Posts Tagged ‘Jive Five’

No. 55, Fifty-Five Years Ago

Friday, August 28th, 2020

We’re going to play a game of Symmetry today, checking out the Billboard Hot 100 from August 28, 1965, fifty-five years ago today. We’ll start with a look at the Top Ten and then check out No. 55. Here’s the Top Ten:

“I Got You Babe” by Sonny & Cher
“Help!” by the Beatles
“California Girls” by the Beach Boys
“Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers
“It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops
“Like A Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan
“Save Your Heart For Me” by Gary Lewis & The Playboys
“Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” by Mel Carter
“Down In The Boondocks” by Billy Joe Royal
“Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag” by James Brown & The Famous Flames

Well, the first six of that set is brilliant. I don’t know that much of anything has to be said about any of them. From there, it gets a little spotty. “Save Your Heart For Me” is a record I tend to forget about; when I think of Gary Lewis & The Playboys, it’s “This Diamond Ring” that pops into my head. I don’t think I’m the only one, and that may be a bit unfair. “Save Your Heart For Me” is a decent record that went to No. 2, as did the group’s “Count Me In.” And a couple other singles hit the Top Five as well.

But even when I think about it, “Save Your Heart For Me” doesn’t grab me. Nor does the Mel Carter single. Nor, really, does “Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag,” despite its great groove. As to “Down In The Boondocks,” I remember it fondly, but it’s kind of dwarfed by the brilliance of those first six records.

And five of those six are in my current listening in the iPod. The only one that isn’t is “Unchained Melody,” for reasons of the heart.

But what do we find when we head to our other business of the day, at No. 55? We find the second of two Top 40 records for an R&B group from Brooklyn: “I’m A Happy Man” by the Jive Five. A fun bit of stuff (though the almost incessant “happy man” does get a bit tiring), the record would peak at No. 36 (and at No. 26 on the magazine’s R&B chart).

The record wasn’t quite as big a deal as the group’s first hit, “My True Story,” which went to No. 3 in the Hot 100 and topped the R&B chart for three weeks in 1961. But it’s pretty good.