and often played on Singapore radio. Once upon a time it was very well-known, these days it’s fallen a bit out of favour, but for me it has such strong nostalgia associating with great Singapore days that I still have great fondness for it.

Julie Felix, If I Could, goes top 10, and there is only one more new entry, The Moody Blues have a Question at 18. My question is, why I never rated it enormously when I finally got to hear it once or twice (not a radio fave in Singapore), but it’s grown on me over the years as I got more familiar with it’s Alone Again Or vibe, like most of the Moody’s songs having finally got to see them in concert recently. Still good!

1 ( 1 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
2 ( NEW ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
3 ( 3 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
4 ( 2 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
5 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 4 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
7 ( 7 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
8 ( 19 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
9 ( 6 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
10 ( 11 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones

11 ( 9 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
12 ( 10 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
13 ( 14 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
14 ( 13 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
15 ( 18 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
16 ( 12 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
17 ( 16 ) TRY A LITTLE KINDNESS Glen Campbell
18 ( NEW ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
19 ( 17 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin
20 ( 15 ) GOOD MORNING FREEDOM Blue Mink

In world events the Kent University, Ohio shooting of students by troopers shocked the world. The Vietnam War and other such student protests, such as environmentalism, were not looked on kindly by the establishment. The very famous photo of a victim with a woman kneeling over his body affected me, and if anything made me even more anti-violence, pro-peace, and pro-environment, pro-equal-rights and many other pro’s. It all seemed very simple and logical to this 12-year-old that some things were just plain wrong, and using deadly force against students was one of them. Vietnam was a lot closer to home in Singapore, and always loomed large on the news.

At the RAF cinema, which was always a bit behind the times, we weren’t yet watching the big movies A Man Called Horse, but mum and dad went to see when they got hold of a copy, very much in line with the mood of the times as Native Americans were no longer just baddie injuns for cowboys to shoot dead at every opportunity in the movies. The Aristocats also came out, but for some reason we never got to see that one, leaving a Disney hole in my childhood experiences, ditto Bedknobs And Broomsticks. After that, there was only really the next animated movie (Robin Hood) before I stopped altogether until Robin Williams voiced Aladdin 20 years later.


12th May 1970

Yellow River gets it’s first week at number one, fab! Tom Jones is up to 9, keeping his run of top 10 singles of at least one a year intact, and it’s the dramatic Daughter Of Darkness. New at 3, though, it’s a record I was insanely mad on, Honey Come Back was a huge hit for Glen Campbell and even though in retrospect it’s not his best single by any means, it was sweetly touching, tuneful and popular, and I just became obsessed by the hook and by Glen Campbell. Some of mum and dad’s friends had an album by Glen with it on, so I got to hear it when we went round, and this became the album I most wanted for Christmas, so I could get my own copy of the single. When they bought me an Australian mash-up of tracks from his previous two albums I was disappointed to say the least (they couldn’t find a copy), though I’m glad they did as This Is Glen Campbell had Wichita Lineman, Galveston, By The Time I Get To Phoenix and was a bloody timelessly brilliant album – even if I’m probably one of few to own an existing copy of those track-listings.

In at 18, Up The Ladder To The Roof, and The Supremes return without Diana Ross. I’ll be honest, I saw the split as a good thing, Diana Ross solo records were fantastic, and the new Supremes line-up was also fantastic, both were releasing terrific singles throughout the early 70’s. Sadly, public perception is that the Supremes dies without Diana Ross, but that’s not true, they had some classic singles to come, easily among the best, and the new girls (along with Mary Wilson) were great singers – Jean Terrell and Cindy Birdsong. This again was a single I barely heard at all at the time, and didn’t pick up on properly until 1975 on “5 Years Ago” charts on the radio in the UK. I won’t mention the host DJ. He’s already poisoned enough childhood memories for a generation.

1 ( 2 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
2 ( 1 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
3 ( NEW ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
4 ( 3 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
5 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
6 ( 8 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
7 ( 6 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
8 ( 4 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
9 ( 10 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
10 ( 7 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension

11 ( 9 ) KNOCK KNOCK WHO’S THERE Mary Hopkin
12 ( 15 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
13 ( 11 ) (TO BE) YOUNG GIFTED AND BLACK Bob And Marcia
14 ( 18 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
15 ( 12 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
16 ( 13 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
17 ( 14 ) RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD B.J. Thomas
18 ( NEW ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
19 ( 16 ) GIMME DAT DING The Pipkins
20 ( 19 ) FAREWELL IS A LONELY SOUND Jimmy Ruffin


19th May 1970

Glen Campbell gets his first number one, Honey Come Back, the only record in the summer of ’70 that I was more mad on is in at 3, Ray Stevens Everything Is Beautiful. Ray up to this point was largely known for novelty hits in the States, but was little-known in the UK even though some of them were rather amusing, such as Gitarzan. He also had dabbled with some straight songs though, like Mr. Businessman, but this gospel-flavoured kiddie-chorused, religious-tinted ballad propelled him into the big league. These days it’s seen as too saccharine to get much airplay, but I care not a jot – for some years into the late 70’s this was my all-time favourite record: the kids chorus start gave me goosebumps, the positive sentiment registered strongly with me, and the big choir finish was music to my ears. Plus it was a big family fave in Singapore, and I just hear it blaring out from the house one exotic sunny tropical morning into the street and garden as dad turned it up loud on the radio. Bliss!

In at 8 another Singapore fave, but one that left me frustrated: Butterscotch and Don’t You Know, one of those White Plains soundalike pop bands featuring songwriters Arnold, Martin and Morrow – who went on to write for Guys And Dolls, Barry Manilow, and others. It had a great tune, but I woke up one morning while dreaming of this song I’d never heard in my life before, as far as I was aware, only to go into the living room and switch the radio on and hear it suddenly coming out of the speakers. Now either I am psychic (nah, just perceptive) or I guess someone in a neighbouring house must have put the radio on accidentally loudly which interrupted my dream enough to wake me up, and I just managed to catch half of it on the radio. Or did I, doo doo doo doo Twilight Zone! Anyway, I sang the tune to myself for weeks and months afterwards but I never did get to hear it again, despite loving it, until I found a copy of the single in 1975, second-hand. Hooray! OK it was dated by then, but still pleasant.

At 15, The Jackson 5 have a soundalike, much-less-good, follow-up to I Want You Back, my least-fave of all their early singles, but hey-ho, still good and marvel at young Michael. In at 18, an instrumental novelty (sort of) the fab Groovin’ With Mr. Bloe, a cover of a Wind featuring Tony Orlando B side (without Tony Orlando), Elton John was involved, Dick James music was involved, and Elton John band musicians were involved. You might say it was Elton John’s breakthrough (on the other tracks which he wrote – his piano was re-recorded for the A side). You might not. I say yes, as Reg was busy singing Top Of The Pops cover album tracks of current hits at the time. Anyway it still sounds great fun and quirky. Finally, at 20, Marvin Gaye is back with a cover of Dion’s recent US hit Abraham Martin And John, done in a soul-style rather than folk-style, a tribute of course to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr and John Kennedy, violently murdered American political leaders.

1 ( 3 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
2 ( 2 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
3 ( NEW ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
4 ( 1 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
5 ( 4 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana

6 ( 6 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
7 ( 5 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( NEW ) DON’T YOU KNOW Butterscotch
9 ( 9 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
10 ( 7 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum

11 ( 8 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
12 ( 12 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
13 ( 14 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
14 ( 10 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
15 ( NEW ) ABC The Jackson 5

16 ( 18 ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
17 ( 15 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder
18 ( NEW ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe
19 ( 16 ) I CAN’T TELL THE BOTTOM FROM THE TOP The Hollies
20 ( NEW ) ABRAHAM MARTIN AND JOHN Marvin Gaye

me wallowing beach near Changi 1970ish

me wallowing beach near Changi 1970ish


26th May 1970

2 weeks for Glen and his Honey on top. Sweet! The Jackson 5 make it 2 consecutive top 10’s, Mr Bloe grooves his way to 10, and The Beach Boys enter at 15 with an old Lead Belly blues song from 1940, Cottonfields being a rather different harmony version and pretty much drawing to a close the Beach Boys classic Capitol years and the hits after an awesome 8 year run. Ahead lay a succession of comebacks over nearly 45 years, some better than others, some solo, some collaborations, some new stuff, some covers, and even after the deaths of 2 of the Wilson Brothers. Not quite as great as the 60’s classics, but never bad.

1 ( 1 ) HONEY COME BACK Glen Campbell
2 ( 3 ) EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL Ray Stevens
3 ( 2 ) THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD The Beatles
4 ( 4 ) YELLOW RIVER Christie
5 ( 8 ) DON’T YOU KNOW Butterscotch
6 ( 5 ) ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING Dana
7 ( 7 ) BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER Simon And Garfunkel
8 ( 15 ) ABC The Jackson 5
9 ( 6 ) IF I COULD Julie Felix
10 ( 18 ) GROOVIN’ WITH MR. BLOE Mr. Bloe

11 ( 9 ) DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS Tom Jones
12 ( 10 ) SPIRIT IN THE SKY Norman Greenbaum
13 ( 13 ) QUESTION The Moody Blues
14 ( 11 ) THE ARCHIES EP (Sugar Sugar/Bang Shang A Lang/ Everything’s Archie (Archie’s Theme)/Over And Over) The Archies
15 ( NEW ) COTTONFIELDS The Beach Boys
16 ( 12 ) BACK HOME England World Cup Squad
17 ( 20 ) ABRAHAM MARTIN AND JOHN Marvin Gaye
18 ( 14 ) SAVE THE COUNTRY The Fifth Dimension
19 ( 16 ) UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF The Supremes
20 ( 17 ) NEVER HAD A DREAM COME TRUE Stevie Wonder

In Singapore, the end of term wasn’t far off and English was all about preparing for the end of term play. Mum had to get involved in making a middle-eastern Sinbad-type-frock-smock for me to stand on stage looking and feeling stupid, chanting some lines as part of a chorus, and a couple on my own. Mum and dad travelled over to RAF Seletar one evening to watch it, and I’m sure mum was proud as punch she never criticised only encouraged school stuff I did. It was my first taste of being on stage in front of an audience, a very shy boy, and I made sure it was the last time for another 16 years! My next audience of adoring fans was on national Radio One on the Roadshow in Bournemouth. May as well look an idiot in front of as many folk as possible if you’re going to do it…!