‘On The Midnight Train . . .’

Scanning the “Fabulous 40 Confidential” survey issued by Twin Cities radio KDWB on this date in 1965 doesn’t provide a lot of surprises. Here’s the top ten:

“Get Off My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones
“Keep On Dancing” by the Gentrys
“You’re the One” by the Vogues
“Turn Turn Turn” by the Byrds
“1-2-3” by Len Barry
“A Lover’s Concerto” by the Toys
“Yesterday” by the KDW-Beatles (That’s how it’s listed.)
“Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” by Jonathan King
“Everybody Loves A Clown” by Gary Lewis & The Playboys
“Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

And then, there’s a little treasure. Peaking at No. 12 is “Goodbye, Babe” by the Castaways. The St. Paul quintet had seen their “Liar, Liar” spend two weeks at No. 12 in October, and “Goodbye, Babe” was their follow-up on the Twin Cities-based Soma label. It didn’t do much nationally; it peaked that same week in the Billboard chart, bubbling under the Hot 100 at No. 101.

As the Billboard chart suggests, “Goodbye, Babe” did get a little bit of airplay around the country, but only a little: The massive collection of local surveys at the Airheads Radio Survey Archive shows only seven radio stations across the country that listed “Goodbye, Babe” in their local surveys. Interestingly enough, two of those stations were in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The rest were in San Diego and Burbank, California; San Antonio, Texas; New Haven, Connecticut; and Troy, New York. The best that “Goodbye, Babe” did on those surveys was No. 26 at WTRY in Troy.

The record did well, as might be expected, at WDGY, the other Twin Cities Top 40 station, peaking at No. 9 in the station’s “40 Star Survey” issued on November 20, 1965, a week earlier than the KDWB survey cited above.

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2 Responses to “‘On The Midnight Train . . .’”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    The Crowell-Collier stations were already touting the KDW-, KEW- and KFW-Beach Boys on their respective Fabulous Forty Folders in 1963, but once the Fab Four hit, every top-40 station tried to claim ownership. On the Storz side of the dial, only one station easily fit the mold (“The WH-Beatles” in K.C.) “WeeGee’s Beatles”… not so much. Haven’t run across any “whiteray Charles” or “The Yah Shirelles” listings yet…

    At a mere 1:40, buyers of the “Goodbye Babe” 45 may have felt shortchanged, but not as much as those who purchased Simitar Entertainment/Plum Records’ 1998 ‘The Soma Records Story 1963-1967’ 2-CD set. The take utilized on that collection was missing the song’s organ overdub. Plum corrected the oversight on its subsequent Castaways collection, but both sets disappeared when the company folded not long afterwards.

    The story was still going around Soma’s parent Heilicher Brothers operation 12 years post-“Goodbye Babe” that the company had expected the single to be a smash and was rather chagrined to have to eat a boatload of unsold 45s.

  2. porky says:

    I’m slowly trawling through Google Books’ Billboard issues (started last year at ’64 and am now up to ’72!) and Amos Heilicher was a HUGE player. He’s pictured/featured prominently in innumerable issues.

    It’s a thrill finding those SOMA 45’s; the Gestures’ “Run Run Run” was one of my first scores as a tenderfoot collector, whatta record!

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