Sunday, February 5, 2017

February 5th

Still holding down the top spot we find The Monkees, now in their seventh straight week at #1 with "I'm A Believer".  (Songwriter Neil Diamond was reluctant to give this track to The Monkees, feeling it would be his own breakthrough hit.  He was ultimately convinced that he would earn more money on Monkees royalties than he would as the recording artist … and was also promised their follow-up single.  I doubt that he ever regretted the decision.  "I'm A Believer" made him MILLIONS … and The Monkees' next hit, the Neil Diamond-penned "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You", followed it to the #1 spot on the charts.)  

Two big movers join The Top Ten this week as "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones leaps from #20 to #7 and "Love Is Here And Now You're Gone" by The Supremes climbs all the way from #23 to #9.  Also new in The Top Ten this week are "98.6" by Keith (#8, up from #11) and "Stand By Me" by Spyder Turner, which now sits at #10, up from last week's showing of #12. 

New Top 40 Hits include "Go Where You Wanna Go" by The Fifth Dimension (#28, up from #42), "Indescribably Blue" by Elvis Presley (#35, up from #55), "My Cup Runneth Over" by Ed Ames (a big leap from #62 to #36), "You Got To Me" by the previously mentioned Neil Diamond (#37, up twenty points from last week's #57 position),  "Lovin' You" by Bobby Darin (#38, up from #51), "Pushin' Too Hard" by The Seeds (#39, up from #43) and "Ride, Ride, Ride", a comeback record of sorts by Brenda Lee, which jumps from #48 to #40. 

The Monkees knock themselves out of the #1 spot on Billboard's Top 200 Album Chart this week when their second album, "More Of The Monkees" leaps from #122 to #1.  It will stay at #1 for an incredible eighteen consecutive weeks, giving The Pre-Fab Four the #1 Album in America for 31 weeks in a row … a record unmatched by ANY artist up to that point … including Elvis and The Beatles!  (For the record, The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album … considered by many to be the greatest and most influential album of all time … will spend fifteen weeks on top of Billboard's Album Chart a few months later during The Summer of Love.)     

Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album would log 31 non-consecutive weeks at #1 in 1977.  Michael Jackson would best that with a 37 non-consecutive week run at the top in 1983 with "Thriller".  Prior to The Monkees' 1967 achievement, Harry Belafonte logged 31 non-consecutive weeks at #1 in 1956 with his album "Calypso".  Two years later the soundtrack to "South Pacific" also spent 31 non-consecutive weeks at #1.  The all-time record for weeks on top of Billboard's Album Chart belongs to the movie soundtrack to "West Side Story", which spent an incredible 54 weeks on top of the chart.  (These were also non-consecutive weeks).   

The Monkees were not at all happy with the release of their second album.  In fact, they didn't even know it was out until they saw it in the stores!  They hated the cover photograph (essentially a J.C. Penney's clothing ad!) and the fact that they had absolutely no creative input into the album's contents.  This would eventually cause an explosive confrontation with Musical Director Don Kirshner, ultimately leading to his dismissal from this position.   

Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork are all in New York City today.  Micky will go shopping in Greenwich Village and take a walk thru Central Park before deciding it was too difficult to enjoy himself with the massive crowds surrounding his every move.  He will fly to London this evening.  Davy Jones will also leave New York City tonight for a flight to Nassau in The Bahamas.  Peter Tork will visit some of his hold haunts in The Village and Michael and his wife Phyllis will relax before departing for London themselves the following day.  

The Beatles begin filming their promotional film for their new single "Penny Lane".  (They completed the one for "Strawberry Fields Forever" the week before.)  Today they are filmed riding horses  and walking around Angel Lane in Stratford in the East End of London.  They would complete the video on February 7th after a return to Knole Park where the "Strawberry Fields" film was taped.  Four days later (on February 11th) a brief excerpt of "Penny Lane" was already being shown on BBC's "Juke Box Jury". 

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour premiers on CBS.  It would run for three seasons and become one of the most popular television series in the young adult market, always controversial and constantly fighting with the censors to be more topical, political and "on the edge".  Credit much of this success to dim-witted brother Tommy Smothers (who was nowhere NEAR as dumb as he looked on TV) and the incredible writing staff that included wild and crazy guy Steve Martin (well, excuuuuuuse meeeeeeeeee), Mason Williams (who would have a #1 Hit a year later with "Classical Gas"), Rob Reiner (who would go on to play Meathead Mike Stivic on "All In The Family" and become a highly regarded movie director), David Steinberg (witty and always pushing the envelope … any number of today's "politically correct" comedians owe a HUGE debt to this guy), Bob Einstein (who also played Officer Judy on the show and later, to much greater success, Super Dave Osborne) and Lorenzo Music (who is probably one of the best known "voices" on television … everything from Carlton The Doorman on "Rhoda" to Garfield the Cat!) 

The British tabloid "News Of The World" publishes an article called "Pop Stars And Drugs - Facts That Will Shock You".  In it they claim that most UK Rock Stars were LSD users.  After reading that he was reportedly hooked on Benzedrine and hashish, Mick Jagger filed a defamation lawsuit against the paper.  Turns out that the reporter who wrote the article had heard Mick's Rolling Stones bandmate Brian Jones admitting to using these drugs but mistook him for Mick Jagger.  Exactly one week later, Mick, Keith Richards and Marianne Faithfull were busted for drug possession in London … quite likely as a result of this article. 

Number One at the Box Office this week:  A Fistful Of Dollars 

LL Bean died at the age of 94.  Leon Leonwood Bean founded the mail-order giant in 1912 by selling a waterproof hunting boot.