Sunday, December 10, 2017

December 10th

Soul Singer Otis Redding (who literally stole the show at The Monterey Pop Festival a few months earlier) and four members of The Bar-Kays (Jimmy King, Ronnie Caldwell, Phalon Jones and Carl Cunningham) die in a plane crash near Madison, Wisconsin.  (A fifth Bar-Kay, Ben Cauley, survived the crash and bassist James Alexander wasn't on the plane.) 

The Bar-Kays had the Top 20 Hit "Soul Finger" earlier this year and Otis Redding will have the biggest hit of his career when Volt Records releases "Dock Of The Bay" posthumously in January.  The record will go all the way to #1 and stay there for four weeks in Billboard Magazine, incredibly NOT reaching the top spot in either Cash Box or Record World.  

The Hollies make an appearance on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  

The Byrds kick off the first of an eight night engagement at Hollywood's Whisky A Go-Go.

The Steve Miller Band sign a five year contract with Capitol Records for the incredible sum of $860,000.  The deal also promises a $25,000 promotional campaign to launch their first release for the label.

OK, we teased you with it last week … returning to the #1 Spot at The Box Office this week is "The Jungle Book", reclaiming the throne in its EIGHTH week of release!!!  And it STILL managed to do over $3.4 million this week!  It has spent SIX of the last eight weeks at the top of the movie charts, never taking in less than $3.4 million in any given week … an UNHEARD of accomplishment for this classic animated film.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

December 9th

Jim Morrison of The Doors is arrested onstage at The New Haven Arena in New Haven, Connecticut.  Apparently before the show started Morrison got into an argument with a policeman … who then maced the singer!  (The story goes that the cop found Morrison backstage making out with an 18-year-old girl in the shower and, after an argument, maced the singer in the face.)  During the concert, while singing "Back Door Man", Morrison proceeded to tell the audience about the incident and began taunting the police from the stage, at which point the police turned on the house lights and arrested Morrison for "breach of peace" and resisting arrest.  (Well, at least he kept his pants on for this one!  Then again I can't speak as to the nature of his dress in the shower!)  The crowd began to riot once the concert was stopped and many were taken into custody.  Later that night more than a hundred protestors gathered at the police station gathered to demonstrate, which resulted in even more arrests. 

Monkees sales continue to go through the roof.  This week, Billboard Magazine is reporting that album sales are now approaching fifteen million and singles have just passed ten million.  Unreal.  (What a year!) 

This evening Michael Nesmith is in the studio recording "Circle Sky", long a fan favorite, for the "Head" soundtrack.  Once again he is the only Monkee present at the session.  He'll add overdubs on the 17th and then wrap it up for good in January.

Glen Campbell (who played on his fair share of Monkees tracks this year!) appears on "American Bandstand" to perform his first big pop solo hit, "By The Time I Get To Phoenix".

United States First Daughter Lynda Bird Johnson married Marine Corps Captain Charles S. Robb in the East Room of the White House.  Robb went on to become Lieutenant Governor and the Governor of Virginia.  He also served two terms as a U.S. Senator from Virginia.  They had three daughters together.  Lynda is currently the oldest living child of a U.S. President.

Friday, December 8, 2017

December 8th

The "Magical Mystery Tour" double EP is released in Great Britain. 

The brand new LP "Their Satanic Majesties Request" by The Rolling Stones is released in both The US and The UK.  The 3-D cover is all the rage … but the music contained therein falls a little short. 

Meanwhile, we find the following tracks making their way up the pop chart this week … 

"Bend Me Shape Me" by The American Breed moves from #75 to #44, a jump of 31 places.  "And Get Away" by The Esquires is up 12 spots from #58 to #46.  Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's "If I Could Build My Whole World Around You" climbs 19 places from #67 to #48.  "Judy In Disguise" by John Fred and his Playboys Band is up 25 spots from #77 to #52.  Petula Clark moves seventeen spots from #70 to #53 with her latest, "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener," while The Doors leap all the way from #100 to #57 with "Love Me Two Times.  (That's a jump of 43 places!) 

The Beatles' "I Am The Walrus" is up 34 places (from #94 to #60) while Dean Martin climbs 31 spots, from #97 to #66, with "In The Misty Moonlight".  Bill Cosby (still one of the most-loved men in America back in 1967) has a new novelty record on the charts …"Hooray For The Salvation Army Band" climbs from #91 to #72 this week.  And The Royal Guardsmen are back with another Snoopy tune …. this time a holiday classic, "Snoopy's Christmas", which premiers at #76.   

"Itchy Coo Park" by The Small Faces starts out slow (it's only at #77 in this, its fourth week on the chart), while The Hollies jump 11 spots from #90 to #79 with "Dear Eloise" and Wilson Pickett climbs 18 spots from #99 to #81 with "I'm In Love", the flipside of "Stag-O-Lee".

Thursday, December 7, 2017

December 7th

In an effort to still feature the week's biggest hits … and comply with the British Television ban on miming … "Top Of The Pops" airs cutting room floor footage and outtakes from The Beatles' "Hello Goodbye" filming session at The Saville Theatre. 

Speaking of The Beatles, only John Lennon and George Harrison are in town when The Apple Shop opens at 94 Baker Street in London.  (Paul McCartney is on holiday in Scotland and Ringo Starr is in Italy filming his first solo movie role in "Candy".) 

The Temptations perform "(I Know) I'm Losing You" and "Swanee" on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  Mama Cass Elliot also performs "Five Foot Two, Eyes Of Blue" with Tom and Dick Smothers.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

December 6th

We've got some interesting debuts on the chart this week as Aretha Franklin takes top honors with her latest, "Chain Of Fools," new on the chart at #54.  The Young Rascals take their stab at psychedelia with their new chart hit "It's Wonderful".  (Honestly, it doesn't suit them … these guys built their entire career around their Blue-Eyed Soul sound … this attempt to "fit in" falls short of their best material.  That being said, it SURE sounded great when they opened their reunion tour with it a couple of years ago … because this is a track that radio has TOTALLY forgotten.) 

Chicago's Buckinghams are back with one of my favorites, as "Susan" premiers at #74 this week.  The Mamas and the Papas debut at #84 with "Dancing Bear," another long-forgotten gem, while The Human Beinz are new on the chart with what has proven to be a timeless classic, "Nobody But Me" (a remake of an old Isley Brothers tune), which premiers at #90.  Bringing up the rear at #98 is the latest bubblegum hit from Buddah Records … "Green Tambourine" by The Lemon Pipers.

(When I tell you how diverse and incredible 1967 was music-wise, can you even imagine a time when ALL of these songs could premier on the pop charts THE VERY SAME WEEK?!?!?)  Amazing!

Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz  performs the first US human heart transplant on a baby in Brooklyn, New York, who died six hours later. 

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

December 5th

The Grass Roots perform "Let's Live For Today" on The Hollywood Palace. 

Dr. Benjamin Spock and Allen Ginsberg were arrested for protesting The War In Viet Nam. 

The Beatles' Apple Boutique opens in London at the corner of Baker Street and Paddington Street.  Paul McCartney described it as "a beautiful place where you can buy beautiful things".  (The Fab Four were in the midst of all things Apple at the time … opening night only apple juice was served … and their own record company baring the same name would debut the following year.) 

From the beginning, The Beatles had a greater affect on fashion than many give them credit for … and coming out of the very flower-powery Summer of Love (and having just donned their Sgt. Pepper uniforms and filmed the psychedelic "Magical Mystery Tour"), they felt that providing a spot where other like-minded, fashion-conscious folks could buy all the latest trendy designs was a logical step.  (It was a financial disaster and closed eight months later when they literally gave away anything that was left, down to the store fixtures.) 

The store was managed by John Lennon's old school chum Pete Shotten and Patti Harrison's sister Jennie who, as I recall, was also one of the women the Maharishi lusted for while The Beatles were in India.  "The Fool", who had painted Lennon's psychedelic Rolls Royce, designed the colorful mural that adorned the building. 

The Monkees are filming the 55th episode of their television series today.  Titled "Monkees Mind Their Manor", the director this week is none other than Peter H. Thorkelson … Peter Tork!  Micky Dolenz will go on to have quite a successful career as a director once the TV series ends … but seeing Peter pursue this experience this early on is a real treat.

Monday, December 4, 2017

December 4th

The Top Three Records in America hold their positions from the week before … "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees is at #1, "The Rain, The Park And Other Things" by The Cowsills is at #2 and "Incense And Peppermints" by The Strawberry Alarm Clock holds at #3.  

Moving up within The Top Ten we find "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Gladys Knight and the Pips (#9 to #4), "I Say A Little Prayer" by Dionne Warwick (#6 to #5), "An Open Letter To My Teenage Son" by Victor Lundberg (#10 to #6), "I Second That Emotion" by Smokey Robinson and the Miralces (#15 to #8), "In And Out Of Love" by Diana Ross and the Supremes (#13 to #9) and "Keep The Ball Rollin'" by Jay and the Techniques (#11 to #10).  

"Hello Goodbye" makes a HUGE leap from #50 to #12 this week as The Beatles are poised once again to claim another Top Ten Hit.  "Massachusetts" by The Bee Gees continues to climb, this week from #26 to #18.  "Neon Rainbow" by The Box Tops jumps ten places from #32 to #22 while "Woman Woman" by The Union Gap is up TWENTY spots from #45 to #25.  

"Next Plane To London" by The Rose Garden makes its Top 40 debut, climbing from #48 to #33, a move of fifteen places and Bobby Vee's version of "Beautiful People" is the first one to make The Top 40, moving from #44 to #34 this week.  (Meanwhile, the Kenny O'Dell version sits just outside The Top 40 at #41, also a leap of ten spots.)  Here in Chicago, WLS will play the Bobby Vee version and WCFL will play the Kenny O'Dell version so we got to hear BOTH of these back in the day!

"Different Drum" (written by Monkee Michael Nesmith and sung by Linda Ronstadt, then a member of The Stone Poneys) is up 14 spots from #49 to #35 and Donovan continues his climb up the chart as "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" moves from #52 to #39.  Rounding out The Top 40 we find Paul Revere and the Raiders and their latest, "Peace Of Mind".  

The  Monkees have the #1 Album in the Country again this week with "Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd."  

Bert Lahr, who famously played The Cowardly Lion to perfection in the 1939 film "The Wizard Of Oz" died today.  His legacy will live on forever.  

A volcano erupts on Deception Island in Antarctica.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

December 3rd

Ray Charles performs on The Ed Sullivan Show, including a duet with Billy Preston on keyboards to the recent Edwin Starr hit "Agent Double-O-Soul".  (They also do "What'd I Say" with the Raelettes) 

Diana Ross and the Supremes (featuring Cindy Birdsong, who has now replaced Florence Ballard) performed their hits "Reflections" and "The Happening" on a Tennessee Ernie Ford television special. 

Surgeons led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard, perform the first human heart transplant at the Groote Shur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Patient Louis Washkansky lived 18 days with the new heart. The first heart transplant operation in the U.S. would happen three days later (on December 6, 1967, in New York City.) 

We've got a brand new #1 Movie at the Box Office this week … "Hell's Angels On Wheels" overtakes Disney's "The Jungle Book" to claim the top spot.  (Suffice to say these two films appeal to two COMPLETELY different audiences!!!)  Most likely carried by Jack Nicholson, its reign at the top would be short-lived … you won't believe what the #1 Movie will be NEXT week!!!

Ok, so they weren't ALL great movies in '67! (kk)

The 20th Century Limited makes its final run from New York City to Chicago.
The train was inaugurated in 1902 and in 1938, when it received a new steam engine, was able to make the 958 mile trip in just 16 hours.  It was considered to be the most famous train in US History and was also one of the most luxurious.  (Passengers entering and leaving the train did so via the red carpet, which originated the phrase still used today on airlines and major Hollywood events!)  Trainfare in 1928, which included a private cabin for overnight stay, ran about $52 ... and the service is believed to have grossed about ten million dollars that year, making it the most profitable train in the world.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

December 2nd

The Monkees occupy the #1 spot on both the Album Chart and the Pop Singles Chart.  

Incredibly, all four of their albums are still on the chart … and in The Top 100 no less!  ("Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, Ltd." is #1, "Headquarters" is #18, "More Of The Monkees" is at #39 and "The Monkees" is at #96.)   

Even MORE incredibly twenty years later, when Rhino Records re-releases all four of these LP's, they will chart together once again, this time peaking at #124, #121, #96 and #92 respectively.  

"More Of The Monkees" will chalk up another 26 weeks on the chart (that's half a year, folks!), bringing its lifetime tally to 96 weeks.  Their debut album did even better … between the 78 weeks it charted initially when released in 1966 and the 24 additional weeks it charted when it was reissued in 1986, "The Monkees" spent a total of 102 weeks on the chart overall.

1967 was, without question, The Year of The Monkees, as they outsold even The Beatles and The Rolling Stones this year.

Their album tracks were played on the radio as if they were singles ... thanks to the TV  show, fans heard nearly everything they recorded for these first four LP's.

Here is one more track from each of those 1967 #1 Albums ... 


Friday, December 1, 2017

December 1st, 1967

Singer Jimmie Rodgers is found beaten and near death in his car on The San Diego Freeway.  Rodgers had some big hits in the late '50's with songs like "Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" and recently saw his comeback single "Child Of Clay" climbing the charts.

The circumstances of this beating have never been widely disclosed but many feel that Roulette Records Mogul Morris Levy had ordered the "hit".  (All of Jimmie's previous hits were recorded for the Roulette record label … but his latest release came out on the A&M record label.)

We have covered this incident several times in Forgotten Hits … in fact, we talked with Jimmie's son several years ago when his dad went in for surgery to successfully have the metal plate in his head removed as it had developed some type of toxic leakage going into Jimmie's brain.  A tragic, tragic tale of rock and roll.   

Talks of a Jimmie Rodgers bio-pic have floated around for years … maybe now that Tommy James has come forward with his tale of the ways and means of Morris Levy and his extended "family" … and Morris has passed on … it's finally time to tell the REAL Jimmie Rodgers story.  (And then maybe they can finally tell us what really happened to Bobby Fuller!!!)  rodgers-part-3.html

The Jimi Hendrix Experience releases their second album, "Axis: Bold As Love".

Great Britain's Monkees Monthly reports that The Monkees will take the month of January off before starting work on their first full-length feature film ("Head").  After the incredible year they had in 1967, they deserve it.  But the truth is, 1967 WAS their year … the bubble burst pretty quickly after this, especially once the tv series was cancelled.  Incredibly (and much to the surprise ... and great dismay ... of all the doubters at the time who wrote The Monkees off as nothing more than a carefully calculated and created merchandising machine) dozens of reformations since then have kept the band and their music alive for the past 50 years.  It's fun, feel good rock and roll … and, thanks to the magic of television, they haven't aged a bit!  


The RMS Queen Mary is retired.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

November 30th

Top 100 Movers climbing ten positions or more include "Beautiful People" by Bobby Vee (#54 to #44), "Woman Woman" by The Union Gap (#68 to #45), "Different Drum" by The Stone Poneys (#62 to #49), "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" by Donovan, up thirty places from #82 to #52, "Okolona River Bottom Band" by Bobbie Gentry (#64 to #53), "Since You Showed Me How To Be Happy" by Jackie Wilson (#75 to #54), "And Get Away" by The Esquires (up 33 places from #91 to #58), "What's It Gonna Be" by Dusty Springfield (#78 to #64), "Too Much Of Nothing" by Peter, Paul and Mary (#81 to #66), "Love Power" by The Sandpebbles (#80 to #69), "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow" by The O'Jays (#87 to #71), "Bend Me Shape Me" by The American Breed (#98 to #75) and "Judy In Disguise" by John Fred and His Playboy Band (#95 to #77). 

Senator Eugene McCarthy announces his bid to run for the Presidency of the United States.

Presidential Grandson David Eisenhower and Future Presidential Daughter Julie Nixon announce their engagement.  They would marry the following year on December 22nd, just prior to her father, Richard Nixon, assuming the office of President of the United States.  David, of course, is the Grandson of Former President Dwight "Ike" Eisenhower, under whom Nixon served as Vice President.  Both will go on to write several books.  Next year they will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.