(Above: If you look up “groovy,” you get this image.)
February 8, 1969
The final issue of The Saturday Evening Post is published. It makes a brief return as an every-so-often magazine a year later. Tomorrow morning, a new airplane will make its maiden flight – a jumbo jet that Boeing has dubbed the 747. Gabby Hayes, the movie cowboy, also passes away on the 9th at the age of 83. Two days later – on the 11th – actress Jennifer Aniston is born in California.
What’s new on the charts this week? Lots.
The number 1 song in the country remains “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James & the Shondells, but for only another week. Watch for another chart-topper next time!
“Time of the Season” – The Zombies (debuting at #60). The strongest debut of the week, by one place, is a strong record that just about everybody knows. It will go on to hit #3.
“Traces” – Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost (61). This will go on to be the theme of unnumbered proms, dances, divorces etc.
“To Susan On the West Coast Waiting” – Donovan (67). Wrack your memory on this one. Now, when I tell you it made the top 40 – landing at #35 – you’ll wonder why it hasn’t seen much in the way of airplay.
“You Gave Me a Mountain” – Frankie Laine (69). This will go on to be the biggest pop chart hit for the country singer, ending up at #24. Had he released the theme to “Blazing Saddles,” we’d be talking about something completely different.
“Sophisticated Cissy” – The Meters (71). Here’s your cool instrumental theme for the week. It will make it into the Top 40 as well.
“Long Line Rider” – Bobby Darin (81). Yes, Darin was still charting records at late as 1969. We forget that he was only 33 at this stage. It won’t go much higher than this, nudging two places and falling back down.
“Honey (I Miss You)” – O.C. Smith (86). Funny, I don’t recall asking for a remake on this one – I thought Bobby Goldsboro had it handled. That said, this is a much more soulful version, even if it’s still glurge. It misses the Top 40 but makes it to #19 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
“My World Is Empty Without You” – Jose Feliciano (87). Here’s your “oh, wow” for the week. This is a fantastic interpretation of this tune. Maybe it’s just me, but the older I get, the more I appreciate Feliciano’s work. This is as high as it gets on the chart, which is a shame.
“Johnny One Time” – Brenda Lee (88). In much the same way we don’t think of Bobby Darin being active in 1969, we probably also overlook Brenda Lee, who is only 24 (!) at the time of this release, which comes eleven years after her first. It’ll end up at #41, just missing the next level.
“Heaven” – The Rascals (90). I was really, really close to doing a piece on this record in the “Pop Perfection” category, and then I saw it come up here. This came on in the car the other day, and for about three minutes I forgot that it was the middle of winter. Everything was bright, and warm, and good. It takes a powerful record to accomplish that.
“Me About You” – The Lovin’ Spoonful (91). The Spoonful are still hanging on at this stage, working on their second or third lineup. No John Sebastian, no hit record; this stalls right here.
“Witchi Tai To” – Everything is Everything (93). Here’s another possible “oh wow.” We played this in the lunar rotation at WGVU during my time there, and it usually drew that sort of “the hell?” raised eyebrow. Neat record.
“The Tra La La Song” – The Banana Splits (96). I covered this one last year when Don Sandburg, Chicago children’s television icon passed.
“Great Balls of Fire” – Tiny Tim (97). I… I got nothin’. Kids, never let your parents tell you their music was always better than yours.
“Glad She’s A Woman” – Bobby Goldsboro (98). I mentioned him earlier, but Bobby is on the chart, well-entrenched in his MOR phase. It’ll miss the top 40 but make it to #7 on the Adult Contemporary chart.
“Try a Little Tenderness” – Three Dog Night (99). Great tune, but a) I will always choose Otis Redding, and b) I will always sing it as “young girls they do get wooly” thanks to Bull Durham. This is their first song to hit the 100, it will make #29, and they’ll put another twenty songs on the chart in the next six years.
“Only the Lonely” – Sonny James (100). How many remakes is that now? It’s safe to say we can stick with Roy.