Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Top 50 Songs of The Summer of '69

Today we return back to where this whole series began back on August 1st ...


And, just like we did when we saluted "The Summer Of Love" a couple of years ago ... by compiling a list of The 50 Biggest Songs Of The Summer of 1967 ... "The Summer Of Love" ... we've put together a list of The 50 Biggest Songs Of The Summer of '69. (By the way, you can find that Summer Of Love Countdown posted on The Forgotten Hits Website here: Click here: Forgotten Hits - The Summer Of Love Countdown).

And, just like we did a couple of years ago when we assembled THAT feature, we went to our "Go To" Chart Guys, Randy Price and Jack Levin, whom we asked to compile this information for our Forgotten Hits Readers.

And both of these guys did exactly what we asked them to ... come up with a chart based on the statistics of June, July and August ONLY of 1969 that shows the National and the Local rankings of The 50 Most Popular Songs of that Summer.

As expected, there are lots of similarities ... in fact, 39 of The Top 50 Titles are common to BOTH charts, leaving only a discrepancy of eleven songs on either chart that might be considered "surprises". Randy's National Chart is based on the information he collected from all three major national trades at the time: Billboard Magazine, Cash Box Magazine and Record World Magazine ... in effect, the SUPER Charts that we have been talking about these past few years. Jack's Chicagoland Chart comes from information compiled from the two big Top 40 AM Giants here in Chicago at the time, WLS and WCFL ... no small feat, I might add, because in 1969 WCFL was no longer publishing and distributing their charts in the record stores like they had in '66 and '67 ... instead, much like WLS would do a few years later, they would send a poster to be mounted in the record department of the major stores where you would go to buy your singles. After years and years and years of diligent research, our team of Collectible Chart Maniacs have put together charts reflecting the information that many of these guys wrote down in their private journals for this era and, thanks to that diligence, we are able to share this chart information with you today.

So, without further adieu, here are your OFFICIAL Top 50 Lists!!!

(compiled by Randy Price)
1. IN THE YEAR 2525 (Exordium & Terminus) - Zager & Evans (RCA Victor 74-0174)
2. CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION - Tommy James & The Shondells (Roulette 7050)
3. SPINNING WHEEL - Blood, Sweat & Tears (Columbia 44871)
4. ONE - Three Dog Night (Dunhill 4191)
5. LOVE THEME FROM ROMEO & JULIET - Henry Mancini & His Orchestra (RCA Victor 74-0131)
6. GOOD MORNING STARSHINE - Oliver (Jubilee 5659)
7. WHAT DOES IT TAKE (To Win Your Love) - Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Soul 35062)
8. MY CHERIE AMOUR - Stevie Wonder (Tamla 54180)
9. BAD MOON RISING - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy 622)
10. BABY, I LOVE YOU - Andy Kim (Steed 716)
11. SWEET CAROLINE (Good Times Never Seemed So Good) - Neil Diamond (Uni 55136)
12. IN THE GHETTO - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor 47-9741)
13. MOTHER POPCORN (You Got To Have A Mother For Me) (pt. 1) - James Brown (King 6245)
14. GET BACK - The Beatles (Apple 2490)
15. HONKY TONK WOMEN - The Rolling Stones (London 910)
16. COLOR HIM FATHER - The Winstons (Metromedia 117)
17. RUBY, DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN - Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (Reprise 0829)
18. LOVE ME TONIGHT - Tom Jones (Parrot 40038)
19. TOO BUSY THINKING ABOUT MY BABY - Marvin Gaye (Tamla 54181)
20. QUENTIN'S THEME - The Charles Randolph Grean Sounde (Ranwood 840)
21. PUT A LITTLE LOVE IN YOUR HEART - Jackie DeShannon (Imperial 66385)
22. BLACK PEARL - Sonny Charles & The Checkmates, Ltd. (A&M 1053)
23. A BOY NAMED SUE - Johnny Cash (Columbia 44944)
24. THE BALLAD OF JOHN AND YOKO - The Beatles (Apple 2531)
25. GRAZING IN THE GRASS - The Friends Of Distinction (RCA Victor 74-0107)
26. ISRAELITES - Desmond Dekker & The Aces (Uni 55129)
27. POLK SALAD ANNIE - Tony Joe White (Monument 1104)
28. MY PLEDGE OF LOVE - The Joe Jeffrey Group (Wand 11200)
29. LAUGHING - The Guess Who (RCA Victor 74-0195)
30. LOVE (Can Make You Happy) - Mercy (Sundi 6811)
31. I'D WAIT A MILLION YEARS - The Grass Roots (Dunhill 4198)
32. LET ME - Paul Revere & The Raiders (Columbia 44854)
33. THESE EYES - The Guess Who (RCA Victor 74-0102)
34. GET TOGETHER - The Youngbloods (RCA Victor 47-9752)
35. GOOD OLD ROCK 'N ROLL - Cat Mother & The All Night News Boys (Polydor 14002)
36. YESTERDAY, WHEN I WAS YOUNG - Roy Clark (Dot 17246)
37. I TURNED YOU ON - The Isley Brothers (T-Neck 902)
38. OH HAPPY DAY - The Edwin Hawkins Singers (Pavilion 20001)
39. MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY - The Spiral Starecase (Columbia 44741)
40. SEE - The Rascals (Atlantic 2634)
41. LAY LADY LAY - Bob Dylan (Columbia 44926)
42. SOUL DEEP - The Box Tops (Mala 12040)
43. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE - The Plastic Ono Band (Apple 1809)
44. I CAN SING A RAINBOW / LOVE IS BLUE - The Dells (Cadet 5641)
45. SUGAR, SUGAR - The Archies (Calendar 1008)
46. EVERYDAY WITH YOU GIRL - The Classics IV (Imperial 66378)
47. GREEN RIVER - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy 625)
48. RECONSIDER ME - Johnny Adams (SSS Int'l 770)
49. DON'T LET THE JONESES GET YOU DOWN - The Temptations (Gordy 7086)
50. HURT SO BAD - The Lettermen (Capitol 2482)

The Chicagoland Charts:
(compiled by Jack Levin)
1. In The Year 2525 - Zager & Evans
2. Honky Tonk Women - The Rolling Stones
3. Crystal Blue Persuasion - Tommy James & the Shondells
4. Love Theme From Romeo & Juliet - Henry Mancini
5. One - Three Dog Night
6. Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
7. Baby I Love You - Andy Kim
8. Hurt So Bad - The Lettermen
9. Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Jackie DeShannon
10. What Does It Take - Jr. Walker & the All Stars
11. Birthday - Underground Sunshine
12. Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
13. Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
14. The Israelites - Desmond Dekker & the Aces
15. Soul Deep - The Box Tops
16. Too Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye
17. Polk Salad Annie - Tony Joe White
18. Quentin's Theme - Charles Randolph Greene Sound
19. Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat & Tears
20. Let Me - Paul Revere & the Raiders
21. Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town - Kenny Rogers & the First Edition
22. A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash
23. Medicine Man - Buchanan Brothers
24. Color Him Father - The Winstons
25. Get Back - The Beatles
26. My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
27. Lay Lady Lay - Bob Dylan
28. Laughing - The Guess Who
29. Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival
30. In The Ghetto - Elvis Presley
31. I'll Never Fall In Love Again - Tom Jones
32. My Pledge Of Love - The Joe Jeffery Group
33. Grazing In The Grass - The Friends Of Distinction
34. Special Delivery - The 1910 Fruitgum Company
35. Black Pearl - Sonny Charles & the Checkmates
36. Working On A Groovy Thing - The Fifth Dimension
37. Mother Popcorn - James Brown
38. Morning Girl - Neon Philharmonic
39. Easy To Be Hard - Three Dog Night
40. Sugar Sugar - The Archies
41. Get Together - The Youngbloods
42. The Ballad Of John & Yoko - The Beatles
43. Marakeesh Express - Crosby, Stills & Nash
44. See - The Rascals
45. Give Peace A Chance - The Plastic Ono Band
46. Did You See Her Eyes - The Illusion
47. Everyday With You Girl - The Classics IV
48. I Could Never Lie To You - The New Colony Six
49. Good Old Rock And Roll - Cat Mother & The All Night Newsboys
50. Day Is Done - Peter Paul & Mary
The Ballad Of John & Yoko would have scored higher, but it failed to chart on WLS. Songs included on this list represent their various chart positions between 6/1 & 9/1, 1969.

You'll notice that not only are 39 titles common to both charts, but in The Top 20 there is only a one title discrepancy between the two rankings ... here in Chicago "Birthday" by Underground Sunshine did much better than it did on The National Charts, peaking at #2 (vs. a #19 showing in Cash Box and a #26 peak in Billboard.) We recently featured this song in one of our Forgotten Hits spotlights. (You can read all about it here:

Tom Jones had the only Top 20 National Chart entry not accounted for on our local charts ... his hit "Love Me Tonight" came in at #18 on Randy's compilation chart yet didn't chart well enough here in Chicago to make Jack's Top 50. (Ironically, a DIFFERENT Tom Jones song made our local chart ... you'll find his Summer of '69 Hit "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" at #31!)

The biggest song of the year, "Sugar, Sugar" by The Archies came in at #40 on The Chicagoland Chart Compilation and at #45 on The National Ranking. That's because it didn't debut on the charts until the end of July / beginning of August and wouldn't accumulate enough points during the eligibility period of June, July and August ONLY to rank any higher.

I was a little surprised to see "In The Years 2525" by Zager and Evans top BOTH charts ... I mean, I knew it was BIG ... but I didn't think it was THAT big. Off the top of my head, my first three guesses for the biggest Summer of '69 Hits would have been "Honky Tonk Women" by The Rolling Stones, "Crystal Blue Persuasion" by Tommy James and the Shondells" and "Get Back" by The Beatles, all of which scored well on the final charts ... but none of which earned enough accumulative points to unseat Zager and Evans' One Hit Wonder.

Thanks again to Randy Price and Jack Levin for their diligent efforts in compiling these charts for ALL of our readers to enjoy.