#1 songs on my birthday, 1964-1973

I’m passing on a great Sly song, and a Beatles anthem, to pick one of the greatest pop performances ever, in my mind.

Beatles-walkMy friend Dan Van Riper sent me this list of all the #1 songs since August 4, 1958.

I have links only to the middle tune, the song of my birthday. You can go to the website and hear the other contenders. If I’ve heard it before, I won’t play it again. If I’ve never heard of it, I’ll play it once. But I won’t listen to the adjacent tunes. My goal: am I happy with THAT choice to celebrate my birthday? Or (as will be the case in the latter stages of the game), I have no idea?

1/4/64 Bobby Vinton – There! I’ve Said It Again
2/1/64 The Beatles – I Want To Hold Your Hand
3/21/64 The Beatles – She Loves You

Maybe it’s because She Loves You was on a minor label (Swan) that finally became a hit in the US only after the Capitol Records marketing machine took IWTHYH to the top, but I always had the greater affection for it.

2/20/65 Gary Lewis and the Playboys – This Diamond Ring
3/6/65 The Temptations – My Girl
3/13/65 The Beatles – Eight Days A Week

All songs I own. I’ll pick that middle song, written by Smokey Robinson.

2/26/66 Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Are Made For Walkin’
3/5/66 Barry Sadler – The Ballad Of The Green Berets
4/9/66 The Righteous Brothers – (You’re My) Soul And Inspiration

The staff sergeant’s song was #1 for FIVE weeks, two weeks longer than any song that year. It wasn’t my type of record, let’s say, yet I knew all the words. Still, for my week, I’d take either of the other songs. Boots is iconic, though I never actually owned it, so I’ll pick Bill and Bobby.

2/18/67 The Buckinghams – Kind Of A Drag
3/4/67 The Rolling Stones -Ruby Tuesday
3/11/67 The Supremes – Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone

Own all of these, too. A tossup. All decent songs, none my favorite by the artist. Supremes, I suppose.

2/3/68 The Lemon Pipers – Green Tambourine
2/10/68 Paul Mauriat and His Orchestra – Love Is Blue (L’Amour Est Bleu)
3/16/68 Otis Redding (Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay

Tough choice! I actually really liked Love Is Blue, the only performance by a French artist ever to top the Billboard Hot 100. “Its five-week run at the top was second-longest of any instrumental of the Hot 100 era next to 1960s Theme From A Summer Place,” which I was also fond of.
Then you have a song with GREEN in the title.
But I’ll opt for what I recall is the first posthumous #1 pop single, as Otis had died in a plane crash.

2/1/69 Tommy James and the Shondells – Crimson And Clover
2/15/69 Sly & the Family Stone – Everyday People
3/15/69 Tommy Roe – Dizzy

Did my sister own the Tommy Roe single? Heard it a lot. I’ll pick Sly, but I really also like how Crimson and Clover changes key near the end.

2/14/70 Sly & the Family Stone – Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)
2/28/70 Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
4/11/70 The Beatles – Let It Be

I’m passing on a great Sly song, and a Beatles anthem, to pick one of the greatest pop performances ever, in my mind.

1/23/71 Dawn – Knock Three Times
2/13/71 The Osmonds – One Bad Apple
3/20/71 Janis Joplin – Me And Bobby McGee

This is an easy pick. Donny trying to sound like Michael Jackson; nope. Tony Orlando; nope. Yet another posthumous #1, a great song written by Kris Kristofferson; yup.

2/12/72 Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
2/19/72 Nilsson – Without You
3/18/72 Neil Young – Heart Of Gold

Another tough choice. I love Neil, and this is perhaps cousin Al’s greatest song. But Without You, I felt viscerally.

2/3/73 Elton John – Crocodile Rock
2/24/73 Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song
3/24/73 The O’Jays – Love Train

Mediocre Elton (given his other output from that period), decent Roberta, but anthemic (and geographically-based) O’Jays win out.

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