The Friday 5×2: Radio Veronica, 1/23/65

Radio Veronica has been featured many times here, and this is another one. Here’s their Top 10 from 55 years ago yesterday.

  1. Julie Rogers, “The Wedding” One of those songs I guess I should remember, because it went to #10 in the US and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, but I can’t say that I’m familiar with it. It went to #3 in the UK and #1 in Australia.
  2. The Supremes, “Baby Love” Written and produced by the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, it was their followup to “Where Did Our Love Go.” Check the hair on Diana Ross; it looks like she’s struggling to keep her head up. It went to #1 in the US and UK as well as #1 on the R&B chart.
  3. Roy Orbison, “Oh, Pretty Woman” We’ve talked about this one a lot, so let me just refresh you: It was Roy’s second #1 hit, spent three weeks atop the chart, and ultimately sold 7 million copies worldwide.
  4. Chubby Checker, “Lovely Lovely” A non-album track for Chubby that only reached #70 in the US. By this time he was starting to slide off the charts in the US as the British Invasion took hold.
  5. Willeke Alberti, “Mijn Dagboek” I haven’t been able to find much about Ms. Alberti other than she’s an actress and a singer, she’s been married three times, and is something of a gay icon, probably in the same way Judy Garland has become one. You probably already fiugured out that “Mijn Dagboek” is “My Diary” in English.
  6. Rolling Stone, “Little Red Rooster” British blues in its rawest form. The song is by Willie Dixon (though apparently cobbled together from a number of country blues tunes), Brian Jones plays some excellent slide guitar, and Mick Jagger acquits himself nicely on harmonica. The song reached #1 in the UK but was banned from the radio in the US because of its “sexual connotations.”
  7. Cliff Richard & The Shadows, “I Could Easily Fall” Cliff Richard is a huge star in the UK but hardly even heard of in the US. This was a Top 10 hit in the UK (#6), Australia (#9), Ireland (#8), The Netherlands and Sweden (both #3), and New Zealand (#6).
  8. Petula Clark, “Downtown” Well into her 80’s and showing no signs of slowing down. This reached #2 in the UK and Ireland and #1 in most of the rest of the world. She also did French (#6), German (#1), and Italian (#1) versions that were well received.
  9. Lucille Starr, “The French Song” Lucille Starr is a French Canadian country singer from Manitoba who’s best known for “Quand Le Soleil Dit Bonjour Aux Montagnes” (“When The Sun Says Hello To The Mountains”), better known as “The French Song.” She’s also an expert yodeler, and dubbed the voice of Cousin Pearl (Bea Benadaret) in an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies that I just saw earlier this week. Small world…
  10. The Beatles, “I Feel Fine” A non-album single in the UK, this and its flipside, “She’s A Woman,” were included in the Capitol release Beatles ’65 in the US.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 24, 2020.

The Friday 5×2: WHOT (1330 AM Youngstown OH), 1/17/67

WHOT was, according to Wikipedia, one of the first Top 40 radio stations in the country, starting in 1955 on 1570 AM as a daytime-only station that, "despite technical limitations," became popular in the Youngstown, Ohio market. It moved down the dial to 1330 AM in 1963, which is where they were on January 17, 1967. WHOT lives on as a Top 40 station ("Hot 101") at 101.1 MHz on the FM dial.

  1. Aaron Neville, “Tell It Like It Is” I’d have sworn this song wasn’t this old, but this reached #2 on the Hot 100, #1 on the R&B Singles Chart, and #2 on the Canadian Adult Contemporary Singles chart in 1966-67.
  2. The Mamas & The Papas, “Words Of Love” Essentially a showcase for Mama Cass Elliott, this rose to #6 in the US and #5 in Australia.
  3. Jimmy Ruffin, I’ve Passed This Way Before” Older brother of The Temptations’ David Ruffin, this was Jimmy’s follow-up to “What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted.” It rose to #17 on the Hot 100 and #10 on the R&B Singles chart.
  4. Paul Revere & The Raiders, “Good Thing” Their third Top 10 single after “Kicks” and “Hungry” rose to #4 in the US and #5 in Canada.
  5. The Royal Guardsmen, “Snoopy vs. The Red Baron” The Guardsmen had been The Posmen but changed their name to sound more British. This was their biggest hit, among the bestsellers for twelve weeks, reaching #2 and being certified gold. They had to release it as “Squeaky vs. The Black Knight” in Canada because Laurie Records wouldn’t release it in Canada. Apparently Charles Schulz, creator of Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang, hadn’t give the record his blessing…
  6. The Seekers, “Georgy Girl” This song was their third #1 hit in their native Australia and #2 in the US. It was the title song of the 1966 movie that starred Lynn Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling, Alan Bates, and James Mason.
  7. The Four Seasons featuring the “Sound” of Frankie Valli, “Tell It To The Rain” I can’t remember this song, but it reached #10 nationwide. Quite a few of The Four Seasons’ records on Philips were credited this way.
  8. The Lovin’ Spoonful, “Nashville Cats” One of their better-known songs despite the fact that it peaked at #8 in the US. It did better in Canada (#2) and New Zealand (#6).
  9. The Monkees, “I’m A Believer”/”Steppin’ Stone” A two-sided hit for the Prefab Four. “I’m A Believer,” by Neil Diamond, was a #1 hit worldwide, while “Steppin’ Stone,” by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, reached #20 on its own in the US.
  10. The Four Tops, “Standing In The Shadows Of Love” Surprisingly, this only reached #6 in the US and the UK, though it reached #2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart. It did much better in many markets.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 17, 2020.

The Friday 5×2: WPTR (1540 AM, Albany, NY), 1/2/72

The call letters WPTR now point to a now-defunct radio station in Schenectady, New York. It got them from the original WPTR, which has now also gone dark as of a couple of years ago. Back in the early ’70’s, they were a Top 40 station, so let’s see what they were playing during the first week of 1972.

  1. Sly & The Family Stone, “Family Affair” A #1 hit in the US and Canada, as well as on the R&B chart, this song was a departure from their earlier, more upbeat music. Billy Preston plays electric piano and Bobby Womack plays rhythm guitar.
  2. Sonny & Cher, “All I Ever Need Is You” No doubt helped by the popular show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, this song rose to #7 in the US, #5 in Canada, #8 in the UK, and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was eventually the title track for their 1972 album.
  3. Honey Cone, “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Part 1)” The followup to their #1 singles “Want Ads” and “Stick-Up,” this reached #15 on the Hot 100 but #5 on the R&B chart. As the name implies, there was a Part 2, which was on the flip side.
  4. The Stylistics, “You Are Everything” The Stylistics did some beautiful songs in the early ’70’s, and this is one of the more beautiful. It reached #8 on the Hot 100, #10 on the R&B chart, and was certified Gold by RIAA.
  5. The New Seekers, “I’d Like To Teach The World To Sing” After the demise of The Seekers, guitarist and singer Keith Potger moved to England and formed The New Seekers, who would do the same sort of music as the original group. This was taken from a commercial for Coca-Cola (as most of us remember) and reached #7 in the US, #3 in Canada, and #1 in the UK.
  6. David Cassidy, “Cherish” A nice cover of The Association’s hit from several years earlier. David recorded this shortly after The Partridge Family’s “I Think I Love You” became a hit, no doubt wanting to establish himself as more than Keith Partridge. It did well, rising to #9 in the US and #3 in Canada, as well as #1 on the AC chart and in Australia.
  7. Jonathan Edwards, “Sunshine” Jonathan’s only hit, it reached #4 on the Hot 100 and #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was from his eponymous 1971 and was preceded by one of my favorite songs, “Shanty”.
  8. Dennis Coffey, “Scorpio” A member of the “Funk Brothers” (the session musicians who played on many of the Motown hits), he took this solo effort to #9 on the R&B chart and #6 on the Hot 100. He earned a Gold record in the process. A week after this (January 8, 1972), Coffey became the first white musician to play on Soul Train.
  9. Melanie, “Brand New Key” Melanie Safka, who went by just her first name in the late ’60’s and ’70’s, wrote and sang this cute little ditty and turned it into a #1 hit in the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa, as well as #4 in the UK. Billboard ranked it at #9 for 1972.
  10. Don McLean, “American Pie” Not such a bad song once in a while, but this was probably the most-discussed song of 1971-72 and it seems it ended up on the air about once an hour, making it #1 on my list of “EBS Specials”. The full song was almost 9 minutes long; this is the single version. It spent four weeks at #1 in the US and was either #1 or #2 in most of the rest of the English-speaking world, was certified Gold in the US and Platinum in the UK.

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 3, 2020.

The Friday 5×2: KRLA (1110 AM Los Angeles), 12/28/63

For the last Friday 5×2 of this year, I’ve chosen the year-end 1963 survey from KRLA in Los Angeles. They’re now KRDC and are now known as "Radio Disney Country." Thanks to Oldiesloon for hosting the survey.

    1. The Righteous Brothers, "Koko Joe" A song that’s been covered by Jerry Reed, it’s from their debut album, 1963’s Right Now!. It didn’t make the Hot 100, but obviously it was popular in LA.
    1. The Beach Boys, "Little Saint Nick" This was the only Christmas-themed song on KRLA’s Tune-Dex (their name for their survey). It peaked at #3 on the Billboard Christmas Singles chart, and has been pulled out of mothballs every Christmas since.
    1. Tommy Roe, "Everybody" Before Tommy’s "Dizzy" and "Sweet Pea" days, he was still popular. This reached #3 in the US and Canada and #9 in the UK, and I don’t think I’ve ever heard it.
    1. Round Robin, "Do the Slauson" All I can think of is Johnny Carson’s "Tea Time Movie" bit where he was giving directions on how to get somewhere in LA. There was always one place where you drove to the Slauson Cutoff, then cut off your Slauson. The Blossoms appear on this record as backup singers, and appears to have only been a hit in LA.
    1. Bobby Rydell, "Forget Him" Another song I haven’t heard before, even though it reached #4 on the Hot 100, #3 on the AC chart, and #13 in the UK.
    1. The Singing Nun, "Dominique" Jeanne Deckers, also known as Dominican Sister Luc-Gabrielle (or Soeur Sourire ("Sister Sunshine") or the Singing Nun) had a surprise hit with a French-language son about St. Dominic, the founder of the Dominican order. It reached #1 in the US and Canada and did very well in the rest of the world.
    1. The Murmaids, "Popsicles and Icicles" Sisters Carol and Terry Fischer and Sally Gordon reached #3 nationally with this, their only hit record. You’ll notice the song was written by David Gates, later the leader of the ’70’s band Bread.
    1. Shirley Ellis, "The Nitty Gritty" Best known for "The Name Game," she had a #8 hit with this. She seemed to do well with novelty records.
    1. The Marketts, "Out Of Limits" The Marketts were a fairly successful istrumental group whose only Top 10 hit was this one, which reached #3 nationally. Several years later, they had a minor hit with the Batman theme.
    1. The Kingsmen, "Louie Louie" This video shows the actual lyrics of the song, not the ones everyone thinks they hear. For reference, here’s the obscene version, which also shows the right lyrics. Show of hands: who likes the dirty version better? This was their only Top 10 hit (it reached #2), but they had a #17 hit with their next record, "Money."

And that’s The Friday 5×2 for December 27, 2019.

The Friday 5×2: KIMN (Denver, CO), 12/19/70

Before we get started, I’d like to ask you, if you haven’t already, to check out my latest Battle of the Bands. It’s between three acts, each of whom did a song called "Games People Play," and as of right now there’s a three-way tie.

ARSA is featuring a survey from KIMN in Denver, where Craig from PopBopRockTilUDrop worked for many years, so let’s have a look at their Top 10 from December 19, 1970.

  • #10: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, "Mr. Bojangles" Jerry Jeff Walker wrote this one in the mid-’60’s and recorded it in 1968, but the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s cover is probably best known. Theirs was a Top 10 hit in the US (#9) and Canada (#2).
  • #9: 5th Dimension, "One Less Bell To Answer" This Burt Bacharach-Hal David song was originally written for Keely Smith. "Bones" Howe, producer for the 5th Dimension, found it and thought it would be perfect for their debut on Bell Records, 1970’s Portrait. It went to #2 in the US and #7 in Canada.
  • #8: Santana, "Black Magic Woman" A cover of Peter Green’s song with Fleetwood Mac, the album version was longer and segued into Gabor Szabo’s "Gypsy Queen" at the end. This is the version from the single, which reached #4.
  • #7: José Feliciano, "Life Is That Way" A song that had not made it onto an album yet, it appeared on 1971’s Encore! José Feliciano’s Finest Performances. Today was the first time I had heard it.
  • #6: Jerry Reed, "Amos Moses" Certified Guitar Player (a title bestowed on him by the late Chet Atkins) Jerry had a few semi-novelty records in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. This one reached #8 on the Hot 100 and #2 in Canada as well as #16 on the Country chart.
  • #5: José Feliciano, "Feliz Navidad" A really simple song that’s become a holiday classic. It reached #1 on the Holiday 100 and #29 on the Hot 100.
  • #4: Brian Hyland, "Gypsy Woman" Brian’s cover of The Impressions’ tune went to #3 on the Hot 100 and the Canadian chart.
  • #3: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, "Tears of a Clown" A song written by Smokey, Stevie Wonder, and Hank Cosby (Stevie Wonder’s producer) originally for 1967’s Make It Happen. It turned out to be a huge crossover hit, reaching #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart.
  • #2: The Partridge Family, "I Think I Love You" Written by Tony Romeo, this was the first hit for the Partridges, who were actually David Cassidy and mom Shirley Jones in the studio with musicians from The Wrecking Crew. It was a #1 hit in the US and Canada.
  • #1: George Harrison, "My Sweet Lord"/"Isn’t It A Pity" This was the first #1 single released by a former member of The Beatles. "My Sweet Lord" was, of course, the subject of a lawsuit by Ronnie Mack, who had written The Chiffons’ "He’s So Fine" earlier in the decade, claiming successfully that George had stolen the melody for his hit. George had written "Isn’t It A Pity" originally as a Beatles song, but it was never recorded by them as a group.

And that’s the Friday 5×2 for December 20, 2019.