Friday, September 17, 2010

The Biggest Songs Of Summer, 1970

Jumping ahead to 1970 (you'll find The Top 50 Songs Of Summer for 1967, 1968 and 1969 already posted on the website ... which is where all of THESE new rankings will join them next week), we want to once again thank both Randy Price and Jack Levin for the time, effort and due-diligence put into compiling these charts. There was a TON of research to review and these guys came through for us again. Thanks, Guys!

And now, without further adieu ... finally ... here are The Biggest Songs from the Summer of 1970, as tabulated by the rankings in both the national and the local Chicagoland charts:

The Biggest Songs of Summer, 1970 -
based on The National Charts

1. MAMA TOLD ME (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night (Dunhill)
2. BAND OF GOLD - Freda Payne (Invictus)
3. BALL OF CONFUSION (That's What The World Is Today) - The Temptations
4. THE LOVE YOU SAVE - The Jackson 5 (Motown)
5. (They Long To Be) CLOSE TO YOU - Carpenters (A&M)
6. MAKE IT WITH YOU - Bread (Elektra)
7. RIDE CAPTAIN RIDE - The Blues Image (Atco)
8. LAY DOWN (Candles In The Rain) - Melanie with The Edwin Hawkins Singers
9. SIGNED, SEALED, DELIVERED I'M YOURS - Stevie Wonder (Tamla)
10. TIGHTER, TIGHTER - Alive And Kicking (Roulette)

11. HITCHIN' A RIDE - Vanity Fare (Page One)
12. O-O-H CHILD - The Five Stairsteps (Buddah)
13. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD - The Beatles (Apple)
14. SPILL THE WINE - Eric Burdon & War (MGM)
15. GET READY - Rare Earth (Rare Earth)
16. WHICH WAY YOU GOIN' BILLY? - The Poppy Family (London)
17. THE WONDER OF YOU - Elvis Presley (RCA Victor)
18. GIMME DAT DING - The Pipkins (Capitol)
19. WAR - Edwin Starr (Gordy)
20. LAY A LITTLE LOVIN' ON ME - Robin McNamara (Steed)
21. I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVING - B.J. Thomas (Scepter)
22. IN THE SUMMERTIME - Mungo Jerry (Janus)
23. ARE YOU READY? - Pacific Gas & Electric (Columbia)
24. EVERYTHING IS BEAUTIFUL - Ray Stevens (Barnaby)
25. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic)
26. (If You Let Me Make Love To You Then) WHY CAN'T I TOUCH YOU? - Ronnie Dyson (Columbia)
27. OHIO - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Atlantic)
28. LOVE ON A TWO-WAY STREET - The Moments (Stang)
29. THE LETTER - Joe Cocker (A&M)
30. A SONG OF JOY (Himno A La Alegria) - Miguel Rios (A&M)
31. UNITED WE STAND - The Brotherhood Of Man (Deram)
32. MY BABY LOVES LOVIN' - White Plains (Deram)
33. LOVE LAND - Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band (Warner Bros.)
34. PATCHES - Clarence Carter (Atlantic)
35. WESTBOUND #9 - The Flaming Ember (Hot Wax)
36. TELL IT ALL BROTHER - Kenny Rogers & The First Edition (Reprise)
37. UP AROUND THE BEND - Creedence Clearwater Revival (Fantasy)
38. IT'S ALL IN THE GAME - The Four Tops (Motown)
39. THE SLY, SLICK, AND THE WICKED - The Lost Generation (Brunswick)
40. 25 OR 6 TO 4 - Chicago (Columbia)
41. OVERTURE FROM TOMMY (A Rock Opera) - The Assembled Multitude (Atlantic)
42. QUESTION - The Moody Blues (Threshold)
43. CECILIA - Simon & Garfunkel (Columbia)
44. MISSISSIPPI QUEEN - Mountain (Windfall)
45. SUMMERTIME BLUES - The Who (Decca)
46. CHECK OUT YOUR MIND - The Impressions (Curtom)
47. MAKE ME SMILE - Chicago (Columbia)
48. DAUGHTER OF DARKNESS - Tom Jones (Parrot)
49. SILVER BIRD - Mark Lindsay (Columbia)
50. MAYBE - The Three Degrees (Roulette)

The Biggest Songs of Summer, 1970 - Chicagoland Charts

1. The Love You Save - The Jackson Five
2. Close To You - The Carpenters
3. Make It With You - Bread
4. Mama Told Me (Not To Come) - Three Dog Night
5. Ball Of Confusion - The Temptations
6. Spill The Wine - Eric Burdon & War
7. Ride Captain Ride - Blues Image
8. Ooh Child - Five Stairsteps
9. Band Of Gold - Freda Payne
10. Tighter & Tighter - Alive & Kicking

11. My Baby Loves Loving - White Plains
12. Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) - Melanie
13. The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles

14. Signed, Sealed, Delivered - Stevie Wonder
15. In The Summertime - Mungo Jerry
16. War - Edwin Starr
17. Why Can't I Touch You - Ronnie Dyson
18. Hitchin' A Ride - Vanity Fare
19. I Just Can't Help Believing - B.J. Thomas
20. Lay A Little Lovin' On Me - Robin McNamara
21. Loveland - Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band
22. Get Ready - Rare Earth
23. Love On A Two Way Street - The Moments
24. Gimme Dat Ding - The Pipkins
25. 25 Or 6 To 4 - Chicago
26. A Song Of Joy - Miguel Rios
27. Mississippi Queen - Mountain
28. Question - The Moody Blues
29. Make Me Smile - Chicago
30. Daughter Of Darkness - Tom Jones
31. The Wonder Of You - Elvis Presley
32. Are You Ready - Pacific Gas & Electric
33. The Letter - Joe Cocker
34. Cottage Cheese - Crow
35. United We Stand - Brotherhood Of Man
36. Patches - Clarence Carter
37. Mississippi - John Phillips
38. Julie Do Ya Love Me - Bobby Sherman
39. Overture From Tommy - The Assembled Multitude
40. Up Around The Bend - Creedence Clearwater Revival
41. Everything Is Beautiful - Ray Stevens
42. Hand Me Down World - The Guess Who
43. Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkel
44. Lookin' Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwayer Revival
45. Neanderthal Man - Hotlegs
46. Hey Mr. Sun - Bobby Sherman
47. It's All In The Game - The Four Tops
48. Solitary Man - Neil Diamond
49. Hi De Ho - Blood, Sweat and Tears

50. Silver Bird - Mark Lindsay

This was an interesting year in that for half the summer both charts were Top 40, before WLS cut back to a Top 30 and the dates matched up. Also, the hits were staying on the charts longer. The #50 song of 1970 would have been #43 in 1966.

One wouldn't think of Motown having such a huge presence on the charts this late in the game, but six of the top 50 were by Motown artists.

Gotta tell ya, even though it's the first time the dates match up on WLS & WCFL, the 1970 charts have huge discrepancies. 1970 was a strange year. There were a lot of songs that charted on WLS and not WCFL and WCFL and not WLS. Most obvious would be Mississippi by John Phillips (a forgotten hit for sure)! Both Mississippi and Cottage Cheese by Crow appeared only on the WCFL chart. Had they had the same performance on WLS, Cottage Cheese would have been Top 20 and Mississippi just a few notches back. Had The Long And Winding Road duplicated its WLS performance on WCFL, it would have been the #2 song of the summer. That's just some of the discrepancies.

Having compiled a number of charts for you now, this has to be the most titles that appeared on one chart and not the other. There are probably as many as half a dozen others. Moreover there were a lot of songs that did poorly on one chart or another. Normally there aren't huge variations, but there were a lot this year. Actually what I should do is see where each song ranks on each of the charts, but I'm out of patience right now.
Jack (Rock and Roll Never Forgets)

The competition between WLS and WCFL always ran high ... quite often one would jump on one song (or one version of one song) and the other station would feature another. (A couple of tunes that immediately come to mind: "I Don't Know How To Love Him" by either Yvonne Elliman or Helen Reddy; "Son Of My Father" by either Giorgio or Chicory) ... ANYTHING to distinguish one radio station from the other. Both stations readily added songs by our "Local Heroes", too ... WLS early on and WCFL for a little while longer. In my mind (and in my memory) this just made for more entertaining radio ... and much more variety. Between the playlists of these two AM Powerhouses, we often had as many as 60-75 different songs to hear each week!

It's funny ... as you actually do these charts, you find some real surprises ... in my mind, I thought I had a pretty good idea of what many of the biggest songs would be ... especially here in Chicago where WLS and WCFL played CONSTANTLY in my car, house, etc. Summers were always my favorite time of year and this music in particular holds a special place in my heart and memories.

For 1970, I fully expected "Close To You' to come in at #1 ... and I have ALWAYS associated "Make It With You" in conjunction with that one ... both were popular at the same time ... and these are two soft-rock classics (showing where music was headed back in the early '70's.) "Mama Told Me Not To Come" was another one strongly associated with the Summer of 1970 ... so I was quite surprised to see The Jackson Five topping the chart here in Chicago. (Maybe I underestimated this tune simply because I didn't like it at the time ... still don't for that matter ... so I turned it off more times than I listened to it ... but still, I don't remember it being THAT big here in Chicago.)

A couple of others that I thought would chart higher would have to be "Hitchin' A Ride" (HUGE here and playing non-stop on AM Radio), "War" (probably released too late in the summer to have the impact it should have) and "In The Summertime", the proverbial summer favorite. ("Spill The Wine" by Eric Burdon and War is another one of those tracks that I've turned off virtually EVERY time it's come on the radio for the past 40 years!!! lol)

We hope you have enjoyed these Last Blast Of Summer Chart Recaps ... beginning next week, you'll find ALL of The Summer Charts posted on the other Forgotten Hits Website: ...

Meanwhile, we're STILL hoping to get a couple of the jocks on the list to feature selections from these lists on their programs next week, particularly on Tuesday, September 21st, as that's The Official LAST Day Of Summer ... if something develops in that area, we'll be sure to let you know.

Thanks again to everybody for following along ... and to Randy and Jack again for their exemplary efforts! (kk)