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BIG Jay's BIG Week In Pop Music History


The Week of April 26th

The '60s


For the Week Ending April 27, 1968

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5:  “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” – Aretha Franklin – Atlantic

No. 4:  “Lady Madonna – The Beatles – Capitol

No. 3:  “Young Girl” – The Union Gap featuring Gary Puckett – Columbia

No. 2:  “Cry Like A Baby” – The Box Tops – Mala

No. 1:  Honey” – Bobby Goldsboro

United Artists Records – 50283

United Artists Records held the pinnacle position on the Hot 100 Singles chart this week with the weepy “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro. He already had 13 singles on the Hot 100 up to this, his first and only No. 1 song; with his highest spot previously being No. 9 with his second chart record, “See The Funny Little Clown” back in early ’64. Goldsboro never reached the Top 10 again after “Honey” was No. 1. The song was in the third of five ultimate weeks at the apex. “Honey” was written by Bobby Russell, who really did see a tree in front of his house, and thought it had grown quickly since it was planted. With “Honey,” Goldsboro had his first Country chart-hit reaching the No. 1 spot there too. Some of his other big hits were “It’s Too Late” (which has the same beat at “Oh, Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison) “Little Things” and “Watching Scotty Grow” written by Mac Davis.  

No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:

“Love Is Blue” (L’amour Est Bleu) –

Paul Mauriat and his Orchestra

 Phillips Records – 40495 

This is the 11th and final week at the helm of the Easy Listening Singles chart for band-leader Paul Mauriat with “Love Is Blue” on Philips Records. The Frenchman’s worldwide smash had also spent five consecutive weeks as the chart-topper on the Hot 100. “Honey” from Bobby Goldsboro was the song to overtake it during the next two survey periods.


No. 1 on the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart:

“I Got The Feeling” – James Brown

and the Famous Flames

King Records – 6155

On the newly renamed Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart, “Soul Brother No. 1” James Brown reigned supreme with his Famous Flames in tow on King Records with “I Got The Feeling” for the first of two ultimate weeks at summit. The track was recorded in Los Angeles for the album of the same name. This was yet another in a long string of No. 1 R&B records from the “Godfather of Soul,” but he was never able to accomplish a No. 1 POP single. The closest he got toward reaching the crest of the Hot 100 was with “I Got You (I Feel Good)” at No. 3 back in ’65. After that achievement, Brown’s self-penned “I Got The Feeling” was his highest charting record for the “Hardest Working Man in Show Business” (on the Hot 100) until “Living In America” got to No. 4 in early 1986. 



For the week ending on Saturday, April 27, 1968

No. 1 on the Top LP’s chart:

Original Soundtrack Recording – The Graduate

Songs by Paul Simon – Performed by Simon & Garfunkel with addition music from David Grusin

Columbia Masterworks Records – OS 3180

This was the fourth of an eventual nine non-consecutive weeks at the peak of the Top LPs chart for Simon & Garfunkel (with addition music from David Grusin) for the soundtrack of the Mike Nichols-Lawrence Turman production of The Graduate. The film starred Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross. The song “Mrs. Robinson” was performed twice on the soundtrack; neither of which was the hit version. That was reserved for a 45 RPM release with a longer version than either of the soundtrack takes. That version of Mrs. Robinson was also enclosed on the album that would replace the soundtrack to The Graduate in the top spot—Simon & Garfunkel’s own Bookends


No. 1 on the Best-Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart

Lady Soul

Aretha Franklin

Atlantic Records – SD 8176

Altogether, Lady Soul from Aretha Franklin spent 16 weeks at the zenith of the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart; with this the eighth of non-consecutive seven-day period there. Atlantic Records and their accountants must have loved this album, as there were four charted singles from the album, including: “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” (No. 8 Pop) written by Gerry Goffin, Carole King and Jerry Wexler, as well as “Chain Of Fools” (the No. 2 Pop million-seller) written by Don Covay and the double-sided hit single “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” (No. 5 Pop) b/w “Ain’t No Way” (No. 16 Pop.) All of the LPs tunes were produced by Jerry Wexler with the engineering handled by the legendary Tom Dowd. Did you know that none other than Eric Clapton played the guitar obbligato on the album’s track called “Good To Me As I Am To You?” Yeah, “Slow Hand” played on that track and the great Joe South (“Games People Play”) provided the soulful guitar to “Chain Of Fools.”   



The '70s


For the week ending on Saturday, April 26, 1972

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5:  “A Horse With No Name” – America – Warner Bros.

No. 4:  “Betcha By Golly, Wow” – The Stylistics (featuring Russell Tomkins, Jr.) – Avco

No. 3:  “I Gotcha” – Joe Tex – Dial

No. 2:  “Rockin’ Robin” – Michael Jackson – Motown

No. 1:  “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Roberta Flack

Atlantic Records –2864

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was initially released in 1969 on Roberta Flack’s album called First Take. It became a monster No. 1 Pop hit due to being featured in the 1971 flick Play Misty For Me starring Clint Eastwood. The song had been written by English songwriter Ewan McColl in 1957 but was first brought to the attention of American record buyers by the Kingston Trio in 1962 on their LP called New Frontier. “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” was in the third of six successive weeks in the top slot on the Hot 100 Singles chart during this seven-day tracking period. It has been reported that the McColl, the song’s writer, hated every version he heard of the song (other than the one HE cut) especially the one performed by Elvis Presley! On Flack’s austere version, that’s guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, and Ron Carter on the bass fiddle. Flack’s rendition won Grammy® Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. 


No. 1 on the Easy Listening Singles chart:

“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”

Roberta Flack

Atlantic Records –2864


Robert Flack also sat in the fifth of six back-to-back weeks in the No. 1 position on the Easy Listening Singles chart with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” on Atlantic Records. 


No. 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart:

“Day Dreaming”

Aretha Franklin

Atlantic Records – 2866


“Day Dreaming” from Aretha Franklin was the biggest hit on the Best-Selling Soul Singles chart, in this, its second and last week on top. The self-penned song was included on “The Queen of Soul’s” album Young, Gifted and Black on Atlantic. This was “Lady Soul’s” 12th No. 1 R&B hit record; reaching No. 5 on the Hot 100 and even reaching No. 11 on the Easy Listening Singles chart. This across-the-board smash eventually became a million-selling single, featuring the smooth electric piano-playing of Donnie Hathaway, who was also performing with fellow Atlantic artist Roberta Flack at the time. Hubert Laws plays the effortless flute solos throughout “Day Dreaming.” The B side of the single was an Otis Redding and Jerry Butler-penned song, “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long.” Otis’ version is considered one of the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time according to Rolling Stone Magazine.  


For the week ending on Saturday, April 29, 1972

No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape chart:

First Take

Roberta Flack

Atlantic Records – SD 8230

You would have had to wait until the second track on side-two of the album First Take from Roberta Flack to hear her hit-in-waiting “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” way back in 1969 when the album was first released on Atlantic. Normally, a hit song was the first thing you’d hear on an artist’s album back then. Nobody could have imagined that just shy of three years after release that Flack would have a monster hit on her hands, originally written in 1957 by a Brit (who despised every other version other than his) named Ewan McColl. Flack was a member of a Jazz group called Roberta’s Soul Singing Sisters in her native Washington, D. C. Jazz pianist Les McCann wrote the liner notes on First Take, after seeing her perform solo in the nation’s Capital in ’68 saying, “Her voice touched, tapped, trapped and kicked over every emotion I’ve ever known.” At the end of the piece on the back of the LP he said, “She sings her ass off.” His words. The sparse main cut featured Eugene Orloff on violin (and he was the concertmaster) with cellos and violas bringing a somber tone to the song. Ron Carter’s bass fiddle and Bucky Pizzarelli’s melancholic guitar make the track mesmerizing. Production was done by a guy who was a former DJ in Philadelphia named Joel Dorn; he passed away in 2007. The hit track became legendary after being used in a love scene in the Clint Eastwood movie Play Misty For Me in late 1971. Other artists including the Kingston Trio performed it earlier in the early ‘60s in a much faster pace (like McColl’s original) as did other folk artists including the Brothers Four, the Chad Mitchell Trio and even Peter, Paul & Mary. But Roberta’s rendition is one for the ages. 


No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul LPs chart:

Let’s Stay Together

Al Green

HI Records -- SHL 32070

This was the seventh of 10 eventual consecutive weeks in the peak position of the Best-Selling Soul LPs chart for Al Green album, Let’s Stay Together. This long-player was produced by Willie Mitchell, who ran HI Records out of Memphis, TN. The LP was recorded in the “Capitol of the Mid-South” at a studio called Royal Recording. Yeah, that’s Al Jackson, the drummer from Booker T. & the M.G.’s on the skins with an almost metronomic beat for almost all of Green’s HI hits. Amazingly, the title track was Al Green’s only No. 1 Pop single, but was just one of his six No. 1 R&B hits; with that track being his second of eight million-selling singles. 

The '80s


For the week ending on Saturday, April 26, 1980

The Top Five Hot 100 Singles:

No. 5:  “Special Lady” – Ray, Goodman & Brown – Polydor

No. 4:  “With You I’m Born Again” – Billy Preston and Syreeta – Motown

No. 3:  “Ride Like The Wind” – Christopher Cross – Warner Bros.

No. 2:  “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)” – Pink Floyd – Columbia

No. 1:  “Call Me”


Chrysalis Records – CHS 2414


Blondie ruled the airwaves and the record shops with the single “Call Me” from the soundtrack of the film American Gigolo starring Richard Geer and Laura Hutton. Deborah Harry once again did the lead vocals for the New York-based Blondie. Production of the tune was handled by the then hot music man from Italy, and the purveyor of all things European Disco, Giorgio Moroder. He had approached Stevie Nicks from Fleetwood Mac originally to provide a song for the film, but she was under a new contract and had to reject the offer. So, Moroder approached Harry next, giving her a mostly completed music track for Deborah to compose some lyrics. The former waitress and Playboy Bunny wrote the song quickly after being told the track was to be used while driving. The single version was a shortened 3 and ½ minutes from the album full-length track—over eight minutes long. This was the second of a concluding six successive weeks as the leading song on the Hot 100 Singles chart. Blondie certainly took risks, as they had begun their careers as a proto-new-wave/punk band, and utilized many different styles along the way to define their “sound.” Their first producer (when they were still residents of the new punk scene in Manhattan) was Richard Gottehrer (who would later produce the Go-Go’s) had been a one-time member of the Strangeloves (“I Want Candy”) and also produced “My Boyfriend’s Back” in ’63 for the all-girl vocal group, The Angels. The group Blondie entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2006. The term Blondie came about due to construction workers yelling catcalls to the blonde Deborah Harry. 

No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart:

“Lost In Love”

Air Supply

Arista Records – 0479

The American debut from Australia’s Air Supply was the principal song on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart on this, the fifth of an decisive six non-consecutive weeks on that listing. The Arista Records release from the Lost In Love LP was actually a re-made version of the song “Lost In Love” that had been in hit in their native country. The duo is made up of the song’s writer, Graham Russell and lead vocalist, Russell Hitchcock. The Lost In Love LP in the U.S. also contained the hits “All Out Of Love” (No. 2 on the Hot 100) and “Every Woman In The World” (No. 5) on the Pop chart. Not only did the group somewhat own the Adult Contemporary charts for a number of years, Air Supply would eventually have eight singles that hit the Top 10 on the Hot 100 Singles chart as well. With worldwide sales of over 100 million records, it’s safe to say that the “soft rock” they helped to perfect will be around for a long time for their fans.


No. 1 on the Hot Soul Singles chart:

Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)”

(Parts 1 & 2)

The Isley Brothers

T-Neck Records – 2290

The epitome of the “Quiet Storm” style of R&B ballad, the Isley Brothers nailed it with this weeks leading 45 RPM on the Hot Soul Singles chart with “Don’t Say Goodnight (It’s Time For Love)” on their own T-Neck Records label. This track was the first single from their album Go All The Way (which would be No. 1 long-player next week on the Top Soul LPs chart) with lead vocals once again by Ronald Isley. The group at that point consisted of Ronald, his older brothers O’Kelly and Rudolph, plus their younger brother and legendary guitarist Ernie, along with the youngest member of the family Marvin (he was the brother-in-law of Rudolph) joining on bass guitar. Sadly, O’Kelly (known as Kelly) died in 1996, and Marvin passed in 2010. The Isley Brothers were invited into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1992. The group had a comeback in 1996 with a collaboration with R. Kelly (no relation) for the No. 1 R&B hit “Down Low (Nobody Has To Know)” which also reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 under the heading of R. Kelly, Featuring the Isley Brothers.



For the week ending on Saturday, April 23, 1983

No. 1 on the Top LPs & Tape Chart:

The Wall

Pink Floyd

Columbia Records – PC 2 36184

This was the final week (a total of 15) at the apex of the Top LPs & Tape chart for Pink Floyd’s rock-opera opus, The Wall on Columbia Records for U.S. release. This double album set has sold over 11 ½ million copies in America alone. You can add another five and ½ million if you include downloads since they have been surveyed.


No. 1 on the Hot Soul LPs chart:

Light Up The Night

The Brothers Johnson

A&M Records – SP 3716

The Brothers Johnson, George and Louis had been funk and soul music since charting initially in the mid-‘70s. This week, they led the Hot Soul LPs chart with their album Light Up The Night. The song “Stomp” was riding high on the Hot 100 and Hot Soul Singles chart at the time Light Up The Night was No. 1. British songwriter Rod Temperton helped the brothers and Louis’ wife write the hit 45 RPM “Stomp.” Temperton who wrote music for Heatwave also went on to contribute to Michael Jackson’s all-time best-selling album Thriller 


(Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net -- '60s 45 record image by dan; '70s headphones/vinyl record image by dan; '80s cassette tape image by graur razvan ionut.)

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