Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Saturday Surveys ( 9 - 6 - 14 )

We've got charts from 1963, 1964 and 1965 to kick things off this week in our Saturday Surveys Feature!

First up ... this KMBY "Swingin' 60" chart from 1963.

The Beach Boys make a HUGE leap from #14 to #1 with their two-sided hit "Surfer Girl" / "Little Deuce Coupe", pushing The Angels hit "My Boyfriend's Back" and Allan Sherman's comedy classic "Hello Mudduh, Hello Fadduh" back a notch.  Rounding out The Top Five are Trini Lopez (with "If I Had A Hammer" and Inez Foxx with "Mockingbird", a record that would top the charts ten years later for the husband-and-wife team of James Taylor and Carly Simon.

Another fun Top Ten Hit is Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen", up six places from #15 to #9 ... and I also want to feature one of my personal favorites (and a song that STILL sounds great coming out of your radio ... in the rare instance when they actually play it!) "Sally Go Round The Roses" by The Jaynetts, up ten places from #31 to #21.

Here's another one of those Solid Gold WLS Surveys from 1964, spotlighting not only The Top 20 songs of the week ... but also 20 "Best Selling #1 Records" from years gone by.  (Even in 1964, WLS was celebrating "oldies but goodies" ... this week with a feature called "890 Million Dollars Worth of Memories".)

Del Shannon's remake of "Handy Man" is a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago ... as is something called "Car Hop" by The Exports, a record that never even cracked Billboard's Hot 100 Chart. (You'll also find The Rivieras at #13 with their remake of the 1958 Bobby Day hit "Rockin' Robin".  This one would go all the way to #8 on the 'LS chart, despite stopping at #96 on The Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles Chart.)

And finally, here's another WLS Chart ... from 1965 this time.  (We've featured this particular chart a few times before in our Forgotten Hits pages ... check out this week's #20 Hit ... "Yesterday" by Paul McCartney!!!)

Yep, The Beatles are holding steady at #2 with their latest hit "Help!" ... but after the other Fab Three left the stage so McCartney could perform "Yesterday" alone on The Ed Sullivan Show, I guess WLS jumped the gun and referred to this track as a solo Paul McCartney outing.

What's ESPECIALLY odd about this (they had actually been playing the track for the previous five weeks off the British "Help" soundtrack album) is that McCartney's solo Ed Sullivan performance wouldn't air until September 12th ... or nearly ten days AFTER the date on this chart!!!  In fact, the official Capitol single release of this record didn't happen until two weeks after THAT!!! It first premiered in Billboard on their chart dated September 25th!

No one from WLS has ever been able to explain their early push or Top 20 ranking of this song ... a record you couldn't actually BUY yet!!!  (Back in the day, the record stores used to display The Top 20 Hits from WLS ... I wonder how THEY handled all of the requests for this as yet unreleased single!!!)  In fact, in a discussion with Clark Weber and Dex Card several years ago, Dex said he thought this WLS chart was a "fake" as he didn't recall this incident at all ... and HE'S the guy who used to count 'em down five times a week!  I can only assure you that it isn't ... the one's the real deal!  That being said, if there ever was such a thing as a "Sure Fire Hit", "Yesterday" fits the bill.  It became the most recorded song in history almost overnight.

At the bottom of the chart, you'll see that WLS is once again listing their Top 20 #1 Records from years gone by ...  although THIS time NINE new songs titles are listed that didn't appear on this same chart from the year before.  (Most of these were records released AFTER the September 4th Chart from 1964.  One that wasn't was the addition of The Beatles' #1 Hit "Love Me Do".)  In fact, you'll see a decidedly British feel to this new Top 20 ... NINE of The Top 20 Hits listed are by British Invasion Artists ... including SIX by The Beatles alone! (I've got to laugh, too, at the 7 entry ... looks like according to The Big 89, Sister Luc-Gabrielle has started her own group ... her #1 Hit "Dominique" is now credited to The Singing NunS!!!)

Lots of local hits in this week's Top 20, too ... "Little Miss Sad" is at #4 for The Five Emprees, Neil Sedaka's got a #11 Hit with "The World Thru A Tear" (which is a GREAT record, by the way, and should have been a MUCH bigger national hit than it was, peaking at #76 in Billboard) and "Trouble With A Woman" by Kip and Ken (#16) and "Give Me All Your Love" by Gerry and the Pacemakers (#12) may raise an eyebrow or two, too!