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MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS

1969

1969 was similar to the previous year, in that there were few new acts of a long-lasting nature.  However, from America we had the first hits from Glen Campbell, who had Country music leanings, and a penchant for songs written by Jimmy Webb.  Two new American groups had hits in this year.  Creedence Clearwater Revival, who specialised in the rhythms of the Mississippi Delta region, and Rock band Blood, Sweat & Tears, whose enormous success in the USA did not cross the Atlantic to any great extent.  One of the big successes in 1969 was "Sugar Sugar" by the Archies, which was a cartoon group, so they didn't really exist!  Marvin Gaye, who had several modest hits from 1964 finally hit the big time in the UK with a Number One and two further Top 10 entries in 1969.  But perhaps the biggest news was the return of Elvis Presley who had four hits in this year, two of which reached number two!  This started a consistent run of hits in the 1970s until his untimely death in 1977.

British artist and future superstar, David Bowie, had his debut hit in 1969.  Peter Sarstedt, the brother of early 1960s hit maker Eden Kane, scored a couple of Top 10 hits in this year, but he was unable to sustain the success.  Northern Ireland brought us the voice of Clodagh Rodgers, who enjoyed several hits from 1969 to 1971.  Cliff Richard had four hits in 1969, two of which reached the Top 10, completing his achievement of having Top 10 hits in every year during the 1960s.  Groups the Hollies, the Tremeloes, the Bee Gees and Herman's Hermits all had chart hits, whilst Manfred Mann had a final Top 10 entry before calling it a day at the end of the year.  The Rolling Stones continued to be very sparing with their single releases, having just one in this year, although it was a chart-topper.  The Beatles had their final two Number One hits, before breaking up in the following year.  Solo performers Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Cilla Black and Lulu all enjoyed chart success in this year.

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 BBC Radio 1 and Radio Luxembourg.

* two songs not a hit in the UK.

 


1

Title: You Got Soul
Artist: Johnny Nash
Writer(s): Johnny Nash
Entered chart 8 Jan 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 12.

Johnny Nash was born on 19 Aug 1940 in Houston, Texas, USA.  He started recording in the latter part of the 1950s, releasing his debut album in 1958.  He issued numerous albums and singles over the next decade, with modest success in the USA.  He travelled to Jamaica in early 1968, and was impressed by the local Reggae music (sometimes known as Rocksteady at that time).  Nash actually recorded a couple of songs whilst there, and the trip inspired him to write his first UK hit "Hold Me Tight" which had a Rocksteady (Reggae) beat.  This led to a series of UK hits through to the mid-1970s, including his Number One "Tears On My Pillow" in 1975.  He was still recording in the 2000s.
# Nash was next in the charts during April this year with his reworking of the Sam Cooke song "Cupid" (song 29).


2

Title: Dancing In The Street
Artist: Martha Reeves & The Vandellas
Writer(s): Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson & Ivy Jo Hunter
Entered chart 15 Jan 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 12.

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas was an American girl group, who found fame when they signed with Tamla Motown records in 1962.  Martha Reeves, born 18 Jul 1941 in Alabama, USA, joined an existing group and began making records, although none were successful.  Once signed to Tamla Motown, they changed the group name and began by backing other singers.  They had their first American Top 10 hits from 1963, but those recordings failed in the UK.  Their recording of "Dancing In The Street" reached number two in the USA charts during 1964, which was the group's first UK hit, peaking at number 28.  However, when the single was reissued in 1969, it rose to number four in the British charts.  Unfortunately further releases were were less successful, and disagreements within the group resulted in them splitting up in 1973.
#
In 1985, the song was recorded as a duet by David Bowie and Mick Jagger.  The recording was made for the Live Aid famine relief fund-raising event, and the accompanying video was shown twice during the Live Aid TV transmission.  The single went to Number One in September 1985 in the UK and number seven in the USA.


3

Title: I Guess I'll Always Love You
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Writer(s): Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier & Eddie Holland (known as Holland-Dozier-Holland)
Entered chart 15 Jan 1969; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Isley Brothers are a Soul and R&B group from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA.  They began by singing Gospel music, but moved to New York City in 1957 and began recording R&B tracks.  In 1959 they had a moderate hit with their song "Shout", which was later a hit for Lulu.  They first appeared in the UK charts in 1963 with "Twist And Shout", although it was only a minor hit for them.  "This Old Heart Of Mine" first charted in 1966, when it peaked at number 47.  However, it became a number three hit two years later.  By the time of this hit the Isley brothers were: Ronald, Rudolph, O'Kelly, plus Chris Jasper.  During the 1970s and early 1980s they enjoyed enormous success in the USA and elsewhere, during which period they were joined by Marvin Isley and Ernie Isley.  In 1984, however,  Chris Jasper and Marvin left the band which was dissolved.  It was reformed in 1991, with Ronald, Ernie, and Marvin.  In 1996 Marvin left due to ill health, leaving Ronald and Ernie as a duo, and the pair have continued performing until the present time.
#
Like Tamla Motown stable mates, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas above, this recording had two bites at the cherry.  Originally issued in 1966, it stalled at number 45 in the UK.  However, re-released three years later it climbed to number eleven.  In April this year they reached the Top 10 with "Behind A Painted Smile" (song 31).


4

Title: Soul Sister, Brown Sugar
Artist: Sam & Dave
Writer(s): Isaac Hayes & David Porter
Entered chart 29 Jan 1969; Highest Position 15; Weeks on chart: 8.

Sam & Dave were Sam Moore, born 12 Oct 1935 in Florida, USA, and Dave Prater, 9 May 1937 - 9 Apr 1988, born in Georgia, USA.  They became the most successful Soul music duo, performing together from 1961 to 1981.  They were both originally Gospel singers, but met when they were performing R&B/Soul songs in the same club at Miami, Florida.  They made some records early on, but it was in 1964 when they recorded for the famous Stax record company in Memphis, Tennessee that their act took off.  They had numerous hits on the American R&B charts, but their biggest hit was "Soul Man" which reached number two on the American Pop charts.  They toured the USA and Europe during the late 1960s, and continued recording until 1981, when artistic differences resulted in them going their separate ways.  Prater died in 1988, but Moore has continued solo, and performed in London during 2017.
#
This was their first significant hit in the UK since "Soul Man" in 1967 (see year 1967, song 89).  It was issued on the Atlantic label rather than Stax as their earlier releases had been.  Unfortunately, this was their final chart hit in the UK.


5

Title: (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice
Artist: Amen Corner
Writer(s): Lucio Battisti with English lyrics by Jack Fishman
Entered chart 29 Jan 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 11.

Amen Corner was formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1966.  The lead singer and front man was Andy Fairweather Low (born 2 Aug 1948 in south Wales).  They gained a recording contract with Decca's Deram label and had a couple of small hits in 1967.  In 1968 they scored with a cover of the American hit "Bend Me, Shape Me".  This started a run of Top 10 hits until mid 1969 when the band broke up.  Low quickly formed a new band called Fair Weather which had one Top 10 hit in 1970.  Low then embarked upon a solo career, and he enjoyed a couple of Top 10 hits in the mid-1970s.  Low has continued performing into the 2010s.
#
This is an Italian song originally titled "Il paradiso della vita" (the paradise of life).  The English lyrics were provided by Jack Fishman who had written English words for three foreign language songs in 1968.  The band had one more Top 10 hit in the summer of 1969, and broke up shortly afterwards.


6

Title: Move In A Little Closer
Artist: Harmony Grass
Writer(s): Robert O'Connor & Arnold Capitanelli
Entered chart 29 Jan 1969; Highest Position 24; Weeks on chart: 7.

Harmony Grass was a short-lived British pop group formed in Essex, England in 1968.  The nucleus of the band was taken from Tony Rivers & The Castaways.  Tony Rivers (born 21 Dec 1940, County Durham, England) was the leader of this group too.  They recorded this debut single and one album.  The single was a modest hit, but the album did not reach the album chart.  They had no more hits, and they broke up in 1970.  Tony Rivers became a session singer, and appeared on several hit singles for a variety of artists.  During most of the 1970s and the whole of the 1980s Rivers was a backing singer for Cliff Richard, appearing on Cliff's recordings, and joining him on world concert tours.  He was still working as a backing singer in the early 2000s.
# The song was covered by Mama Cass for the American market.  It only reached number 58 in the USA, but was included on her album "Bubblegum, Lemonade, and... Something for Mama", which was a modest success.


7

Title: Wichita Lineman
Artist: Glen Campbell
Writer(s): Jimmy Webb
Entered chart 29 Jan 1969; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 10.

Glen Campbell (22 Apr 1936 - 8 Aug 2017) was born in Arkansas, USA.  He was the son of a poor farmer, but he was taught to play guitar at a young age by his uncle.  At the age of 17 he joined his uncle's band, and performed at local venues.  A year later he formed his own band.  In 1960 he moved to Los Angeles to become a session musician.  He worked on the hit recording of many stars of the time, and by 1965 he was making records of his own.  His first substantial hit came in 1967, the year that also gave us "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" (written by Jimmy Webb) which was a Top 30 hit in the USA, although it did not reach the charts in the UK.  He finally entered the British charts in 1969 with another Jimmy Webb song, "Wichita Lineman".  This started a run of successful singles and albums in the USA and UK for several decades.  Sadly he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2011.  He decided to go on a final world concert tour in 2012, and to record his final album.  He died in Nashville, Tennessee, USA at the age of 81.
# Although "By The Time I Get To Phoenix" was not a UK hit, it is one of his best-known songs, and appears on his greatest hits compilation albums.
# Wichita is a city in the state of Kansas, USA.   It was incorporated in 1870 and has a population of just under 400,000.


8

Title: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me
Artist: Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations
Writer(s): Kenny Gamble & Jerry Ross
Entered chart 29 Jan 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 11.

The Supremes was a vocal trio, at the time of this recording, comprising Diana Ross (lead singer, born 26 Mar 1944), Cindy Birdsong and Mary Wilson.  They became so successful in the USA that their first six releases went to Number One, and they ended up with eleven chart-toppers there by 1969.  In the UK they only had one Number One, "Baby Love" (1964, song 89), but amassed 18 hits by the end of the 1960s, seven of which reached the Top 10.  In 1970 Diana Ross left to pursue a solo career.  She was replaced by Jean Terrell, and this version of the trio enjoyed success, with five of their recordings hitting the UK Top 10 from 1970 to 1972.  They remained a popular live act, continuing to 1977, when they performed their farewell concert (in London), and then disbanded.
The Temptations were one of Tamla Motown's most popular and successful groups.  It was a five-piece vocal band which originally included David Ruffin (18 Jan 1941 - 1 Jun 1991) and Eddie Kendricks (17 Dec 1939 - 5 Oct 1992).  They were in the American Top 10 from 1965 with the song "My Girl" which reached Number One in the USA and a lowly number 43 in the UK.  Their first appearance in the British Top 10 was the collaboration with Diana Ross & The Supremes on the song "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me".  This was followed by a series of UK hits until the end of the 1980s.  There were a number of personnel changes during their hit-making period which saw David Ruffin leave in June 1968, and he did not appear on this single, the lead being taken by Ross and Kendricks.  Kendricks left the group in November 1970.  With new members they continued making hit singles and albums, with a new album released in 2018, albeit with a different lineup to the mid-1960s.
# The recording of "My Girl", which had peaked at number 43 in the UK during 1965, was reissued in 1992, when it reached number two in the British charts.


9

Title: Gentle On My Mind
Artist: Dean Martin
Writer(s): John Hartford (American Country and Folk musician)
Entered chart 5 Feb 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 24.

Dean Martin (7 Jun 1917 - 25 Dec 1995) was born in Ohio, USA into an Italian immigrant family.  In his late teens he began singing with local dance bands.  It was in the early 1940s that he changed his name to Dean Martin, then after world war two he teamed up with comedian Jerry Lewis, and they performed as a singing-comedy duo.  His recording career began in 1948, and his first chart entry in the UK came in 1953, followed by a succession of hits during the 1950s.  In 1965, Martin launched the weekly Dean Martin Show on American TV, which ran until 1974.  By this time he was a major international star with numerous films under his belt as well.  He became part of the so-called 'rat pack' along with Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.  The three frequently performed together in Las Vegas and they starred in the movie "Ocean's 11" in 1960.  He continued performing in cabaret until the end of the 1980s, and died from lung cancer in 1995 at the age of 78.
# This was Martin's first Top 10 hit since 1958, although he had reached number eleven in the UK during 1964.  However, it was his last hit in the UK, apart from a couple of reissues in the 1990s, which became minor hits.
# The song had been recorded by Glen Campbell in 1968, and his version was a modest hit in the USA during that year.


10

Title: Where Do You Go To My Lovely
Artist: Peter Sarstedt
Writer(s): Peter Sarstedt
Entered chart 5 Feb 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 16.

Peter Sarstedt (10 Dec 1941 - 8 Jan 2017) was born in Delhi, India, whilst his British parents were working for the civil service in that country.  The family returned to the UK in 1954, settling in south London.  He formed a family Skiffle group in the late 1950s, but he had little success until his song "Where Do You Go To My Lovely" became a big hit in 1969.  He had a Top 10 follow-up single (song 49) in June 1969, but he had no further hit singles, although he did have a Top 10 album in March 1969.  He continued to perform and in the 1980s and 1990s he toured in sixties nostalgia shows.  He also continued to record and his final album was released in 2013.  He became unwell in 2013 and he spent his final years in a retirement home.  He died in 2017 at the age of 75.
# The song "Where Do You Go To My Lovely" name-checks numerous celebrities in the lyrics.  Some of those named are Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress and singer; Zizi Jeanmaire, French ballerina; and Pierre Balmain, French fashion designer.


11

Title: The Way It Used To Be
Artist: Engelbert Humperdinck
Writer(s): Corrado Conti & Franco Cassano with English lyrics by Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway
Entered chart 5 Feb 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 14.

Engelbert Humperdinck was born on 2 May 1936 in Madras, India to British parents while his father was serving in the British army in that country.  They all returned to England in 1946 where he completed his schooling.  He began singing in his late teens using the stage name Gerry Dorsey, and had the opportunity to start recording in 1958, but none of his output reached the charts.  In 1965 he changed management to Gordon Mills who was Tom Jones' manager.  Mills suggested changing his name to that of a 19th century German composer.  So as Engelbert Humperdinck, he started a new career.  His breakthrough came in 1967, when having recorded "Release Me", he was able to perform the song on the popular TV show "Sunday Night At The London Palladium", standing in for the unwell Dickie Valentine.  This instantly changed his life.  The record climbed to Number One in the UK charts, remaining on the charts for an amazing 56 weeks, and keeping the Beatles off the top spot in March 1967.  Two more major hits followed in the same year, and by the end he had the top three best-selling singles of 1967.  Success continued through the following decades, and from the mid-1970s onwards he spent a great deal of time performing in the USA, much of it in Las Vegas.  He has continued to perform and record into the 21st century, giving concerts in most parts of the world.  An album celebrating his 50 years in the charts was released in 2017, which reached number five in the UK album chart.  He splits his time between homes in Leicestershire, England and Los Angeles, California.
# This was another Italian song with English lyrics added.  It was Humperdinck's seventh Top 10 hit.  All his single releases since January 1967 had reached the Top 10, but his next release in August 1969 stalled at number 15.  However, he was back in the Top 10 in November 1969 with "Winter World Of Love" (song 92).


12

Title: Surround Yourself With Sorrow
Artist: Cilla Black
Writer(s): Bill Martin & Phil Coulter
Producer: George Martin
Entered chart 12 Feb 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 12.

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.
# This was Cilla's first hit of the year, and her first Top 10 entry for eleven months.  She had two more Top 20 hits before the year was out.
# The writers of this song, Martin and Coulter,
had previously written the last two UK Eurovision Song Contest entries, both of which reached Number One in the UK charts.


13

Title: I Heard It Through The Grapevine
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Writer(s): Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong
Entered chart 12 Feb 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 15.

Marvin Gaye (2 Apr 1939 - 1 Apr 1984) was born in Washington DC, USA.  He joined a Doo-Wop group whilst still at high school, but in 1960 he moved to Detroit, and having been seen singing by Barry Gordy Jr, he was signed to Gordy's record label Tamla Motown.  He had a few smallish hits in the USA from 1962, and his first British hit came in 1964, although it only just entered the Top 50.  His early successes were duets with female performers - first with Mary Wells, then with Kim Weston, and later with Tammi Terrell.  He is probably best remembered for his 1970s and 1980s hits which often contained social commentary and civil rights messages.  Gaye was shot dead by his own father, when Gaye was just 44 and arguably at the peak of his career.
# Marvin Gaye had been in the UK Top 20 in 1967 and 1968 in duets with female singers Kim Weston and Tammi Terrell.  This was his first British Top 40 solo hit, and it went all the way to Number One.  It is now regarded as a classic Soul track from the 1960s.  The recording also reached Number One in the USA.
# The song was written in 1966, and was recorded by Gladys Knight & The Pips in 1967.  Their version was released as a single, reaching the top of the American R&B chart.  Gaye's version was recorded in 1968 and was initially an album track only.  However, after it received considerable airplay on radio stations, it too was released as a single.


14

Title: First Of May
Artist: The Bee Gees
Writer(s): Barry, Robin & Maurice Gibb
Entered chart 19 Feb 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 11.

The Bee Gees were brothers Barry Gibb (born 1 Sep 1946, Isle of Man), and twins Robin Gibb (22 Dec 1949 - 20 May 2012) and Maurice Gibb (22 Dec 1949 - 12 Jan 2003), also born on the Isle of Man.  The three brothers grew up in Manchester, UK, but in the mid-1950s the family moved to Australia.  They began performing at a young age, and by 1960 they were appearing on TV.  After achieving their first chart success in Australia as the Bee Gees with "Spicks and Specks", they returned to the UK in January 1967, when producer Robert Stigwood began promoting them to a worldwide audience.  In 1967 they had their first UK hit, the somewhat morbid song "New York Mining Disaster 1941", which reached number twelve.  Hits continued through the remainder of the 1960s, when they enjoyed success in the USA as well.  Things went quiet in the early 1970s, but in the mid-1970s they jumped on the Disco bandwagon and became superstars.  They wrote several songs for the 1977 film "Saturday Night Fever" which starred John Travolta, and singles as well as the soundtrack album were worldwide hits.  Their success continued through the following decades, and they also wrote and produced many hits for other artists.  Their final new album came in 2001, but with the death of Maurice two years later, the other two embarked on solo projects apart from a couple of charity events where they performed together.  Robin died in 2012, and Barry has since performed and recorded solo.
# This recording is a solo performance by Barry Gibb.  The B-side was called "Lamplight", on which Robin Gibb was the lead voice.  Robin wanted "Lamplight" to be the A-side but that did not happen.  This disagreement resulted in Robin leaving the group and issuing a solo recording.  However he returned to the band within a year.


15

Title: Good Times (Better Times)
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Jerry Lordan (wrote several Shadows hits), Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway
Entered chart 26 Feb 1969; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 11.

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 in 2018 ("Rise Up"), which reached number four in the album chart.
# By the end of the 1960s Cliff was finding it difficult to get his recordings up to high positions in the charts.  However, 1969 was quite good for him, in having this number 12 hit, followed by two Top 10 entries.  The 1970s were even more difficult, but by 1979 he was at the top of the charts, and this sparked a resurgence that lasted until 1999.  His next hit in 1969 came in May (song 44).


16

Title: Windmills Of Your Mind
Artist: Noel Harrison
Writer(s): Michel Legrand, Alan & Marilyn Bergman
Entered chart 26 Feb 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 14.

Noel Harrison (29 Jan 1934 - 19 Oct 2013) was born in central London, England.  He was the son of actor Rex Harrison.  Noel's first love was skiing and he represented Great Britain at the Winter Olympics of 1952 and 1956.  He also had a strong interest in music, and began playing professionally in the mid 1950s, making TV appearances as well.  In the early 1960s he began acting and had small parts in a few British films.  In 1965 he moved to the USA where he continued with both singing and acting.  In 1968 he recorded the song "Windmills Of Your Mind" which was used in the film "The Thomas Crown Affair" which starred Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.  The song won the Academy Award (Oscar) for best original film song of 1968.  Harrison continued to record and perform for several decades, and after a spell living in Canada, he returned to England in 2004.  He still acted and sang, and appeared at the Glastonbury Music Festival in 2011.  No other singles or albums reached the UK charts after his 1969 success.  He died from a heart attack in 2013 at the age of 79.


17

Title: If I Can Dream
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Walter Earl Brown
Entered chart 26 Feb 1969; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 10.

The King of Rock 'n' Roll (8 Jan 1935 - 16 Aug 1977) was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, USA.  He and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee when he was 13 years old.  Soon afterwards he acquired his first guitar and began playing and singing.  He started his recording career at Sun Records in Memphis, USA.  It took several attempts to get Sun owner Sam Phillips to let Presley record, but eventually a session was arranged with guitarist Scotty Moore and upright bass player Bill Black providing backing.  The resultant track "That's Alright" was soon on local radio in Memphis, and it became a local hit.  Public performances followed, including numerous appearances on the "Louisiana Hayride" radio show which was broadcast to half the USA.  Eventually he became famous enough for RCA records to buy out his Sun contract and take him to Nashville, in 1956.  He rose to be arguably the biggest music star of the 20th century, with world-wide record sales of over one billion.  Also in 1956 Elvis made his movie debut in the film "Love Me Tender".  By the end of 1969 he had completed 31 films.  He made no more movies after that, instead concentrating on live concert performances, including many in Las Vegas.  His home in Memphis, "Graceland", is now a museum and major tourist attraction, and his recordings continue to be heard throughout the world.
# "If I Can Dream" was written for Elvis and reflects on the assassination of the civil rights activist Dr Martin Luther King Jr.  Elvis sang the song as his finale in his 1968 Come Back Special.  The recording reached number 12 in the USA.  This was Presley's biggest hit in the UK since the summer of 1966, and was followed by three Top 10 entries in 1969.  The next hit came in June (song 54).
# In 2015 an album of Presley's recordings was remixed with a backing from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.  The album was titled "If I Can Dream" and the song was the last track.  The album entered the UK album chart at Number One.


18

Title: I Can Hear Music
Artist: The Beach Boys
Writer(s):
Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich & Phil Spector
Entered chart 26 Feb 1969; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 13.

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.
# Dennis Wilson drowned in 1983 after a heavy drinking session, at age 39.  Carl Wilson died from lung cancer in Los Angeles in 1998, aged 51.  Bruce Johnson (born 27 Jun 1942) joined the band in 1965 to replace Brian Wilson on live performances so that Brian could concentrate on studio production work.  Johnson subsequently became a regular member, performing on their studio albums as well.
# This was the first of two Top 10 hits they enjoyed in 1969.  The next came in June (song 53).
#
"I Can Hear Music" is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector for American girl group the Ronettes in 1966.  That version peaked at only number 100 on the USA charts.  The Beach Boys' version reached number 24 in the USA.


19

Title: Get Ready
Artist: The Temptations
Writer(s): Smokey Robinson
Entered chart 5 Mar 1969; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 9.

The Temptations had been in the UK Top 10 for the first time in January 1969 when they collaborated with Diana Ross & The Supremes on the recording of "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (song 8).  "Get Ready", which was written by singing star Smokey Robinson, was made and issued in 1966.  As happened with other Tamla Motown recordings (see songs 2 and 3), the original releases did not become substantial hits, but when reissued in 1969, they sold well and mostly reached the Top 10.  The Temptations went on to have three Top 20 hits by January 1970, including another hit with Diana Ross & The Supremes in September (song 78).  See song 8 for more info about the Temptations,


20

Title: Games People Play
Artist: Joe South
Writer(s): Joe South
Entered chart 5 Mar 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 11.

Joe South (28 Feb 1940 - 5 Sep 2012) was born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  By the time he was 18 he had made his first record.  He wrote many songs, and two of his earliest were recorded by Gene Vincent for one of his albums.  He moved to Nashville in the early 1960s and continued writing as well as performing as a session musician on numerous recordings.  His big hit, "Games People Play", came in 1969 which reached number 12 in the USA charts.  He had no more hits in the UK, although he wrote the Lynn Anderson hit "Rose Garden" which reached number three in the UK charts during February 1971.  He continued writing for several decades despite problems with drugs, but died of heart failure at the age of 72.


21

Title: Sorry Suzanne
Artist: The Hollies
Writer(s): Geoff Stephens & Tony Macaulay
Entered chart 5 Mar 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 12.

The Hollies was a 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 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 (formerly with the Byrds) to form one of the first super groups, Crosby, Stills & Nash.  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 nostalgia circuit.
# This was the group's first hit to have Terry Sylvester performing in the place of Graham Nash, who had left in the previous year.  Sylvester remained with the group until 1981. In October 1969 the band's celebrated hit "He Ain't Heavy He's My Brother" entered the Top 10 for the first time (see song 81).


22

Title: Harlem Shuffle
Artist: Bob & Earl
Writer(s): Bobby Relf & Earl Nelson
Entered chart 12 Mar 1969; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 13.

Originally Bob & Earl were Bobby Byrd (1 Jul 1930 - 27 Jul 1990) and Earl Nelson (8 Sep 1928 - 12 Jul 2008).  They were in a Doo-Wop group called the Hollywood Flames in the late 1950s.  Byrd had started a parallel solo career, going by the name of Bobby Day, and he had a couple of hits.  As the duo there was little success, and Byrd/Day quit to continue a solo career.  In 1962, Earl Nelson recruited a second "Bob", Bobby Relf (10 Jan 1937 - 20 Nov 2007), who also used the stage names of Bobby Garrett and Bobby Valentino, and had been in at least three other groups.  They issued the recording of "Harlem Shuffle" in 1963, but it was only a modest hit in the USA.  Both members of the duo were performing solo or were in other groups when "Harlem Shuffle" was re-released.  Following its success in the UK, Nelson and Relf reunited for concert tours, but went their separate ways again in the early 1970s.
# In 1986 the Rolling Stones recorded "Harlem Shuffle" for their album "Dirty Work".  The recording was issued as a single which reached number 13 in the UK charts that year, but got as high as number five in the American charts.


23

Title: Boom Bang-A-Bang
Artist: Lulu
Writer(s): Alan Moorhouse & Peter Warne
Entered chart 12 Mar 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 13.

Lulu was born on 3 Nov 1948 near Glasgow, Scotland.  She started singing at a young age and by the time she was 13 she had a manager and was singing with a band around Glasgow.  Her manager took her to London in early 1964 and arranged a recording deal with Decca Records.  Her debut single, "Shout", was an American R&B song written by the Isley Brothers.  It was an instant hit, and Lulu's career took off from there.  However, some of her recordings with Decca did not sell as well as was hoped and she missed the charts completely in 1966.  So, in 1967 she moved to EMI's Columbia label, and producer Mickie Most.  This gave her a new start, with hits for the rest of the 1960s.  Lulu was given her own BBC TV series in 1968, which ran annually until 1975.  In 1969 she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest.  She continued to record and tour in the following decades, and in 1993 achieved her first chart-topper when she duetted with boy band Take That on "Relight My Fire".  She was in the Top 10 again in 2002 when she duetted with Ronan Keating with the song "We've Got Tonight".  Recording and touring continued, and she embarked on another concert tour of the UK during the autumn of 2017.
# This was the UK entry in the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest.  Lulu came joint first with three other countries.  The scoring procedures were changed after that to avoid future ties.
# This was Lulu's only substantial hit in 1969, and was her last hit on the EMI Columbia label.  Her next release, on Atco, stalled at number 47, after which she did not have another hit until 1974.


24

Title: In The Bad Bad Old Days
Artist: The Foundations
Writer(s): Tony Macaulay & John McLeod
Entered chart 12 Mar 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 10.

The Foundations was a mixed race British group which had members from the West Indies, the UK and Sri Lanka.  All the members were experienced musicians, having been in other groups and Jazz bands.  They began gigging around west London in early 1967, with two lead singers, Clem Curtis and Raymond Morrison.  They signed a contract with Pye Records during the year.  Their debut release, "Baby Now That I've Found You" (see year 1967, song 79) was picked up by the new BBC Radio 1, and the resultant airplay took it up to Number One in the UK charts.  It reached number eleven in the USA.  Clem Curtis left during 1968 and was replaced by Colin Young.  With Young they went on to have more hits during 1968 and 1969.  In the mid-1970s Clem Curtis reformed a new group called the Foundations, despite Colin Young still touring with the original Foundations.  Young was allowed to continue, using the name New Foundations.  Clem Curtis died on 27 March 2017 at age 76.
# This was the band's third and final Top 10 hit.  They had just one major hit in each of the years 1967, 1968 and 1969.  The recording following this stalled at number 46, and there were no more hits.


25

Title: Pinball Wizard
Artist: The Who
Writer(s): Pete Townshend
Entered chart 19 Mar 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 13.

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.
# This was the band's first Top 10 since October 1967 ("I Can See For Miles", year 1967, song 86).  Two releases in 1968 had only reached the Top 30.  Their next Top 10 entry came in 1971 with "Won't Get Fooled Again".
# This song was featured in Pete Townshend's rock opera "Tommy", about an apparently deaf, dumb and blind kid who plays pinball.  The album was also released in 1969 and reached number two in the album chart.  In 1975 a film of the Opera was released starring Roger Daltry and Ann-Margaret.  Pete Townsend was nominated for a Best Film Score Oscar.


26

Title: Come Back And Shake Me
Artist: Clodagh Rodgers
Writer(s): Kenny Young (American songwriter)
Entered chart 26 Mar 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 14.

Clodagh Rodgers was born on 5 Mar 1947 at Warrenpoint, County Down, Northern Ireland.  She began singing professionally when only 13 years of age, and she had a recording deal with Decca in 1962.  She moved to EMI in 1965, but no hits came from either contract.  Despite that she appeared on TV numerous times and became a very popular performer.  Her breakthrough in the UK charts came in 1969, after she was seen on TV by songwriter Kenny Young who offered to write her a song.  That song was "Come Back And Shake Me", which was a Top 5 hit.  She had two further Top 5 hits by 1971, but faded from the charts after that.  Nevertheless she continued with TV and live performance appearances for the rest of the decade.
# Her next hit came in July (song 57), also written by Kenny Young.


27

Title: (I'm A) Road Runner
Artist: Junior Walker
Writer(s): Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier & Eddie Holland (known as Holland-Dozier-Holland)
Entered chart 2 Apr 1969; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 12.

Junior Walker (14 Jun 1941 - 23 Nov 1995) was born in Arkansas, USA, but he grew up in Indiana, USA.  He learned to play the tenor saxophone as a teenager, and by the mid-1950s he has his own R&B band.  With several personnel changes, the band evolved into the All Stars, and when they were signed to the Tamla Motown label in 1964 they were renamed Junior Walker & The All Stars.  Their first hit in the USA came in April 1965 when "Shotgun" reached number four in the American charts.  The band's first hit in the UK came in 1966 with a recording of the song "How Sweet It Is", which had been recorded by Motown singer Marvin Gaye in the previous year.  Walker was unable to find a follow-up hit to this in the UK until 1969, when "Road Runner", which had been a hit in the USA before "How Sweet It Is", was released, reaching number 12.  He continued performing through the 1970s and 1980s, but he died from cancer in 1995 at the age of 64.
# This recording was made in 1966 when it reached number 20 in the USA charts.  It was not a hit in the UK at that time, but when reissued in 1969 it quickly climbed up to number 12.  He had a few hits in the Top 40 up to 1973.
# A road runner is a ground-dwelling cuckoo, native to the USA south-western desert lands.  Additionally, "Road Runner" is the subject of a Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon series that began in 1948. The bird's adversary was Wile E. Coyote. 


28

Title: Goodbye
Artist: Mary Hopkin
Writer(s): John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Producer: Paul McCartney

Entered chart 2 Apr 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 14.

Mary Hopkin was born on 3 May 1950 in south Wales.  She had singing lessons as a child, and in her early teens became a Folk singer with a local group. She also released an EP of Welsh-language songs for a local record label.  She came to national prominence when she appeared on the TV talent show "Opportunity Knocks", which she won.  This brought her to the attention of Paul McCartney, who signed her to the new Beatles record label, Apple.  Hopkin was the first artist to sign with Apple.  Her first recording was an English language version of a Russian song, titled "Those Were The Days".  With her popularity from TV appearances, this debut recording quickly climbed to Number One in the UK charts, ironically replacing the Beatles recording of "Hey Jude".  Her next release, "Goodbye", was written by Paul McCartney, and it peaked at number two in the spring of 1969.  She had another Top 10 hit early in 1970, then later that year represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with "Knock Knock Who's There", coming second in the contest.  That was her final Top 10 hit.  Three smaller hits followed.  In 1971 she married and went into semi-retirement to raise a family.  She resumed her recording career in 1976, but only one release grazed the charts.  She has continued to record and make public appearances from time to time, and has recorded with her son and daughter in the 2010s.
# This was the follow-up to her debut hit "Those Were The Days" (year 1968, song 75).  This was her only hit of 1969, her next not coming until January 1970.


29

Title: Cupid
Artist: Johnny Nash
Writer(s): Sam Cooke
Entered chart 2 Apr 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 11.

Johnny Nash followed-up his hit of January, "You Got Soul" (song 1) with this reworking of the Sam Cooke song from 1961.  Cooke had reached number seven in the UK charts with his original (see year 1961, song 58).  Nash went just one position better with his Reggae beat version.  Despite Nash's three consecutive Top 10 hits in 1968-1969, it was 1972 before he was back in that category again.  See song 1 for more info.
# In 1980, American vocal group The Detroit Spinners saw their medley of "Cupid" and "I've Loved You For A Long Time" peak at number four in the British charts.
# Cupid is the Roman god of love.  He is usually depicted holding a bow and arrow.


30

Title: Dizzy
Artist: Tommy Roe
Writer(s): Tommy Roe & Freddy Weller
Entered chart 16 Apr 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 19.

Tommy Roe was born on 9 May 1942 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.  He was part of a band at high school, but he signed a recording deal as a solo artist in 1960.  No recordings charted until 1962, when "Sheila" was released which hit Number One in the USA and number three in the UK (see year 1962, song 72).  He had a handful of hits in the UK in the 1960s, culminating in the British Number One "Dizzy" in 1969.  The hits tailed off after that, but he continued recording and performing, and was appearing at various American venues in 2016.
# This was his first hit in the UK since the end of 1963, although he had twice been in the American Top 10 during 1966.  One minor hit followed this, after which there were no more UK hits.
# In 1991 a version of "Dizzy" was recorded by English comedian Vic Reeves with the band The Wonder Stuff.  The recording quickly reached Number One in the UK charts, equaling the achievement of Tommy Roe.


31

Title: Behind A Painted Smile
Artist: The Isley Brothers
Writer(s): Ivy Jo Hunter & Beatrice Verdi
Entered chart 16 Apr 1969; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was the brothers' follow-up to their January hit "I Guess I'll Always Love You" (song 3).  Like that previous hit, this recording was made earlier (in 1967) as an album track.  It was not issued as a single in the USA.  They had two more UK hits in 1969, the higher reaching number 13 (song 71).


32

Title: Aquarius - Let The Sun Shine In
Artist: The 5th Dimension
Writer(s): James Rado, Gerome Ragni & Galt MacDermot*
Entered chart 23 Apr 1969; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 12.

The 5th Dimension was a five-piece easy-listening Soul group which was formed in Los Angeles during 1966.  The group included Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo who married in 1969, but left in 1975 to perform as a duo.  The group's first hit came in early 1967, and by the summer of that year they were in the USA Top 10 with "Up, Up And Away".  That song was covered by the Johnny Mann Singers, and it was their version which charted in the UK (see year 1967, song 55).  The 5th Dimension finally reached the UK charts in 1969 with this medley of two songs from the Rock musical "Hair", which was a Number One in the USA.  They only had one more hit in the UK, "Wedding Bell Blues", which peaked at number 16, early in 1970.  That recording was also a Number One in the USA, where they enjoyed seven Top 10 hits until 1972.  They are still performing, although with mostly new personnel. 
# Another song from the Rock musical "Hair" was a UK hit for American singer Oliver in August 1969 (song 65).
# *Galt MacDermot wrote the instrumental "African Waltz", a hit for Johnny Dankworth - see year 1961, song 17.


33

Title: Get Back
Artist: The Beatles
Writer(s): John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Entered chart 23 Apr 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 17.

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.  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.
# This was the Beatles' first hit of the year and followed their autumn 1968 hit "Hey Jude" (year 1968, song 74).  The release also credits American musician Billy Preston, who played electric piano on the recording.
# On 30 January 1969, the band, with keyboardist Billy Preston, surprised central London with an impromptu concert from the roof of the headquarters of the band's company, Apple Corps in Savile Row, Mayfair.  The band played "Get Back" three times during the performance.  The set was recorded, and one of the takes of "Get Back" was released on the "Anthology 3" album in 1996.


34

Title: My Sentimental Friend
Artist: Herman's Hermits
Writer(s): Geoff Stephens & John Carter
Producer: Mickie Most
Entered chart 23 Apr 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 12.

Herman's Hermits were formed in Manchester, England in early 1964, with lead singer Peter Noone (born 5 Nov 1947).  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.  Noone now tours as Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone.  The rival group, with only one original member, tours as Herman's Hermits.  Peter Noone is now a naturalised US citizen, currently living in Santa Barbara, California.
# This was the band's only substantial hit of the year.  A release in the autumn only reached number 33 in the UK charts.  They were back in 1970 for a final Top 10 hit.


35

Title: The Boxer
Artist: Simon & Garfunkel
Writer(s): Paul Simon
Entered chart 30 Apr 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 14.

This Folk-Rock 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 in 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. 
# This recording was taken from the duo's fifth studio album, "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  The single reached number seven in the USA and the Top 10 of nine other countries.  It was the only hit they had in 1969, but in 1970, the title track from the album reached Number One in both the UK and USA.  That turned out to be the last Top 10 hit they had in the UK.


36

Title: Mr Ragamuffin Man
Artist: Manfred Mann
Writer(s): Peter Callander & Mitch Murray
Entered chart 30 Apr 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 11.

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 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 by new-comer Mike d'Abo.  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.
# This was the band's final hit.  As mentioned above, the leader, Manfred Mann, broke up the band to work on other ideas and musical styles.  In the 1990s, most of the original 1960s line-up reformed as the Manfreds (without Manfred Mann himself) to tour and perform the old 1960s hits.  The concerts often featured both lead singers, Paul Jones and his successor, Mike d'Abo.
# The band's guitarist and bass player, Tom McGuinness formed McGuinness Flint in 1970, which scored a couple of Top 10 hits in the early 1970s.


37

Title: You've Made Me So Very Happy
Artist: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s): Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, Frank Wilson & Berry Gordy
Entered chart 30 Apr 1969; Highest Position 35; Weeks on chart: 6.

Blood, Sweat & Tears is a Jazz-Rock group, originally comprising eight musicians, and including a small brass section.  It was formed in New York City during 1967.  The original leader was Al Kooper, but following the first album, and with unrest in the band, Kooper left, and was followed by two other members.  David Clayton-Thomas was recruited as leader singer, and others joined, swelling the numbers to nine.  With this new lineup, a second album was recorded which went to Number One in the American album chart.  It provided the singles "You've Made Me So Very Happy", "Spinning Wheel" plus "And When I Die".  Amazingly they all peaked at number two in the USA singles charts.  The latter two were not hits in the UK, and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" remains their sole entry in the UK singles charts.  The band continued to record and perform, and eventually David Clayton-Thomas was the only original member, with an ever-changing band backing him.  He finally retired in 2004, but the band continues to tour with a new lineup of personnel.
#
The band's next release came in June 1969, "Spinning Wheel" (song 51).


38

Title: Galveston
Artist: Glen Campbell
Writer(s): Jimmy Webb
Entered chart 7 May 1969; Highest Position 14; Weeks on chart: 10.

Glen Campbell followed his song about the "Wichita Lineman" (song 7) with a song about the American city of Galveston.  Both songs were written by Jimmy Webb who specialised on the easier-listening side of pop music.  Later in the year Campbell recorded a duet with Country singer Bobby Gentry, which reached number three in the UK charts during December 1969 (song 95).  1970 saw him enjoying four UK hits, two of which reached the Top 10.
#
Galveston is an island city on the Gulf Coast of Texas, USA, about 50 miles south east of Houston.  Galveston is a major port and tourist destination.  It was incorporated in 1839 and has a population of just over 50,000.


39

Title: The Tracks Of My Tears
Artist: Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
Writer(s): Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore & Marv Tarplin
Entered chart 7 May 1969; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 13.

Smokey Robinson was born on 19 Feb 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.  As a teenager he formed a Doo-Wop group called the Five Chimes.  This group evolved into the Miracles.  When Tamla Motown records was established, the Miracles was signed up, and Robinson became their songwriter and producer.  He also wrote songs for many other Motown performers.  As the Miracles, they had their first American Top 10 hit in 1961.  "The Tracks Of My Tears" was a number 16 hit in the USA during 1966, but as with other Motown recordings, it did not find success in the UK until 1969.  By the mid 1960s he was a vice president of Motown, and in 1969 he declared that he was ready to retire from recording and performing.  However, further success meant that he stayed with the group until 1972.  After a break of one year he was back in the studio, recording as a solo artist.  However, his output did not do particularly well in the American charts.  Things improved in the latter part of the 1970s, and he had several hits in the early 1980s, notably the British Number One hit "Being With You" in 1981.  He was also in the USA Top 10 twice in 1987.  He has continued to record and perform into the 2010s.
# The song has been in the UK charts by other artists as follows: Linda Ronstadt (1976, number 42); Colin Blunstone (1982, number 60; Go West (1993, number 16).
# Robinson's next hit came in August 1970, "The Tears Of A Clown", which reached Number One on the UK charts.


40

Title: Happy Heart
Artist: Andy Williams
Writer(s): James Last & Jackie Rae
Entered chart 7 May 1969; Highest Position 19; Weeks on chart: 10.

Andy Williams (3 Dec 1927 - 25 Sep 2012) was an easy-listening crooner, who issued several songs during the 1960s and 1970s that entered the UK charts, three of them making the Top 10 during the sixties.  He was born in Iowa, USA, but he and his family moved to Los Angeles while he was at high school in 1943.  He and his three brothers formed a vocal quartet in the 1940s, and they soon found themselves in demand from record producers and film makers.  They had parts in several musical films, and in 1947 they made their debut in Las Vegas.  However, in 1953 the brothers went their separate ways and this gave Williams the opportunity to start a solo career.  He began appearing on TV, and by 1957 he was at the top of the UK charts with his recording of "Butterfly".  He hosted his own TV variety show, The Andy Williams Show, from 1962 to 1971, and recorded over forty albums.  He continued recording and performing until he was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, and he died from the disease in 2012 at the age of 84.
# This was Williams first hit since March 1968 when "Can't Take My Eyes Of You" (year 1968, song 23) reached number five in the UK charts.  His next hit came in March 1970 - a year that gave him three hits, two of which reached the Top 10.


41

Title: Love Me Tonight
Artist: Tom Jones
Writer(s): Lorenzo Pilat, Mario Panzeri with English lyrics by Barry Mason
Entered chart 14 May 1969; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 12.

Tom Jones was born on 7 Jun 1940 in Pontypridd, Glamorgan, Wales.  For over six decades he has been an international star with TV series in the UK and USA, and seasons in Las Vegas.  In his seventies he continues to perform and act as a judge on a TV talent contest.  He began singing with a group called Tommy Scott & the Senators in the early 1960s.  They performed in local venues and even made a couple of records.  Then in 1964 Jones was spotted by artist manager Gordon Mills.  He took Jones to London and arranged a contract with Decca Records.  Jones' first hit, "It's Not Unusual", started a life-long career in showbiz.  In 1966 he recorded the theme to the James Bond film "Thunderball", and had his second Number One "Green Green Grass Of Home".  1967 saw him jet off for his first of many seasons in Las Vegas.  The big hits continued through the 1960s, but chart entries were thinner after that.  Nevertheless he remained immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic, and in 1999 he released an album of duets, "Reload", which went to Number One in the UK album chart.  Several singles were released from the album, including "Sex Bomb" which peaked at number three on the singles chart in May 2000 when he was almost 60 years old.  He continues to perform on TV, issue albums, and since 2012 has been a judge/coach on the UK version of the talent show "The Voice".
# This is another Italian song (the third of the year) to which English lyrics have been added.  It gave Jones his first hit of 1969, with another Top 10 hit to come in December (song 98).  During 1969 he was mostly performing in the USA with long spells in Las Vegas and New York.


42

Title: Higher And Higher
Artist: Jackie Wilson
Writer(s): Gary Jackson & Carl Smith
Entered chart 14 May 1969; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 11.

Soul singer Jackie Wilson (9 Jun 1934 - 21 Jan 1984) was born in Detroit, USA.  In his early teens Jackie joined a quartet, the Ever Ready Gospel Singers, which became a popular feature of churches in the area. Jackie was not particularly religious, but enjoyed singing, and this provided an opportunity.  In his late teens he formed a group called the Falcons, which included his cousin Levi Stubbs, who later went on to lead the Motown group The Four Tops.  He worked with other groups, but went solo in 1957.  He became noted for his dynamic stage performances, and during one such a performance in 1975 at Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Wilson suffered a heart attack when only aged 41.  Although he was rushed to hospital, he mostly remained in a coma for 9 years until his death in 1984.
# This was Wilson's first Top 20 hit since 1957/8 when "Reet Petite" was in the UK charts peaking at number 6 (see year 1958, song 3). That recording was reissued in the UK in 1986, reaching Number One where it stayed for four weeks over the Christmas season.
# Wilson was next in the UK Top 10 during the summer of 1972.
# In 1977 the song was recorded by American vocalist Rita Coolidge.  Her version reached number two in the USA charts, but only number 48 in the UK.


43

Title: Oh Happy Day
Artist: Edwin Hawkins Singers
Writer(s): Edwin Hawkins, based on 18th-century hymn
Entered chart 21 May 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was a mixed ensemble of Gospel singers, lead by Edwin Hawkins.  Hawkins (19 Aug 1943 - 15 Jan 2018) was born in California, USA.  He joined the family Gospel choir as a child, and in his early twenties he formed his own Gospel choir.  They began recording albums of hymns and other Gospel music.  The song "Oh Happy Day" was picked up by a radio DJ in California, and it became a local hit.  This resulted in the recording being played across the USA, and it crossed over to the American pop charts, where it reached number four, selling over a million copies.  The recording was played on UK radio as well, and soon climbed to number two on the British charts.  They were largely confined to the USA Gospel music charts for their following albums, which were made until the end of the 1990s.


44

Title: Big Ship
Artist: Cliff Richard
Writer(s): Raymond Froggatt (wrote "The Red Balloon" for the Dave Clark Five in 1968)
Entered chart 28 May 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 10.

Cliff followed his hit of earlier in the year ("Good Times, Better Times", song 15) with a Top 10 entry - his first since March 1968.  He was back in the Top 10 in September in a duet with Hank Marvin of the Shadows (song 75).


45

Title: A Way Of Life
Artist: Family Dogg
Writer(s): Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway
Entered chart 28 May 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 14.

Family Dogg was a mixed-gender harmony vocal group with Folk music leanings.  The group was formed in London, England during 1966 by Steve Rowland, a successful record producer of American origin.  Singles were issued in 1967 and 1968, and a debut album was released in 1969.  None of that output made the charts, but the song "A Way Of Life" became a Top 10 hit in the UK during 1969.  They had a hit single in the Netherlands in 1970, but no other recordings reached the charts and the group had split by the mid 1970s.


46

Title: Proud Mary
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Entered chart 28 May 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 13.

Creedence Clearwater Revival was an American four-piece band comprising John Fogerty, his brother Tom Fogarty, Stu Cook, and Doug Clifford.  They got together in 1959 under a different name, and became Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1967.  Although they originated from California, they performed in a musical style reminiscent of the Mississippi delta region.  Some commentators referred to this as Swamp Rock.  They became very successful, enjoying nine Top 10 hits in the USA from 1969 to 1971.  Oddly, five of those hits peaked at number two, and they never had a Number One in their homeland.  In the UK they scored four Top 10 hits, including a Number One, plus five others.  They toured extensively, and appeared at the Woodstock music festival.  However, disagreements within the band led to Tom Fogerty resigning in late 1970.  John assumed total control of the group which continued as a trio for another year or so, but the frictions remained, and the band formally broke up in 1972.
# Their next hit came in August, "Bad Moon Rising" (song 67).
# "Proud Mary" was covered by American group Checkmates Ltd, and their version reached number 30 in the UK charts during November 1969.
# In 1971 the song was recorded by Tina Turner, and her version was a hit in the USA that year.  She recorded the song again in 1993 for a film soundtrack.  Promotion copies were issued, but it was never put on general release, although it appeared on her Greatest Hits album in 2004.  However, it was sung by a contestant on the TV show "X-Factor" in 2010, and as a result of downloads, the Tina Turner version peaked at number 62 in the UK charts that year.


47

Title: Are You Growing Tired Of My Love
Artist: Status Quo
Writer(s): Anthony King
Entered chart 28 May 1969; Highest Position 46; Weeks on chart: 3.

Status Quo found fame as a Psychedelic band, but had lasting success through the 1970s, 1980s and beyond as a Rock band, sometimes referred to as a Boogie band.  The origins of the group go back to 1962.  They performed under different names for five years, but became Status Quo in 1967 with members Francis Rossi (born 29 May 1949, south London), Rick Parfitt (12 Oct 1948 - 24 Dec 2016), Alan Lancaster (born 7 Feb 1949), and John Coghlan.  They had a deal with Pye Records and had their first hit, "Pictures Of Matchstick Men", in early 1968.  They followed that with similar releases and accrued five hits by the end of 1970.  There was then a gap of two hitless years until they emerged as a Rock band in 1973 with the hit recording "Paper Plane" on the Vertigo label, where they remained for a couple of decades.  Their first Number One came in 1974 ("Down Down"), and they have had over sixty hits in the UK singles charts, continuing well into the 2000s.  They became a major Rock act in the UK and opened the "Live Aid" fund-raising event in 1985.  They have continued with recording and live concert work into the 2010s despite forced personnel changes.
# This was the band's third hit single, but it was nowhere near as successful as the first two releases which reached the Top 10.  This was a straight ballad offering, and was totally different to the earlier
Psychedelic Rock hits, and different to the boogie Rock which would give them success from 1973.  The song was featured on their second album, "Spare Parts" which did not reach the album chart.  Nevertheless, they were in the Top 20 in May 1970.


48

Title: On Days Like These
Artist: Matt Monro
Writer(s): Don Black & Quincy Jones
Producer: George Martin
Released June 1969; not a hit.

Matt Monro (1 Dec 1930 - 7 Feb 1985) was born in London, England. He began singing on talent shows while in the British Army in the early 1950s. He made some records in the mid-1950s, but none met with any success. In 1959 he was asked to record a demo record for EMI, and when producer, George Martin heard the track, he arranged for Monro to record a new song, "Portrait Of My Love". It reached number three on the UK charts and started his international career. He recorded several film themes, but some like "Born Free" failed to enter the charts. He spent some time in America during the mid-1960s, making albums of standards and new ballads, and was hailed as the new Frank Sinatra. He toured the world extensively, especially during the 1970s and early 1980s. He died from liver cancer at age 54.
# This song was written for the British film "The Italian Job" which starred Michael Caine.  Monro's recording was featured in the film, but it never reached the charts in the UK or in the USA.  Despite that, it is one of Monro's best known songs, and usually features on his compilation albums.


49

Title: Frozen Orange Juice
Artist: Peter Sarstedt
Writer(s): Peter Sarstedt
Entered chart 4 Jun 1969; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 9.

This was Sarstedt's follow up to his Number One hit "Where Do You Go To My Lovely" (song 10) of February.  This was also a success in the charts, but unfortunately he had no further hits.  See song 10 for more info.


50

Title: The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Artist: The Beatles
Writer(s): John Lennon & Paul McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Entered chart 4 Jun 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 14.

This followed the band's hit of April, "Get Back" (song 33).  This was quite unlike any other Beatles song in that it was an autobiographical account of John Lennon's marriage to Yoko Ono in March 1969, and their publicly held honeymoon activities, including their "Bed-In" at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.  George Harrison and Ringo Starr did not take part in the recording.  All instrumentation was played by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, with Paul providing harmony vocals in the latter part of the song.  Although the recording went to Number One in the UK and several other countries, it peaked at number eight in the USA, possibly as a result of a ban by many American radio stations for the use of the words 'Christ' and 'crucify' in the lyrics.
# This was the Beatles' 17th and final Number One single.  There have, however, been several Number One albums over the following decades.

#
Their next hit single came in November 1969.


51

Title: Spinnin' Wheel
Artist: Blood, Sweat & Tears
Writer(s): David Clayton-Thomas
Entered chart 7 Jun 1969; Highest Position 2 (USA chart info - not a UK hit)

The band followed their hit "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (song 37) with this offering from the same album.  Despite being another success in the USA, where it reached number two, the recording failed completely to enter the UK charts.  "Spinning Wheel" was nominated for three Grammy Awards at the 1970 ceremony, winning in the category Best Instrumental Arrangement.  The arranger for the song was the band's saxophonist, Fred Lipsius.  It was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year; but the album won the Grammy for Album of the Year.  All the more strange that the single did not take off in the UK.  The album from which it was taken, "Blood, Sweat & Tears", did appear in the British album chart, peaking at number 15.  For more info see song 37.


52

Title: Baby Make It Soon
Artist: Marmalade
Writer(s): Tony Macaulay
Entered chart 11 Jun 1969; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 13.

Marmalade was a five-piece band formed in 1961 in Glasgow, Scotland originally called the Gaylords.  In the mid 1960s they went to London where they changed their name and signed with the same management as the Tremeloes.  A recording deal with CBS was arranged.  Their first releases failed to reach the charts but they became a popular act in the clubs of central London.  Finally in 1968 they broke through with "Lovin' Things".  This started a run of seven Top 10 hits until 1972, with a one-off number nine hit in 1976.  There was a large turnover of personnel throughout the years, although the original inspiration, Junior Campbell was with them from 1966 to 1971, and he enjoyed a solo Top 10 hit in 1972.  The band still performs, with the lead singer Sandy Newman who has been with the band since 1975.
# This was the band's follow-up to the Number One hit of 1968, "
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da" (year 1968, song 95).  This was one of two Top 10 hits they had in this year, the next coming in December (song 99).


53

Title: Break Away
Artist: The Beach Boys
Writer(s): Brian Wilson & Murry Wilson (the Wilson brothers' father)
Entered chart 11 Jun 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 11.

This was the Beach Boys' follow-up to their number 10 hit of February, "I Can Hear Music" (song 18).  In the USA "Break Away" only reached a lowly number 63.  At this time the group was not having much success in their American homeland, as demonstrated by their next release in 1970 ("Cotton Fields"), which was another Top 10 hit in the UK and other countries, but stalled at number 103 in the USA.  Both this recording and "Cotton Fields" were the final Beach Boys singles issued by Capitol Records, with whom the group had been since 1962.  This was the last Beach Boys hit of the 1960s, and despite the chart entry in 1970, the band was all but done as a regular hit-making act.


54

Title: In The Ghetto
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Mac Davis (Country music singer-songwriter)
Entered chart 11 Jun 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 17.

Elvis Presley continued his resurgence with this major hit and first Top 10 entry for nearly three years.  It followed his number eleven hit of February, "If I Can Dream" (song 17).  Written by Country musician Mac Davis, it is a story of hope and despair in an inner city ghetto.  The recording was a big hit in the USA as well, reaching number three, and becoming his first Top 10 hit there for four years.  Two more UK hits came later in the year - the next in September (song 74).


55

Title: Something In The Air
Artist: Thunderclap Newman
Writer(s): John 'Speedy' Keen
Producer: Pete Townshend
Entered chart 11 Jun 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was a band put together by Pete Townshend of the Who.  The band comprised Speedy Keen, Jimmy McCulloch and Andy "Thunderclap" Newman.  On the recording of this song, Pete Townshend played bass guitar.  The lead singer was Speedy Keen, with Newman on piano.  The success of the single surprised everyone, and with live performances beckoning, additional personnel were quickly added to the band.  Townshend never played live with the group.  They recorded an album which was issued in 1970, but it failed to reach the charts.  A follow-up single, "Accidents", peaked at number 46 for one week, also in 1970.  As a result, the band folded in April 1970.  The musicians continued in the music industry, either solo or with other bands.  Sadly, all three have now died - McCulloch in 1979, Speedy Keen in 2002, and Newman in 2016.
# Ironically, this recording that Pete Townshend produced and played on was a chart-topper, but his group, the Who, never had a Number One.


56

Title: That's The Way God Planned it
Artist: Billy Preston
Writer(s): Billy Preston
Producer: George Harrison
Entered chart 2 Jul 1969; Highest Position 11; Weeks on chart: 10.

Billy Preston (2 Sep 1946 - 2 Jun 2006) was born in Houston, Texas, USA.  He taught himself to play electric organ at a young age, and was a professional player by the age of 10.  He joined Little Richard's band in 1962, and when the band visited Hamburg, Preston met the Beatles there.  Returning to the USA, he released a couple of solo albums and played on the hit recordings of several other artists.  Preston was back in London in 1969 when he hooked up with the Beatles again, and took part in the recording of "Get Back" (song 33).  Preston was then signed to the Beatles Apple recording label, and issued the single "That's The Way God Planned It", taken from the album of the same title.  Following the break up of the Beatles in 1970, Preston worked with George Harrison on several of Harrison's recordings and other projects.  Preston formed his own band in the early 1970s, recording and touring with them.  In 1979 he had a British number two hit in duet with American vocalist Syreeta ("With You I'm Born Again").  By the 1990s Preston was having problems with drug and alcohol addiction, but he overcame these issues and continued recording and performing almost until his death at age 59.


57

Title: Goodnight Midnight
Artist: Clodagh Rodgers
Writer(s): Kenny Young (American songwriter)
Entered chart 9 Jul 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 11.

This was her follow-up to "Come Back And Shake Me" (song 26) which had reached number three in March.  It was another Top 10 hit, but unfortunately, her next release in November stalled at number 22.  The single after that did even worse in the charts, but finally she was back in the Top 10 in March 1971 with the UK's entry in that year's Eurovision Song Contest.


58

Title: Conversations
Artist: Cilla Black
Writer(s): Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway & Jerry Lordan (they wrote song 15 above)
Entered chart 9 Jul 1969; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 12.

This followed her February Top 10 hit, "Surround Yourself With Sorrow" (song 12).  She had a number 20 hit late in the year (song 96), but she had no UK chart entries during 1970.  November 1971, however, saw her enjoy her last ever Top 10 hit.
# Cilla was in Blackpool for another summer season of shows in 1969.


59

Title: Honky Tonk Women
Artist: The Rolling Stones
Writer(s): Mick Jagger & Keith Richards
Entered chart 9 Jul 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 17.

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).  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 toured the UK in 2018.  For more details see year 1968, song 47.
# The band originally recorded this song with a Country music arrangement and with the title "Country Honk".  It was re-recorded with a Rock arrangement, which was issued as this single in both the UK and USA, where it also reached the top of the charts.  The Country music version was a track on the band's Number One album "Let It Bleed", which charted in December 1969.
# It was in July 1969 that group member Brian Jones drowned in a swimming pool.  Two days later the band performed an open-air concert in London's Hyde Park, and dedicated the performance to Jones' memory.


60

Title: My Cherie Amour
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Writer(s): Stevie Wonder, Henry Cosby & Sylvia Moy
Entered chart 16 Jul 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 16.

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.
# This was only Wonder's third Top 10 in the UK, but his eighth in the USA.  Another of his classic recordings, "Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday" (song 90) was a trans-Atlantic hit in November this year.


61

Title: Bringing On Back The Times
Artist: Love Affair
Writer(s): Phillip Goodhand-Tait & John Cokell
Entered chart 16 Jul 1969; Highest Position 9; Weeks on chart: 10.

The group Love Affair was formed in 1966 with lead singer Steve Ellis (born 7 Apr 1950, Greater London, England).  A single released in 1967 failed to chart, but in early 1968 the band reached Number One with "Everlasting Love", which began a two-year chart career.  The recording of "Everlasting Love" became somewhat controversial when the press revealed that only Ellis performed on the single, all instrumentation and backing vocals being provided by session musicians.  This did not detract from their popularity, and all band members played on live performances.  They enjoyed three Top 10 hits in 1968, with two final hits coming in 1969.  Ellis decided to leave at the end of 1969, and although some more recordings were made, there were no more hits.
# Goodhand-Tait had written the band's third hit "A Day Without Love" (year 1968, song 77).  This was Love Affair's final appearance in the UK charts.  Ellis formed or joined other bands in the 1970s but had little success.  Since the 1990s he has been performing on sixties nostalia shows, and he issued a solo album in the 2010s.


62

Title: Early In The Morning
Artist: Vanity Fare
Writer(s): Mike Leander & Eddie Seago
Entered chart 23 Jul 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 12.

Vanity Fare is a British band formed in Rochester, Kent, England in 1966 under a different name.  They went through a further name before becoming Vanity Fare in early 1968.  The band's first release was "I Live For The Sun", which just scraped into the UK Top 20.  Their next two releases failed to chart, but in the summer of 1969 they reached the UK Top 10 with "Early In The Morning".  The recording peaked at number 12 in the USA.  A further Top 20 hit came in late 1969, which turned out to be their final hit in the UK.  In 1972 they moved to perform in central Europe, where they were still having a few hits.  They are still performing at the present time, albeit with different personnel to the original lineup.  However, drummer Mark Ellen only retired in 2015 after playing in the band for 43 years.
# They were back for their final chart entry, "Hitchin' A Ride" (song 100) in December 1969.


63

Title: Too Busy Thinking 'Bout My Baby
Artist: Marvin Gaye
Writer(s): Norman Whitfield, Barrett Strong & Janie Bradford
Entered chart 23 Jul 1969; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 16.

This was Gaye's second major hit of the year, following his Number One "I Heard It Though The Grapevine" (song 13) of February.  The song had been recorded by the group the Temptations in 1966, and looking for a follow-up to his earlier Number One, Gaye decided to record the song, which reached number four in the USA charts.  Marvin Gaye was next in the Top 10 during November 1969 in duet with Tammi Terrell, with the recording "Onion Song" (song 89).
# In 2001, British group Steps released a recording of the song, as part of a double A-side, the single reaching number two in the UK charts.


64

Title: Viva Bobby Joe
Artist: The Equals
Writer(s): Eddy Grant
Entered chart 30 Jul 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 14.

The Equals was a mixed race, five-piece band from north London, England.  The founder and leader was Eddy Grant who was born on 5 Mar 1948 in British Guiana (Guyana since 1966).  They began with live gigs in 1966, and soon had a strong following in north London.  They began issuing records in 1967, and one release, "Hold Me Closer", had "Baby Come Back" on the B-side.  However, DJs in Germany and the Netherlands began playing that B-side, and the recording quickly reached Number One in those countries.  As a result, "Baby Come Back" (year 1968, song 42) was released in the UK as an A-side, and it zoomed up to the Number One spot in Britain too.  Further releases had only moderate success until "Viva Bobby Joe" reached the UK Top 10 in 1969.  A third Top 10 in 1970, "Black Skin Blue Eyed Boys", proved to be their final entry in the UK charts.  The band had been involved in a vehicle crash in late 1969, with all members being injured.  Grant was the worst effected and he had to leave the group, returning to Guyana to recover.  He later returned to performing solo, and he enjoyed a number of hits during the 1980s.  The remainder of the group continued to perform and record, although they did not have any further chart success.
# This was the band's first Top 10 hit in more than a year.  Recordings issued by the band either reached the Top 10 or had only minor success, as confirmed by their follow-up to this single, which peaked at number 34.  The next two releases failed to chart at all, but the band was back in the Top 10 at the end of 1970 for a final chart entry.


65

Title: Good Morning Starshine
Artist: Oliver
Writer(s): James Rado, Gerome Ragni & Galt MacDermot
Entered chart 9 Aug 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 18.

Oliver (22 Feb 1945 - 12 Feb 2000) was born in North Carolina, USA.  He began singing in the early 1960s and was a member of two different groups.  This recording of a song from the hit Rock musical "Hair" brought him international fame.  He had some further success in the USA into the early 1970s.  He then turned to session recording, and appeared on several hit albums as backing vocalist and guitarist.  By the end of the 1970s he had left the music business.  This was his only hit in the UK.
# The lyrics of the song prominently feature several lines of nonsense words: 
Glibby gloop gloopy Nibby Nabby Noopy La La La Lo Lo
Sabba sibby sabba nooby abba nabba Le Le Lo Lo
Tooby ooby walla Nooby abba nabba
Early mornin' singin' song


66

Title: In The Year 2525
Artist: Zager & Evans
Writer(s): Rick Evans
Entered chart 9 Aug 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 13.

This duo was Denny Zager and Rick Evans who both came from Nebraska, USA.  They were first in a local band, but it was as a duo that they recorded this song.  They paid for the recording themselves, and hawked it around all the record companies until finally RCA records agreed to take on the recording and distribute it nationally and internationally.  It soon reached Number One in the USA as well as being a chart topper in the UK and three other countries.  Sadly, further recordings failed to reach the charts in either the USA or UK.  The duo has the distinction of being the only act to have a Number One in both America and Britain and no other hits at all.  Both left the music business in the mid 1970s.  Zager builds custom guitars at Zager Guitars in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA.  Evans died in 2018.


67

Title: Bad Moon Rising
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Entered chart 16 Aug 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 15.

This was the band's follow-up to the earlier hit "Proud Mary" (song 46).  Both recordings were taken from the group's album "Green River", which was a chart-topper in the USA but had a more modest peak at number 20 in the UK album chart.  The song "Green River" (song 91) was released in November this year, but it just managed to creep into the Top 20 at number 19.  However, they had two more Top 10 hits in 1970.


68

Title: Don't Forget To Remember
Artist: The Bee Gees
Writer(s): Barry Gibb & Maurice Gibb
Entered chart 16 Aug 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 15.

This recording was the band's second Top 10 hit of 1969, with "First Of May" (song 14), having reached number six in February.  "Don't Forget To Remember" was a solo performed by Barry with Maurice providing some harmonies.  Robin had temporarily left the group after a disagreement, and he had issued a solo recording in July called "Saved By The Bell".  That single reached number two in the UK charts.  However, by mid-summer 1970, Robin was back in the group where he remained.  Despite all that, the trio did not have another substantial hit until 1972, followed by another gap until 1975 when they began their Disco era, becoming international superstars in the process.


69

Title: It's Getting Better
Artist: Mama Cass
Writer(s): Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil
Entered chart 16 Aug 1969; Highest Position 8; Weeks on chart: 15.

Mama Cass (19 Sep 1941 - 29 Jul 1974) was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, and became famous as a member of the American group the Mamas & Papas (see year 1966, song 40).  With the group she enjoyed several hit singles and albums.  As a solo artist she issued seven albums in the USA, but they did not sell as well as might have been expected.  Her debut solo album only reached number 87 in the USA album chart, and the others did not get even that high.  Similarly, her debut single peaked at number 12, but subsequent releases reached much lower positions.  She had two entries in the UK singles charts and no hit albums.  Nevertheless, she continued to perform in the USA, on two occasions in Las Vegas, and appeared on TV as well.  She was in London for a series of concerts during 1974, where she died in her sleep from heart failure, at the age of just 32.
# This song had been recorded by several other artists and groups during 1968 and 1969, but none of those versions had charted on either side of the Atlantic.


70

Title: Marrakesh Express
Artist: Crosby, Stills & Nash
Writer(s): Graham Nash
Entered chart 16 Aug 1969; Highest Position 17; Weeks on chart: 9.

Crosby, Stills & Nash were one of the so-called supergroups that were becoming prevalent in the late 1960s.  A supergroup comprises prominent members of other bands that have enjoyed considerable success.  In this case, the members were David Crosby (born 14 Aug 1941 in Los Angeles) from the American group the Byrds, Stephen Stills (born 3 Jan 1945 in Dallas, Texas) from the American band Buffalo Springfield, and Graham Nash (born 2 Feb 1942 in Blackpool, England) from the British group the Hollies.  They came together in 1968, after they had an informal jam session at a party in California.  They organised a record deal and released their first album in early summer 1969.  The album, simply titled "Crosby, Stills & Nash" reached number six on the American album charts, but only made it to number 25 in the UK.  One of the tracks, "Marrakesh Express", a song written by Nash in his Hollies days, was released as a single.  It reached number 28 in the USA and number 17 in the UK.  By late 1969 the group had been joined by Neil Young, also from Buffalo Springfield, and the act was renamed Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  As a quartet they released an album in each of the years 1970 and 1971.  Both albums reached Number One in the USA and number five in the UK.  As might be expected with so many egos, frictions began in the group and several members went off to make solo albums during the early 1970s.  They reunited in 1977 and another album was recorded.  Their most recent album was released in 1999, but they have embarked on several concert tours since 2000, the most recent in 2015.  The only other hit single in the UK came in 1989, which reached number 55 in the charts.


71

Title: Put Yourself In My Place
Artist: Isley Brothers
Writer(s): Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier & Eddie Holland (known as Holland-Dozier-Holland)
Entered chart 30 Aug 1969; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 11.

This was another older recording which was released belatedly in the UK.  The song had been recorded by Motown group The Elgins in 1965, with the Isley Brothers version dating to 1966.  This gave the Isley Brothers their third British Top 20 hit of the year.  It was their last hit of the 1960s, and they did not have another UK hit until 1973.  For more info about the group, see song 3 above.


72

Title: I'll Never Fall In Love Again
Artist: Bobby Gentry
Writer(s): Burt Bacharach & Hal David
Entered chart 30 Aug 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 19.

Bobbie Gentry is an American singer-songwriter, born 27 Jul 1942 in Mississippi, USA.  She first came to public attention when she recorded her song "Ode To Billy Joe" which was a UK Top 20 hit in 1967, but reached Number One in the USA.  The recording gave her three Grammy awards, and started a successful career.  She made numerous TV appearances as well as performing in concert.  She even had a BBC TV series which ran from 1968 to 1969.  In 1969 she recorded this song written by the Bacharach & David team, and later that year charted again in duet with Glen Campbell (song 95).  Although her career continued through the 1970s, things went quiet in the 1980s, and she is now retired and living in Tennessee.
# This song was written for the 1968 musical "Promises, Promises".  Several recordings of the song were released in 1969.  One of the most successful was by Dionne Warwick, who took it to number six on the American charts.  However, that version did not chart in the UK.
# There have been two previous hit songs having the same title, but which are completely different.  In 1959 Johnny Ray had a hit with the same title, which he had written himself (year 1959, song 95).  Then in 1967 Tom Jones had a number two hit with a song sporting the same title, which had been co-written by Lonnie Donegan (year 1967, song 62).


73

Title: Space Oddity
Artist: David Bowie
Writer(s): David Bowie
Entered chart 6 Sep 1969; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 13.

David Bowie (8 Jan 1947 - 10 Jan 2016) was born in south London, England.  He developed an interest in music as a child, eventually studying art, music and design before embarking on a professional career as a musician in 1963.  "Space Oddity" became his first entry on the UK charts after its release in July 1969.  Following a period of experimentation, he re-emerged in 1972 during the Glam Rock era with his flamboyant alter ego Ziggy Stardust.  The character was spearheaded by the success of his single "Starman" and the album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars", which won him widespread popularity and recognition.  After an uneven period in the late 1970s, Bowie had UK number ones with the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes", its parent album "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)", and "Under Pressure", a 1981 collaboration with Queen.  He reached his commercial peak in 1983 with "Let's Dance", which topped both the UK and USA charts.  Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Bowie continued to experiment with musical styles.  He also continued acting; his roles including Major Jack Celliers in "Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" (1983), Jareth the Goblin King in "Labyrinth" (1986), Pontius Pilate in "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), and Nikola Tesla in "The Prestige" (2006).  He stopped touring after 2004 and his last live performance was at a charity event in 2006.  In 2013, Bowie returned from a decade-long recording hiatus with the album "The Next Day".  He remained musically active until he died of liver cancer in New York City at age 69, two days after the release of his final album, "Blackstar" (2016).
# The song "Space Oddity" is a pun on the title of the 1968 Stanley Kubrick film "2001: A Space Odyssey".  1969 was a year of considerable interest in space travel, with the first manned moon landing taking place that year.  The recording was reissued in 1975 when it reached Number One in the UK charts.
# In 2013, the song gained renewed popularity when Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield performed the song in sound and vision aboard the International Space Station.


74

Title: Clean Up Your Own Backyard
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Mac Davis & Billy Strange
Entered chart 6 Sep 1969; Highest Position 21; Weeks on chart: 7.

This was Presley's follow-up to his number two hit "In The Ghetto" (song 54) of June 1969.  This song was featured in Presley's penultimate feature film "The Trouble With Girls" which had been filmed in 1968.  The movie was poorly received, but Presley was invigorated by his successful 'Come Back Special' on American TV, and by his improved showing in the music charts, so was not particularly concerned about the film.  There were only five songs in the movie, and no soundtrack album appears to have been issued.  He was back in the UK Top 10 in November this year (song 94).


75

Title: Throw Down A Line
Artist: Cliff Richard & Hank Marvin
Writer(s): Hank Marvin
Entered chart 13 Sep 1969; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 9.

This release was credited to 'Cliff & Hank'.  Hank Marvin was lead guitarist in Cliff's backing band the Shadows.  Hank had frequently provided backing vocals for Cliff as part of the Shadows, and the group had issued a couple of vocal singles.  However, this was the first time that Hank Marvin had been given a personal credit on a single release.  The single gave Cliff Richard a third Top 20 hit in 1969.  His next two releases disappointed but he was in the Top 10 again in June 1970.


76

Title: I'm Gonna Make You Mine
Artist: Lou Christie
Writer(s): Tony Romeo (American songwriter)
Entered chart 13 Sep 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 17.

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 he 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" (see year 1966, song 17), which reached number 11 in the UK and 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 Twyla Herbert, but he has recorded a few albums from time to time, and he performs on the oldies circuits.


77

Title: Lay Lady Lay
Artist: Bob Dylan
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Entered chart 13 Sep 1969; Highest Position 5; Weeks on chart: 12.

Bob Dylan was born on 24 May 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, USA.  He became one of the most influential singer-songwriters in the world during the 1960s with his thought-provoking "protest" songs.  He started playing Rock 'n' Roll at high school, but when he enrolled at the University of Minnesota in 1959 he got into Folk music.  He dropped out of university and went to New York early in 1961 and began playing around the clubs in Greenwich Village where there was a vibrant Folk music scene.  By the end of 1961 he had a record contract and his first album was released in March 1962.  His influence grew and by March 1963 when his second album "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" was released, he was well-known in the USA, and he was gaining attention in the UK.  It was not until 1964, however, that his recordings began to sell in quantity, and his first British hit single came in March 1965.  He performed at a number of Folk festivals, often with other performers such as Joan Baez.  His album tracks were soon being recorded by others and released as singles which only increased his popularity and standing.  He continued to write and perform throughout the following decades, and in the 2000s began radio broadcasting.  In 2017 he announced a new tour of Europe, the USA and Canada.
# This was his first Top 10 hit in the UK since 1966, and it was also his last Top 10 entry in Britain's singles charts, although he enjoyed several Top 10 (and Number One) albums in the UK until 2001.  This did represent something of a change in his songs, moving away from 'protest' lyrics into more mainstream themes.  The track was taken from his 1969 album "Nashville Skyline" which went to Number One in the UK and number 3 in the USA.


78

Title: I Second That Emotion
Artist: Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations
Writer(s): Smokey Robinson & Al Cleveland
Entered chart 20 Sep 1969; Highest Position 18; Weeks on chart: 8.

This was the second hit of the year for Diana Ross & The Supremes in collaboration with The Temptations (see song 8).  This release did not do as well as the previous one, but a Top 20 position is still acceptable.  Both tracks were taken from the album "Diana Ross & the Supremes Join the Temptations" which had reached Number One on the album charts of the UK and USA earlier in the year.  Written by Smokey Robinson, the song was a hit for him and his group The Miracles in December 1967 when it reached number 27 in the UK charts (number 4 in the USA).
# The Supremes were next in the UK charts in December with their last hit before Diana Ross left for a solo career (song 97).  The Temptations' next hit came in January 1970.
# The song was recorded by British New Romantic band Japan in 1982, their version reaching number 9 in the UK charts that year.


79

Title: Delta Lady
Artist: Joe Cocker
Writer(s): Leon Russell (American musician and songwriter)
Entered chart 27 Sep 1969; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 11.

Joe Cocker (20 May 1944 - 22 Dec 2014) was born in Sheffield, England.  He took an interest in music from an early age, and by 1960 he had formed his first group called the Cavaliers.  The group was short-lived, but Cocker continued to perform, and in 1964 he signed his first record contract, but no hits followed and the contract lapsed.  Early in 1968 he had another recording opportunity, and decided to record "Marjorine" which he co-wrote himself, and which was a modest success in the UK and USA.  Later that year he put a unique interpretation on his recording of the Beatles' song "With A Little Help From My Friends".  It went to Number One in the UK, but only reached number 68 in America.  He toured the UK and USA in 1969 and performed at the famous Woodstock music festival.  Another couple of hits followed, but tired of touring and recording he cut back on both and did not have another hit until he teamed up with Jennifer Warnes to record the duet "Up Where We Belong" for the soundtrack of the 1982 film An "Officer and a Gentleman".  It was a Top 10 hit in the UK but went to Number One in America.  This led to a couple of hit albums in the 1990s with some moderately successful singles taken from them.  He continued to perform almost up to his death.  He died from lung cancer in Colorado, USA at the age of 70.
# Leon Russell wrote this song about his girlfriend of the time, American vocalist Rita Coolidge.  Russell was working on Joe Cocker's second album, and Russell offered this song.  Cocker recorded it with Rita Coolidge on backing vocals, and it was released as a single.  Despite making the Top 10 in the UK, the single peaked at a lowly 69 in the USA.  However, Cocker was in the American Top 10 at the end of May 1970 with "The Letter".  That single was a minor hit in the UK and he did not have more hits until the 1980s.


80

Title: Everybody's Talkin'
Artist: Nilsson
Writer(s): Fred Neil (American singer-songwriter)
Entered chart 27 Sep 1969; Highest Position 23; Weeks on chart: 15.

Harry Nilsson (15 Jun 1941 - 15 Jan 1994) was born in New York City, USA.  His father abandoned the family when Nilsson was three, and he was largely brought up by his grandparents who were circus performers.  Once in his teens he moved to Los Angeles and took work as a computer programmer.  He wrote songs in his spare time, and had some recorded by popular artists in the late 1960s.  He recorded his first album in 1967.  Looking for songs to fill his second album, he recorded "Everybody's Talkin".  It was selected for the soundtrack of the 1969 film "Midnight Cowboy", starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman.  Released as a single, it reached number six in the USA charts.  His most successful album came in 1971.  Titled "Nilsson Schmilsson", it included the single "Without You" which went to Number One in both the UK and USA during early 1972.  From the beginning of the 1980s he did little recording, and during the early 1990s he suffered from ill-health.  He died from a heart attack early in 1994 at the age of 52.


81

Title: He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother
Artist: The Hollies
Writer(s): Bobby Scott & Bob Russell (American songwriters)
Entered chart 4 Oct 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 15.

This recording was the group's follow-up to the hit of March 1969, "Sorry Suzanne" (song 21).  Whilst it reached number three upon its 1969 release, the recording did even better in 1988 when it went all the way to Number One.  The renewed interest was caused by its use in a TV commercial for the American beer Miller Lite.  The Hollies were back in the UK Top 10 in April 1970 with "I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top".
#
"
He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" was recorded and released in 1988 by Bill Medley (one of the Righteous Brothers).  It had been made for the film "Rambo III", and the single reached number 25 in the UK charts at the same time that the Hollies version was charting.


82

Title: Sugar Sugar
Artist: The Archies
Writer(s): Jeff Barry & Andy Kim
Entered chart 11 Oct 1969; Highest Position 1; Weeks on chart: 26.

The Archies was a cartoon series that appeared weekly on American TV but was never seen in the UK.  The recording was masterminded by Don Kirshner who had been involved with the Monkees TV shows.  Kirshner recruited session singers Ron Dante and Toni Wine to be the singing voices of the Archies.  When the song was performed on the cartoon series, the single raced up to Number One in the USA.  Released in Britain, it did the same thing, staying in the Number One spot for eight weeks.  The cartoon characters were shown singing the hit on the BBC TV show "Top Of The Pops" for those eight weeks.  Although the cartoon band had a few more hits in the USA, this was their sole entry in the UK charts.
# The singer Ron Dante was the voices on the recording "Tracy" by the Cuff Links (song 93), which entered the UK charts in the following month.  Co-writer, Andy Kim was in the UK Top 10 in 1974 with his recording "Rock Me Gently".


83

Title: What Does It Take (To Win Your Love)
Artist: Junior Walker & The All Stars
Writer(s): Harvey Fuqua & Johnny Bristol
Entered chart 18 Oct 1969; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was the group's follow-up to their hit of April, "(I'm A) Road Runner" (song 27).  It seems they liked brackets in their song titles!  This song reached number four on the American charts, and was voted Top USA Soul Record of 1969.  Their next UK Top 20 hit came in 1972.


84

Title: Wonderful World, Beautiful People
Artist: Jimmy Cliff
Writer(s): Jimmy Cliff
Entered chart 25 Oct 1969; Highest Position 6; Weeks on chart: 13.

Jimmy Cliff was born on 1st Apr 1948 in Jamaica.  He started writing songs as a young teenager, and he had his first hit in Jamaica when he was just 14.  As Reggae music became more popular in the UK, Cliff moved to London and signed with Island records in 1967.  His international breakthrough came in 1969 when his composition "Wonderful World, Beautiful People" reached the UK Top 10 and even reached number 25 in the USA.  Several of Cliff's songs were recorded by other performers, and in 1970 Jimmy was in the UK Top 10 with "Wild World" which was written by Cat Stevens.  In 2003 Cliff was awarded the Order of Merit, the highest honour that can be granted by the Jamaican government for achievements in the arts and sciences.  Cliff has continued to record and perform into the 2010s, and was touring in 2019.


85

Title: (Call Me) Number One
Artist: The Tremeloes
Writer(s): Alan Blakley & Chip Hawkes (members of the group)
Entered chart 1 Nov 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 14.

The Tremeloes is a beat music group formed in Dagenham, Essex, England in 1958.  Originally the group included vocalist Brian Poole, and they had several hits from 1963 to 1965 as Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.  Poole decided to leave for a (unsuccessful) solo career in 1966.  Although there were personnel changes both before and after, at the time of this hit the members were Len "Chip" Hawkes and Dave Munden, who shared the lead vocals, Rick Westwood and Alan Blakley.  Their first couple of singles failed to chart, but "Here Comes My Baby" in 1967, written by Cat Stevens, set them off on a successful chart career up to 1970.  They have continued to perform on 1960s revival tours with other bands of the era, although Dave Munden is now the only original member.
# The band had been at number 14 in the UK charts during March this year with "Hello World".  This recording brought them back into the Top 10 for the first time in over a year.  The song title was somewhat ironic, as the release only got as high as number two.  The group were back in September 1970 for their final Top 10 hit.


86

Title: Durham Town
Artist: Roger Whittaker
Writer(s): Roger Whittaker
Entered chart 8 Nov 1969; Highest Position 12; Weeks on chart: 18.

Roger Whittaker was born in Nairobi, Kenya on 22 Mar 1936.  His parents were from Staffordshire, England, but they emigrated to Kenya to run a farm there when Kenya was still a British colony.  Upon completing his education, and serving in the army in Kenya, Whittaker moved to the UK in 1959 to study, where he gained a Batchelor of Science degree.  He was singing in local clubs during this time, and having acquired a recording contract he began appearing on TV as well.  He moved to EMI's Columbia label in 1966, and had his first hit in 1969 with "Durham Town".  He scored a Top 10 hit in 1970 ("I Don't Believe In If Anymore"), but he was mostly an album artist, having eleven charting albums by 1996.  He became very popular in other parts of Europe, and had 25 albums issued in Germany, many sung in the German language.  He is now retired apart from occasional appearances at special events, and has been living in France since 2012.
# Durham is a city in north-east England.  The origins of the present city go back to AD 995.  Both the cathedral and castle date back to the 11th century, the time of William the Conqueror.  The present city has a population of just over 65,000.  


87

Title: Something
Artist: The Beatles
Writer(s): George Harrison
Producer: George Martin

Entered chart 8 Nov 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 12.

This was the group's follow-up to their final Number One in the singles charts, "The Ballad Of John & Yoko", in June.  "Something" is taken from the Beatles' album "Abbey Road" which reached Number One in both the British and American album charts.  This single release, the first Beatles' A-side not to have been written by Lennon & McCartney, reached Number One in the USA.  The group officially disbanded in April 1970; their next singles chart entry ("Let It Be") coming in March 1970 just ahead of the announcement.
# In 1970 the song was recorded by Shirley Bassey for a new album.  The recording was issued as a single, reaching number four in the UK charts, and providing her with her first Top 10 hit since 1963.


88

Title: Melting Pot
Artist: Blue Mink
Writer(s): Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway
Entered chart 15 Nov 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 15.

Blue Mink was a British six-piece group formed in autumn 1969.  The band comprised vocalist and songwriter Roger Cook, American-born Madeline Bell (vocalist), Alan Parker (guitarist), Herbie Flowers (bassist), Barry Morgan (drummer) and Roger Coulam (keyboards).  Most of the songs were written by Cook and Roger Greenaway.  The members were session musicians or songwriters, and they continued in that role despite the success of the band.  They were next in the UK Top 10 in 1970 with "Good Morning Freedom", and the hits continued until 1973.  Singles and an album failed during 1974, and the band broke up in autumn that year, all members returning to their 'day jobs'.
# The song deals with racial harmony and suggests blending all races together to produce 'coffee coloured people'.  However, in the politically correct world of the 2010s, the recording is unlikely to be played on radio because of the lyrics which refer to 'red indian boy' and 'yellow chinkees'.  


89

Title: Onion Song
Artist: Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
Writer(s): Nickolas Ashford & Valerie Simpson (known as Ashford & Simpson)
Entered chart 15 Nov 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 15.

This was a follow-up to Gaye's solo hit in July, "Too Busy Thinkin' 'Bout My Baby" (song 63).  Along with Tammi Terrell, Gaye had been in the UK charts during October 1968 with the duet "You're All I Need To Get By" (year 1968, song 82).  Sadly this was Terrell's final appearance in the UK charts, and she died in March 1970 from a brain tumour at the age of just 24.
# Marvin Gaye's next UK hit came in May 1970.  For more info about both artists, see year 1968, song 50.


90

Title: Yester-me, Yester-you, Yesterday
Artist: Stevie Wonder
Writer(s): Ron Miller & Bryan Wells
Entered chart 15 Nov 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 13.

This recording followed Wonder's hit of July, "My Cherie Amour" (song 60).  This was his biggest hit so far, and it performed better in the UK than in the USA where it peaked at number seven.  Wonder was next in the Top 10 in March 1970.


91

Title: Green River
Artist: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Writer(s): John Fogerty
Entered chart 15 Nov 1969; Highest Position 19; Weeks on chart: 11.

This was the band's third single lifted from their album also titled "Green River".  It followed their Number One hit "Bad Moon Rising" of August.  Unfortunately this release did not perform as well as its predecessors in the UK charts, but it reached number two in the USA.  The band was back in the UK charts in 1970 with three hits, two of which reached the Top 10.


92

Title: Winter World Of Love
Artist: Engelbert Humperdinck
Writer(s): Barry Mason & Les Reed

Entered chart 15 Nov 1969; Highest Position 7; Weeks on chart: 13.

This was Humperdinck's eighth Top 10 hit (including two Number Ones), but sadly it was also his last.  He did continue to have hits until 1973, with two making the Top 20, but most achieving only minor positions.  Nevertheless, his career continued to flourish, especially in Las Vegas, where his easy-listening, crooning style went down well.  For more info, see song 11 above.


93

Title: Tracy
Artist: The Cuff Links
Writer(s): Lee Pockriss & Paul Vance
Entered chart 29 Nov 1969; Highest Position 4; Weeks on chart: 16.

The Cuff Links started as a studio arrangement, using the voice of Ron Dante who had voiced the Archies "Sugar Sugar" hit (song 82).  Dante was born on 22 Aug 1945 in New York, USA, and he became a session musician, songwriter and record producer.  In the mid-1960s he was recording as a member of the Detergents, a parody group that made novelty songs.  In 1969 he was recruited to be the male singing voice of the American TV cartoon group The Archies.  The song "Sugar Sugar" was a major success in several countries.  Concurrent with the Archies single release, Dante recorded an album of songs written by Lee Pockriss & Paul Vance.  Dante provided all the voices by way of overdubbing, making it sound like a group, which was named the Cuff Links.  The lead track, "Tracy", was issued as a single, and it became a Top 10 hit in the USA and UK.  With the hit on their hands, Pockriss and Vance quickly recruited musicians who could make live and TV appearances.  Dante opted not to be part of that touring group.  A second track from the album was released in early spring 1970 which reached the UK Top 10.  A second album was produced, but Dante declined to participate.  The voices were provided by Rupert Holmes who had a couple of UK hits in 1980.
# Ron Dante continued to record for the next several decades, and was a co-producer on many of Barry Manilow's albums.


94

Title: Suspicious Minds
Artist: Elvis Presley
Writer(s): Mark James
Entered chart 29 Nov 1969; Highest Position 2; Weeks on chart: 14.

This was Presley's fourth hit of the year, and second Top 2 entry.  It represented a remarkable come-back, after several years of poor performance on the charts.  The last time he had anything like this level of success was back in 1963/1964.  The recording reached Number One in the USA, but was his final chart-topper in that country.  1970 would see him with two UK Top 10 entries plus a Number One.


95

Title: All I Have To Do Is Dream
Artist: Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell
Writer(s):
Felice and Boudleaux Bryant
Entered chart 6 Dec 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 14.

These two performers were enjoying solo careers, but came together on this revival of the old Everly Brothers hit.  Bobbie had been in the UK charts in late August with "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" (song 72), and Glen was in the charts in May with "Galveston" (song 38).  They had been brought together by their record company to record an album of duets in 1968, although this recording was not on the album.  After this success they resumed their solo careers.
# The song had been a Number One hit in the UK and USA for the Everly Bothers in 1958 (see year 1958, song 51 in these lists).


96

Title: If I Thought You'd Ever Change Your Mind
Artist: Cilla Black
Writer(s):
John Cameron (British composer)
Producer: George Martin
Entered chart 13 Dec 1969; Highest Position 20; Weeks on chart: 9.

This was Cilla's third hit of the year, but it failed to perform on the charts as well as the previous two which both reached the Top 10 (songs 12 and 58 above).  As mentioned earlier, Cilla failed completely to enter the UK charts during 1970.  She was back for a final Top 10 hit in 1971, but only one minor hit followed, which was her last appearance in the charts until 1993 when another couple of minor hits grazed the UK charts.  For more info on Cilla Black, see song 12 above.
# In 2004 the song was recorded by Agnetha Fältskog (formerly of Abba) for her album "My Colouring Book". The recording was issued as a single which reached number eleven in the UK charts.


97

Title: Someday We'll Be Together
Artist: Diana Ross & The Supremes
Writer(s):
Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers & Harvey Fuqua
Entered chart 13 Dec 1969; Highest Position 13; Weeks on chart: 13.

The group had been in the Top 10 earlier in the year in collaboration with the Temptations on the song "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me" (song 8), but all other releases were Top 20 entries at best.  This was the last of twelve Number One hits that the group had in the USA.  It was billed as the last release by the group to feature Diana Ross before she left for a solo career.  However, as had been the case several times previously, Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong did not sing on the recording, although they did perform on the B-side of the record.  The female background voices are Motown session singers.  The occasional male voice is co-writer Johnny Bristol.  Diana Ross was replaced by Jean Terrell, and the new Supremes lineup had their first British Top 10 entry in May 1970.
# Johnny Bristol was in the UK Top 10 during 1974 with "Hang On In There Baby".


98

Title: Without Love
Artist: Tom Jones
Writer(s):
Danny Small
Entered chart 13 Dec 1969; Highest Position 10; Weeks on chart: 12.

Tom Jones' last hit of the decade was this revival of a song originally recorded by Clyde McPhatter in 1957, and which had reached number 19 on the USA charts.  Jones' version was very successful, reaching number five in the USA as well as the Top 10 in the UK.  He was back in the UK Top 10 in April 1970.
# Clyde McPhatter was a founding member of the American vocal group, the Drifters.  He left them in 1955 for a solo career.


99

Title: Reflections Of My Life
Artist: Marmalade
Writer(s):
Junior Campbell & Dean Ford (group members)
Entered chart 20 Dec 1969; Highest Position 3; Weeks on chart: 12.

This rounded off a very successful twelve months for the band, who had three Top 10 hits from the previous December to December 1969.  The recording reached number ten in the USA during early 1970.  They were next in the UK Top 10 in the summer of 1970.  For more info about Marmalade, see song 52 above.


100

Title: Hitchin' A Ride
Artist: Vanity Fare
Writer(s):
Mitch Murray & Peter Callander
Entered chart 27 Dec 1969; Highest Position 16; Weeks on chart: 13.

This was the band's third and final hit.  It was the follow-up to their hit of July 1969 "Early In The Morning" (song 62).  As mentioned with song 62, although the hits stopped in the UK the band has continued to perform, albeit with changing personnel.



 

Acts with most appearances in this list:

Elvis Presley: 4
Beatles: 3
Cilla Black: 3
Glen Campbell: 3 (1 with Bobby Gentry)
Creedence Clearwater Revival: 3
Marvin Gaye: 3
(1 with Tammi Terrell)
Isley Brothers: 3
Cliff Richard: 3 (1 with Hank Marvin)
Diana Ross & The Supremes: 3 (2 with the Temptations)
Temptations: 3 (2 with Diana Ross & The Supremes)

Composers with most appearances in this list:

Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway: 5 (2 with Jerry Lordan; 1 English lyrics)
John Fogerty: 3 (All for Creedence Clearwater Revival)
Holland-Dozier-Holland: 3
John Lennon & Paul McCartney: 3
Tony Macaulay: 3 (1 with Geoff Stephens; 1 with John McLeod)
Smokey Robinson: 3 (all with other co-writers)

New Names in 1969
To qualify, new acts must have gone on to have at least three entries in these lists.  One-hit Wonders do not qualify.

David Bowie
Glen Campbell
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Clodagh Rodgers


Total Number of Appearances in these lists during the 1960s decade:
These are the artists who had the most entries in these lists from 1st January 1960 to 31st December 1969.  Remember, these are my favourites, and the totals do not reflect how many hits the acts actually had.  To review the songs, refer to the "List of Acts" page.

36: Cliff Richard
24: The Beatles
19: Elvis Presley
16: Billy Fury
15: The Hollies
15: Manfred Mann
15: The Rolling Stones
14: Adam Faith
14: The Supremes*
13: The Shadows
12: Petula Clark
11: The Beach Boys
11: The Everly Brothers
11: The Kinks
11: Dusty Springfield
10: Cilla Black
10: Roy Orbison
10: Herman's Hermits
9: The Four Seasons
9: Gene Pitney
8: The Bachelors
8: Gerry & The Pacemakers
8: Tom Jones
8: Brenda Lee
8: Lulu
8: The Searchers
8: Del Shannon
8: Sandie Shaw
8: Bobby Vee
7: The Animals
(including 1 by Eric Burdon & The Animals)
7: Shirley Bassey
7: Donovan
7: Frank Ifield
7: Matt Monro
7: The Tremeloes
7: The Who

* includes hits credited to Diana Ross & The Supremes, and the hits they had with the Temptations.


1958   1959   1960   1961   1962   1963   1964   1965   1966   1967   1968   1969
Home Page   List of Acts


 

Comments and corrections to: mjs@onlineweb.com

Compiled May 2019
Updated 02/06/2019

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