#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.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “#1 songs on my birthday, 1964-1973”

  1. Harry Nilsson – Without You was one of the great songs of my adolescence, Spain made ​​a Spanish version!

  2. The Beatles I know too ! at least ! I even have seen the house where John Lennon lived and all other Beatle places in Liverpool !

  3. A great run of music, some of my favorites. I have a number of these on 45 (I, uh, “liberated” my Mom’s record collection before moving). When we were little, my sister and I used to play my Dad’s 45 of “Crocodile Rock” over and over, so it sounds like kid music to me (and my Mom HATED that song). I love “She Loves You,” and I remember that–much like “Crocodile Rock”–the first time I ever heard it was on The Muppet Show.

    “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” and “Let It Be” are two of the songs that make me feel like the world is kind of an okay place to live. Like no matter what happens I can deal with it.

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