As little as I know about current recordings, I know about as much about the music of my youth. If you asked me who performed the first three songs I have mentioned here, I would have little problem, though these were the only Top 40 hits each of them had.
Put Your Hand In The Hand, I could tell you, was by the group Ocean. I even have this song on some compilation LP. The record by the pop band from London, Ontario, Canada went to #2 in 1971. It was originally released by future Canadian hitmaker Anne Murray in 1970, but it did not chart for her.
In my mind, I associate that song with One Toke Over The Line by Brewer & Shipley, which hit #10 in 1971. Mike Brewer was out of Oklahoma City, Tom Shipley from Mineral Ridge, OH, who formed as folk-rock duo in Los Angeles.
Spirit in the Sky by Norman Greenbaum, born in Malden, MA, was #3, for three weeks in 1970. Dustbury described this quite well recently, but I included it anyway.
Given the decadent nature of rock and roll (or so I’ve been told), I was fascinated by the spiritual nature of these songs, plus the explicit message of Oh Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers in 1969.
For another song from the era, I picked Jesus is Just Alright by the Doobie Brothers, assuredly NOT a one-hit-wonder. This song went to #35 in early 1973. This was on Toulouse Street, their second album with the decadent gatefold photo.
Put Your Hand In The Hand – Anne Murray HERE
Put Your Hand In The Hand – Ocean HERE
One Toke Over The Line – Brewer & Shipley HERE
One Toke Over The Line – Gail and Dale HERE