Posts Tagged ‘New Seekers’

Saturday Single No. 708

Saturday, October 10th, 2020

As long as we’ve been messing around in the Billboard charts published this week in 1970, let’s look at the Top Ten in the Easy Listening chart from the edition that came out fifty years ago today:

“We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters
“Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond
“It’s Only Make Believe” by Glen Campbell
“Snowbird” by Anne Murray
“Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma” by the New Seekers
“Julie, Do Ya Love Me” by Bobby Sherman
“El Condor Pasa” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Candida” by Dawn
“Pieces Of Dreams” by Johnny Mathis
“Joanne” by Mike Nesmith & The First National Band

Most of those are familiar and were so fifty years ago. I’d forgotten about the Glen Campbell and New Seekers records, and despite a stop at YouTube this morning, I don’t know that I’ve ever heard the Johnny Mathis single before. It turns out to be the title theme from a movie starring Lauren Hutton that I don’t recall either. I don’t really care for the record, which went no higher on the Easy Listening chart and didn’t come near the Hot 100.

I remember finding Mike Nesmith’s “Joanne” on a collection sometime during the late 1980s and remembering how much I’d liked it in 1970. It went to No. 21 on the Hot 100, and I must have heard it on KDWB from the Twin Cities or maybe WJON down the around the corner.

The more interesting of the two records I’d forgotten about – “It’s Only Make Believe” and “Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma” – is the latter. It would peak at No. 4 on the Easy Listening chart and get to No. 14 on the Hot 100. It was a cover of a tune by folkie Melanie, slightly retitled. (Melanie’s original version was titled “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma.” It was originally on her 1970 album Candles In The Rain and was also released as the B-side to “The Nickel Song” in early 1972.)

Several strands are coming together in a loose pattern here. I was weeding out some unwanted tracks in iTunes the other day and spent some time thinking about the New Seekers’ medley of the Who’s “Pinball Wizard/See Me Feel Me.” (It stayed.) I also spent some time the other evening sorting through videos at YouTube, looking for the long version of Melanie’s “Lay Down (Candles In The Rain)” and watching several of her performances on long-ago talk shows.

And the other day I got from our local library a CD anthology of Melanie’s hits as I pondered investing my own cash in a copy. She’s long fascinated me: I used to have seven of her LPs on the shelves – only Candles In The Rain survived the Great Sell-Off – and I wrote a lengthy post about her and Candles In The Rain during the first year of this blog’s existence.

So with all that going on, it seems as if the universe gives me no choice. Here’s the British/Australian group the New Seekers with “Look What They’ve Done To My Song, Ma,” their cover of Melanie’s “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma.” It’s today’s Saturday Single.

‘Cincinnati’

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

I’m in a Seekers mood this morning. As I wander through the catalogs of the original Seekers and the related New Seekers and remember how much I liked what I heard of the two groups in the mid- to late 1960s and into the 1970s, I wonder why I’ve not mentioned them very often here. From what I can tell, their music has showed up in this space less than five times, often when exploring cover versions of tunes made famous by other folks. (I could be more accurate if I were to get down to business and finish the last seven months or so of posts on the archives site.)

Anyway, I was looking at the few tunes I have by the Seekers and their successor group on the digital shelves and thinking that I need to gather more of it and likely write about it here in the weeks to come. In the meantime, YouTube will provide plenty of tracks to get things started, and as I wandered today, I found a New Seekers B-side that intrigued me, with a sound much more full than I recall from the group or its predecessor.

Here’s “Cincinnati” from the flip side of “Nickel Song,” a 1971 release (on Elektra in the U.S.) that, according to Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, was credited to the New Seekers featuring Eve Graham (although Eve doesn’t seem to be in the forefront of “Cincinnati”). The record spent five weeks in the Billboard Hot 100, stalling at No. 81.