Look Back: December 1969 Top 40 Hits

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SteamThe turbulent ‘60s were coming to an end in December 1969. It was just a few months after Woodstock, Neil Armstrong and the Miracle Mets. The Vietnam War was in full swing and if you knew of Watergate it was because you were familiar with the Washington DC apartment complex and not because of a political scandal that was yet to happen.

And Tiger Radio on Miami’s WQAM 560 had a phenomenal Top 40 survey as the year was ending.

Just outside the Top 10 was Led Zeppelin with “Whole Lotta Love,” making a huge leap from #27 to #12. The song would eventually peak at #4 in the U.S. nationally, the band’s highest-charting single of their career.

At #10 was the third huge single from Blood, Sweat & Tears’ self-titled second album, “And When I Die.” Oddly enough, all three singles from the album – the other two were “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” and “Spinning Wheel” – peaked nationally at #2 for the jazz-rock group.

Three Dog Night were in the early stages of their unreal run of singles: their “Eli’s Coming” (written by Laura Nyro, who had two songs in the Top 10) was at #7 this week, one of their 18 straight singles to reach the Top 20.

At #6 this week was “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam, a #1 single nationally. The tune has earned its songwriters plenty since it’s used frequently at sporting events to bid a not-so-fond farewell to the visiting team when victory was assured.

Stevie Wonder weighed in with “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday” at #5, one of his 27 Top 10 singles (take that, Three Dog Night!).

The 5th Dimension’s cover of Laura Nyro’s beautiful “Wedding Bell Blues” was at #4, a month after topping the chart for three weeks.

At #3 was B.J. Thomas’ huge recording of the Burt Bacharach-Hal David song, “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head.” The song was featured prominently in the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and ultimately earned an Academy Award for Best Original Song. The song begins at 0:40…

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At #1? Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” the biggest chart hit for the trio. It’s composer? None other than John Denver.

Survey courtesy of the WQAM Sixties Tribute Site

10. “And When I Die” – Blood, Sweat & Tears (Columbia)

9. “Midnight Cowboy” – Ferrante & Teicher (United Artists)

8. “Smile A Little Smile For Me” – Flying Machine (Congress)

7. “Eli’s Coming” – Three Dog Night (ABC/Dunhill)

6. “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” – Steam (Fontana)

5. “Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday” – Stevie Wonder (Tamla)

4. “Wedding Bell Blues” – Fifth Dimension (Soul City)

3. “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” – B.J. Thomas (Scepter)

2. “Someday We’ll Be Together” – Diana Ross & The Supremes (Motown)

1. “Leaving On A Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary (Warner Bros.)

Best Classic Bands Staff

Best Classic Bands Staff

The BCB team brings you the latest Breaking News plus Contests, On This Day rock history stories, retro-Charts and more.
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