Originally written November 8, 2013.
Hey there, loyal readers! That time has come once again. No, not for that, for Top 10 Flashback!
Podcast fans: there is a podcast this week. Didn’t have time do do voiceovers, but there are correct jingles and commercials from 1967, mostly for movies. Download it here:
This week we will head west to San Diego and look at the ten biggest songs on 136/KGB, the station that later gave us the San Diego Chicken. KGB was a Drake/Chenault “Boss Radio” station at the time, like KHJ, KFRC, and CKLW; this type of tight, no-nonsense sound was taking over from the earlier “personality” formats.
You would think that a top 10 list in SoCal in 1967 would be really hip. I don’t know that much about the SD market, but judging from this, it’s a lot more conservative than some might think. Remember that Top 40 radio wasn’t exclusively rock and soul music; it was the most popular singles of all genres. Younger people who grew up on today’s CHR formats would be very surprised to see that these songs coexisted on the same playlist, but that’s the way it was before FM came into its own with specialty formats. For better or worse, you won’t get this kind of variety anywhere today. Survey dated November 8, 1967.
Let’s dive in!
Hombres – Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)
This was kind of a rednecky riff on Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” right down to the short running time. You start getting into it, and bam, it’s over.
The Who – I Can See For Miles
Believe it or not, the only bona fide rock classic on this list. In fact, the only one on the entire Boss 30 this week. Plenty of classic oldies, but this is it for rock. No, not even the Beatles.
Scott McKenzie – Like An Old Time Movie
The followup to “San Francisco,” also written by John Phillips. Not a bad song, but not too memorable.
Cowsills – The Rain, The Park, & Other Things
I don’t care what you say, I like this! Dreamy sunshine pop with a touch of hippieness (is that a word?), it just plain makes you feel good. Isn’t that what music’s supposed to do?
Bobby Vinton – Please Love Me Forever
Good Lord, is this a simpering beta song or what? Creepy, too: “If I should die before I wake, I’ll come back for you, that’s no mistake.” Man, if I sang that to a woman, she’d call the cops.
Victor Lundberg – An Open Letter To My Teenage Son
Wow. Just wow. I ain’t no liberal, but this is over the top. If you’ve never heard this before, play it all the way through. You’ll either stand up and salute or destroy your speakers. Victor Lundberg was a radio newscaster in Grand Rapids, MI; similarly, Detroit/Windsor newsman Byron MacGregor scored a #1 hit in early 1974 with “Americans.”
Esquires – Get On Up
Great soul classic with a hint of doo-wop. Still an oldies radio staple.
Soul Survivors – Expressway To Your Heart
Another one that still gets airplay today. Fun fact: These guys were WHITE.
Cher – You Better Sit Down Kids
Where the HELL did that ending come from? It’s like someone spliced in some random crazy instrumental flourish as a joke. Written by Sonny Bono, it became a reality for him a few years later.
Now, before we get to #1, let’s listen to this week’s “oh, wow” song, a song from further down the chart that isn’t heard on oldies/classic hits radio, but should be. This week we’ll go down to #18 for this highly catchy, danceable ditty from South Africa. Here’s Miriam Makeba with “Pata Pata.”
Try it at your next party!
So now we’ve reached the pinnacle, the absolute cream of the crop in San Diego this week in 1967, according to the other Boss Radio, 136/KGB. Here it is:
This is nice, but Aretha Franklin’s version was FAR superior. Burt Bacharach himself said so.
Download this week’s podcast!