Believe it or not, there is a place called Parkersburg, West Virginia, and I’ve even been there. WPAR was Parkersburg’s oldest radio station and played Top 40 through 1983, after which they changed hands and call letters several times, finally becoming WVAN on August 31 of last year, playing an oldies format. Their Top Ten from March 8, 1968 contains some of the best popular music from that year. In fact, I was sorely tempted to do all 21 songs from that day because it was all good.
#10 – The Human Beinz, "Nobody But Me": Title track from The Human Beinz’s first album, and a cover of The Isley Brothers’ song. This song reached #8 on the Hot 100 and was their only hit. Music critic Dave Marsh called this "The most negative song ever," referring to the fact that the word "no" is repeated over a hundred times in just over 2 minutes.
#9 – Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart, "I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight": The songwriting duo of Boyce & Hart had three hit singles of their own and wrote several hits for other musical acts, most notably The Monkees. This was their only Top Ten hit, reaching #8.
#8 – The Foundations, "Baby Now That I’ve Found You": The Foundations were a British soul band in the late ’60’s. This song was written by Tony Macaulay and John Macleod. It topped the charts in the UK and reached #11 on the Hot 100 in late 1967 and early 1968.
#7 – Gene & Debbe, "Playboy": A short-lived husband-and-wife act, "Playboy" reached #17 on the Hot 100 and eventually earned a Gold record, just about the time the act (and the marriage) broke up.
#6 – The Association, "Everything That Touches You": A song written by The Association’s Terry Kirkman that reached #10 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada.
#5 – Dionne Warwick, "(Theme From) Valley Of The Dolls": Theme song of the 1967 movie starring Barbara Parkins, Patty Duke and Sharon Tate. Dionne Warwick sang the theme for the movie (although Dory Previn sings it on the soundtrack album). It spent four weeks at #2 on the Hot 100, behind the next two songs….
#4 – Paul Mauriat, "Love Is Blue": The song was Luxembourg’s entry into the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest, where it placed fourth. Mauriat’s instrumental version topped the Hot 100 for four weeks, and it earned a Gold record.
#3 – Otis Redding, "(Sittin’ On The) Dock Of The Bay": Written by Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper and released after Redding’s death in late 1967, it reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart in the US, #7 in Canada, and #3 in the UK.
#2 – 1910 Fruitgum Company, "Simon Says": Released in December 1967 and reached #4 in the US, #1 in Canada, and #2 in the UK.
#1 – The First Edition, "Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)": From their eponymous 1967 debut album, a psychedelic pop song that reached #5 on the Hot 100 and was totally different than anything they had done before or since.
Back with Q tomorrow, and look for me on the Challenge blog!