The Friday 5×2: WTRY (980 AM Troy, NY), 12/12/64

WTRY is now WOFX, "Fox Sports 980," but they were playing Top 40 hits until the turn of the century. Oldiesloon has a couple of years’ worth of their surveys, and one was from December 12 55 years ago. No real surprises here, but there were a couple of songs that were new to me.

  • 10. Buddy Randell & The Knickerbockers, "All I Need Is You" From Bergenfeld, New Jersey, they had a bigger hit than this with the Beatlesque "Lies" a year later. This is more doo-wop. This didn’t chart nationally.
  • 9. The Beach Boys, "Dance, Dance, Dance" Brian and Carl Wilson wrote this one together, Carl’s contribution being the guitar riff. The Blogger’s Best Friend™ tells us that it was kept out of the Top 5 in most of the country by "a logjam of British Invasion hits," but that it reached #4 in the Albany Tri-Cities, of which Troy is one.
  • 8. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, "Big Man In Town" At this time, The Four Seasons had records coming out on both the Philips label and the Vee Jay label. This was a Philips song, and it only reached #20 nationally.
  • 7. The Rolling Stones, "Time Is On My Side" This was written by Jerry Ragovoy under the name "Norman Meade." There were actually two versions of this song, the first a much looser arrangement that started only with organ, the second (this one) recorded in 1964 at Chess Studios in Chicago. It reached #6 in the US and #3 in Canada.
  • 6. Bobby Vinton, "Mr. Lonely" Per Wikipedia, this song reached #1 nationally on this day (12/12/64). Bobby had started this song while he was in the Army, and it describes a soldier who has just been deployed and has no contact with home, as were many young men at the time as the US’s involvement in the Vietnam war was escalating.
  • 5. Manfred Mann, "Sha La La" This was written by Robert Taylor and Robert Moseley, and reached #3 in the UK and #12 in the US and Canada.
  • 4. Gene Pitney, "I’m Gonna Be Strong" A Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil song, it was released the previous year by Frankie Laine, but Gene had the big hit with it. It reached #2 in the UK and #9 in the US.
  • 3. Herman’s Hermits, "I’m Into Something Good" A Gerry Goffin-Carole King song, it was recorded earlier in 1964 by Earl-Jean and The Cookies. Their version only reached #38; Herman’s reached #13 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Cash Box survey.
  • 2. Zombies, "She’s Not There" Rod Argent wrote this and it became The Zombies’ first hit, reaching #12 in the UK and #2 in the US.
  • 1. The Beatles, "I Feel Fine"/"She’s A Woman" A double-"A" side record that reached #1. The humming and buzzing at the beginning of "I Feel Fine" was the result of John’s acoustic guitar (fitted with a pickup) feeding back in the studio. He liked it so much that they left it in. (Can anyone read lips well enough to tell me what George is saying in the first chorus?) "She’s A Woman was Paul imitating Little Richard.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for December 13, 2019.

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