Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22nd

"Groovin'" by The Young Rascals holds on to the #1 spot for a second week as "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "I Got Rhythm" by The Happenings and "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck all creep up behind it in The Top Five.  

"Creeque Alley" by The Mamas and the Papas and "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be" by Paul Revere and the Raiders still seem to be joined at the hip, now occupying the #7 and #8 positions.  "Mirage" looks like another Top Ten Hit for Tommy James and the Shondells as it climbs from #17 to #12 this week and Jefferson Airplane seem to have a pretty solid hit on their hands, too, right out of the box as "Somebody To Love" climbs from #21 to #13.  

"She'd Rather Be With Me" by The Turtles makes a big move this week from #48 to #29 … but nobody in The Top 40 make the kind of move The Grass Roots do, as "Let's Live For Today" climbs from #73 all the way to #40, a 33 point jump.  

Florence Ballard makes her last appearance with The Supremes on The Tonight Show. (Although she wouldn't officially be terminated until July 1st, she had already been replaced by Cindy Birdsong several times earlier due to her failure to appear for scheduled performances.)  

"More Of The Monkees" continues its hold on the top of the chart.  Incredibly, their debut album "The Monkees" is still in The Top Ten … and their brand new album, "Headquarters", released today, will soon join the fold!  It will go on to become their third straight album to top the charts.  (In fact, in 1967 alone, The Monkees would hold the top album spot for an incredible 33 weeks!  Save the week ending June 17th, The Monkees would have the #1 album in the country for 24 out of the first 25 weeks of the year … including THIS one as "More Of The Monkees" begins its 15th week at #1 on the US Chart!  

"Headquarters"'s reign at the top would be short-lived however … the following week they will be knocked out of the #1 spot by a little album called "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" … which would hold on to the top spot for the next fifteen consecutive weeks. (Don't feel TOO bad for The Pre-Fab Four ... there was little that could compete with the forever life-changing "Sgt. Pepper" LP ... meanwhile,"Headquarters" spent eleven of those fifteen weeks at #2 ... which ain't too shabby for a made-for-TV group that was suddenly producing itself in the recording studio!)

"Headquarters" was a landmark, break-through album for the band.  After much negative press about how The Monkees didn't play their own instruments, the band painstakingly went through take after take after take to make this album on their own terms.  (It was part of their new deal with Colgems Records … which ultimately saw their musical director Don Kirshner fired.)  

The back of the LP (a version of which showed photos of three of The Monkees with beards! … that was quickly withdrawn in order to maintain their clean pre-teen television image) boasted:  "We aren't the only musicians on this album, but the occasional extra bass or horn player played under our direction, so that this is all ours.  Each one of us has some musical thing, from Manchester to Texas, from the East Coast to the West, and when four people just go with their thing, what comes out is a whole.  Don't ask 'a whole what?' Just listen.  If only the smallest part of how much fun it was to make this record gets heard, it was all worthwhile."  Album credits then list Michael Nesmith on pedal steel guitar, six-string and organ, Davy Jones on tambourine, jawbone, maracas, etc., Micky Dolenz on drums and guitar and Peter Tork on keyboards, twelve-string, bass and five-string banjo.  Also credited are Vince DaRosa on French horn, Fred Seykora on cello and Producer Chip Douglas on "occasional bass."  (Douglas produced the album under his real name, Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.)