I was intrigued to discover recently that 1950s-60s instrumental group from New Mexico, The Fireballs, had a Top 10 hit in the year (cue trumpets) 1967! with “Bottle of Wine” written by Tom Paxton, the celebrated folk songwriter, singer and community activist:
Produced by Norman Petty, of Buddy Holly fame, “Bottle of Wine” would be released – in Monterey Pop’s wake – on June 24, 1967. “Bottle of Wine” would peak at #9 during the final week of 1967 and may have proven, in retrospect, to be the biggest chart hit for Paxton, who does not have a strong reputation for being a “singles” artist — and yet a search of the 45Cat database for songs written by Tom Paxton reveals his name to have have been branded as songwriter on dozens of 45s.
It’s worth pointing out that two different songs were used for this 45’s B-side resulting in a curious alignment of trading markets relative to each B-side:
“Can’t You See I’m Tryin’” (by Glen Campbell & Jerry Fuller) was used as the flip side for the following commercial markets:
- United States
“Ain’t That Rain” (by Barbara & George Tomsco, guitarist for the Fireballs), meanwhile, was used as the B-side for quite a number of other trading nations:
- New Zealand
- South Africa