Don’s Top 10 From June 9, 1969
Back into time to the summer of “Hair”, Woodstock, the moon landing, microminis, “Laugh-In” & the Amazin’ Mets! It’s Monday, June 9, 1969 & these are the local top 10 singles.amazon.com
“Hair” by The Cowsills
(#5 last week) There is SO MUCH MORE to The Cowsills that their brief run on the charts & their role as inspiration for the Partridge Family. Do yourself a favor & watch the recent documentary on the family. Amazing story of music, of tragedy, of survival, of joy. They STILL make wonderful music, separate & together. I am a huge fan, then & now.
“Medley: Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In” by The 5th Dimension
(#4 last week) Speaking of being a huge fan, who made better harmony together than these five talented people? Almost no one! This became their biggest hit & the local #1 song of the year in 1969. My most cherished concert experience was seeing the 5th live at the outdoor Greek Theatre in L.A. in the summer of 1970. During “Let The Sun Shine In”, the gorgeous Marilyn McCoo invited the audience up on stage to dance with them! Far out! (Oh, the opening act that night? The 4 Seasons).
“Atlantis” by Donovan
(#7 last week) The man had a nice 4 year stretch of hits, ending with this anthem. What does it all mean? The theme is common for the 60s: fanciful mythology as the symbol of the counterculture movement, with the hope that true love will be found if ever Atlantis can be reached. Oooo-k. Just enjoy singing along with the chorus! “Way dowwwwwn, below the ocean…..” P.S. Contrary to rumor, Paul McCartney did NOT play on this track.
“Oh Happy Day” by The Edwin Hawkins Singers
(#6 last week) Talk about an underplayed oldie! My guess is the religious nature of the lyrics have scared programmers away. But this song was HUGE on top 40 radio, & it sold almost two million singles! The lead singer, Dorothy Morrison, left the gospel group soon after & tried for solo success, to not much avail. All the concert videos of the song on youtube feature different female lead vocalists.
“Grazin’ In The Grass” by The Friends Of Distinction
(#11 last week) What a perfect song! I dare you to listen & not singalong, especially the “I can dig it” part, over & over. I’ve heard it a million times & still love it. The Friends Of Distinction were three-hit wonders from L.A. frequently compared to the 5th Dimension in style. This put lyrics to the 1968 Hugh Masekela instrumental hit, but it might as well have been a different song, given how different it sounded.
“More Today Than Yesterday” by Spiral Starecase
(#9 last week) The first of two great one-hit wonders on this week’s top 10. This is one of the most enduring hits of the era (it did better locally than nationally even then). Spiral Starecase were from Sacramento. They were named for the 1946 movie “The Spiral Staircase”. So…why the spelling of staircase as “starecase”? Because they could.
“Good Morning Starshine” by Oliver
(#10 last week) Not one, not two, make it THREE songs from the Broadway smash musical “Hair” on this week’s top 10! Sure, people went for then (then) novelty of seeing nudity live on stage, but they came out humming all the great tunes. More hits came from “Hair” than any musical in history.
“Love (Can Make You Happy)” by Mercy
(#2 last week) Here’s the other one-hit wonder. Mercy: very little is known of them, other than they were from the Tampa area. One of the lushest ballads of all time, yet it had a hip sheen to it. Still sounds like no other song. Gives me goosebumps to this day.
“These Eyes” by The Guess Who
(#3 last week) This wasn’t the debut for The Guess Who, but it was the debut hit for the lineup that made all but one of their hits, fronted by Burton Cummings & Randy Bachman. Bachman wrote this first, with the title “These Arms”, but Cummings changed it to “Eyes”. This started a five-year run of hits for the band.
“Get Back” by The Beatles with Billy Preston
(#1 last week; 3rd week at #1) There are two distinct versions of “Get Back”, the single with the fadeout, & the album version with John’s “hope we passed the audition” ending it. You can’t help but smile watching the band work here. Yes, that was a quick cut of Mick Jagger watching them. And Billy Preston gave that organ a workout!