Saturday, June 24, 2017

June 24th

The Fifth Dimension made their television debut today on "American Bandstand", where they lip-synched their big hit "Up, Up And Away".  

Guitarist Zal Yanovsky left The Lovin' Spoonful after their performance this evening at The Forest Hills Music Festival. 

The Monkees arrive in Paris, France, where some of their antics will be filmed for an upcoming episode of their TV series.

Here's a look at our Chicago Charts for this week in June, 1967.  Note that The Cryan' Shames show up as one of WCFL's "Chicago Premiers" this week with their future #1 Local Hit "It Could Be We're In Love".  That means The WCFL Sound 10 Survey features SIX local acts on the chart this week!

Friday, June 23, 2017

June 23rd

Big movers outside The Top 40 include "Shake Rattle And Roll" by Arthur Conley (#57 to #41), "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby" by The Dave Clark Five (#53 to #42), "Make Me Yours" by Bettye Swann (#54 to #43), "More Love" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (#76 to #44), "I Take It Back" by Sandy Posey (#60 to #46), "Mercy Mercy Mercy" by The Buckinghams (#84 to #47), "Step Out Of Your Mind" by The American Breed (#73 to #49), giving Chicago groups THREE Hits in The National Top 50 this week when you include Spanky and Our Gang's #8 hit "Sunday Will Never Be The Same", "Bowling Green" by The Everly Brothers (#66 to #51), Carrie Anne by The Hollies (#97 to #53 ... wow!  That's a jump of 44 places!), "Don't Blame The Children" by Sammy Davis, Jr. (#65 to #54), "Summer And Sandy" by Lesley Gore (#68 to #57), "You Wanted Someone To Play WIth" by Frankie Laine (#82 to #60), "Baby Please Come Back" by J.J. Barnes (#78 to #61), "Love Me Tender" by Percy Sledge (#93 to #67), "Graduation Day" by The Arbors (#89 to #73), "Who's Lovin' You" by Brenda and the Tabulations (#86 to #75) and "Black Sheep" by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (#90 to #76). 

Speaking of Arthur Conley, he received a gold record for his big hit "Sweet Soul Music" today, which reached #2 on the pop charts earlier this year.  In a way, it's rather surprising … as the song is virtually a note-for-note knock-off of Sam Cooke's "Yeah Man".  Conley shared writing credit on his reworking, however … the song's official songwriters include Sam Cooke, Otis Redding and Arthur Conley! 

Aretha Franklin, The Queen Of Soul, records "Chain Of Fools".  That opening guitar break was done by singer / songwriter Joe South, who would go on to have his own chart hit a year later with "Games People Play".

The Beatles fine tune the rhythm track of "All You Need Is Love" in preparation of their worldwide performance and live recording coming up on the 25th. 

Who bassist John Entwistle marries his first wife, childhood sweetheart Alison Wise.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June 22nd

The Young Rascals record another '60's classic, "How Can I Be Sure," in New York City today.  

It's rerun season on television … but the Lesley Gore / Pussycat / Catwoman / Batman episodes play again this evening on ABC.  

Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys plays host to British Magazine New Music Express writer Keith Altham by taking him on a tour of California.  Stops include Disneyland, where they do The Jungle Cruise, visit "It's A Small World" and embark on the brand new Pirates of the Caribbean ride.  Later that night they visit the very popular club,, "Daisy's," where they run into Barbra Streisand and Bobby Darin.  (Obviously a VERY elite club clientele!)  Bruce tells Altham about an earlier trip he made there when, at 2 am, they started playing a Frank Sinatra record.  Johnston looked around the club and saw, sitting there at a table all on his own, Ol' Blue Eyes himself.  Bruce explained "When your favorite LP of all time is 'Only The Lonely', you don't waste an opportunity to talk to a man like that.  I went over and introduced myself.  He spent fifteen minutes talking to me about The Beach Boys' records and I could not get a word in to ask him about his."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

June 21st

Jefferson Airplane have the highest debut of the week with another one of my all-time favorites, "White Rabbit", which premiers at #56.  (Their first chart hit, "Somebody To Love", is still in The Top Ten, holding at #6.  

"Jackson", a duet by Nancy Sinatra and her producer Lee Hazlewood, debuts at #68 and a forever classic, "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum premiers right behind it at #69. 

Herman's Hermits have a new record on the charts as "Don't Go Out Into The Rain" debuts at #70, followed by "For Your Love" by Peaches and Herb (#71) and "Somebody Help Me" by The Spencer Davis Group, a great little forgotten ditty that premiers at #72. 

"Silence Is Golden" by The Tremeloes, a remake of a Four Seasons B-Side, debuts at #81 (honestly, I think it blows the original away, one of those rare times where the remake is better than the original) … and Nancy Sinatra has her second debut of the week as the flipside of her "Jackson" duet premiers at #82.  (It's the title theme to the new James Bond film "You Only Live Twice).   

The Royal Guardsmen are back with a non-Snoopy song as "Airplane Song" premiers at #86.  Engelbert Humperdinck (still hanging on with a spot in The Top Ten with "Release Me") brings up the rear with his follow-up single, "There Goes My Everything", which comes in at the #100 spot on this week's chart. 

It's officially the First Day Of Summer … or, in THIS case, The First Day of The Summer Of Love!  To help celebrate, The Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Quicksilver Messenger Service put on a free concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. 

Dionne Warwick performs "Alfie" on "The Steve Allen Show". 

The Monkees re-record an entirely new arrangement of "She Hangs Out" for their new LP.  (You may recall that a much more R&B version was issued as the B-Side of the Canadian single "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" earlier this year.) This new version is pure and simple infectious pop … and certainly one of the best tracks they ever recorded. 

Also recorded today was a jam session that ultimately became "Goin' Down" … it would eventually become the flipside of their "Daydream Believer" single later this year.  Credited to all four Monkees (and Diane Hilderbrand, who was tasked with writing the majority of the lyrics), this song didn't sound like ANYTHING The Monkees had ever recorded before.  Micky does a great jazz vocal (with just the right amount of scat-singing thrown in for good measure.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20th

After being found guilty of draft evasion (after a jury deliberated for 21 minutes!) Muhammad Ali is sentenced to five years imprisonment in a Houston courtroom for refusing induction into the military service.  He is banned from boxing for three years and fined $10,000, but is allowed free on bail, never actually serving any time of his jail sentence. 

At a recording session in New York (under the guidance of Svengali Producer James William Guercio) The Buckinghams begin recording "Susan" and "Hey Baby, They're Playing Our Song".  It truly was "The Year Of The Buckinghams" as these songs followed "Kind Of A Drag", "Don't You Care" and "Mercy Mercy Mercy" into The National Top Ten.  (Cash Box Magazine would go on to name The Buckinghams as "The Most Promising Vocal Group in America" later this year.)

Also in the studio today (at MGM in Culver City) is Elvis Presley, recording songs for the soundtrack to his new film "Speedway".  Sessions run from 7:00 pm until 4:00 am the following morning.  He will complete these recordings the following day.  

Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys celebrates his 25th birthday.  

400 journalists attend a press conference in London today promoting The Monkees' upcoming concerts there.

Monday, June 19, 2017

June 19th

For the third time this year, a record returns to the #1 spot as "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals displaces Aretha Franklin's hit "Respect" to reclaim the throne four weeks after they last vacated it.      

Franklin slips to #3 and The Turtles sneak into the #2 position with "She'd Rather Be With Me", up two places from the week before.  "Windy" by The Association continues its climb from #7 to #4 and "Little Bit O' Soul by The Music Explosion climbs from #8 to #5 … any one of these last three tracks has enough momentum to become the next #1 Hit in America.     

Also making large strides this week are "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli (up to #7 from #12), "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie (climbing from #24 to #9), "Come On Down To My Boat" by Every Mother's Son (#17 to #13), "The Tracks Of My Tears" by Johnny Rivers (#26 to #16), "New York Mining Disaster, 1941" by The Bee Gees (#23 to #17), "Don't Sleep In The Subway" by Petula Clark (#27 to #21), "Up, Up And Away" by The Fifth Dimension (#29 to #22), "C'mon Marianne" by The Four Seasons (#30 to #23), "Society's Child" by Janis Ian (#36 to #26), "Light My Fire" by The Doors (#51 to #30), "For Your Precious Love" by Oscar Toney, Jr. (#40 to #32), "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder (#48 to #34), "Pay You Back With Interest" by The Hollies (#47 to #36), and "Soul Finger" by The Bar-Kays (#50 to #38). 

Herb Alpert's reign at the top of the Albums Chart lasted all of a week … because THIS week The Monkees are back on top with their third #1 album in a row, "Headquarters".  

For the first time The Monkees are in complete control on this LP, performing most of the instruments themselves, having full say in the final song selection and even helping out with some of the production duties.  The celebration would be short-lived, however … next week a brand new album by The Beatles will take over the top spot on the chart … and remain there for the next fifteen weeks!

While perched on top of the albums chart this week, The Monkees are already recording tracks for their NEXT LP. Today, it's the Michael Nesmith composition "Daily Nightly", which by year's end will appear on what will be their fourth album to chart this year.  Micky Dolenz will later overdub some strange sound effects when he receives his newly ordered Moog synthesizer.  (The Monkees have also come a long way in a very short time frame ... this is a huge step forward musically from the teeny-bopper pop they were recording on their first two LPs ... especially when one considers that they were first hired as actors to portray a rock and roll band ... and then actually became one!)

Elvis reports to MGM Studios to begin work on his next film "Speedway".  He presents a brand new car to his costar Nancy Sinatra that has the word "Speedway" painted on one door and "Starring Nancy and Elvis" on the other.

In a move I've never totally understood, while The Turtles were already on the chart with "She'd Rather Be With Me", a HUGE late-Spring / early-Summer Hit, White Whale (their record company) released the title track to the new Walter Matthau / Robert Morse film, "A Guide For The Married Man" as a single.  

The record never had a chance and disappeared within a couple of weeks.  (It's got to be one of their rarest singles as it sold virtually nothing and was out of the stores virtually overnight!)

But I LOVED it!  I had just seen the movie and as soon as I heard the track, I ran out to the store to buy a copy.  (I was probably one of a select few to do so!)  It was as "Turtles-sounding" as a record could be and, perhaps had they waited a little while longer to release it ... it was only two catalog numbers apart from their current hit single ... it might have had a chance to do something on the charts.

The movie itself was a fun romp featuring Robert Morse trying to entice his good friend Walter Matthau to cheat on his wife, laying out the groundwork for what will and won't work in such a scenario.  (Clearly, the film was pure fantasy ... as Matthau was married to the stunningly beautiful Inger Stevens, something that could NEVER happen in real life!!!)

Now I will admit to having a MAJOR crush on Ms. Stevens at the time, being already familiar with her work on both "The Twilight Zone" and "The Farmer's Daughter".

But here she was, for the first time in MY life anyway, up on a big screen in living color ... which included an opening scene of her removing her top in front of good old oblivious  Walter. (OK, it was only a boob side shot ... and it lasted all of 1/100th of a second ... but I was only 13 years old at the time ... and that was the first real boob ... or half a boob ... I had ever seen!)  I knew right then and there that I would have to spend the rest of my life with her ... and that ANY man who would even CONSIDER cheating on her was an even bigger boob than what she had graciously just shown us!)

The movie featured a who's who of cheating consultants ... everyone from Lucille Ball to Sid Caesar to Carl Reiner to Joey Bishop to Jack Benny to Wally Cox to Jayne Mansfield, Art Carney, Phil Silvers and more.

Anyway, it's a GREAT scene ... and a GREAT track ... otherwise overlooked by most ... so we'll run it as a Forgotten Hits extra today!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

June 18th

Ravi Shankar (the only artist to get paid for their performance), a return appearance by Big Brother and the Holding Company, Buffalo Springfield (who are joined on stage by David Crosby of The Byrds), The Who, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Scott McKenzie and The Mamas and the Papas perform at The Monterey Pop Festival during its final day.  Hendrix mesmerizes the entire crowd with his first US appearance with The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  (Monkees Micky Dolenz and Peter Tork, who were in the audience that day, were so impressed they asked Jimi to join them on their summer tour as the opening act … incredibly, Jimi's manager said yes … and we all know how well THAT turned out!) 



Chicago's very own Spanky and Our Gang are on hand to help Ed Sullivan celebrate his 20th Anniversary on "The Ed Sullivan Show".  They perform their first big hit, "Sunday Will Never Be The Same".   

TV Guide offers a five-page tribute to the success of Ed's program, calling it "the most successful program in TV history."  They go on to say:  "Like it (and, week in and week out, 30 million Americans do) or lump it (and most critics do from time to time), 'The Ed Sullivan Show' is as much a part of American's Sunday nights as cold mashed potatoes and leftover roast."

TV Guide reports that Sullivan once asked Elvis Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, how much Elvis would want for a return engagement.  When Parker came up with a couple of do's and don't's  Sullivan would have to follow if he wanted Presley, Ed snarled "Give Elvis my best … and my sympathy" … and slammed down the phone.  At the time an appearance on The Sullivan Show guaranteed HUGE record sales the following week … the show could turn careers around literally overnight. 

An hour later The Buckinghams make their famous appearance on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" (still talked about 'round these parts some 50 years later!), performing "Don't You Care" and "Mercy Mercy Mercy".  (Their back drop is The Union Jack / British Flag … totally fitting for a group out of Chicago, Illinois, right???)

Paul McCartney (on his 25th birthday ... Happy Birthday, Paul!) admits to Queen Magazine that he has taken LSD.  After the magazine publishes his statement, creating quite a bit of backlash from the British press (and fans all over the world), McCartney criticizes the magazine for going public with this information.  (He basically tells them that YOU asked me the question … and I answered it honestly … but the damage was caused when you chose to go public with this information, knowing the negative reaction it would generate.  Pretty much a case of "irresponsible journalism" in that it was well known how much every movement made by The Beatles helped to influence the world at large.) 

There 's a brand new James Bond movie out in theaters called "You Only Live Twice".  It's #1 at the box office this week.  Nancy Sinatra sings the title track for this one.  
(Paul McCartney, celebrating his 25th birthday today, possibly with LSD, will write and perform the title track to 1973's Bond release "Live And Let Die".) 

Don Wilson of The Houston Astros pitches a no hitter against the Atlanta Braves at The Houston Astrodome, the first ever no hitter pitched in either a domed stadium or on artificial turf.  Wilson strikes out fifteen Braves that night, including Hank Aaron for the final out.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

June 17th

Canned Heat, Big Brother and the Holding Company (featuring Janis Joplin), Country Joe and the Fish, Al Kooper, The Butterfield Blues Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Steve Miller Band, Electric Flag, Moby Grape, Hugh Masekela, The Byrds, Laura Nyro, Jefferson Airplane, Booker T and the MG's, The Bar-Kays and Otis Redding perform at The Monterey Pop Festival today. While there, Micky Dolenz of The Monkees will view a demo of a brand new instrument called the Moog synthesizer and will be so impressed with it that he orders what will become the second model ever sold.  

Meanwhile, across the country, Barbra Streisand sang for 135,000 people at a free concert held in New York City's Central Park.  The entire event was recorded and later released as both a CBS Television Special and a soundtrack album called "A Happening In Central Park".  (I'm thinking there was probably a different audience element present for this show.) 

Johnny Rivers makes an appearance on "American Bandstand" while Freddie and the Dreamers appear on "Piccadilly Palace". 

(In what is believed to be an unrelated story, The Peoples Republic of China tests their first hydrogen bombs.)

"Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," the Buckinghams' fourth hit single, made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 17, 1967. James William Guercio was credited as arranger and producer. 

The music was composed by Josef Zawinul, an Austrian classical-jazz fusion keyboard and synthesizer player who performed with Maynard Ferguson's band and with singer Dinah Washington before joining Cannonball Adderley's jazz quintet. Adderley's combo first recorded and released an instrumental version of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," which had hit the Billboard chart in February of 1967. 

Buckinghams guitarist and singer Carl Giammarese regards "Mercy" as his favorite Buckinghams song because it brought the band back to its roots. The Buckinghams recorded it for the "Time and Charges" album on which the band's hit "Don't You Care" was the lead-off track.   

"We were really into that R&B bag. Guercio brought us the soul version of 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' that Johnny 'Guitar' Watson and Larry Williams recorded. They had a minor R&B hit with it. Guercio used to play bass with them years before. In those days it wasn't as common to get more than one hit off an album. So that was kind of a surprise hit for us," Carl told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 2"  

The Buckinghams' version of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," on the Columbia Records label, peaked at No. 5, and remained on the chart for 12 weeks.

The Kingston Trio (featuring the long-standing line-up of Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and John Stewart) perform their final concert together at The Hungry I.  (Original founding member Dave Guard left the fold in 1961 to pursue other musical interests.)  It was a carefully planned and executed exit strategy … The Kingston Trio would play The Hungry I for two weeks, culminating with their final show there on the 17th.  The following day they would announce that there would be no more appearances.   

The group would reform in various configurations over the years, but this was the last public appearance of  Shane, Reynolds and Stewart during their prime.  (Actually, the final decline of their prime … The British Invasion and heavier sounds pretty much derailed their chart activity in 1964, just as it did to many of our established American recording stars and institutions.)  Ironically Stewart would be able to claim a #1 Record under his song-writing belt by year's end when The Monkees recorded his tune "Daydream Believer."   

The group was enormously popular during the whole folk craze here in The States, scoring five #1 albums plus 13 more that made The Top 20 between 1958 and 1964, garnering sales of over 50 million copies.  Formed in 1957 out of college, many credit The Kingston Trio with creating "The Folk Revival" in popular music.  In the wake of their success, countless new bands sprung up, helping to carry the torch.  They made their name at The Purple Onion in San Francisco, where they took up residency for months.   

Dave Guard died in 1991, Nick Reynolds died in 2008 as did John Stewart.  Bob Shane continued to perform until 2004 when a heart attack sidelined him from the road … but today the music of The Kingston Trio is still preserved in concert with a lineup featuring Bill Zorn, George Grove and Rick Dougherty.   

In 2008, just months before the passing of Reynolds and Stewart, the "power trio" of Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and John Stewart got together for this performance.   


Demonstrating to fans that their mood was anything but somber, the Kingston Trio (Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and John Stewart) bounded onto the stage for their final appearance together accompanied by their longtime bass player Dean Reilly, who was attired in a chicken suit. The performance took place June 17, 1967, at the hungry i nightclub in San Francisco, where the group had first come to fame a decade earlier. The appearance culminated an extended farewell tour that spanned most of a year. "We were running out of steam and I knew if I was going to go out and be a singer-songwriter, I had to leave before I turned 30. So we decided to play every farewell gig we could during that year," John Stewart told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 1." The Trio's finale concert coincided with the cultural shift initiated by the Monterey International Pop Festival, which was under way 110 miles south. Ironically, many of the festival performers who were agents of that change had been influenced and inspired, either consciously or unknowingly, by the Kingston Trio.