One Chart Dig: January 1966

Fifty years ago this week, six guys from Allen Park High School in Michigan – Allen Park is a suburb southwest of Detroit – saw their record sitting on the lowest rung of the Billboard Hot 100. “Wait A Minute” by Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons was bubbling under at No. 130 in the chart released on January 29, 1966.

Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons

Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons

Still, that was an improvement over the previous week, when the Bubbling Under section of the chart had listed thirty-five records, and “Wait A Minute” entered the chart at No. 131. The record would spend five weeks in the chart, peaking at No. 76. It was the only record the group ever placed in the Billboard charts.

The record was written by Rick (Tim-Tam) Wiesend and Tom DeAngelo, and I assume DeAngelo was a house writer/producer for Detroit-based Palmer records. It’s a not a bad record, kind of a mix of doo-wop and garage rock, and I do like the drum fills.

“Wait A Minute” would have fit right in with the records I vaguely recall from that winter’s seventh grade dance at South Junior High in St. Cloud. I do have some more vivid memories from that dance, and I may share them sometime, but for now, let’s just listen to Tim Tam & The Turn-Ons:

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2 Responses to “One Chart Dig: January 1966”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    If I’d been a music director who was auditioning new 45s in January, 1966, this record would have been flung into the reject pile before ever getting to the pseudo-“Paint It Black”/”Run Baby Run” intro, which would have provided a much stronger liftoff.

    Intro aside, the garage-wop is a pretty interesting angle, but the vocals are still a little too dated. The Newbeats and the Kit Kats were doing a better job of incorporating the doo-wop DNA into a more contemporary approach. This one’s number 76 showing was nonetheless an impressive achievement for a tiny indie label.

  2. Marie says:

    A strange amalgam of sounds, but still sounds earlier than ’66. As a side-note, this record was played at England’s legendary Wigan Casino to the chagrin of purist Northern Soul fans.

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