Friday, November 1, 2013

We've Reached The Top 40!

When you listen to today's version of Top 40 Radio you'll find that everything has a very similar sound ... almost like the music that makes it fits the "blend" or the "mix" of the station that's playing it ... or it simply doesn't get played. 

Such was NOT the case back in the '60's ... the most creative and inventive time in pop music history.   

One look at this countdown confirms that.   

We had country hits like "Harper Valley P.T.A." by Jeannie C. Riley, "A Boy Named Sue" by Johnny Cash and "Galveston" by Glen Campbell and "King Of The Road" by Roger Miller ... "Feel Good" Rock by the likes of The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells, The Monkees and The Lovin' Spoonful ... hard rock and psychedelic rock by Steppenwolf, The Doors, Iron Butterfly and Deep Purple, played side by side with the bubble gum hits of The 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Lemon Pipers and The Ohio Express.  Motown Soul by The Supremes, The Temptations and The Miracles ... and Southern Soul by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Booker T. and the MG's, Sam and Dave or Otis Redding.

Instrumental hits were topping the charts.  (When's the last time you heard a good instrumental hit played on contemporary radio?)  This countdown of 100 Hits features four of them ... by everybody from Paul Mauriat to Hugo Montenegro ... from Hugh Masekela to Henry Mancini ... we also enjoyed major hits by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass to Mason Williams and his "Classical Gas".

We had the Blue-Eyed Soul of The Rascals and The Righteous Brothers ... as well as the British Invasion sounds of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits and The Dave Clark Five.

Surf sounds by The Beach Boys and Jan and Dean ... folk music by Peter, Paul and Mary ... folk rock by The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield ... incredible poets like Bob Dylan and Smokey Robinson, who set their dreams to music.

Artists as diverse as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Louis Armstrong ... and The Singing Nun, S/Sgt. Barry Sadler and The New Vaudeville Band ... could release a "fluke" record ... and still watch it top the charts ... and incredibly ALL of this great music was played side-by-side, all day long, without a moment's hesitation or reservation ... and somehow it ALL fit.

This countdown features The Association, The Four Seasons, The Box Tops and The Archies ... The Cowsills, The Mamas and the Papas, Dionne Warwick and The Strawberry Alarm Clock!  The Fifth Dimension and Sly and the Family Stone!  The Troggs ... and Lulu!!!  Sonny and Cher as well as Simon and Garfunkel!  "Bobby" Music by Bobby Goldsboro, Bobby Vee, Bobby Darin, Bobby Vinton, Bobby Rydell and Bobbie Gentry!!!  An INCREDIBLE mix of music from a very special time.

This was the '60's ... and quite simply there's nothing else like it.

Enjoy the rest of the countdown!

#40 - Harper Valley P.T.A. - Jeannie C. Riley  (1968)

A flash-in-the-pan novelty hit that had the whole country talking for a few weeks.  Actually, I'm surprised this one scored so high ... I seem to remember it being "here and gone" very quickly back in '68. (Of course being knocked out of the top spot by a record as huge as "Hey Jude" by The Beatles probably had something to do with that.)

#39 - Chapel Of Love - The Dixiecups  (1964)
Another timeless classic, this one's never grown old.

#38 - I Get Around - The Beach Boys  (1964)
Not ALL of America was left sitting on their collective hands during The British Invasion ... these guys were creating some of the biggest hits of their career!

#37 - (You're My) Soul And Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers  (1966)
Despite having two of the most-played records in the history of pop radio, The Righteous Brothers just missed making The Top 20 in this special countdown.  That's because these points were accumulated at the time these records were actually on the charts ... and not the 40-50 years since when airplay saturation has taken them to a whole new level.

#36 - Judy In Disguise - John Fred and the Playboys Band  (1968)
Which is also why this little ditty scored so high!

#35 - Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison  (1964)
Roy's name popped up a couple of times during our 1960 - 1963 Countdown ... this was his last really big hit of the '60's ... but it was a MONSTER!

#34 - Wedding Bell Blues - The Fifth Dimension  (1969)
Another group that crossed all borders ... racial and age demographics ... EVERYBODY loved The Fifth Dimension!

#33 - We Can Work It Out - The Beatles  (1966)
The Beatles started 1965 on top of the charts with "I Feel Fine" ... and finished it off on top with this one.  In between they also hit the #1 spot with "Ticket To Ride", "Help!" and "Yesterday"!!!  What a year!  It earned MOST of its points in 1966, however ... which is how "We Can Work It Out" is eligible for this countdown.

#32 - Turn! Turn! Turn! - The Byrds  (1965)
The Byrds scored back-to-back #1 Singles with "Mr. Tambourine Man" (#94 on this list) and this one.

#31 - Mrs. Robinson - Simon and Garfunkel  (1968)
The biggest hit of their career would come in 1970 ("Bridge Over Troubled Water") ... but they still managed to place a couple of hits on this Top 100 Countdown of the '60's, too.

#30 - Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary  (1969)
One of the front-runners of The Folk Craze that consumed America in the early '60's, this would be their last major chart hit.  Written by a guy named John Denver ... who America wouldn't discover until a few years later when his career went through the roof!

#29 - There! I've Said It Again - Bobby Vinton  (1964)
This song ... and "Dominique" by The Singing Nun ... helped to keep "Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen out of the #1 Spot on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart ... (Oh my God ... America SO needed The Beatles at this point!!!)  But Bobby was finally dethroned when "I Want To Hold Your Hand" burst on the scene ... and forever changed the way we heard music. 

#28 - Somethin' Stupid - Nancy and Frank Sinatra  (1967)
We've already seen Dad ("Strangers In The Night", #97) and Daughter ("These Boots Are Made For Walkin'", #54) in the countdown ... but this is the monster duet they cut together in 1967.  Politically incorrect then and now, it STILL managed to capture the hearts of America ... and the #1 Spot on The Billboard Chart!

#27 - Dizzy - Tommy Roe  (1969)
Our FH Buddy Tommy Roe had so many great hits in the '60's ... but this was the biggest ... a little dab of bubblegum took this track a long, long way back in 1969!

#26 - Windy - The Association  (1967)
This is the track that completes their trifecta ... a MONSTER hit during The Summer of Love, 1967.

#25 - Light My Fire - The Doors  (1967)
From that very same summer ... and the very definition of Classic Rock.

#24 - Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band  (1966)
And now for something COMPLETELY different ... but hey, we loved it.  This one got our parents back into the record stores ... but a lot of us kids liked it, too ... I know I sure did!

#23 - The Ballad Of The Green Berets - S/Sgt. Barry Sadler  (1966)
Released at a time when much of America was still in favor of The Viet Nam War, a trend that changed VERY quickly during the turbulent '60's.  Barry's "after life" didn't end so well ... you can read all about it here:  Click here: Forgotten Hits: Helping Out Our Readers: With Two Barry - Barry Big Number One Hits From The '60's!!!
You'll find the OTHER Barry mentioned in this article ... Barry McGuire ... holding down the #99 spot on this special countdown!

#22 - This Guy's In Love With You - Herb Alpert  (1968)
Alpert's Tijuana Brass scored hit after hit after hit in the '60's ... their albums regularly topped the charts ... but who knew this guy could sing???  The first time he did, his record went straight to #1!

#21 - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers  (1965)
The most-played record in the history of radio ... and what a monster it was ... and still is.  The best example one could ever offer of Blue-Eyed Soul. 

We wrap it all up tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... join us, won't you???