Saturday, March 31, 2018

The Saturday Survey (March 31st)

*Survey courtesy Frank Merrill

Greenville, Mississippi is showing many of the same Top Ten Hits as elsewhere around the country this week ... but I've always liked the Gene and Debbie record that sits at #10 this week, "Playboy."

New on the chart this week are Elvis Presley with "U.S. Male," "You've Gotta Be Loved" by The Montanas, a record that was a big hit here in Chicago and "Sweet Inspiration" by The Sweet Inspirations (man, what a great idea!!! I wonder how much THAT guy got paid for coming up with that one!)
[Actually The Sweet Inspirations would go on to become Elvis' background singers when he returned to the stage in Las Vegas a few years later!  DIDJAKNOW that member Cissy Houston, in addition to cutting a few solo records, was also the mother of Whitney Houston ... and the Aunt of Dionne Warwick???]  kk

3-29-68 - WDDT - Greenville, Mississippi  

With a population today of around 30,000, Greenville sits along the Arkansas / Mississippi border on the mighty Mississippi River.  This state was the rarest find for a 1968 survey out of the 50 states so very special thanks to Frank Merrill for sending this one in.  

In 1967, my late friend Alan Gordon and his writing partner Gary Bonner were almost never off the national charts, writing songs that became hits over and over throughout the year.  "Happy Together" was the gem, but in 1968, their songs were more often falling on deaf ears.  

Two of their songs appear as survey extras this week:  "Mary Elizabeth" by the Magic Fleet and "Me About You" by Jackie DeShannon.  

"Me About You" was actually plugged as the B side, but got flipped and made a little chart noise.  Despite never becoming a hit for anyone, it was also a 45 release by the Mojo Men, the Lovin' Spoonful, The Turtles and Jimmie Rodgers! 

THIS WEEK IN 1968:   

3/25/68:  Tonight the 58th and final episode of The Monkees

 television series is broadcast on NBC 

3/26/68:  R&B Star Little Willie John dies in prison under mysterious circumstances.  He had been convicted of manslaughter two years earlier.

3/31/68:  Smokey Robinson and the Miracles perform a medley of “I Second That Emotion,” “If You Can Want,” “Going To A Go-Go” and “Yesterday” on The Ed Sullivan Show