April 26, 1969
It’s the day after the birth of actress Renee Zellweger, who turned fifty yesterday. It’s also the day that Manchester City win the FA Cup. (To this point, Coventry City have never won the FA Cup. They’ll ruin a perfectly good losing streak in 1987.)
Sunday, April 27th sees the birth of Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey. The next day French President Charles de Gaulle will resign the office after a vote of no-confidence. That same day Terence O’Neill stepped down as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
On Wednesday, April 30, the number of American troops in Vietnam hits the high point at 543, 482. It will steadily decline until the ceasing of hostilities several years later.
For the third consecutive week, the chart is topped by “Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” by the Fifth Dimension. There’s a bunch of great new adds this week as well.
“Too Busy Thinkin’ ‘Bout My Baby” – Marvin Gaye (debuts at #67). What a solid record to start the list this week. It was originally a Temptations record, but Marvin owns it. It’ll peak at #4 later in the summer.
“Oh Happy Day” – Edwin Hawkins Singers (#72). Another one that will reach the #4 slot. It’s not one that you hear on the radio nearly as often, but you can’t help but feel good when you do.
“Day Is Done” – Peter, Paul & Mary (#83). Here’s one that, to be honest, I had completely forgotten about. Their biggest hit is yet to come, despite many thinking that PP&M were purely an early-60s folk relic. This climbed up to #21 on the pop chart.
“Heather Honey” – Tommy Roe (#87). This will make it to #29 nationally, but fare much better in certain locales, like Kalamazoo, MI, where it’s a #1 record on WKMI in May.
“Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word” – Joan Baez (#88). There’s no Dylan on the chart this week, but we’ll see his influence in a couple of spots. He wrote this song, which won’t move much higher than this (#86) and fade away completely after four weeks. It’s from an entire album of Dylan songs that Baez released in 1968.
“Mr. Walker, It’s All Over” – Billie Jo Spears (#89). Billie Jo had far more success on the Country charts, where she charted 34 records from the 60s through the 80s. This is one of her two to cross over, and it only manages to reach #80.
“I Shall Be Released” – Box Tops (#90). More Dylan, and this is a pretty nice version. It’ll land at #67, but we’ll hear more from the group later in the summer.
“From Both Sides Now” – Dion (#91). Back in January I didn’t quite know what to make of Dion’s version of “Purple Haze,” only to say that it stuck with me for days. This won’t stick quite as long. This will stay right in this slot on the chart, and I think that’s a good place for it.
“Greensleeves” – Mason Williams (#93). Here’s an “oh, wow” for you. If you’ve only thought of “Greensleeves” as something you hear at Christmastime, give this a listen. It’s very much in the style of “Classical Gas,” his 1968 smash. It only makes it to #90, but it’s something that I’ll be adding to the holiday rotation to see if anyone notices.
“Seven Years” – Impressions (#94). Here’s another “oh, wow.” This only hits #84, which is positively criminal. It’s one of those records that feels like a happy number, until you listen to it. It’s wonderful, and I listened to it twice in a row. (Their next single in June will fare much better.)
“I Can’t Say No To You” – Betty Everett (#95). Clearly, we stashed the good stuff at the bottom of the pile. Two great Chicago soul shots in a row, and both chart far lower than they should have. This one stalls at #78, but it’s such a pretty record.
“I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” – Ike & Tina Turner (#96). In which Ike and Tina cover Otis, and no last names are needed. It stays pretty true to the original, and will make it to #68.
“Home To You” – Earth Opera (#97). I’m going to go ahead and suggest that you don’t remember this one. This is the only week that it will spend on the chart. It’s not a bad record – it sounds to me to have been inspired by Dylan and Hendrix, if he were to release an acoustic recording. (I hear “The Wind Cries Mary” in the verse.) The group was from Boston, where this was a Top 10 record.
“Never Gonna Let Him Know” – Debbie Taylor (#98). One final rare soul shot to round out the chart this week, and it’s fantastic. This will only hit #86, and Taylor won’t hit the charts again until 1976, when “I Don’t Wanna Leave You” spends one week at #100. But it does well in big cities: CKLW charts it at #3, while WAME in Miami bumps it to #5. If there’s someone answering the phone at your local station, request it.