A little something different this week ...
Three charts from the same week in 1970 ... with completely different #1 Records! (This is what made our local charts so exciting!)
The KAAY Chart out of Little Rock, Arkansas, listed "Vehicle" by The Ides Of March at #1 this week. (You'd expect to see that in Chicago, where it also topped the chart ... albeit a full month earlier!) Incredibly it doesn't make the KAKC chart at all and lists at #22 on the L&H Chart!
This second chart comes from the Lyon and Healy Store ... now my recollection of Lyon and Healy was that they sold pianos and organs ... and sheet music ... and gave lessons on this equipment. I never really thought of them as a source to buy the latest hit records ... but maybe that's because the small branch I used to visit in Hillside, IL, just wasn't set up for these things.
Then again, their chart may have been published a bit earlier ... "Let It Be" by The Beatles was still showing up at #27, some two months after it peaked nationally ... their follow-up single "The Long And Winding Road" was already climbing the charts everywhere else. (KAAY shows it premiering at #25 this week while the KAKC Chart shown below already shows it slipping from #7 to #8 in its fourth week on the chart.) The Lyon and Healey Chart posts it at #9, designating it as the Hit Of The Week.
KAKC (The Big 97) was based out of Tulsa, Oklahoma ... they had Blues Image on top of their chart with "Ride Captain Ride". (It was #3 in Little Rock and WAY down at #54 on the L&H Chart).
Three Dog Night took a HUGE leap this week from #13 to #2 ... and the latest hits by Steppenwolf, Melanie, Paul Davis, Leon Russell and The Sandpipers also saw a significant upward movement.
Elvis' latest, "The Wonder Of You" was all over the place based on these charts ... premiering at #30 in Tulsa, OK, up five points to #16 in Little Rock, AR and #19 on the "Midwestern Chart" published by Lyon and Healy.
It's charts like these that show you why we all remember how big any given record was based on where we grew up hearing it. KAKC shows Paul Davis' version of "A Little Bit Of Soap" as a big hit ... yet it only peaked at #52 in Billboard ... and it doesn't even show up on the other two charts posted today.
Note some of the "local hits", too ... "Friends" by Feather, "My Wife, The Dancer" by Eddie and Dutch and "Genesis - Last Chapter" by Terry McGovern are all titles that leave most of us scratching our heads. (Meanwhile, look how well The Gentrys' version of the Neil Young classic "Cinnamon Girl" was doing ... #14 (down from #3) in Oklahoma and #29 on the Lyon and Healy Chart ... yet another #52 peaker in Billboard.
Below is a recap of some of the most popular music of the day ... as well as a few more surprise appearances:
VEHICLE - The Ides of March - #1, xx, #23
EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL - Ray Stevens - #2, #20, #3
RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE - Blues Image - #3, #1, #54
PUPPET MAN - The Fifth Dimension - #4, xx, #52
WHICH WAY YOU GOIN', BILLY? - The Poppy Family - #5, #16, #1
LAY A LITTLE LOVIN' ON ME - Robin McNamara - #6, xx, #79
FOR THE LOVE OF HIM - Bobbi Martin - #7, xx, #12
DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS - Tom Jones - #9, #23, #11
MISSISSIPPI - John Phillips - #11, xx, #68
IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - The Four Tops - #13, #18, xx
HEY MISTER SUN - Bobby Sherman - #14, xx, #38
BABY HOLD ON - The Grass Roots - #15, xx, #40
THE WONDER OF YOU - Elvis Presley - #16, #30, #19
TURN BACK THE HANDS OF TIME - Tyrone Davis - #17, xx, #33
TENNESSEE BIRD WALK - Blanchard and Morgan - #18, xx, #15
HITCHIN' A RIDE - Vanity Fare - #19, xx, #5
TIGHTER, TIGHTER - Alive and Kicking - #20, xx, #80
COME SATURDAY MORNING - The Sandpipers - #21, #19, #17
GIMME DAT DING - The Pipkins - #23, xx, #14
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD - The Beatles - #25, #8, #9
MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME - Three Dog Night - xx, #2, #62
MISSISSIPPI QUEEN - Mountain - xx, #3, #63
HEY LAWDY MAMA - Steppenwolf - xx, #4, #26
THE LETTER - Joe Cocker - xx, #5, #25
QUESTION - The Moody Blues - xx, #6, #37
LAY DOWN (CANDLES IN THE RAIN) - Melanie - xx, #9, #20
UP AROUND THE BEND - Creedence Clearwater Revival - xx, #10, #13
LOVE ON A TWO-WAY STREET - The Moments - xx, #11, #28
MY BABY LOVES LOVIN' - White Plains - xx, #13, #4
CINNAMON GIRL - The Gentrys - xx, #14, #29
GET READY - Rare Earth - xx, #17, #23
GO BACK - Crabby Appleton - xx, #26, #53
UNITED WE STAND - Brotherhood of Man - xx, #22, #34
HUM A SONG - Lulu - #8 on KAAY (#54 in Billboard)
GENESIS - LAST CHAPTER - Terry McGovern - #10 on KAAY (nationally a non-charter)
THANK YOU GIRL - The Street People - #12 on KAAY (#96 in Billboard)
COTTONFIELDS - The Beach Boys - #22 on KAAY (for lack of a better word, IGNORED nationally ... reaching #103 in Billboard)
TICKET TO RIDE - The Carpenters - #7 on KAKC (a Top Ten Hit here in Chicago, too ... but #54 in Billboard)
A LITTLE BIT OF SOAP - Paul Davis - #12 on KAKC (#52 in Billboard)
ROLL AWAY THE STONE - Leon Russell - #15 on KAKC (#109 in Billboard)
FRIENDS - Feather - #25 on KAKC (#79 in Billboard)
WITCHI TAI TO - Today's Tomorrow - #16 on the Lyon and Healy Chart (this version didn't even chart nationally!)
MY WIFE, THE DANCER - Eddie and Dutch - #32 on the L&H Chart (#52 nationally)
Some of these others had probably already peaked and fallen off the charts in most cities ... but Lyon and Healy continued to list these as Top Hits:
CECILIA - Simon and Garfunkel - #2 on the L&H Chart but not listed on either of the other surveys
LITTLE GREEN BAG - The George Baker Selection - #6 on the L&H Chart but not listed on either of the other surveys.
This is also true of:
REFLECTIONS OF MY LIFE - Marmalade (#7)
MAKE ME SMILE - Chicago (#8)
SPIRIT IN THE SKY - Norman Greenbaum (#10)
RAINDROPS KEEP FALLIN' ON MY HEAD - B.J. Thomas (#18)
SOMETHING'S BURNING - Kenny Rogers and the First Edition (#21)
AMERICAN WOMAN - The Guess Who (#24)
LET IT BE - The Beatles (#27)
As well as SUGAR SUGAR, LOVE OR LET ME BE LONELY, UP THE LADDER TO THE ROOF, WOODSTOCK, LOVE GROWS, COME AND GET IT and EASY COME, EASY GO.
So how do you determine the REAL, legitimate hits with this kind of discrepancy amongst the charts?
Well, I figure if two out of three of these charts listed a song in The Top 20, it was pretty much a national hit. But doing a quick recap, that only allows for 14 titles ... leaving six spots open for your own local favorites ...
And that's what made radio so fun and exciting back in the day ... as we can see by just scanning these random charts, that meant that the other six could be almost ANYTHING!!!
"Mississippi Queen" by Mountain or "Ticket To Ride" by The Carpenters.
"Cinnamon Girl" by The Gentrys or "Witchi Tai To" by Today's Tomorrow
"Gimme Dat Ding" by The Pipkins or "Question" by The Moody Blues
"Hey Lawdy Mama" by Steppenwolf" or "Puppet Man" by The Fifth Dimension.
Whichever way the station decided to go was totally fine by us ... we loved it ALL!