MIKE SMITH’S TOP HUNDRED UK HITS
The off-shore "pirate" radio stations continued to be a major part of the British pop music scene, and they again helped several new acts from both the UK and USA to become major recording artists and bands. However, this was their last full year of broadcasting. The stations were made illegal and closed down in the summer of 1967.
The American acts continued to get a greater foothold in the British charts. Finally, the Beach Boys became a major force with four Top 3 hits, including a number one. New names from the USA included Simon & Garfunkel and the Mamas & Papas. There was also success for Frank Sinatra's daughter Nancy who enjoyed a hit with a song about boots! Frank Sinatra himself, despite having been a recording star since the 1940s, had a major number one hit in this year. Other American acts of less longevity included the Lovin' Spoonful, Bob Lind and Bobby Hebb. Superstar Elvis Presley had a lackluster year, tempered only by one Top 10 hit - a remake of Ketty Lester's 1962 hit "Love Letters". At last the Motown sound became established with more hits from the Supremes, a number one from the Four Tops, and debut hits from Stevie Wonder and Junior Walker & The All Stars.
From the UK, the Beatles, carried on making hits, although they only released two singles in this year - one a double A-side. Cliff Richard bounced back from a weaker 1965 with four Top 20 hits - three of which reached the Top 10. The established groups, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Hollies and Manfred Mann all had several big hits during 1966. They were joined by new bands Dave Dee, Dozey, Beaky, Mick & Tich (one of the longest-ever names), who had four Top 10 hits this year, The Small Faces, and the Troggs.
These are my personal favourite recordings from this particular year, listed in the order in which they entered the UK hit singles chart. You may not agree with my choices, but these were UK chart hits that had plenty of air play on the music radio stations of the day, such as Radio Luxembourg, Radio Caroline, Radio London ("Big L"), and many other off-shore radio stations.
Title: A Must To Avoid
were formed in Manchester, England in early 1964, with lead singer
Peter Noone (born 5 Nov 1947). They quickly acquired a
manager who arranged a contract with EMI records and producer Mickie
Most. Their debut single, "I'm
Into Something Good", a cover of an American song, rose up
the charts and was at number one by the end of September 1964. It
was released in the USA and reached number 13. They soon
became a major band on both sides of the Atlantic. In the UK
they amassed ten Top 10 hits by 1970, and eleven in America by
1967. In the USA they issued several old music hall style
songs, such as "I'm Henry The Eighth I Am", which were very
successful there. Such recordings were not issued in the
UK. Noone left the band in 1971 for a solo career. The
remainder recruited a new lead singer and they have toured for many
years. Peter Noone only had one hit as a soloist, that was in
1971. Noone now tours as Herman's Hermits starring Peter
Noone. The rival group, with only one original member, tours
as Herman's Hermits.
Were On My Mind
Peters (5 Apr 1939 - 8 Jun 2010) was born in Kent, England. He
played in several local groups from 1956, but with no major
success. He made a recording with another band in 1964, but it
did not reach the charts. In 1965 he signed as a solo artist
with Decca records, and made a couple of recordings, but again they
were unsuccessful. In 1966, however, he recorded "You
Were On My Mind" which had been recorded a couple of times
previously, but not released in the UK. This gave him his
first hit, which had been boosted by plays on the off-shore radio
stations. He followed this with another Top 10 hit in March
(song 30), but his release in the autumn of 1966 only reached the
lower end of the Top 50, and there were no more hits after that. He
continued recording and performing into the 1970s.
Len Barry was
born on 12 Jun 1942 in Philadelphia, USA. After graduating
from school he entered military service where he sang in a
band. He decided to pursue a musical career after he left the
military, forming a group called the Dovelles. As part of the
group he enjoyed a few hit singles, but left to develop a solo
career. His first big hit was "1-2-3", which reached
number two on the American charts. His follow-up, the
similar-sounding "Like A Baby" also reached the British
Top 10, in January 1966. Although further chart success eluded
him, he remained in the business, and has written songs for other
acts during the following decades.
Just A Broken Heart
Cilla Black (27 May 1943 - 1 Aug 2015) was born in Liverpool and
joined the Merseybeat scene along with the many groups coming from that city in 1963, although she remained a solo
performer. She got a job in the Cavern Club in the early 1960s, where the Beatles and others were performing
and soon was able to get singing jobs in different venues in Liverpool. John Lennon introduced her to the
Beatles manager Brian Epstein, who duly signed her up and arranged a recording contract with EMI and producer George
Martin. Her first release peaked at a rather modest number 35 in the UK charts during autumn 1963.
However, her next two releases both went to number one, and she enjoyed several Top 10 hits throughout the 1960s.
In 1968 she began a TV variety show called "Cilla", which ran for eight series until 1976. In the 1980s
and 1990s she was a TV game show host, and became one of the most popular personalities of the era. She died
following a fall at her holiday home in Spain, aged 72.
On 16 January 2017 a bronze statue of Cilla Black was unveiled on Mathew Street in Liverpool,
outside the entrance of the Cavern Club where Black was discovered.
was a British Folk music group. They had formed in 1963
and began recording mostly American Folk songs. None were
successful until they decided to record the Beatles' song
"Michelle". This recording went all the way to the
top of the charts in the UK. Sadly, they were unable to find
any other songs that would give them another hit, and this is their
sole entry in the UK charts.
Assorted Colours was formed in Rugby, England in 1965. This
was their first single, and it gave them instant stardom.
Unfortunately they were unable to maintain the chart success.
Only one hit followed, and that peaked at a lowly number 50 for one
week only. There were no more hits.
Groovy Kind Of Love
Mindbenders, from Manchester, England, were originally the backing band for Wayne
Fontana. Together they had two Top 10 hits in 1964-1965, but the
relationship between Fontana and the band soured, and they went
their separate ways in October 1965. The band's
guitarist, Eric Stewart, took over lead vocal duties, and they
were able to record this song by the American composers. It
was a huge hit, missing the top spot by one place in both the UK and
USA. They had a few smaller hits following, but gradually
faded from the charts. They broke up in 1968.
Boots Are Made For Walking
Nancy Sinatra is the daughter of singing legend Frank Sinatra. Nancy was born on 8 Jun 1940 in New Jersey, USA, but mostly grew up in Los Angeles. She began music and singing lessons at a young age in Hollywood. She started appearing on TV in her early twenties, mostly on her father's shows. She signed with Sinatra's Reprise records in 1961, but early releases did not fare very well. However, in 1965 she began a collaboration with songwriter and producer Lee Hazlewood, who had crafted most of Duane Eddy's hit records in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He wrote "These Boots Are Made For Walking", and produced Nancy's recording of the song. It was an immediate hit, climbing to number one on both sides of the Atlantic. A year later she reached number two in the UK with "Sugar Town", and in the same year recorded the James Bond film theme "You Only Live Twice". She also recorded several duets with Hazlewood, which were hits in both countries, including the 1971 release "Did You Ever" which reached number two in the UK. She has continued recording and performing on and off up to the present time.
Dusty Springfield (16 Apr 1939 - 2 Mar 1999) was born in London,
England. She began singing in the late 1950s, first with an all-girl group and then with her brother in the Folk
group The Springfields. The trio enjoyed a couple of Top 10 hits, but in late summer 1963, Dusty went solo and
began a very
successful career throughout the 1960s, becoming one of the top vocalists of that decade. From 1963 to 1969 she
enjoyed a total of 16 hits, ten of which made the Top 10 including her 1966 number one "You Don't Have To Say
You Love Me". During the late 1960s she had her own TV series, and she made albums in the USA, where she had
achieved three Top 10 hits as well. Things went quiet during the 1970s although she continued to record and
perform. In 1987 she came back to prominence when she recorded new material with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop
Boys. The single "What Have I Done To Deserve This" reached number two - her first Top 10 hit since
1968, and the album from which it came reached the Top 20. She developed breast cancer in the mid-1990s, and
died from the disease in 1999, aged 59.
Sandie Shaw was
born on 26 Feb 1947 in Dagenham, Essex, England. She became
one of the top British female stars of the decade, and was famous
for appearing on stage and TV in bare feet, as well as being something
of a 1960s fashion icon. She won a talent contest in 1963, and
was spotted by Adam Faith who recommended her to his agent, who took
her on and arranged a contract with Pye Records. Although her
first record failed to enter the charts, her second release, the Bacharach & David song
"(There's) Always Something There To Remind Me" (year
1964, song 81), quickly climbed all the way to number one. She went on to have 17 hits by
the end of the 1960s - many of them written by Chris Andrews.
In 1967 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest, and
became the first British winner of the annual event with
"Puppet On A String". The recording was a chart
topper in the UK and seven other countries. She took a back
seat in the music business during the 1970s but returned to the
charts in the 1980s with some smallish hits. Since then she
has been involved in various projects and has appeared on TV chat
and discussion shows.
Stevie Wonder was born on 13 May 1950 in Saginaw, Michigan, USA, but he grew up in Detroit, Michigan, USA. He was blind almost from birth, but began singing in a church choir as a child. He was signed to Tamla Motown records at the age of eleven, and made several records. In 1963, when he was 12, he had his first hit, "Fingertips", which went to number one on the USA charts. His next few releases, however, did not reach the charts, and there was a danger that Motown might drop him. However, he was given one last chance to produce a hit, and with his musical mentors, Sylvia Moy and Henry Cosby, he wrote "Uptight (Everything's Alright)". The single reached number 3 in the USA, peaking at number 14 in the UK - his debut hit there. His career grew from there with a series of hit singles and albums over the following years. By the end of the 20th century, he had scored 54 hit singles and a dozen hit albums in the UK. He has continued to record and perform until the present time, although at greater intervals than in the earlier decades. His most recent original album release was in 2005.
Petula Clark was born on 15 Nov 1932 in Surrey, England.
She became a child star at the age of nine when she broadcast on
radio for the first time. This led to numerous singing
opportunities on wartime radio. In 1944 she was given her
first film role, and she had appeared in 14 films by 1950.
In the early 1950s she began making records, and her first hit
came in the summer of 1954 when she was 21 years old. Clark went on to become a major international star with
numerous world-wide hits,
particularly in the 1960s with songs written and produced by Tony
Hatch. In the 1990s and 2000s she went into stage musicals,
both in the UK and America. She was still recording and
performing in the 2010s, and issued a new album in 2016.
La La La Lee
The Small Faces was a group formed in east London, England in 1965, by Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane, along with two others. They signed a recording contract with Decca and released a couple of singles with moderate success. Their third single was "Sha La La La Lee" which became a Top 10 hit and started a successful career for a couple of years. They went on to have seven Top 10 hits, including the chart-topper "All Or Nothing" in late summer 1966 (song 71). Marriott left the group in late 1968 to join the band Humble Pie. The other three joined with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart (both formerly with Jeff Beck's band), and formed the Faces. They enjoyed their first hit in 1971. Ronnie Lane eventually went to live in the USA, and died there in 1997 aged 51 from the effects of multiple sclerosis. Steve Marriott died in 1991 in a house fire, at age 44.
The Rolling Stones debuted on the British charts in 1963, and started a
career which challenged the Beatles for the "top band" accolade during the 1960s. The band comprised lead
singer Mick Jagger (born 26 Jul 1943), guitarists Keith Richards (born 18 Dec 1943) and Brian Jones (28 Feb 1942 - 3 Jul 1969),
bassist Bill Wyman (born 24 Oct 1936) and drummer Charlie Watts (born 2 Jun 1941).
Brian Jones drowned in a swimming pool during 1969, and was replaced by Mick Taylor,
formerly of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Taylor left in 1974 and was replaced by Ronnie Wood
(formerly of the Faces) who remains in the band at the present time.
Bill Wyman left in 1997 and has since toured and recorded with his own band. The Stones clocked up 15 hits during
the 1960s, including eight number ones. Hits continued in the singles and album charts through the following
decades up to the present time. They still embark on world tours in the 21st century,
and have planned a UK concert tour for 2018.
The World Go Away
Eddy Arnold (15
May 1918 - 8 May 2008) was a Country music singer who performed for
six decades. He was born in Tennessee, USA, and both of his
parents were musicians. He learned to play the guitar at an
early age, and when just 16 he made his first radio broadcast.
He continued with numerous radio broadcasts, and in 1944 signed his
first recording contract with RCA. He began a series of hit
records on the Country charts and in the early 1950s had his own TV
show. In the 1960s he began making records in a mellower
style, similar to those of Jim Reeves. This resulted in
several hits that appeared on the pop charts in the USA, as
well. "Make The World Go Away" was his biggest hit,
selling throughout the world! He went into semi-retirement in
the mid 1980s, but still made a few albums. He finally retired
in 1998 when he was 80, and died from natural causes in 2008 at age
Gene Pitney (17 Feb 1940 - 5 Apr 2006) was born in Hartford,
Connecticut, USA. He formed a band whilst at high school and learned to play several instruments. He had
a couple of small hits in 1961 and 1962, and had written hits for other performers, such as Bobby
Vee, but it was in 1963 that his career took off in the UK. Pitney went on to considerable success,
especially in the UK where he achieved ten Top 10 hits by the end of the 1960s. By contrast, he only had four
Top 10 hits in his American homeland. His popularity continued through the following decades and he toured
extensively. He never reached number one until his 1967 recording of "Something's Gotten Hold Of My
Heart" was re-recorded as a duet with British singer Marc Almond, and the result topped the UK charts in 1989.
He was on a tour of the UK in 2006, when he was found dead in his hotel room in Cardiff, Wales. His death was deemed
to be due to a heart attack.
Lou Christie was born on 19 Feb 1943 in Pennsylvania, USA. He studied music at high school, and it was thought that he might follow a classical music career, but Christie wanted to write and perform pop music. After graduation we went to New York, and was able to get work as a backing singer in recording studios. He cut his first record in 1962 and had a moderate hit with it on the American charts. He had a couple of other hits in the USA, but he then joined the US Army for National Service, which interrupted his music career. He returned to civilian life in 1965 and signed a new recording deal with MGM. His first release under his new contract was "Lightnin' Strikes", which rose to number one in the USA. A few smaller hits followed, but he was eventually dropped by MGM. He returned with another major hit in 1969 ("I'm Gonna Make You Mine"), which was a Top 10 entry on both sides of the Atlantic. He had no significant hits after that, but continued in the business, mostly as a songwriter with Twyler Herbert, but he has recorded a few albums from time to time, and he performs on the oldies circuits.
Can't Let Go
The Hollies was beat group from Manchester, England.
It was formed by Allan Clarke and Graham Nash in 1962, and by early summer 1963 they had their first hit.
In the autumn of that year they made their debut in the Top 10 with a recording of a former American chart topper,
"Stay". This started a run of fifteen Top 10 hits by the end of the 1960s, and they continued successfully
into the 1970s as well. They became one of the most successful bands of the 1960s, although
they only reached the top of the UK charts once in that decade. They finally broke into the USA charts in 1966,
and enjoyed six Top 10 hits there. In 1968, founding member Graham Nash left the group,
moving to California where he teamed up with guitarist Stephen Stills (formerly with
Buffalo Springfield), and David Crosby (ex-Byrds singer & guitarist) to form one of the first
super groups, Crosby, Stills & Nash.
In 1971, Alan Clarke also left to pursue a solo career, but he returned in 1973 when the band was enjoying success
in the USA. With some changes of personnel, the group continued to perform through to the 1990s, mostly in the
guise of a sixties revival group. Clarke finally retired in 2000, but the Hollies still perform on the
This five-piece group came from Wiltshire, England. They formed in 1961, and played the same Hamburg club that the Beatles appeared in. In 1965 they were seen by songwriters Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley, who decided they would like to write for the group. A recording contract with Fontana records was signed, and during the next three years, a series of Top 10 hits were produced, including the chart-topper "Legend Of Xanadu" in 1968. Their last (minor) hits came in 1969. Dave Dee decided to leave in 1969 for a solo career but it was not particularly successful. He became a record producer, but reunited with the others a few times for concerts. A later new career mostly took him away from music, and he died from cancer in 2009 at age 67. The other four members continued after Dee's departure, calling themselves D, B, M & T, and they had a small hit in 1970. With and without Dee, they continued performing for many years.
Follower Of Fashion
The Kinks were a
four-piece band formed in north London, England by the brothers Ray and Dave
Davies. Ray Davies, born 21 June 1944, and Dave Davies, born 3
Feb 1947 were joined by Mick Avory on drums and Pete Quaife on bass
to complete the original lineup. Ray had been at art school in
the early sixties and had played guitar with different R&B bands
in London. He joined the Ravens in 1962 which included his
brother Dave on lead guitar and drummer Avory. They signed a
contract with Pye Records, but changed their name to the Kinks with
encouragement from their management. Their first two releases
failed to chart, but their third single, "You Really Got
Me" (1964, song 67), zoomed all the way to number
one in the UK and was a Top 10 hit in the USA. They went on to
enjoy twelve further Top 10 hits in the UK by 1970, including
another number one in 1965 - all written by Ray Davies. The
band continued recording and performing on and off over the
following years, albeit with some personnel changes, but finally
broke up in 1996. The Davies brothers have recorded solo
albums, and some past members have regrouped for live performances
as the Kast Off Kinks, until the present time.
Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore
Brothers were an American vocal trio comprising Scott Engel, John
Maus, and Gary Leeds, but they all used the surname Walker,
although they were not related. They formed the group in Los
Angeles, California, USA during 1964. They had not found
success in the USA and so travelled to England to try their luck
there, in a
similar fashion to P J Proby. They were offered a contract
with Philips Records, and began live performances at various UK
venues. Their first hit just reached the Top 20, but it
was the next release, a rendition of a Bacharach and David song,
"Make It Easy On Yourself", written in 1962, that
propelled them to stardom. It was followed by a Top 10 entry
in 1965 and another chart-topper in 1966, but hits after that were
only moderate, the final of the 1960s coming in May 1967. Work
permit problems and internal differences led to the band splitting
up in 1968. All three members made solo recordings, with Scott
Walker enjoying the most success. They briefly reunited in the
mid-1970s and had a Top 10 hit in January 1976 ("No
within a couple of years they went their separate ways again.
Bob Lind was
born on 25 Nov 1942 in Baltimore, USA. He is a Folk
singer-songwriter who shot to fame when he recorded "Elusive
Butterfly" in 1966, which peaked at number five in both the UK
and USA. He was living in Denver, Colorado, USA as a teenager,
and began playing and writing songs. He moved to San Francisco
in 1963 and began performing in small venues there, but relocated to
Los Angeles in 1965 where he was able to get a record deal.
This was his first hit, and he went on to record a couple of
albums. However, he began abusing alcohol and drugs, which led
him to being dropped by his record company. He cleaned up and
cut another album in 1971 but it did not sell. He dropped out
of the music business for several years, and in 1988 moved to
Florida where he began writing novels and screen plays. He came out
of musical retirement in the early 2000s and performed in small clubs in
Miami. This led to a tour of the USA, and a new album in 2016.
The Who are a
four-piece Rock band originally comprising lead singer Roger Daltrey (born 1
Mar 1944), guitarist and singer Pete Townshend (born 19 May 1945), bass guitarist John
Entwistle (9 Oct 1944 - 27 Jun 2002), and drummer Keith Moon (23 Aug
1946 - 7 Sep 1978). The band was formed in the early 1960s in
west London, England under a different group name, but settled on
the name The Who in 1964. They began performing in local pubs
and other venues in west London They gained a recording
contract in late 1964, and their first hit came in early 1965,
"I Can't Explain", which reached the UK Top 10, followed
by another Top 10 hit in spring 1965. "My
Generation" reached number two and became their joint
highest-placed hit with "I'm A Boy" in 1966. They
never managed to reach number one. During the 1960s they
achieved nine Top 10 hits out of 14. The hits continued into
the 1980s with another four original Top 10 hits. Although
personnel deaths have forced changes to the line up, the band have
continued to perform up to and including a tour in 2017.
Daltry and Townshend remain, and in recent years drums have been
played by Zak Starkey, Ringo Starr's son.
Sound Of Silence
The Bachelors were an Irish easy-listening harmony trio.
The act comprised Conleth (Con) Cluskey (born 18 Nov 1941), Declan (Dec) Cluskey (born 23 Dec 1942), and John Stokes
(born 13 Aug 1940), all from Dublin, Ireland. They began as The Harmonichords in 1957, and enjoyed much success
in their native Ireland. When they were offered a recording contract by Decca Records in 1960, they were also
asked to change the name of the group to the Bachelors. In this new guise they enjoyed considerable success
during the 1960s, achieving 17 hit singles in the UK, eight of which made the Top 10. They even reached the Top 10
in the USA.
After the hits dried up, they continued successfully as a live act in cabaret and summertime seaside shows until 1984
when the two brothers split from John Stokes.
Con and Dec continued as a duo, billed as Con & Dec - The Bachelors, and John Stokes formed a new group called The
Bachelors with John
Stokes. Both acts continue to perform in local venues around the UK.
Graham Bonney was born on 2 Jun 1943 in Basildon, Essex, England. He worked as a child actor before joining a series of groups. Like many other acts of the time, he performed in Hamburg, Germany earlier in the 1960s. As a band member he made a few records but none of them reached the charts. He left the band for a solo career and began writing songs with Barry Mason. This resulted in his one and only UK hit recording, "Super Girl". Although it received considerable airplay on the off-shore radio stations, it still only just managed to reach the Top 20 in the UK. However, it reached number one in Germany, and despite his further output being ignored in Britain, he had a string of hit singles in Germany up to 1973, many recorded in the German language. This encouraged him to move to Germany, where he made numerous TV appearances. He has continued recording and performing in Germany. He married a German woman in 1984, and now lives in Cologne.
The Spencer Davis Group was formed in Birmingham, England in 1963 by Spencer Davis with lead vocalist Steve Winwood. They signed a recording contract in 1964, and their first (minor) hit came in November that year. More recordings were issued, but they all peaked at low positions on the charts until December 1965 when the single "Keep On Running" reached number one in the UK charts. This was quickly followed by another chart-topper, "Somebody Help Me", in spring 1966. They had two more Top 10 hits, the first in November 1966 and the second in early 1967. Steve Winwood left the group in April 1967 to form the band Traffic. Winwood's brother, Muff, bass player in the group, also left to become a producer and A&R man at their record company. Replacements were recruited and two more singles reached the Top 40. They split in 1969. However, there have been subsequent reunion concert tours into the 2000s, but only Davis now remains from the original lineup.
duo comprised Paul Simon (born 13 Oct 1941) and Art Garfunkel (born
5 Nov 1941), both from New York,
USA. They first met in 1953 and began singing harmonies
together. They cut a couple of records as teenagers under the
name of Tom & Jerry but with no lasting success. It was
not until 1963 that they began recording as Simon & Garfunkel.
Their first album sold badly, but one song on the album "The
Sound of Silence" was later remixed and it climbed to number
one in the USA, early 1966. This established them as a major
act, and subsequent albums and singles all sold very well, many
topping the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. Their
musical relationship was strained at times, and they went their separate
ways in 1970. Art Garfunkel followed a solo career and he had
a couple of number one hits during the 1970s in the UK. Paul
Simon went on to become a superstar with major successes in the
album charts into the 1990s.
The Seekers are an Australian
group, formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1962. The four-piece
band comprised female lead singer Judith Durham (born 3 Jul 1943), Athol Guy, Keith Potger and Bruce
They performed and recorded in Australia before going to the UK in
1964. There they were given the chance to perform on a few TV
variety shows where they met Tom Springfield. He offered them
the song "I'll Never Find Another You", which they
recorded in late 1964 and saw it rise to number one in the UK and
Australia, and number 4 in the USA. This was followed by seven
Top 20 hits, including the UK number one "The Carnival Is
Over" (in October 1965), through to 1967. They also
toured in the UK and Australia. In the summer of 1968, Judith
Durham announced that she was leaving for a solo career, and the
group disbanded. In 1992 the members of the group met up for
the first time in 20 years and decided to perform a reunion concert
tour during 1993, and they have performed occasionally up to the
present time, including fiftieth anniversary tours of Australia and
the UK in 2013-2014.
Turns To Grey
Cliff Richard was born on 14 Oct 1940 in
Lucknow, India, whilst his parents were working in that country. He returned to England with his family in
1948. He formed a band in 1957 and a year later he was chosen as a singer for the TV Rock 'n' Roll
show "Oh Boy!". His first hit came in 1958, which started a career that continued into the 21st
century, with more than 130 hit singles and over 50 original albums, spanning 50 years plus. In the early
1960s he also starred in several musical films, notably "The Young Ones" and "Summer Holiday".
He also achieved a number one single in five different decades, and is the most successful British recording artist of
all time. He continues in the 21st century and issued a new
album of Rock 'n' Roll songs in 2016.
This was his
follow-up to "You Were On My Mind", which was a number two
hit in January 1966 (song 2). "Pied Piper" took him
back into the Top 10 in the UK and USA, and the future was looking
good. Unfortunately, his next release was only a minor hit on
both sides of the Atlantic, and although he issued singles into the
1970s, none were hits and he faded away.
Don't Have To Say You Love Me
This was Dusty's
only number one hit, and was her follow-up to "Little By
Little" (song 9) which reached the Top 20 in January
1966. This recording reached number four in the USA
charts. She had two more Top 10 hits later in 1966.
Put A Spell On You
This band was
formed by keyboardist Alan Price (born 19 Apr 1942 in County Durham,
England). He had been one of the founders of the group the
Animals which had enjoyed a series of hit recordings from 1964
onwards. Price left the Animals in 1965 for a variety of
reasons, but soon formed his own band, called the Alan Price Set,
which featured a small brass section - unusual for a British pop
group of the time. Although his main musical interest was the
Blues, after his first hit he turned more to lighter pop, with songs
written by himself as well as American composer Randy Newman.
In the early 1970s he teamed up with Georgie Fame, and they made an
album together, and had one hit single. He had eleven hits in
the UK, four of which reached the Top 10. In the 1980s he
joined other members of the Animals for reunion concerts. He
was still recording into the early 2000s.
This was Cilla's
second Top 10 hit of the year, and is one of her most famous
songs. It was written by the two highly successful composers
as a promotion tool for the film "Alfie" which starred
Michael Caine. This recording was never used in the
film. The song was offered to Cilla Black to tie in with the
film's British cast. Black requested that Bacharach came to
England to arrange the recording, which he did and he played piano
on the recording, as well as conducting the orchestra.
Black went on to have another Top 10 hit in June 1966, with a
smaller hit in the autumn. 1967 was a quiet year for her
chart-wise, with just two Top 30 hits, but she was back in the Top
10 during 1968.
My Way Back To You
The Four Seasons is a vocal group, characterised by the
falsetto voice of Frankie Valli (born 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA).
In 1960, they they began working with record producer Bob Crewe, with Frankie Valli as the lead singer. The rest of the
band was Bob Gaudio on keyboards and tenor vocals (also their songwriter), Tommy DeVito on lead guitar and baritone
vocals, and Nick Massi on electric bass and bass vocals. Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic
was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper. Other similar recordings followed and they
managed to hit the UK charts through to 1966 despite the prominence of the British beat
groups, although many of the singles peaked at low positions. They also had
hits during the 1970s, including some solo recordings by Frankie
Valli. The band is still performing, but with Valli as the only original member.
A farewell concert is planned for London in December 2018.
The Lovin' Spoonful was a four-piece American Folk Rock band formed in New York City, USA, by John B Sebastian (born 17 Mar 1944 in New York) and Canadian guitarist Zal Yanovsky (1944-2002). They played gigs around Greenwich Village, New York, where there was a vibrant Folk music scene. In early 1965 they secured a recording contract and they began a short career of Folk-based Rock song hits. "Daydream" was the first UK hit, followed by "Summer In The City" (song 66), also a Top 10 entry. They enjoyed seven Top 10 hits in the USA (1965-1967), but in common with many other American groups, success in the UK was short-lived. The third release, "Nashville Cats" (Top 10 in the USA), peaked at a relatively low number 26 in the UK. Yanovsky left the band in early 1967 after a drugs bust, and Sebastian went in 1968 for a solo career. Continuing as a trio, success drained away, and the band split in 1969. There have been subsequent reunion concerts, but Sebastian and Yanovsky never participated.
My) Soul And Inspiration
Brothers were Bill Medley (born 19 Sep 1940) and Bobby Hatfield (10
Aug 1940 - 5 Nov 2003). Based in Los Angeles, they had been in
different groups originally, but were in the same group from
1962. They began performing as a duo in 1963, and recorded
singles and albums for a local company, resulting in a couple of
small hits. In 1964 they were seen by producer Phil Spector
who had created his "wall of sound" production technique
for the groups the Crystals, the Ronettes and others. Spector
signed them up and asked
Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil to
provide a song. The song was "You've Lost That Lovin'
Feelin'". It was released in early 1965 and raced to the
number one spot in both the UK and USA. In the UK, this
recording was followed by two more hits produced by Spector,
although the higher was their follow-up, "Unchained
Melody", which peaked at number 14. However, "You've
Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" was re-issued in 1969 when it
returned to the Top 10. They split with Spector in 1966,
signed with Verve records, and had another couple of hits, including
the Spector-sounding "You're My Soul And
Inspiration". The duo split in 1968 and they pursued their own
careers. They reunited in 1974 and enjoyed another
American-only Top 10 hit. They split again in 1976, but came
back together in 1981 and performed on and off for several years
after. Bobby Hatfield died in 2003. Medley continued as
a solo artist again, but in 2016 reformed the Righteous Brothers
with singer Bucky Heard.
This group had the same name as the founder and leader of the
band. Manfred Mann was born on 21 October 1940 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied music at University
in South Africa, and worked as a jazz pianist at a number of clubs in Johannesburg from 1959 to 1960. In 1961 he moved
to the UK and began work as a music journalist, as well as helping form a jazz band, in which he played keyboards.
This evolved into the pop music five-piece which was named after Mann. In 1964 the group was asked to provide
a new theme tune for the TV pop music programme "Ready Steady Go". This resulted in the
song "5-4-3-2-1" which, with the help of the weekly television exposure, rose to number five in the UK
charts. From 1964 to 1969 they enjoyed 17 hits, 13 of which were Top 10 entries, which included three number
ones. The lead singer from 1964 to mid-1966 was Paul Jones, and from mid-1966 to 1969, the lead vocals were
taken over by Mike d'Abo. Despite such a dramatic change, their success continued unabated with more
Top 10s and another chart-topper. Mann decided to disband the group in 1969, so that he could move on to
other projects. He had hits in the 1970s with a group named Manfred Mann's Earth Band.
The Beach Boys are an American band formed in California,
USA, in 1961. The group's original lineup comprised brothers
Brian (born 20 June 1942), Dennis (4 Dec 1944 - 28 Dec 1983), and Carl
Wilson (21 Dec 1946 - 6 Feb 1998); their cousin Mike Love (born 15 March 1941); and their friend Al
Jardine (born 3 Sep 1942). They began as a Surfing Rock group
on the west coast of America, with vocal harmonies that promoted the
Californian lifestyle of surf, cars and romance in the
sunshine. But with the increasingly complex writing and
production of Brian Wilson in the mid-1960s, they became one of the
the leading innovators of popular music. Their first
recordings from 1961 did not score in the UK, and many were not even
released in Britain. But in 1963, they had their first hit
("Surfin' USA"), although it peaked at a lowly number
34. Even their now-regarded classic hits of late 1964 to the
end of 1965 only achieved Top 30 status. They were in the Top
10 from 1966, and regular hits continued until 1970, with sporadic
entries in the following decades.
The Merseys were Tony Crane and Billy
Kinsley, who had formed the Liverpool group the Merseybeats in
1963. That band had one Top 10 hit (see year 1964, song 5)
plus six lesser hits from 1963 to 1966. Kinsley had left in
mid-1964 to form his own band but without much success. He and
Crane came together as a duo in early 1966, and recorded this
American song. It was a success, comfortably reaching the Top
10. Unfortunately, follow-up recordings failed to attract
interest, and this is the duo's only entry in the UK charts.
Crane reformed the Merseybeats in the early 1970s, and they have
toured on the sixties nostalgia circuits over the following decades
up to the present time. Kinsley founded a new band, Liverpool
Express, in the 1970s, and they had a couple of Top 20 hits in
1976. After a few more projects, Kinsley rejoined the
Merseybeats in the 1990s, where he remains.
The Mamas & Papas were a four-piece Folk music-based group originally formed in New York, but they relocated to Los Angeles before the hits began. The lineup was John Phillips (30 Aug 1935 - 19 Mar 2001) and his wife Michelle Phillips (born 4 Jun 1944), Canadian, Denny Doherty (29 Nov 1940 - 19 Jan 2007) and Cass Elliot (19 Sep 1941 - 29 Jul 1974), who became known as Mama Cass. Although all members had been in other bands, they spent some three months of 1965 in the Virgin Islands rehearsing and perfecting the act. They signed a deal with Dunhill records in Los Angeles, and began making an album. The single "California Dreamin'" was issued in the USA, late 1965 and reached number four there early in the following year. This began a run of six Top 10 hits in America, all of which charted in the UK, although only three reached the British Top 10. They performed a number of concerts in the USA and Europe, but they were dogged by drug abuse and an extra-marital affair, the latter resulting in Michelle Phillips' suspension from the group for two months in mid-1966. They recorded a new album in 1967, but it was a drawn-out affair due to drink and drug excesses. They began to fall out of favour with the public, and both singles and albums sold badly during 1968. They officially split in 1969. Cass Eliot went on to have a solo career, but she died from a heart attack in London during the summer of 1974.
The Troggs were a pop quartet formed in Andover, Hampshire, England in 1964. They were led by Reg Presley (12 Jun 1941 - 4 Feb 2013), who was also the lead vocalist. The first hit was "Wild Thing" which reached number two in the UK but went all the way to number one in America. They had a total of nine hits, five of which reached the Top 10 of the UK charts from 1966 to early 1968. They continued performing and some recording for several years, but with diminishing success. Reg Presley came to prominence again in 1994 when the Troggs' 1967 hit "Love Is All Around" (which Presley wrote) was recorded by the band Wet Wet Wet, and used in the film "Four Weddings And A Funeral". That version reached the top of the UK charts, where it stayed for fifteen weeks. The new songwriter royalties set up Presley for the rest of his life. He died from lung cancer in 2013 at the age of 71.
A Man Loves A Woman
Percy Sledge (25
Nov 1940 - 14 Apr 2015) was born in Alabama, USA. He had a
series of manual jobs originally, but in the early 1960s began
touring with a Soul combo at weekends, whilst working as a hospital
orderly during the week. Eventually he gained a recording
contract as a solo artist, and the first song he recorded,
"When A Man Loves A Woman", turned out to be his biggest
hit. Released in March 1966, it raced up to number one in the
USA, and reached number four in the UK charts. He became a
successful Soul balladeer, and had six Top 50 hits in America, plus
several smaller hits, by the end of the 1960s. In the UK he
had just one further hit which peaked at number 34. He came
back to prominence in the 1980s when this recording was reissued
(see below). He died from liver cancer in 2015 at the age of
This was their follow-up to their debut hit of February 1966 (song 13). This one was written by the two members of the band, and just made it into the Top 10 of the UK charts. Their debut album entered the charts in the same week, eventually peaking at number three on the UK album chart. Their next release in August 1966 became their only number one (song 71).
In The Night
Frank Sinatra was a legendary American vocalist, and one of the most popular and successful performers of the twentieth century. He was born on 12 Dec 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA, and died in Los Angeles on 14 May 1998. He was the only child of Italian immigrants. He developed an interest in music during the Swing era, and he began singing professionally in 1935 when he joined a local vocal group. They won a talent contest and were awarded with a concert tour and radio appearances. In 1939 he became a singer with the Harry James Orchestra, and with them made his first record. Later that year he left to join the Tommy Dorsey band, and made numerous records over the next couple of years. In 1942 Sinatra decided it was time to become a solo artist. He signed a record contract and was soon in the charts, and with concerts and radio show appearances, he became a star. During the 1950s he developed a successful movie career, appearing in numerous dramas as well as musicals. The 1950s was also the time of his greatest presence in the singles and album charts with recordings arranged and conducted by Nelson Riddle. The momentum continued into the 1960s, although things did slow down a little in that decade, despite Sinatra starting his own record company, Reprise, in 1960. However, 1966 and 1967 saw him with two major hit recordings which both reached number one in the UK and USA. They were "Strangers In The Night" and the duet with his daughter Nancy, "Something Stupid". Despite his advancing years, he still managed to hit the UK Top 10 four more times from 1969 to 1993, the latter when he was aged 78! His health began to fail in his final years, and he died from heart failure in 1998, aged 82.
The Mamas & Papas' previous hit, "California Dreamin'" (song 40) was still in the charts when this second hit entered. This one, however, became a much bigger hit, and was the group's first Top 10 hit in the UK and first (and last) chart-topper in the USA. The group also saw their album, "The Mamas and Papas", climb to number three in the UK album chart during the summer of 1966. They were back in the UK singles charts in late July.
This was the follow-up to her hit of January 1966, "Tomorrow" (song 10), which was her only Top 10 entry of the year. This hit was again composed by Chris Andrews who had written so many of Shaw's hits, but this one stalled at number 14 in the charts. He never managed to write another Top 10 hit for her. Her third and final number one hit came in 1967 ("Puppet On A String").
With this, the
Rolling Stones had their sixth chart-topper in the UK and their
third number one in the USA. This recording had Brian Jones
playing a sitar, and it was the first number one to feature that
instrument. As it turned out, the group would have to wait two
years before they the were at the top of the UK charts again, but
they enjoyed three Top 10 hits during that time.
Bring Me Down
The Animals was a five-piece band from Newcastle,
England, formed in 1962. The lead singer was Eric Burdon (born 11 May
1941), plus four others. Alan Price (keyboards) had left by
this time to form his own group. The band's first release, in 1964, was a modest success, but their
follow-up, "The House Of The Rising Sun" was regarded as
adventurous, as is was a slow American Folk song running for four
and a half minutes. Despite the length of the recording, and
being totally different to the toe-tapping Merseybeat records of the
went all the way to number one in both the UK and the USA. By
summer 1966 however, the band was beginning to fall apart, and they separated
in September 1966. Burdon put together a new band which he
called Eric Burdon & The Animals, and they went on to have
success in the USA, but the only Top 10 hit in the UK, "San
Franciscan Nights", came in 1967. Various line-ups have
reunited over the decades for concerts and tours - the most recent
in 2008. In 2016 Burdon formed another Animals band. As
The Animals, they had six Top 10 hits plus the number one between
1964 and 1966 in the UK. As Eric Burdon & The Animals they
had six hits, one of which made the Top 10, in the UK between 1966
17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)
This was the
follow-up to their previous hit (song 34), which was written by the
same composers. The recording peaked at number 13 in the
USA. They had one more UK hit in 1966 (song 83), but time was
pretty much up for them after that, as far as the 1960s were
This release came after their March 1966 hit "Dedicated Follower Of Fashion" (song 20). Written by Ray Davies, as usual, the song recounts the woes of a wealthy man who is being highly taxed by the government of the day, and all he has left is "this sunny afternoon". Being released in the summertime, it fitted the seasons very well, and was frequently played on radio stations. It was the Kinks third (and final) number one hit. However, they had another five Top 10 entries by the end of 1970.
This was the band's follow-up to their March 1966 hit "Hold Tight" (song 19). It did not get quite so high in the charts, but it was still a Top 10 entry. Two more Top 10 hits came their way before 1966 was done. They never managed to breach the American Top 10.
Deep Mountain High
Tina Turner were a husband and wife duo who found fame in the
mid-1960s. Ike Turner (5 Nov 1931 - 12 Dec 2007) was born in
Mississippi, USA; Tina Turner was born on 26 Nov 1939 in Nutbush,
Tennessee, USA. They came together in the mid-1950s when Tina
went to see Ike and his band performing in the St. Louis, Missouri
area. Having got to know a member of the band, she was able to
start singing with them, and she went on to provide backing vocals
on Ike's recordings. She eventually became a regular feature
of the band which was renamed the Ike & Tina Turner Review,
although they did not marry until 1962. In 1965 they were seen
by record producer Phil Spector, who decided he wanted to record
with them. Spector had this song written by Barry and
Greenwich, but having heard that Ike could be difficult in the
studio, Spector paid him US$20,000 to stay away from the
recording. Although this song is credited to the duo, only
Tina's voice is on the record. Spector hoped his "wall of
sound" production would become a major hit, but sadly it peaked
at a lowly number 88 on the American charts. This sent Spector
into depression and he did not involve himself in music for another
two years. The Turners continued recording and performing
successfully for the rest of the decade, and into the 1970s.
However, in 1976 Tina filed for divorce, and the act broke up.
Tina went on to have a massively successful solo career during the
1980s and 1990s. Ike fared less well as he was addicted to
drugs, and spent time in prison as a result. Tina has now
retired and lives in Switzerland.
Needs Your Love
This was his
follow-up to "Backstage" which was a number four hit in
February 1966 (song 16). This song had been written by the
emerging American composer Randy Newman.
Am A Rock
This Folk-Rock duo followed their hit of March (song 27) with this track that was taken from their album "Sounds Of Silence". It only reached the lower end of the Top 20, and it was 1968 before they charted again. The above-mentioned album reached number 13 on the album chart, but the follow-up album "Bookends" went to number one in August 1968. They were absent from both the singles and album charts for the whole of 1967.
The Beatles were a pop group from Liverpool, England who became the most
popular and well-known music group in the world during the 1960s. They also conquered America, becoming the biggest
band there. The members were John
Lennon (9 Oct 1940 - 8 Dec 1980), Paul McCartney (born 18 Jun 1942), George Harrison (25 Feb 1943 - 29 Nov 2001), and
Ringo Starr (born 7 Jul 1940). All four were born and raised in Liverpool, England. They began with live
performances in Liverpool, then Hamburg in Germany. Brian Epstein saw them, and offered to be their manager.
He arranged a record deal with EMI's Parlophone label, which had producer and arranger George Martin in charge.
During the following seven years, The Beatles and Martin crafted a string of new and innovative singles and albums
that kept them at the top of the charts worldwide, and inspired countless other musicians.
They went on to have 21 consecutive Top 4 singles from 1963 to 1970, with 17 reaching number one - eleven of
those consecutive. On the album front, they had eleven number one original studio albums, the biggest being
the 1967 concept album "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" which remained in the UK album chart for
a year initially, but has clocked up 149 weeks (nearly three years!)
subsequently. However, internal differences between band members
led to the band's breakup in April 1970. All four members went on to have successful solo careers.
Georgie Fame was
born on 26 Jun 1943 in Lancashire, UK. He is a keyboard player
and vocalist, mainly in the R&B genre of music. He went to
London at just 16 and was able to get a contract with impresario
Larry Parnes, who put him on tour with Marty Wilde, Joe Brown and
others, playing in the backing band. He then played piano in Billy
Fury's backing band which was called The Blue Flames. They were
sacked by Fury in 1961, so Fame took the lead and the band toured
the UK as Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames. They played mostly
American R&B material and became big enough to get a recording
contract with EMI. The first successful recording was "Yeh!
Yeh!" (see year 1965, song 2), and this was followed by a series of hits through to
1971. He continued performing, but also played organ on all
Van Morrison albums from 1989 to 1997. His two sons now play
with him on concert tours, and he most recently toured in 2017.
Door Swings Both Ways
This was the group's third hit of 1966, the first being the Top 10 hit "A Must To Avoid" (song 1). A release in between had peaked at number 20. They were popular in the UK, but were probably even more popular in the USA, where they were spending quite a bit of time. This recording reached number 12 in America. They were back in the British Top 10 in the autumn of 1966.
was born on 13 Oct 1940 in north London, England. He began
singing way back in 1957 with a Skiffle group, but he moved on the
following year to a Rhythm & Blues band, and he moved again in
1959 to a group called the Thunderbirds. With them he made
several records but none were hits. Finally, as a solo
performer, he had his first hit in January 1966, with a recording
that peaked at number 37. However, it was his next release
that propelled him to the top of the UK charts. "Out Of
Time" had been written and recorded by the Rolling Stones, and
Farlowe had the opportunity to record the song, which gave him his
only chart-topper. Sadly, follow-up hits were not as successful,
the highest reaching number 31. With his solo career
floundering, he returned to being part of a group, the first being Colosseum
in 1970, then he joined Atomic Rooster in 1972. He made albums
with both bands. Subsequently he became a solo act again, but
returned to join Colosseum
from 1994 to 2015. Solo, he continues to perform at various
venues around the UK.
This was the Hollies' follow-up to their February 1966 hit "I Can't Let Go" (song 18). The song, by Graham Gouldman, who had written hits for the Yardbirds, tells the story of a boy/girl romance whilst waiting for a bus. The song was the group's first Top 10 hit in the USA, where it also reached number five. The band followed "Bus Stop" with "Stop Stop Stop" in the autumn of 1966 (song 87).
Dave Berry was
born on 6 Feb 1941 in Sheffield, England. His first hit came
in 1963 - a cover of a Chuck Berry song. It just scraped into
the Top 20, but by the summer of 1964 he was in the Top 10,
something he did twice more until the summer of 1966. His
stage act was unusual, with him being dressed entirely in black, and
writhing his body and caressing the microphone as he sang.
chart career lasted barely three years in the UK, he was very popular in the
Netherlands and Belgium, where he performed in concert and saw his recording "This Strange Effect" reach
number one in
both countries during 1967. He has never stopped performing, and has
continued concert appearances well into the 21st century.
Los Bravos was a
Spanish-based four-piece group formed in Madrid, Spain in
1965. The lead singer was a German called Mike Kogel (a.k.a.
Mike Kennedy), who was born in Berlin, Germany in 1944. That
is why on their big hit "Black Is Black", the lead voice
does not have a Spanish accent. The other three members were
Spanish. They wanted to make their name by recording in
English, and they came to London to record this single for Decca
records. The song reached number four in the USA. Their
follow-up "I Don't Care" peaked at number 16 in the UK,
and there were no further hits in Britain, although they had two
further minor hits in the USA.
Couldn't Live Without You Love
This was Clark's
second Top 10 hit of the year, following her February hit "My
Love" (song 12). A release in April ("A Sign Of The
Times") had peaked at a lowly number 49 in the charts.
However, this song put her back in the Top 10, although she had no
further hits in 1966. Two releases in autumn and winter 1966
failed to reach the charts at all in the UK, but both of those
reached the Top 10 in the USA. Nevertheless, the following
year saw her at number one in the UK.
More I See You
Chris Montez was
born on 17 Jan 1943 in Los Angeles, California, USA. He
enjoyed music from a young age, especially Latino-flavored music
which was performed in his local community. He formed a band
in high school and started writing his own songs. He had a
local hit, then reached the UK and USA charts in autumn 1962, with
"Let's Dance" (year 1962, song 80 in these lists).
Another Top 10 hit followed in early 1963, but then it was three
years before he returned to the British charts with the more mellow
sounding "The More I See You". He had one more minor
hit in this year, then he was done with the UK singles charts.
He has continued to record and perform, and has recorded in Spanish
for the Latin American market. He was touring the USA again in
2016 at age 73.
MORE TO COME.
Acts with most appearances in this list: (provisional)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich: 4
Composers with most appearances in this list:
Mick Jagger & Keith Richards: 5
New Names in
1966 saw a large number of debut hits for artists and groups in addition to those listed immediately above. The following acts had a much shorter period of success in the UK charts, despite early promise:
St. Peters (2 Top 10s and 1 minor hit)
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