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The Week of June 20th, 2014






THE BIG SINGLES   

For the Week Ending June 14, 1968

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK:

 

No. 5 (LW 10)“THE LOOK OF LOVE”

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66 – A&M -- 924

No. 4 (LW 4)“YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY”

The Ohio Express – Buddah – 38

No. 3 (LW 1) “MRS. ROBINSON”

Simon & Garfunkel – Columbia – 44511

No. 2 (LW 5)“MACARTHUR PARK”

Richard Harris – Dunhill – 4134

No. 1 

(Last Week No. 2):

“THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU”

HERB ALPERT

A&M Records – 929

It was the first of four back-to-back weeks for the unlikely singing proficiency of Herb Alpert with the Bacharach/David song, “This Guy’s In Love With You” on A&M Records. Herb had performed in a filmed version for the song (*see video above) designed for a TV special called The Beat Of The Brass, never thinking there would be such a demand for the song he sang to his then wife Sharon to be released. The video was shot on the beach in Malibu, CA. His own A&M records rush-released the 45 RPM record just 24 hours after CBS Television was inundated with requests about the song on the tube. That was session musician Pete Jolly playing the electric piano on this recording along with Bacharach’s hand-picked orchestra. All of Alpert’s previous Hot 100 Singles chart releases that reached the Top 30 were instrumentals like: “The Lonely Bull (El Solo Toro,)” “Taste Of Honey,” “Zorba The Greek,” “What Now My Love,” “Flamingo,” “Mame,” “Spanish Flea,” “The Work Song” and “Casino Royale.” It would take another 11 years, but Alpert had his first and only instrumental No. 1 Hot 100 chart hit with the jazzy/disco release, “Rise.” Herb shows up again later in this column with a song in the ‘80s.

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1):

“THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU”

HERB ALPERT

A&M Records – 929

(*See above)

 

Already a hit on the Easy Listening Singles chart, “This Guy’s In Love With You” taken from the LP The Beat Of The Brass by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. The track was arranged by Burt with him and Alpert getting the producing credit. This was the third of an eventual 10 successive weeks at the apex of this chart. Reportedly, Alpert asked the storied songwriters if they had any songs that were sitting in their vaults unreleased—they said they did, and the rest is history.

 

BEST SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES

SINGLES CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1):

“THINK”

Aretha Franklin

Atlantic Records – 2518

The Right-Rockin,’ Good-Lookin,’ Good-Cookin,’ Sister Re was on fire with “Think” an ode to her then husband Teddy White (that he co-wrote) about their crumbling marriage. Aretha Franklin’s “Think” was on top of the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues Singles chart this week—the second of an eventual three in that slot on Atlantic Records. The 45 reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. The single was taken from her album Aretha Now, produced by the one and only Jerry Wexler, which also contained the singles: “You Send Me” (the B side of “Think,”) “See Saw,” and “I Say A Little Prayer.” The female vocal group the Sweet Inspirations did the backing vocals on the album with some other vocal work from Aretha’s sister Carolyn.

THE BIG ALBUMS

For the Week Ending June 14, 1968

TOP LPS CHART:

No. 1 

(Last Week No. 1)

THE GRADUATE Soundtrack

Simon & Garfunkel (with incidental music from Dave Grusin) 

Columbia Masterworks Records

 OS 3810

The soundtrack to the motion picture The Graduate was once again in the pinnacle position on the Top LPs chart, after the album Bookends also from Simon & Garfunkel had replaced it weeks earlier. They would flip-flop positions one final time before all was said and done. This was the ninth non-consecutive week at No. 1 for the soundtrack LP. The Graduate, of course, was the Mike Nichols film starring Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock and Katherine Ross as Elaine Robinson. Ann Bancroft played Mrs. Robinson in the flick. (Did Mrs. Robinson have a first name? If you know, drop me an email at BigJay@BigJaySorensen.com.) Music in the film and on the soundtrack was provided by snippets of Simon & Garfunkel songs. “Mrs. Robinson” was done two different ways on this LP and neither were the released single—that was unleashed on the LP Bookends, returning to the No. 1 slot again NEXT week. It was Dave Grusin, the noted instrumentalist/composer/arranger who provided the incidental music for the film. He’s written and performed on dozens of films and TV show-themes.

BEST SELLING

RHYTHM & BLUES LPS

CHART:

No. 1 

(Last Week No. 1)

 

I WISH IT WOULD RAIN

The Temptations

Gordy Records – 927

The Temptations had the top album on the Best Selling Rhythm & Blues LPs chart on Gordy Records with I Wish It Would Rain. The album was released on April 28, 1968, with the then current single—“I Could Never Love Another (After Loving You)” released just 10 days prior, and that one got to No. 13 on the Hot 100 and was a million-selling single, still on the charts this week in ‘68. The title track of the LP had been another million-selling single and reached No. 4 on the Hot 100 Singles chart in the late-winter months. This long-playing album was the last to utilize what’s called the “classic five” line-up of the Temptations; the last to include David Ruffin.



For the Week Ending June 22, 1974

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES THIS WEEK:

No. 5 (LW 7)“BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT YOU’VE GOT”

William De Vaughn – Roxbury – 0236

No. 4(LW 4)“THE STREAK”

Ray Stevens – Barnaby – 201

No. 3 (LW 3) “SUNDOWN”

Gordon Lightfoot – Reprise -- 1194

No. 2 (LW 2) “YOU MAKE ME FEEL BRAND NEW”

The Stylistics – Avco -- 4634 

 No. 1 

(Last Week No. 1)

“BILLY, DON’T BE A HERO”

Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods

ABC Records – 11435

Mitch Murray and Peter Callander co-wrote “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” for Paper Lace, (the group that contacted America with “The Night Chicago Died”)—yet it was Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods who covered THEIR version and made it a hit in the U.S. The songwriting duo was earlier known for the hit song “The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde,” from Georgie Fame in 1968. The original version by Paper Lace was a hit in the U.K. several months before this cover version was released. The song isn’t about the Vietnam War as many thought. The lyrics were about the American Civil War in the 1860s, with Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods often performing on stage with Civil War-era uniforms. They were produced by Steve Barri who had put together the Grassroots. Paper Lace’s version  of “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” DID arrive at the Hot 100 Singles chart—but only got to a meager No. 96—lasting just three weeks on the survey. Paper Lace DID have a No. 1 song later in the summer of ’74, but missed with their version of “Billy Don’t Be A Hero.” Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods was a Cincinnati-based Pop group (in their second and last week at No. 1 this week in ’74) that also had a hit with the follow-up to the ABC Records release with “Who Do You Think You Are.” That song reached No. 15 and is less of a novelty, and a pretty good Pop record. Neither group would ever reach the Top 30 again.  

 

EASY LISTENING SINGLES

CHART:

 

No. 1

“YOU WON’T SEE ME”

ANNE MURRAY

Capitol Records – 3867

Here’s a Lennon/McCartney remake that hit the Top 10 on the Hot 100 and was also a No. 1 song on the Easy Listening Singles chart for Anne Murray with “You Won’t See Me” on Capitol Records this week in ‘74. This was the first of two back-to-back weeks at the apex of this chart. It’s been written that John Lennon told Murray her recording of the tune was his favorite of all of Beatles songs remade by another artist. Though it never reached the Hot 100, the B side of this single went on to become a No. 1 Country hit called “He Still Thinks I Care” in July of ’74. The song was largely written by Paul McCartney as his relationship with Jane Asher was beginning to disintegrate and was originally included on the Beatles U.K. and U.S. versions of the LP Rubber Soul.

 

BEST SELLING

SOUL SINGLES

CHART:

No. 1

 

“FINALLY GOT MY SELF TOGETHER

(I’M A CHANGED MAN”

The Impressions

Curtom Records – 1997

I love the 45 label on “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” which states: “Providing the services of Ed Townsend.” Reaching No. 17 on the Hot 100, this song (without Curtis Mayfield co-founder of the Impressions) did get to No. 1 on the Best Selling Soul Singles chart with Reggie Torian on lead during this survey-period in ‘74. It was the first hit for the Impressions since 1971 when Mayfield left for a solo career. “Finally Got Myself Together (I’m A Changed Man)” was produced and penned by Ed Townsend who had recently co-written “Let’s Get It On” with Marvin Gaye. In fact, if you listen closely, the song sounds very much like Marvin’s hit—because the same musicians and same arranger Ray Hall was used! But there wasn’t much life left in the Impressions following this record after having hits since the late ‘50s. This song was from the album aptly named Finally Got Myself Together. The slogan on the Curtom Record label was “We’re A Winner” a tip-of-the-hat to a 1968 Impressions hit of the same name when Curtis Mayfield was the lead singer.

 

THE BIG ALBUMS

For the Week Ending June 22, 1974

TOP LPS & TAPES CHART:

No. 1 

(Last Week No. 1)

 

SUNDOWN

Gordon Lightfoot

 Reprise Records – 2177

The album Sundown by singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot was the biggest LP in the land this week in ’74 on Reprise Records. This was the first of two weeks at the zenith of the Top LP’s & Tapes chart. The Canadian Lightfoot is essentially a folk singer who began recording in the early ‘60s. He started having winning records in the U.S. with his first hit “If You Could Read My Mind” on Reprise Records. After a semi-dry spell, he scored the No. 1 Hot 100 single also called “Sundown,” a million-selling 45 RPM release that reached that position the last week in June for a solitary week. This blend of Pop, Folk and rural Country set the trend for his future releases. Lightfoot was as surprised as anyone with the song’s success. The Sundown album also contained the No. 10 Hot 100 song “Carefree Highway,” written at a farm in near Toronto. His next outing featured a tune called “Rainy Day People” attaining the No. 26 Pop position, but was a chart-topper on the Easy Listening Singles survey in ’75. In ’76, Lightfoot told the amazing but true tale (No. 2 Pop) of a real ship that had recently sunk in Lake Superior; “The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald.” A few other superb songs followed with a move to Warner Bros. Records like, “The Circle Is Small (I Can See It In Your Eyes.)”

 

HOT SOUL LPs

CHART:

No. 1

WAR LIVE

War

United Artists Records – LA 193-J2

The biggest Hot Soul LPs record this week in ’74 was War Live. This set featured their hits up to November 25, 1972, recorded in a concert setting at a venue called the High Chaparral in Chicago. Those hits done live on this collection included: “All Day Music” (their first hit away from Eric Burdon who teamed with them for 1970’s smash “Spill The Wine)” along with “Slippin’ Into Darkness” and “The Cisco Kid.” Missing from the set was their current single (when the LP was recorded) “The World Is A Ghetto.” Of course, War would go on to have many other hits including: “Gypsy Man,” “Me And Baby Brother,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Low Rider” and “Summer.” Jerry Goldstein produced this live LP along with band members Lonnie Jordon and Howard Scott. The double-album (selling over a million and a half copies) featured dozens of pictures of the large group of musicians, who usually all gained songwriting credits on their self-penned tunes.


This Week in 1987

THE BIG SINGLES 

For the Week Ending June 27, 1987

HOT 100 TOP 5 SINGLES

THIS WEEK:

No. 5 (LW 2)“ALWAYS”

Atlantic Starr – Warner – 28455

No. 4 (LW 6) “ALONE”

Heart – Capitol – 44002

No. 3(LW 4)“IN TOO DEEP”

Genesis – Atlantic – 89316

No. 2 (LW 1)“HEAD TO TOE”

Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Columbia – 07008

No. 1

“I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)”

Whitney Houston

 Arista Records – 9598

This was the first of two consecutive weeks at the peak of the Hot 100 Singles chart for Whitney Houston’s Arista Records release, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me,)” which eventually sold more than two-million singles. Some critics said this track was too much like her earlier hit “How Will I Know” and even too comparable to Cyndi Lauper’s smash “Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” But Houston went on to win a Grammy® for the track in the category of Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. The song came from the incredibly popular album Whitney which spawned four back-to-back No. 1 songs (actually her seventh in a row going back to 1985) with this week’s chart-topper; the first from this album. The song would soon become the top hit on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart as well for the first three weeks in July of ’87. Songwriter George Merrill (who was the male singer in the duo Boy Meets Girl of “Waiting For A Star To Fall”-fame) also wrote “How Will I Know” and collaborated with the female part of that act, Shannon Rubicam on both of those hits for Whitney.

 

 ADULT CONTEMPORARY

SINGLES

CHART

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“IN TOO DEEP”

Genesis

Atlantic Records – 89316

Though only attaining the No. 3 position on the Hot 100 Singles chart, “In Too Deep” from Genesis did get the nod at No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart this week in ’87. It was the fifth and last single released from the album Invisible Touch. All of those five records ended up in the Pop Top 4. “In Too Deep” featured Phil Collins on vocals, as was the norm at this time. He wrote the song for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) award-winning movie Mona Lisa starring Bob Hoskins (award-winner) Michael Caine and Cathy Tyson. Hoskins was nominated for an Academy Award® as well for his role. Later, the song received a prize from the BMI Film & TV Awards (Broadcast Music, Inc.) for Most Performed Song in a Film. This was the third and final week in the No. 1 slot on the Adult Contemporary Singles chart for “In Too Deep.” Genesis would have to wait until the end of 1991 before they had their next hit (No. 12 Pop) called “No Son Of Mine.”

 

HOT BLACK SINGLES CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

“DIAMONDS”

Herb Alpert

Lead and Background Vocals by Janet Jackson and Lisa Keith

A&M Records – 2929

Ok, so maybe it was Janet Jackson’s lead vocal that made “Diamonds” a No. 1 Black Singles Chart leader for the second of two successive weeks. The tune was also No. 1 on the Dance Tracks chart AND the Maxi Singles (12-inch) chart. This record also reached No. 5 on the Hot 100 Singles chart this week in ’87 on Herb’s A&M Records. Herb Alpert convincingly played his trumpet on the record; but it was the producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis who gave the cut the attitude of a contemporary club song. You must hand it to Alpert for trying something new, yet again. The video (see above) is quite funny as a DJ at a club initially refused to play a song from Herb Alpert, until some lengthy friendly-persuasion convinced him to put it on the turntable. Radio programmers didn’t have to be as persuaded, as Janet was featured on this track. Her amazing producers added their own glitter to “Diamonds” and three other songs on Alpert’s album called Keep Your Eye On Me

 

THE BIG ALBUMS 

For the Week Ending June 27, 1987

TOP POP ALBUMS

 CHART:

No. 1

WHITNEY

Whitney Houston

Arista Records – 8405 (Vinyl)

Whitney, the second album from Jersey-girl Whitney Houston, was in the first of an eventual 11 consecutive weeks at the pinnacle point of the Top Pop Albums chart. It debuted in the No. 1 spot on Arista Records. The first single “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” was No. 1 concurrently on the Hot 100 Singles chart. It had taken just six weeks for the track to reach No. 1, and certainly tempted record-buyers into getting their hands on the album the moment it was released. The next single, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All” was another ballad from the diva, which was No. 1 for two weeks at the end of summer that year. The third single from the album sold over a million copies called “So Emotional” (see the video above.) The fourth was No. 1 Pop for two weeks in the early fall called “Where Do Broken Hearts Go.” The fifth and final official single from Whitney was “Love Will Save The Day” and it broke the streak of seven consecutive No. 1 Hot 100 singles, plus stopped the four No. 1 single-streak from this LP. The album Whitney had four producers, including: Narada Michael Walden (seven of the 11 tracks) along with Michael Masser (two cuts) John “Jellybean” Benitez (one track) and Kashif Saleem (born Michael Jones) with one as well. Whitney was the first album from a female artist to debut at No. 1 on the Pop Albums (Top 200) chart in its history. It went on to sell over nine million copies.

 

HOT BLACK ALBUMS

CHART:

No. 1

(Last Week No. 1)

JODY WATLEY

Jody Watley

MCA Records – 5898

Jody Watley had a strong showing for her eponymous debut solo album on MCA Records. This was the third and final non-consecutive week on top of the Hot Black Albums chart. Watley was one of the former singers of the group Shalamar (of “The Second Time Around”-fame) formed by Don Cornelius. Watley was earlier among the dancers of his stellar TV show Soul Train. The first single from the LP/CD was “Looking For A New Love,” produced by André Cymone and David Z (Rivkin) who put together four of the album’s tracks. The song reached No. 1 for three straight weeks in the spring of ’87 on the Hot Black Singles chart, and No. 2 on the Hot 100 Singles chart. The second single from the LP stalled (“Still A Thrill”) but the third was a No. 6 Pop hit called “Don’t You Want Me” featuring the superb sax playing by Larry Schneider and was produced by Chic’s Bernard Edwards. A fourth single reached No. 10 Pop titled “Some Kind Of Lover” produced by Cymone and Rivkin, with a fifth single stalling at No. 60. However, due to the triumph of this set of songs, Jody Watley was named Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards®. She was also nominated for MTV, Soul Train, and Billboard Music Awards.   

 

(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.)

**All chart information is used by permission of Record Research, Inc., from Publisher Joel Whitburn. The original information comes from Billboard Magazine’s various Hot 100 singles, Top 200 albums, and various R & B charts published by Billboard as compiled by Record Research. www.RecordResearch.com

Copyright 2013-2014 by Big Jay Sorensen, Hosted by STCNtech (stcntech.com)
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