Radio Hits in December 1967: Things Were ‘Different’

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Some of the events that were happening as 1967 was coming to a close… Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the world’s first human-to-human heart transplant. Allen Ginsberg and Dr. Benjamin Spock were among those arrested at a Vietnam War protest in New York City.

In the coming days, the Green Bay Packers would win the NFL Championship against the Dallas Cowboys in the famous “Ice Bowl” game.

And the weekly survey on Miami’s Top 40 WQAM was loaded with songs that would remain favorites decades later.

Bubbling under the Top 10… Aretha Franklin‘s “Chain of Fools” took a huge jump from #51 to #37. The song would ultimately reach #1 R&B and #2 pop in the U.S.

Also taking a big leap was Smokey Robinson & the Miracles‘ “I Second That Emotion,” from #36 to #25. It, too, would become a #1 R&B hit; #4 pop.

The Royal Guardsmen were having another Snoopy-themed hit as “Snoopy’s Christmas” moved from #26 to #19.

Making the biggest jump was John Fred & His Playboy Band with “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses).” (The song’s title was a parody of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.”) This week, the amazing single went from #48 to #16 and would ultimately reach #1 and was the group’s lone hit.

Entering the Top 10 was The Bee Gees‘ fourth worldwide hit of 1967, “Massachusetts.” (The other three: “New York Mining Disaster 1941,” “To Love Somebody” and Holiday.”)

Despite Johnny Rivers‘ beautiful vocal on “Summer Rain,” the song–at #9 this week on WQAM–would stall at just #14 nationally. Not sure why it was released in November…

Related: Our feature story on Johnny Rivers

Gladys Knight & the Pips‘ amazing “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” jumped from #33 to #7 (on its way to #1 R&B and #1 pop).

Related: Looking back at 1967 in rock music

Mike Nesmith’s “Different Drum” was at #5 for the Stone Poneys (featuring Linda Ronstadt on lead vocals). The song stalled nationally at #13.

At #3, The Monkees earned their third (and final) #1 single with “Daydream Believer,” with Davy Jones on lead vocals.

Gary Puckett and Union Gap enjoyed five Top 10 hits in less than two years. The first, “Woman Woman,” was at #2 (peaking at #4 nationally).

And at #1? The Beatles‘ two-sided hits “Hello, Goodbye” and “I Am the Walrus,” in a long string of chart-toppers for the Fab Four.

Related: The #1 singles of 1967

37. “Chain of Fools” – Aretha Franklin

25. “I Second That Emotion” – Smokey Robinson & the Miracles

19. “Snoopy’s Christmas” – The Royal Guardsmen

16. “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses) – John Fred & His Playboy Band

10. “Massachusetts” – The Bee Gees

9. “Summer Rain” – Johnny Rivers

8. “Beg Borrow and Steal” – Ohio Express

7. “I Heard it Through the Grapevine” – Gladys Knight & the Pips

6. “I Say a Little Prayer” – Dionne Warwick

5. “Different Drum” – Stone Poneys

4. “Sit Down Kids” – Cher

3. “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees

2. “Woman Woman” – Gary Puckett & the Union Gap

1. “Hello, Goodbye” / “I Am the Walrus” – The Beatles

Chart courtesy of WQAM Radio Tribute Site

Best Classic Bands Staff

2 Comments so far

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  1. Jean Michel
    #1 Jean Michel 21 December, 2020, 04:18

    December 10th, 1967 :Otis Redding’s death in a crash plane…..
    Is it less important than Green Bay Packers winning NFL. ??

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  2. V2787
    #2 V2787 21 December, 2023, 18:24

    1967 was the year I graduated from high school. I remember every one of these songs as well as the day I first heard them, all those years ago. That music was eclectic, fun, engaging, and meaningful. Today, the entire music industry is a different story altogether. I feel so sad for today’s young people who are being fed only the current garbage that passes for “music.”

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