Saturday Single No. 313

So, it’s October 27, and we need a single. Well, let’s look at a few October 27 radio station surveys from some years gone by, using Nos. 10 and 27 as guideposts. We’ll check the No. 1 singles along the way, but only for context.

Back in 1958, New York City’s WMGM shows “Topsy II” by Cozy Cole in the top spot of its survey. Sitting at No. 10 was “Susie Darlin’” by Robert Luke, and “Near You” by Roger Williams held down spot No. 27.

Three years later at Los Angeles’ KRLA, Dion’s “Runaround Sue” was atop the chart, while Gene Thomas’ “Sometime” was at No. 10 and Jimmy Elledge’s version of Willie Nelson’s “Funny How Time Slips Away” sat at No. 27.

Another three years brings us to 1964, and on October 27 of that year, Pittsburgh’s KQW had the Shangri-Las’ “Leader of the Pack” atop its survey. The No. 10 record was Manfred Mann’s “Do Wah Diddy Diddy,” and sitting at No. 27 was “Is It True” by Brenda Lee.

On October 27, 1967, the No. 1 record at the great WLS of Chicago was “The Letter” by the Box Tops.” Sitting at No. 10 was Billie Joe Royal’s “Hush,” while Robert Knight’s “Everlasting Love” held down spot No. 27.

There are no October 27, 1970, charts in the Airheads Radio Survey Archive, so we’ll drop back a year and see what the last week of October looked like in 1969 at WPOP in Hartford, Connecticut. The No. 1 record at WPOP that week was “Smile A Little Smile For Me” by the Flying Machine, while the No. 10 spot on the station’s survey was “Take A Letter Maria” by R. B. Greaves. Sitting at No. 27 was the Grass Roots’ “Heaven Knows.”

And we’ll stick with our original plan and close this exercise in 1973. On October 27 of that year, New Orleans’ WTIX had Gladys Knight & The Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia” atop its survey. The No. 10 record was Paul Simon’s “Loves Me Like A Rock,” while the No. 27 spot in the survey was occupied by Ringo Starr’s “Photograph.”

The No. 10 and No. 27 slots have brought us some very familiar stuff and some rather obscure stuff this morning. The records from the 1973 and 1969 charts are almost over-familiar, so we’ll pass them by. Of the four records from 1958 and 1961, I’m most tempted by Elledge’s take on “Funny How Time Slips Away,” but I think I might find a spot for that in a piece down the road.

So, as we seek one record for this Saturday, we’re down to four: Two from 1964 and two from 1967. I can find another slot for the very good Robert Knight record in the next few weeks, and I’m sorely tempted by both Manfred Mann’s “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” and Billy Jo Royal’s “Hush.”

But I learned this morning from several YouTube posts two things that my readers might already have recalled: The Brenda Lee single – which went to No. 17 in the Billboard Hot 100 – was recorded in London and has Jimmy Page on guitar. That pedigree, along with a strong performance from Lee herself, makes “Is It True” today’s Saturday Single.

(Did the original record include the count-in? It seems unlikely, but I don’t know.)


3 Responses to “Saturday Single No. 313”

  1. Yah Shure says:

    The U.S. Decca “Is It True” 45 did not have a count-in, but did come attired in a full-color picture sleeve showing a smiling, more-contemporarily- ‘do’d Miss Lee than the older shot used in that clip.

    John Carter and Ken Lewis of the Ivy League co-authored this fine effort.

  2. porky says:

    9-5-64 Billboard headline: Brenda Lee Makes Ocean Hop Just to Record Disk.

    Page was a member of Carter-Lewis and the Southerners before becoming famous for his session work. His awesome 60’s axe-work graced some tough records by Britain’s version of Brenda, Lulu, when she was on Parrot. Their take on Jagger-Richards “Surprise, Surprise” gets top marks, as the Brits would say.

  3. Paco Malo says:

    I got to The Shangri-Las at #1 on the 27th with “Leader of the Pack” and paused from reading ’cause I knew what I wanted to say.

    The whole Girl Group thing — over 5 generations now; I’m just goofy for it. And “The Leader of the Pack”: short form rock opera before anybody thought of the Who, and this is killer opera. Rip any broken teenage heart right out.

    All Hail Mary Weiss.

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