Special Sub-Topic: Billboard Number 1 Songs of 1967
|The week of February 18, 1967, saw a number one song by a Chicago-based band called "Kind of a Drag." Who took the song to number one?|
The Buckinghams. Originally known as the Pulsations, the band enjoyed local success on Chicago station WGN-TV's "All Time Hits Show." At the suggestion of a station employee they changed their name to reflect the band names of the British Invasion. Jim Holvay and Gary Beisber of the Chicago band The Mob wrote "Kind of a Drag" and offered it the the Buckinghams. It entered the Hot 100 at number 90 and took five weeks to hit the top. They left their small USA label, signed with Columbia Records and went on to have success with songs such as "Susan" and "Don't You Care?" It would be a while before the band Chicago hit the top of the charts. Blues Magoos had a number five hit the same week with "(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet." The Seekers held down the number four slot with the theme from the movie "Georgy Girl."
|The week of March 25, 1967, a song by the Turtles led the pack. What was the name of their number one song that week?|
Happy Together. The demo for "Happy Together" had been shopped around so long that it was barely audible, but group vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman were attracted to it and started performing it live. The Turtles were the house band at the Revelaire in Redondo Beach. Executives for a new label heard them and signed the band. "Happy Together" was recorded in 15 takes in January, 1967. They went on to enjoy more chart success with songs like "You Baby" and "Elenore." "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" reached number five the same week for Johnny Rivers. "I'm A Believer" was a Monkees hit and "Poor Side of Town" was an earlier Johnny Rivers recording.
|The week of May 20, 1967, featured a hit composed and performed by The Young Rascals. What was this "Summer of Love" number one song? |
Groovin'. "Groovin'" was inspired by the fact that the band was so busy they could only see their girlfriends on Sunday afternoons. It only took four weeks to hit number one and stayed there for two weeks. The R&B sounds of the band attracted The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, the Animals and other British groups to their London concerts. "Feelin' Groovy (The 59th Street Bridge Song)" was a Paul Simon composition covered by The Harpers Bizarre. "Groovy Kind of Love" was originally by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders and "Beautiful Morning" was a later top ten for the Young Rascals.
|Otis Redding wrote a song that hit the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for Aretha Franklin the week of June 3, 1967. Which song did she propel to the top of the charts?|
Respect. After little success recording show tunes for Columbia Records, Aretha Franklin signed with Atlantic Records. They arranged for her to work with the Muscle Shoals Studio musicians where Otis and other artists were having success. Atlantic even purchased a four-track recorder for the facility to use to record Aretha. The formula worked because "Respect" was a huge hit and Aretha went on to have six consecutive top ten singles with Atlantic. "I Got Rhythm" was the number three song the same week for the Happenings. "Sweet Soul Music" was a top five song for Arthur Conley in May of 1967 and "The Happening" was a Supremes hit.
|What song did The Doors rocket to the top of the charts the week of July 29, 1967?|
Light My Fire. There's no doubt about it, "Light My Fire" put The Doors on top and they would have many more top ten hits the next three years. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek met Jim Morrison at UCLA and agreed to organize a group. Ray knew two musicians in his meditation class. Soon John Densmore and Robbie Kreiger became members of the band. There was an instant chemistry along with Jim's powerful stage presence that resulted in concert and chart success. "Light My Fire" was not originally intended for release as a single. "Little Bit O' Soul" by the Music Explosion was a top five in July, 1967. "I Was Made To Love Her" was charted by Stevie Wonder and "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Fankie Valli was number four behind "Light My Fire".
|A country flavored song hit number one the week of August 26, 1967. Which song did Bobbie Gentry take to the top of the charts?|
Ode to Billie Joe. Bobbie Gentry related that she woke up at 2:00AM one morning and jotted down the nucleus of the song. To this day a lyrical mystery has developed concerning what was being thrown off the bridge. Bobbie recorded the song for Columbia records in less than an hour, playing the guitar track herself. The song was originally the flip side of "Mississippi Delta" but started getting airplay and became a hit. Bobbie received three Grammys for the song and became a regular Las Vegas entertainer. "Baby I Love You" and "(Sweet, Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone" were Aretha Franklin recordings. "Pleasant Valley Sunday" was number three the same week for The Monkees.
|The theme from the movie "To Sir With Love" headed the charts the week of October 21, 1967. Which singer sang this hit?|
Lulu. Lulu was born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie and was only 14 when she was discovered singing with The Gleneagles in a Glasgow nightclub. The Gleneagles became Lulu and the Luvvers and recorded a cover version of the Isley Brothers' song "Shout." Lulu was dubbed "The Scottish Brenda Lee." To further her career her agent scouted possible movie scripts for her and she ended up featured in "To Sir With Love." Lulu was married to Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees from 1969-1973. Dionne Warwick charted the following year with "Theme From 'The Valley of The Dolls'." Petula Clark had an earlier hit with "Downtown." Jeannie C. Riley sang about "The Harper Valley PTA."
|A psychedelic song called "Incense and Peppermints" topped the Billboard Hot 100 the week of November 25, 1967. Which band performed the song?|
Strawberry Alarm Clock. The Strawberry Alarm Clock was given the lyrics by songwriter John Carter. There was some initial resentment by the band when Carter suggested that a different singer do the vocal than the one they had doing it. It was intended as a "B" side so they consented. The singer at the studio was actually just a friend of the band and was never heard from again. When the song surprisingly achieved chart success the drummer, Randy Seol, sang the song because he more closely sounded like the missing singer. After the group disbanded, guitarist Edward King joined Lynyrd Skynyrd and co-wrote "Sweet home Alabama." The Electric Prunes did "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night." The Fifth Dimension had several hits including "Stone Soul Picnic" and ?(Questions Mark) and The Mysterians had a 1966 top hit with "96 Tears."
|Which song did The Association take to the number one spot on July 1, 1967?|
Windy. "Windy" was originally written in 3/4 waltz time. It was one of 22 songs songwriter Ruthann Friedman submitted to the band's producer. After founding member Gary Alexander left to study in India, Larry Ramos of the New Christy Minstrels came on board and shared lead vocals on the rearranged song with Russ Giguere. "Windy" was recorded in a long session and because their voices were burnt out they were supported by other members of the group along with songwriter Friedman. "She'd Rather Be With Me" was a number five for the Turtles the same week. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" was number five for Procol Harum in July, 1967. "How Can I Be Sure?" was number four for The Young Rascals in October of 1967.
|Which band took "The Letter" to number one on September 23, 1967?|
The Box Tops. Wayne Carson Thompson wrote "The Letter" and is known for composing the Grammy winning "Always on My Mind." His father gave him the first line of "The Letter" and challenged him to write a song around it. Alex Chilton was a 16-year old singer heading an unknown group in Memphis. They got their name when it was suggested that they have a band-naming contest and everyone could send in fifty cents and a box top. Thompson played guitar on the recording and thought Alex's voice was not appropriate for the song. The Soul Survivors had a number five in October 1967 with "Expressway to Your Heart." The Royal Guardsmen sang "Snoopy vs the Red Baron," which hit number 2 in December, 1966. In October 1966 the Left Banke did "Walk Away Renee."
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