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 list of the top radio hits of 1967 is 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 clip…

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.

Imagine the pride of having a #1 single with your offspring. Frank Sinatra was 51 when he and his 26-year-old daughter Nancy hit the top of the chart with their duet, “Something Stupid,” on April 15.

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 music 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)

Best Classic Bands Staff

13 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
  5. Da Mick
    #5 Da Mick 31 December, 2021, 20:19

    Two things:

    When i first heard “Carrie Anne” i couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out what was making tha incredibly unique sound on the instrumental break. Id never heard heard of steel drums, much less heard what tge6 sonded like. What an amazingly creative idea to use them in such a perfectly blended way, in a pop song. It’s my favorite, of the Hollies.

    Also, if you want to hear something heavenly and exciting at the same time, search for some modern day versions of the Cowsills doing “The Rain, The Park ” live. All the varied recordings sound great, but there are some live recordings whose fidelity of that song will move you beyond words. Hope you have a really good new year, my Brother and sister music lovers!

    Reply this comment
  6. julie
    #6 julie 19 August, 2022, 02:46

    Would really like to read more about Strawberry Alarm Clock. It was my first real concert at Santa Barbara fairgrounds 67″…Im 13 yrs old and remember that funny smell in the building, and the best Freking light ever!

    Reply this comment
    #7 SHE WHO DANCES 11 November, 2022, 00:08

    older relatives tell me even though there was a war in was a wonderful time to be young!..the music…today’s music?? music?? like carbonated soda..a lotta fizz…but no real content!

    Reply this comment
  8. v2787
    #8 v2787 1 September, 2023, 20:58

    The quality of these songs is staggering. Compare these timeless classics to the absolute garbage that is pop radio today. I’m so, so glad I was around to hear this music when it was released in 1967. I have great pity for today’s young people who will never know what it’s like to have supreme quality music as the soundtrack to their lives.

    Reply this comment
  9. Norm
    #9 Norm 2 September, 2023, 19:20

    Wow! I am really surprised to see that «All You Need Is Love», the song that top the charts during the Summer Of Love almost everywhere on earth, and still in the US Billboard Top 30 (Canada RPM 100 Top 3) at the end of 67, is not in the top 40 of Windy City. Incredible! I listened to this song so much during the whole summer of 67, I don’t understand why it’s not there. Chicagoan, explain me!

    Reply this comment
  10. Jas
    #10 Jas 3 September, 2023, 05:33

    Such great tunes! And I love to be able to see them perform again. Wish you had clips of more of the songs. Truly privileged to have lived through this era and it was just the beginning of so many great things to come.

    Reply this comment

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