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 May 1969 Charts

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3rd May 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

10th May 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

17th May 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

wot I liked that week then

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

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

 

24th May 1969

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then charts

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

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

 

 

31st May 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My 1969 Charts – 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 – August

AUG 1969

On TV, it was the changing of the guard for me – Patrick Troughton’s final episodes bringing to an end the domination of Doctor Who in my affections, because by now a brand new American Science-fiction TV show had debuted in the UK. It was called Star Trek, and it blew my fecking mind. I became obsessed by the show immediately, but the shocking thing is to realise that the number of episodes I saw were very minimal, but oh they left a strong impact on me! The biggest was the first broadcast, Where No Man Has Gone Before, with Kirk, Spock and 2 characters who died, but I loved them both! MASH’s Sally Kellerman and 2001’s Gary Lockwood had telekinetic powers and telepathic powers like my beloved Saturn Girl from my beloved Legion Of Super-Heroes. Their eyes glowed and it was SO cool. And tragic that they died! I’m convinced I also saw the Jeffrey Hunter episodes too, but regardless, one of my first major disappointments on getting to Singapore was Star Trek was not broadcast. I’d have to make do with books for the next 2 years! Doh!

On the plus side, I got to see the Patrick Troughton Doctor Who episodes all over again cos they WERE being broadcast in Singapore. Hooray! It was just frustrating that I never got to see the final episode till the 80’s, cos just as they were getting near it in Singapore, we were leaving! Doh! These things mattered to me! Home: the house was emptied of our stuff, leaving only the RAF furniture and dishes etc all ready for inspection on leaving (everything had to be spick and span or you got charged for the cleaning), cases were being packed, I was saying sad goodbyes to friends, especially Ann Barber my friend from over the road, who looked so sad I was going. I felt sad, for her and for me. The cat and kittens were dropped off with my grandma in Liverpool, mum’s mum who wasn’t looking forward to us going away at all, and I’m fairly sure around this time Aunty Eileen and Uncle Tony got married in Mansfield, so that was a big family do and get together for the last time in 2 years, and some sad goodbyes to mum and dad’s elderly relatives, cos 2 years was a long time.

That’s a lot of goodbyes for 11 years old! Then, in the last week of August, the start of the adventure began: we saw the Flying Scotsman at Newark. We went to London and stayed with some RAF friends – The Deebanks – who had been posted from Swinderby, me and my brother had to share the bunkbeds with the younger kids. Then we went to Swindon, and dropped by the Railway Museum, which made an impact on my younger brother more than me, because I was already in 7th Heaven: we’d gone by a newsagent, an old corner shop affair, and they had a rack of American Comics. I pestered dad because I absolutely HAD to have a Legion Of Super Heroes comic they had, Adventure Comics 373, The Tornado Twins, and it was goooorgeous looking. I got it! I still have it! As bonus, dad also bought some Giant bumper DC comics, Supergirl (which had the Legion!), Superman, and some black and white 50’s pulp sci-fi comic reprints. I wasn’t allowed to read any of them, though, they were for the aeroplane. It was 31st August, we stopped over night at RAF Brize Norton and tomorrow was a very new day….

TBC

5th August 1969

Music: 2 weeks for Thunderclap Newman on top, and Joe Dolan almost gets to the top, chased by 2 of my fave girl singers of the moment, Clodagh and Cilla. The Love Affair go top 10, as the similarly-sounding Vanity Fayre enter at 17 with the melodic and catchy Early In The Morning, a tune I loved. Like all of the new records from here-on, my access to new records was limited, and very much cut short, it was like going into withdrawal as I loved them and couldn’t get to hear them in September and beyond, for the most part. That goes in spades for the record at 19, Zager And Evans, the utimate one-hit wonders, with the very futuristic sci-fi social commentary song In The Year 2525. Not to mention folkies Fairport Convention’s version (en Francais) of Dylan’s If You Gotta Go Go Now, Si Tu Dois Partir. As I’d been doing French at school over the last year, it was fun working out some of the words….

1 ( 1 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
2 ( 4 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
3 ( 3 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
4 ( 12 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
5 ( 16 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
6 ( 2 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
7 ( 10 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
8 ( 6 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
9 ( 17 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair
10 ( 5 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones

11 ( 7 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
12 ( 8 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
13 ( 9 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
14 ( 11 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
15 ( 19 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
16 ( 20 ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees
17 ( NEW ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
18 ( 14 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
19 ( NEW ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
20 ( NEW ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention

12th Aug 1969

Elvis is back up on top! Well, it is great! Vanity Fayre and Stevie Wonder’s gorgeous My Cherie Amour (keeping up the French-language theme) both go Top 10, Donovan pops back in, and Marvin Gaye enters with Too Busy Thinking Bout My Baby, a song which meant much more to me in a cover version in the early 70’s.

1 ( 3 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 2 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
3 ( 1 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
4 ( 7 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
5 ( 4 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
6 ( 5 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
7 ( 6 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
8 ( 17 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
9 ( 8 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
10 ( 15 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder

11 ( 20 ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention
12 ( 9 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair
13 ( 10 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
14 ( 19 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
15 ( 12 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
16 ( 14 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
17 ( 13 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
18 ( 18 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
19 ( RE ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group
20 ( NEW ) TOO BUSY THINKING BOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye

19th Aug 1969

4 weeks for Elvis at 1, and only one new entry, snuggling up to Robin Gibb at 6…are his brothers, The Bee Gees lovely country song Don’t Forget To Remember. I still preferred Robin’s Saved By The Bell, but only just! This was my last official chart of the 60’s, as I had no access to new UK music (though I got to follow the Top 30 in Daily Mirror bumper packages delivered as a mega-book to the Forces, they were songs and titles tempting me, but out of reach).

1 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 3 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
3 ( 11 ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention
4 ( 8 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
5 ( 4 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
6 ( NEW ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
7 ( 14 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
8 ( 2 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
9 ( 10 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
10 ( 9 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner

11 ( 7 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
12 ( 6 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
13 ( 5 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
14 ( 15 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
15 ( 12 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair
16 ( 17 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
17 ( 13 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
18 ( 20 ) TOO BUSY THINKING BOUT MY BABY Marvin Gaye
19 ( 18 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
20 ( 19 ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group

26th Aug 1969

And my last chart in the UK for 2 years has my record of the moment on top, the epic In The Year 2525. This was the first record I intended to buy with the 10 shillings my great grandparents had given me (now Singapore dollars) but it wasn’t available so I had only the memory of my love for it bar the occasional play on 2-way family favourites Forces radio show. Aaaagh! I still love it though. Robin Gibb, at 2, my mum bought though a few weeks later, and I still love that one.

The Equals, future hit-maker Eddy Grant, have a big new entry with Viva Bobby Joe, which I loved, and a host of other great singles, Bad Moon Rising (which I would get to hear again, and find the lyrics hand-written to, inside a Just William library book at my new school. Don’t remember the book, very much recall finding the lyrics. I had my priorities right, even then!) was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 2nd hit, Engelbert was back again, and The Dells had a heavy version of 2 very MOR songs – Cilla and others had sung I Can Sing A Rainbow, and Eurovision’s Love Is Blue (Vicky Leandros) had become a standard within 2 years thanks to the instrumental hit version by Paul Mauriat. A tune I’d learnt to play on my melodica. Melodica’s were all the rage, a sort of mouth-organ-piano-synth, and girls in particular had them. If only I’d hung onto it I might have become the first world-famous melodican pop star. Hey ho!

Tommy Roe, my hero, managed to get a new record out just as I left the country, I don’t think I heard it more than once or twice, but I really liked the tune anyway, and enters here at 17, just behind a song I really WAS mad on, that glibby glib gloopy hook was heaven on earth to me, I loved the ticking, the crystal-clear instruments and Oliver’s fab vocals. I didn’t even know Good Morning Starshine was from Hair, I suspect, following on from previous chart biggies Nina Simone and Fifth Dimension. I played the tune over and over in my head for weeks so I wouldn’t forget it, till I could get to hear it again. I can’t describe how pleasurable it is getting to hear a song you love again after you’ve been deprived of it for years. Fab! And that, as they say, is the end of the UK music scene, as I entered a cut-down family-friendly version of it on the 1st September…

TBC

1 ( 7 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 5 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
3 ( 4 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fayre
4 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
5 ( 6 ) DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER The Bee Gees
6 ( 9 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
7 ( NEW ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals
8 ( 8 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
9 ( 3 ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention
10 ( 12 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black

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