Don’s Top 10 From November 17, 1969
Wayyyy back this time, to the end of the 60s. Here’s the local survey from Monday, November 17, 1969.amazon.com
"I Can't Get Next To You" by The Temptations
(#9 last week) Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong co-wrote this classic funk smash, a song that sounded like nothing else on the radio here in the fall of '69.
"Take A Letter Maria" by R.B. Greaves
(#15 last week) Greaves's uncle was the late great Sam Cooke, which I'm not sure opened door for him, but he did have a couple of hits, this being by far the biggest.
"And When I Die" by Blood, Sweat & Tears
(#10 last week) Third national #2 hit in a row for BS&T. Must have been tremendously frustrating to get so close three times in a row.
"Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley
(#6 last week) The King's most enduring hit, not just for his original fans, but for younger people as well. Recorded in Memphis; with the unusual feature of a premature fadeout about 30 seconds before the actual fade..
"Tracy" by The Cufflinks (Ron Dante)
(#7 last week) Back to back studio groups fronted by Ron Dante! When Ron asked the songwriters/producers for his royalties, they refused unless he recorded more for therm . Dante refused, to be replaced on the next few singles by an unknown named Rupert Holmes.
"Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies (Ron Dante)
(#3 last week) The biggest bublegum hit of all time, produced by Jeff Barry, written by Barry with Andy Kim, sung by Ron Dante, Toni Wine & Kim. Legend goes that Don Kirshner offered it to the Monkees first, but were angrily turned down, especially so from Mike Nesmith, who alegedly put his fist through a wall in disgust! Did not know this: the handclaps on the record are from none other than Ray Stevens ("The Streak"). Don't tell Ethel!
"Come Together" by The Beatles
(#11 last week) Incredible: The BBC initially banned this classic because John sings "he shoot Coca-Cola". No they weren't upset at the possible drug reference, the BBC banned all songs that mentioned product names. So nutty. A different era.
"Baby It's You" by Smith
(#2 last week) First done by The Shirelles in 1962, this is one of the great remakes of all time, mainly because it sounds so different than the first, but just as catchy. Lead singer Gayle McCormick was quite the looker. The band (discovered by Del Shannon, who worked on this recording) had a blues-rock sound & should have had more hits.
"Smile A Little Smile For Me" by The Flying Machine
(#5 last week) British studio group put together by Tony Macauley & Geoff Stephens. Stephens was writer or producer on a long string of smashes, ranging from "Winchester Cathedral" to "Doctor's Orders". This nugget was certified gold, in fact, almost platinum, here in the states, but didn't chart in their native U.K. at all. It's been a very underplayed oldie over the years. It always get requests.
"Wedding Bell Blues" by The 5th Dimension
(#1 last week; 3rd week at #1) I've had a lifelong crush on the stunning Marilyn McCoo. How I wished she was singing, "marry me, Don!" LOL. My all-time favorite concert experience was seeing the 5th live at the outdoor Greek Theater in Los Angeles in the summer of 1970. McCoo invited the crowd on stage to dance during the encore, to "Let The Sun Shine In"! I tried to get closer to my crush but too many people were between me & bliss. :-)