(Above: Is this card in your collection?)
June 13, 1970
It’s the date that Kent State reopens its campus following the shootings that took place there on May 4. That same day President Nixon forms the Scranton Commission to look into campus unrest. That same day Rivers Cuomo is born; he’s the lead singer of Weezer.
The day before Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter, purportedly under the influence of LSD. In the game Ellis walked eight batters, but no San Diego Padres hit safely in the game. Also on June 12: Australia began its conversion to the metric system.
The following Monday (June 15) the first trials connected to the Manson Family murders takes place. It’s also the birthdate of actress Leah Remini.
On the charts: the new #1 song in the US is “The Long and Winding Road/For You Blue” by The Beatles. That just made the charts on May 23, so that’s a pretty fast rise to the top. It will spend this week and next in that spot.
Also making their first appearances this week:
“A Song of Joy” – Miguel Rios (debut at #49). I could never figure out why something so joyful started out so ominously. But Beethoven does well on the charts: this makes it up to #14 in the US, and is #1 on the Easy Listening chart. Oh, it’s also #1 in Australia, Canada, Germany, and Switzerland.
“Song From M*A*S*H” – Al DeLory (#79). Damn, this swings. But what the hell is that instrument that kicks in at about 1:07? I want to learn how to play it, whatever it is. This is the only single to chart for DeLory; he is better known as the guy who made Glen Campbell’s singles sound so damned good and was one of the session musicians on Pet Sounds among others. Note the title: radio stations probably didn’t want to say “Suicide is Painless” (the actual title), so we got this euphemism instead. This will peak at #70 nationally, but is a #1 hit on KOQT in Bellingham, Washington and stalls at #2 on KWWL in Waterloo, Iowa.
“Canned Ham” – Norman Greenbaum (#84). This is the big follow-up to “Spirit In the Sky,” which charted on February 28th. This almost became a hit: it stops at #46. On KYNO in Fresno, California, this is a #4 record.
“The End of Our Road” – Marvin Gaye (#85). Here’s your first “oh wow” record, and what a wonderfully angry break-up song. I can’t for the life of me remember hearing this on the radio, and it made #40 nationally. His next record, “What’s Goin’ On,” will be a much bigger hit.
“Save the Country” – Fifth Dimension (#90). This used to play a lot in my house. My mother had the Fifth Dimension’s Greatest Hits LP – which I think is in my vinyl pile now – and I remember this blasting out of that Magnavox changer that we had in the basement. I haven’t heard it in a long time, and I’m thinking that if I were programming the Oldies format in 2020, I bump this to an “A” and see who notices. It’ll peak at #27, but this makes it to #1 on WSAC in Fort Knox, Kentucky and on WKXY in Sarasota, Florida.
“Silver Bird” – Mark Lindsay (#95). I feel like I told this story already, but in my short and ill-fated stop at WQQL/Springfield we got to hang out with Mark for a morning, and he was a wonderful sport. This #25 record screams 1970 to me, and sounds wonderful in glorious mono coming out of a WCFL jingle. This is a much bigger hit on regional playlists, topping at #2 on WRIG in Wausau, Wisconsin and #3 in Nashville, St. Louis, Seattle, and on WSPT in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.
“Make It With You” – Bread (#96). Quick – someone check the birth rate for March 1971. If there’s an increase, here’s why. This is the debut record for the band, and it’s going all the way, much like many of the couples who listened to it.
“Good Morning Freedom” – Daybreak (#97). Whoa. This is a fun record that I don’t think I’ve heard since it was briefly used in a format change stunt at WYTZ in Chicago in 1991. This will only spend three weeks on the chart and stall at #94, but it’s a top 20 on WLS in Chicago. It’s also going on my iPod as soon as this posts, because this sounds fantastic.
“Move Me, O Wondrous Music” – Ray Charles Singers (#99). This represents the last single for the Ray Charles Singers to make the charts. It will spend this week here in this slot, and then disappear. I recommend you give it a minute, since the open doesn’t move you to do anything but change the station.
“He Loves Me All the Way” – Tammy Wynette (#100). Country fans know this one, which spends three weeks atop that chart in 1970. On the pop side, the crossover is short, lasting only two weeks and stopping at #97.