Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Saturday Survey (November 10th, 1968)

11-5-68 - WEAM - Washington, D.C. (Arlington, Virginia)

Altho we featured a survey from Richmond, Va. in the second week of the year, this station was typically known as a station in the nation's capital, so this will be the survey featured for the District of Columbia from 1968.  Not only was Chicago's Shadows of Knight in the top 10 in the national capital on this day, but November 5, 1968, was the EXACT date of the long fought over presidential election with former vice president Richard Nixon outslugging then-current vice president Hubert Humphrey as the 37th president.  In remembrance of the death of his friend, Bobby Kennedy, Andy Williams sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" at Kennedy's funeral months earlier and the Columbia 45 release sat at #11 this week in D.C.  Despite all the turmoil of the election year, Chicago's American Breed are hit bound on WEAM with their very cool "Keep the Faith!"  One of my personal 1968 obscure faves was by local Washington, D.C. group, Flavor, whose "Heart-Teaser"  moved into the WEAM top 30 at #30.

That's a pretty impressive showing for Tommy James' hit "Do Something To Me" (#7 in DC despite only a #24 ... and #38 in Billboard ... national showing.)  I always liked this song (and enjoy the original version by ? and the Mysterians, too, a track that Dave The Rave introduced me to many years ago.)

It seems appropriate to feature the Andy Williams track mentioned above.  He and Bobby Kennedy's family were extremely close ... so it had to be VERY difficult to sing this song at Bobby's funeral.

A couple of other favorites include The Magic Lanterns' "Shame Shame," one of my favorite recordings of all time, and "Baby, Let's Wait" by The Royal Guardsmen, a track originally recorded by The Young Rascals, that gave the band the opportunity to step out of Snoopy's shadow for a moment after most recently campaigning for "Snoopy For President."  This is a REALLY nice recording ... and it should have done better on the charts than it did ... but I think by this point the band had been permanently typecast as a novelty act and nothing more ... when, in fact, nothing could have been further from the truth.

My final pick this week is the Leapy Lee tune "Little Arrows," guaranteed to stick in your head for the next 48 hours.  (Don'tcha just love these earworms?!?!?)

We found a great representation of the most popular songs in Washington, D.C. for this week in this vintage newspaper clipping that spotlights several of the stations that could be heard by teenagers in the nation’s capital so we’re running this as a “Bonus Chart.” 

Interestingly enough, we find only five songs common to both charts. ("Love Child," "Magic Carpet Ride," "Abraham, Martin And John," "Do Something To Me" and "Those Were The Days.") 

In fact, a quick glance across ALL of the charts for this week in '68 shows you how the different radio stations servicing the area represented discrepancies based on sales and airplay, all basing their information on what you would think would be the same resources.  (I really like the "recap" chart that combines the stats from ALL the stations reporting as a means of giving music fans "the most accurate" Top Ten for this week.

We also talked with Roxie, who lived in the D.C. area back in 1968 and told us …

WPGC was the strongest station then. Here is the survey for that timeframe (highlighted on the chart above).
I personally listened to WPGC or WHFS, which was our fantastic underground station. My second favorite top 40 station was WEAM.


11/6/68 - The Monkees’ feature film HEAD premiers in New York City. NOTHING like their TV Show, they’ve abandoned their core teenage audience.  While many critics today consider it to be a cult favorite, it still makes VERY little sense to me, even after dozens of repeated viewings and was a complete failure at the box office at the time.

Also on this date … A San Francisco State College faculty - student strike begins 

11/8/68 – Cynthia Lennon is granted a divorce.  John Lennon does not appear in court today, sitting instead by the bedside of Yoko Ono who, it is feared, is about to have a miscarriage.  (She will on 11/21.)  He and Yoko met for the first time two years earlier on November 9th, 1966, at the Indica Art Gallery in London where her work was on exhibit.