Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3rd

"Windy" by The Association holds for a second week at #1, followed by "Little Bit O'Soul" by The Music Explosion (up from #4 to #2), "Can't Take My Eyes Off You " by Frankie Valli (up from #7 to #3), "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie (up from #6 to #4), "Let's Live For Today" by The Grass Roots (up from #8 to #5) and "Don't Sleep In The Subway" by Petula Clark (up from #10 to #6).  Rounding out The Top Ten are "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals (down from #3 to #7), "Come On Down To My Boat" by Every Mother's Son (up a notch from #9 to #8), "She'd Rather Be With Me" by The Turtles (The Top Ten's biggest falling track, down from #2 to #9) and "Up, Up And Away" by The Fifth Dimension, the only NEW Top Ten Hit this week, climbing from #15 to #10.  (You'd be hard pressed to find a more solid Top Ten than this one!)

On the upswing in the rest of The Top Twenty we find "The Tracks Of My Tears" by Johnny Rivers (climbing from #13 to #11), "C'mon Marianne" by The Four Seasons (jumping #19 to #13), "Light My Fire" by The Doors (up from #22 to #15), "I Was Made To Love Her" by Stevie Wonder (which moves from #25 to #17), "Society's Child" by Janis Ian (up five places from #23 to #18), "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" by Procol Harum (up 18 places from #37 to #19) and "Here We Go Again" by Ray Charles (which climbs from #24 to #20).  Right behind it we find "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane, which ALSO climbs 18 spots from #39 to #21.  

The #1 album again this week is "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles.  

Brian Epstein organized a party at The Speakeasy Club to welcome The Monkees, who were doing their first UK Tour.  Present that night were John and Cynthia Lennon, George and Patti Harrison, Paul McCartney with then-girlfriend Jane Asher, as well as Eric Clapton, Mama Cass Elliott, The Who, Dusty Springfield, members of Procol Harum, Lulu, Manfred Mann and Micky's future wife, Samantha Juste.   

In what clearly appears to be a conflicted timeline, it is reported that earlier that same  day,  Micky Dolenz had caught part of a British soap opera called "Till Death Do Us Part", which used the phrase "Randy Scouse Git" (loose translation:  horny Liverpudlian Lad), which inspired the title of his song.  The lyrics of the song reportedly recap several of the events of that evening's party.  ("She's a wonderful lady and she's mine all mine" [Samantha Juste]; "the four kings of EMI" [The Beatles] and the "girl in yellow dress" [Mama Cass].) 

NONE of this information times out properly as "Randy Scouse Git", a track on The Monkees' latest "Headquarters" LP, had already been out for a month and had recently topped Billboard's Album Chart ... Micky not having written it yet on July 3rd is simply an impossibility ... yet we found this date reported in a number of sources ...  so we just had to share it!  (Micky has always maintained that the title came from the television series "Till Death Do Us Part" ... but in that this was The Monkees' first trip to England, one cannot help but wonder how he saw it in time to record his track some four months earlier!!!  The Monkees recorded this track in sessions held on March 4th, March 5th and March 8th!!!)  In researched hindsight, a far more likely scenario would be that the inspiration came months earlier when Micky and Mike visited the UK to do some press for their just announced tour.  It so happens that Mama Cass was also there at that time, so our best guess is that this inspiration happened the night of February 8th at The Bag O'Nails club ... which would have given Micky plenty of time to write the song and record it in early March.

When released as a single in Great Britain, it went all the way to #2 under the name "Alternate Title" (as the record company felt the British slang a bit too much to garner airplay ... they didn't want to risk The Monkees' audience finding anything offensive about their new release.)  This single was never released here in America … but remains one of The Monkees' most popular tracks. 

Three years later "Till Death Do Us Part" would be "Americanized" into the controversial comedy "All In The Family" by Norman Lear.   

By evening's end George Harrison had broken out a ukulele for a jam session that included Peter Tork on banjo and Keith Moon drumming on the table.  (Man, if somebody had only had a camera there that night to film all of this!)

Meanwhile, across the globe, The Doors and Iron Butterfly performed at The Santa Monica Civic Center in Santa Monia, California.