50 Years Ago: Radio Hits for July 1966

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!the-troggs-wild-thing-atcoIn late July 1966, England was celebrating its World Cup victory over Germany. Bob Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident and would remain out of the public eye for a year.

And those listening 50 years ago to New York’s WABC Musicradio 77 were getting a great taste of how the pop charts were embracing rock ‘n’ roll. Jumping all the way from #58 to #21 was the Beach Boys‘ “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” (Surprisingly, the song would stall nationally at #8.) Popular male vocalists like Jack Jones (“The Impossible Dream”) and Frank Sinatra (“Strangers in the Night”) were in the Top 20.

The Mamas & the Papas were enjoying a big hit with “I Saw Her Again” (the follow-up to their #1 smash “Monday Monday.” At #6, The Rolling Stones had a hit about how tranquilizers helped housewives get through the day.

The Lovin’ Spoonful had one of the anthems of this summer with “Summer in the City” which would go on to reach #1 in August and stay there for three weeks. We love this clip particularly to admire John Sebastian’s amazing sideburns…

Anyone who listened to Top 40 in the 1960s recalls the popularity of novelty songs like “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” by Napoleon IV, who was a New Yorker by the name of Jerry Samuels.

Also rocking the WABC Top 10 were Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs, a Dallas, TX band whose stage costumes were inspired by Yul Brynner in the epic Biblical movie The Ten Commandments.

At #2 is the classic rock anthem “Wild Thing” by the English band The Troggs. The songwriting is mistakenly credited on the 45 to Trogg member Reg Presley but was in fact written by Chip Taylor (the brother of actor Jon Voight). The song became a #1 smasheroo.

10. “Sunny” – Bobby Hebb (Philips)

9. “Sweet Pea” – Tommy Roe (ABC)

8. “The Pied Piper” – Crispian St. Peters (Jamie)

7. “I Saw Her Again” – The Mamas & the Papas (Dunhill)

6. “Mother’s Little Helper” – The Rolling Stones (London)

5. “Summer In the City” – The Lovin’ Spoonful (Kama Sutra)

4. “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” – Napoleon XIV (Warner Bros.)

3. “Lil’ Red Riding Hood” – Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (MGM)

2. “Wild Thing” – The Troggs (Atco/Fontana)

1. “Hanky Panky” – Tommy James & the Shondells (Roulette)

(Courtesy of www.musicradio77.com)

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Best Classic Bands Staff

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