Considering that the popular television show Mad Men
began its first season in 1960, it's only a matter of scheduling before it reaches 1968. These are the songs that were at the # 1 position on the pop charts during the September of their years. Roll over Don Draper and tell Dick Whitman the news!
10) The Twist -- Chubby Checker (1960): It was like the Macarena of its day. But with weaker marketing, since there was no global radio network to ensure that everyone heard the exact same thing.
9) Take Good Care of My Baby -- Bobby Vee (1961): With hindsight, this plays out just fine, but if you were living in 1961 and had no idea what was coming next, I could see how you might get a little depressed and turn your attention to Jazz!
8) Sherry -- The Four Seasons (1962): The Four Seasons got their name from a bowling alley in my hometown and that still doesn't earn them any points in my book. Nope. Frankie Valli's falsetto is enough to inspire a man to do terrible things. Maybe it's the real reason I moved out of state!
7) Blue Velvet -- Bobby Vinton (1963): I kinda liked the David Lynch movie of the same name.
6) My Boyfriend's Back -- The Angels (1963): Oh, finally, thank you, a song that sounds like it's alive. You can smell it in the air. Kids burning their grey flannel suits and getting ready to rock!
5) The House of the Rising Sun -- The Animals (1964): I'm a sucker for organ. Throw Eric Burdon on top of that and you've got the kind of music that would never make the top of the charts today. Or maybe it does and I'm just so out of it and tired of all the computer generated excitement that I can't hear it properly. Adults in 1964 likely complained about the Animals' "misuse" of electricity, too! Why, that "House of the Rising Sun"? That's a folk song!
4) Help! -- The Beatles (1965): As mentioned in a previous amazingly well-edited blog, Bob Dylan's "Like A Rolling Stone" was chart-blocked from the top slot by this movie theme to the Beatles' second film. There's absolutely no shame in getting beat by John Lennon, if you ask me. But I'm sure Dylan didn't see it that way.
3) You Can't Hurry Love -- The Supremes (1966): Sweet. Of course, it can't possibly compare to the Phil Collins rendition, but I dare to say that Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Marlene Barrow and the Funk Brothers were pretty good. You heard it here first, folks. List of the Day! always willing to take a stand.
2) Ode To Billie Joe -- Bobbie Gentry (1967): If a song can be said to emit weather, "Ode To Billie Joe" is the one to do it. This song isn't just hot, it's humid. Funny that it should've been a September hit since as far as I'm concerned this tune is pure July. If you pick up the album of the same name, you'll hear Bobbie Gentry try out a few more songs that sound like less successful versions of this iconic hit. Try it, it's fun!
1) Harper Valley P.T.A. -- Jeannie C. Riley (1968): Tell me you can't see Joan and Peggy feeling good about this song and ol' Roger Sterling raising an eyebrow or two when the next trip wears off. This Tom T. Hall-penned track is exactly the kind of cool pop hit that reflects the society it came up in. It makes heels out of people who say they don't like country music because it's a bunch of rednecks singing about their horses. Actually, Bob Dylan learned a lot from Hank Williams, even if he couldn't put it into exact words on Nashville Skyline. But Jeannie C. Riley did. Sock it to me, Hollis Brown!
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