The Rock and Roll Revisited Countdown – 1967

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It’s Countdown Saturday and this week we’re looking at the WKNR Music Guide from February 6, 1967. It was a countdown from a week when the enduring music that still populates oldies station playlists was first being created. Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” had it’s chart debut. The monster Turtles hit, “Happy Together” was headed toward it’s chart topping run. The Monkees’ first double sider, “I’m a Believer” and “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone” was dislodged from the top spot and on its way down. Iconic artists like Elvis, Sonny & Cher, The Young Rascals, The Association, Johnny Rivers, Spenser Davis and the 5th Dimension, shared the countdown with “Middle of the Road” acts like Ed Ames and Cannonball Adderley. Motown artists were in evidence and the chart reflected a good deal of Michigan Talent, including Terry Knight and the Pack, The Underdogs and Bob Seger. The commonality? Every song in the countdown is something you will remember if you had a radio on today in 1967. Find out more about Detroit’s most popular 60s rock radio station at Keener13.com.

Here are the top 5 Keener countdown hits of the week.

5. “I Had Too Much To Dream” – The Electric Prunes: A one hit wonder with a unique opening that the band discovered while recording at Leon Russell’s house. The oscillating, reversed guitar was created with a 1958 Gibson Les Paul with a Bigsby vibrato unit. Our video comes from an American Bandstand program, complete with Dick Clark’s introduction. (Video)

4. “Who Do You Love” – The Woolies: The pride of the Lansing, Michigan garage band scene was formed in 1964 by Bob Baldori, Stormy Rice, Jeff Baldori, Ron English, and Bee Metros. Their cover of Bo Diddley‘s 1956 composition “Who Do You Love?” became a regional favorite and their only significant hit. (Video)

3. “Love’s Gone Bad” – The Underdogs: Proof that in the good old days, a group from  Grosse PointeMichigan could get airplay. The Underdogs became a regular attraction at the Hideout, a club that was an early venue for acts such as Bob SegerGlenn Frey, and The Pleasure Seekers, featuring Suzi Quatro. It also served as the home to the Hideout record label, which released several of the Underdogs’ singles. “Love’s Gone Bad” was a Holland-Dozier-Holland composition.  (Video)

2. “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones: It’s unclear, which of the Stones is responsible for writing “Ruby Tuesday”. Brian Jones played recorder and piano, the double bass was played jointly by bassist Bill Wyman (pressing the strings against the fingerboard) and Keith Richards (bowing the strings). “That’s a wonderful song,” Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone Magazine’s Jann Wenner in 1995. “It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.” (Video)

1. “Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams:  Jim Holvay, a Chicago-based singer/songwriter wrote this Keener Countdown chart topper. The Buckinghams manager,  Carl Bonafede produced the record along with big band leader Dan Belloc’, owner of the Holiday Ballroom. Frank Tesinsky arranged the horns and  Ron Malo, who would engineer the Rolling Stones’ first US sessions recorded and mixed the song at Chess Records. We have another American Bandstand clip. (Video)

Quick Takes:

Stressed at Work? Here’s How to Feel Better. Via Time.

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Alice Cooper through the years

Born 73 years ago this week. Happy birthday to Detroit born Vincent Damon Furnier, better known to us as Alice Cooper. A man of many talents (and many faces!).. 73 us the new 40, Coop. Rock on!

Some of the things we children of the 60s enjoy. A 1960 TV commercial for the controversial Chevrolet Corvair.

Remembering Christopher Plummer. He became the oldest actor to win an Oscar in 2012 for his role in “Beginners,” at 82 and treasured his lifelong friendship with Julie Andrews, that began when they filmed the iconic Sound of Music.

Jerry Lubin during the WABX years.

And farewell to Detroit Underground Radio pioneer Jerry Lubin, who was heard on WXYZ-FM/WRIF, WWWW and became one of the legendary WABX Air Aces. Covid took him on February 4th.

Today in History:

Frank Sinatra on “Your Hit Parade” in 1943

1943, Frank Sinatra debuts on radio’s “Your Hit Parade”. Here’s film of what the program looked like that year.

1952, Queen Elizabeth II succeeds King George VI to the British throne and proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms including Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Here is video of her crowning, 67 years ago today.

1958, George Harrison joined Liverpool group The Quarrymen. The group who were named after Lennon’s school featured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Len Garry, Eric Griffiths and John Lowe.

Jessie Belvin in 1960

1960, 27-year-old Jesse Belvin, who scored a 1956 hit with ‘Goodnight, My Love’, was killed in a car accident in Hope, Arkansas. His wife and the car’s driver also died in the accident. The three were trying to make a fast escape from the first ever mixed race audience concert in Little Rock, after threats had been made against Belvin’s life.

1965, The Righteous Brothers started a two week run at No.1 with the Phil Spector produced ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’.

1974, US House of Representatives begins determining grounds for impeachment of President Richard Nixon.

1981, Composer Hugo Montenegro died in California. Had the 1968 US No.2 single ‘The Good The Bad And The Ugly’ from the soundtrack to the Clint Eastwood spaghetti western film. He worked for RCA records, producing a series of albums and soundtracks and television themes, including two volumes of Music From The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

1998, Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport.

2014, Jay Leno  records his final “The Tonight Show”. He left once before, returning to displace successor, Conan O’Brien.

Thurl Ravenscroft voiced Tony the Tiger and sang “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch,” among many other roles.

Happy Birthday to: Thurl Ravenscroft (Tony the Tiger), 1910 (d. 2005); François Truffaut, 1932 (d. 1984); Fabian, 1943; Bob Marley, 1945 (d. 1981); Natalie Cole, 1950 (d. 2015); Axl Rose, 1962; Rick Astley, 1966

Today’s Quote Worth Re-Quoting: “When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.” ~Queen Elizabeth II

We leave you with one more tune from this week in 1967. It had just entered the WKNR Music Guide and would become the last top ten for Herman’s Hermits. “A Kind of Hush” was first recorded in 1966 by Gary and the Hornets, a teen/pre-teen band from Franklin, Ohio whose version became a regional success and showed signs of breaking nationally in January 1967. The tune was co-written and originally recorded by Geoff Stephens‘ group the New Vaudeville Band, of “Winchester Cathedral” fame. After the Hermits’ success, Stephens released his version as a single. We probably don’t remember the Hornets or New Vaudeville’s renditions. But we’ll never forget Herman’s.

 

Thanks for listening!

Scott Westerman
Host and Producer – Rock and Roll Revisited
Author: Motor City Music – Keener 13 and the Soundtrack of Detroit