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  1. #1
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    Default Season 7 Contemporary music

    Her we go again then, on to more familair territory this time, for me anyway, it's time to take a look at the very first of the charts for the seventies.

    With the "Summer of love" three years behind us, and with hippy festival Woodstock still in recent memory from just one year prior to these charts, we find little of the hippy idealism in the early months of 1970.
    However, Joni Mitchell and Melanie Safka, both full of hippy ideals, would make inroads in the early part of the sevenies with some stunning and fascinating albums, Mitchell with Ladies of the Canyon and Blue amongst others over a four decade run, Safka with Candles in the Rain, The Good Book and Gather Me, the latter containing her biggest single hit in Brand New Key at the end of 1971.

    For now though we'll take a look at the charts for w/e 3rd January 1970.

    20 Nobody's Child Karen Young
    19 Green River Creedence Clearwater Revival
    18 Loneliness Des O'Connor
    17 But You Love Me Daddy Jim Reeves
    16 The Liquidator Harry J Allstars
    15 Love Is All Malcolm Roberts
    14 (Call Me) Number One The Tremeloes
    13 Durham Town (The Leavin') Roger Whittaker
    12 Good Old Rock n Roll Dave Clark Five
    11 The Onion Song Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell
    10 Without Love Tom Jones
    9 Tracy Cufflinks
    8 Winter World Of Love Engelbert Humperdinck
    7 All I Have To Do Is Dream Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell
    6 Yester-Me-Yester-You-Yesterday Stevie Wonder
    5 Melting Pot Blue Mink
    4 Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley
    3 Sugar Sugar Archies
    2 Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town Kenny Rogers
    1 Two Little Boys Rolf Harris.

    The album charts of this week contain such luminaries as The London Cast of rock musical Hair, The Soundtracks of Oliver, The Sound Of Music (yes, still hanging around) and the film Easy Rider, some prog rock from the Court of King Crimson, Led Zepellin II, The Stones Let It Bleed, Motown Chartbuster vol. 3 and The Beatles at number one with Abbey Road.

    A couple of tracks I'd like to highlight in the singles chart are Melting Pot from Blue Mink and of course Rolf's number one, Two Little Boys.

    Roger Coulam (born Roger Keith Coulam, 26 April 1944, England) (organist) formed Blue Mink in the autumn of 1969, with Madeline Bell (vocalist), Roger Cook (vocalist), Herbie Flowers (bassist), and Barry Morgan (drummer) (born November 1944, London died 1 November 2007). Most of the songs were written by Cook and Roger Greenaway.

    Flowers, Morgan and the guitarist Alan Parker all worked with Coulam at London's Morgan Studios. The four of them recorded several backing tracks, with which Coulam approached soul singer Bell and Greenaway (who had been half of David and Jonathan) as vocalists. Greenaway declined, but put forward Cook (the other half of David and Jonathan)

    The band's debut single "Melting Pot", written by Cook and Greenaway, was recorded with this line-up and released on 31 October 1969 on the Philips label (catalogue BF1818), with the B-side "Blue Mink" (penned by Alan Parker); it charted at #3 in the UK Singles Chart. The lyrics espouse a world which becomes one big melting pot where different races and religions are to be mixed, 'churning out coffee coloured people by the score'. The second verse controversially included the term Chinkies which, although common British slang at the time, might sound insensitive to the modern listener, undercutting the song's intent. The (often misheard) later verses examine the possibiltes of diversity in religion and of a mixing of the class system. An American cover version entitled 'People Are Together' by soul singer Mickey Murray proved too radical for American radio and failed to get any meaningful airplay.

    You may recognise a few names there, Madeleine Bell's strident vocals grace many an early seventies album as backing singer, while Herbie Flowers worked with T. Rex and early eighties band Sky, but is more famous for having written Clive Dunn's novelty hit Grandad, Christmas number one at the other end of 1970.

    Rolf's number one was written in 1902 and became a popular music hall song of the time, made popular by Harry Lauder. It describes the story of two boys who grow up to fight in the American Civil War.
    In 1969 Rolf briefly visited folk musician Ted Egan during a tour of Arnhem Land in Australia. Egan sang him the song, which Harris recorded on tape. Back in the UK, Harris persuaded his television producer to incorporate the song into his BBC variety show. Harris discovered he had lost the tape and rang Egan, 10,000 miles away in Canberra, and asked him to sing the song over the phone. Alan Braden arranged the song for the TV show, and a favourable audience reaction prompted Harris to record and release it as a single. The song reached #1 on the singles chart in December 1969, where it stayed for six weeks, thus becoming the first number-one single of the 1970s. On BBC Radio Blackburn in 1979, Margaret Thatcher picked it as a favourite song
    In October 2008, Harris announced he would re-record the song, backed by North Wales' Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir, to mark the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I. Proceeds from the new release went to The Poppy Appeal. Harris was inspired to make the recording after participating in My Family at War, a short series of programmes in the BBC's Remembrance season, which was broadcast in November 2008. He discovered that the experiences of his father and uncle during World War I mirrored the lyrics of the Civil War song.
    Harris sung an a cappella version of the song during the Concert to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in London in June 2012. It was an impromptu performance to fill a gap while Stevie Wonder's band was getting ready for their set. The assembled audience in front of Buckingham Palace and along The Mall sang along. However, Harris had only just started the second verse when Lenny Henry cut him short as the band was ready. Henry was then promptly booed for the interruption.

  2. #2
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    Durham Town by Roger W. That song always brings me out in goosebumps. A stirring song indeed.

    And call me an old softy, but Two Little Boys always makes me dewy-eyed :-(

  3. #3
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    Suspicious Minds is the best Elvis song. Great stuff. I'm not a huge Elvis fan really, but I adore that song.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

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    Time for an update before I go on my holidays.

    When we last looked at the charts for January 1970 Rolf was at number 1 with Two Little Boys, that stayed there until the end of January, when the first episode of The Silurians went out the song at number one was Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse, which spent five weeks there before being replaced by Lee Marvin's Wandrin' Star from the soundtrack of the film Paint Your Wagon, it was backed by Clint Eastwood singing I Talk To The Trees, also from the film's soundtrack. The single spent three weeks at the top.

    Here now is the top twenty for w/e 14th March 1970.

    20 Everybody Get Together Dave Clark Five
    19 Temma Harbour Mary Hopkin
    18 Something's Burning Kenny Rogers and the First Edition
    17 Can't Help Falling In Love Andy Williams
    16 Venus Shocking Blue
    15 Leavin' On A Jet Plane Peter Paul and Mary
    14 My Baby Loves Lovin' White Plains
    13 Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye Steam
    12 United We Stand Brotherhood of Man
    11 Don't Cry Daddy Elvis Presley
    10 Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head Sacha Distel
    9 Years May Come Years May Go Herman's Hermits
    8 That Same Old Feeling Picketty Witch
    7 Let's Work Together Canned Heat
    6 Instant Karma John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band
    5 Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) Edison Lighthouse
    4 I Want You Back Jackson Five
    3 Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon and Garfunkel
    2 Let It Be The Beatles
    1 Wandrin' Star Lee Marvin

  5. #5
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    I thought this thread dead on it's arse, well overdue for an update then!.

    The top twenty for the w/e 2nd May 1970

    20 Joe Dolan You're Such a Good Lokking Woman
    19 The Hollies I Can't Tell The Bottom From The Top
    18 Juicy Lucy Who Do You Love
    17 Four Tops I Can't Help Myself
    16 The Band Rag Mama Rag
    15 Tom Jones Daughter of Darkness
    14 Mary Hopkin Knock Knock Who's There
    13 Bob and Marcia Young Gifted and Black
    12 Blue Mink Good Morning Freedom
    11 Creedence Clearwater Revival Travellin' Band
    10 The Cufflinks When Julie Comes Around
    9 Frijid Pink House Of The Rising Sun
    8 Jimmy Ruffin Farewell Is A Lonely Sound
    7 Pipkins Gimme Dat Ding
    6 Stevie Wonder Never Had A Dream Come True
    5 Andy Williams Can't Help Falling In Love
    4 Simon and Garfunkel Bridge Over Troubled Water
    3 England World Cup Squad Back Home
    2 Dana All Kinds Of Everything
    1 Norman Greenbauam Spirit In The Sky

    Dana's performance of "All Kinds of Everything" won the 1970 Irish National Song Contest and that 21 March - a Saturday - she performed the song at the Eurovision Song Contest held in Amsterdam. Dana was the twelfth and final performer on the night (following Germany's Katja Ebstein with "Wunder Gibt Es Immer Wieder"). Ireland chose not to send its own conductor to accompany Dana, so Dolf van der Linden, the renowned musical leader of the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, conducted his own orchestra for the Irish entry. Dana sang seated on a stool fashioned as a cylinder which left her feet suspended above the floor and caused her concern that she'd slide off. However Dana performed the song with the self-possession she had displayed at rehearsals, when the production team had her rise from her stool mid-performance to accommodate a set adjustment she continued singing regardless and earned a standing ovation from the orchestra.

    "All Kinds of Everything" took first place in the contest with a total of 32 votes besting second place "Knock, Knock Who's There?" by Mary Hopkin by seven votes. 1970 had augured to be an off year for Eurovision with five nations boycotting the contest and an apparently predictable outcome with a victory by Hopkin or possibly Julio Iglesias (who in fact came in fourth with "Gwendolyne"). The surprise victory of "All Kinds of Everything" by the ingenuous Dana made 1970 one of the most memorable Eurovision contests.


    This week's number one single by Norman Greenbaum who had previously been a member of psychedelic jug band Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band. When they split up he won a solo contract with producer Erik Jacobsen, who had previously worked successfully with The Lovin' Spoonful. He was inspired to write the song after watching Porter Wagoner on TV singing a gospel song. Greenbaum later said : "I thought, 'Yeah, I could do that,' knowing nothing about gospel music, so I sat down and wrote my own gospel song. It came easy. I wrote the words in 15 minutes."

    "Spirit in the Sky" contains lyrics about the afterlife, making several references to Jesus, although Greenbaum himself is Jewish. Greenbaum recorded his first solo album with Jacobsen for Reprise Records. The song's arrangement came together in the studio in San Francisco where lead guitarist Russell DaShiell, bass player Doug Killmer from the band Crowfoot and drummer Norman Mayall worked with Greenbaum. According to one source and to DaShiell, Greenbaum used a Fender Telecaster with a fuzz box built into the body to generate the song's characteristic guitar sound.

    There have been several covers of Spirit In The Sky, Bauhaus covered the song in their 1983 single "Sanity Assassin". Another group, Doctor and the Medics, had #1 UK hit with their version of 1986 as did the all-girl punk band Fuzzbox, also in 1986. British television stars The Kumars, with Gareth Gates, reached #1 with the same song in 2003.

    "Spirit in the Sky" is featured on the video game Rock Band 2. The song was also remade by the Christian band Stellar Kart and debuted in their 2010 album, Everything Is Different Now. The Kentucky Headhunters recorded it, including it on their 1991 album, Electric Barnyard. The song was covered by DC Talk for Jesus: Music from & Inspired by the Epic Mini Series soundtrack and was released as a B side with LeAnn Rimes' song "I Need You."

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