(Quick edit added.)
Since we spent some time in 1967 yesterday, let’s stay there, and take a look at the WLS survey dated February 10, 1967. The number of then-current hits that would never get off the radio in 45 years is staggering, and they include some of the most famous records ever made: “I’m a Believer,” “Gimme Some Lovin’,” “I Think We’re Alone Now,” “The Beat Goes On,” “There’s a Kind of Hush,” “Baby I Need Your Lovin’,” “For What It’s Worth,” “So You Want to Be a Rock and Roll Star,” “Happy Together.” As is our custom here, however, we’re more interested in the songs that live on as footnotes—and the ones that don’t live on at all.
5. “I Love You So Much”/New Colony Six. WLS was the best friend this Chicago-area band had. The station charted 13 hits by the New Colony Six between 1966 and 1970—and four more by bandleader Ronnie Rice as a solo act in 1962 and 1963. Three of them hit #2, and one, “I Will Always Think About You,” was #1. “I Love You So Much” stalled about halfway up Billboard‘s Hot 100, but that might have been a promotion problem—the band’s label was in the process of going tits-up early in 1967. (Editor’s note: Or not: Cameo-Parkway’s best days were behind it by 1967, but it wasn’t dead yet. See below.)
15. “It’s Now Winter’s Day”/Tommy Roe. This is not the sort of thing people expected from Roe in 1967, not after “Hooray for Hazel” and the other bubblegummy things he’d been doing. “It’s Now Winter’s Day” is a lovely, trippy production, but it was mostly a detour. After all, “Dizzy” was yet to come.
23. “The Mechanical Man”/Bent Bolt and the Nuts. “The Mechanical Man” was apparently the brainchild of Teddy Randazzo, who wrote “Goin’ Out of My Head,” “Hurt So Bad,” and others. Just listening to Randazzo (or whoever it is, precisely) singing makes my throat hurt. And my ears.
33. “Hey Leroy”/Jimmy Castor. Fans of Castor’s 70s singles (“Troglodyte” and “The Bertha Butt Boogie”) may remember the callbacks to Leroy they contain. “Hey Leroy” is a Latin-flavored instrumental, apart from Castor yelling to Leroy, whose mama is looking for him. Castor died last month at age 71.
37. “Darling Be Home Soon”/Lovin’ Spoonful. I have a little bit of musical training, but I can’t quite identify the thing in “Darling Be Home Soon” that I love the most about it. It’s in the refrain, on the line “my darling be home soon”—some kind of modulation from a major key to a minor key, but whatever it is, it sounds insanely great. And I have always loved the line, “And now, a quarter of my life is almost past.” If you go by the biblical span of three-score-and-10, the singer is 17 years old. Yup, it’s clearly time to marshal the vast wisdom you’ve acquired in your lifetime, kid.
For what it’s worth: WLS would chart Ed Ames’ “My Cup Runneth Over,” which we wrote about yesterday, but not until the week of February 17. It would peak on the WLS survey during the week of March 25, just as it peaked in Billboard that same week, but at #11 instead of #8. At the end of 1967, Ames would return to the WLS survey and make the top 10 with the powerful “Who Will Answer,” which would reach #16 in Billboard.
I believe that last paragraph means this blog is now the premiere Internet source for Ed Ames information.