My Retro July 1969 Charts

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5th July 1969

It’s a first week on top for The Beach Boys, their first retro-chart Number 1 being as most of their classics predate 1967, though I love the melody and harmonies on Breakaway just as much as Good Vibrations, though nothing compares to God Only Knows. Highest new entry is breakaway solo star, Robin Gibb in a drug-induced parting of the ways with his older brother Barry and twin Maurice (then-busy with new wife Lulu) leaving The Bee Gees as a duo for the next couple of years till they all realised they were better together. Saved By The Bell was a beautifully OTT ballad, one of only 2 singles my mum ever bought (in Singapore this one) with a bit of encouragement from me to part with her cash cos I also loved it. The B side is also an obscure period-piece of a minor gem, Mother And Jack in at 38.

Neil Diamond gets his first top 10 as an act, Sweet Caroline still sounding two years too early, while Crosby Stills & Nash get a first top 20 as an act, Joe Dolan gets his first, and Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions get a first together, but not their last albeit without each other in future years. The Stones final monster UK chart-topper enters at 22, Honky Tonk Women higher than B side You Can’t Always Get What You Want at 54. At 24, Give Peace A Chance, and John Lennon starts his solo career, more or less, aided and abetted by a choir of stars, and a future anthem to boot. It fits in well as a sort of companion piece to John’s Ballad Of John & Yoko as a snapshot of 1969 pop culture.

At 28 Vanity Fare enter with second chart entry Early In The Morning, another tuneful pop ditty with a melody that hooked me as a boy, and am still rather fond of – co-written by Mike Leander, the man behind the career and songs of Gary Glitter who scored The Beatles She’s Leaving Home, executive-produced the Jesus Christ Superstar concept-album, and in later years wrote Matador, the musical which gave Tom Jones a big hit with A Boy From Nowhere in 1987. A shame Paul Gadd sullied his reputation by association, which is why these days I prefer to give credit to Leander for the music.

Lou Christie debuts at 39 – actually it’s not really, but Lightnin’ Strikes predates 1967 and that would so be challenging the top of my charts a year earlier both retro-then and retro-now – I’m Gonna Make You Mine being again a track I knew of from my 1969 songbooks but didn’t get to hear until 1974. True Grit, on the other hand, was the theme-tune from the film of the same-name, starring Oscar-winning John Wayne in his best role, the brilliant teen actor Kim Darby – and Glen Campbell! OK his acting skills didn’t rise to the occasion, but I loved Glen in it, and his records dominated my affection in 1970 more than any other act of the time. Frustratingly, I loved this record, heard it once, and maybe one more time on the radio, and that was that till the film got shown on TV in the mid-70’s. The great Don Black did the lyrics, and Elmer Bernstein the music – yes, him, the man who composed the scores to The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and many other films.

Georgie Fame is in at 55 with Peaceful – I saw him last year supporting the farewell original-lineup Manfreds tour and he was in fab voice, still totally doing new albums. At 71, Country Joe & The Fish, fresh from festival appearances and Here I Go Again, a record I’d never heard – though the song was strangely familiar: it should be. Twiggy had a UK hit with it in 1976 when she launched her country-based singles debut and music career. Lower down, new entries and returns for Donovan, nearing the end of the hit road, Jeff Beck Group ditto, Tommy Roe, ditto, David Ruffin, not ditto, and Gladys Knight, very much not ditto. Gladys has a new album at I type in 2019, and just did a single with Boy George & Culture Club, still got that awesome voice.

1 ( 3 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
2 ( 1 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
3 ( 2 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
4 ( 4 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 4
5 ( 5 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 2
6 ( 8 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 6
7 ( 6 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
8 ( NEW ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 8
9 ( 7 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
10 ( 11 ) SWEET CAROLINE (GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD) Neil Diamond # 10

11 ( 9 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
12 ( 10 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
13 ( 21 ) MARRAKESH EXPRESS Crosby, Stills & Nash # 13
14 ( 12 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
15 ( 13 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
16 ( 16 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade # 10
17 ( 14 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 8
18 ( 23 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan # 18
19 ( 17 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
20 ( 22 ) CHOICE OF COLORS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 20

21 ( 15 ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods # 15
22 ( NEW ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 22
23 ( 18 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
24 ( NEW ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE The Plastic Ono Band # 24
25 ( 26 ) LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker # 25
26 ( 27 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 26
27 ( 24 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
28 ( NEW ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 28
29 ( 32 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers # 29
30 ( 25 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5

31 ( 19 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt # 19
32 ( 34 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan # 32
33 ( 20 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 20
34 ( 31 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
35 ( 35 ) HELLO SUZIE Amen Corner # 35
36 ( 30 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
37 ( 42 ) I’D WAIT A MILLION YEARS The Grass Roots # 37
38 ( NEW ) MOTHER AND JACK Robin Gibb # 38
39 ( NEW ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 39
40 ( 50 ) DELIA’S GONE Waylon Jennings # 40

41 ( 29 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 10
42 ( NEW ) TRUE GRIT Glen Campbell # 42
43 ( 46 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black # 43
44 ( 59 ) WORKING ON A GROOVY THING The 5th Dimension # 44
45 ( 40 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
46 ( 56 ) I’M FREE The Who # 46
47 ( 48 ) ALONG CAME JONES Ray Stevens # 47
48 ( 33 ) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK IN THE RAIN The Turtles # 33
49 ( 53 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 49
50 ( 52 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston # 50

51 ( 28 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 28
52 ( 41 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 9
53 ( 47 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
54 ( NEW ) YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT The Rolling Stones # 54
55 ( NEW ) PEACEFUL Georgie Fame # 55
56 ( 64 ) MELODY HILL The Archies # 56
57 ( 66 ) BIRDS OF A FEATHER Joe South # 57
58 ( 68 ) WILLIE AND LAURA MAE JONES Dusty Springfield # 58
59 ( 49 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
60 ( 63 ) THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL AND JOHN THE DIVINE (SIX-SIX-SIX) The Cowsills # 60

61 ( 51 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
62 ( 39 ) I TURNED YOU ON The Isley Brothers # 39
63 ( 70 ) HEY JOE Wilson Pickett # 63
64 ( 72 ) 54-46 WAS MY NUMBER Toots & The Maytals # 64
65 ( 37 ) THE APRIL FOOLS Dionne Warwick # 30
66 ( 69 ) WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Jim Reeves # 66
67 ( 71 ) POLK SALAD ANNIE Tony Joe White # 67
68 ( 43 ) PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART Jackie DeShannon # 43
69 ( 38 ) LOVE ME TONIGHT Tom Jones # 22
70 ( 73 ) ME AND BOBBY MCGEE Roger Miller # 70

71 ( NEW ) HERE I GO AGAIN Country Joe & The Fish # 71
72 ( NEW ) GOO GOO BARABAJAGAL Donovan & The Jeff Beck Group # 72
73 ( NEW ) JACK AND JILL Tommy Roe # 73
74 ( NEW ) I’VE LOST EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LOVED David Ruffin # 74
75 ( NEW ) THE NITTY GRITTY Gladys Knight & The Pips # 75

5th July Retro-Then

1 ( 2 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 1 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
3 ( 20 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
4 ( 3 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
5 ( 13 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
6 ( 11 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
7 ( 4 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
8 ( 12 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
9 ( 5 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
10 ( RE ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull

11 ( 9 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
12 ( 14 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
13 ( NEW ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
14 ( RE ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
15 ( 6 ) BIG SHIP Cliff Richard
16 ( 18 ) GIMME GIMME GOOD LOVING Crazy Elephant
17 ( RE ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
18 ( 19 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
19 ( NEW ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
20 ( NEW ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones

 

 

12th July 1969

It’s a first week on top for The Archies with the Andy Kim/Jeff Barry song that still sells 50 years later, Sugar, Sugar: it may be Bubblegum and hated by many then and now, but it’s a sweet little confection from both the first EP and first LP I used my own money to buy. Crosby, Stills & Nash break into the 10 tracks that just won’t shift cos they are absolute faves all. The Stones, Plastic Ono Band, and Scott Walker go top 20 hoping to break through, while fave acts Cilla, 5th Dimension & Glen join The Who popping into the 40.

Not too many newies this week, The Love Affair getting the highest at 43 Bringing On Back The Good Times for me, over a year on from Everlasting Love started the short but good run of four hit singles. Tom Jones pops back in with I’ll Never Fall In Love Again, like Get Together another 1967 already-retro-chart-hit top 10, and back again for the same reason – US chart action. Tony Tribe pops in with the 3rd version of Red Red Wine, this time the reggae prototype for UB40. Finally, Johnny Cash sneaks in with A Boy Named Sue, which tickled my amusement buds as a kid. These days, not so much. Never heard of nicknames or changing your name by deed poll?

1 ( 4 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
2 ( 2 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
3 ( 3 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
4 ( 1 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
5 ( 5 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 2
6 ( 8 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 6
7 ( 7 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
8 ( 6 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 6
9 ( 10 ) SWEET CAROLINE (GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD) Neil Diamond # 9
10 ( 13 ) MARRAKESH EXPRESS Crosby, Stills & Nash # 10

11 ( 9 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
12 ( 22 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 12
13 ( 12 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
14 ( 20 ) CHOICE OF COLORS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 14
15 ( 18 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan # 15
16 ( 14 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
17 ( 24 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE The Plastic Ono Band # 17
18 ( 11 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
19 ( 15 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
20 ( 25 ) LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker # 20

21 ( 16 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade # 10
22 ( 28 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 22
23 ( 17 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 8
24 ( 19 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
25 ( 29 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers # 25
26 ( 32 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan # 26
27 ( 23 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
28 ( 21 ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods # 15
29 ( 38 ) MOTHER AND JACK Robin Gibb # 29
30 ( 35 ) HELLO SUZIE Amen Corner # 30

31 ( 27 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
32 ( 26 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 26
33 ( 39 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 33
34 ( 42 ) TRUE GRIT Glen Campbell # 34
35 ( 43 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black # 35
36 ( 40 ) DELIA’S GONE Waylon Jennings # 36
37 ( 37 ) I’D WAIT A MILLION YEARS The Grass Roots # 37
38 ( 46 ) I’M FREE The Who # 38
39 ( 44 ) WORKING ON A GROOVY THING The 5th Dimension # 39
40 ( 34 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1

41 ( 30 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5
42 ( 36 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
43 ( NEW ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 43
44 ( 49 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 44
45 ( 31 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt # 19
46 ( 47 ) ALONG CAME JONES Ray Stevens # 46
47 ( 54 ) YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT The Rolling Stones # 47
48 ( 50 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston # 48
49 ( 55 ) PEACEFUL Georgie Fame # 49
50 ( 58 ) WILLIE AND LAURA MAE JONES Dusty Springfield # 50

51 ( 45 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
52 ( 56 ) MELODY HILL The Archies # 52
53 ( 57 ) BIRDS OF A FEATHER Joe South # 53
54 ( 33 ) SNAKE IN THE GRASS Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich # 20
55 ( 41 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull # 10
56 ( 74 ) I’VE LOST EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LOVED David Ruffin # 56
57 ( 64 ) 54-46 WAS MY NUMBER Toots & The Maytals # 57
58 ( 73 ) JACK AND JILL Tommy Roe # 58
59 ( 63 ) HEY JOE Wilson Pickett # 59
60 ( 66 ) WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Jim Reeves # 60

61 ( 52 ) BAD MOON RISING Creedence Clearwater Revival # 9
62 ( 53 ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder # 5
63 ( 71 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Country Joe & The Fish # 63
64 ( 48 ) YOU DON’T HAVE TO WALK IN THE RAIN The Turtles # 33
65 ( 67 ) POLK SALAD ANNIE Tony Joe White # 65
66 ( 59 ) GET BACK The Beatles with Billy Preston # 6
67 ( 51 ) I CAN SING A RAINBOW/LOVE IS BLUE The Dells # 28
68 ( 72 ) GOO GOO BARABAJAGAL Donovan & The Jeff Beck Group # 68
69 ( NEW ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones # 69
70 ( 70 ) ME AND BOBBY MCGEE Roger Miller # 70

71 ( 61 ) HURTING EACH OTHER Ruby & The Romantics # 5
72 ( 60 ) THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL AND JOHN THE DIVINE (SIX-SIX-SIX) The Cowsills # 60
73 ( 75 ) THE NITTY GRITTY Gladys Knight & The Pips # 73
74 ( NEW ) RED RED WINE Tony Tribe # 74
75 ( NEW ) A BOY NAMED SUE Johnny Cash # 75

RETRO THEN

1 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
2 ( 3 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
3 ( 2 ) DIZZY Tommy Roe
4 ( 13 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
5 ( 8 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
6 ( 4 ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
7 ( 5 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
8 ( 6 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
9 ( 12 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
10 ( 11 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles

11 ( 19 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
12 ( 7 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
13 ( 20 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
14 ( 10 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull
15 ( 9 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers
16 ( 18 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
17 ( 14 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
18 ( 17 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
19 ( NEW ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group
20 ( NEW ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan

 

19th July 1969

It’s a first week on top for Bee Gee solo Saved By The Bell, Robin doing OTT power-ballad as well as the specialists of the time. Mum bought this single in Singapore, and I played it in the car this week while taking mum and dad to see my niece. Mum has alzheimers and can’t speak hardly at all, but it still got her going on flights of musical fantasy the second it came on. The power of music. This was also the week Man stepped onto the moon, I watched the broadcasts the next morning, Neil Armstrong having annoyingly moonwalked early in the middle of UK night, which meant I had to watch the repeats on specially-allowed morning BBC TV. It was inspiring, though also disappointing to miss it live, and the TV footage not being state-of-the-art. David Bowie had released his appropriate ground-breaking single the week before, and it duly enters at 16 in tribute to Apollo, though by the time it became a UK hit I’d left the UK and didn’t get to hear it until it was a reissued US hit in 1973. It eventually topped my charts in 1975.

John Lennon goes top 10 as he also tops my actual charts of the time – so the Moon-Landing single of the time was a fairly apt message that will always be relevant, even if the events listed in it are historical. So his first, or his umpteenth, top 10, depending on how you look at it. The Stones also get another, their 3rd, and The Love Affair make it a 4th top 20. Country Joe almost goes top 40 with his Twiggy original version, and The Equals return with another fave of the time – Viva Bobby Joe, in at 5 – Eddy Grant still setting the groundwork for his future-career, as Sly & The Family Stone keep the frantic pace of US-charting singles going at 57 and the more-singalong Hot Fun In The Summertime. The Chi-Lites return as the chart starts to look more and more like an early version of the Philly/Soul early 70’s – albeit all of them tracks I didn’t know at the time but sound good to my ears. Just to underline that, Aretha Franklin, Young-Holt Unlimited, The Electric Indian, and The Intrigues all slot in as a bunch of Philly bands are pending to turn up over the next few weeks.

Elsewhere, Creedence also keep the pace of hot singles fast, as Green River replaces Bad Moon Rising, The Move turn up with Curly, while Hello Susie (another Roy Wood song) is still charting – the final single with Carl Wayne, as they shortly become a Jeff Lynne/Roy Wood/ELO/Wizzard embryo, and Curly sounds like it came straight off Roy Wood’s 1973 solo album Boulders. Finally Fairport Convention chart with a French-language translation version of Bob Dylan’s If You Gotta Go, Go Now (giving him 2 songs on the chart) that was a hit for Manfred Mann. 50 years ago I clearly liked Amen Corner, Billy Preston, Creedence’s Proud Mary, Donovan and Jim Reeves hits more than I do now, even allowing for the added competition from records I didn’t know then.

1 ( 6 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
2 ( 2 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
3 ( 3 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
4 ( 5 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 2
5 ( 1 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
6 ( 4 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
7 ( 7 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
8 ( 17 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE The Plastic Ono Band # 8
9 ( 10 ) MARRAKESH EXPRESS Crosby, Stills & Nash # 9
10 ( 12 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 10

11 ( 11 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
12 ( 9 ) SWEET CAROLINE (GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD) Neil Diamond # 9
13 ( 22 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 13
14 ( 14 ) CHOICE OF COLORS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 14
15 ( 8 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 6
16 ( NEW ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 16
17 ( 13 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
18 ( 43 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 18
19 ( 16 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1
20 ( 29 ) MOTHER AND JACK Robin Gibb # 20

21 ( 15 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan # 15
22 ( 33 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 22
23 ( 25 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers # 23
24 ( 26 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan # 24
25 ( 19 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
26 ( 18 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
27 ( 20 ) LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker # 20
28 ( 24 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
29 ( 21 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade # 10
30 ( 34 ) TRUE GRIT Glen Campbell # 30

31 ( 23 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 8
32 ( 36 ) DELIA’S GONE Waylon Jennings # 32
33 ( 27 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
34 ( 31 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
35 ( 39 ) WORKING ON A GROOVY THING The 5th Dimension # 35
36 ( 49 ) PEACEFUL Georgie Fame # 36
37 ( 30 ) HELLO SUZIE Amen Corner # 30
38 ( 38 ) I’M FREE The Who # 38
39 ( 44 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 39
40 ( 48 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston # 40

41 ( 63 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Country Joe & The Fish # 41
42 ( 35 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black # 35
43 ( 47 ) YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT The Rolling Stones # 43
44 ( 40 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
45 ( 41 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5
46 ( 42 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
47 ( 28 ) GET TOGETHER The Youngbloods # 15
48 ( 58 ) JACK AND JILL Tommy Roe # 48
49 ( 50 ) WILLIE AND LAURA MAE JONES Dusty Springfield # 49
50 ( 32 ) BOTH SIDES NOW Joni Mitchell # 26

51 ( NEW ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals # 51
52 ( 53 ) BIRDS OF A FEATHER Joe South # 52
53 ( 37 ) I’D WAIT A MILLION YEARS The Grass Roots # 37
54 ( 56 ) I’VE LOST EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LOVED David Ruffin # 54
55 ( 51 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1
56 ( 60 ) WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Jim Reeves # 56
57 ( NEW ) HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME Sly & The Family Stone # 57
58 ( 59 ) HEY JOE Wilson Pickett # 58
59 ( 69 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones # 59
60 ( NEW ) LET ME BE THE MAN MY DADDY WAS The Chi-Lites # 60

61 ( 45 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt # 19
62 ( NEW ) GREEN RIVER Creedence Clearwater Revival # 62
63 ( 68 ) GOO GOO BARABAJAGAL Donovan & The Jeff Beck Group # 63
64 ( 46 ) ALONG CAME JONES Ray Stevens # 46
65 ( 52 ) MELODY HILL The Archies # 52
66 ( 57 ) 54-46 WAS MY NUMBER Toots & The Maytals # 57
67 ( NEW ) SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME Aretha Franklin # 67
68 ( 74 ) RED RED WINE Tony Tribe # 68
69 ( 70 ) ME AND BOBBY MCGEE Roger Miller # 69
70 ( NEW ) CURLY The Move # 70

71 ( 73 ) THE NITTY GRITTY Gladys Knight & The Pips # 71
72 ( NEW ) STRAIGHT AHEAD Young-Holt Unlimited # 72
73 ( NEW ) KEEM-O-SABE The Electric Indian # 73
74 ( NEW ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention # 74
75 ( NEW ) IN A MOMENT The Intrigues # 75

wot I liked that week then 5th official compiled chart

1 ( 4 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
2 ( 2 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
3 ( 10 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
4 ( 5 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
5 ( 11 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
6 ( 13 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
7 ( 1 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
8 ( 17 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
9 ( 8 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
10 ( 19 ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group

11 ( 20 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
12 ( 12 ) FROZEN ORANGE JUICE Peter Sarstedt
13 ( NEW ) WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE Jim Reeves
14 ( 7 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
15 ( 18 ) TIME IS TIGHT Booker T & The MG’s
16 ( 14 ) LIVING IN THE PAST Jethro Tull
17 ( NEW ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
18 ( 16 ) THE LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker
19 ( NEW ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb
20 ( 15 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers

 

26th July 1969

It’s a second week on top for Robin Gibb, in a still-static upper-chart, with only David Bowie’s Space Oddity managing to make the Big League at 10, his first top 10 – and very very much not his last. Glen Campbell takes his True Grit top 20, as some more movie songs pop in lower down: 2001: A Space Odyssey was giving Strauss a push in Stanley Kubrick’s ground-breaking movie, the first big-budget special-effects movie, and stunning it was visually. Writer Arthur C. Clarke would go on to become my favourite writer within 18 months as I leaped from Enid Blyton to sci-fi as my reading material of choice, and I saw this film at the cinema. Hadn’t a clue what was going on plot-wise at the end. The slow-pace was also a problem for a kid, but it remains awesome to look at. That means Also Sprach Zarathustra (as I know it better) enters at 59.

At 45, the highest new entry is Serge Gainsbourg & Jane Birkin and their very naughty song, banned on UK radio and TV – though the melody was familiar to me by the time I finally got to hear Je T’Aime in 1974, when I bought it on re-issue and it topped my charts – though already a big hit in Europe, along with another track which will chart in the next few weeks for me. Biggest climb into the 40 is from Sly & The Family Stone, Hot Fun peaking higher to date than most of their numerous chart tracks inside a prolific 12 months. The Dells return with a cover of their own 50’s track, Oh What A Night at 56 – I’m partial to doowop, whatever decade it is. The O’Jays also return, with One Night Affair at 57, a second chart entry with a decade more ahead of them including 2 number ones in 1972 and 1973.

William Bell is also back, this time with a Northern Soul solo track, Happy – no, not THAT Happy – and Tyrone Davis debuts with a Eugene Record co-write at 67, All The Waiting Is Not In Vain, as Eugene’s own band climbs to 44 for The Chi-Lites, and an act he wrote the previous hit for (Young-Holt Unlimited) is up to 69 with another instrumental. KIng Curtis gets another Saxy instrumental hit, Iggy Pop debuts with his punky Stooges, and he is ahead of his time in wanting to be a dog. That’s quite the cult these days in some circles. Jose Feliciano is back, this time with his own song Rain which Bruce Ruffin will have a UK hit with in 1971, and which I was sort of aware of without noticing – probably due to the numerous covers over the next few years, and in here at 73. Motherlode’s soul-based smoothness is at 74, and Henry Mancini is returns with another instrumental – this time Beethoven. Suddenly my chart is all classical, oooh get me.

1 ( 1 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb # 1
2 ( 2 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman # 1
3 ( 3 ) IN THE YEAR 2525 (EXORDIUM AND TERMINUS) Zager & Evans # 1
4 ( 4 ) CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION Tommy James & The Shondells # 2
5 ( 5 ) SUGAR, SUGAR The Archies # 1
6 ( 8 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE The Plastic Ono Band # 6
7 ( 6 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys # 1
8 ( 9 ) MARRAKESH EXPRESS Crosby, Stills & Nash # 8
9 ( 10 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones # 9
10 ( 16 ) SPACE ODDITY David Bowie # 10

11 ( 7 ) A WAY OF LIFE Family Dogg # 1
12 ( 11 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN & YOKO The Beatles # 1
13 ( 13 ) EARLY IN THE MORNING Vanity Fare # 13
14 ( 12 ) SWEET CAROLINE (GOOD TIMES NEVER SEEMED SO GOOD) Neil Diamond # 9
15 ( 18 ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair # 15
16 ( 20 ) MOTHER AND JACK Robin Gibb # 16
17 ( 22 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie # 17
18 ( 17 ) GOOD MORNING STARSHINE Oliver # 1
19 ( 30 ) TRUE GRIT Glen Campbell # 19
20 ( 19 ) BEHIND A PAINTED SMILE The Isley Brothers # 1

21 ( 15 ) RUBY DON’T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Kenny Rogers & The First Edition # 6
22 ( 23 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers # 22
23 ( 24 ) LAY LADY LAY Bob Dylan # 23
24 ( 35 ) WORKING ON A GROOVY THING The 5th Dimension # 24
25 ( 38 ) I’M FREE The Who # 25
26 ( 39 ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker & The Aces # 26
27 ( 14 ) CHOICE OF COLORS The Impressions featuring Curtis Mayfield # 14
28 ( 28 ) LISTEN TO THE BAND The Monkees # 3
29 ( 21 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan # 15
30 ( 32 ) DELIA’S GONE Waylon Jennings # 30

31 ( 25 ) WHAT DOES IT TAKE (TO WIN YOUR LOVE) Junior Walker & The All Stars # 1
32 ( 36 ) PEACEFUL Georgie Fame # 32
33 ( 26 ) AH, HA, HA, DO YOUR THING The Hit Parade # 2
34 ( 31 ) IT’S GETTING BETTER Mama Cass Elliot # 8
35 ( 29 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade # 10
36 ( 41 ) HERE I GO AGAIN Country Joe & The Fish # 36
37 ( 33 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley # 1
38 ( 34 ) OH HAPPY DAY The Edwin Hawkins Singers featuring Dorothy Combs Morrison # 1
39 ( 43 ) YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT The Rolling Stones # 39
40 ( 57 ) HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME Sly & The Family Stone # 40

41 ( 27 ) LIGHTS OF CINCINATTI Scott Walker # 20
42 ( 51 ) VIVA BOBBY JOE The Equals # 42
43 ( 48 ) JACK AND JILL Tommy Roe # 43
44 ( 60 ) LET ME BE THE MAN MY DADDY WAS The Chi-Lites # 44
45 ( NEW ) JE T’AIME..MOI NON PLUS Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg # 45
46 ( 44 ) FIRST OF MAY The Bee Gees # 1
47 ( 59 ) I’LL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN Tom Jones # 47
48 ( 46 ) THE BOXER Simon & Garfunkel # 1
49 ( 52 ) BIRDS OF A FEATHER Joe South # 49
50 ( 45 ) RING OF BRIGHT WATER Val Doonican # 5

51 ( 54 ) I’VE LOST EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LOVED David Ruffin # 51
52 ( 62 ) GREEN RIVER Creedence Clearwater Revival # 52
53 ( 37 ) HELLO SUZIE Amen Corner # 30
54 ( 63 ) GOO GOO BARABAJAGAL Donovan & The Jeff Beck Group # 54
55 ( 40 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston # 40
56 ( NEW ) OH WHAT A NIGHT (1969) The Dells # 56
57 ( NEW ) ONE NIGHT AFFAIR The O’Jays # 57
58 ( 75 ) IN A MOMENT The Intrigues # 58
59 ( NEW ) THUS SPAKE ZARATHUSTRA Philharmonia Orchestra Conductor Lorin Maazel # 59
60 ( 55 ) GALVESTON Glen Campbell # 1

61 ( 42 ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black # 35
62 ( 49 ) WILLIE AND LAURA MAE JONES Dusty Springfield # 49
63 ( 67 ) SHARE YOUR LOVE WITH ME Aretha Franklin # 63
64 ( NEW ) HAPPY William Bell # 64
65 ( 68 ) RED RED WINE Tony Tribe # 65
66 ( 70 ) CURLY The Move # 66
67 ( NEW ) ALL THE WAITING IS NOT IN VAIN Tyrone Davis # 67
68 ( NEW ) LA JEANNE King Curtis And His Kingpins # 68
69 ( 72 ) STRAIGHT AHEAD Young-Holt Unlimited # 69
70 ( 73 ) KEEM-O-SABE The Electric Indian # 70

71 ( 74 ) SI TU DOIS PARTIR Fairport Convention # 71
72 ( NEW ) I WANNA BE YOUR DOG The Stooges featuring Iggy Pop # 72
73 ( NEW ) RAIN Jose Feliciano # 73
74 ( NEW ) WHEN I DIE Motherlode # 74
75 ( NEW ) MOONLIGHT SONATA Henry Mancini and his Orchestra # 75

My Actual Chart this week 1969


1 ( 14 ) SOMETHING IN THE AIR Thunderclap Newman
2 ( 1 ) GIVE PEACE A CHANCE Plastic Ono Band
3 ( 7 ) IN THE GHETTO Elvis Presley
4 ( 11 ) MAKE ME AN ISLAND Joe Dolan
5 ( 6 ) HONKY TONK WOMEN The Rolling Stones
6 ( 4 ) HELLO SUSIE Amen Corner
7 ( 2 ) BREAKAWAY The Beach Boys
8 ( RE ) IT MEK Desmond Dekker
9 ( 5 ) THAT’S THE WAY GOD PLANNED IT Billy Preston
10 ( 19 ) SAVED BY THE BELL Robin Gibb

11 ( RE ) WAY OF LIFE The Family Dogg
12 ( 17 ) GOODNIGHT MIDNIGHT Clodagh Rodgers
13 ( 3 ) THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO The Beatles
14 ( 9 ) BABY MAKE IT SOON Marmalade
15 ( 10 ) BARABAJAGAL Donovan and The Jeff Beck Group
16 ( NEW ) CONVERSATIONS Cilla Black
17 ( NEW ) BRINGING ON BACK THE GOOD TIMES The Love Affair
18 ( 8 ) PROUD MARY Creedence Clearwater Revival
19 ( NEW ) MY CHERIE AMOUR Stevie Wonder
20 ( NEW ) TOMORROW TOMORROW The Bee Gees

 

My 1970 Charts – February

vids 1970…. click!

4th February 1970

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


changi prison viewed from our garden

changi prison viewed from our garden

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

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

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

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

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool

RAF Changi hospital from the swimming pool


11th February 1970

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

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

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

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

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


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

swimming lessons RAF Changi

swimming lessons RAF Changi


18th February 1970

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

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

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

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

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

me n my comics and drawing

me n my comics and drawing


25th February 1970

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

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

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

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

My 1969 Charts – September

Changi Village

Changi Village



SEPT 1969

2nd Sept1969

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

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

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

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

TBC

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

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

Changi Road and a white ghari (bus)

Changi Road and a white ghari (bus)

9th September 1969

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

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

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

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

Changi Village buses old and new

Changi Village buses old and new


16th September 1969

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

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

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

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

RAF Changi swimming pool with the Marshalls

RAF Changi swimming pool with the Marshalls

23rd September 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bruv, school uniform and our new house

Bruv, school uniform and our new house

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