(Above: That one’s not even close.)
March 28, 1970
It’s the day that actor Vince Vaughan is born in Minneapolis. That same day, two members of the Weathermen, a domestic political protest group, were killed when a pipe bomb they were preparing exploded prematurely.
Two days later, another famous figure is born: Secretariat, probably the most famous race horse in American thoroughbred history. Three years later the horse will win the Triple Crown, and on the way to doing so win the Belmont Stakes by a staggering 31 lengths.
On the charts: it’s the fifth of six weeks in the #1 position for “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel. For as great as last week’s list of new songs was, this week’s is admittedly sparse.
“Woodstock” – Crosby Stills Nash & Young (debut at #68). In which we reminisce about that fun concert last summer. Of course, the band as listed on the label didn’t appear at Woodstock, since this is the first single with Neil Young on the roster. While admittedly not a favorite of mine, a lot of people did like it as it made #11.
“Everybody’s Out of Town” – B.J. Thomas (#74). Ironic that this one turns fifty in the midst of people around the world staying home to avoid spreading the COVID-19 virus. Apparently the opposite was true in 1970, and you good get a dinner reservation and a decent parking spot. This one goes on to hit #26.
“The Funniest Thing” – Dennis Yost & the Classics IV (#85). This one spends about a month on the chart and ends up at #59.
“Brown Paper Bag” – Syndicate of Sound (#86). The Syndicate of Sound are technically a one-hit wonder, with 1966’s “Little Girl” being the only record by the band to make the Top 40. They had two other singles to crack the Hot 100; this is the last of the bunch and peaks at #73. It ends up a #1 hit in San Bernadino, California and is also Top 20 in San Jose, Cincinnati, and Wausau, Wisconsin’s WRIG.
“But For Love” – Jerry Naylor (#87). This is the only single to cross over for this Country singer, and it peaks at #69 and spends four weeks on the charts. It’s a #6 hit on WGVA in Geneva, New York.
“Capture the Moment” – Jay & the Americans (#90). This is the last record to hit the Top 100 for the band – their 18th. It’ll stop at #57, but it’s a Top 5 record in St. Louis. The group will get regional airplay with later records, but nothing on the national scale.
“July 12, 1939” – Charlie Rich (#94). Rich hasn’t yet hit his stride in terms of the Pop charts, as this one only makes it to #85. In three years Rich will end up at the top of the charts with “The Most Beautiful Girl.”
“If Only I Had My Mind on Something Else” – The Bee Gees (#97). 1969 and 1970 are slow years for The Bee Gees.Between “First of May,” which charted March 22 of ’69 and “Lonely Days,” which peaked at #3 in early ’71, every other release stalls. This one only spends three weeks on the chart and stalls at #91. (The next one doesn’t do that well.)
“Vehicle” – The Ides of March (#98). I don’t know that I need to explain how fantastic this record is. Technically, it’s the only Top 40 hit for the Chicago band, at least nationally: several other records got a ton of airplay on WLS and WCFL (“L.A. Goodbye” comes to mind, for one). This heads all the way up to #2 and spends a week there.
“Which Way You Goin’, Billy?” – The Poppy Family (#100). I’m going to put this song in your head now, and it will stay there for a while. This is the debut record for the band, which will go on to spend two weeks in the #2 position. The singer on the record is Susan Jacks; her husband Terry was in the group as well. You may recognize his name faster as we have him to thank for “Seasons in the Sun.”