Let’s make another visit to The Beehive State and KSVN, “K-730 Radio” in Ogden, Utah. It had a sister station, KSXX (“K-630”) in Salt Lake City, and they were a powerhouse in the Top 40 market until KCPX became the lead Top 40 station in the area. KSXX went all-news in 1965 (before it was cool to do so), while KSVN went to a Regional Mexican format in 1989. Anyway, you know the drill…
- #10. Gene & Debbe, “Playboy” Wikipedia tells us “Gene and Debbe were an American pseudo-pop/country duo hailing from Nashville, Tennessee, United States.” This reached #17 nationally, and this is the first I’ve heard of it.
- #9. The Hollies, “Jennifer Eccles” The Hollies had little chart success in the US between “Carrie Anne” in 1967 and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” in 1969. This was a Top 10 hit in England, Austria, Canada and a few other countries, but only reached #40 here. Another new one on me.
- #8. The Troggs, “Love Is All Around” The band formerly known as The Troglodytes reached #7 in the US with this, their second (“Wild Thing” was the first) and last Top 10 hit here.
- #7. Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Forever Came Today” Only reached #28 nationally, and I really can’t say I remember it.
- #6. The Four Seasons, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” This is a new one on me. It only reached #28 nationally, which might explain that.
- #5. The Beatles, “Lady Madonna” Until 1969’s Hey Jude, this was never released on an album, yet still managed to reach #1 in the US and most of the rest of the world.
- #4. Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay” Really Otis’s last hit before his untimely death (yet another victim of a plane crash), it was his only #1 hit and the first posthumous hit ever.
- #3. Four Jacks & A Jill, “Master Jack” As I said a couple of weeks ago, “There’s something almost Karen Carpenter-eqsue about Glenys Lynne. At least I think so. Nationally it reached #18 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.”
- #2. Roosters, “Love Machine” All I can find about The Roosters is that they were the house band at Bob Eubanks’s “Cinnamon Cinder” nightclub in San Diego. There were apparently a number of “Cinnamon Cinder” clubs in California. Again, new to me.
- #1. Hugo Montenegro, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” Hugo is best known for his interpretations of theme songs from “spaghetti Westerns.” This was his most memorable, from Enrico Morricone’s 1966 film starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef.
ARSA’s page with this week’s survey shows an image of a clipping from The Deseret News showing this survey and the national survey from Billboard. I include it here because it’s almost totally different than this.
That’s The Friday 5×2 for April 12, 2019.
Last week we saw KCPX’s survey from this time in 1968, so let’s move down 40 kilohertz and see what they were playing at their competition, KNAK. You would expect that two stations in the same market would have pretty much the same stuff on their surveys, and that the Top 10 wouldn’t change much from week to week, so I was surprised to find that only two songs (well, three really) were shared between the two surveys. Pretty strange…
- The Troggs, “Love Is All Around” These guys hit it big with “Wild Thing” a couple of years earlier. This reached #7 nationally and was their last US single.
- Four Jacks and a Jill, “Master Jack” There’s something almost Karen Carpenter-eqsue about Glenys Lynne. At least I think so. Nationally it reached #18 on the Hot 100 and #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
- Manfred Mann, “Mighty Quinn” I had no idea Bob Dylan wrote this until I caught a glimpse of the record label. Peaked at #10 nationally.
- The Box Tops, “Cry Like A Baby” Some blue-eyed soul from these guys from Memphis. Their second-biggest hit reached #2 on the Billboard and Cash Box surveys (“The Letter” reached #1 the previous year) and was their last Top 10 hit.
- People, “I Love You” One of the songs from last week, where it topped KCPX’s chart.
- Georgie Fame, “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” Georgie’s lone Top 10 US hit, it reached #7 nationally.
- The Beatles, “Lady Madonna” Went to #1 worldwide but wasn’t on any album until the Hey Jude album was released in the US.
- The Monkees, “Valleri” The flamenco-esque guitar solo was provided by session whiz Louis Shelton. Mike Nesmith isn’t especially fond of it. Reached #3 on the Hot 100 and #1 on Cash Box, the last of their Top 10 hits.
- Bobby Goldsboro, “Pledge of Love” The other song that was on KCPX’s survey last week.
- Bobby Goldsboro, “Honey” Bob Shane’s version of this song was #7 on the other station, which I find a bit odd. If Bobby Goldsboro’s definitive version was available, why didn’t we see it last week?
Anyway, that’s The Friday 5×2 for March 22, 2019.
KCPX in Salt Lake City, Utah became a Top 40 station in 1959 and was one of the more popular stations in that market, but as music radio listening moved to the FM band it listenership fell off considerably. The call letters are now used by a news-talk station broadcasting at 1490 kHz, while the station at 1320 kHz, KNIT-AM, is currently silent while its owner, Kona Coast Radio, works on building a new transmitter. Anyway, here’s their Top 10 as of this date in 1968.
- Kenny Rogers & The First Edition, “Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)” Hard to believe that the first time Kenny Rogers found chart success, it was with a psychedelic rock tune, but it reached #5 nationally.
- Bobby Goldsboro, “Pledge of Love” I had never heard this before, and in fact it failed to make the Hot 100 (Billboard #102, Cash Box #103), but as frequently happens, it found its audience somewhere, in this case the capital of the Beehive State.
- Moody Blues, “Nights In White Satin” This was the first release of this song, coinciding with the release of its album, Days Of Future Passed, the year before. It reached #19 in the UK but just missed reaching the Hot 100 in the US, peaking at #103. The 1972 release did much better (Billboard #2, Cash Box #1).
- Bob Shane, “Honey” This was the original release by the former member of The Kingston Trio, preceding Bobby Goldsboro’s megahit by a few months. Bobby Russell, who wrote the song, produced both versions. It has been called the worst song ever written, but I have a certain affection for it. Don’t ask why, I couldn’t tell you.
- Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, “Young Girl” Judging by some of the comments on it, over the years this song has taken on a sinister meaning, that the singer is somehow trying to corrupt an underage girl. Listen closely to the lyrics, you’ll realize it’s just the opposite. I think it’s a great song, like so many other songs by Gary and the boys from Union Gap, Washington.
- Otis Redding, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” Written by Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper, it was recorded twice, the second time just before Redding’s death. It reached #1 on the Hot 100 and won two Grammys, Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Performance. Shame Otis wasn’t around to see it.
- The Association, “Everything That Touches You” Didn’t recognize this at first, but the memories rushed back on hearing it. This was their last Top 10 hit nationally, reaching #10. Some might argue they saved the best for last.
- Blue Cheer, “Summertime Blues” Arguably the first Heavy Metal song to reach the Top 10, this was Blue Cheer’s only Top 40 hit, reaching #14 in the US and #2 in Canada.
- Petula Clark, “Kiss Me Goodbye” Still going strong at 86, Petula Clark had a string of hits in the ’60’s. This reached #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart and #15 on the Hot 100 (#12 on the Cash Box survey).
- People, “I Love You” People was a one-hit wonder, and this was it. This was a song originally recorded by The Zombies, and was a huge hit worldwide, just not all at the same time.
And that’s the Friday 5×2 for March 15, 2019.
I was going to run down Wacker Drive to Marina City and talk about the Top 10 for 1968 according to WCFL, Chicago’s other AM Top 40 station at the time, but when I got there, I discovered that there wasn’t a whole lot of difference, as you can see from the table
|The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”
|The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire”
|Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”
|Mary Hopkin, “Those Were The Days”
|Ohio Express, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy”
|Herb Alpert, “This Guy’s In Love With You”
|Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley PTA”
|Bobby Goldsboro, “Honey”
|Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue (L’amour Est Bleu)”
|The Beatles, “Hey Jude”/”Revolution”
Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to share #11-20 on the WLS list, along with their position on the WCFL list in parentheses. Since the WCFL list is only the Top 30 for their year, if a record didn’t place in their top 30, it’ll be noted as “#–“.
- #20 (#–): John Fred & The Playboy Band, “Judy In Disguise” The first time John Fred Gourrier heard The Beatles’s “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” he though it was “Lucy In Disguise With Diamonds.” That inspired this song, which was a #1 hit during the year. It was their only song to break into the Top 40.
- #19 (#23): The Lemon Pipers, “Green Tambourine” Another one-hit wonder, this song is considered the first “bubblegum” song. The Lemon Pipers took it to #1 in the US and Canada and had similar luck in Australia (#2), New Zealand (#3) and the UK (#7).
- #18 (#20): The Rascals, “People Got To Be Free” The Rascals, known as The Young Rascals until 1968, scored a #1 with this, their second Top 10 record in ’68. It was also their last appearance in the Top 20.
- #17 (#15): Simon & Garfunkel, “Mrs. Robinson” Included in the soundtrack for The Graduate (1967) starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, and from their fourth album Bookends (1968), this was a #1 hit for them and was the first rock song to win the Grammy for Song of the Year (1969).
- #16 (#29): The Beatles, “Lady Madonna” Their last song to be released on Parlophone (UK) and Capitol (US), it was recorded before the band left for India. It went to #4 in the US and #1 in the UK.
- #15 (#–): The American Breed, “Bend Me, Shape Me” The Chicago-based band that ultimately became Rufus reached #5 in the US and #7 in Canada, the only time they reached the Top 20, making them not quite one-hit wonders.
- #14 (#12): Tommy James & The Shondells, “Mony Mony” The song was inspired by the Mutual of New York (MONY) sign outside Tommy James’s apartment in New York. It reached #1 in the UK, #3 in the US, and #1 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.
- #13 (#14): Diana Ross & The Supremes, “Love Child” Title track from their 1968 album, after Diana Ross received top billing and replaced Florence Ballard with Cindy Birdsong. It took just two weeks to reach the Billboard Top 10 and was the song that supplanted “Hey Jude” from the #1 spot.
- #12 (#13): The Monkees, “Valleri” Yes, that’s the way it’s spelled. A song by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, they wrote it as they were on their way to see Don Kirschner, who they had told that it was done. Session musicians included Louie Shelton, who played the flamenco-esque solo at the beginning.
- #11 (#24): Hugh Masakela, “Grazing In The Grass” Hugh is known as “The Father of South African Jazz.” This is also a one-hit wonder, as he took this to #1.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for January 4, 2019.
Starting in 1967, WLS Radio produced a year-end survey, listing the top 89 records from the previous year (since WLS called itself “The Big 89”). Since 1968 is 50 years ago, I thought we might look at their list from that year. I considered building a playlist with all 89 songs on it, but reasoned that no one would bother listening to it, so I kept it at the Top 10, or as you’ll see later, the Top 11 (there was a tie for the #1 spot, but both songs were on one record). You can see the full list here, courtesy of Oldiesloon.
- The Rolling Stones, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” It still surprises me that this song is as old as it is. It sounds like one of their songs from the ’70’s. This came in at #50 on the Hot 100 for 1968, so you can see that musical tastes in Chicago were a whole lot different than the rest of the country.
- The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, “Fire” Parents hated this song, at least my mom did. Naturally, that’s why I liked it. Ended the year at #39 nationwide.
- Marvin Gaye, “I Heard It Through The Gravpevine” Marvin’s first #1 record on the Hot 100 as well as the R&B chart and in the UK, it nonetheless failed to chart on the yearend Hot 100 in 1968 and only got to #88 on the 1969 yearend chart.
- Mary Hopkin, “Those Were The Days” One of the first artists to be signed to Apple Records, Mary was produced by Paul McCartney, who had her record one of his songs from the Magical Mystery Tour album. It reached #1 in the UK, Germany and Switzerland as well as on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, but was kept out of the #1 spot on the Hot 100 by The Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” It reached #30 on the yearend Hot 100.
- Ohio Express, “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” 1968 was the year when bubblegum music had its big breakout, subjecting us to the 1910 Fruitgum Company and Ohio Express. It came in at #38 on the yearend Hot 100.
- Herb Alpert, “This Guy’s In Love With You” This easy listening tune reached #7 on the yearend Hot 100, marking the first time in this list WLS and Billboard came close to one another.
- Jeannie C. Riley, “Harper Valley PTA” There was still room on the pop charts for country music crossovers in 1968. Jeannie C. Riley’s song about hypocrisy in a small town serves as a reminder about people in glass houses not throwing stones, and led to a short-lived TV series starring the lovely and talented Barbara Eden. Billboard had this finishing the year at #11.
- Bobby Goldsboro, “Honey” The top 3 positions on the WLS Big 89 and the yearend Hot 100 agree, starting with this song about love and loss. I could say much more, but I won’t, other than to say that I kind of like it.
- Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue (L’amour Est Bleu)” This song, with lyrics in French, was Luxembourg’s entry into the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest, where it was sung by Greek singer Vicky Leandros (appearing as simply “Vicky”) and placed fourth. French orchestra leader Paul Mauriat recorded this instrumental version and it became the only record recorded by a French artist to reach #1 on the Hot 100.
- The Beatles, “Hey Jude”/”Revolution” Maybe the only song by The Fab Four that I really dislike nevertheless had an amazing year in 1968, and in Chicago its flip side was almost as popular. In the list, the latter precedes the former, so you can cut out during the “na na na nanana na”s.
And that’s The Friday 5×2 for December 28, 2018. If I don’t see you before then, Happy New Year!