Monday, August 24, 2015

My top ten 51 years ago

No blog entries lately so here's another look at my personal top ten records of years gone by, this time focusing on August 24th, 1964. It was a busy week with five new entries, including brand new ones at numbers one and two, and 12 records in the top ten, as three were tied at number 10. Quite a varied lot too, with a bit of everything and some classics, although only one of them overlapped with the official UK top 30 of the time, which was dominated by British beat groups and middle of the road crap.
1. Earl-Jean: I'm Into Something Good. Colpix PX 729. This was a classic example of an excellent record being pretty well destroyed by an inferior cover version, in this case by the dreadful Herman's
Hermits, even in the US. Written by Goffin and King, Earl-Jean was a member of the Cookies and this was one of two solo 45s in the UK.
2. Chuck Berry - You Never Can Tell. Pye International7N 25257. Written while Chuck was in prison in the early sixties, the song tells the tale of a teenage couple who marry and go to New Orleans to celebrate their first anniversary. It was Chuck's follow up to No Particular Place To Go and was a small hit at the time, before becoming much better known when it was featured in the film Pulp Fiction in 1994.
3. The Beach Boys - I Get Around. Capitol 15350. A number one US hit and the first UK top ten hit for the Beach Boys, this brings back memories of my first summer after leaving school, camping in Great Yarmouth, riding my Lambretta to the bank holiday mod/rocker confrontations at Hastings and Brighton and wishing I could get around quite as much as the the Beach Boys did. It was on its way down in my top ten after two months.
4. Bobby Freeman - C'mon And Swim. Pye International 7N 25260. Produced by Sly Stone, this was Bobby's second US top ten hit, some six years after Do You Wanna Dance, but it missed out completely in the UK. The 'swim' craze was short-lived, but it did feature as the B side of the Falcons' I Found A Love in 1962.
5= Bobby Bland - Ain't Nothing You Can Do. Vocalion PT 1222. I think this may have been the first time that I was aware of Bobby 'Blue' Bland - certainly it was his first entry into my top ten. He became one of my favourite soul/blues singers of all time. This made number 20 in the US in the week that the Beatles held the top five spots.
5= Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee - Dissatisfied Woman. Oriole CB 1946. Sonny and
Brownie briefly rode the crest of the blues revival and retained their authentic blues style. This was a song that Brownie originally recorded in 1947.
7= Sam Cooke - Good Times. RCA 1405. Not many weeks went by without a Sam Cooke record being in my top ten and this was no exception. B side was Tennessee Waltz.
7= Jan and Dean - Little Old Lady Of Pasadena. Liberty 55704. I had a lot of time for the west coast sound of Jan and Dean and this was one of their best. Sadly Jan Berry was badly injured in a car crash in1966 which brought their hit making to an abrupt end, although they went on to record again when he recovered.
7= Drifters - Under The Boardwalk. Atlantic AT 4001. A much covered song (number 488 in Rolling Stone's top 500 songs), the lead was taken by Johnny Moore when Drifters lead singer Rudy Lewis died of a heroin overdose the night before recording. The first release on Decca's newly formed Atlantic UK label.
10= Four Seasons - Rag Doll. Philips 1347. Another classic song, written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, this went on to become a big UK hit, as well as a number one in the US. B side was Silence Is Golden, which was covered by the Tremeloes and went to number one.
10= Jelly Beans - I Want To Love Him So Bad. Pye International 7N 25252. A short lived vocal group comprising four girls and one guy from Jersey City, the Jelly Beans had a US top ten hit with this Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich song recorded for Leiber and Stoller's Red Bird label.
10= The Ronettes - (The Best Part Of) Breaking Up. London 9905. The third Phil Spector-produced single by Ronnie and the others failed to match the success of the first two but was still a medium sized hit. Great record none the same which made it to number two in my top ten.


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