My 1975 Charts – July


1st July 1975

The hot summer continues with Captain And Tenille’s irresistibly bouncy version of Neil Sedaka’s Love Will Keep Us Together on top, and presiding over a chart packed with cover versions and oldies. To be fair, apart from disco and soul, and the tail-end of glam, there wasn’t a majorly exciting new music scene and I was quite happy to start filling-in with oldies. There are 18 reissues and 6 cover versions, which is half the chart give or take! The highest new entry is one of those classic oldies, as The Shangri-Las get reissued yet again and return at 5 three years after topping my chart on it’s last comeback. This time it wasn’t a UK hit again – until 1976 when a rival reissue also came out and they were combined for chart sales purposes and a third UK hit for the girls. The motorbike death song is still classic.

Syreeta gets a 3rd top 10 in a row, as ex-hubbie’s Stevie Wonder’s Harmour Love gives her a break again. You can clearly hear his vocals on the chorus, enough for a “featuring” credit these days. 1972 obscure classic (I absolutely adore this record these days) Break also breaks – into the 10 for Aphrodite’s Child, as the highest actual new record enters at 11 for T.Rex, Marc Bolan’s biggest hit for 2 years with New York City and a return to my lapsed affections, though his album track Venus Loon should have been a single in 1974 as it was better and more commercial than the previous single or 2. At 12 and 13 it’s a double A side single reissue split for my chart purposes, the Simon & Garfunkel cover at 13 (Feelin’ Groovy) and my preferred Anything Goes at 12 – the 1934 Cole Porter musical had already brought a top 10 cover for Gary Shearston in 1974 (I Get A Kick Out Of You), but this racy-for-the-30’s song actually predated that in my affections since the late 60’s, and it’s flower-power beat-group harmony updating.

Even older than those, Telstar from The Tornadoes was so well-known to me (we had the single from 1966 onwards and I played it to death) to the point that by 1975 it had lost some of it’s shine and only enters at 16, but oh what a classic it is, Joe Meek’s ground-breaking 1962 instrumental was out-of-this-world in sound, so futuristic sounding as all of these odd electronic sounds came out of nowhere and soonly inhabited the world of Doctor Who on TV. It sounds like nothing else, then or now, though Saint Etienne had a fab Telstar-inspired go on You’re In A Bad Way. It would, needless to say, have topped my hypothetical chart for a long run in the 60’s. In at eighteen with a bullet, I obviously was having a larf with Pete Wingfield’s amusing record industry pastiche, which also broke in the States, and in one week actually WAS eighteen with a bullet on the charts to my amusement.

Sister Sledge and Frankie Valli both go top 20, David Essex keeps his top 30 run going with new entry Rolling Stone, though his weakest single to date at 27, while early 60’s classic Sealed With A Kiss is a reissued hit for Bryan Hyland at 28. A great ballad, but not actually one I knew that well during the 60’s, it was revived after doing well in a Radio 1 Top 100 Listeners Fave chart in 1974, but the Hyland song that I was obssessed with in the early 60’s was Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, one of my first ever pop single loves as a nipper. At 33 it’s a fabby disco-soul track the romping High Wire from Linda Carr & The Love Squad, still sounding great to my ears, even if she never had another glorious moment in the pop sun, in her native USA or the UK. Bryan Ferry returns with yet another solo oldies cover, this time a 1938 song known as a Billie Holliday recording, in at 40 but not one of my fave Ferry tracks. Unlike the Linda Lewis scorchingly fast BPM disco track cover of It’s In His Kiss, another 60’s oldie (Betty Everett) I didn’t know at the time. Linda really shows off her range in this definitive cover version of what is better known as The Shoop Shoop Song, still the most exciting version. I was sad to see Linda not getting singer-songwriter success by this time, but this was a great compensation. Cher’s karaoke version, I’m sorry, is plodding in comparison. Love Cher and all that, but….

At 42, another cover version, this time of a Blue Mink flop from 1974 called Get Up, given the Silvia Robinson All-Platinum Records funk treatment and a more catchy title – 7654321 (Blow Your Whistle) – sees the dubiously named Rimshots in my chart where Blue Mink had missed out from lack of radio play (though I did buy the original single in the bargain bins before I even knew it was the same song, because it was Blue Mink). At 46 Olivia’s back before her pop mag freebie flexi track had departed my chart (Follow Me wasn’t as good either as Please Mr Please) and that’s a long bit of chart chat done phew!

http://youtube.com/v/_QNEf9oGw8o

1 ( 7 ) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER Captain And Tenille
2 ( 1 ) MISTY Ray Stevens
3 ( 2 ) THE HUSTLE Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
4 ( 5 ) MY WHITE BICYCLE Nazereth
5 ( NEW ) LEADER OF THE PACK The Shangri-Las
6 ( 6 ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees
7 ( 3 ) DISCO STOMP Hamilton Bohannon
8 ( 18 ) HARMOUR LOVE Syreeta
9 ( 13 ) BREAK Aphrodite’s Child
10 ( 4 ) HAVE YOU SEEN HER The Chi-Lites

http://youtube.com/v/8yQvi9LWntw

11 ( NEW ) NEW YORK CITY T.Rex
12 ( NEW ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
13 ( NEW ) 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
14 ( 23 ) MAMA NEVER TOLD ME Sister Sledge
15 ( 27 ) SWEARING TO GOD Frankie Valli
16 ( NEW ) TELSTAR The Tornadoes
17 ( 14 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
18 ( NEW ) EIGHTEEN WITH A BULLET Pete Wingfield
19 ( 8 ) MOONSHINE SALLY Mud
20 ( 22 ) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT Eno

http://youtube.com/v/sDyWhgWj7Pc

21 ( 12 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
22 ( 11 ) WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM The Blackbyrds
23 ( 10 ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
24 ( 15 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
25 ( 16 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
26 ( 17 ) I’M NOT IN LOVE 10CC
27 ( NEW ) ROLLING STONE David Essex
28 ( NEW ) SEALED WITH A KISS Bryan Hyland
29 ( 9 ) DYNOMITE Tony Camillo’s Bazuka
30 ( RE ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette

http://youtube.com/v/BxpZ5rOMH4U

31 ( 20 ) IT OUGHTA SELL A MILLION Lynn Paul
32 ( 21 ) PLEASE MR. PLEASE Olivia Newton-John
33 ( NEW ) HIGH WIRE LInda Carr And The Love Squad
34 ( 40 ) LONG LOST LOVER The Three Degrees
35 ( 28 ) OH WHAT A SHAME Roy Wood
36 ( 25 ) TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS (ROCK ME) The Doobie Brothers
37 ( 19 ) ROLL OVER LAY DOWN Status Quo
38 ( 29 ) BAD TIME Grand Funk Railroad
39 ( 26 ) OH GIRL The Chi-Lites
40 ( NEW ) YOU GO TO MY HEAD Bryan Ferry

http://youtube.com/v/PVM8Ongdu10

41 ( NEW ) IT’S IN HIS KISS Linda Lewis
42 ( NEW ) 7654321 (BLOW YOUR WHISTLE) The Rimshots
43 ( 31 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
44 ( 32 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk
45 ( 33 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
46 ( NEW ) FOLLOW ME Olivia Newton-John
47 ( 36 ) LISTEN TO WHAT THE MAN SAID Wings
48 ( 34 ) I’M GONNA MAKE YOU MINE Lou Christie
49 ( 38 ) GET DANCING Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
50 ( 42 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette

http://youtube.com/v/qjoRu-r8WiM

Talking of bargain bins, my fave place in Gloucester to get hold of flop records a year or two after flopping for 5p or 10p (well within my limited budget based on babysitting for RAF families for 50p or £1 a night at weekends) was an old-fashioned music-shop off the beaten track on Southgate Street (where actual instruments or TV’s and the like were bought). It had a side-line in non-chart albums and singles – these were catered for quite heavily in those days by HMV, Boots, WHSmiths, Woolworths, not to mention an independent small store in the shopping mall, and a market stall to boot, among others – so it was a bit of a treat to get hold of more obscure stuff from 1974/5. Long-gone decades ago now of course, I note the new (to me) pedestrianised area there still looks like the premises are vacant on google map…shame!

8th July 1975

Back on top for a second week at 1, Ray Stevens is still Misty and outdoes The Streak’s one week on top, but not 1970’s Everything Is Beautiful. Harpers Bizarre take Anything Goes into the top 10, and T.Rex also return to the upper reaches (hooray!). Brian Hyland leaps to 11 with an oldie (yet newie for me) as Sealed With A Kiss gives me new 60’s heart-throb nostalgia sounds. Highest new entry at 17 is novelty record Barbados by Typically Tropical, which went all the way to 1 on the UK singles chart. It was amusing for a couple of weeks and then started to grate, and these days it’s a definite no-no as the singer is most certainly not from Barbados.

From nowhere, and 5 years late, Brotherhood Of Man get a follow-up hit (it was big in Europe, and probably got spins on Radio Luxembourg) and this wasn’t the 1970 United We Stand line-up, this was the Save Your Kisses For Me 1976 vintage line-up (which is still amazingly sporadically touring together), with only Tony Hiller writer/producer the ongoing link. Kiss Me Kiss Your Baby is a bit of cheerful fluff and I still like it a lot more than some of their big hits! In at 30, The Sweet follow-up a great self-penned single with another one, the fab Action, as later covered by Def Leppard, and so good it could have been written by Chinn-Chapman. The boys obviously were paying attention while they turned down tracks that Mud ended up grabbing, and with an eye on the bigger picture.

At 38, US hit Wildfire for Michael Murphey, all about a horse, not a Legion Of Super-Heroes member (sadly), gallops slowly in, while Wigans Ovation follow-up the Skiing In The Snow, at 39, and Per-So-Nal-Ly I rather liked it. At 40 David Cassidy returns after a short break and a new record label (RCA), and a rather famous song. I Write The Songs was written by Bruce Johnstone, sometime Beach Boy, and recorded by Captain & Tenille for their Love Will Keep Us Together album. David beat them to the single hit though – at least in the UK where Darlin’ David was still popular: I’ll be honest, this is still the only version I can tolerate, David had such an idiosyncratic vocal style that he convinces lyrically where other versions sound like mush. Yes, I’m especially pointing the finger at USA singles chart-topper Barry Manilow who took all emotion out of the song, created OTT blandness and had a huge hit where David coulda woulda shoulda. Sorry, Manilow fans, Bazza just couldn’t emote like ol’ Dave. Just like Mandy/Brandy, then. Lastly, in at 47, Elton goes all introverted and serious, a very dark choice of single that didn’t really do the usual business, though in retrospect it’s pretty damn fine – Someone Saved My Life Tonight says it all on the tin.

1 ( 2 ) MISTY Ray Stevens
2 ( 3 ) THE HUSTLE Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
3 ( 1 ) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER Captain And Tenille
4 ( 5 ) LEADER OF THE PACK The Shangri-Las
5 ( 4 ) MY WHITE BICYCLE Nazereth
6 ( 6 ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees
7 ( 12 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
8 ( 7 ) DISCO STOMP Hamilton Bohannon
9 ( 10 ) HAVE YOU SEEN HER The Chi-Lites
10 ( 11 ) NEW YORK CITY T.Rex

http://youtube.com/v/XLx5Vz9lMEc

11 ( 28 ) SEALED WITH A KISS Brian Hyland
12 ( 13 ) 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
13 ( 8 ) HARMOUR LOVE Syreeta
14 ( 18 ) EIGHTEEN WITH A BULLET Pete Wingfield
15 ( 15 ) SWEARING TO GOD Frankie Valli
16 ( 14 ) MAMA NEVER TOLD ME Sister Sledge
17 ( NEW ) BARBADOS Typically Tropical
18 ( 9 ) BREAK Aphrodite’s Child
19 ( 16 ) TELSTAR The Tornadoes
20 ( 42 ) 7654321 (BLOW YOUR WHISTLE) The Rimshots

http://youtube.com/v/pxD3Mbp50YY

21 ( NEW ) KISS ME KISS YOUR BABY Brotherhood Of Man
22 ( 17 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
23 ( 30 ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette
24 ( 33 ) HIGH WIRE LInda Carr And The Love Squad
25 ( 41 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS Linda Lewis
26 ( 27 ) ROLLING STONE David Essex
27 ( 26 ) I’M NOT IN LOVE 10CC
28 ( 40 ) YOU GO TO MY HEAD Bryan Ferry
29 ( 19 ) MOONSHINE SALLY Mud
30 ( NEW ) ACTION The Sweet

http://youtube.com/v/4D3_U_Gx2pc

31 ( 25 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
32 ( 24 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
33 ( 21 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
34 ( 23 ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
35 ( 22 ) WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM The Blackbyrds
36 ( 29 ) DYNOMITE Tony Camillo’s Bazuka
37 ( 37 ) ROLL OVER LAY DOWN Status Quo
38 ( NEW ) WILDFIRE Michael Murphey
39 ( NEW ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Wigan’s Ovation
40 ( NEW ) I WRITE THE SONGS David Cassidy

http://youtube.com/v/TplnzCcVavE

41 ( 38 ) BAD TIME Grand Funk Railroad
42 ( 45 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
43 ( 43 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
44 ( 36 ) TAKE ME IN YOUR ARMS (ROCK ME) The Doobie Brothers
45 ( 32 ) PLEASE MR. PLEASE Olivia Newton-John
46 ( 46 ) FOLLOW ME Olivia Newton-John
47 ( NEW ) SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT Elton John
48 ( 39 ) OH GIRL The Chi-Lites
49 ( 44 ) AUTOBAHN Kraftwerk
50 ( 50 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette

In film, Jaws was wowing the USA, turning Stephen Speilberg into a sensation, and sharks into a big baddy, in the UK – it wasn’t. Yes, in those days the UK really was the poor relation. We had to suffer months of hype before it was finally released just before christmas. I am SO happy that is a thing of the past in these internet days, cos it just REALLY pissed me off having to wait for things (and still does, when UK release dates are held-back for downloading music I purposely don’t download them when they finally get released. When it’s on-air on-sale I buy it immediately if it sounds good). Pastiches were in Mad magazine, DC Comics had Superman shark-inspired tales, and rubber sharks were everywhere – and still I waited. And waited. And waited. It was worth it though, a fantastic film and an early christmas present. I didn’t go and pay to see any of the cash-in sequels though, my tolerance and patience only goes so far….

15th July 1975

3 weeks for Ray Stevens at 1, T.Rex get their first top 5 in 2 years, Typically Tropical shockingly go top 5 too with Barbados – shocking to hear the “Captain” of a passenger plane allowing smoking. Times really have changed, these days you choke on recycled air instead. Fort a 4th week, The Bee Gees big comeback record stalls at 6, will Jive Talking ever go top 5? The Sweet get a second consecutive top 10, as they spring into Action, and Linda Lewis disco’s to 10 with a future Cher UK chart-topper. In at 17, Gloria Gaynor gets a 3rd top 20 chart entry following up 2 number one’s with the decent All I Need Is Your Sweet Lovin’, this time not a disco cover version, but still the highest new entry.

Roy Orbison does a Harper’s Bizarre, and gets 2 new entries from a double-A sided reissued hit, at 21 it’s the childhood major fave woulda-been chart-topper Oh Pretty Woman, and at 22, the torch ballad It’s Over which is one my parents loved (by this time we had his Greatest Hits album) and one which I have come to worship with the passing of the years. There is no way Oh Pretty Woman would have failed to top my charts in 1964, aged 6, so may as well say it’s a comeback to my charts rather than a debut. Roy Orbison, of course, has a perfect voice, and was a brilliant songwriter to boot, no male singer could deliver tortured lost love songs quite like Roy, and even if his career had fallen off the radar in the disco and glam era, he was still loved. It’s Over is genius and would eventually top my charts in later decades.

Bimbo Jet, in at 30, were a French eurosynthdisco act who brought the largely instrumental holiday hit El Bimbo chart action in Europe and the UK, as latin-flavoured as it sounds. It’s still very catchy, and fun, in a good way. Used in The Police Academy films apparently – not that I recall it! Finally, Chris Spedding is in at 48 with the great Motor Bikin’ a glam rock ‘n’ roll revival-sound that wouldn’t have sounded too out of place in the punk era, sounds like The Clash were “influenced” by it to my ears anyway. Chris never quite made it, very sadly, as a solo star, apart from this one hit single, but he was highly regarded in the music biz, and appeared on hit singles and albums for numerous other acts: Paul McCartney, Joan Armatrading (Me Myself I), Jeff Wayne’s War Of The Worlds, Nilsson’s Nilsson Schmilsson, Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Art Garfunkel, not to mention producer of The Sex Pistols first demo’s. As if all that wasn’t enough he was also a member of The Wombles, on Top Of The Pops, on tour, on record, so in a way this was just a spin-off project!

1 ( 1 ) MISTY Ray Stevens
2 ( 2 ) THE HUSTLE Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
3 ( 3 ) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER Captain And Tenille
4 ( 10 ) NEW YORK CITY T.Rex
5 ( 17 ) BARBADOS Typically Tropical
6 ( 6 ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees
7 ( 7 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
8 ( 30 ) ACTION The Sweet
9 ( 4 ) LEADER OF THE PACK The Shangri-Las
10 ( 25 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS Linda Lewis

http://youtube.com/v/5ALD-rI8Q08

11 ( 11 ) SEALED WITH A KISS Brian Hyland
12 ( 12 ) 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
13 ( 8 ) DISCO STOMP Hamilton Bohannon
14 ( 5 ) MY WHITE BICYCLE Nazereth
15 ( 13 ) HARMOUR LOVE Syreeta
16 ( 20 ) 7654321 (BLOW YOUR WHISTLE) The Rimshots
17 ( NEW ) ALL I NEED IS YOUR SWEET LOVIN’ Gloria Gaynor
18 ( 9 ) HAVE YOU SEEN HER The Chi-Lites
19 ( 21 ) KISS ME KISS YOUR BABY Brotherhood Of Man
20 ( 24 ) HIGH WIRE LInda Carr And The Love Squad

http://youtube.com/v/nU-USRdFeL4

21 ( NEW ) OH PRETTY WOMAN Roy Orbison
22 ( NEW ) IT’S OVER Roy Orbison
23 ( 23 ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette
24 ( 15 ) SWEARING TO GOD Frankie Valli
25 ( 38 ) WILDFIRE Michael Murphey
26 ( 14 ) EIGHTEEN WITH A BULLET Pete Wingfield
27 ( 28 ) YOU GO TO MY HEAD Bryan Ferry
28 ( 22 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
29 ( 27 ) I’M NOT IN LOVE 10CC
30 ( NEW ) EL BIMBO Bimbo Jet

http://youtube.com/v/8x2tG4X0cdc

31 ( 26 ) ROLLING STONE David Essex
32 ( 16 ) MAMA NEVER TOLD ME Sister Sledge
33 ( 18 ) BREAK Aphrodite’s Child
34 ( 31 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
35 ( 32 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker
36 ( 47 ) SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT Elton John
37 ( 19 ) TELSTAR The Tornadoes
38 ( 34 ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
39 ( 33 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
40 ( 35 ) WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM The Blackbyrds

http://youtube.com/v/QVdG09fQ8Ek

41 ( RE ) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT Eno
42 ( 36 ) DYNOMITE Tony Camillo’s Bazuka
43 ( 29 ) MOONSHINE SALLY Mud
44 ( 42 ) IMAGINE ME IMAGINE YOU Fox
45 ( 43 ) SAVE ME Silver Convention
46 ( 39 ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Wigan’s Ovation
47 ( RE ) IT OUGHTA SELL A MILLION Lynn Paul
48 ( NEW ) MOTOR BIKIN’ Chris Spedding
49 ( RE ) I DO I DO I DO I DO I DO Abba
50 ( 50 ) STAND BY YOUR MAN Tammy Wynette

http://youtube.com/v/7Juz4W9yEYA


On TV, there was a mass-offending paedophile sat in an armchair every Saturday evening, smoking cigars, and trying to fix kids dreams and wishes as a sideshow to his preferred activities, and on the same night a future campaigner on child protection on That’s Life (Hi Esther), so I suppose you could argue the BBC were being even-handed if nothing else. On import the final season of the great Alias Smith And Jones, the brilliant Star Trek, the eternal Bilko (Phil Silvers Show), Top Of The Pops, and The Old Grey Whistle Test were all must-watch for me. On the news Apollo unexpectedly blasted-off for a final time, to take Deke Slayton, Tom Stafford and Vance Brand to a Soviet Soyuz meeting-in-space. As first dates go, it was quite pricey, but it set a trend to this day now that the USA has no manned blast-off’s to space any more and it’s reliant on Russia entirely to get to the Space Station. So, from Communism problems ahead getting in the way, to opening up a joint approach, and of late a frosty relationship that neither can afford to leave, as the costs would be a tad high. Obviously it was a political stunt, rather than anything of import, and money wasted that could have been better spent on actual space science, but hey ho.

There was also The Detectives: actually more of a case of the BBC not committing to regular weekly broadcasts of US cop or private eye shows, so running them less frequently under the header instead. This week Harry O, David Janssen was terrific in this series, second only to The Rockford Files in traditional 70’s cop shows (till Hill Street Blues debuted and changed everything, the format, the style, the quality). No idea what was on ITV (as I watched it much less frequently), other than Man About The House and Rising Damp, and later on in September the debut of Space 1999, Gerry Anderson’s follow-up live action series to the fab UFO with Mission:Impossible’s Martin Landau and Barbara Bain (and ma & pa of Buffy’s Drusilla) which promised much but never really got over the silly premise – the moon gets knocked out of orbit and flies off into the universe, with Moonbase Alpha meeting aliens and other worlds on it’s impossible faster-than-light-speed journey across the galaxy, yet somehow slowing down to a crawl to have some adventures on a regular basis. More importantly, it forced me to choose between watching Doctor Who, or the new series – it was a ratings battle in some UK regions only, and one which Doctor Who won rather conclusively.

22nd July 1975

It’s a Beach Boys summer classic in at 1 for me – Summer of ’69 totally, and one I was mad on then, yet which bizarrely was just a minor American hit despite going top 10 in the UK. Co-written by Brian Wilson and his dad Murray, Break Away most likely flopped due to Capitol Records having the hump as the Boys were leaving the label fed up with American lack of label support for their releases. As it’s a gorgeous melody, great harmonies, and the final Brian Wilson production for some years, that it was a big European hit seems to suggest they were right about Capitol Records. Anyways, hit my 2 in 1969, and 6 years on gives the boys their first chart-topper (I’d already been given the single by friends of my parents, Pete & Jill), and quite right too as The Beach Boys should have had chart-toppers in my pre-chart days.

The Bee Gees join the top 5 ranks, their 8th including Robin’s solo hits (or 6th without), Brian Hyland takes the 1962 oldie into the top 10 too, and highest entry at 9 is yet another 60’s song – this time the Four Seasons Sherry is covered by Adrian Baker, future part-time touring Beach Boy and Four Seasons member (yes ACTUAL original bands). In between he produced Liquid Gold and had hits as Gidea Park with medleys of…yes, Beach Boys and Four Seasons songs. Can’t fault his taste in music, and the falsetto abilities helped the lads on tour no end. Sherry’s not bad, and already at least the 5th Four Seasons cover to go UK top 10, 3 of them chart-toppers, where the originals under-performed. The ongoing musical and film success of the boys songs and life story goes some way to making amends. Now, if only The Beach Boys would do the same, their life story is even MORE fraught than mere gangsters and debts, and the songbook is even better. Not likely while the life-story squabbles still go on, though, so it’ll be down to the last man standing…

In at 15, it’s veteran Scot rocker Alex Harvey finally getting his chart breakthrough with a live cover version of (yet again) a 60’s classic, this time Tom Jones UK chart-topper from 1968 – also predating my chart, and also woulda given The Voice a number one in my chart, cos the original is fabulous. This rocky version is slowed-down, quirky, playful and quite different – and also fabulous. In at 24 it’s an actual new song, Sparks get a 5th chart hit in a row with Get In The Swing, another playful post-glam track. In at 27, another oldie, the late Jim Croce (2 years dead by then) had a string of American hits, none of them UK hits, but most of them chart hits for me, starting with Bad Bad Leroy Brown in 1972, and the biggest (and future number one following Guardians Of The Galaxy) Time In A Bottle in 1974, but I’ll Have To Say I Love You In A Song never charted till now. It’s still sweet-sad. Another big US star was Aussie Helen Reddy, and she also under-performed in the UK, but she’s on her 3rd of the year with Bluebird entering at 30, having had Angie Baby at on already.

In at 41, it’s a massive disco funk classic from K.C. and The Sunshine Band, as That’s The Way (I Like It) makes it 4 out of 4, including 2 number ones in my chart. K.C. never had the same level of success in the UK as the USA, except before they broke, and after they’d had the run of 70’s hits, bizarrely. With this exception. The single is rightly recognised as a major dance anthem 40 years on, even though it took quite a while to chart in the UK it did eventually go top 5, and has been covered loads over the years. The original is perfect though, and my love for KC over-rid the crappy music journalists sniffy attitude of the time, I was most put-out when the History Of Rock series in the 80’s failed to even mention KC never mind give him the credit he deserved, being somewhat regarded as disposable and unworthy, because he was white most likely in part, and being guilty of disco love in part. Phew! Finally, at 46, Susan Cadogan brings some nice reggae back, Love Me Baby following-up the much better Hurts So Good.

http://youtube.com/v/nu1TOLObGK8

1 ( NEW ) BREAK AWAY The Beach Boys
2 ( 1 ) MISTY Ray Stevens
3 ( 3 ) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER Captain And Tennille
4 ( 2 ) THE HUSTLE Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
5 ( 6 ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees
6 ( 7 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
7 ( 11 ) SEALED WITH A KISS Brian Hyland
8 ( 8 ) ACTION The Sweet
9 ( NEW ) SHERRY Adrian Baker
10 ( 10 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS Linda Lewis

http://youtube.com/v/WqM4nfw6JuI

11 ( 4 ) NEW YORK CITY T.Rex
12 ( 12 ) 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
13 ( 5 ) BARBADOS Typically Tropical
14 ( 17 ) ALL I NEED IS YOUR SWEET LOVIN’ Gloria Gaynor
15 ( NEW ) DELILAH The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
16 ( 16 ) 7654321 (BLOW YOUR WHISTLE) The Rimshots
17 ( 19 ) KISS ME KISS YOUR BABY Brotherhood Of Man
18 ( 21 ) OH PRETTY WOMAN Roy Orbison
19 ( 13 ) DISCO STOMP Hamilton Bohannon
20 ( 14 ) MY WHITE BICYCLE Nazereth

http://youtube.com/v/3C5LngDvkLY

21 ( 9 ) LEADER OF THE PACK The Shangri-Las
22 ( 20 ) HIGH WIRE LInda Carr And The Love Squad
23 ( 18 ) HAVE YOU SEEN HER The Chi-Lites
24 ( NEW ) GET IN THE SWING Sparks
25 ( 22 ) IT’S OVER Roy Orbison
26 ( 15 ) HARMOUR LOVE Syreeta
27 ( NEW ) I’LL HAVE TO SAY I LOVE YOU IN A SONG Jim Croce
28 ( 24 ) SWEARING TO GOD Frankie Valli
29 ( 46 ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Wigan’s Ovation
30 ( NEW ) BLUEBIRD Helen Reddy

http://youtube.com/v/EN1nMpmC0n4

31 ( 31 ) ROLLING STONE David Essex
32 ( 28 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
33 ( 29 ) I’M NOT IN LOVE 10CC
34 ( 25 ) WILDFIRE Michael Murphey
35 ( 32 ) MAMA NEVER TOLD ME Sister Sledge
36 ( 23 ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette
37 ( 30 ) EL BIMBO Bimbo Jet
38 ( 26 ) EIGHTEEN WITH A BULLET Pete Wingfield
39 ( 34 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
40 ( 35 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker

http://youtube.com/v/83I9El6C47A

41 ( NEW ) THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT) K.C. And The Sunshine Band
42 ( 42 ) DYNOMITE Tony Camillo’s Bazuka
43 ( 33 ) BREAK Aphrodite’s Child
44 ( 41 ) THE LION SLEEPS TONIGHT Eno
45 ( 36 ) SOMEONE SAVED MY LIFE TONIGHT Elton John
46 ( NEW ) LOVE ME BABY Susan Cadogan
47 ( 37 ) TELSTAR The Tornadoes
48 ( 38 ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
49 ( 39 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
50 ( 40 ) WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM The Blackbyrds

29th July 1975

It’s yet again another oldie in at 1 as the Summer Of ’69 nostalgia continues with the first record I tried to buy hits number one for the second time, and for the 6th week in total, it’s the awesome In The Year 2525 from Zager And Evans. Such a great futuristic folk track, if a very dim view of the future of Man. Some of the predictions are already here, gulp! Up to 5 it’s Delilah, as covered by the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, giving an entire top 6 of oldies or cover versions. Happily up 30 to 11 it’s KC’s latest classic cos that’s the way I like it, and just to prove he had so many songs he could afford to give them away and produce them to boot, in comes George McCrae with his 4th KC hit at 24. It’s Been So Long. Well, actually just a few weeks since he last dropped out of my charts, but this was very much his second best hit after Rock Your Baby hit my top spot.

Linda Carr and David Essex hit the top 20, and in at 37 it’s another oldie, from 1972, and the non-UK-hit debut of Steely Dan, finally getting a chart breakthrough after some near misses with their greatest record, the laid-back smooth west coast jazzrock of Do It Again. Steely Dan and Walter Becker solo very much stuck to this template for their entire career, give or take more or less jazzy versions, but oh my word it’s classy and impeccably produced. Love it. At 38, 53rd and 3rd with a cover of Daddy Dewdrop’s USA hit Chick A Boom. Jonathan King has claimed it’s not a pseudonym for another of his numerous novelty hit records. It sounds like him, and naming a supposed boyband after a gay cruising area in New York City doesn’t convince me otherwise…! In at 45, Rupert Fisher with a cover of Our Day Will Come, a great song, and a version I haven’t heard in 40 years by someone who doesn’t appear much on the net – except to say it was on RSO, home of the Bee Gees, so it was probably a soul MOR version. Maybe! In at 46, Smokey, the latest Chinn-Chapman band, glam was dead, Sweet and Mud had left the fold, and it was straight over to country-rock-flavoured ballads for If You Think You Know How To Love Me, with a tad Rod Stewart vocals from Chris Norman going on.

http://youtube.com/v/WiuaaJVcxSk

1 ( NEW ) IN THE YEAR 2525 Zager And Evans
2 ( 1 ) BREAK AWAY The Beach Boys
3 ( 2 ) MISTY Ray Stevens
4 ( 3 ) LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER Captain And Tennille
5 ( 15 ) DELILAH The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
6 ( 10 ) IT’S IN HIS KISS Linda Lewis
7 ( 4 ) THE HUSTLE Van McCoy & The Soul City Symphony
8 ( 8 ) ACTION The Sweet
9 ( 9 ) SHERRY Adrian Baker
10 ( 5 ) JIVE TALKING The Bee Gees

http://youtube.com/v/qYFmdRCIW1U

11 ( 41 ) THAT’S THE WAY (I LIKE IT) K.C. And The Sunshine Band
12 ( 7 ) SEALED WITH A KISS Brian Hyland
13 ( 22 ) HIGH WIRE LInda Carr And The Love Squad
14 ( 14 ) ALL I NEED IS YOUR SWEET LOVIN’ Gloria Gaynor
15 ( 6 ) ANYTHING GOES Harpers Bizarre
16 ( 12 ) 59TH BRIDGE STREET SONG (FEELIN’ GROOVY) Harpers Bizarre
17 ( 11 ) NEW YORK CITY T.Rex
18 ( 18 ) OH PRETTY WOMAN Roy Orbison
19 ( 13 ) BARBADOS Typically Tropical
20 ( 31 ) ROLLING STONE David Essex

21 ( 24 ) GET IN THE SWING Sparks
22 ( 17 ) KISS ME KISS YOUR BABY Brotherhood Of Man
23 ( 19 ) DISCO STOMP Hamilton Bohannon
24 ( NEW ) IT’S BEEN SO LONG George McCrae
25 ( 20 ) MY WHITE BICYCLE Nazereth
26 ( 26 ) HARMOUR LOVE Syreeta
27 ( 27 ) I’LL HAVE TO SAY I LOVE YOU IN A SONG Jim Croce
28 ( 30 ) BLUEBIRD Helen Reddy
29 ( 16 ) 7654321 (BLOW YOUR WHISTLE) The Rimshots
30 ( 37 ) EL BIMBO Bimbo Jet

http://youtube.com/v/P9N8PCWzLYQ

31 ( 21 ) LEADER OF THE PACK The Shangri-Las
32 ( 23 ) HAVE YOU SEEN HER The Chi-Lites
33 ( 33 ) I’M NOT IN LOVE 10CC
34 ( 32 ) IN THE SUMMERTIME Mungo Jerry
35 ( 39 ) I’M GONNA RUN AWAY FROM YOU Tami Lynn
36 ( 35 ) MAMA NEVER TOLD ME Sister Sledge
37 ( NEW ) DO IT AGAIN Steely Dan
38 ( NEW ) CHIC-A-BOOM 53rd And 3rd
39 ( 29 ) PER-SO-NAL-LY Wigan’s Ovation
40 ( 40 ) THE ISRAELITES Desmond Dekker

http://youtube.com/v/tgYuLsudaJQ

41 ( 28 ) SWEARING TO GOD Frankie Valli
42 ( 25 ) IT’S OVER Roy Orbison
43 ( 36 ) D.I.V.O.R.C.E. Tammy Wynette
44 ( 34 ) WILDFIRE Michael Murphey
45 ( NEW ) OUR DAY WILL COME Rupert Fisher
46 ( NEW ) IF YOU THINK YOU KNOW HOW TO LOVE ME Smokey
47 ( 38 ) EIGHTEEN WITH A BULLET Pete Wingfield
48 ( 48 ) JACKIE BLUE Ozark Mountain Daredevils
49 ( 49 ) THE IMMIGRANT Neil Sedaka
50 ( 50 ) WALKIN’ IN RHYTHM The Blackbyrds


So what was I doing in July? Exams were done, the weather was scorching and sunny, so that meant all change, as my days in the 6th form came to a sad end. Unlike the previous school years from 1972/73 and to an extent 74, I was really sad for it to end, I actually enjoyed being at school. Now it was decision time (again) as dad had heard he was being posted back to RAF Swinderby for the 3rd time, and we were beginning a process to get some house-squatting rent-dodging tenants (grandma lived in Liverpool renting with her man and being soft-hearted let some gitty family live in her house for either low rent or no rent, at which point they decided to try and claim the house for themselves. To get over this she signed it over to mum and dad with a view to moving to Mansfield to live in the house we were born in (that’s me, my brother, and mum) when dad left the RAF in 1980. That meant my schooling was yet again buggered up, and with A levels preferable to finding a job that meant I was to be packed up to go to Mansfield in September rather than start back then move again. Basically, my education was a constant mess, constantly changing schools, and having no ongoing mates to grow up with. It was even worse for my brother, who more or less gave up on education from this point onward. For now, though, lazy hazy days of summer, reading DC comics, playing music, playing tennis with Peter Palmer and Ian Galloway (who was applying for the RAF), watching TV and just hanging out basically. I didn’t want to leave Gloucester, to be honest.

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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