Posts Tagged ‘Jon & Robin’

Chart Digging: August 5, 1967

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Doing something once is an occurrence. Doing it twice, well, you can call it a pattern. So today starts a pattern, a pattern of digging around in a listing of the Billboard Hot 100 matching the current date. In this case, the Billboard list comes from August 5, 1967, forty-three years ago today.

First, as we did last time – and will likely do from here on in – let’s check out the Top Ten:

“Light My Fire” by the Doors
“I Was Made To Love Her” by Stevie Wonder
“All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles
“Windy” by the Association
“A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by Frankie Valli
“Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by the Buckinghams
“White Rabbit” by the Jefferson Airplane
“Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees
“Little Bit O’ Soul” by the Music Explosion

Boy, would that make a nice forty minutes or so out in the yard with the transistor radio, with only one groaner for me; I’ve never much cared for the Frankie Valli tune. As far as the other nine go, yes, there’s some over-familiarity there, but that’s a product of the long-term quality of those nine singles.

Two comments: First, the Beatles’ single jumped from No. 29 to No. 3 this week after jumping from No. 71 to No. 29 the previous week. Second, there’s one true one-hit wonder in this Top Ten: The Music Explosion’s record, which had spent two weeks at No. 2 in early July (blocked from the top spot by “Windy”), was the only Top 40 hit for the group from Mansfield, Ohio.

Heading down the list from there, we find some interesting things. At No. 14, we find the seventh Top 40 hit for Nancy Sinatra, this one a duet with her mentor, the eccentric studio genius Lee Hazlewood. In the previous fifteen months, Sinatra had scored four Top Ten hits, with two of them – her solo performance on “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” and her duet with her famous father, “Somethin’ Stupid” – reaching No. 1. “Jackson” would stay at No. 14 one more week and then begin to fall down the chart; Sinatra would never crack the Top 20 again.

Moving lower down, the Critters were in their second week at No. 40. A year earlier, the Plainfield, New Jersey, quintet had reached No. 17 with “Mr Dieingly Sad” and had two other 1966 singles reach the Hot 100: “Bad Misunderstanding” went to No. 55, and “Younger Girl” reached No. 42. The current entry, “Don’t Let The Rain Fall Down On Me,” would spend one more week at No. 40, then move up one notch to No. 39 for a week before leaving the Top 40. It was the group’s last single to make the Top 40, or the Hot 100 for that matter.

Since 1955, the Platters – in various configurations – had seen thirty-seven singles reach the Billboard Hot 100, with twenty-three of those reaching the Top 40, seven hitting the Top 10 and four – “The Great Pretender,” “My Prayer,” “Twilight Time” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” – reaching No. 1. (Eighteen of those singles also reached the R&B chart, and one spent some time in the chart that is now called Adult Contemporary.) That run was close to the end; the group’s current single, “Washed Ashore (On A Lonely Island In The Sea),” would be its next-to-last entry in the Hot 100; the record was at No. 57 on August 5, 1967, and would peak a week later at No. 56. In the autumn, the Platters would reach the Hot 100 for the thirty-eighth and last time as “Sweet, Sweet Loving” got to No. 70.

A little further down the Hot 100 from forty-three years ago, Davie Allan and the Arrows were seeing “Blue’s Theme,” their only Top 40 hit, climb up the chart. I’m not at all familiar with the group, but All-Music Guide notes: “Providing the soundtrack to numerous biker and teen exploitation movies in the mid- and late ’60s, Davie Allan & the Arrows bridged the surf and psychedelic eras. Their driving, basic instrumentals featured loads and loads of fuzz guitar, as well as generous dollops of tremolo bar waggling and wah-wah. The guitarist and his band first made their mark with the minor hit ‘Apache ’65,’ a version of the Shadows/Jorgen Ingmann’s instrumental classic ‘Apache’.” That record had peaked at No. 64; “Blue’s Theme” – recorded for the soundtrack of the Peter Fonda movie, The Wild Angels – got to No. 37.

Heading closer to the bottom of the Hot 100 from August 5, 1967, we find the only entry for the Blades of Grass, a sunshine pop band from the East Coast. All-Music Guide notes that the performance of the group’s only charting single, “Happy,” wasn’t helped by the fact that another pop group, the California-based Sunshine Company, released its own version of “Happy” at the same time. The Sunshine Company’s version got to No. 50 while the version by the Blades of Grass got only to No. 87. Of the two, I prefer the Blades of Grass’ version, which was in its second week at that peak position forty-three years ago today; a week later it was out of the Hot 100.

I never knew the name of the boy/girl duo Jon & Robin until this week, although I recall hearing their one Top 40 hit somewhere. That hit, “Do It Again A Little Bit Slower,” went to No. 18 earlier in 1967 (credited in the Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits to “Jon & Robin and The In Crowd”). I know, however, that I’d never heard until this week the record that Jon & Robin had bubbling under the Hot 100 forty-three years ago today: “Drums.” The record was at No. 109 on August 5 and in the next two weeks, it climbed to No. 100, where it spent two weeks before falling back to the “Bubbling Under” section and then disappearing.

That should do it for today; actually, that should do it for the rest of the week. The Texas Gal and I are going to go out to play for a while, and I suggest you do the same before summer slides away completely. I’ll be back with Odd and Pop next week, maybe Monday, certainly – all things going well – by Tuesday. Be well.