Top Ten Tuesday: 1972, The Next 10

Up to 1972 already! Have I really been doing this that long? Counting down the #11 through #20 songs on the year-end Hot 100 for 1972.

#20 – Michael Jackson, "Ben": A beautiful love song to a rat. The song spent a week at #1 in the US and Australia.

#19 – The Staples Singers, "I’ll Take You There": I talked about this recently. It was one of two #1’s they had during the ’70’s.

#18 – The Stylistics, "Betcha By Golly, Wow": Did you know that Connie Stevens did this originally, in 1970 as "Keep Growing Strong"? The Stylistics had the big hit with this, reaching #2 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the R&B chart, and the record went Gold by April 1972.

#17 – Neil Young, "Heart Of Gold": This is Neil’s only #1 single in the US. It also went to #1 in Canada.

#16 – Luther Ingram, "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don’t Want To Be Right": I’m surprised Luther didn’t have more success in his career. This went to #1 on the R&B chart and #3 on the Hot 100.

#15 – Chuck Berry, "My Ding-A-Ling": A novelty song originally recorded by Dave Bartholomew, this ended up being Chuck’s only #1 in the US. Hard to believe, but true.

#14 – Gallery, "It’s So Nice To Be With You": On American Bandstand in February 1972, this got a "lousy" rating of 57.5 (on a scale of 35 to 98), and yet, when Gallery appeared on AB in May, they played this song because it reached #4 on the Pop chart. It was an international Top 5. No accounting for taste…

#13 – The Chi-Lites, "Oh Girl": This was their first and only #1 on the Hot 100, which is kind of surprising, but maybe that’s just my perspective.

#12 – Looking Glass, "Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)": A classic of the Jersey Shore sound, this reached #1 in the US and Canada.

#11 – Al Green, "Let’s Stay Together": This came out in November 1971 and reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the R&B chart, going Gold in the US, the UK, and Italy. Rolling Stone magazine ranks it at #60 on their Top 500 Records of All Time.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 20, 2021.

Top Ten Tuesday: 1969, The Next 10

Here are the songs that Billboard Magazine had at positions 11 through 20 on their 1969 year-end survey. If for some reason one or more must be listened to on YouTube, the playlist is here.

#20 – Junior Walker & The All-Stars, "What Does It Take": A song by Johnny Bristol, Harvey Fuqua, and Vernon Bullock, it was one of Junior’s most popular records, reaching #1 on the Hot Black Singles chart and #4 on the Hot 100. It was named the Top US Soul Record of 1969 and has sold over a million copies.

#19 – Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Proud Mary": Written by John Fogerty, it reached #2, kept out of the #1 slot by "Everyday People" by Sly & The Family Stone and "Dizzy" by Tommy Roe.

#18 – Elvis Presley, "Suspicious Minds": Elvis’s work in the late ’60’s and early ’70’s was, in my opinion, some of his best work. "Suspicious Minds" was written and originally released by Mark James in 1968, but his recording went nowhere. Elvis ended up topping the Pop charts inthe US and Canada with it.

#17 – The Friends of Distinction, "Grazing In The Grass": Hugh Masakela did the instrumental version of this in 1968. Harry Elston of the group wrote the lyrics and they took this to #3 in the US and #5 in Canada.

#16 – The Youngbloods, "Get Together": Written and recorded by Chuck Powers of Quicksilver Messenger Service and also recorded by The Kingston Trio, The Youngbloods released it in 1967 as the first single from their eponymous album from that year, and it only reached #62. The National Council of Christians and Jews used it as the background for one of their radio ads in 1969, which renewed interest in it, and it peaked at #5, their only song to reach the Top 40.

#15 – Henry Mancini, "Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet": Composed by Nino Rota for the 1968 film Romeo & Juliet, Mancini’s recording reached #1 in June 1969.

#14 – Marvin Gaye, "Too Busy Thinking About My Baby": Written by Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong, and Janie Bradford and originally recorded by The Temptations in 1966, it reached #1 on the R&B chart and #4 on the Hot 100.

#13 – The Cowsills, "Hair": Title song from that "American Tribal Love-Rock Musical," it was The Cowsills’ most successful single, reaching #2 (kept from the top spot by The Fifth Dimension’s "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In," also from Hair) on the Hot 100.

#12 – Tommy James & The Shondells, "Crystal Blue Persuasion": Written by Eddie Gray, Tommy James and Mike Vale, this was a departure from the psychedelic rock they were doing at the time and sounded more like the Rascals. It was one of their best selling singles, reaching #2, stuck behind Zager & Evans’s "In The Year 2525."

#11 – Three Dog Night, "One": A song by Harry Nilsson, it was Three Dog Night’s first Top 10 single, coming in at #5 in the US and #4 in Canada and being certified Gold.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for July 6, 2021.

Top Ten Tuesday: 1968, The Next Ten

We’re up to 1968 on out tour through the next ten (i.e. #11-20) on each year’s year-end Hot 100. The Top Ten always get all the attention…

#20 – Sly & The Family Stone, "Dance To The Music": Released in November 1967, this peaked at #8 on the Hot 100 and was the first to popularize "psychedelic soul."

#19 – The Grass Roots, "Midnight Confessions": Never released on any of the band’s studio albums, it nevertheless reached #5 on the Hot 100.

#18 – Hugh Masakela, "Grazing In The Grass": South African trumpeter Hugh Masakela had a #1 hit with this instrumental version, while the Friends of Distinction had a vocal version that reached #6 the following year. Hugh’s was a little more laid-back…

#17 – The Fifth Dimension, "Stoned Soul Picnic": Laura Nyro is to The Fifth Dimension what Bacharach and David are to Dionne Warwick: money in the bank. It reached #3 on the Hot 100, #2 on the R&B chart, and reached Platinum status.

#16 – The Box Tops, "Cry Like A Baby": Kept out of the top spot by Bobby Goldsboro’s "Honey," the blue-eyed soul group out of Memphis reached #2 and achieved Gold status.

#15 – Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, "Young Girl": This was also stuck at #2, in this case behind Otis Redding’s "Dock of the Bay," but it also achieved Gold status.

#14 – The Doors, "Hello, I Love You": From their 1968 album Waiting For The Sun, it reached #1. While The Doors are credited as the songwriters, there are multiple people who dispute it.

#13 – Tommy James & The Shondells, "Mony Mony": Was inspired by the Mutual of New York (MONY) sign across from their New York Hotel. It reached #3 in the US and #1 in the UK.

#12 – O. C. Smith, "Little Green Apples": Some smooth soul from O. C., on a song tat both Roger Miller and Patti Page covered in ’68. O. C. had the highest chart position at #2. Bobby Russell, the author, received two Grammy Awards for this in 1969, for Song of the Year and Best Country Song.

#11 – Jeannie C. Riley, "Harper Valley P. T. A.": Tom T. Hall wrote this song about a Southern mama exposing what she called a "Peyton Place" of indiscretions among the members of the Harper Valley P. T. A. It went to #1 on the Hot 100, the Country chart, and in Canada and Australia. And it was her only Top 40 hit…

Next week, 1969!

Top Ten Tuesday: 1967, The Next Ten

#11-20 on the 1967 Year-End Hot 100…

#20 – The Association, "Never My Love": A siong by the Addrisi brothers, Don and Dick. The Association had the first and arguably the biggest success with the song, reaching #2 in the US and #1 in Canada.

#19 – Sam & Dave, "Soul Man": Isaac Hayes and David Porter wrote it, and Sam & Dave took it to #1 on the Soul chart and #2 on the Pop charts in the US and Canada. Wikipedia tells us that was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry as "culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress.

#18 – The Soul Survivors, "Expressway To Your Heart": Philadelphia soul legends Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff wrote this, and the Soul Survivors took it to #3 on the Soul chart and #4 on the Hot 100.

#17 – Arthur Conley, "Sweet Soul Music": Written by Conley and Otis Redding, it reached #2 on the Soul chart and the Hot 100, behind The Supremes’ "The Happening," which finished the year at #29. He who laughs last…

#16 – The Buckinghams, "Kind Of A Drag": Title track of their first album, written by Jim Holvay (of another Chicago band, The Mob), who also wrote "Don’t You Care," "Hey Baby (They’re Playing Our Son)," and "Susan." It reached #1 in the US and Canada, the first song to reach #1 within the calendar year.

#15 – Bobby Vee & The Strangers, "Come Back When You Grow Up, Girl": Written by Martha Sharp, the song reached #3 and represented a comeback for Bobby, who hadn’t had a gold single since 1962.

#14 – Stevie Wonder, "I Was Made To Love Her": Title track from his 1967 album, written by Stevie, his mom Lula, Sylvia Moy, and producer Henry Cosby. Reached #2 on the Hot 100 (stuck behind The Doors’ "Light My Fire") and four nonconsecutive weeks at #1 on the Soul chart.

#13 – Aretha Franklin, "Respect": Written by Otis Redding, who had a minor hit with it in 1965. Aretha’s became the definitive version and also became her signature song. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and the Soul chart.

#12 – Tommy James & The Shondells, "I Think We’re Alone Now": Written by Ritchie Cordell, a staff songwriter at Roulette Records, the band’s record company. It reached #1 at WLS in Chicago (the band is from Niles, Michigan, very close to Chicago) and spent several weeks there, and eventually reached #4 on the Hot 100.

#11 – The Music Explosion, "A Little Bit Of Soul": Written by British songwriters John Carter and Ken Lewis, and originally recorded by the British band The Little Darlings in 1965. The Music Explosion’s cover reached #2 on the Hot 100 and was certified Gold. It was their only hit.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for June 22, 2021.

Top Ten Tuesday: 1966, The Next Ten

Counting down numbers 11 through 20 on the year end Billboard Hot 100 for 1966. The list is here, in case it won’t play here.

#20 – Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, "Groovy Kind Of Love": A song by Carole Bayer Sager and Toni Wine based on a melody by Muzio Clementi. The Mindbenders’ version reached #2. Phil Collins covered this in 1988 for the movie Buster and reached #1.

#19 – Lee Dorsey, "Workin’ In The Coal Mine": Written and produced by Allen Toussaint, this reached #8 in the US and UK.

#18 – Johnny Rivers, "Poor Side Of Town": Johnny moved to a more soul-based sound from his earlier rock days, and he reached #1 in both the US and Canada with this song.

#17 – Lou Christie, "Lightnin’ Strikes": Written by Lou and Twyla Herbert, this also reached #1 in the US and Canada as well as #3 in New Zealand and #11 in the UK.

#16 – Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs, "Little Red Riding Hood": This record was kept out of the #1 spot by "Wild Thing" by The Troggs and "Summer In The City" by The Lovin’ Spoonful. Nevertheless, it achieved Gold status and was Sam and crew’s second Top 10 hit.

#15 – The Happenings, "See You In September": Harmonizing vocal groups were still popular in the mid-’60’s, and with this remake of The Tempos’ 1959 hit reached the Top 10, peaking at #3.

#14 – Bobby Hebb, "Sunny": A song for his brother, who had been murdered. Hebb wrote it to remember to choose a "sunny" attitude over a "lousy" one. The song peaked at #2 in late summer.

#13 – The Supremes, "You Can’t Hurry Love": Written and produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland, it topped the chart in 1966. Sixtteen years later, Phil Collins reached #1 with his cover.

#12 – Righteous Brothers, "Soul & Inspiration": Their first hit after leaving producer Phil Spector. Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, it peaked at #1.

#11 – The Rascals, "Good Lovin’": A song by Rudy Clark and Arthur Resnick that was originally recorded by R&B singer Limmie Snell. The Rascals took it to #1 in 1966.

And that’s Top Ten Tuesday for June 15, 2021.