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Someday We’ll Be Together

“Someday We’ll Be Together” is a song written by Johnny Bristol, Jackey Beavers, and Harvey Fuqua and made popular as the last of twelve American number-one pop singles for Diana Ross & the Supremes on the Motown label. Although it was released as the final Supremes song featuring Diana Ross, who left the group for a solo career in January 1970, it was recorded as Ross’ first solo single and Supremes members Mary Wilson and Cindy Birdsong do not sing on the recording. Both appear on the B-side, “He’s My Sunny Boy.”

The single topped the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart for one week. Reaching number-one on the American pop chart in the final 1969 issue of Billboard magazine (dated December 27),[2] the single was not only the final number-one in 12 chart-topping pop hits for The Supremes,[3] but it also holds the distinction of being the final American number-one hit of the 1960s.

Leaving on a Jet Plane

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” is a song written by John Denver in 1966 and most famously recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary. The original title of the song was “Babe, I Hate to Go” but Denver’s then producer Milt Okun convinced him to change the title.

The song was initially recorded in 1966 by John Denver with the title “Babe, I Hate to Go.” That same year, Denver chose this song along with fifteen others and, with his own money, had 250 copies pressed onto vinyl. He distributed the copies to friends and family. Vocal group Peter, Paul and Mary were so impressed with the song that they chose to record it themselves and released it on their 1967 Album 1700. However, it didn’t become a hit for them until they released it as a single in 1969.

It turned out to be Peter, Paul and Mary’s biggest (and final) hit, becoming their only #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.[1] The song also spent three weeks atop the easy listening chart[2] and was used in commercials for United Airlines in the late 1970s. The song also topped the charts in Canada, and reached #2 in both the UK Singles Chart and Irish Singles Chart in February 1970.

John Denver recorded his own version of the song for his debut solo album, Rhymes & Reasons, and re-recorded it in 1973 for John Denver’s Greatest Hits. His version was featured in the end credits of The Guard.

Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye

“Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” is a song written and recorded by Paul Leka, Gary DeCarlo and Dale Frashuer, attributed to a then-fictitious band they named “Steam”. It was released under the Mercury subsidiary label Fontana and became a number one pop single on the Billboard Hot 100 in late 1969, and remained on the charts in early 1970.[1] In 1977, Chicago White Sox organist Nancy Faust began playing the song when White Sox sluggers knocked out the opposing pitcher. The fans would sing and a sports ritual was born.The song’s chorus remains well-known, and is still frequently used as a crowd chant at many sporting events generally directed at the losing side in an elimination contest when the outcome is all but certain or when an individual player is ejected or disqualified.

Something (Beatles song)

“Something” is a song by the Beatles, written by George Harrison and released on the band’s 1969 album Abbey Road. It was also issued on a double A-sided single with another track from the album, “Come Together”. “Something” was the first Harrison composition to appear as a Beatles A-side, and the only song written by him to top the US charts before the band’s break-up in April 1970. The single was also one of the first Beatles singles to contain tracks already available on an LP album.

The song drew high praise from the band’s primary songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney; Lennon stated that “Something” was the best song on Abbey Road, while McCartney considered it the best song Harrison had written.[2] As well as critical acclaim, the single achieved commercial success, topping the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States and making the top five in the United Kingdom. The song has been covered by over 150 artists, making it the second-most covered Beatles song after “Yesterday”. Artists who have covered the song include Phish, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, James Brown, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Andy Williams, Smokey Robinson, Ike & Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, Isaac Hayes, Julio Iglesias and Neil Diamond. Harrison said his favourite version of the song was James Brown’s, which he kept in his personal jukebox.[3]

Come Together

“Come Together” is a song by the Beatles written by John Lennon[1] but credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road and was released as a double A-sided single with “Something”, their 21st single in the United Kingdom and 26th in the United States. The song reached the top of the charts in the US[2] and peaked at number four in the UK.[3]

The song’s history began when Lennon was inspired by Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California against Ronald Reagan, which promptly ended when Leary was sent to prison for possession of marijuana:[4]

The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?[5]

It has been speculated[by whom?] that each verse refers cryptically to one of the Beatles.[6][unreliable source?][7][unreliable source?] It has also been suggested that the song has only a single “pariah-like protagonist” and Lennon was “painting another sardonic self-portrait”.[8]

Wedding Bell Blues

“Wedding Bell Blues” is a song written and recorded by Laura Nyro in 1966 that became a number one hit for The 5th Dimension in 1969 and subsequently a popular phrase in American culture. The song is written from the perspective of a woman whose boyfriend has not yet proposed to her, who wonders, “am I ever gonna see my wedding day?” The song carries dual themes of adoring love and frustrated lament.

Nyro wrote “Wedding Bell Blues” at the age of 18 as a “mini-suite”, featuring several dramatic rhythmic changes — a trait Nyro explored on future albums. It was to be recorded in 1966 for Verve Folkways label as part of what would become her More Than a New Discovery album. However, producer Herb Bernstein did not allow Nyro to record this version, which led to Nyro more or less disowning the entire album.

What was recorded was fairly similar in content and arrangement to the later, much more familiar, 5th Dimension version, albeit with a somewhat more soulful vocal line. It was released as a single in September 1966 and remained on the Billboard Pop Singles “Bubbling Under” charts segment for several weeks, peaking at #103.

Suspicious Minds

“Suspicious Minds” is an American song written and first recorded by American songwriter Mark James. After James’ recording failed commercially, the song was handed to Elvis Presley by producer Chips Moman, becoming a number one song in 1969, and one of the most notable hits of Presley’s career. “Suspicious Minds” was widely regarded as the single that returned Presley’s career success, following his ’68 Comeback Special. It was his eighteenth and last number-one single in the United States. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked it No. 91 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[citation needed] Session guitarist Reggie Young played on both the James and Presley versions.

I Can’t Get Next to You

“I Can’t Get Next to You” is a 1969 number-one single recorded by The Temptations and written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for the Gordy (Motown) label. The song was the number-one single on the Billboard Top Pop Singles chart for two weeks in 1969, from October 11 to October 25, replacing “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies and replaced by “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley. The single was also a number-one hit on the Billboard Top R&B Singles for five weeks,[1] from October 4 to November 1, replacing “Oh, What a Night” by The Dells, and replaced by another Motown song, “Baby I’m For Real” by The Originals.

The single was the second of the Temptations’ four number-one hits on the United States pop charts, and was also one of the best-selling singles the group released. Billboard ranked it as the No. 3 song for 1969.[2]

ABC, a song released in the following year by fellow Motown act The Jackson Five, uses the same bridge section, featuring identifiable use of the stated “ya!” as well as the percussion.

Sugar, Sugar

“Sugar, Sugar” is a pop song written by Jeff Barry and Andy Kim. It was originally recorded by the Archies, a bubblegum pop band formed by a group of fictional teenagers in the television cartoon series The Archie Show. It reached number one in the US on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969 and stayed there for four weeks. It was also number one on the UK Singles chart in that same year for eight weeks. The song became a hit again in 1970 when rhythm and blues and soul singer Wilson Pickett took it back onto the charts.

Honky Tonk Women

“Honky Tonk Women” is a 1969 hit song by The Rolling Stones. Released as a single only release (although a country version was included on “Let It Bleed”), on 4 July 1969 in the United Kingdom and a week later in the United States, it topped the charts in both nations.[3]

The song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards while on holiday in Brazil from late December 1968 to early January 1969, inspired by Brazilian “caipiras” (inhabitants of rural, remote areas of parts of Brazil) at the ranch where Jagger and Richards were staying in Matão, São Paulo.[4] Two versions of the song were recorded by the band: the familiar hit which appeared on the 45 single and their collection of late 1960s singles, Through the Past, Darkly (Big Hits Vol. 2); and a honky-tonk version entitled “Country Honk” with slightly different lyrics, which appeared on Let It Bleed (1969).

Thematically, a “honky tonk woman” refers to a dancing girl in a western bar who may work as a prostitute; the setting for the narrative in the first verse of the blues version is Memphis, Tennessee, while “Country Honk” sets the first verse in Jackson, Mississippi.[5]

I met a gin soaked bar-room queen in Memphis

I’m sittin’ in a bar, tippin’ a jar in Jackson

The band initially recorded the track called “Country Honk”, in London in early March 1969. Brian Jones was present during these sessions and may have played on the first handful of takes and demos. It was his last recording session with the band.[6][7] The song was transformed into the familiar electric, riff-based hit single “Honky Tonk Women” sometime in the spring of 1969, prior to Mick Taylor’s joining the group.[2] In an interview in the magazine Crawdaddy!, Richards credits Taylor for influencing the track: “… the song was originally written as a real Hank Williams/Jimmie Rodgers/1930s country song. And it got turned around to this other thing by Mick Taylor, who got into a completely different feel, throwing it off the wall another way.”[8] However, in 1979 Taylor recalled it this way: “I definitely added something to Honky Tonk Women, but it was more or less complete by the time I arrived and did my overdubs.”[9]

“Honky Tonk Women” is distinctive as it opens not with a guitar riff, but with a beat played on a cowbell. The Rolling Stones’ producer Jimmy Miller performed the cowbell for the recording.

The concert rendition of “Honky Tonk Women” on Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out! (1970) differs significantly from the studio hit, with a markedly dissimilar guitar introduction and the first appearance on vinyl of an entirely different second verse.

In the Year 2525

“In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)” is a 1969 hit song by the American pop-rock duo of Dennis Zager and Rick Evans. It reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks commencing July 12, 1969. It peaked at number one in the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in August and September that year.[1] The song was written and composed by Rick Evans in 1964 and originally released on a small regional record label (Truth Records) in 1968.[2] Zager and Evans disbanded in 1971.

It is unusual for a recording artist to have a number one hit and then never have another chart single. Zager and Evans are the only act to do this in both the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. Their follow-up single on RCA-Victor, “Mr. Turnkey” (a song about a rapist who nails his own wrist to the wall as punishment for his crime), failed to hit the main music charts on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Another single, “Listen to the People”, managed to make the bottom slot of the Cashbox chart at #100.

Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet

“Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet”, also known as “A Time for Us”, is an instrumental arranged by Henry Mancini (from Nino Rota’s music written for Franco Zeffirelli’s film of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey). It was a number-one pop hit in the United States during the year 1969. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on June 28, 1969, and remained there for two weeks; it was also his only Top Ten single on that chart.[1]

Rearranged by Mancini, the song started competing with rock and roll songs from The Beatles and the Rolling Stones on an Orlando, Florida radio station and spread from there. It faced stiff opposition from some radio stations for being too soft. Those stations had to change their mind when the song became number one, ending the five-week run of Get Back by the Beatles as the top song.[1]

This release also topped the U.S. easy listening chart for eight weeks where it was Mancini’s sole number one on the chart.[2]

Get Back

“Get Back” is a song recorded by the Beatles and written by Paul McCartney (though credited to Lennon-McCartney), originally released as a single on 11 April 1969 and credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston.”[2] A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be (1970), which was the Beatles’ last album released just after the group split. The single version was later issued on the compilation albums 1967–1970, 20 Greatest Hits, Past Masters, and 1.

The single reached number one in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, West Germany, and Mexico. It was the Beatles’ only single that credited another artist at their request. “Get Back” was the Beatles’ first single release in true stereo in the US. In the UK, the Beatles’ singles remained monaural until the following release, “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.

Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In

“Medley: Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In (The Flesh Failures)” (commonly called “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”, “The Age of Aquarius” or “Let the Sunshine In”) is a medley of two songs written for the 1967 musical Hair by James Rado & Gerome Ragni (lyrics), and Galt MacDermot (music), released as a single by American R&B group the 5th Dimension. The song peaked at number one for six weeks on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart in the spring of 1969. The single topped the American pop charts and was eventually certified platinum in the U.S. by the RIAA.[1] Instrumental backing was provided by session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew.[2]

The song listed at #66 on Billboard’s “Greatest Songs of All Time.”[3]

Dizzy (Tommy Roe song)

“Dizzy” is a song originally recorded by Tommy Roe, with instrumental backing from L.A. session musicians known as the Wrecking Crew, which was an international hit single in 1969.[2]

Written by Roe and Freddy Weller, “Dizzy” was a major hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks in March 1969, for one week on the UK Singles Chart in June 1969, and was #1 in Canada in March 1969.[3]

“Dizzy” has eleven key changes total between a total of four keys. One key is used for the verses, while the choruses get three keys. The key used for the verses is the lowest, while the choruses start off in a higher key, quickly increases to an even higher key, then increases yet again.

It was subsequently recorded by such disparate artists as Boney M, Mike Melvoin and the Deadbeats, Wreckless Eric and Billy J. Kramer.

In 1989, it was sampled by De La Soul on a remix by Chad Jackson of their track “The Magic Number” from their album Three Feet High and Rising. In 1994 it was covered by Babe on their album 4 Babe pesme; the Babe version being entitled “Dizel”.

In 2005, “Dizzy” was used in the soundtrack of The Sandlot 2.

Everyday People

“Everyday People” is a 1968 song by Sly and the Family Stone. It was the first single by the band to go to number one on the Soul singles chart and the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart.[1] It held that position, on the Hot 100, for four weeks from February 15 to March 14, 1969, and is remembered as a popular song of the 1960s. Billboard ranked it as the No. 5 song of 1969.[2] As with most of Sly & the Family Stone’s songs, Sly Stone was credited as the sole songwriter.

Crimson and Clover

“Crimson and Clover” is a 1968 song by American rock band Tommy James and the Shondells. Written by the duo of Tommy James and drummer Peter Lucia Jr., it was intended as a change in direction of the group’s sound and composition.

“Crimson and Clover” was released in late 1968 as a rough mix after a radio station leaked it. It spent 16 weeks on the U.S. charts, reaching number one in the United States (in February 1969) and other countries. The single has sold 5 million copies, making it Tommy James and the Shondells’ best-selling song.[3] It has been covered by many artists such as Joan Jett and Prince.

In 2006, Pitchfork Media named it the 57th best song of the 1960s.[4]

I Heard It Through the Grapevine

“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” is a song written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records in 1966. The first recording of the song to be released was produced by Whitfield for Gladys Knight & the Pips and released as a single in September 1967; it went to number two in the Billboard chart.

The Miracles recorded the song first and included their version on their 1968 album, Special Occasion. The Marvin Gaye version was placed on his 1968 album In the Groove, where it gained the attention of radio disc jockeys, and Berry Gordy finally agreed to its release as a single in October 1968, when it went to the top of the Billboard Pop Singles chart for seven weeks from December 1968 to January 1969 and became for a time the biggest hit single on the Motown label (Tamla).

The Gaye recording has since become an acclaimed soul classic, and in 2004, it was placed on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. On the commemorative fiftieth anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100 issue of Billboard magazine in June 2008, Marvin Gaye’s “Grapevine” was ranked sixty-fifth. It was also inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame for “historical, artistic and significant” value.

In addition to being released several times by Motown artists, the song has been recorded by a range of musicians including Creedence Clearwater Revival, who made an eleven-minute interpretation for their 1970 album, Cosmo’s Factory; and has been used twice in television commercials – each time using session musicians recreating the style of the Marvin Gaye version: the 1985 Levi’s commercial, “Launderette”, featuring male model Nick Kamen, and the 1986 California raisins promotion with Buddy Miles as the singer for the clay animation group The California Raisins.

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