New this week in ’69: March 29


(Above: President Eisenhower, as painted by Rockwell and seen in Porky’s.)

March 29, 1969

The country is mourning the loss of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who passed away yesterday at the age of 78. That same day Pope Paul VI increased the number of cardinals in the church by one-third. Also on the 28th, the final episode of Star Trek, called “Turnabout Intruder,” aired on NBC. It had already been announced that the show wouldn’t be coming back in the fall of ’69.

Tomorrow, on the 30th, a band called the Allman Brothers Band will play their first-ever gig at the Jacksonville Armory in Florida. The following day a new novel by Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five, will be published and eventually end up on required reading lists all over high schools.

On the charts: “Dizzy” by Tommy Roe remains at the #1 spot for its third week. What else is making a debut?

My Way” – Frank Sinatra (debuting at #69). Of course you know this one, if you haven’t sung it yourself at a karaoke night. It was also the second-to-last song I played as I exited my radio career for teaching, because of course it was. Paul Anka gets the writing credit for adapting the original French lyrics. This will be a mid-range hit in its first release, making it only to #27.

Mini Skirt Minnie” – Wilson Pickett (#76). This is a fantastic record that should have been a bigger hit than the #50 that it ended up.

Mercy” – Ohio Express (#77). In fact, I’d trade the #30 position for this one and give it to Wilson Pickett if I could, but I can’t. This one, though, does convincingly better than “Sweeter than Sugar,” their last entry from March 1.

Wishful Sinful” – The Doors (#79). Here’s your first “oh wow” of the week. This is one that simply doesn’t get enough play. It stalled at #44, which is actually higher than I expected to find it. A very cool record that we did play at WGVU more than once. I may have to take out The Soft Parade LP this afternoon.

There Never Was a TimeJeannie C. Riley (#86). We think of her as a one-hit wonder on the pop side, but Jeannie  put 23 singles on the Country charts in the 60s and 70s. This one only wanders a little bit higher, stopping at #77.

Good Times Bad Times” – Led Zeppelin (#94). And, here it is: the first single ever charted by Led Zeppelin. It only makes #80, but they’ll have more success – their biggest hit, in fact – later this year.

One Eye Open” – The Maskman & the Agents (#95). Here’s another really nifty record that you may have forgotten. That would be understandable, as this is it’s only week on the charts. To me, it sounds like the answer to “What do you get when you cross the Lovin’ Spoonful with Joe Tex?”

Zazueira” – Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (#96). Ah, one for the parents who are buying records. I, for one, appreciate the pronunciation keys included on some of the TJB and Sergio Mendes releases. This is “Za-zoo-wher-a,” if you’re keeping score at home, but my students would be marked down for not indicating which syllable gets the stress. It’ll end up at #78.

Something’s On Her Mind” – The Four Seasons (#98). This one’s the flip side of “Idaho,” which was reported by KSTT/Davenport a few weeks ago and we won’t see here until next week. I’ll give it “oh wow” as well, because it’s an interesting tune. Are.. are they trying a little psychedelic effect here, or is it just me? The starts-and-stops probably held it down a bit, as this is the only week it charts.

I Love My Baby” – Archie Bell & the Drells (#100). Fantastic, but I am a bit biased in that I could listen to AB&tD all damn day. This only makes it up to #94, which is positively criminal. There’s nothing not to like about this record.


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