Saturday, June 3, 2017

June 3rd

The Jefferson Airplane appeared on American Bandstand (now THAT had to be weird), lip-synching their two recent hits "Somebody To Love" and "White Rabbit". 

A year has come and gone since we heard the news 'bout Billie Joe … it was the third of June and Bobbie Gentry was about to have one of the biggest hits of 1967 when she sang her "Ode To Billie Joe" all the way to the top of the charts …

But the last verse spelled it out that Billie Joe's high dive had actually happened the year before, making LAST year the 50th Anniversary of this pop culture event.

Chicago's American Breed are climbing our local charts this week in '67 ...

While a brand new "Chicago Premier" makes the WCFL Sound 10 Survey by The New Colony Six ... "I'm Just Waitin', Anticipatin' For Her To Show Up" is one of those that consistently makes the "Shoulda Been A Hit" lists we see posted all the time. 

Catchy as hell (just try to get this one out of your head today!), the tune was written by former (and soon to be again) pop music star Tony Orlando, who was working as a promotions man for Cameo / Parkway Records at the time.  (It just so happened that Cameo / Parkway was distributing Sentar Records in 1967 ... thus The New Colony Six connection ... Sentar Records [originally Centaur Records] was founded by Ray Graffia, Sr., whose son was in the band, as a means to get their music out into the homes of teenagers all over Chicagoland!)

Friday, June 2, 2017

June 2nd

"Sgt. Pepper" is released in the United States.  It changes the way albums are made and perceived forever.   David Bowie also releases his first album on this date (titled "David Bowie") … it goes absolutely nowhere!  

Brand new debuts on the chart this week include "The Tracks Of My Tears" by Johnny Rivers, which premiers at #57, "Don't Sleep In The Subway" by Petula Clark, new on the charts at #67, "Up Up And Away" by The Fifth Dimension (#72), "Pay You Back With Interest" by The Hollies (#79) and "Light My Fire" by The Doors (#90).  (Can you even imagine a single week when ALL these '60's classics premiered on the chart at the exact same time?!?!  BEST MUSIC EVER!!!)

Thursday, June 1, 2017

June 1st, 1967

It was 50 Years Ago Today ...  

That The Beatles' landmark album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released in Great Britain.  It will be released in The United States the following day.  (I guess technically speaking that means that it was 70 Years Ago Today that Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play!)

Much like their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show  3 1/2 years earlier, the world will never be the same in its wake.  Once again The Beatles have turned the world of music, art, fashion and pop culture on its collective ear.

The progression from "Love Me Do", "She Loves You", "Please Please Me", "From Me To You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" to the art form of "Sgt. Pepper in less than five years is both unfathomable and revolutionary … and yet we watched the whole thing happen before our very eyes. 

Now that The Beatles have completed their masterpiece, "Sgt. Pepper", The Zombies begin recording their second album at EMI Studios in London.  Eventually titled "Odessey And Oracle" (the title a misspelling by the sleeve designer, Terry Quirk), the LP will go on to achieve cult status decades later.

But The Zombies were not patient enough to wait in 1967 to see if the world at large would accept their new sound and disbanded shortly thereafter.  Two years later, Al Kooper (then heading Blood, Sweat And Tears) appealed to the honchos at CBS Records to release "Time Of The Season" as a single, stating that it was a sure-fire hit.  Reluctantly, the label did ... and, in early 1969, the record went all the way to #1 ... but by then, The Zombies had already split up and were no longer interested in touring together (or even talking to each other for that matter!)

For all the revolutionary good that "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" did for the industry ... and changed the way albums would be made from that day forward, the record became SO huge that it would overshadow other competent and time-changing releases like The Zombies' "Odessey and Oracle" and The Moody Blues' "Days Of Future Passed".  Fortunately for all of us, their record labels persisted and released tracks like "Time Of The Season" and "Nights In White Satin" years later when they felt the public was "ready for it" ... and both have gone on to become cultural classics.  What a pity it would have been had these tracks been buried and lost forever!

Fairport Convention performed their first live concert at St. Michael's Hall in London

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 31st

Making moves of ten places or more this week beyond The Top 40, we find "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (#55 to #42), "Let Yourself Go" by James Brown (#54 to #44), "Sound Of Love" by The Five Americans (#62 to #48), "Shake" by Otis Redding (#61 to #49), "New York Mining Disaster, 1941" by The Bee Gees (#71 to #52), "Funny Familiar Forgotten Feelings" by Tom Jones (#69 to #56), "Here We Go Again" by Ray Charles (#73 to #59), "Mary In The Morning" by Al Martino (#80 to #60), "Come To The Sunshine" by Harpers Bizarre (#76 to #61), "You Can't Stand Alone" by Wilson Pickett (#84 to #63), "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie (up 34 places from #99 to #65), "For Your Precious Love" by Oscar Toney, Jr. (#89 to #70), "Soul Finger" by The Bar-Kays (#97 to #78), "It's Cold Outside" by The Choir (#94 to #81) and "Bowling Green" by The Everly Brothers (#93 to #83).  

Big Brother and the Holding Company film their scene for the movie "Petulia".  

Here’s the way the 1966 - 1967 TV Season wrapped up in the final ratings (September, 1966 – May, 1967):

1.     Bonanza  (NBC – 29.1 rating)

2.     The Red Skelton Hour (CBS – 28.2)

3.     The Andy Griffith Show (CBS - 27.4)

4.     The Lucy Show (CBS - 26.2)

5.     The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS – 25.3)

6.     Green Acres  (CBS – 24.6)

7.     TIE:  Daktari (CBS – 23.4)

    Bewitched (ABC – 23.4)

    The Beverly Hillbillies  (CBS – 23.4)

10.    TIE:  Gomer Pyle, USMC  (CBS – 22.8)

         The Virginian  (NBC -22.8)

         The Lawrence Welk Show  (ABC – 22.8)

         The Ed Sullivan Show  (CBS – 228)

14.    TIE: The Dean Martin Show  (NBC – 22.6)

         Family Affair  (CBS – 22.8)

16.    The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (CBS – 22.2)

17.    TIE: Friday Night Movies (CBS – 21.8)

         Hogan’s Heroes  (CBS – 21.8)

19.    Walt Disney’s Wonderful World Of Color  (NBC – 21.5)

20.    Saturday Night At The Movies  (NBC – 21.4)

21.    Dragnet  (NBC – 21.2)

22.    Get Smart  (NBC – 21.0)

23.    TIE: Petticoat Junction  (CBS – 20.9

         Rat Patrol  (ABC – 20.9)

25.    Daniel Boone  (NBC – 20.8)

26.    Bob Hope Presents The Chrysler Theatre  (NBC – 20.7)

27.    Tarzan  (NBC – 20.5)

28.    The ABC Sunday Night Movie  (ABC – 20.4)

29.    TIE:  I Spy  (NBC – 20.2)

        The CBS Thursday Night Movie  (CBS – 20.2)

        My Three Sons  (CBS – 20.2)

        The FBI  (NBC – 20.2)




Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30th

Daredevil Evel Knievel successfully jumps a row of sixteen cars with his motorcycle at Ascot Speedway in Gardena, California.  

Actor Claude Rains dies of an intestinal hemorrhage at the age of 77.  Rains starred in an incredible array of films, including "Casablanca", "Lawrence Of Arabia", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", "The Greatest Story Ever Told", "Here Comes Mr. Jordan", "Phantom Of The Opera", The Invisible Man" and "The Wolf Man".  

The state of Biafra seceded from Nigeria, forming The Republic of Biafra.  It would spark a Civil War that erupted on July 6th.  Over the next two and a half years, it is believed that more than three million civilians died of fighting and famine only to see Biafra reintegrated into Nigeria in 1970.

Monday, May 29, 2017

May 29th

"Respect" by Aretha Franklin finally claims the top spot on this week's Super Chart, dethroning "Groovin"" by The Young Rascals after a couple of weeks at #1.  (It now falls to #3).  "I Got Rhythm" by The Happenings climbs up a notch from #3 to #2, followed by Engelbert Humperdinck's "Release Me" at #4 and The Mamas and the Papas' "Creeque Alley" at #5.  The Supremes fall to #6 with their former #1 Hit, "The Happening", while Paul Revere and the Raiders ("Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be") and Arthur Conley ("Sweet Soul Music") are also on the decline.  New to The Top Ten this week are "Somebody To Love" by Jefferson Airplane (up from #13 to #9) and "Mirage" by Tommy James and the Shondells, which moves from #12 to #10.  (Both of these records have already topped the charts here in Chicago.)  

Top 40 Hits earning a bullet this week include "She'd Rather Be With Me" by The Turtles (up from #29 to #14), "Little Bit O'Soul" by The Music Explosion (which makes a HUGE leap from #50 to #22), "Seven Rooms Of Gloom" by The Four Tops (up 23 places from #46 to #23), "Sunday Will Never Be The Same" by Spanky and Our Gang (which climbs thirty places from #57 to #27), "Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead" by The Fifth Estate (up from #63 to #35) and "Windy" by The Association, which climbs from #64 to #40.  

The Monkees kick off week #17 on top of the LP Chart.  Actually, it's a pretty eclectic Top Ten on the album chart this week which also includes albums by Aretha Franklin, Bill Cosby, The Mamas and the Papas, Jefferson Airplane, The Lovin' Spoonful and Andy WIlliams … as well as the Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago"!  

Dressed in their wedding attire, Elvis and Priscilla host a reception at Graceland for friends, relatives and employees unable to attend their ceremony held earlier this month.  

Pink Floyd, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream all perform together at The Tulip Bulb Auction Hall in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

May 28th

The Association appear on "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" on CBS.  (Contrary to numerous reports we found published out there, this was NOT their television debut.  Think about it ... prior to their current hit "Windy" taking the country by storm, The Association had already scored four other hit records, including their Top Ten debut hit "Along Comes Mary" and the #1 Smash "Cherish".)  

As such, despite this being a widely circulated milestone, this just didn't sound right to me (plus I was sure that I had seen them prior to these evening's program, too.) Founding member Jules Alexander later explained that this entry was not correct, as the band had, in fact, made other television appearances prior to tonight's appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, including an earlier appearance on American Bandstand.  (More below)

Meanwhile The Temptations are on The Ed Sullivan Show, where they perform a medley of "I'm Losing You", "All I Need" and "My Girl".  

The movie "The War Wagon", starring John Wayne and Kirk Douglas, starts a three week run at the top of the box office.  

Country Music Singer Barbara Mandrell married her drummer Ken Dudney.


The Association appeared on prime-time network television on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour on CBS on May 28, 1967. Tom and Dick Smothers took considerable interest in the Association, chatting with each member of the band as an introduction to the musical segment. 

Tom Smothers mentioned that rhythm guitarist Jim Yester performs an impression of British comic Stan Laurel, and Jim obliged, scratching the top of his head as he grinned and said "I certainly will," a recurring Laurel line. Jim also demonstrated his goose honking imitation.  

Larry Ramos, who was born on Kauai, Hawaii, placed a lei around Tom's neck.  

Dick introduced Terry Kirkman as "the tallest singer in the group," and discussed his composition "Cherish." Dressed neatly in well-tailored suits, the six-man band performed "Along Comes Mary."    

The day before (May 27, 1967), their latest release made its debut on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 

"Windy," the band's fifth hit (and its first single on the Warner Bros. label) hit a bases-loaded home run. It was written by Folksinger Ruthann Friedman and, on the strength of the Association's sparkling harmonies and Bones Howe's bright production, the recording powered its way to No. 1 five weeks later, dislodging Aretha Franklin's "Respect." 

But "Windy" almost didn't make the cut in the Association's repertoire, because the group initially voted against recording it. 

"There were seven of us voting on the 20 or 30 demo songs we were listening to. When we first listened to 'Windy' and voted on it, four guys voted against it and three voted for it. But [our manager] Pat Colecchio knew it was a hit and he was counting the votes, so he took somebody's 'no' vote and made it a 'yes,'" Association drummer and guitarist Ted Bluechel told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 1": 

For four consecutive weeks fans kept the Association in the No. 1 spot, until the Doors' "Light My Fire" burned its way to the top of the chart. "Windy" remained on the chart for 14 weeks, and earned RIAA gold-record certification. 
Association guitarist Jules Alexander adds that the band gained its first nationwide TV exposure in 1966 on the American Bandstand program, which was broadcast on Saturday afternoons. "Pat Colecchio, our manager, and Dick Clark were pals, and he convinced Clark to give us a shot -- plus we had good chart figures at the time," Jules wrote in a note to authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March in May, 2013.