The Friday 5×2: KNAK (1280 AM Salt Lake City), 12/5/69

We visited KNAK in Salt Lake City earlier this year, so let’s jump a little ahead from that and check out their survey from December of 1969. There are 12 songs here, because there are two double-"A" side songs, which you’ll see shortly.

  • #10: The Tokens, "She Lets Her Hair Down" True one-hit wonders (1961’s "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" reached #1 and was their only Top 40 hit), they reached #61 on the Hot 100 and #43 in Canada with this. Seems strange. I heard this for the first time today.
  • #9: The Grass Roots, "Heaven Knows" A minor hit that reached #24 on the Hot 100 (Cash Box had it at #13 and Record World had it at #12), It was sandwiched between "I’d Wait A Million Years" and "Temptation Eyes."
  • #8: Stevie Wonder, "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday" Stevie hadn’t reached his "woke" period of the early ’70’s just yet and was still cranking out songs like this, which reached #7 on the Hot 100, #5 on the R&B chart, and #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
  • #7: Neil Diamond, "Holly Holy" Neil’s changing record labels from Bang to Uni resulted in his being better promoted. This followed the success of "Sweet Caroline" and reached #6.
  • #6: The Beatles, "Come Together"/"Something" Allen Klein, who had been hired to run Apple, had this single released because the company needed the money. It went to #1 in the US and #4 in the UK.
  • #5: Mel & Tim, "Backfield In Motion" Mel & Tim hailed from Holly Springs, Mississippi and moved to Chicago, where they were discovered by "The Duke Of Earl," Gene Chandler. This was their only song to reach the Top 40 on the Pop chart; it reached #4 on the R&B chart and they had a second hit on the R&B chart, "Starting All Over Again," in 1972.
  • #4: Three Dog Night, "Eli’s Coming" Great song by a great songwriter (Laura Nyro) and performed by a great band (Three Dog Night). This was their third Top 10 sinle in a row, raching #10 in the US and #8 in Canada.
  • #3: Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Fortunate Son"/"Down On The Corner" two A side songs helped this to #3 on the Hot 100. Creedence had five records reach #2 but never one that went all the way.
  • #2: Peter Paul & Mary, "Leaving On A Jet Plane" A song by John Denver that ended up being PP&M’s only #1 hit.
  • #1: Diana Ross & The Supremes, "Someday We’ll Be Together" Their last #1 together, as Diana Ross would start her solo career in 1970.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for December 6, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: WKBH (1410 AM LaCrosse WI), 11/24/58

I wanted to find a Thanksgiving week survey, and WKBH from LaCrosse, Wisconsin showed up. As far as I can tell, they’re now WIZM, broadcasting news and talk. The current WKBH-AM broadcasts a Catholic format on 1570 AM from Holmen, Wisconsin (in LaCrosse County), but they’ve only been on the air since 1984, so I guessed that they’re not the same one. Anyway, here’s WKBH’s survey from November 24, 1958. There are two two-sided hits on the survey, so you have 12 songs.

  1. Elvis Presley, “I Got Stung” Elvis’s last record in the 1950’s, it reached #1 in the UK. He was inducted into the Army shortly afterward.
  2. Slim Dusty, “Pub With No Beer” David Gordon Kirkpatrick, also known as Slim Dusty, was an Australian country singer who had an international hit with this.
  3. Tommy Edwards, “It’s All In The Game” Haven’t played this in a while. It’s a beauty of a song that was composed by Charles G. Dawes, later Vice President of the United States under Calvin Coolidge, as “Melody In A Major.” Carl Sigman wrote the lyrics, and the rest, as they say, is history.
  4. Cozy Cole, “Topsy Part 1″/”Topsy Part 2” Cozy was the drummer for Alan Hartwell’s Big Band, who got a chance to record this. He really pounds on those drums.
  5. The Everly Brotheres, “Problems” Don and Phil teamed up with Felice and Boudleaux Bryant and came up with this one. This is a longer version; the single clocked in at under two minutes.
  6. The Playmates, “Beep Beep” A novelty record that I first heard on Doctor Demento’s show. It starts out really slow, but don’t worry, it speeds up.
  7. Rick Nelson, “Lonesome Town”/”I’ve Got A Feeling” “Lonesome Town” reached #7 on the Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B chart. “I’ve Got A Feeling” came in at #10. Most radio stations kept both sides of the record together, so I imagine the main difference was radio plays and juke box plays.
  8. Jimmy Rodgers, “Bimbombey” A song that just missed the Top 10, coming in at #11 nationally. Still one of his greatest hits.
  9. Conway Twitty, “It’s Only Make Believe” The ’50’s were a time when country singers made the pop charts fairly regularly. At this time, Conway was doing about half-country, half-pop. Whatever the case, this went to #1 in the US, Canada and the UK.
  10. The Kingston Trio, “Tom Dooley” The Kingston Trio were in the vanguard of the folk movement of the late ’50’s and early ’60’s, and this was a huge hit for them. I read recently that this was a true story about a man named Tom Dula, whose last name just happened to be pronounced “Dooley.”

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for November 29, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: Radio Veronica, November 21, 1970

Haven’t done a straight survey post in a few weeks, so I found this survey from Radio Veronica, the Dutch station that lived in a boat offshore from Hilversum, The Netherlands. About half of the bands are from Holland, some of which have been heard in the US and Canada.

  1. The George Baker Selection, “Over And Over” A band from Zaanstad, The Netherlands, that was led by Hans Bouwens, also known as George Baker. They were active from 1967 to 1978 and again from 1982 to 1989. They’re best known in the US for “Little Green Bag” from 1969 and “Paloma Blanca” from 1975.
  2. Samantha Jones, “My Way” Jean Owen, a/k/a Samantha Jones, was a British singer who did especially well in the Benelux countries. This is her cover of Frank Sinatra’s song, which we were cautioned against using by the pastor of Mary’s parish when we were getting ready to be married.
  3. Heintje, “I’m Your Little Boy” Fifteen-year-old Heintje Simons was a popular “schlager” singer and actor in The Netherlands. Can’t find much more than that, I’m afraid…
  4. Neil Diamond, “Cracklin’ Rosie” Finally, one I’ve heard of! This reached #6 in The Netherlands, while it topped the chart in the US and Canada.
  5. Mick Jagger, “Memo From Turner” This was a solo record by Mick from the soundtrack for the 1970 film Performance. It features Ry Cooder on slide guitar.
  6. Tee Set, “She Likes Weeds” American listeners might remember “Ma Belle Amie” from this Delft-based band.
  7. Black Sabbath, “Paranoid” Hard to imagine that Ozzy and crew have been around this long.
  8. The Who, “See Me, Feel Me” From the rock opera Tommy, maybe the high point of The Who’s history.
  9. The Cats, “Where Have I Been Wrong” From the Dutch town of Volendam, The Cats had a #1 hit in their native country and #9 in Belgium.
  10. The Les Humphries Singers, “To My Father’s House” Formed in Hamburg, Germany at the start of the ’70’s by Les, who was British. They had a few hits in Europe during the decade, after which they dissolved and Les returned to the UK. This was a #1 in The Netherlands but failed to chart elsewhere.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for November 22, 2019.

The Friday 5×2 (+1): Billboard’s 1961 Year End Hot 100

Moving right along through the Billboard Year-End Hot 100’s, we arrive at 1961. I decided to go with the top eleven songs because I liked #11 too much.

  1. Lawrence Welk, “Calcutta” There are some songs that just stay with you, and this is one of them. Lawrence Welk had only one big hit on the Hot 100, and this is it.
  2. Joe Dowell, “Wooden Heart” This was a song that Elvis did the year before in G. I. Blues. It was written using the melody from an old German folk song, “Muss I Denn,” which both Joe and Elvis did portions of in their singing of the song.
  3. Dee Clark, “Raindrops” I’ve always liked this song, I think because of the sudden change from major to minor at the end of the verses. It starts so cheery, then wham!, that mode change hits.
  4. The String-Alongs, “Wheels” A simple melody at an easy pace was the charm of this instrumental. Sometimes it’s the simple songs like this that people like the best.
  5. Chubby Checker, “Pony Time” The kind of song Chubby does best, the kind that goes along with a dance that allows him to show off his dance moves. If you listen, you’ll hear he uses the terms “gee” and “how,” which a friend of mine told me were traditional commands to plowhorses.
  6. The Jive Five, “My True Story” Doo-wop was reaching the peak of its popularity in the early ’60’s, and groups like Brooklyn’s The Jive Five demonstrate why it was such a great genre.
  7. Del Shannon, “Runaway” Del’s better songs all feature that electronic organ (I think the brand was Farfisa) and him singing in a much higher register during critical points of the song.
  8. Roy Orbison, “Crying” Roy Orbison might have had the greatest voice in rock ‘n’ roll, and could he put some emotion behind his songs. This song just builds and builds until he busts out in full voice.
  9. The Highwaymen, “Michael (Row The Boat Ashore)” An old African-American spiritual that became a folk music staple. The Highwaymen’s version is one of the better-known ones.
  10. Patsy Cline, “I Fall To Pieces” What a voice Patsy Cline had, for which she can thank a bout of rheumatic fever when she was 14. A tremendous crossover success, this was a hit on the Country and Adult Contemporary charts as well.
  11. Bobby Lewis, “Tossin’ And Turnin'” Normally, when you hear this song, it starts with him singing “I couldn’t sleep at all last night,” but on this he has a short introduction that really sounds like it doesn’t belong there…

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for November 15, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: The 1960 Year-End Hot 100, Nos. 11 To 20

Last week, when I did the top 10 from the Billboard Hot 100, I said that I was thinking of doing the next ten songs instead of moving on to another survey, because there were some interesting songs there. So, her are number 11 through #20. Will I keep doing this? Haven’t decided yet.

#20: Roy Orbison, “Only The Lonely” This was Roy’s first major hit and went all the way to #2, were it was kept out of the top spot by Brenda Lee’s “I’m Sorry.”

#19: Brian Hyland, “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” This was Brian’s first single, and it went all the way to #1, selling a million copies and becoming a worldwide hit. It was redone in French (“Itsy Bitsy Bikini Petit“) and German (“Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Honolulu Strand Bikini“) and reached #1 in those languages as well. Not bad for a 17-year-old kid…

#18: Brenda Lee, “Sweet Nothin’s” “Little Miss Dynamite” had a good year in ’60, with four songs in the year-end Hot 100. This peaked at #4 on the US and UK charts, becoming her first international hit.

#17: Connie Francis, “My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own” Concetta had four Hot 100 singles as well, her two highest showing up on this part of the survey. This reached #1 during the year in the US and #3 in the UK. She also recorded a German version (“Mein Herz WeiƟ Genau, Was Es Will“) in 1960, but it remained unreleased until 1968.

#16: The Hollywood Argyles, “Alley Oop” The Hollywood Argyles were basically Gary Paxton, who sang lead, and other studio musicians and singers. “They” only had the one hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart. It was the first record played by WLS in Chicago when they switched to rock in May of ’60.

#15: Marty Robbins, “El Paso” This ballad was a huge crossoer hit for Robbins, reaching #1 on both the pop and country charts. It won the Grammy for Best Country & Western song in 1961, and is by far his biggest hit and best-known song.You know you’ve made it when Homer & Jethro do a parody of your song.

#14: Jack Scott, “What In The World’s Come Over You” Jack Scott had a couple of songs on the Hot 100 during 1960, and oddly enough I had never heard them or of him before now. He’s considered to be Canada’s greatest rock & roll singer of all time, despite the fact that he spent most of his career in the US (he was born in Windsor, across the Detroit River, and moved to a suburb of Detroit when he was 10). This reached #5 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the R&B chart.

#13: The Brothers Four, “Greenfields” The Brothers Four were four University of Washington students who were members of the same fraternity. The group was formed in 1957 and “Greenfields” was their biggest hit, reaching #2.

#12: Bobby Rydell, “Wild One” Bobby also had a good 1960, with six Top 20 singles, including three which reached the Top 10. This was the most successful of the three, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the R&B chart as well as #7 in the UK.

#11: Connie Francis, “Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool” This was released as the B side of “Jealous of You,” which didn’t chart. Connie took this song to #5 during the year.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for November 8, 2019.