(Above: Guys, this game doesn’t count.)
July 11, 1970
It’s the day after “whites only” schools lose their tax-exempt status. This is not a foreign dispatch; this is a story from the United States, where ten thousand such schools, ranging from kindergarten all the way up through college, remain in existence years after Brown v Board of Education.
On July 12, Jack Nicklaus wins the British Open (or do we just say “the Open”) by one shot over Doug Sanders. The two were dead even after four rounds, so an additional 18-hole playoff was held to determine the winner.
Two nights later, the National League will defeat the American League in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game by a score of 5-4 in 12 innings. The clip from the game that you remember is Pete Rose bowling over Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse at home plate to score the winning run, which was driven in by Jim Hickman. X-rays later revealed that Fosse’s shoulder was fractured; he finished the season and still won the Gold Glove.
On the charts: the new #1 song in the country is “Mama Told Me (Not to Come)” by Three Dog Night, which took a slower path to get to the top (it premiered May 23). It will stay here for this week and next; the leader board is starting to change more often.
Also making their first chart appearances this week:
“War” – Edwin Starr (debut at #72). I think I’ve gotten desensitized to this record given the thousands of times I was tasked with playing it in Oldies radio. It’s still pretty powerful, and still pretty relevant. This will eventually make it all the way to the top of the charts and spend three weeks there. (I was also surprised to see that the other version that I remember – Bruce Springsteen’s – also made the Top 10. We’ll have to wait for a 1986 retrospective for more about that, and that may happen anyway.)
“In the Summertime” – Mungo Jerry (#74). A few answers to questions you didn’t know you had: 1) Yes, you file it under “M.” It’s a they, not a he; in fact, no one in the band is named Jerry. 2) No, they didn’t chart any other records in the US. Just this one, which made it to #3. This record spent seven weeks atop the charts in the UK, though
“Summertime Blues” – The Who (#80). While I am still partial to Eddie Cochrane’s original, if I have to pick a cover, this is it. It only makes it to #27 (The Who were not a strong singles band, after all), but it still rocks.
“Paper Mache” – Dionne Warwick (#84). This is a nice enough record that just missed the Top 40, stopping at #43. It makes it to #6 on the Easy Listening chart; I’d have guessed higher, as it has that sort of sound to it. I wouldn’t mind hearing this one more often.
“Apartment 21” – Bobbie Gentry (#85). Here’s the first “oh wow” of the week. How did we all miss this one? It spend six weeks on the charts but only moves up to #81. This is the last “new” record to cross over for Gentry, as there will be re-entries for “Ode to Billie Joe” when the movie comes out in 1976 and that’s it. In Louisville, Kentucky, this makes it to #14 on WKLO; I couldn’t find an instance of it charting higher than that.
“Groovy Situation” – Gene Chandler (#86). Any time I hear this song now I have an urge to buy new suits. This one makes it all the way up to #12, which makes it all the more surprising that we didn’t hear it much until its inclusion in Anchorman.
“Do You See My Love (For You Growing)” – Jr. Walker & the All-Stars (#87). It’s a solid example of the Junior Walker sound. Nationally this gets to #32, but on WYSL in Buffalo, New York this is a #3 record.
“Solitary Man” – Neil Diamond (#90). This record is an example of why timing matters. By the time we see it here it’s four years old. In fact, it was Diamond’s first charting single: on May 21, 1966, it entered the chart and spent ten weeks there, peaking at #55. After a few more hit singles, it comes back in 1970 and gets to #21. Despite being less of a hit than “Groovy Situation,” you no doubt heard it on more Oldies stations based on the popularity of Diamond’s other work. It also, from a music directing standpoint, is an “easy segue.” You can fit most other Oldies around this and they don’t clash, hence a crapload of airplay.
“Down By the River” – The Brooklyn Bridge (#91). If you liked this band for “Worst That Could Happen,” this will sound a little weird to you. It’s sorta psych, sorta rock, and the kind of thing that charts for two weeks and fades away, peaking right where you see it. Interestingly, on KWHP in Edmond, Oklahoma, it’s a #17 record.
“I.O.I.O.” – The Bee Gees (#94). We’re still a few weeks away from Bee Gees mania hitting us head on; the string of pleasant and soft hits placing in the 10-20 range has ended, and this different sound will only spend this week on the chart. Most of the examples of regional airplay are foreign; its best performance in the US was in Hawaii, where KPUA/Hilo advanced it up to #14.
“Drop By My Place” – Little Carl Carlton (#96). It’s a decent soul record, back from when he still called himself “little.” It’ll also be the last time we see Carl on the chart for a few years, as his next record won’t come until 1974. That’s “Everlasting Love,” and it’s his only Top 10 hit.
“Give a Woman Love” – Bobbi Martin (#97). This is such grown-up AM radio goodness – the sort of thing you can picture blasting out of your parents’ radio. The follow-up to “For the Love Of Him,” this will spend this week on the chart and fade away. WBCK in Battle Creek, Michigan appears to be the hot spot for this one, charting it at #17 – which is the same rank it achieved on the Easy Listening charts.
“Que Sera Sera” – Mary Hopkin (#98). It’s the remake no one asked for. This will, however, spend a month on the charts and climb to #77. Oh, and there’s KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii again – they had this as a #1 record, which is leading to questions.
“No Arms Could Ever Hold You” – Bobby Vinton (#100). Here Bobby is still doing early-60s slow dance, and it’s showing its age. This spends four weeks on the charts, moves to #93, and then disappears from sight. So does Vinton, until he makes a comeback with a couple of Top 40 hits in 1972.