Tuesday, December 31, 2019

The Top 69 of '69

Based on a tabulation of all of the National Year-End Charts ... 

As well as rankings compiled by Joel Whitburn's Record Research and Dann Isbell's Ranking The '60's ... 

Here is the most accurate list of The Top 69 Songs of 1969 ...

# 1 - AQUARIUS / LET THE SUNSHINE IN - The Fifth Dimension
# 2 - SUGAR SUGAR - The Archies
# 3 - HONKY TONK WOMEN - The Rolling Stones
# 4 - EVERYDAY PEOPLE - Sly and the Family Stone
# 5 - DIZZY - Tommy Roe
# 6 - CRIMSON AND CLOVER - Tommy James and the Shondells
# 7 - I CAN'T GET NEXT TO YOU - The Temptations
# 8 - IN THE YEAR 2525 - Zager and Evans
# 9 - GET BACK - The Beatles
#10 - CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION - Tommy James and the Shondells

#11 - Hair - The Cowsills
#12 - Love Theme from "Romeo And Juliet" - Henry Mancini
#13 - Build Me Up Buttercup - The Foundations
#14 - Wedding Bell Blues - The Fifth Dimension
#15 - Spinning Wheel - Blood, Sweat and Tears
#16 - Jean - Oliver
#17 - Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
#18 - A Boy Named Sue - Johnny Cash
#19 - It's Your Thing - The Isley Brothers
#20 - Green River - Creedence Clearwater Revival

#21 - Proud Mary - Creedence Clearwater Revival
#22 - Hot Fun In The Summertime - Sly and the Family Stone
#23 - You've Made Me So Very Happy - Blood, Sweat and Tears
#24 - Love Can Make You Happy - Mercy
#25 - Bad Moon Rising - Creedence Clearwater Revival
#26 - One - Three Dog Night
#27 - Touch Me - The Doors
#28 - Time Of The Season - The Zombies
#29 - Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond
#30 - I'll Never Fall In Love Again - Tom Jones

#31 - Come Together - The Beatles
#32 - Little Woman - Bobby Sherman
#33 - Easy To Be Hard - Three Dog Night
#34 - What Does It Take - Jr. Walker and the All-Stars
#35 - In The Ghetto - Elvis Presley
#36 - Get Together - The Youngbloods
#37 - Good Morning Starshine - Oliver
#38 - I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross and the Supremes and The Temptations
#39 - Something - The Beatles
#40 - Too Busy Thinking About My Baby - Marvin Gaye

#41 - Grazin' In The Grass - The Friends Of Distinction
#42 - Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
#43 - Baby It's You - Smith
#44 - Traces - The Classics IV
#45 - Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary
#46 - My Cherie Amour - Stevie Wonder
#47 - Someday We'll Be Together - Diana Ross and the Supremes
#48 - The Worst That Could Happen - The Brooklyn Bridge
#49 - Na Na, Hey Hey, Kiss Him Goodbye - Steam
#50 - These Eyes - The Guess Who

#51 - Only The Strong Survive - Jerry Butler
#52 - Take A Letter, Maria - R.B. Greaves
#53 - And When I Die - Blood, Sweat and Tears
#54 - Hooked On A Feeling - B.J. Thomas
#55 - Galveston - Glen Campbell
#56 - Soulful Strut - Young-Holt Unlimited
#57 - This Magic Moment - Jay and the Americans
#58 - Baby, I Love You - Andy Kim
#59 - Fortunate Son - Creedence Clearwater Revival
#60 - Down On The Corner - Creedence Clearwater Revival

#61 - Indian Giver - The 1910 Fruitgum Company
#62 - Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Jackie DeShannon
#63 - Smile A Little Smile FOr Me - The Flying Machine
#64 - Can I Change My Mind - Tyrone Davis
#65 - Cloud Nine - The Temptations
#66 - Oh, Happy Day - The Edwin Hawkins Singers
#67 - Run Away Child, Running Wild - The Tempations
#68 - Hurt So Bad - The Lettermen
#69 - I'd Wait A Million Years - The Grass Roots

1969 proved to be a VERY big year for Creedence Clearwater Revival, who placed five songs on the Year-End Top 69 of '69 Chart.  

The Temptations saw four of their 1969 hits make the list (including a duet with Diana Ross and the Supremes).

The Beatles had three ... as did the new upstart group Blood, Sweat And Tears, who saw all three of their 1969 releases make the final countdown.

Tommy James and the Shondells scored two Top Ten finalists ... while The Fifth Dimension captured not only the year's top honor for "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In," but also held down the #14 spot with "Wedding Bell Blues."

Also scoring two big year-end smashes were Elvis Presley, Oliver, Three Dog Night, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Glen Campbell and Sly and the Family Stone.

Monday, December 30, 2019

The Big 89 of 1969

As promised, here is WLS' Year-End Chart ... along with the radio station's annual achievement awards ... (anybody remember Evie Sands???)

Sunday, December 29, 2019

December 29th, 1969

It's the final chart of 1969 as we wind down this year's Fifty Year Flashback.

Diana Ross and the Supremes wind up the year at #1 with "Someday We'll Be Together," their swan song before Ross launched her solo career.

One need look no further than this week's Top Ten to see that diversity still ruled the charts as the '60's came to an end.

The Sound of Motown with Diana Ross and the Supremes and this brand new upstart group, The Jackson Five (falling to #5 this week with their break-thru hit, "I Want You Back" ... you'd be hearing from this brother act ... and one brother in particular ... for many years to come!) ... the heavy metal sound of Led Zeppelin (#3 with "Whole Lotta Love") ... the bubblegum hit sound of Tommy Roe ("Jam Up And Jelly Tight," #6 after his hit "Dizzy" became one of the biggest hits of the entire year), soundtrack music be Ferrante and Teicher ("Midnight Cowboy," #9) and yet another "comeback hit" for Elvis Presley.  (#10 with "Don't Cry Daddy")

Local guys The New Colony Six are about the last of our local heroes still charting as the '60's draw to a close ... their latest, "Barbara, I Love You," climbs to #15 from #21 the week before.  (By now The Buckinghams, The Cryan' Shames and The Shadows Of Knight have already enjoyed their last chart hits ... but next year The Ides Of March, absent from the local charts since their 1966 hit "You Wouldn't Listen," will be back in a VERY big way as they ride their huge #1 Hit "Vehicle" all the way to the top of the charts.  It would be a whole new sound for the band ... and help to usher in a whole new sound of Chicago Music as a band who took the city's name will begin to make their mark next year as well.)

December 23rd – B.J. Thomas earns a gold record for his #1 Hit “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”

Also on this date, Willie Nelson’s home in Ridgetop, Tennessee, catches fire while he’s in Nashville.  Rushing home, he runs into the house to rescue his guitar (named “Trigger”) and his guitar case, stuffed with a bag of marijuana.  (Oh Willie!!!)

December 24th – Charles Manson is allowed to defend himself at the Tate – LaBianca murder trial

Also on this date, The Cowsills perform “Jingle Bell Rock” on The Kraft Music Hall.  And the album “The Buddy Holly Story” (a greatest hits collection) is certified gold.  Six days later he will also posthumously be awarded a gold record for his hit single “That’ll Be The Day.”

December 30th – Peter, Paul and Mary earn a gold record for their single “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” written by future country music superstar, John Denver.

December 31st – Jimi Hendrix uses the occasion of New Year’s Eve to introduce his new sidemen, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles at a concert at The Fillmore East in New York City.  The concert is recorded and later released as the live album “Band Of Gypsys.”

1969:  Just how big was Elvis Presley’s comeback year?  
His accountants reveal that Elvis earned $1,096,000 in personal income from motion pictures, $794,000 from music and recording and $150,000 from television, in addition to another $401,000 for personal appearances.
As such, Elvis owes $1,126,000 in income tax this year!  

Be sure to stop by tomorrow and we'll flip this survey over to give you The WLS Big 89 of '69 ... and on Tuesday (New Year's Eve) our own ranking of The Top 69 of 1969 as determined by the national charts.

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

The Biggest Movies of 1969

Yesterday we told you about all of the top TV shows of 1969.

Today we take a look at the big screen box office smashes ... 

And the Academy Awards (and Golden Globes) that followed.


Rank Title Studio Gross
1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 20th Century Fox $102,308,889
2. Midnight Cowboy United Artists $44,785,053
3. Easy Rider Columbia $41,728,598
4. Hello, Dolly! 20th Century Fox $33,208,099
5. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice Columbia $31,897,253
6. Paint Your Wagon Paramount $31,678,778
7. True Grit Paramount $31,132,592
8. Cactus Flower Columbia $25,889,208
9. Goodbye, Columbus Paramount $22,939,805
10. On Her Majesty's Secret Service United Artists $22,774,493
11. I Am Curious (Yellow) Janus Films $20,238,100
12. Winning Universal $14,644,335
13. Z Cinema V $14,283,305
14. The Sterile Cuckoo Paramount $13,982,357
15. The Stewardesses Sherpix Inc. $13,500,000
16. Run, Angel, Run! Fanfare Films $13,000,000
17. They Shoot Horses, Don't They? Cinerama $12,600,000
18. A Boy Named Charlie Brown National General Pictures $12,000,000
19. The Wild Bunch Warner Bros. $10,500,000
20. Sweet Charity Universal $8,000,000
21. The Undefeated 20th Century Fox $8,000,000
22. Where Eagles Dare MGM $7,100,000
23. Alice's Restaurant United Artists $6,300,000
24. Take the Money and Run Cinerama $6,080,000
25. Topaz Universal $6,000,000
26. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 20th Century Fox $6,000,000
27. If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium United Artists $6,000,000
28. Once Upon a Time in the West Paramount $5,321,508    

Top Awards  

Academy Awards: 

Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy - Hellman-Schlesinger, United Artists 

Best Director: John Schlesinger, Midnight Cowboy 

Best Actor: John Wayne – True Grit 

Best Actress: Maggie Smith – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 

Best Supporting Actor: Gig Young, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? 

Best Supporting Actress: Goldie Hawn, Cactus Flower 

Best Foreign Language Film: Z, directed by Costa-Gavras, Algeria   

Golden Globe Awards: 


Best Picture: Anne of the Thousand Days 

Best Actor: John Wayne – True Grit 

Best Actress: Geneviève BujoldAnne of the Thousand Days 

Musical or comedy: 

Best Picture: The Secret of Santa Vittoria 

Best Actor: Peter O'TooleGoodbye, Mr. Chips 

Best Actress: Patty DukeMe, Natalie 

Best Director: Charles JarrottAnne of the Thousand Days

Friday, December 27, 2019

12/27 - TV, 1969

With only three channels to choose from, did we have better television choices back in 1969?

A look at the Fall TV Schedule tells us this:

Sunday Nights: The Ed Sullivan Show was still required viewing back in 1969 ... it aired against The F.B.I. and Walt Disney's Wonderful World Of Color. (Earlier evening fare included Lassie, Land of the Giants, Wild Kingdom and The Bill Cosby Show. Depending on what time dinner was served on any given Sunday Night, I might have watched The Bill Cosby Show ... unless my younger sister had already commandeered the television set to watch Lassie.) Most likely after Ed I switched over to Bonanza (although by 1969 this program had pretty well run its course for me ... incredibly it would air for another four years and, by 1969, had already been a Sunday Night fixture for ten!!!) or The ABC Sunday Night Movie. I don't think I've ever seen an episode of The Leslie Uggams Show and wasn't a fan of The Bold Ones either. Most of my friends were hooked on Mission Impossible but, other than the ultra-cool theme song by Lalo Schiffrin, this one never really grabbed me either.

Monday Night we had Music Scene (which I did watch, naturally!), something called New People, Harold Robbins' "The Survivors" and Love, American Style on ABC, Gunsmoke, Here's Lucy, Mayberry R.F.D., The Doris Day Show and The Carol Burnett Show on CBS and My World and Welcome To It, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In and The Monday Night Movie on NBC. I was still a big "Laugh-In" fan in '69 and, in that respect, I wasn't alone ... much of the country was ALSO tuned in and Laugh-In ended up being the #1 Television Show of the Year ... but I'll also admit to seeing more than a few episodes of "Love, American Style", too!

On Tuesday Night it was one of MY favorite shows, "Mod Squad" on ABC, followed by the Movie of the Week and then Marcus Welby, M.D., one of my Mom's favorite TV shows. (As "hip" as it seemed at the time, "Mod Squad" SURE looks dated nowadays!!! lol I guess it can best be described as television's version of what THEY thought was hip!!! These seemed to be a current trend, trying to lure in more younger viewers as programs like "Room 222" also tried to show the world through teen-aged eyes.) CBS gave us Lancer, The Red Skelton Hour, The Governor and J.J. and The CBS News Hour, which, at that time, incorporated 60 Minutes into their programming. Over at NBC we had I Dream Of Jeannie (starring Barbara Eden's well-hidden navel), The Debbie Reynolds Show, Julia (starring the beautiful Diahann Carroll ... I liked that one, too) and The NBC Tuesday Night Movie.

Wednesday Night on ABC gave us The Flying Nun and The Courtship of Eddie's Father ... I don't think I've ever seen a single episode of either of these two so-called television classics ... I was most likely tuned into The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour on CBS, which is how I happened to be one of the ones that caught the video of The Beatles performing "Get Back" on the Apple Rooftop that we wrote about several weeks back. But after Glen, I DID switch over to ABC to watch "Room 222", another one of my then-favorite shows. (As mentioned above, I can only imagine how dated this one must look today!) Other Wednesday Night television fare included The Virginian, The Kraft Music Hall, Medical Center, The ABC Wednesday Night Movie, Then Came Bronson and Hawaii Five-O, whose theme song was a BIG hit for The Ventures that year.

On Thursday Nights I did a bit of channel surfing (and this was in the PRE-remote days, too, when you actually had to get up out of your seat to change the channel!!!) I'd start the night with Family Affair on CBS, then switch over to That Girl and Bewitched on ABC. Then we'd watch This Is Tom Jones, another one of my Mom's favorites before ending the night with The Dean Martin Show on NBC. If you didn't watch THESE shows, you were probably watching The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Daniel Boone, The Jim Nabors Show, Ironside, Dragnet, It Takes A Thief or The CBS Thursday Night Movie.

Fridays gave us Get Smart, The Good Guys and Hogan's Heroes on CBS before their Friday Night Movie, High Chaparral (another one of my favorites) on NBC, followed by The Name of the Game and Bracken's World or Let's Make A Deal (my Dad's favorite show), The Brady Bunch (brand new in 1969 and now a permanent, historic part of pop culture), Mr. Deeds Goes To Town, Here Comes The Brides (starring new heart-throb Bobby Sherman, who was also tearing up the pop charts by this time with his hits "Little Woman" and "La-La-La, If I Had You") and Jimmy Durante Presents The Lennon Sisters. (Really?!?!? In 1969?!?!?)

Saturdays kicked off with either the back-to-back hits The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game or, depending on the guests, we might instead watch The Andy Williams Show. (Typically, we skipped the competition, which on CBS was The Jackie Gleason Show.) Then came My Three Sons, Green Acres, Petticoat Junction and Mannix on CBS or The Lawrence Welk Show and Hollywood Palace on ABC or Adam-12 and The Saturday Night Movie on NBC.

Emmy Winners for the 1969-1970 Television Season were:

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES: My World And Welcome To It (Sheldon Leonard, Executive Producer, Danny Arnold, Producer)

OUTSTANDING DRAMATIC SERIES: Marcus Welby, M.D. (David Victor, Executive Producer, David J. O'Connell, Producer)

OUTSTANDING VARIETY OR MUSICAL SERIES: The David Frost Show (Peter Baker, Producer)










As for the actual television ratings for the '69 season, THESE are the shows that finished in The Top Ten:

2. GUNSMOKE (CBS) 25.9
3. BONANZA (CBS) 24.8
4. MAYBERRY R.F.D. (CBS) 24.4
6. HERE'S LUCY (CBS) 23.9
8. MARCUS WELBY, M.D. (ABC) 23.7

Other notable programs with 20 million or more viewers: The Bill Cosby Show (22.7), The Jim Nabors Show (22.4), The Carol Burnett Show (22.1), The Dean Martin Show (21.9), My Three Sons (21.8), Ironside (21.8), The Johnny Cash Show (21.8), The Beverly Hillbillies (21.7), Hawaii Five-O (21.1), The Glen Campbell Good-Time Hour (21.0), Hee Haw (21.0), The ABC Movie Of The Week (20.9), Mod Squad (20.8), The NBC Saturday Night Movie (20.6), Bewitched (20.6), The F.B.I. (20.6), The Ed Sullivan Show (20.3), Julia (20.1), The CBS Thursday Night Movie (20.0) and, just missing, Mannix (with 19.9)

Thursday, December 26, 2019


Over the next several days we'll be looking back at some of the "Best Of" lists that best exemplify 1969 ... movies ... tv ... and today, music.

While most will agree that The Grammys are not a very good barometer when it comes to measuring GOOD music (aka "Hit" music ... or reflecting the sounds of the times), they seemed to do all-right in their awards honoring the music of 1969.  

The Record Of The Year Award went to Producer Bones Howe and the Fifth Dimension for their chart-topping hit "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In," a song that held down the #1 spot for six weeks that year. (We covered "The Story Behind The Song" in one of our earlier salute pieces that showcased the music from the hit Broadway Musical "Hair," which made quite a mark on the pop charts in 1969.)

The Album Of The Year was awarded to James William Guercio (Producer) and Blood, Sweat and Tears for their self-titled LP, which spawned the hit singles "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" and "And When I Die", all of which reached the #2 spot on The Billboard Chart that year.

Song Of The Year was a bit of a surprise ... this honor went to Joe South for his Top Ten Hit "Games People Play".

And Crosby, Stills and Nash were named "Best New Artist" that year as well.

Other significant award winners that year were Harry Nilsson (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male, for "Everybody's Talkin'"), Peggy Lee (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Female, for "Is That All There Is"), The Fifth Dimension (Best Contemporary Vocal Performance by a Group for "Aquarius / Let The Sunshine In"), "Color Him Father" by The Winstons (Best Rhythm and Blues Song), Joe Simon (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Male, for "The Chokin' Kind"), Aretha Franklin (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Female, for "Share Your Love With Me"), The Isley Brothers (Best Rhythm and Blues Vocal, Group, for "It's Your Thing"), "A Boy Named Sue", which won honors for both Shel Silverstein as the songwriter (Best Country Song of the Year) and Johnny Cash, who took home the honors for Best Country Vocal Performance, Male. (Cash won an additional Grammy for writing the liner notes to the Bob Dylan album, "Nashville Skyline"!) Tammy Wynette won the Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for her big hit "Stand By Your Man" and The Edwin Hawkins Singers won Best Soul Gospel Performance for their recording of "Oh, Happy Day". Best Instrumental Arrangement went to Henry Mancini for "Love Theme from 'Romeo And Juliet'" and Burt Bacharach won for Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture for his work on Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Finally, Art Linkletter won Best Spoken Word Recording for his very moving "We Love You, Call Collect" and Bill Cosby took home the honors for Best Comedy Recording ... all in all, a pretty spot-on year when it came to recognizing these achievements.

Meanwhile, on The Pop Charts, Billboard Magazine declared "Sugar Sugar" by The Archies to be the biggest single of the year.  

Lead Singer Ron Dante remembers:

1969 was an incredible year for The Archies.
Archies Fun House was the number one Saturday morning show that year and our music was everywhere.  "Sugar, Sugar" was the number one record of the year and the cartoon was even played on The Ed Sullivan Show.  
I remember the "Sugar, Sugar" recording session was really cool with the legendary Don Kirshner, Jeff Barry, Toni Wine and Andy Kim all present.  Don put the whole thing together, getting Archie comics to let him choose the songs, producer and singers.  Jeff and Andy were terrific at coming up with great songs and hooks for the group. Andy even played guitar on "Sugar, Sugar," using a matchbook instead of a pick. 
Jeff worked the musicians a little harder than usual, giving the bass player ideas that took some time.  After I did my lead vocal, Toni Wine and I did all the background vocals and she added her wonderful voice to the "I'm Gonna Make Your Life So Sweet" line.  
In 1969 everything changed ... 
Woodstock, The Moon Landing, The Mets and The Archies.
A perfect year.
Ron Dante    

Some found the unexpected surprise of a bubblegum / pop record earning The Single Of The Year Award a bit dumbfounding, especially in light of some of the other musical trends of that era. Music had definitely taken on a harder edge by 1969 with the formation of new super groups like Led Zeppelin, Blind Faith and Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) releasing their first LPs.  

Here are a few of the comments we received on this topic when our 40th Anniversary Salute to 1969 ran in 2009:

Was "Sugar Sugar" by the unforgettable Archies really the number one song in '69? No big deal. Hey, the hooks were kind of catchy.
I couldn't get enough of Creedence, Tommy James, Rush Street, Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders or anything via Stax, Volt or Motown. Rush Street, in particular, was just too much fun. The Street had yet to go corporate, so my haunts were Rush Up, Rush Over, Mother's, Butch's and Puncinellos.
Rush Up was the apex of boy - girl attraction. If you couldn't find a babe in that joint by 10 pm you just weren't trying. There was also a tonk bar on Broadway avenue called "The Do It Lounge" which really should have been outlawed.
We just danced until we passed out ... and then danced again. Thank God the place had a 4 A.M. license.
My man Wayne Cochran was appointment entertainment. He was running a band with at least a dozen musicians. They were so damn tight it hurt. The Riders always drove home the point with the heaviest of jazz-funk bass lines and horn sections that were overwhelming.  Wayne, of course, was a handbook on showmanship. I would love to get in contact with him.
Kids today think they're having fun. Forget it. We put a copyright on fun in 1969.
We were doing the popcorn and the funky chicken.
Had to make a few bucks and I was truly blessed. I'd hooked up with WFLD - now Fox 32 - and was working a variety of jobs: news writer, on-camera sports reporter, etc. It was a wonderful rush for a 21 year old kid. 21 years old? Actually on the tube? Couldn't happen today ...No News Director would have the guts.
Here's the deal ... TV, especially UHF, was still very embryonic. I wound up doing all those gigs at 'FLD because the station was running on a short leash budget. My salary was about 200 bucks a week. That wasn't bad since I never spent more than about 300 dollars a week.
Chet Coppock  
LOL ... good stuff, Chet ... I can TOTALLY relate to spending 50% more than what you're earning ... and STILL have that problem today!!! (lol) kk  

Hey Kent,
1969 was the year that I graduated from Falconer Grammar School in Chicago. It was also the year that I discovered bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Doors, Three Dog Night, Jimi Hendrix, Elephants Memory and one hit wonder The Bubble Puppy (who I was surprised to see in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame One Hit Wonder Exhibit).
I grew up listening to my older brother's music collection (10 Years Older) ... Elvis, the Crewcuts, the Everly Brothers, Roger Miller, West Side Story soundtrack, etc. It was a great foundation to Rock N Roll. But when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, at 8 years of age, I ran out and bought Meet The Beatles on vinyl and my whole world changed. (Although I have always been an Elvis fan).
1969 was also the year that I began my High School Years at Prosser Vocational. That opened up my eyes and ears to many different types of music ... Santana, Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, and many non-white bands, being that Prosser was a non-district school. You could live anywhere in the city, and attend Prosser. I made many friends of all different races and religions during that time, and still have many friendships from that era.
Mark Zimmerman
Hayward, CA

'69 MEMORIES: What a great year. I spent most of that year in the 8th grade or Junior High (when did it become middle school? lol) and had a newspaper route. I used to build plastic model cars and the entire line-up of '69 Chevrolets became my favorite cars and remain so to this day (a few years later my best friend bought a '69 Chevelle SS396 and taught me to drive standard shift with it). That year I decided to go to Trade School to learn the Printing Business after getting a sampling of it in the Jr. High Print Shop, so that year had a big effect on my life because I worked as a Printer from 1973 up until 2008.
So much great music that year ... the Beatles, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Motown still cranking out great songs and The Rolling Stones, which you mentioned and always kind of makes me chuckle that Honky Tonk Women got knocked out of the #1 spot by Sugar, Sugar although I do love both songs.  (Side-note:  a few years ago I had the good fortune to meet and talk with both Ron Dante and Andy Kim at different times and found them both to be excellent performers as well as very nice people.)  It shows what a wide variety of music was on the radio back then.
I certainly remember the moon landing because our entire extended family was at a barbecue and everybody went inside to watch on TV. My youngest brother was born five days later on the 25th, he just turned 40 (Happy Birthday, Charlie!) and my cousin got married that summer, 1st wedding I ever went to, and she and her husband are celebrating 40 years of marriage this year.
Of course, I watched all the news reports about Woodstock, but at 13 years old, no way could I have gone, although I live about two hours drive from the site.  (I did manage to go to Woodstock '94 ... lots of fun).
My summer ended on a bad note when, in late August, I was nearly killed in a car accident with my brother, cousin and 16 yr old next door neighbor in his brand new '69 Volkswagen Fastback (remember those?). Fortunately, we all survived, but I spent four weeks in the hospital (riding shotgun without seatbelts) and started High School in October instead of September and walked around with two black eyes for about six months.
Anyway, lots of great music including the now much over-played Suspicious Minds and the DJs on WABC playing around when the song faded out and then came back again. I used to love that and nowadays I never hear that version anymore even though the song gets played several times a day by every station in my area.  (I know, we don't need to hear it, but I would love to hear that version on the radio once in awhile)
That's about it for me on 1969 (please excuse the rambling!)
Thanks, Kent, for all you do
Orange, CT

69: Those numbers are not JUST for what some of you are thinking.‘69 the year is indelibly etched in MY mind due to many of the things that a lot of you have mentioned this year in the Forgotten Hits salute. 
For ME, it was when I realized that (during that summer and fall) all types of music clashed and collided to become the true soundtrack of the end of our collective adolescence. Think about it. A WHOLE generation had known about ELVIS and bad movies. Some of his songs were sorta relevant … and then “Suspicious Minds” came out … a career rejuvenator for sure. The Beatles hit their peak (some suggest two years prior) with the release of Abbey Road that fall. CCR was becoming the biggest American rock band. The Stones had “Honky Tonk Women” even with the erased tracks of their founder Brian Jones. Motown was still making relevant music, although NOW mostly influenced by what Sly Stone was up to. Stax was still puttin’ down the grooves … although they maybe had peaked the year before … (Don’t count “Shaft” later, as that was the beginning of the end for the Stax empire.) Bubblegum was still in the mix with Bobby Sherman’s “Little Woman” … although the best true bubblegum was gone already. The ROCK of The WHO, Janis, Jimi, The DOORS were all at the peak of their powers then. The SOUL was still magnificent from Detroit, Memphis, NY … not yet morphing into Disco … although SOME of the roots of Disco CAME from that year … (Listen to the rhythms and beats in Soul songs from ’69.) Folk singers could still sell records … Dylan, Baez, Arlo, Simon & Garfunkel, etc … PURE POP FUN was still available from The Turtles (although their peak was in ’67 & 68.) Lou Christie was a hit-maker from another era … (only gone for two or three years!) And there were STILL a lot of regional hit records in each major city. Just look at all of the WLS surveys that Kent has been posting recently. Even WABC was still playing some regional faves, even at THAT late date. Some records I heard on WFIL and WIBBAGE in Philly were LOCAL records that NEVER made it to NY or Chicago … and could only BE played in Philly today! But … just what WAS the commonality of all this music?? We loved almost ALL of it! And several songs could be played by ONE station. Not all, mind you … the really esoteric tracks were played by the AOR stations … the POP stuff on AM … but for ONCE, AM played a lot of “heavy” hits and a LOT of black music that was only played on “SOUL” stations just a year before … when CHAOS ruled the airwaves … the killings of very popular figures, and not ONE of our generations MUSIC LEGENDS had yet croaked. It’s not because I was 16 in ’69 that made me superior in my tastes in music (which entailed ALL of the above in some magical place in my head) … no. It was the fact that it all was HEARD by the masses.
Today, there is no such thing as a MASS appeal station for ANY genre. Perhaps COUNTRY is close, but even THEY are broken up by niches and old vs. new country. And OLD means the 90’s. I also think THIS is why Classic Hit stations of today that actually PLAY a little of ALL that we remember are doing so WELL in most cities. We didn’t stop liking music in ’69. I know I didn’t. But by ’89, I was gone. New music didn’t cater to ME anymore. BECAUSE much of it was only played on SELECT STATIONS. They were already sliced and diced into little corners of the FORMAT world of consultants and certain programmers. THAT’S when it all went bad. 
It’s not a recent thing. It started in the 80’s ... or maybe even the late 70’s!!!!!!! So my memories of ’69 are VERY fond. I was able to deliver my papers on my bike still, and STILL have time to head to the beach in a nearby Jersey Shore town. I was TETHERED to my earpiece on my paper route (so much so, that a customer asked my mom if I was DEAF! Mom laughed and she thought the woman was gonna hit her. She explained that it was a pocket RADIO that I had in my ear from morning ‘til night!) I didn’t NEED it at the beach that summer, as almost EVERYONE had on either 77 WABC or 102.7 WNEW-FM. There was a chasm already developing between the freaks and the straights … but I was a little of BOTH; musically anyway.
All I know is what I feel NOW. I feel like it was a special time when the stars DID align and the moon was in the seventh pass ... and Jupiter was aligned with Mars. We THOUGHT peace would guide the planet. Alas it didn’t … but musically MILLIONS of us were on one or maybe only TWO wavelengths. And THAT was very special. It will NEVER happen that way again. 
I didn’t get to Woodstock, as my liberal MOTHER wouldn’t let me go. My CONSERVATIVE father said, “Let him go.” Mom won out … as SHE was listening to the MOR station on the radio describing what was about to happen, and SHE didn’t want her oldest being exposed to that “crowd.” Little did she KNOW I knew the crowd. I wasn’t a 100% freak, nor was I a 100% geek.  I knew HOW to get there, and I had a ride!!! But I didn’t go. I savored the MOVIE the following year. I bought BOTH albums … and even got the 4 CD set a few years back … with songs NOT in the movie. I play it once a year around that time JUST to try to LIVE it for real. Then we became adults VERY quickly as a generation, and it all seemed like a dream. It wasn’t. It was a very REAL … but somewhat SURREALISTIC time for ALL of us middle Boomers.
Thanks for reading my thoughts! ‘69 indeed!
Big Jay Sorensen

By 1969, the LP was quickly becoming the preferred way to purchase and listen to music. This trend is clearly in evidence as you look at some of the Biggest LPs of 1969 (according to Billboard Magazine ... you'll find OUR list coming up in the next day or two):

1) In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfuly
2) Hair - Original Cast
3) Blood, Sweat And Tears - Blood, Sweat and Tears
4) Bayou Country - Creedence Clearwater Revival
5) Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
6) At Folsom Prison - Johnny Cash
7) Funny Girl - Soundtrack (huh?!?!?)
8) The Beatles (White Album) - The Beatles
9) Greatest Hits - Donovan
10) Greatest Hits - The Association

"In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" coming in as the biggest album of the year was a bit of a surprise ... it debuted on the charts in July of 1968 ... but rode the chart for 140 weeks, or nearly three years!!! Incredibly, it never reached the #1 spot yet still earned enough points during the year to finish on top of Billboard's LP list. Their follow-up LP, "Ball", also finished in the year-end Top 20.

Three Dog Night's debut album made the year-end chart as did classics like "Nashville Skyline" by Bob Dylan, "Cheap Thrills" by Big Brother and the Holding Company and "Stand" by Sly and the Family Stone. And who could forget the cult-classic "Switched On Bach" by Walter Carlos and Benjamin Folkman?!?! (After all kinds of media coverage, it finished up as the 21st biggest album of the year!)

For a look back at another classic album released in 1969, please visit our other web page and click on the Dusty Springfield link ... "Dusty In Memphis" is regarded as one of the best albums of all-time today ... yet upon its original release it only managed a #99 showing on The Billboard Chart.
Click here: Forgotten Hits - DUSTY SPRINGFIELD

Other '69 albums classics include the first Crosby, Stills and Nash album and the first and only Blind Faith LP. Creedence Clearwater Revival would release THREE LPs that year!!! ("Bayou Country", "Green River" and "Willie And The Poorboys" were virtually NEVER off my turn-table in 1969 or 1970!) "Abbey Road" was released too late in the year to make 1969's year-end chart (but wound up as the #4 album of 1970.) Other notable releases include "Let It Bleed" by The Rolling Stones, "Tommy" by The Who, (the first Rock Opera), "In The Court Of The Krimson King" by King Krimson, the self-titled album releases by The Band, The Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat and Tears, The Allman Brothers Band, It's A Beautiful Day and Santana, the first two Led Zeppelin releases, "Hot Buttered Soul" by Isaac Hayes and "Volunteers" by The Jefferson Airplane. Good stuff ... and necessary components of ANY complete record collection.