MIKE SMITH’S HOT HUNDRED UK HITS
The start of a new decade. A decade that brought us, from Britain, Glam Rock in the early 1970s and Punk Rock towards the end. The latter evolved into New Wave, which mainstream music lovers found more palatable. From the USA we had the arrival of Country Rock (e.g. the Eagles, Dr Hook), and, in the second half of the decade, the widely loved Disco sound. Major recording artists of the decade included Elton John and Rod Stewart from the UK, and Abba from Sweden. America brought us the easy-listening duo the Carpenters, soul smoothies the Stylistics, and female trio the Three Degrees.
1970 was the year that saw Jamaican Reggae music become immensely popular, with several hits from Jamaican performers in the UK charts. 1970 also saw the final chart successes for several acts that started up in the 1960s. The biggest news was the break up of the Beatles, which was announced in April 1970, preceded a month earlier by their final hit while the band was still together, “Let It Be”. Other bands having their last major successes in 1970 included the Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Tremeloes, the Hollies (had a one-off Top 10 hit in 1976), and the Beach Boys (had a one-off Top 10 hit in 1979). The Who and the Rolling Stones both battled on and both had a smattering of Top 10 hits throughout the 1970s.
American group, with a young Michael Jackson at the front, the Jackson Five (the Jacksons from 1977) began their long career in 1970, as did the Carpenters and Neil Diamond. Elvis Presley continued the revival that began in 1969, enjoying four hits, including two Top 10s and a Number One in this year. Diana Ross kicked off her solo recording career rather quietly, although she did manage one Top 10 hit in the autumn of 1970. Cliff Richard had a difficult time in the 1970s as far as the charts were concerned, although 1970 brought him three hits including a Top 10 entry. British band T Rex, who had begun in the late 1960s as a Psychedelic Folk group with a niche fan base, moved into more commercial music from 1970, becoming one of the icons of Glam Rock. From Ireland, quirky singer Gilbert O’Sullivan had his first hit in November 1970 which began a series of chart entries during the first half of the decade.
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.
Title: Come And Get It
Badfinger was a Welsh rock band formed in Swansea, Wales during 1961 under a different group name. The lineup at the time of this hit was Pete Ham, Mike Gibbins, Tom Evans, and Joey Molland. They changed the band's name to Badfinger when they signed with the Beatles' Apple record label in 1968. They had some early success in Europe, but it was not until the release of "Come And Get It" late in 1969 that they took off in the UK as well. The song was written and produced by Paul McCartney. The song was included in the soundtrack of the film "The Magic Christian", released in December 1969 and starring Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr. The band had two other Top 10 hits in the UK, one each in the years 1971 and 1972. However in 1970, Pete Ham and Tom Evans wrote the song "Without You" for the band's new album. The song was recorded by Harry Nilsson in 1972, becoming a Number One hit in the UK and USA. Then in 1994, the song was recorded by American vocalist Mariah Carey, and her version also reached Number One. Sadly, by that time, the composers Ham and Evans had both committed suicide.
Arrival was a London-based close-harmony, mixed gender group. The seven-strong lineup included several singers originally from Liverpool. The septet sent a tape to Decca Records’ A&R representative, Tony Hall, who was so impressed by the group’s sound that he decided to record and manage them. Their first release "Friends" was a great success, and a second single reached the Top 20. Following the group's appearance on Maynard Ferguson's 1970 UK television special the band was booked to appear at the Isle of Wight Festival in late August 1970. However, further releases failed to reach the charts, and the group eventually split up.
Title: Both Sides Now
Judy Collins was born on 1 May 1939 in Seattle, USA. She is known for her Folk and social comment songs. She had studied classical music as a child, but was drawn to the Folk music scene in the mid-1960s. She made several albums in the 1960s and one of them, "Wildflowers" in 1967, included the recording of "Both Sides Now" written by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. The track was issued as a single in the USA and reached number eight in the American charts during the autumn of 1968. It did not reach the UK charts until early 1970. Later in 1970 she was in the UK charts with her version of the hymn "Amazing Grace". Collins' career flourished and she has continued to record and perform into the 2010s, with song lyrics often relating to environmental and social conscience issues.
Title: Leaving On A Jet Plane
Peter, Paul and Mary was an American Folk group formed in New York City in 1961. The trio comprised songwriter Peter Yarrow (born 31 May 1938), Paul Stookey (born 30 Dec 1937) and Mary Travers (9 Nov 1936 - 16 Sep 2009). They came together in 1961 and began singing in the bars and clubs of the Greenwich Village area of New York City, where there was a strong Folk music scene. They recorded their debut album in 1962 and several hit singles followed from that time in the USA. They recorded a number of Bob Dylan songs during the 1960s, but their only Number One single in the USA was "Leaving On A Jet Plane" by singer-songwriter John Denver. This was the biggest of their three hits in the UK. They broke up in 1970 and each member moved on to various solo projects. They reunited for concerts a couple of times in the 1970s and in 1981 came back together more or less permanently. They recorded and toured until Mary died in 2009 from leukemia.
Title: I Can't Get Next To You
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" in January 1969. 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 Kendricks leave 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.
Title: Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)
Edison Lighthouse began as a studio-based group with lead vocalist Tony Burrows (born 14 Apr 1942 in Exeter, England). Burrows was a session singer, and had previously been in the groups the Ivy League, and the Flowerpot Men who had a hit with "Let's Go To San Francisco" in 1967 (year 1967, song 71). Burrows also led the vocals on three other Top Ten hit singles that were in the charts in the first quarter of 1970. The other songs were "My Baby Loves Lovin'" by White Plains (song 10), "United We Stand" by the Brotherhood of Man (song 12) and "Gimme Dat Ding" by The Pipkins (song 28). "Love Grows" was at Number One for five weeks, and it reached number five in the USA charts as well. Burrows was not interested in touring with a band, so he was replaced for the world tour that followed in 1970. The group had one more chart entry which peaked at number 49 in early 1971. The band name has been sold on a couple of times, and there are different groups using the same name in the USA and UK at the present time.
Title: Temma Harbour
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 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 in the latter part of 1968. 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.
Title: I Want You Back
The Jackson 5 was a family vocal group comprising (the then 11 year old) Michael Jackson (29 Aug 1958 - 25 Jun 2009) and his brothers Tito, Marlon, Jackie and Jermaine. They all came from Gary, Indiana, USA, and began recording in 1967, but without success. They signed with Motown in 1968 and very soon found fame, appearing on numerous TV shows. Their first big hit was "I Want You Back" which reached Number One in the USA. In fact their first four releases all went to the top of the charts in the USA and reached the Top 10 in the UK. In 1977 they left Motown and renamed the group The Jacksons. Jermaine was not part of the new group (until much later), and was replaced by Randy Jackson. Success continued for the next decade, although Michael also recorded solo. The band continued with occasional concert tours into the 2000s.
Title: Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye
Steam was the name attributed to a studio group comprising musicians Gary DeCarlo, Dale Frashuer, and producer/writer Paul Leka. The musicians were known to each other, having recorded together in the past. Paul Leka arranged to make records with the other two at Mercury records. Several recordings were made, but it was "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" that was issued as a single. It was picked up by a radio station in Georgia, and gradually it spread to stations nationwide, and by December 1969 it was at Number One in the USA. Follow up recordings did not meet with the same success, and the musicians went their separate ways. Leka continued as a producer for a couple of decades.
Title: My Baby Loves Lovin'
White Plains was a studio-based band that originated as the Flowerpot Men in 1967, and who had the Top 10 hit "Let's Go To San Francisco (see year 1967, song 71). It was a project of John Carter who had formed the Ivy League back in 1965. With recordings by the Flowerpot Men failing to reach the charts, and with Flower Power a distant memory by 1970, it was decided to change the group name. Tony Burrows was the lead singer (as he was with the Flowerpot Men), despite him already being in the charts with a song recorded under the group name of Edison Lighthouse (see song 6 above). Burrows also sang lead for the Brotherhood Of Man (song 12) and the Pipkins (song 28) during the first quarter of 1970. In fact during the first half of April 1970 all four groups with Burrows as vocalist were in the UK charts simultaneously. White Plains had five hits in the charts, including one further Top 10 entry in October 1970 (song 87).
Title: Years May Come, Years May Go
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.
Title: United We Stand
The Brotherhood Of Man was the project of songwriter Tony Hiller, started in 1969. Originally it was a vehicle for an ever-changing selection of session singers. At the time of this hit, the singers were Tony Burrows, Roger Greenaway, co-writer Johnny Goodison and two female singers. The recording was a great success, reaching the Top 20 in the USA as well. Tony Burrows did not continue with the group after this first hit, and they recorded the follow-up as a quartet. That follow-up reached the Top 30. Greenaway and Goodison left in 1971 and were replaced, but they had no success in the UK although some singles were hits in other parts of Europe. In 1973 Hiller decided to stabilise the group, having two males and two females on a permanent basis. This led to the group eventually recording the song "Save Your Kisses For Me" in 1976, which reached Number One in the UK charts and was the British entry in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest, which the group won. Two more chart-toppers followed in 1977 and 1978 respectively. Although the hits stopped at the end of the 1970s, the group continues on the cabaret and nostalgia circuits.
Title: Down On The Corner
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.
Title: Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head
B J Thomas (Billy Joe) (7 Aug 1942 - 29 May
2021) was born in Oklahoma, although he grew up near Houston, Texas, USA. He was primarily a Country music singer, but several of his recordings appeared on the American pop charts. His biggest success was the recording of "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head", which reached Number One in the USA charts, as well as being featured in the 1969 film "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" which starred Paul Newman and Robert Redford. Thomas continued successfully in America for the rest of the 1970s, and during the 1980s he was still scoring hits on the USA Country music chart. He
was still occasionally performing in the 21st century, but he died
in May 2021 from lung cancer at the age of 78.
Title: That Same Old Feeling
Pickettywitch was a six-piece band with lead singer Polly Brown (born 18 Apr 1947 in Birmingham, England). The group was signed to Pye Records in 1969 by producer and songwriter John Macleod. Their debut single failed to chart, but they reached the Top 10 in early 1970 with "That Same Old Feeling". This was followed by "Sad Old Kinda Movie" (song 56) which became a Top 20 hit. A further release just made the Top 30, but no more hits came for them. Brown left the band in late 1972, and in 1974 was one half of the duo Sweet Dreams which recorded the Abba song "Honey Honey", reaching number ten in the UK charts with it that year. Brown also recorded a couple of solo albums in the 1970s.
Title: Farewell Is A Lonely Sound
Jimmy Ruffin (7 May 1936 - 17 Nov 2014) was born in Mississippi, USA. With his younger brother David he began singing with a Gospel group in the area of Mississippi where they were born. After army service, he joined Motown records in 1964 and began recording, but success was slow coming. In 1966, however, he recorded "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted". It became his biggest and most well-known hit. It reached number seven in the USA and eight in the UK. He had three smaller hits during the remainder of the 1960s, but in 1970, deciding to concentrate on the UK where he was enjoying greater interest, he had a run of three Top 10 hits. In 1974 his recording of "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted" was re-released in the UK, when it climbed to number four. Having left Motown, he had a final Top 10 hit during 1980 in Britain with "Hold On To My Love", which was written by Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. He continued recording and performing almost until his death at age 78.
Title: Everybody Get Together
The Dave Clark Five was a beat group from Tottenham, north London, England. The band's origins go back to 1957, and several personnel changes were made before their hits began. By the time the hits began, the group comprised leader Dave Clark on drums, and Mike Smith on keyboards and lead vocals, plus three others on guitars and saxophone. Smith was also responsible for writing many of their hits, although Clark was always given joint composing credits. They became known for their "thump-thump" drumming style early on, but this mellowed as time went on. They remained popular throughout the 1960s and into the early 1970s with eight Top 10 hits by the end of 1970. The band also enjoyed success in the USA during the "British Invasion" years, where they had eight Top 10 hits. Dave Clark was a shrewd businessman, keeping the copyright on his recordings, which he re-released sparingly during the following decades.
Title: Can't Help Falling In Love
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.
Title: Young, Gifted And Black
Bob (Andy) and Marcia (Griffiths) were Jamaicans who performed Reggae music in their homeland. Reggae music was becoming very popular in the UK at this time, and this recording performed very well in the UK charts. The two were successful solo performers in Jamaica, but were put together by producer Harry J, who had enjoyed an instrumental Reggae hit in the UK during 1969. They followed this hit with a Reggae version of Crispian St Peters' "Pied Piper", which reached number eleven in the summer of 1971. No more hits were forthcoming and the pair returned to solo work. Marcia spent a few years as a backing singer for Bob Marley.
Title: Let It Be
This was the Beatles final hit whilst the band was still (officially) together. They had enjoyed phenomenal success right around the world. Their first hit came in late 1962. They were a sensation by 1963 in the UK and by 1964 in the USA too. By 1970 they had 23 hits in the UK including 17 Number Ones and two EPs. In the USA (by the end of 1970) they had 31 hits including 20 Number Ones. In America, several album tracks were issued as singles during 1964 which were not issued in the UK. By early 1970 disagreements within the group resulted in Paul McCartney deciding to leave, at which point John Lennon declared that the Beatles had broken up. All four members went on to have very successful solo careers. John Lennon was shot dead in New York City during 1980, and George Harrison died from cancer in 2001. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still perform occasionally with their own bands - Ringo mostly in the USA where he mainly lives. He has homes in Los Angeles, England and France. Paul has several residences in the UK and USA. Paul, George and Ringo all had their first solo hits in early 1971. John had been recording separately from the Beatles since 1969 under the name of the Plastic Ono Band.
Title: When Julie Comes Around
The Cuff Links started as a studio arrangement, using the voice of Ron Dante. Dante was born on 22 Aug 1945 in New York, USA, and he became a session musician, songwriter and record producer. In 1969 he was recruited to be the male singing voice of the American TV cartoon group The Archies. The song "Sugar Sugar" (year 1969, song 82) 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 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 (see year 1969, song 93). 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 had declined to participate. The voices were provided by Rupert Holmes who had a couple of UK hits in 1980.
Title: I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)
The Four Tops are a vocal quartet from Detroit, USA. The original members were Levi Stubbs (1936-2008), Abdul "Duke" Fakir (born 1935), Renaldo "Obie" Benson (1936-2005) and Lawrence Payton (1938-1997). They remained together for over four decades, performing from 1953 until 1997 without a change in personnel, until the death of Lawrence Payton. They began as the Four Aims, but changed the name to the Four Tops in 1956 when they signed with Chess records. No hits were forthcoming until they joined Tamla Motown in 1963, following which they enjoyed a string of hits through the 1960s. They left Motown in 1972, but the success continued into the 1980s and beyond. Their first Number One in the USA came in 1965 when "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" topped the charts there. Motown, as a music genre was not established in the UK at that time, and the recording stalled at number 23 in the UK. Their first major hit in Britain, and Number One, arrived in 1966 with "Reach Out I'll Be There", followed by more Top 10 entries in 1967 and 1968. In the end they had more Top 10 hits in the UK than in the USA - eleven to seven - the last British entry coming in 1989. The members who have passed away have been replaced, and the group continues to perform, with Abdul "Duke" Fakir the only original member.
Title: Bridge Over Troubled Water
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.
Title: Spirit In The Sky
Norman Greenbaum was born on 20 Nov 1942 in Malden, Massachusetts, USA He moved to California in 1966 and became part of a band called Dr West's Medicine Show and Junk Band. The band split in 1967 and Greenbaum worked as a solo artist after that. In 1970 he recorded an album which included the track "Spirit In The Sky". Issued as a single, and having a distinctive fuzz guitar riff, it became very successful, reaching Number One in the UK and several other countries, and number three in the USA. A follow-up single called "Canned Ham" had modest success in the USA but failed to chart in the UK. "Spirit In The Sky" remains his only chart entry in Britain.
Title: Never Had A Dream Come True
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.
Title: Knock Knock, Who's There
This was the follow-up to her hit of January, "Temma Harbour" (song 7). It was her fourth and final Top 10 hit, and it was also the UK entry in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest. Hopkin came second in the contest, losing to Dana who was representing Ireland. Rather like Sandie Shaw in 1967, Hopkin disliked the song she had to sing, and rarely performed it after the contest. Her next release in October 1970 only reached number 19. In 1971 she married and turned her back on stardom to raise a family. See song 7 above for more info.
Title: Good Morning Freedom
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 first hit the charts in November 1969 with "Melting Pot" (year 1969, song 88). They went on to have a total of seven hits by 1973, four of which reached the Top 10. Singles and an album failed during 1974, and the band broke up in autumn that year, all members returning to their 'day jobs'.
Title: Gimme Dat Ding
The Pipkins were yet another studio group which were prevalent in 1970. This one was a duo comprising songwriter Roger Greenaway (whose songwriting partner, Roger Cook, entered the charts on the same day with Blue Mink - song 27 above), and session singer Tony Burrows who was already in the charts as the lead voice on hits from Edison Lighthouse, White Plains and the Brotherhood Of Man (see various entries above). Furthermore, this song was written by two of the writers of song 27. The song got as high as number nine in the USA. However, further releases under the Pipkins name failed to reach the charts.
Title: Rag Mama Rag
The Band was a Canadian five-piece Rock group which included vocalist and songwriter Robbie Robertson. The group's origins go back to the early 1960s when the were a backing band for Canadian-based American singer Ronnie Hawkins. The group separated from Hawkins in 1964, from when they performed in their own right, but under different names. In 1965 and 1966 they were hired by Bob Dylan to back him on world tours. In 1967 they recorded an album in New York, and having been referred to as 'the band', they stuck with the name for their first album. They went on to record several albums, but still toured with Dylan in 1974. They drifted apart from 1977 but reunited in the 1980s without Robertson who had forged a solo career. Some further reunions took place, but most of the members have now died, apart from Robertson who continues in the music industry.
Title: All Kinds Of Everything
Dana was born on 30 Aug 1951 in London, England to Northern Irish parents. The family returned to Northern Ireland in 1956 and settled in the city of Derry. Dana was soon taking part in various talent contests, and in 1965 she won a particular contest that gave her the chance to make a demo record in Dublin, Ireland. This led to the release of a single, which although not reaching the charts, set her on performing at local Dublin venues at weekends, while studying during the week. Eventually she was chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1970 with the song "All Kinds Of Everything". She won the contest, pushing the UK's Mary Hopkin into second place. Dana's song reached Number One in the UK and Ireland. She had several further hits in the UK charts, including two which reached the Top 10. Later in life, Dana was a candidate three times for the Irish presidency but never got elected. However, she was elected to represent Ireland in the European Parliament from 1999 to 2004. She spent some years living in the USA but now resides in Galway on the west coast of Ireland.
Title: Travellin' Band
This was the band's follow-up to their hit of February, "Down On The Corner" (song 13). This one brought them back into the UK Top 10, with another to follow in June (song 53). In April the band performed for two nights at London's Royal Albert Hall, and spent most of the rest of the year touring Europe and North America.
Title: I Don't Believe In If Anymore
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.
Title: Back Home
1970 was the year of the football World Cup held in Mexico. The England football team were the current holders of the cup, having won the title four years earlier in 1966. To celebrate the event, the England team made a record, which climbed all the way to Number One. This started a trend for future World Cup squads to do the same, and some England football clubs also recorded songs in the following years, several of which reached quite high positions in the charts. England were beaten by West Germany in the semi-finals in 1970. England failed to qualify for the World Cup in the years 1974 and 1978, but were back for 1982 when a new recording was made which reached number two in the UK charts.
Title: I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top
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 became part of the super group, Crosby, Stills & Nash. With some changes of personnel, the Hollies 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.
Title: Daughter Of Darkness
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. 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".
Title: Yellow River
Christie was a trio led by Jeff Christie. It included drummer Mike Blakley, who was the brother of Alan Blakley, guitarist in the group the Tremeloes. In 1970 Jeff Christie wrote the song "Yellow River" which he offered to the Tremeloes. They recorded the song, but decided not to release it as they were looking to move to a harder-edged sound. So, using the same backing track, vocals from Christie were added, and the result was issued as a single. It reached Number One in the UK and several other countries, as well as making it to number 23 in the USA. One further Top 10 hit followed later in the year (song 82), but their third release was only a minor hit, and there were no more. Despite that, Christie continued recording and performing with different backing musicians behind Jeff into the 21st century, touring Europe as recently as 2012.
Title: Don't You Know
This trio, comprising Christian Arnold, David Martin and Geoff Morrow started out as songwriters. Their first big breakthrough came in 1965 when their song "In Thoughts Of You" was recorded by Billy Fury (see year 1965, song 62) which reached the UK Top 10 that year. They continued writing and recording demos of their songs. The demo of the song "Don't You Know" was so good, they decided to issue it as a single under the name of Butterscotch. It peaked at number 17 in the charts, and as a result, additional band members were added for TV appearances in the UK and other parts of Europe. Further singles and album were released but none reached the charts. This recording is the only entry in the UK charts that the trio had.
Title: Up The Ladder To The Roof
Founding member of the Supremes, Diana Ross, had left the group for a solo career a few weeks before this recording was made. Ross was replaced by Jean Terrell, with Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong continuing with their roles in the trio. This new lineup enjoyed great success in the UK with five Top 10 hits by 1972. They had two Top 10 hits in the USA. With some more personnel changes, the trio continued recording, after 1972, but with little success. They remained a popular live act, however, continuing to 1977, when they performed their farewell concert (in London), and then disbanded. For more info about the group see year 1965, song 10.
Title: Down The Dustpipe
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
(7 Feb 1949 - 26 Sep 2021), and John Coghlan. They had a deal with Pye Records and had their first hit, "Pictures Of Matchstick Men", in early 1968. They 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 opened the "Live Aid" fund-raising event in 1985, and have continued with recording and live concert work into the 2010s despite forced personnel changes.
Title: Groovin' With Mr Bloe
Mr Bloe was a group of studio session musicians who recorded this instrumental. It was first recorded by an American studio group named Wind, and it appeared as the B-side to an American chart hit in 1969. The B-side recording was played in error on BBC Radio 1, which was heard by a record company executive. He wanted to lease the track for release in the UK, but was refused. As a result, he arranged for a cover recording to be made. Released in early May, it climbed the UK charts and reached number two by the end of June 1970. The recording features Harry Pitch on harmonica and Zack Laurence on piano. A follow-up single and album failed to reach the charts.
Title: Honey Come Back
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.
Title: Abraham, Martin and John
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.
Title: Everything Is Beautiful
Ray Stevens was born on 24 January 1939 in Georgia, USA. Following his secondary education he went to college to study music. He was soon making records, often with a comedy slant. In 1966 he began recording more mainstream material, and several of his songs were recorded by other artists. In 1970 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and became a record producer, whilst still making records himself. Also in 1970 he recorded his song "Everything Is Beautiful" which went to Number One in the USA charts. Several more hits followed during the 1970s, either comedy, Country, or mainstream. He has continued to record and perform in the Country/Comedy genre into the 2010s.
Title: Kentucky Rain
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.
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 surfing, fast 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.
Title: It's All In The Game
This was the Motown group's follow up to their hit of March, "I Can't Help Myself" (song 22). 1970 was a successful year for them in the UK with three Top 10 hits. The next came in October (song 81).
Title: We're Gonna Change The World
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.
Title: In The Summertime
Munro Jerry was a group fronted by singer Ray Dorset (born 21 Mar 1946 in west London). They had been performing since 1968 under a different band name, and came to prominence in 1970 with the apt-for-the-season song "In The Summertime", which reached Number One, staying there for seven weeks. They toured the USA in the autumn of 1970 and had a second chart topper, "Baby Jump" in February 1971. Hits continued until 1974, but live performances continued, with personnel changes, into the 1980s.
Title: Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha
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.
Title: All Right Now
Free was an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song "All Right Now". The founding members were lead singer Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke on drums, Paul Kossoff on lead guitar and Andy Fraser on bass. They found fame when their single "All Right Now" reached number two in the UK and number four in the USA. The track was taken from their album "Fire And Water" which peaked at number two on the UK album chart. They toured extensively following this hit, and had two more Top 10 hits and four more Top 10 albums by 1974. However, problems within the band led to some personnel changes and a break up in 1974. Rodgers went on to form the band Bad Company which had four Top 10 albums in the 1970s.
Title: Love Of The Common People
Nicky Thomas (30 May 1949 - 1990) was a Reggae singer born in Jamaica. He began successfully recording in Jamaica in the late 1960s, and had several hits in that country. In 1970 he recorded "Love Of The Common People" which became a hit in the UK. He followed the hit with a tour of Europe, and relocated to London. He recorded more tracks, released as albums and singles which sold to his niche audience, but did not reach the UK charts. He died sometime during 1990, thought to be suicide.
Title: Big Yellow Taxi
Joni Mitchell is
Canadian singer-songwriter in the Folk music genre. She was born on 7 Nov 1943 in Alberta, Canada. She began singing in clubs around central Canada as a teenager, but moved to the USA in 1965. Other artists began recording her songs, and she signed with Reprise records, relocating to Los Angeles in 1968. Her first hit single was, "Big Yellow Taxi" which reached the Top 20 in the UK and Canada, but peaked only at number 67 in the USA charts. She has been mainly an album artist, and has had seventeen charting albums in the UK, twelve of which reached the Top 40. Her last album release was in 2007. She has had a number of health issues since then, but has made occasional
appearances on stage in recent years.
Title: Up Around The Bend
This was the band's third hit of the year and second Top 10 entry. They had no more UK Top 10 hits, but had a number 20 hit in September. Two more lower Top 40 hits came along in 1971, and there were no more entries in the UK singles charts after that. See song 13 for more info.
Shirley Bassey was born on 8 Jan 1937 in Tiger Bay, Cardiff, Wales. She went on to become an international star with
countless hit singles and albums throughout the world. She began singing professionally in 1953, and performed up
and down the UK. She signed a recording contract in 1956, and had her first Top 10 hit in 1957 ("Banana Boat
Song"). She enjoyed a string of hits during the 1960s, and recorded three James Bond movie themes. She had
her own TV series during the 1970s, and continued performing into the 21st century. By 2015 she had scored 33 hit
singles and 39 hit albums. She was honoured with a Damehood in 2000, and was back in the recording studios in 2014.
Title: Lady D'Arbanville
Cat Stevens was born on 21 Jul 1948 in central London, England. His father was Greek-Cypriot and his mother Swedish. They ran a restaurant in the West End of London, and the family lived above it. Cat developed an interest in music at a young age and at 15 had his first guitar. Once he had left school he began performing in local pubs and coffee houses. When only 18 he was spotted by a record producer who arranged a recording contract. His first hit came in the autumn of 1966, "I Love My Dog", which he had written himself, and which reached number 28 in the UK charts. His next release, "Matthew And Son", taken from his debut album of the same title, climbed to number two in the charts. He enjoyed considerable success though to the late 1970s, but in 1979 converted to the Muslim faith and went into musical retirement. At that time he changed his name to Yusuf Islam. He returned to some recording again in the 2000s under his new name.
Title: Sad Old Kinda Movie
This was the group's follow-up to their debut hit in February, "That Same Old Feeling" (song 15). They had just one more hit, in November, which peaked at number 27. Lead singer Polly Brown then moved on to other projects. See song 15 for more info.
The Kinks were a four-piece band formed in north London, England by the brothers Ray and Dave Davies. Ray Davies, born 21 June 1944, and Dave Davies, born 3 Feb 1947 were joined by Mick Avory on drums and Pete Quaife on bass to complete the original lineup. Ray had been at art school in the early sixties and had played guitar with different R&B bands in London. He joined the Ravens in 1962 which included his brother Dave on lead guitar and drummer Avory. They signed a contract with Pye Records, but changed their name to the Kinks with encouragement from their management. Their first two releases failed to chart, but their third single, "You Really Got Me" (year 1964, song 67), zoomed all the way to Number One in the UK and was a Top 10 hit in the USA. They went on to enjoy twelve further Top 10 hits in the UK by 1970, including another Number One in 1965 - all written by Ray Davies. The band continued recording and performing on and off over the following years, albeit with some personnel changes, but finally broke up in 1996. The Davies brothers have recorded solo albums, and some past members have regrouped for live performances as the Kast Off Kinks, up to the present time.
Title: I'll Say Forever My Love
This was Ruffin's follow-up to his hit "Farewell Is A Lonely Sound" (song 16) in February. Written largely by the same team as its predecessor, it went one position higher in the UK charts. Ruffin was residing in the UK by this time, and his next hit came in October (song 85).
Title: The Wonder Of You
This followed Presley's hit of May, "Kentucky Rain" (song 44). "The Wonder Of You" was his first Number One since 1965, and it became one of his most successful recordings, remaining at the top of the UK charts for six weeks. It was a live recording made in Las Vegas earlier in the year. His next UK hit came in November (song 91).
Title: Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours
This was Wonder's follow up his hit of March (song 25) which had reached number six in the UK charts. This
one only managed to enter the Top 20, although it peaked at number three in the USA. This marked the start of a brief
hiatus in Wonder's hits, with only minor positions reached during 1971 and 1972. Nevertheless he was back in 1973
with more major hits and a Top 10 album.
Title: Reach Out And Touch
Diana Ross was born on 26 Mar 1944 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She first found fame as the lead singer with the group the Supremes, which was one of the most successful female groups of the second half of the 1960s (see year 1964, song 75). Ross had decided to leave the group for a solo career early in 1970. This recording was her first solo release, which performed disappointingly in the UK, and it only reached number 20 in the USA. Nevertheless it is one of her best-known songs, and she has performed it in concert numerous times. However, she was back in September this year with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" (song 77) which was an American Number One, reaching number six in the UK. She went on to have a highly successful career with numerous hit singles and albums, and was recording into the 2000s.
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.
Title: It's So Easy
This was Williams' follow-up to his chart hit of March, "Can't Help Falling In Love" (song 18). This release did not perform so well as its predecessor, but he was back in the UK Top 10 in November (song 94). It remains one of his most recognisable songs, and it appears on most of his compilation albums. None of his 1970 releases did well in the USA.
Title: Make It With You
Bread was an American easy-listening Soft Rock band, led by David Gates (born 11 Dec 1940 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA). The band was formed in Los Angeles, California, and included Jimmy Griffin and Rob Royer who together wrote many of the band's hits along with Gates. Their first album was not a great success, but the second reached number 12 on the American album chart, and featured the single "Make It With You", which was a Number One in the USA. Several more hit singles and albums followed, but after internal disagreements, the band split in 1973. Their record company released the album "The Best Of Bread" which remained on the USA album chart for over two years, and almost two years (100 weeks) on the UK album chart, where it peaked at number seven. In 1976 the group reunited for another album and concert tour, but broke up again in 1977. They all followed separate careers until 1996 when another reunion tour was arranged to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the band, but the members did not perform together again. In 2002 Gates issued an album called "The David Gates Songbook" which combined old Bread hits and some new solo recordings. It reached number eleven on the UK album chart. Gates is now retired and living in Washington state in north west USA.
Title: The Tears Of A Clown
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. 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.
Title: Mama Told Me Not To Come
Three Dog Night is an American Rock band formed in 1967 by Danny Hutton, Cory Wells and Chuck Negron. The band had expanded to a seven-piece by the time of their first major hit in 1969. They enjoyed great success in the USA, achieving three Number One singles
amongst other releases, as well as several Top 10 albums. Unusually for the time, the band did not write many of their songs, but relied on material by other songwriters. Their only major hit in the UK was "Mama Told Me Not To Come". That recording reached Number One in the USA, as did "Joy To The World" which peaked at number 24 in the UK and was their only other British chart entry. There were some personnel changes during the late 1970s and 1980s, often due to drug problems. However, they have continued into the 21st century with recordings and concert performances.
Title: Wild World
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.
Title: Which Way You Goin'
The Poppy Family was a Canadian group featuring husband and wife Terry and Susan Jacks. This recording is taken from their debut album. They enjoyed several hit recordings in the USA, and especially in their native Canada where this song went to Number One. Sadly, after a second album, the couple split up and the band was dissolved in 1973. The two recorded solo after that, and Terry Jacks had two UK Top 10 hits in 1974.
Title: Love Is Life
Chocolate is a five-piece Soul band from London, England which
became one of the most successful acts during the 1970s and
1980s. It was formed by
Errol Brown (12 Nov 1943 - 6 May
2015, born in Jamaica) and Tony Wilson (born in Trinidad on 8 Oct
1947). They started in 1968 as a Reggae band, but from 1970,
under the guidance of producer Mickie Most, they moved to a Soul/Pop
style. Their first hit was "Love Is Life" in 1970,
and this began a run of 25 UK Top 40 singles (12 Top 10) until
1984. Later in the 1980s, reissues returned them to the
charts. There were some personnel changes from time to time,
with Wilson leaving in 1976 and Errol Brown departing in 1986.
The band broke up after Brown's departure for a solo career, but it
was reformed with a new vocalist in 1992, with another new vocalist
in 2010, and it continues to perform in Britain and Europe until the
Title: Give Me Just A
Little More Time
Of The Board were an American Soul group based in Detroit, Michigan,
USA, featuring lead singer General Johnson (23 May 1941 - 13 Oct 2010).
When Holland/Dozier/Holland left Motown in 1967 to establish their own Invictus/Hot Wax group of record labels, they
teamed Johnson up with Eddie Custis, Danny Woods and Canadian born Harrison Kennedy as the
company's flagship act named Chairmen of the Board. The
group's debut hit was "Give Me Just A Little More Time"
which reached number three in the USA. They enjoyed a series
of Top 40 hits through to the mid-1970s, although only two reached
the UK Top 10. With a few breaks and some personnel changes,
the group continued performing until Johnson's death from lung
cancer in 2010.
Title: You Can Get It If
You Really Want It
Desmond Dekker (16 Jul 1941 - 25 May 2006) was born on the island of Jamaica. He began performing Ska and Reggae music from the early 1960s and gained a record deal in Jamaica. His breakthrough came in 1967 when his recording of "007 (Shanty Town)" became a Top 20 hit in the UK. 1969 saw him with two Top 10 hits, one of which went to Number One. This recording, written by Reggae star Jimmy Cliff, was actually his last original Top 10 hit in the UK, although a reissue of "Israelites" in 1975 gave him a number 10 hit, followed by a final Top 20 chart entry in the same year. He continued recording and performing into the 1980s.
Title: Montego Bay
Bobby Bloom (15 Jan 1946 - 28 Feb 1974) was born in New York City,
USA. He was in a group in the early 1960s and in the late
1960s was contracted to write and record a jingle for Pepsi
Cola. He had also written several other songs, some of which
became quite big hits for other artists. This recording was his only major hit
in the UK and his only Top 10 hit in the USA. Just one
minor UK hit followed. He died in a shooting accident at his
home in California at the age of 28.
Title: I Ain't Got Time
This was the follow-up to his mid-summer hit "Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha" (song 49) which was a Top 10 entry. This one did not do so well, and Cliff did not reach the Top 10 again until 1973. In between he had six Top 40 hits, three of which reached the Top 20.
Title: Band Of Gold
Freda Payne was born on 19 Sep 1942 in Detroit, Michigan, USA. She took an interest in music at a young age and went to a music college when a teenager. She was soon singing on radio and moved to New York City in 1963 when she had secured a record deal. Her early recordings were in the Jazz genre, but in 1969 she was invited to join the Holland-Dozier-Holland record company (they had left Motown) back in Detroit. Her big break through was this recording which reached number three in the USA. Further releases did not do so well in the UK. She continued recording and performing but in the 1980s she was also acting in films and on the stage. She has made several concert appearances in the 2010s.
Title: (They Long To Be)
Close To You
Carpenters were a brother and sister duo from Connecticut,
USA. The act comprised Richard Carpenter (born 15 Oct 1946)
and Karen Carpenter (2 Mar 1950 - 4 Feb 1983). Karen provided
the vocals and sometimes drums, while Richard provided the
arrangements, instrumentation (mostly piano), and sometimes
backing vocals. During the 1970s they were an extremely
popular easy-listening act with numerous hit singles and albums throughout
the world. Their compilation album "The Singles
1969-1973" reached Number One in the UK and remained on the
album chart for well over two years, with seven other albums
reaching the Top 10. They toured the world extensively for a
decade, but Karen began to suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa,
although she always denied the suggestion. However, in early
February 1983 she collapsed and died from a heart attack brought on
by anorexia nervosa. Richard Carpenter then began producing a
new album of unreleased Carpenters recordings which was issued later
in 1983. Since then he has produced several compilation
albums, and in 2018 an album of the duo's hits with orchestration
from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra was issued, reaching number
eight in the UK album chart.
Title: Black Pearl
Faith was a Reggae singer, born in Jamaica. There is virtually
no biographical information about this artist on the internet, not
even a birth date. It is known that he lived and recorded for a period in London, England and Toronto, Canada.
Other recordings were issued, but this was his only entry on the UK
charts. He died on 8 March 2015.
Title: Ain't No Mountain
was the follow-up to her moderate hit of July (song 61), which had
marked her debut as a solo performer. This recording did so
much better in providing her first UK solo Top 10 entry. The
recording reached Number One in the USA. 1971 would see her
with three Top 10 entries, including her first solo Number One in
Title: Me And My Life
The Tremeloes is a beat music group formed in
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 continued to perform on 1960s revival tours with other bands of
the era, with Dave Munden as the only original member. Munden
died in October 2020.
Title: How Can I Be Sure
Dusty Springfield (16 Apr 1939 - 2 Mar 1999) was born in London,
England. From 1963 to 1969 she
enjoyed a total of 16 hits, ten of which made the Top 10 including her 1966
Number One "You Don't Have To Say
You Love Me". During the late 1960s she had her own TV series, and she made albums in the USA, where she had
achieved three Top 10 hits as well. Things went quiet during the 1970s although she continued to record and
perform. In 1987 she came back to prominence when she recorded new material with Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop
Boys. The single "What Have I Done To Deserve This" reached number two - her first Top 10 hit since
1968, and the album from which it came reached the Top 20. She developed breast cancer in the mid-1990s, and
died from the disease in 1999, aged 59.
band was founded by Iain Matthews, born 16 Jun 1946 in Lincolnshire,
England. He was interested in Folk music and joined
Folk-influenced British band Fairport Convention in 1967. With
them he recorded a couple of albums, but left two years later.
He then recorded an album which was called "Matthews' Southern
Comfort", using a variety of musicians. Following that he
formed a touring band, and enjoyed the only hit single they had, the
Joni Mitchell song "Woodstock". The recording was
successful in Canada (Joni Mitchell's homeland) and the USA.
After two years of touring, Matthews left the band which went on to
make three albums without him. He recorded new albums as a
solo artist, but worked in other groups as well. He has
continued in the music business, and has made new recordings in the
Title: Still Water
This was the group's third Top 10 hit of the year in the UK charts, following "It's All In The Game" (song 46). They had become very successful in the UK and had a concert tour of Britain towards the end of 1970. 1971 would be slightly less successful in the charts with one Top 10 and a number eleven hit.
Title: San Bernadino
was Christie's follow-up to their Number One hit "Yellow
River" (song 36) in May. It was the band's final substantial
hit with just one minor chart entry to come in 1972. See song
36 for more info.
Title: New World In The
Roger Whittaker followed his Top 10 hit of April, "I Don't Believe In If Anymore" (song 32) with this song which reached the Top 20. This was his last substantial hit until 1975 when he reached the Top 10 again. For more info see song 32.
Title: Indian Reservation
Fardon was born on 19 August 1943 in Coventry, England.
Fardon was in a local Coventry band called the Sorrows, which had a
Top 30 hit in 1965, from its beginning in 1963 to 1966. He
then pursued a solo career, and had a Top 40 hit in early 1970 with
a song called "Belfast Boy", which was about the
footballer George Best. His only big hit came in autumn 1970
when he recorded the
John D Loudermilk song "Indian
Reservation". No further hits followed although he
continued in the music business, and by 2011 he was back in the
Sorrows as the lead singer.
Title: It's Wonderful (To
Be Loved By You)
This completed a run of three consecutive Top 10 hits in the UK charts for Ruffin (see songs 16 & 58). He was living in London at this time, and the recordings were not successful in his native USA. He had no more chart entries until 1974 when his big hit from 1966 "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted" was reissued and reached the Top 10 again. His next major original hit came in 1980.
Title: Ride A White Swan
T Rex was a British Glam Rock band formed in 1967 by vocalist and guitarist Marc Bolan (30 Sep 1947 - 16 Sep 1977). The band was originally called Tyrannosaurus Rex, and they released a few Psychedelic tracks in 1968-9. They changed their style to a more mainstream sound and shortened the name in 1970 which resulted in their first Top 10 hit, "Ride A White Swan" in the autumn of that year. They went on to enjoy enormous success in the first half of the 1970s, and became one of the biggest bands in the UK during that time. From 1970 to 1973 they had a run of eleven Top 10 singles, with four of those reaching Number One. They also had three consecutive Number One albums in the early seventies. However, their popularity began to wane after about 1975, and sadly, Marc Bolan will killed in a car crash in 1977, just before his 30th birthday, which brought the band to an end.
Title: Julie Do Ya Love Me
was the second and last Top 10 hit to be had by studio group White
Plains, following their February Top 10 hit "My Baby Loves Lovin'"
(song 10). A release in between ("I've Got You On My
Mind") had reached number 17 during April. Two more
releases reached the charts, one each in 1971 and 1973. For
more info see song 10.
Title: Cracklin' Rosie
Neil Diamond was born 24 Jan 1941 in New York City, USA. He
received a guitar for his 16th birthday and began writing
songs. Some of his songs were taken up by other acts, and his
first big success came when the Monkees recorded two of his songs
during 1967. "I'm A Believer" and "A Little Bit
Me, A Little Bit You" were huge hits for the Monkees in the
USA, UK and elsewhere. Diamond also recorded some of his own
songs which became American hits during the late 1960s. His first success in the UK
was "Cracklin' Rosie" which reached number three in late
1970. He enjoyed many hit singles and albums through to the
1990s, and it is estimated that he has sold more than 100 million
records worldwide. He has continued to record, and new albums
were released in 2010 ("Dreams") and 2014 ("Melody
Road"). However in January 2018, Diamond announced that
he was retiring from touring as he had been diagnosed with
Parkinson's Disease, but he would continue writing and recording.
Title: You've Got Me Dangling
On A String
This was the group's follow-up to their debut hit "Give Me Just A Little More Time" (song 70), which was a Top 10 hit in August. The recording peaked at only number 38 on the USA charts. In the UK they went on to have a further six Top 40 hits until 1973, which was a better performance than in their American homeland. For more info see song 70.
Title: It's A Shame
Spinners is a vocal group, known simply as The Spinners in the USA,
and also billed as the Motown Spinners for this first hit in the UK
(see below). The vocal group, which was formed in Detroit, USA,
comprised five vocalists including Henry Fambrough who is now the
only original member remaining in the act. They began
recording in the early 1960s for a small independent label with some
modest success. That small label was bought by Motown records
in 1963 and the Spinners transferred to the new parent
company. There was very little success in the charts until
1970 when "It's A shame" reached the Top 20 in both the
USA and UK charts. However, the group left Motown and signed
with Atlantic records in 1972 which led to several trans-Atlantic
hits through to 1980. They have continued performing, with
several changes of personnel up to the present.
Title: I've Lost You
was Elvis' fourth hit and third Top 10 entry during 1970. It
completed a very successful year in the charts, and 1971 would
continue in the same vein, with his next Top 10 hit coming in
Title: When I'm Dead And Gone
group was formed in early 1970 by Tom McGuinness,
former bassist and guitarist with Manfred Mann, and Hughie Flint, former drummer with John
Mayall's Blues Breakers, plus Dennis
Coulson, and multi-instrumentalists and singer-songwriters Benny Gallagher and Graham
Lyle. Their first hit was "When I'm Dead And Gone",
written by Gallagher & Lyle, with Benny Gallagher taking the
lead vocal on the recording. A second Top 10 hit came in May
1971, but the group did not get on well together, and some illnesses
led to cancelled concerts in 1971. Gallagher & Lyle
decided to leave near the end of 1971 to work as a duo, and new
members were recruited. The revised band continued with
recording and concerts but with little success. The group
finally broke up in 1975. McGuinness continued in the music
business, collaborating with other artists from time to time, and
has been a member of The Blues Band, together with Flint, since
1979. He has also been a part of The Manfreds which is the
revival group of the former Manfred Mann band, since 1992.
Title: I'll Be There
This was the group's fourth Top 10 hit in the UK charts during 1970. All four became Number One hits in the USA. The group enjoyed considerable success, especially with young teen fans, until 1973. They later reformed into the Jacksons. See also song 8.
Title: Home Lovin' Man
This was Williams' third Top 20 hit of 1970, two of which reached the Top 10. 1971 would not be quite so successful in the UK charts, with just the one hit, although it did get as high as number four. He remained an extremely popular TV performer throughout the 1970s. See song 18 for more info.
Title: I Hear You Knockin'
Edmunds was born on 15 Apr 1944 in Cardiff, Wales. He was
playing in various bands from a young age, and made several
recordings with different groups in the second half of the
1960s. Before going solo he had success with the group Love
Sculpture which recorded the instrumental "Sabre Dance", a
frantic Rock version of Aram Khachaturian's classical piece written
in 1942. Love Sculpture's version reached number five in the
UK charts during late 1968. He went solo in 1970 and recorded
"I Hear You Knockin'", which became a Christmas Number One
that year. He went on to have a successful career, although
hit singles were somewhat sporadic. His next hits did not come
until 1973, with his following substantial chart entry coming in
1979. His last hit was in 1990. During those times he
collaborated with various musicians, and recorded as Rockpile with
artist Nick Lowe, and together they had one Top 40 album in
1980. During the 1980s he mostly produced albums for a variety
of other artists. He is now semi-retired but has appeared
occasionally on TV during the 21st century.
Title: It's Only Make Believe
the follow-up to his previous Top 10 hit "Honey Come Back"
in May (song 41) Campbell chose this Conway Twitty song which had
been a hit in 1959 for the co-writer. This recording was very
successful in the UK, and it just reached the Top 10 in the
USA. Although he continued hitting the American charts, albeit
at modest positions, he was unable to produce another major hit in
the UK until 1975. Despite that he remained extremely popular
on both sides of the Atlantic, and his Greatest Hits compilation
album entered the UK album chart in late 1971, remaining there for
over two years.
Title: Nothing Rhymed
Gilbert O'Sullivan was born on 1 Dec 1946 in Waterford, Ireland. When he was just seven years old his family moved to England where he grew up. He began playing when at art college in the 1960s. He signed a recording contract in 1967, but no hit recordings came from that. It was not until 1970 when he came under the management of Gordon Mills that things took off. To gain publicity, he went for an unusual appearance comprising a pudding basin haircut, cloth cap and short trousers. This did attract attention, and by late 1970 he was in the UK charts with his debut hit "Nothing Rhymed". His style and songs were certainly unique, and he enjoyed enormous success for the first half of the 1970s. He changed his appearance to a college boy look after a year or so, and the hits continued. He had eleven Top 20 hits up to the end of 1974, two of which were Number Ones, and he achieved four Top 10 albums during that period as well. He also enjoyed three Top 10 hits in the USA including a Number One. Later in the 1970s however, he realised that he had not received a fair proportion of his earnings from his management company. He sued them, but it was not until 1982 that the courts found in his favour and awarded him seven million pounds. His career had been on hold for most of the second half of the 1970s, but he had another Top 20 hit in 1980. He has continued to record and perform, issuing four new albums between 2007 and 2018. He has also toured the UK and Ireland in recent years.
Title: (Blame It) On The Pony
called just Bandwagon, this group was formed in 1967 with lead
singer Johnny Johnson (born 20 Jul 1942 in Florida, USA). As
Bandwagon they had a UK hit in 1968 with "Breaking Down The
Walls Of Heartache", which reached number four in autumn that
year. They next hit the Top 10 again in the summer of 1970
with "Sweet Inspiration". By this time they were
resident in the UK, as they were having more success in Europe than
in their native USA, and thus recorded this song by the British
songwriters. However, it turned out to be their final hit,
despite making records for the following several years.
This was the Kinks' follow up to their summer hit "Lola" (song 57) which was also a Top 10 entry. "Apeman" turned out to be their final Top 10 hit, although they did enjoy a Top 20 chart entry in 1972. That was the last hit they had until the 1980s when they had three more, including a number 12 in 1983. For more info see song 57.
Title: You're Ready Now
Frankie Valli was born on 3 May 1934 in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He became famous as the lead singer with the group the Four Seasons. He had begun singing in the 1950s with various groups, but it was In 1960, with the Four Seasons, that his career took off. Their first hit on both sides of the Atlantic was "Sherry", which was an American chart-topper. Other similar recordings followed and they managed to hit the UK charts through to 1966. Valli continued to record with the group, but also recorded as a solo artist. The recording "You're Ready Now" was made in 1966, but released in the UK late in 1970, it climbed to number eleven. His next solo hit came in 1975, when he reached the Top 10 with "My Eyes Adored You". He had more hits with the Four Seasons during the mid-1970s. He has continued to perform in concert tours during the 2010s, but went to the UK for a farewell tour at the end of 2018.
Acts with most appearances in this list:
Tony Burrows (session singer): 5
Composers with most appearances in this list:
Tony Macaulay: 5 (1 with Barry Mason; 2 with John
Macleod; 2 with Roger Cook & Roger Greenaway)
New Names in 1970
Comments and corrections to: email@example.com
Compiled September 2019