Top Radio Hits 1967: As Good as It Gets

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Elvis Presley weddingAmong 1967’s biggest news stories: Ronald Reagan became Governor of California, the Boston Strangler was sentenced to life in prison, Jimmy Hoffa was alive and began serving a prison sentence for jury obstruction, Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu were married, the final episode of The Fugitive aired on TV, a plane piloted by a U.S. naval officer named John McCain was shot down in North Vietnam where he was made a POW, The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s and the Summer of Love took place.

This 1967 list from Chicago’s WLS is hard to top for the incredible number of classic rock songs in their Top 40 that have stood the test of time. And check out the names of some of the labels that appear; several are long gone.

We’ll start with Buffalo Springfield whose “For What It’s Worth” at #35 is one of the handful of go-to songs that is used by Hollywood to depict the era. The song, written by Stephen Stills, was far and away the group’s biggest hit.

At #33 is Arthur Conley‘s “Sweet Soul Music,” the biggest hit of his career–it reached #2–which he co-wrote with Otis Redding.

Another of those songs that’s so reminiscent of the hippie era is Scott McKenzie‘s “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair),” written by the Mamas & the Papas’ John Phillips, and WLS’ #32 for the year.

The Rolling Stones‘ sole entry here is “Ruby Tuesday” at #30, their fourth #1 U.S. hit.

At #28 was one of the Hollies‘ big hits, “Carrie Anne,” with this great video…

Manchester, England’s Herman’s Hermits enjoyed 11 Top 10 U.S. hits. The last one was “There’s a Kind of Hush,” the year’s #26th biggest.

Related: Our interview with Peter Noone on many of the group’s big hits

The Cowsills earned two #2 singles, one of which was the beautiful “The Rain, The Park and Other Things,” #25 for the year.

That electric sitar on Stevie Wonder‘s, “I Was Made to Love Her,” came courtesy of Eddie Willis, a guitarist with Motown’s in-house band, the Funk Brothers. The great single was #24 for the year.

The Rascals scored three #1 hits, one of which was the brilliant “Groovin’,” WLS’ #22 biggest hit of 1967.

The Monkees had three of the year’s biggest hits… “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” at #34, “I’m a Believer” (#3) and our personal favorite, “Daydream Believer,” at #19.

The Doors‘ incendiary “Light My Fire” was a #1 smash (and #17 for the year) from their 1967 self-titled debut.

At #16, the Strawberry Alarm Clock demonstrate that they don’t even need microphones. Far out!

The Beatles enjoyed two big hits on this chart: “Hello, Goodbye ” (#31) and “Penny Lane” (#14).

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, had one of the biggest hits of her career with “Respect.” Here’s a live performance of the year’s #10 song.

The Association earned two #1 singles in their career including the year’s #9 biggest single, “Windy.”

Tommy James and the Shondells had seven Top 10 hits during their run, one of which was the great “I Think We’re Alone Now,” #8 for the year.

Be sure to read our 1967 timeline.

The Turtles had two huge hits in ’67. “She’d Rather Be With Me” was #40 for the year. This performance video of #5, “Happy Together,” might be our favorite clip.

At #4 (and #1 on Billboard‘s year-end chart) was Lulu with the theme song from the film To Sir, With Love. The singer was 18 years old when it hit the top of the charts, where it remained for five weeks. Get out your handkerchiefs…

We’ve written a Classic Video feature on the Box Tops‘ great “The Letter,” which clocks in at just 1:58, and was the year’s #2 biggest hit on WLS.

At #1? Bobbie Gentry‘s “Ode to Billie Joe.” Here’s a wild fact: while the song topped the U.S. pop chart, it peaked at only #17 on the country singles chart.

Related: Our feature story on “Ode to Billie Joe”

40. “She’d Rather Be With Me” – The Turtles (White Whale)

39. “Please Love Me Forever” – Bobby Vinton (Epic)

38. “Reflections” – Diana Ross & the Surpremes (Motown)

37. “Hey Baby” – Buckinghams (Columbia)

36. “Get On Up” – Esquires (Bunky)

35. “For What It’s Worth” – Buffalo Springfield (Atco)

34. “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” – The Monkees (Colgems)

33. “Sweet Soul Music” – Arthur Conley (Atco)

32. “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” – Scott McKenzie (Ode)

31. “Hello, Goodbye” – The Beatles (Capitol)

30. “Ruby Tuesday” – The Rolling Stones (London)

29. “Funky Broadway” – Wilson Pickett (Atlantic)

28. “Carrie Anne” – Hollies (Epic)

27. “Never My Love” – Association (Warner Bros.)

26. “There’s a Kind of Hush” – Herman’s Hermits (MGM)

25. “The Rain, The Park and Other Things” – The Cowsills (MGM)

24. “I Was Made to Love Her” – Stevie Wonder (Tamla)

23. “Come Back When You Grow Up” – Bobby Vee (Liberty)

22. “Groovin'” – Young Rascals (Atlantic)

21. “Let it Out” – Hombres (Verve)

20. “Come On Down To My Boat” – Every Mother’s Son (MGM)

19. “Daydream Believer” – The Monkees (Colgems)

18. “Something Stupid” – Frank and Nancy Sinatra (Reprise)

17. “Light My Fire” – The Doors (Elektra)

16. “Incense and Peppermints” – Strawberry Alarm Clock (Uni)

15. “Soul Man” – Sam and Dave (Stax)

14. “Penny Lane”/”Strawberry Fields Forever” – The Beatles (Capitol)

13. “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” – Frankie Valli (Philips)

12. “Kind Of A Drag” – The Buckinghams (Columbia)

11. “Georgy Girl” – The Seekers (Capitol)

10. “Respect” – Aretha Franklin (Atlantic)

9. “Windy” – The Association (Warner Bros.)

8. “I Think We’re Alone Now” – Tommy James and the Shondells (Roulette)

7. “Snoopy vs. the Red Baron” – Royal Guardsmen (Laurie)

6. “Little Bit Of Soul” – Music Explosion (Laurie)

5. “Happy Together” – Turtles (White Whale)

4. “To Sir With Love” – Lulu (Epic)

3. “I’m A Believer” – The Monkees (Colgems)

2. “The Letter” – The Boxtops (Mala)

1. “Ode To Billie Joe” – Bobbie Gentry (Capitol)

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Mike
    #1 Mike 23 December, 2015, 20:56

    Best music ever

    Reply this comment
    • Jim
      Jim 8 November, 2016, 17:35

      Would generally tend to agree, but it was the start of my high school years.

      Reply this comment
  2. Queenie
    #2 Queenie 13 September, 2019, 19:34

    Could not someone make a compilation of these giant hits for Baby Boomers?

    Reply this comment
  3. Bob
    #3 Bob 13 March, 2021, 14:47

    What was notable about the songs from 1967 was a song by The Cowsills. This group later sang the theme song to the play “Hair”. What is most notable about the group was that since the performers were so young, their mother was a performing member of the band. You do not see that happen in music.

    Reply this comment
  4. Da Mick
    #4 Da Mick 14 March, 2021, 11:34

    What can one say? It was an unparalleled time to be of a certain age. I’m forever grateful.

    Reply this comment

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