Tuesday, August 25, 2009

8 - 25 - 67

In a special mid-week WLS Flashback this morning, we're taking a look back at the chart dated August 25, 1967.

This week Chicago's own Cryan' Shames sit on top of The WLS Super Summer Survey for the FOURTH straight week with their MONSTER local hit, "It Could Be We're In Love". (It is, in fact, the BIGGEST Local Hit of All-Time here in Chicago ... despite greater national success for hits by The Buckinghams and songs like "Bend Me, Shape Me" by The American Breed and "Vehicle" by The Ides Of March, it's "It Could Be We're In Love" that is most revered here in Chicagoland. Incredibly, despite a four week reign on top of The WLS Chart ... a 50,000 Watt Powerhouse MEGA Station in the '60's ... it only managed a #85 showing in Billboard Magazine. It fared a LITTLE bit better in Cash Box, where it peaked at #70.)

Earlier this year in our annual June 3rd salute to Bobbie Gentry's hit "Ode To Billie Joe", Jim "Hooke" Pilster told us that he HATED that song because it knocked The Shames out of the top spot after a six week run. That's not entirely true ... while it DID replace The Cryan' Shames at #1 the following week, "It Could Be We're In Love" only topped our local chart for FOUR weeks, not six ... still a pretty impressive run when you consider that because of this, National #1 Records like "Light My Fire" by The Doors and "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles never reached the summit here in Chi-Town.

(Click to enlarge)

Across town at competitor WCFL, The Cryan' Shames record sat at #1 for three weeks (so I guess you COULD say they had the Number One Record for a total of SEVEN weeks if you were the eternal optimist!!! lol But three of those weeks were "shared".) In fact, the week before, their picture even graced the cover of Super 'CFL's "Sound 10 Survey".

Other big "Summer Of Love" Hits on the chart this week include the two-sided hit by The Monkees, "Pleasant Valley Sunday" / "Words" (note how these titles are reversed depending on which chart you check!), "Carrie Anne" by The Hollies, "Thank The Lord For The Night Time" by Neil Diamond, "Reflections" by Diana Ross and the Supremes (their first record to push Diana Ross' name ahead of the rest of the group), "Silence Is Golden" by The Tremeloes (a remake of the great Four Seasons B-Side) and "Blue's Theme" by our FH Buddy Davie Allan and the Arrows.

In that 1967 is my all-time favorite year in music, it's tough to pin down just a few favorites from this week's chart ... I love ALL of these tunes. "A Girl Like You" by The Rascals, "Take Me Back" (a local hit by The Flock, which we've also featured a number of times before in Forgotten Hits), "Heroes and Villains" (which I personally preferred to "Good Vibrations" despite all the media-hype surrounding this earlier Beach Boys masterpiece), "I Had A Dream" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, "You Know What I Mean" (one of my all-time favorite Turtles tunes!), "Never My Love" by The Association and "12:30" by The Mamas and the Papas not only rank as some of my 1967 favorites but also as some of my biggest favorites of all-time.

Add to this list tracks like "Society's Child" by Janis Ian, "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli, an unexpected yet very rewarding return to The Top Ten by Bobby Vee with "Come Back When You Grow Up", "Baby I Love You" by Aretha Franklin, "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder and "I Dig Rock And Roll Music" by Peter, Paul and Mary and radio just didn't get any better than this!

Today we'll feature a few of these tunes for your listening pleasure. We've introduced hundreds and hundreds of oldies music fans to "It Could Be We're In Love" by The Cryan' Shames over the past ten years ... and NOBODY can understand how on earth this song wasn't the HUGE hit it deserved to be ... and that truly IS a cryan' shame. Most often compared to the work of Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys at the time, a lot of the credit has to go to the song-writing genius of Jim Fairs, along with the impeccable vocals that The Shames always delivered on ALL of their records.

By the way, James Fairs is taking his newest musical venture, The Jamez Band, to the stage tomorrow night at The Bolingbrook Performing Arts Center starting at 7:30 PM. It promises to be an exciting evening of sights and sounds as FIVE of the original members of The Cryan' Shames will join him on stage throughout the evening. Complete information can be found on The Cryan' Shames website:
You'll want to check this out as James Fairs promises there won't be another reunion like it until 2049!!!