Monday, May 22, 2017

May 22nd

"Groovin'" by The Young Rascals holds on to the #1 spot for a second week as "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "I Got Rhythm" by The Happenings and "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck all creep up behind it in The Top Five.  

"Creeque Alley" by The Mamas and the Papas and "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be" by Paul Revere and the Raiders still seem to be joined at the hip, now occupying the #7 and #8 positions.  "Mirage" looks like another Top Ten Hit for Tommy James and the Shondells as it climbs from #17 to #12 this week and Jefferson Airplane seem to have a pretty solid hit on their hands, too, right out of the box as "Somebody To Love" climbs from #21 to #13.  

"She'd Rather Be With Me" by The Turtles makes a big move this week from #48 to #29 … but nobody in The Top 40 make the kind of move The Grass Roots do, as "Let's Live For Today" climbs from #73 all the way to #40, a 33 point jump.  

Florence Ballard makes her last appearance with The Supremes on The Tonight Show. (Although she wouldn't officially be terminated until July 1st, she had already been replaced by Cindy Birdsong several times earlier due to her failure to appear for scheduled performances.)  

"More Of The Monkees" continues its hold on the top of the chart.  Incredibly, their debut album "The Monkees" is still in The Top Ten … and their brand new album, "Headquarters", released today, will soon join the fold!  It will go on to become their third straight album to top the charts.  (In fact, in 1967 alone, The Monkees would hold the top album spot for an incredible 33 weeks!  Save the week ending June 17th, The Monkees would have the #1 album in the country for 24 out of the first 25 weeks of the year … including THIS one as "More Of The Monkees" begins its 15th week at #1 on the US Chart!  

"Headquarters"'s reign at the top would be short-lived however … the following week they will be knocked out of the #1 spot by a little album called "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" … which would hold on to the top spot for the next fifteen consecutive weeks. (Don't feel TOO bad for The Pre-Fab Four ... there was little that could compete with the forever life-changing "Sgt. Pepper" LP ... meanwhile,"Headquarters" spent eleven of those fifteen weeks at #2 ... which ain't too shabby for a made-for-TV group that was suddenly producing itself in the recording studio!)

"Headquarters" was a landmark, break-through album for the band.  After much negative press about how The Monkees didn't play their own instruments, the band painstakingly went through take after take after take to make this album on their own terms.  (It was part of their new deal with Colgems Records … which ultimately saw their musical director Don Kirshner fired.)  

The back of the LP (a version of which showed photos of three of The Monkees with beards! … that was quickly withdrawn in order to maintain their clean pre-teen television image) boasted:  "We aren't the only musicians on this album, but the occasional extra bass or horn player played under our direction, so that this is all ours.  Each one of us has some musical thing, from Manchester to Texas, from the East Coast to the West, and when four people just go with their thing, what comes out is a whole.  Don't ask 'a whole what?' Just listen.  If only the smallest part of how much fun it was to make this record gets heard, it was all worthwhile."  Album credits then list Michael Nesmith on pedal steel guitar, six-string and organ, Davy Jones on tambourine, jawbone, maracas, etc., Micky Dolenz on drums and guitar and Peter Tork on keyboards, twelve-string, bass and five-string banjo.  Also credited are Vince DaRosa on French horn, Fred Seykora on cello and Producer Chip Douglas on "occasional bass."  (Douglas produced the album under his real name, Douglas Farthing Hatlelid.)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 21st

Back at Expo '67, The Ed Sullivan Show brings us Petula Clark, who performs "Don't Sleep In The Subway", "This Is My Song", and a medley featuring "I Know A Place", "Je Me Sens Bien", "My Love" and "Downtown".  The Seekers are also on hand and sing their big hit "Georgy Girl".  

Sonny and Cher are among the guests on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour this week.  

"Don't Look Back", a documentary covering Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of England, strikes box office gold for a week.  (The film also features appearances by Joan Baez and Donovan).  The film is one of the first documentaries to spotlight a popular music artist, a fairly common practice today but a ground-breaking concept for 1967.  (This ain't no "A Hard Day's Night" or lightweight Elvis musical fare!)

Saturday, May 20, 2017

May 20th

A British radio station world premiers the brand new Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", airing it in its entirety.  

Well, almost.   

BBC Disc Jockey Kenny Everett had the honors and broadcast the album on his BBC Light Program, "Where It's At".  However, he was not allowed to play the LP's final track, "A Day In The Life", as the BBC had banned it the day before due to its drug references.   

John Lennon and Paul McCartney are on hand to give a live interview regarding the making of the album.  (They are none too happy about the BBC banning.)  The LP would not officially be released for nearly two more weeks (June 1st) in Great Britain, hitting store shelves here in The United States on June 2nd.  (US radio stations … particularly in California … also began playing assorted tracks right around this date until Capitol Records issued an injunction prohibiting anything be broadcast prior to the official US release date). 

Meanwhile, Beatle George Harrison visits with The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi for the first time.  He will later persuade the rest of The Beatles to accompany him to India where they will go through the ritual of transcendental meditation.  (When The Maharishi makes a pass at Mia Farrow's sister, John Lennon is inspired to write the song "Sexy Sadie", which will appear on The Beatles' White Album the following year.  His original lyric was "Maharishi, what have you done?") 

Jimi Hendrix signs with Reprise Records, a division of Warner Brothers, owned by Frank Sinatra.  (Now THERE'S a pairing for you!!!)  He will release three albums worth of new material for the label over the course of the next two years:  "Are You Experienced", "Axis: Bold As Love" and "Electric Ladyland".  (I think something like 300 more albums were released on a wide variety of labels after his death!)  "Are You Experienced" goes to #5 on the charts and sells about eight million copies … "Axis: Bold As Love" peaks two notches higher at #3 and sells about six million copies and "Electric Ladyland" goes all the way to #1, selling about 4.5 million copies.  Hendrix died in September of 1970 … and has charted an incredible 32 times since his death! 

Manuel Fernandez, organist and founding member of Los Bravos (who hit the charts in a very big way the year before with "Black Is Black"), commits suicide.  He is only 23 years old.

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19th

Notable debuts on this week's chart include "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (#68), "Seven Rooms Of Gloom" by The Four Tops (#77) and "Sound Of Love" by The Five Americans (#82).  The Everly Brothers make their first chart appearance in awhile as "Bowling Green" debuts at #99, followed at #100 by "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat", a rare, non-hit single by Bob Dylan.  

A pre-release party for The Beatles' new album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" is held at Brian Epstein's home.  One of the photographers in attendance was a woman by the name of Linda Eastman … future wife of Paul McCartney.  (You may recall that he first met Linda just a few days earlier at a Georgie Fame concert in London.)  

The Soviet Union finally signs The Outer Space Treaty first initiated in January banning nuclear weapons.


Thursday, May 18, 2017

May 18th

It is announced today that The Beatles will take part (as one of two British representatives) in a television program set for live, worldwide broadcast on Sunday, June 25th.  They agreed to be shown live in the studio recording a brand new song composed especially for this occasion.  (That song, of course, would be "All You Need Is Love".)  They couldn't have come up with a more perfect summer anthem … which is why it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to think that they also considered doing Paul's "Your Mother Should Know" for this momentous event!  

The Jimi Hendrix Experience perform at Stadthalle in Offenbach, Germany.  

The crew for the Apollo 7 space mission (the first manned Apollo flight) is announced by NASA:  (L-R): Donn F. Eisele, Walter M. Schirra, Jr. and R. Walter Cunningham.  

Character actor Andy Clyde (whose career spanned over four decades) passes away.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 17th

Big movers this week include "Tramp" by Otis and Carla (#62 to #43), "Alfie" by Dionne Warwick (#57 to #44), "Do It Again A Little Bit Slower" by Jon and Robin (#64 to #45), "She'd Rather Be With Me" by The Turtles (up 43 places from #91 to #48!), "Come On Down To My Boat" by Every Mother's Son (#75 to #58), "Long Legged Girl (With The Short Dress On)" by Elvis Presley (#85 to #62), "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" by Frankie Valli (#90 to #67) and "Let's Live For Today" by The Grass Roots (#94 to #73).  

The Bob Dylan documentary "Don't Look Back" premiers at The Presidio Theater in San Francisco.  It features his conceptual video for "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as well as footage of him being booed off the stage for performing electric versions of some of his earlier folk tunes.  The film would top the box office by the end of the week and is still considered to be a landmark rock documentary.  

The Beatles begin work on "You Know My Name", a song that wouldn't officially see the light of day until March of 1970 when it was released as the B-Side to their "Let It Be" single.

Originally planned for inclusion in the new animated film "Yellow Submarine", "You Know My Name" has to be one of the strangest tracks The Beatles ever recorded ... I love it!  It is so COMPLETELY out of character from their "perfect sound" they worked so diligently on this year.  George Martin must have had memories of working with Peter Sellers and The Goon Show when The Beatles cut this track!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

May 16th

Two days after Mickey Mantle belted his 500th, Boston Great Carl Yaztremski hits his 100th Major League Home Run.  He will go on to win The Triple Crown this year as well as The American League MVP Award as The Boston Red Sox make it to the World Series, only to lose 4 games to 3 to the St. Louis Cardinals.  

Yaz will finish his career with 452 home runs, playing all 23 years of his major league career for The Boston Red Sox.  Along the way he was named to the American League All-Star Team 17 times.  In 1989 he was elected to The Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.  His 3,419 career hits ranks him sixth on the all-time list.

The Monkees' new album "Headquarters" is shipped to distributors.  (It is also available on 8-Track Tape!)  Once again, the LP is certified gold with sales of over one million dollars in advance copies alone before it ever hit store shelves.

Monday, May 15, 2017

May 15th

It was only a matter of time as "Groovin'" by The Young Rascals moves into the #1 spot on this week's chart.  (It was a steady climb … #91 to #48 to #19 to #4 to #1)  "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, "Release Me" by Engelbert Humperdinck and "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" by Neil Diamond all make their Top Ten debuts at #'s 4, 8 and 10 respectively.  

"Creeque Alley" by The Mamas and the Papas, "Him Or Me - What's It Gonna Be" by Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Mirage" by Tommy James and the Shondells,"All I Need" by The Temptations "Somebody I Love" by Jefferson Airplane,  "Six O'Clock" by The Lovin' Spoonful, "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" by Whistling Jack Smith, "Too Many Fish In The Sea and Three Little Fishes" by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and "Sunshine Girl" by The Parade all retain their bullet status as each continues their way up the chart.  

Paul McCartney meets his future wife Linda Eastman for the first time at a Georgie Fame concert in London.  (They would get married two years later when Linda was pregnant with their first child, Mary)  Linda had a daughter, Heather, from a previous marriage.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

May 14th

This week Ed Sullivan's got The Turtles on his program, performing their hits "Happy Together" and "She'd Rather Be With Me".  Both songs would earn gold records this year.  

Simon and Garfunkel appear on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  

Mickey Mantle hits his 500th Career Home Run for the New York Yankees.  To the delight of all the fans, it happens at home in Yankee Stadium.  

Clint Eastwood's spaghetti western "For A Few Dollars More" tops the box office this week.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13th

"Don't You Care" by The Buckinghams holds at the #1 Spot for the third week in a row on the WLS Chart (now dubbed "The Super Summer Survey")!!!

Meanwhile, over at Super 'CFL, Tommy James and the Shondells leap from #7 into the #1 Position with their latest, "Mirage".


Future Country Music Legend and Superstar Merle Haggard makes his first appearance at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.

From Jeff March and Marti Smiley Childs ...
In late 1966, the members of the first lineup of the Grass Roots defected to form a different band. In response, Dunhill records recruited another band, the Thirteenth Floor, the members of which agreed to become the Grass Roots. 
The new complement consisted of lead guitarist Creed Bratton, rhythm guitarist-keyboard player Warren Entner, drummer Rick Coonce, and bassist Rob Grill -- whose singing voice mesmerized Dunhill owner Lou Adler and the label's writing and production team of Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan. 
"When we heard Rob's voice, we felt he really had the sound that we were looking for as a vehicle for our song writing," Barri told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 2." But the first substantial hit for the recomposed Grass Roots came from another writing team. 
In early 1967 Sloan and Barri got wind of "Piangi Con Me" (Cry With Me), a pop hit in Italy performed in Italian by an English group called the Rokes. The song, written by David Shapiro, Ivan Mogull, and Michael Julian, was translated to "Let's Live for Today" in English. The Grass Roots version, which Sloan and Barri produced for the Dunhill label, premiered on May 13, 1967, soared up the pop chart, peaked at No. 8 on the Hot 100, and remained on the chart for 12 weeks.

By the spring of 1967, the Moody Blues recognized that their blues repertoire had run its course, and decided to develop their own style. The band members conceived a new approach: a stage show -- a musical about the passage of a single day. "At the time, we could not get money for enough studio time. We used to get three hours to do the A and the B side, and everything had to be three minutes or less, with a catchy hook, which was crap," the band's flutist Ray Thomas told authors Marti Smiley Childs and Jeff March for their book "Where Have All the Pop Stars Gone? Volume 2." On their own, the Moody Blues began writing songs for the musical, and the band's keyboard player, Mike Pinder, obtained a Mellotron instrument to orchestrate the musical on stage. 
On BBC's "Saturday Club" program that aired on May 13, 1967, the band premiered one of those songs that Justin Hayward had written. 
It was "Nights in White Satin." Mike Pinder recalls, "As we started writing more, we knew there was something to it. Once we had 'Tuesday Afternoon' and 'Nights in White Satin' we thought 'oh -- we need something for the morning, something for the evening, dawn, and sunset,' and that's how the whole thing came about." He was referring, of course, to the band's milestone concept album "Days of Future Passed."