Top 40 April 1969: Hair, There and Everywhere

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Hair MusicalIf you were around in April 1969, you would have heard about a group of roughly 300 students taking over Harvard University’s administration building in a protest. If you were visiting New York, the hot ticket on Broadway was for the hippie musical Hair. (More on that later.) And you likely would’ve read about newlyweds John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s recent “bed-in” in Amsterdam.

It was still months before Neil Armstrong’s moon walk and the Woodstock Music Festival and you were likely listening blissfully to these hit songs on Top 40 radio…

Bubbling under the Top 10 were future hits like the Ventures “Hawaii Five-0” at #18 (which would ultimately peak at #4) and “Gimme Gimme Gold Lovin'” from the Crazy Elephant at #15.

At #10 was “Galveston,” the third of three Jimmy Webb compositions that Glen Campbell scored with. It would reach #4 nationally. Tommy James & the Shondells were in the midst of their serious roll through the second half of the Sixties. At #9 this week, “Sweet Cherry Wine” was the sixth of what would be seven Top 10 hits in a four-year run.

The Zombies‘ great and final hit, “Time of the Season,” was at #8, having reached #2 a few weeks’ earlier. Those looking for a bit of bubblegum music would’ve enjoyed Tommy Roe‘s “Dizzy.” It was at #6, on its way down from #1. And if you are assuming that “Tommy Roe” was his stage name, you would be incorrect. He was born Thomas Roe in Atlanta, Georgia.

At #3 this week was the Cowsills‘ “Hair.” Though the family act had only three Top 10 singles, they became the inspiration for TV’s The Partridge Family. “Hair” was, of course, the title song of the Broadway musical. Give me down to there hair, Shoulder length or longer, Here baby there mama, Everywhere daddy daddy Hair.

Blood, Sweat & Tears‘ self-titled second album was a monster success and would win the Grammy Award for Album of the Year. It had three enormous singles: “Spinning Wheel,” “And When I Die” and “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy,” which was at #2 this week. The singer with the distinctive voice (and all-time great frontman name) was David Clayton-Thomas.

And at #1? The medley of “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In,” also from Hair. Sung by the Fifth Dimension, with instrumentation by the Los Angeles session musicians The Wrecking Crew, the song would stay at #1 for six weeks and ultimately win the Grammy for Record of the Year.

10. “Galveston” – Glen Campbell (Capitol)

9. “Sweet Cherry Wine” – Tommy James & the Shondells (Roulette)

8. “Time of the Season” – The Zombies (Date)

7. “Only the Strong Survive” – Jerry Butler (Mercury)

6. “Dizzy” – Tommy Roe (ABC)

5. “It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers (T-Neck)

4. “25 Miles” – Edwin Starr (Gordy)

3. “Hair” – The Cowsills (MGM)

2. “You’ve Made Me So Very Happy” – Blood, Sweat & Tears (Columbia)

1. “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” – The Fifth Dimension (Soul City)

Chart courtesy of Musicradio77.com

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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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