Don’s Top 10 From May 11, 1969
Wayyyy back to a momentous year! The year of Apollo 11, the Miracle Mets, microminiskirts, Woodstock, Tiny Tim’s wedding, “Laugh-In”, nude rock musicals & Herbie The Love Bug! It’s a trip to Sunday, May 11, 1969. These were the local top 10 singles:amazon.com
“Get Back” by The Beatles
(#10 last week) 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!
“Gimme Gimme Good Lovin” by Crazy Elephant
(#7 last week) These one-hit wonders were promoted to the trade press as a group of “Welsh coal miners”, but they weren’t. There were an American studio band produced by bubblegum kings Kasentz/Katz. But this song transcends bubblegum. It’s become a timeless party anthem.
“Hawaii Five-0″ by The Ventures
(#9 last week)This is the greatest TV theme of all time! Is there a more exciting 1:50 of music? I don’t think so. It gave early 60s surf-rock pioneers the Ventures a surprise comeback.
“Sweet Cherry Wine” by Tommy James & The Shondells
(#11 last week) Song two of James’s three song 1969 psychedelic medley, following “Crimson & Clover” & before Crystal Blue Persuasion”.The song begins with the use of an organ, adds brass instruments, and ends with a solo flute that fades out at the end of the song. Adding to the psychedelia of this and other songs on the album was the then-new moog synthesizer.
“It’s Your Thing” by The Isley Brothers
(#4 last week) Didn’t know: this song was an artistic response to Mowtown chief Berry Gordy’s hold on his artists. The Isleys had left Motown in late 1968. Upon the song’s release and ascent to success, Gordy threatened to sue the group for releasing it in an attempt to bring them back to the label, but he eventually cancelled his threat, and in February 1970 the brothers became the first former Motown act to win a Grammy for Best R^B Vocal Performance by a Duo Or Group.
“Time Is Tight” by Booker T & The MG’s
(#12 last week) 1969 was another golden year for instrumentals, with two of ’em in this top 10!. Whatever happened to them? This one has a sinewy groove, getting stuck in your brain. Of all acts, The Clash remade this.
“The Boxer” by Simon & Garfunkel
(#8 last week) This classic sounds so deceptively simple, but it took over 100 hours to record! It was done in at least three locations: Nashville, St. Pauls Chapel in NYC & Columbia Studios. It was the only new music from the duo between two great albums, “Bookends” & “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (which this was included on).
“Love (Can Make You Happy)” by Mercy
(#15 last week) A great one-hit wonder, called 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.
“Hair” by The Cowsills
(#2 last week) Stuck at #2 for a third week in a row, there is SO MUCH MORE to The Cowsills than 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.
“Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine In (The Flesh Failures)” by The 5th Dimension
(#1 last week; 6th week at #1) 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).