January 3, 2020
One if the iconic songs in rock and roll history reached number one December 10, 1966.
Brian Wilson went into the recording studio early in 1966 and created a pop symphony. “Good Vibrations” was the most expensive and sophisticated single ever produced at the time. It ultimately took 17 sessions, six months, and four recording studios.
“good Vibrations” entered the Hot 100, October 26. 1966 and reached number one for one week starting December 10, 1966.
The Beach Boys would continue to be a top concert attraction but it would be ten years before they had another top 10 single in the United States.
“Good Vibrations” continues to be one of the most respected single releases of the rock and roll era.
January 2, 2020
Every once in awhile, and odd song becomes a huge hit, and so it was with “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudeville Band.
Geoff Stephens was working as a staff songwriter and there was a calendar with a picture of Winchester Cathedral hanging in his office, and a song was born.
Stephens was a fan of vaudeville and decided to sing the song in that style, come with the use of a megaphone. He used session musicians to form the New Vaudeville Band.
“Winchester Cathedral” peaked at number four in Great Britain but it was just warming up. It entered the American charts October 29, 1966 and five weeks later it was number one. It fell to number two a week later but regained the top position for two more week beginning December 17.
The New Vaudeville Band toured the United States and even spent a year at The Aladdin Hotel in Vegas, before fading away, leaving behind one of the more unusual number 1 songs in music history.
December 12, 2019
The Supremes will never be associated with rock and roll, but of all their hit singles, “You Keep Me Hanging On” probably came the closest to a rock sound.
It entered the Charts on October 9, 1966, and it was a quick trip to the top. It arrived at number one on October 19, 1966, and remained there for two weeks. It was the group’s 8th chart topper.
“Your Keep Me Hanging On” was also a part of another record as it was the first time that the top five songs, which also included “Good Vibrations,” “Poor Side Of Town,” “Winchester Cathedral,” and “Last Train To Clarksville” would all be former of future number one hits.
December 12, 2019
If ever anyone deserved a number one single, it is Johnny Rivers. In a career that spanned over a half-century; he produced close to two dozed chart singles, in addition to being a songwriter, producer, and owning his own record label.
He had come close to the top of the charts when his live cover of “Memphis” peaked at number two.
While Rivers composed a number of songs, “Poor Side Of Town,” was his only top ten hit that he wrote himself. It became the number one song in the United States for the week of November 12, 1966.
December 4, 2019
The Monkees main problem early in their career was they were a fictitious band who produced real music.
Peter Tork, Michael Nesmith, Mickey Dolenz, and Davy Jones answered an ad, along with over 400 other musicians, to star in a television series about a rock band, and so the Monkees were born.
The four band members spent all their time filming, so studio musicians played most of the instruments on their first two albums. Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and Hal Blaine were just some of the musicians who played on their early recordings.
Real or not, “The Last Train To Clarksville” shot to the top of the charts, where it spent the week of November 5, 1966, as the number one song in the United States.
Controversy would continues but the show became a hit and the for next two years, sales of their singles and albums would rival that of the Beatles.
November 10, 2019
There are and have been tens of thousands of local bands trying to make good. Some have a modicum of talent and manage to play local clubs for years and sometimes decades. Every once in awhile, one of them makes good for one shining moment. Enter ? & The Mysterians.
Rudy Martinez was born in Mexico but grew up in Michigan. He formed his own band and wrote “Too Many Teardrops,” which would become “96 Tears.” It was a part of their live set and was the B side of their local single release “Midnight Hour.” It was “96 Tears” that began receiving airplay and the Cameo label picked it up.
“96 Tears” was a surprise national hit and reached number one for the week of October 29, 1966. ? & The Mysterians had a couple more entries into the Top 100, but by the end of the decade they had disbanded.
In 1981 rocker Garland Jeffreys took the song back to the Top 10. The renewed interest enabled Martinez to put the Mysterians back together. He and they have performed of and on since the early 1980’s.
“96 Tears” was named one of the greatest 500 songs of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine and the band was inducted into the Michigan Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, proving that one shining moment can sometimes can last a lifetime.
November 7, 2019
The Four Tops, Levi Stubbs, Duke Fakir, Renaldo Benson, and Lawrence Payton, were a rare group that performed together 1953-1997 without anyone leaving or joining. Only Payton’s death during 1997 ended their 44 years together. Time passes and as of this writing, 83 year old Duke Faker is the only surfing member and still leads the group.
The Four Tops were part of the Motown machine and were a hit making machine during the second half of the 1960’s.
“Reach Out, I’ll Be There” was their second number one hit. October 15, 1966 was the magic day it hit number one, and there it remained for two weeks.