Thursday, November 23, 2017

November 23rd

The latest edition of "Rolling Stone Magazine" quotes popular "underground" San Francisco Disc Jockey Tom Donahue as saying "Top Forty Radio, as we know it today and have known it for the last ten years, is dead, and its rotting corpse is stinking up the airwaves."   Meanwhile, here in Chicago, I am still listening to … and loving ... our AM powerhouse radio stations WLS and WCFL!

Oh yeah, this is WAY better!!!  (Huh???)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

November 22nd

Rod Carew of The Minnesota Twins wins The Rookie Of The Year Award.    He will remain with The Twins until 1978 at which time he will request a trade due to several policy disagreements with Twins owner Cal Griffith.   (These include racist comments, The Twins' inability to keep young players and Griffith's penny-pinching negotiating style.)  His major league career lasted from 1967 - 1985, during which time he won seven American League batting titles (including 1972 where he never hit a single home run … in fact, he won four batting titles in a row between 1972 and 1975!) and was named to The All-Star Team eighteen times (every season but his last)  In 1969 he stole home SEVEN TIMES, one shy of Ty Cobb's major league record.  He retired as a player in 1985 with a career batting average of .328.  He was inducted into The Baseball Hall Of Fame in 1991 on his very first ballot.


(Man, what a year for rookies!!!)  

The Monkees complete the filming of their Christmas episode starring Eddie Munster actor Butch Patrick.  At the end they bring out the entire crew to wish them and their families a very happy holiday season.  

Otis Redding begins recording what will become his biggest hit, “Dock Of The Bay” at Stax Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  Eighteen days later he will die in a plane crash.  “Dock Of The Bay” will hit the #1 Spot on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart on March 16th of 1968, and remain there for the next four weeks. 

Wimbledon Tennis Pro Boris Becker is born in West Germany. 

The BBC bans "I Am The Walrus".  (Was it because of the secret meaning behind Goo-Goo-GaJoob???) 

As Elvis completes filming on "Stay Away, Joe", "Clambake" opens in theaters at #15 on Variety's National Box Office Chart.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

November 21st

Bobbie Gentry's got the top debut on the chart this week with her follow-up to her #1 smash "Ode To Billie Joe" as "Okolona River Bottom Band" premiers at #64. (She'll never match the success of her first hit.) 

In a Battle Of The Bands, The Okolona River Bottom Band would have NO chance against Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band ... although Bobbie Gentry's first LP DID make it all the way to #1.  

Also new on the chart this week … "Baby You Got It" by Brenton Wood, which bows at #72, "Too Much Of Nothing" by Peter, Paul and Mary, debuting at #81, "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" by Donovan (#82), the perfectly-titled "And Get Away" by The Esquires, the follow up to their last hit "Get On Up", which comes in at #91, "Tell Mama" by Etta James (#92) and two records that will prove to be VERY big hits as 1967 turns into 1968, "Judy In Disguise" by John Fred and his Playboy Band (#95) and "Bend Me, Shape Me" by The American Breed" (#98). 

Due to the recent British ban on miming, The Beatles' new single is played on "Top Of The Pops" over three year old footage from "A Hard Day's Night".  The Beatles are justifiably furious. 

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Air Quality Act, allocating $428 million toward the fight against pollution.

Monday, November 20, 2017

November 20th

The Strawberry Alarm Clock hold on to the #1 Spot on the Pop Charts this week as "Incense and Peppermints" tops the chart for the second consecutive week.  In hindsight it's the perfect record to wind up the year of psychedelic sights and sounds … The Summer of Love … The Year of Sgt. Pepper … hippies, love-ins, peace, love and make love not war.  

Up a couple of notches to #2 is "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" by The Cowsills, which moves from #4 to #2 this week.  "To Sir With Love" by Lulu holds at #3.  The Monkees continue to make major strides with their latest, "Daydream Believer", which moves from #31 to #5 (after debuting at #68 the week before that!)  Also entering The Top Ten for the first time this week is "I Say A Little Prayer" by Dionne Warwick.  

Other big Top 40 movers this week include "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba (#18 to #13), "Keep The Ball Rollin'" by Jay and the Techniques (#21 to #15), "In And Out Of Love" by Diana Ross and the Supremes (which makes a big leap from #37 to #18), "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips (#27 to #20), "Stag-O-Lee" by Wilson Pickett (#28 to #22), "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" by Victor Lundberg (up 31 places from #57 to #26), "You Better Sit Down Kids" by Cher (#40 to #27), "Wild Honey" by The Beach Boys (#35 to #30), "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (up ten spots from #41 to #31), "She's My Girl" by The Turtles (#42 to #35), "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees (#54 to #36), "Out Of The Blue" by Tommy James and the Shondells (#43 to #37), "Neon Rainbow" by The Box Tops (#49 to #39) and "Yesterday" by Ray Charles (#52 to #40).  

The #1 Album in the Country is once again "Diana Ross and the Supremes" Greatest Hits.  "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" stands right behind it in the #2 position, which means that out of the 23 weeks this Beatles album has spent on the chart, six weeks have been spent at #2 and fifteen weeks were spent at #1.  

Arlo Guthrie's landmark album "Alice's Restaurant" is released.  It has become a staple of Thanksgiving broadcasting for the past fifty years.  Arlo first premiered the eighteen minute song at The Newport Folk Festival earlier that year … and two years later would star in a (pretty horrible) movie adaptation. 

(This is a "MUST PLAY" every year on Thanksgiving!!!)

Albert Grossman, Janis Joplin’s Manager, approached Nick Gravenites and Mike Bloomfield, former members of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band but now both members of The Electric Flag, about creating a new back-up group for Janis.  This group later became known as The Kozmic Blues Band. 


In hindsight (although I will admit to also being confused by it at the time), I never really understood how Cher got away with her gender-bending performance of "You Better Sit Down Kids".

First of all, it was pretty line-toeing subject matter to tackle in song at the time ... this was, after all, a song about a couple getting divorced ... but it was clearly written from the Dad's point of view.  (Sonny Bono wrote the tune ... but evidently felt his wife Cher could do a far better job of singing it than he could ... which is probably true ... but as such, the lyrics as written really don't make any sense!)  And honestly, I think it may have been even more heartfelt had Sonny tackled the vocal instead.

From start to finish, the storyline is ass-backwards ... yet we loved it enough to propel it all the way to the #8 spot on The National Charts.

After being the Poster Couple for the Beat Hippie Movement of the '60's, Sonny and Cher reinvented themselves in the '70's as a Vegas show act ... Sonny cut his hair, hung up his bear-skin vest and wore a tuxedo while Cher constantly raised eyebrows in her breath-taking Bob Mackie dresses.  This new persona earned them their own highly-rated television series ... and Cher's career was rejuvenated along the way with three more #1 Hits between 1971 and 1973.

The couple divorced for real in 1975.  (Incredibly, they tried to keep the show going despite the well-publicized end of their marriage!)  Each ultimately hosted their own variety show but it just wasn't the same.

Sonny died in 1998 in a skiing accident ... and Cher has had quite a bit of acting success (including a couple of Oscar nominations, with a win for her role in "Moonstruck") as well as done about thirty "farewell tours" over the past few decades.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

November 19th

Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.  Both groups perform separately and together, doing a medley of each other's hits (including The Temptations' hits "Get Ready" and "My Girl", performed by Diana Ross and the Supremes and "Stop! In The Name Of Love" and "Baby Love" performed by The Temptations.)  They then perform The Temptations' hit "(I Know) I'm Losing You" together.  Diana Ross and the Supremes also solo on "In And Out Of Love" and "Thou Swell" and "Greensleeves" while The Temptations take center stage on "Hello Young Lovers" and "Don't Look Back".   The mash-up works so well the two groups will cohost a television special together in the near future.

An hour later, Paul Revere and the Raiders appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour where they perform their new single "Peace Of Mind".  

Things haven't cooled down at all for Disney's "The Jungle Book".  Last week's box office receipts were just under $3.7 million … and this week … in its FIFTH week of release, box office sales only fall off to $3.6 million!  In fact, to date, the film has taken in about right around $20 million over the past five weeks.  

In Viet Nam, The Tiger Force, an elite US Army Unit of the 101st Airborne Division, achieved their 327th kill.  US Army Lt. Col. Gerald Morse had called for the 327 kills to match the name of the 327th infantry regiment.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

November 18th

Detroit experiences a newspaper strike, shutting down both major daily publications.  Incredibly, it will last until August 9, 1968 … 267 days. 

A photograph of Planet Earth is taken from Satellite ATS-III.  (I'm running it here because I'm guessing the folks in Detroit probably never got a chance to see it.) 

Michael Nesmith books RCA studio time for today and tomorrow to record his vanity project, "The Wichita Train Whistle Sings".  It is a collection of instrumental interpretations of some of his work (7 of the 10 tracks are Monkees tunes), and employs some of the best (and most expensive) studio musicians in California. 

The whole event is a catered affair (Chasen's) and when all was said and done, the sessions probably cost Nesmith upwards of $50,000 … and the album probably sold about a dozen copies.   (I'm one of the few who actually owns a copy of this … I've probably listened to it twice in my entire lifetime!  It's AWFUL!!!)

One mistake Michael acknowledged later was that he probably shouldn't have served alcohol until AFTER the recording session was complete.  Nesmith later explained to session drummer extraordinaire Hal Blaine "Uncle Sam was about to remove 50 Grand from my pocket and, instead of paying taxes, I decided to spend it on a raucous write-off."

Friday, November 17, 2017

November 17th

Beatles right-hand man Neil Aspinall flies to The United States to deliver copies of The Beatles' new "Hello Goodbye" promotional video.  It would first air on The Ed Sullivan Show on November 26th and then again the following night on The Hollywood Palace. 

The Buckinghams perform at Shawnee Mission South High School in Kansas City, Kansas.  Their opening act?  The Who!!!  (Now THAT had to be an interesting show to see!!!) 

Surveyor 6 makes the first lunar lift-off when it takes a six-second flight off the surface of the moon. 

Davy Jones of The Monkees opens the boutique Zilch in Greenwich Village named after their bit of tom-foolery on the “Headquarters” album.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

November 16th

Top debuts this week include "Honey Chile" by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas (#61), "Goin' Back" by The Byrds (#65), "Peace Of Mind" by Paul Revere and the Raiders (#71), "Summer Rain" by Johnny Rivers (#73), "Woman Woman" by The Union Gap (#86) and "Felicidad" by The Flying Nun, Sally Field (#95).  

The Association are all over TV this month … tonight they perform on a Carol Channing television special on ABC performing "Along Comes ... Carol(?!?!?!)"

Now THAT'S something you're not going to see every day ...  

Carol Channing on top of Jimi Hendrix!!!

You'll find some new music premiering on both of our local charts this week by Chicago's very own Buckinghams  ("Susan", a Chicago Premier on the WCFL Chart, and "Bend Me, Shape Me", a future #1 Record for The American Breed!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November 15th

There are three big movers just outside The Top 40 this week as "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles moves from #56 to #41, "She's My Girl" by The Turtles climbs from #58 to #42 and "Out Of The Blue" by Tommy James and the Shondells moves from #54 to #43.  

Other big movers this week include "Neon Rainbow" by The Box Tops (#67 to #49), "Yesterday" by Ray Charles (#62 to #52), "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees (#70 to #54), "An Open Letter To My Teeenage Son" by Victor Lundberg (#81 to #57), "Georgia Pines" by The Candymen (#84 to #68), "Beautiful People" by Bobby Vee (#98 to #70, now ten chart places ahead of the Kenny O'Dell version, which climbs from #96 to #80) and "O-oo, I Love You" by The Dells (#90 to #76).

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

November 14th

The Monkees earn a gold record for "Daydream Believer," which hasn't even hit The Top Ten yet!  This afternoon, Peter Tork and Davy Jones will come to fisticuffs as, according to Peter, "we were getting on each other's nerves."  Davy ended up in Cedars Of Lebanon Hospital for stitches, however, so it sounds rather serious in hindsight. 

Barney Kilgore died.  He is credited as being the visionary who made "The Wall Street Journal" a national newspaper … and has been credited as "the man who invented modern journalism". 

Pink Floyd (hot on the heels of their new album) begin their first tour of the UK with a kick-off concert at Royal Albert Hall as an opening act for The Jimi Hendrix Experience.  Also on the bill are The Move, Nice, Amen Corner, Eire Apparent and The Outer Limits.  The tour will continue for a total of 16 dates throughout the UK.

Monday, November 13, 2017

November 13th

"Incense and Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock is the new #1 Record in America.  (Years later it is voted as your all-time favorite psychedelic song by our Forgotten Hits Readers!)

In yet another case of record companies not really knowing what they're doing, "Incense and Peppermints" was originally intended to be the B-Side of the record.  (We just had this same situation with Lulu's recent #1 Hit "To Sir With Love"!) 

The lead vocal on the record was sung by a friend of the band (16 year old Greg Munford), who just happened to be hanging around the studio during the recording session!  In fact, he never even officially JOINED the band … when they performed the song live in concert, it was sung by their Drummer Randy Seol!  How many guys other than Greg Munford can take the credit for singing on a million-selling #1 Hit  without ever actually being in the band???  (Well, we can think of a few #1 hits sung by "ghost vocalists" … but this story is really pretty unique on its own!)  

Rounding out The Top Ten, the momentum seems to have stalled in the Top Five positions … last week's #1 Record, "Soul Man" by Sam and Dave, slips to #2, "To Sir With Love" by Lulu drops from #2 to #3 and "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" by The Cowsills and "It Must Be Him" by Vikki Carr" hold steady at their previous week's positions of #4 and #5 respectively.  "Please Love Me Forever" by Bobby Vinton is the only Top Ten hold-over showing upward movement this week … it climbs from #8 to #6.  

New entries in The Top Ten for the very first time include "Let It Out" by The Hombres (up from #12 to #8) and  "I Can See For Miles" by The Who, which makes the biggest leap of the nation's ten biggest hits, climbing from #17 to #9.

Top 20 Records earning a bullet include "It's You That I Need" by The Temptations (#16 to #11), "I Say A Little Prayer" by Dionne Warwick (#24 to #13), "Everlasting Love" by Robert Knight (#20 to #14), "Kentucky Woman" by Neil Diamond (#21 to #17), "Pata Pata" by Miriam Makeba (#25 to #18) and "Like An Old Time Movie" by Scott McKenzie (#28 to #20).  

Elsewhere in The Top 40 we find "Keep The Ball Rollin'" by Jay and the Techniques climbing from #27 to #21, "She Is Still A Mystery" by The Lovin' Spoonful, up from #29 to #22, "Boogaloo Down Broadway" by The Fantastic Johnny C up from #32 to #24, "Watch The Flowers Grow" by The Four Seasons, climbing eleven places from #37 to #26, as does "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips (right behind it, climbing from #38 to #27), "Stag-O-Lee" by Wilson Pickett (#36 to #28), "Beg Borrow And Steal" by The Ohio Express (#35 to #30), "Wild Honey" by The Beach Boys (#46 to #35), "In And Out Of Love" by Diana Ross and the Supremes (#60 to #37), "Skinny Legs And All" by Joe Tex (#47 to #38) and "You Better Sit Down Kids" by Cher (#52 to #40).  

But the biggest mover of all this week belongs to The Monkees, who sky-rocket from #68 to #31 with their latest, "Daydream Believer".  Looks like another smash hit for The Pre-Fab Four!  

Diana Ross and the Supremes Greatest Hits holds at #1 on the Album Chart for the fourth straight week.

Actor Steve Zahn is born.  There is music in his future when he joins The Wonders decades later for the Tom Hanks film "That Thing You Do"