We’ll take a break from summer records and memories for today and dive deep into some charts from the years that make up our sweet spot. We’ll take today’s date – 8/15 – and twist it just a little so it becomes 86, and then check out the Billboard Hot 100 charts from mid-August for a half-a-dozen years. We’ll start in 1965 and come forward two years at a time.
(A note on our methodology, if that’s not too grand a word for something that Odd and Pop and I came up with off the top of our shiny heads a while back. When we dig into the charts to see what record was doing what on a particular day, as we are doing this morning, we look at the chart that would have been released on that day or during the following six days. Take August 1965 as an example. Billboard released a Hot 100 on August 14. We’re looking at where records sat on August 15, so we’ll look at the following chart, which came out on August 21. When we started digging into charts for games like this, a six-day gap like that was a little disconcerting, but those things happen. Anyway, on with the fun . . .)
When we look just past the mid-point of August 1965, we find Gerry & The Pacemakers’ “Give All Your Love To Me” perched at No. 86, heading toward a peak at No. 68. The Liverpool group, signed in 1962 by Brian Epstein, the manager of the Beatles, had scored three Top Ten hits (“Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” “How Do You Do It” and “Ferry Cross The Mersey”) starting in the spring of 1964, but it was clear that since “Ferry,” the ride was slowing down, as the group had missed the Top Twenty with its next two releases. “Give . . .” was a little more dramatic and over-wrought than the group’s earlier hits, almost as if the boys – especially lead singer Gerry Marsden – were trying too hard. The record was the ninth single the group had placed into the Hot 100, but there would be only two more of them – none in the Top Twenty – and three other releases that bubbled under the Hot 100. (One of those bubblers would be a 1970 re-release of “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying,” which stalled out at No. 112.)
Just for context, the No. 1 record during that week in August 1965 was Sonny & Cher’s “I Got You Babe.”
“Leon Haywood” is a name that’s never been mentioned in this space. That’s not a huge omission, but I’d have thought that in more than six years of blogging I would have somehow mentioned his 1975 hit “I Want’a Do Something Freaky To Ya,” which moaned and grooved its way to No. 15 (No. 7 on the R&B chart). But it’s Haywood’s “It’s Got To Be Mellow” that brings him here today, as during mid-August 1967, it was sitting at No. 86 on its way to No. 63 (No. 21 R&B). It was the first record released under the Houston singer’s real name; “She’s With Her Other Love,” a late 1965 release credited to Leon Hayward, had gone to No. 92 (No. 13, R&B). Haywood would show up sporadically on the pop charts up to 1980 and on the R&B charts a few years longer than that. “It’s Got To Be Mellow” was a decent record but not all that different from what a lot of other R&B groups were doing at the time; it sounds to me very much like an Impressions record.
The No. 1 record on the August 19, 1967, Hot 100 was the Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love.”
As August passed its midpoint in 1969, the No. 86 record was one that we mentioned in this space a little more than three years ago. But three years is an eternity in blogtime, and anyway, the record in question probably doesn’t get mentioned all that often anywhere, so we’ll take another listen to “The Colour Of My Love” by the English singer who performed under the name of Jefferson. It’s a melodramatic single, a bit overwrought with splashes of brass underneath. I don’t remember hearing it back in 1969, but I might have liked it then. I know I liked Jefferson’s only other hit, “Baby Take Me In Your Arms,” which went to No. 23 (No. 19 on the Adult Contemporary chart) in February of 1970.
Sitting at No. 1 in mid-August of 1969 was a record that showed up in this space a little more than a week ago in one of our posts about summer records: Zager & Evans’ “In The Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus).”
From 1967 through 1973 or so, Clarence Carter was a regular presence on the pop and R&B charts. In mid-August 1971, his “Slipped, Tripped And Fell In Love” was sitting at No. 86 in the Hot 100. A piece of deep soul, the record would only go two places higher on the pop chart but would get to No. 25 on the R&B chart. It was the fourteenth Hot 100 record for the blind singer from Alabama; he’d have two more records on the chart and three more bubble under into 1973; his total on the R&B chart would be eighteen, with seven of them hitting the Top Ten. His best-performing records – “Slip Away” in 1968 and “Patches” in 1970 – would get to No. 2 on the R&B chart and to No. 6 and No 4 respectively on the pop chart.
The No. 1 record as the third week of August 1971 rolled on was the Bee Gees’ “How Can You Mend A Broken Heart.”
I’m not sure I ever heard America’s version of “Muskrat Love” on the radio. It was sitting at No. 86 during this week in 1973, and it climbed just a little bit, peaking at No. 67 (No. 11 AC). At the time, I was preparing for my stay in Denmark, and I was gone for more than half of the eight weeks the record charted, so it doesn’t really hit any buttons. I’ve heard it in the intervening forty years, of course, and it’s not as bad this morning as my gut reaction to the title said it would be. I imagine that I tend to conflate America’s folky version with the cutesy No. 4 hit that the Captain & Tennille had with the song in 1976. Anyway, the record was one of America’s lesser hits; the group put nineteen records in or near the charts between 1972 and 1984, hitting No. 1 with “A Horse With No Name” in 1972 and “Sister Golden Hair” in 1975.
Sitting at No. 1 during the third week of August 1973 was Diana Ross’ “Touch Me In The Morning.”
Speaking of the Captain & Tennille, in 1975, when “Love Will Keep Us Together” was a hit, the duo recorded and A&M released a version of the single in Spanish, something I’ve not heard until this morning. “Por Amor Viviremos” was sitting at No. 86 this week in 1975, heading for a peak of No. 49. The English version (which makes up the first half of the linked video) was, of course, a massive hit, spending four weeks at No. 1 (one week at No. 1 on the AC chart), topping the year-end chart and winning a Grammy for Record of the Year. And to be honest, coming across the listing for the Spanish version has made me listen to the English version for the first time in years, and if I set aside the cynicism that’s somehow gathered around my memory of the Captain & Tennille and their records, “Love Will Keep Us Together” – in English or Spanish – is a hell of a record. (The duo ended up with fifteen records in or near the Hot 100; “Do That To Me One More Time” was their second No. 1 hit in 1979.)
Sitting at No. 1 during that week in August 1975 was “Jive Talkin’” by the Bee Gees.