Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976 (pt. 2)

Link to PART ONE = Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976

Patience:  Allow several minutes of loading time for these  100+ audio clips.

It’s a Gas” by The Hombres

peaked at #113 on January 13, 1968 [Verve Forecast]

  • Text of news item “Singleton Issues Hombres Videotapes” published in Billboard‘s December 30, 1967 edition:  “Shelby Singleton Productions last week made available for bandstand TV shows two color videotapes of The Hombres performing ‘It’s a Gas’ and ‘Am I High’ — the two tunes on their latest Verve Forecast single.  Both records were produced by Huey Meaux for Shelby Singleton Productions.”


Captain of Your Ship” by Reparata and the Delrons

peaked at #127 on February 3, 1968 [Mala]

  • “Captain of Your Ship” was a much bigger success in Europe (#13 in the UK Singles chart), where the group toured and performed on German TV’s “Beat Club.”
  • International distribution of this single included Rhodesia and India.

45 – Sweden


I Cannot Stop You” by The Cherry Slush

peaked at #119 on February 24, 1968 [U.S.A.]

  • Written, produced, and arranged by Dick Wagner, who later gained fame for his collaborations with Alice Cooper, Lou Reed & Kiss.
  • Billboard‘s January 6, 1968 edition included this 45 in a “Special Merit Highlight” (“new singles deserving special attention of programmers and dealers”) with this concise assessment — “The label that started the Buckinghams on the road to fame has another group with a hot rock item that could easily establish them in the same way.”
  • Program director/disk jockey Bobby Holland of Hazlehurst GA’s WVOH singled out “I Cannot Stop You” as the “Biggest Leftfield Happening” — as reported to Billboard in its March 30, 1968 edition.
  • #43 on Record World‘s “Singles Coming Up” chart in their Feb. 17, 1968 issue.
  • Gary Johnson’s biographical profile of this Michigan Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame band notes that “Saginaw’s Cherry Slush was one of mid-Michigan’s most popular bands during the 60’s” who were “also one of the few garage bands from that era to place a single on the charts of the three major trade papers in the 60’s, Billboard, Record World, and Cash Box.”


Bear Mash” by Ramsey Lewis

peaked at #123 on February 24, 1968

  • Ramsey Lewis Trio:  Ramsey Lewis (piano), Cleveland Eaton (bass) and future Earth, Wind & Fire bandleader, Maurice White (drums).
  • Billboard‘s February 3, 1968 edition included this 45 in a “Special Merit Highlight”  with these words of praise — “Discotheque and jukebox must in this infectious number played for all it’s worth by the piano wizard.”

Future Shocktypeface on 1967 LP


Do Drop Inn” by The Fifth Estate

peaked at #122 on March 16, 1968 [Jubilee]

45 – Germany


African Boo-Ga-Loo” by Jackie Lee

peaked at #121 on March 23, 1968 [Keymen]

  • When’s the last time you heard harmonica on a driving soul tune?
  • #49 in Cash Box‘s R&B Top 50 chart in the March 16, 1968 edition.
  • “African Boo-Ga-Loo” would be issued in the UK four years later in 1972 — though it turns out that Britain had been enjoying the ‘import’ version “for years.”

Review = 19 Jan 1973 edition of Blues and Soul (UK)


If You Didn’t Hear Me the First Time (I’ll Say It Again)” by The Sandpebbles

peaked at #122 on April 6, 1968 [Calla]

  • The descending chords of the main riff – combined with the chiming church bell – sounds suspiciously close to what Elton John used six years later for his arrangement ofLucy in the Sky” that hit the radio airwaves in 1974.
  • Reached #42 on Billboard‘s R&B chart on April 20, 1968.


Look at What I Almost Missed” by The Parliaments

peaked at #104 on April 13, 1968 [Revilot]

  • “Look At What I Almost Missed” — co-written by George Clinton & Tamala Lewis — reached no. 5 on CKLW, Windsor, according to 45Cat .
  • Cash Box‘s review in the March 6, 1968 edition — “Terrific pace of the newest outing from the Parliaments should set the team back on the winning road to pop action while maintaining solid blues area action.  Lively mid-speed outing that is tailored for dancing from the ‘Testify‘ group.  Should be well received.”


What a Day” by The Contrasts Featuring Bob Morrison

peaked at #120 on April 13, 1968 [Monument]

  • According to Plankton, “What a Day” reached no. 20 on CHUM, Toronto.
  • Johnnie Charles, program director/disk jockey at Bluefield WV’s WKOY, declared “What a Day” to be “Best Pick,” of the week (April 13, 1968), while Dean Tyler at Philadelphia’s WIBG chose the same song as the week’s “Best Leftfield Pick” (April 5, 1968).


Billy Sunshine” by Evie Sands

peaked at #133 on April 27, 1968 [Cameo]

  • Billboard‘s review reveals that even the best-laid plans don’t always guarantee commercial success — “The writing team of Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni has a hot sales item in this pulsating rocker with strong vocal workout that should bring Miss Sands back to the Hot 100 rapidly.”
  • Program director/disk jockey Rick Scarry of Ventura, CA’s KUDU pegged “Billy Sunshine” as the week’s “Biggest Leftfield Happening,” as reported in Billboard‘s April 13, 1968 edition.


Alone Again Or” by Love

peaked at #123 on May 4, 1968 [Elektra]

  • In a news item entitled, “Elektra to Pitch Product to UK’s College Cities,” Billboard‘s February 3, 1968 edition reports that “The new LP [Forever Changes] is getting the biggest ever Elektra UK promotion.  Publicity includes advertisements on buses in key cities, including London, Manchester, and Birmingham.  A single featuring two tracks from the LP “Alone Again Or” and “Bummer in the Summer” has just been issued.  If the record enters the charts, the group has agreed to visit England for personal appearances, says [Elektra’s Clive] Selwood.”
  • Selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of March 9, 1968 — “This pulsating folk-rocker should fast break the strong LP sellers onto the Hot 100 chart once again.  Good material, strong performance with driving dance beat in support featuring a mariachi flavored arrangement.”
  • Best Leftfield Pick” for the week of March 30, 1968 according to an unnamed program director/disk jockey at Flint, MI’s WTAC, as reported in Billboard.
  • This 45 helped usher in improved sound, as reported in Cash Box — “Almost all of Elektra Records’ singles will be released in compatible stereo, beginning with the new Love single, ‘Alone Again Or, it was announced last week by Jac Holzman, president of Elektra.  Singles will be released in the compatible stereo format.  Holzman said that this move was in keeping with the change-over in the U.S. to an all-stereo record industry.  He maintains that the continued release of mono singles was inconsistent with the superior sound of today’s stereo LP’s and might be one reason for the rapid drop in singles sales in the past year.”


Backwards and Forwards” by December’s Children

peaked at #123 on May 18, 1968 [World Pacific]

  • Time for everyone to sing along, even if you think you don’t want to —

  • Note:  In teeny-tiny print at the end of the lyric sheet above, it reads “I wrote this song.  I can’t figure it out, maybe you can … Ray Whitley” (i.e., the other person, besides Jimi Hendrix, who wrote a song in 1968 entitled “1983!)

45 — Germany


Days of Pearly Spencer” by David McWilliams

peaked at #134 on June 1, 1968


When Do We Go” by Billy Vera & Judy Clay

peaked at #107 on June 8, 1968 [Atlantic]

  • “When Do We Go” was selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of May 25, 1968 — “The strong duo hit it big with ‘Storybook Children‘ and [“Country Girl-City Man‘]  and this blues ballad, well performed, will put them even higher on the charts with stronger sales.  Soulful and meaningful material.”
  • Billy Vera’s recording career includes a #1 pop hit — “At This Moment” (by Billy Vera and the Beaters) that initially charted at #79 when released in 1981 before going all the way to the top when reissued in 1987 — as well as two other songs that “bubbled under” the Hot 100:  “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (which peaked at #121 on September 28, 1968 and “The Bible Salesman” (which peaked at #112 on May 17, 1969).  Judy Clay would also enjoy a Hot 100 hit in 1968 with William Bell on “Private Number” [which hit #75 Pop, #17 R&B, and #8 on the UK Singles chart], as well as two other recordings that “bubbled under”:  “My Baby Specializes” (with William Bell – #104 on Dec. 28, 1968) and “Greatest Love” (#122 on April 18, 1970).

45 — Italy


Soul Clappin’” by The Buena Vistas

peaked at #126 on September 7, 1968

  • 45Cat contributor Mr. Lobbers notes — “Although the labels state that the two sides are from the LP Here Comes Da Judge, the album does not appear to have been released.”
  • Picked by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of August 10, 1968 — “Their version of ‘Here Comes Da Judge’ took them into the Hot 100 and now this funky beat blues rocker has all the sales potential to take them high on both pop and r&b charts.  Powerful dance item.”
  • Somehow the single made its way over to France.

45 — France


Mission Impossible Theme/Norwegian Wood” by Alan Copeland

peaked at #120 on September 21, 1968 [ABC]


I Couldn’t Spell !!*@!” by Sam the Sham

peaked at #120 on October 5, 1968 [MGM]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Dallas-Fort Worth, as reported in Billboard.
  • #15 on Record World‘s “Singles Coming Up” chart in their Nov. 2, 1968 edition.


Paul’s Midnight Ride” [B-side] by The Delights Orchestra

peaked at #128 on October 26, 1968 [Atco]

  • Title and groove appear to be a reference to 1968’s “Horse” by Cliff Nobles & Co.
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon has the story behind the 45 — “An independent production from Philadelphia bought up by Atlantic.  The instrumental B-side started picking up airplay in St. Louis in September making the local top 20 on station KATZ.  This was enough for Billboard to register it on their bubbling under chart in late October peaking after two weeks at no. 128.  The Sweet Delights never recorded again but the Delights Orchestra did have a follow-up single.
  • 45Cat’s Felonious also chimes in — “I’m sure some of The Delights Orchestra became members of MFSB.  According to Funky 16 Corners and Classic Urban Harmony, The Sweet Delights were Geri Edgehill, Betty Allen, Valerie Brown, Grace Montgomery Allison, and Albert Byrd.


Fifty Two Per Cent” by Max Frost and the Troopers

peaked at #123 on December 14, 1968 [Tower]

  • Max Frost & the Troopers, as it turns out, is a fictional band created for the (Mike Curb-produced) exploitation flick Wild in the Streets.
  • 52% of the population in 1968 was under 25, you know.

45 — France


Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” by Buck Owens and the Buckaroos

peaked at #106 on February 8, 1969 [Capitol]

  • “Who’s Gonna Mow Your Grass” was also a #1 hit on the Billboard Country chart.
  • Song covered by Sue Thompson that same year.

45 — Norway


Lovey Dovey” by Johnny Nash

peaked at #130 on February 15, 1969 [JAD]

  • From the same artist whose previous year’s “Hold Me Tight” got major radio play [#1 Canada and #5 in US & UK Singles chart], another rare moment of Jamaican rocksteady on US radio — backing band almost certainly Lyn Taitt & the Jets.

45 — Belgium


Is There Anything Better Than Making Love” by The Fantastic Johnny C

peaked at #130 on March 22, 1969 [Phil-L.A. of Soul]

  • Record World designated this a “Sleeper Hit of the Week” in their Feb. 22, 1969 edition with this ringing endorsement:  “The Fantastic Johnny C wonders ‘Is There Anything Better Than Making Love?’ and the answer is listening to this cut.”


Me and Mr. Hohner” by Bobby Darin

peaked at #123 on May 10, 1969 [Direction]

  • Spoiler alert:  Reference to “Hohner” in the song title is exactly what you think it is.
  • Billboard‘s review — “Following up ‘Long Line Rider,’ Darin comes up with another stronger message lyric set to an infectious beat.  Top arrangement and vocal workout offers much for play and sales.”


If I Had a Reason” by Bubble Puppy

peaked at #128 on May 31, 1969 [International Artists]

  • Selected by Billboard as a Top 60 Pop Spotlight for the week of May 24, 1969
  • — “A different sound from the ‘Hot Smoke and Sassafrass‘ group, this pulsating rocker should bring them back to the charts with impact, and prove an important follow-up to their initial hit.”


Stomp” by NRBQ

peaked at #122 on June 28, 1969 [Columbia]


South Carolina” by The Flirtations

peaked at #111 on July 26, 1969 [Deram]

45 — Japan


Harlan County” by Jim Ford

peaked at #106 on September 13, 1969 [Sundown]

  • Vancouver Signature Sounds‘ Ray McGinnis wrote a short essay about Jim Ford in which “Harlan County” served as the focus — “While the song got enough traction in Vancouver to climb to #10 on the charts, it missed the Billboard Hot 100.  DJ’s in Vancouver may have decided to play list the song, as it was rising to #15 on KHJ in Los Angeles, the week before it became Hitbound on CKLG.  However, LA was one of just a couple of radio markets that gave the song a try.  “Harlan County” also happened to climb into the Top 20 across the Georgia Strait in Victoria.”
  • McGinnis also notes — “His friends included Sly Stone of Sly and the Family Stone who referred to Jim Ford on a 1971 Dick Cavett Show as his “honky-tonk man.”


Mommy and Daddy” [B-side] by The Monkees

peaked at #109 on September 20, 1969 [Colgems]

  • Cleaned-up” version of Micky Dolenz’s “social protest” song — original version with the heavyweight lyrics for comparison.
  • According to 45Cat contributors, “Mommy and Daddy” was a Top Ten hit in Albany, NY and also Kansas City.
  • Adds 45Cat’s porcupine — “[lyrical reference] ‘the “Kings of EMI’ was a two-fer for Mickey who also used [this phrase] in ‘Randy Scouse Git,’ a document of the Monkees’ visit to England.  The ‘four Kings of EMI (are) sitting stately on the floor’ referred to The Beatles, whom they met at a party.”


Never in Public” by Candi Staton

peaked at #124 on September 20, 1969 [Fame]

  • Billboard reported in its September 13, 1969 edition that WDIA’s Bill Thomas (Memphis) singled out “Never in Public” as that week’s “Biggest Happening” in Rhythm & Blues.
  • Record World designated this a “Sleeper Hit of the Week” in their Aug. 30, 1969 edition — “Candi Staton souls out ‘Never in Public’ and it’s another winner from funky Muscle Shoals.”


Comment” [B-side] by Charles Wright & the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band

peaked at #109 on October 11, 1969 [Warner Bros.]

  • B-side when released in the US, but an A-side when issued in France.


We Got Latin Soul” by Mongo Santamaria

peaked at #132 on October 18, 1969 [Columbia]

  • “We Got Latin Soul” was written by bassist/songwriter, R. Lester [Arlester] Christian who, as “Dyke,” was a member of The O’Jays backing band until he formed Dyke & the Blazers in 1965, according to Discogs.  Nod of gratitude to WayBackAttack for pointing out that “Latin Soul” is “a guaracha variation on the Dyke & the Blazers hit “We Got More Soul.”
  • “Latin Soul” – which also peaked at #40 on Billboard‘s Soul chart – was Mongo’s final 45 for Columbia.  Billboard‘s November 22, 1969 edition reported that “Atlantic’s signing of Mongo Santamaria is one of the most important of the year.”
  • “Latin Soul” also reached #33 on Cash Box‘s Top 50 R&B chart, as well as #31 on Record World‘s Top 50 R&B “tear-out guide.”


Baby You Come Rolling ‘Cross My Mind” by John Beland

peaked at #110 on November 8, 1969 [Ranwood]


Ballad of Paul” by The Mystery Tour

peaked at #104 on November 29, 1969


Cow Pie” by The Masked Marauders

peaked at #123 on November 29, 1969

  • The Masked Marauders were not an actual band but an elaborate hoax orchestrated by Rolling Stone to fool folks into thinking a “super session” with leading rock artists (Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, John Lennon) had taken place in great secrecy but then “leaked” to the public.
  • “Cow Pie” — fabricated to sound like a “Bob Dylan” song — was the A-side of a single that also saw release in Germany and France.


Hello Sunshine” by Rev. Maceo Woods & Christian Tabernacle Concert Choir

peaked at #121 on December 20, 1969 [Volt]

  • Oh Happy Day” by The Edwin Hawkins Singers was a #4 Pop hit that same year.
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon notes — “The song [co-written by King Curtis & Ron Miller] had been recorded the previous year by Aretha Franklin on her Aretha Now album and a few months later by Wilson Pickett for his I’m In Love album.


Freight Train” by Duane Eddy

peaked at #110 on January 3, 1970 [Congress]


Demonstration” by Otis Redding

peaked at #105 on April 4, 1970 [Atco]

  • “Demonstration” is the lead-off track on Tell the Truth, Redding’s fourth posthumous studio album.


Boogie Woogie Country Girl” by Southwind

peaked at #105 on May 2, 1970 [Blue Thumb]

45 — France


Feeling Bad” by Mel and Tim

peaked at #106 on May 9, 1970 [Bamboo]

  • “Feeling Bad” — produced by Gene Chandler.


What Do You Say to a Naked Lady” by Errol Sober

peaked at #106 on May 30, 1970 [Abnak]

  • Surprisingly ‘wholesome’ for a song whose title includes the phrase “naked lady.”
  • The Holy Modal Rounders, incredibly, came within inches of Billboard‘s Hot 100 chart (#103) on February 2, 1974 with their unapologetic paean “Boobs a Lot.”
  • Music in Advertising Alert:  Cash Box item in the February 28, 1970 edition,  “Karman Growing in TV Commercial Field” — “As the television medium grows, so does the value of commercials, and so do the successes of various composer-lyricists working in the field.  One of the most popular has been Steve Karmen who, over the past three years, wrote music and lyrics for the commercials:  “You Can Take Salem Out Of The Country . . . ,” “Breakaway With Pontiac,” “Call The Man From Nationwide” (insurance).  In addition, he is currently writing all the music and lyrics for Halo Shampoo, Budweiser Beer, Beneficial Finance and Chrysler.  And, working with film music, he wrote the score for the United Artists [Allen Funt] film, What Do You Say to a Naked Lady? which opened last week in New York.”


Maybe Baby-Daddy’s Maybe” by Swamp Dogg

peaked at #113 on May 30, 1970 [Canyon]

  • You might be surprised to learn that the lyrics include the phrase “PTA meeting.”
  • Billboard‘s review of Swamp Dogg’s Total Destruction to Your Mind “Swamp Dogg is a hip soul man who not only can bring ‘Total Destruction to Your Mind’ with some potent funk, but some creative social commentary as well in the ballads of a new breed blues artist.  His no-jive soul makes a star out of producer-arranger-songwriter Jerry Williams Jr., who through Swamp Dogg, comunicates a new cool in soul music.  ‘Synthetic World,’ ‘Mama’s Baby-Daddy’s Maybe’ set the pace.”


Birds of All Nations” by George McCannon III

peaked at #111 on June 3, 1970 [Amos]

  • Produced by Jimmy Bowen and includes the Jimmy Bowen Orchestra & Chorus.


Handsome Johnny” by Richie Havens

peaked at #115 on June 20, 1970 [MGM]

  • Co-written by Richie Havens with actor Lou Gossett, Jr.
  • Havens performs “Handsome Johnny” in the Woodstock film.


Wash Mama Wash” by Dr. John The Night Tripper

peaked at #108 on June 20, 1970 [Atco]

  • 45-only track when initially released — included on 1972 “non-US” compilation LP The Age of Atlantic and later Dr. John anthologies.
  • “Wash Mama Wash” awarded a “Special Merit Spotlight” by Billboard with these words of praise — “Strong vocal workout on funky beat blues material that could easily come from left field and prove an out and out smash – pop and soul.”


Passport to the Future” by Jean Jacques Perrey

peaked at #106 on June 27, 1970 [Vanguard]

  • “Passport to the Future” reached the #29 position on Billboard‘s “Easy Listening” Top 40 chart, as reported in the June 29, 1970 edition.
  • Record World‘s June 13, 1970 edition reports — “Top tip of the week ‘Passport To The Future,’ Jean Jacque Perrey, Vanguard.  It is over 10,000 in Chicago.”


Eleanor Rigby” by El Chicano

peaked at #115 on June 15, 1970 [Kapp]

  • Earned a “Special Merit Spotlight” from Billboard, who informed the world — “Following up his ‘Viva Tirado’ hit, El Chicano comes up with a Latin rhythm treatment of the Beatles winner that should keep him active on the charts.”

45 — Italy


Simple Song of Freedom” by Spirit of Us

peaked at #106 on August 15, 1970 [Viva]

  • Song written by “Bob” Darin.
  • Record World‘s “Singles Review” in their July 11, 1970 edition:  “The Bob Darin-Tim Hardin song lives again with a Salvation Army/folk/Dixieland sound.”


Had Any Lately” by Sylvia Robinson

peaked at #102 on August 22, 1970 [Stang]

  • Deceptively powerful peace lyric embedded in a seductive pop soul groove — says Billboard in its August 1, 1970 edition:  “A lyric message about today’s world situation is set to an infectious rhythm setting and blockbuster vocal workout by Sylvia … formerly of Micky and Sylvia.  Watch this one, it could prove a left-field smash.”
  • Record World‘s “Singles Review” — “Very effective anti-war song is directed right to the seat of power.  Sylvia wrote and produced.”


Two Little Rooms” by Trella Hart

peaked at #120 on September 5, 1970 [Capitol]

  • 45Cat’s borninthe50s provides the history — “This was the only single released by Trella Hart, who was known as ” The Queen Of The Jingles.”  She forged a very successful career in the music business by working prolifically as a “jingle” singer, recording advertising and promotion “jingles” for, in particular, P.A.M.S. (Production Advertising Merchandising Service), one of the most famous “jingle” production companies in American broadcasting, based in Dallas, Texas.  When “Two Little Rooms” was released in 1970, it was played on many radio stations, and in the event it reached the Top 30 in several regions including Dallas and Chicago.”


We All Sung Together” by Grin

peaked at #108 on October 10, 1970 [Thunder]

  • Grin’s debut LP – produced by David Briggs – was dedicated to Roy Buchanan.
  • If I’m not mistaken, the October 24, 1970 issue of Cash Box begins with this ad for Grin:  “You’ve been listening to Nils Lofgren longer than you know.  Up until now, you’ve been listening to his music.  Not his name.  Possibly you know that Nils Lofgren is the founder of the new group, Grin.  And that their new single, “We All Sung Together,” is getting airplay around the country.  But this isn’t the first song he’s composed and arranged.  In fact, among musicians he’s become a recognized talent.  Even Neil Young used him.  On his new Gold Rush album, Nils played and sang.  Of course, you might have missed that fact.  But now, with his new group and new single, his name will be hard to forget.  Grin.  All Sung Together.”
  • According to Billboard‘s August 15, 1970 edition, Columbia recently wrapped up two new labels deals, one of them being Thunder, formed by David Briggs and Art Linson.  “Thunder’s initial product will be an album and single from the much sought-after band, Grin, discovered in Maryland by Neil Young and Steve Stills.  Grin features composer Nils Lofgren and is the first group to be signed by the label.  Their first single, ‘We All Sung Together,’ was presented at the recent Columbia Convention and will be released shortly.  Grin’s debut album, with a guest appearance from Neil Young and Crazy Horse, will be released in early fall.”

Bob Gordon, Nils Lofgren, Bob Berberich


Poquito Soul” by One G Plus Three

peaked at #122 on October 24, 1970 [Gordo]

  • Funky 16 Corners suggests that “If you give ‘Poquito Soul’ a couple of listens, another languid groover might start to come to mind, that being El Chicano’s version of Gerald Wilson’s ‘Viva Tirado’, which was a substantial hit in the Spring of 1970, all over the country, but especially in SoCal.”  One G Plus Three — Randy Thomas (the ‘Gringo’) on organ, Rudy Salas on guitar, Max Garduno on percussion and Manny Mosqueda on drums — “recorded only this one 45, released first on Eddie Davis’s Gordo label, then picked up for national distribution by Paramount.”
  • Check out Paramount’s full-page ad for this 45 in the October 31, 1970 edition of Billboard.
  • “Poquito Soul” reached the #39 position on Billboard‘s “Easy Listening” Top 40 chart, as reported in the November 7, 1970 edition.


Back to the River” by The Damnation of Adam Blessing

peaked at #102 on November 21, 1970 [United Artists]

  • Cleveland’s Damnation of Adam Blessing played at the Cincinnati Pop Festival in 1970.
  • Would you be surprised to learn that “Back to the River” was a “Regional Breakout Single” in Cleveland?
  • Record World‘s review notes that the group — Bill Schwark, Bob Kalamasz, Jim Quinn & Ray Benich — are, “as folks already know, into very hard rock.”  Further, the new album “should turn into a potent item to stir up underground trade.”

That’s right, the same event where Iggy threw the peanut butter


Down to the Wire” by Yellow Hand

peaked at #120 on December 5, 1970 [Capitol]

  • Uptempo “pop” arrangement of “lost” Neil Young-penned Buffalo Springfield track (included on the box set) that was also released on Neil Young’s 3-LP Decade.
  • Billboard, who predicted this 45 to reach the Top 60, wrote in its review — “The driving rock ballad penned by Neil Young is a strong singles debut for the group, culled from their current LP.  Should prove a big Hot 100 item.”
  • Cash Box offered up this review — “Fine pick of material from the Neil Young songbook makes the most of Yellow Hand’s premiere single.  Could blossom.”
  • 45Cat’s Gary E informs — “This band includes Jerry Tawney on lead voc, formerly with The Portraits (Sidewalk), early solo 45 on Liberty & later solo on Bell.”


Never Marry a Railroad Man” by The Shocking Blue

peaked at #102 on December 26, 1970 [Colossus]

  • 45Cat’s Problem Child theorizes — “I think after the mighty ‘Venus’, this may have been a very good album track, but the early longer than usual instrumental break and the lack of more engaging lyrics may have worked against it being a commercial success, just sayin’?  Shame.”
  • And yet, a Top Ten hit for this Netherlands group in Holland, West Germany & Norway plus Switzerland and France (Spain, too).

45 — Yugoslavia


Love Vibrations” by David T. Walker

peaked at #117 on January 9, 1971 [Zea]

  • Billboard‘s Ed Ochs designated “Love Vibrations” as a “Soul Sauce” ‘pick and play‘ for the week of December 12, 1970.
  • Peaked at #35 on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” chart on December 19, 1970.


Too Many Lovers” by Shack

peaked at #118 on February 13, 1971 [Volt]

  • Oddball intro that sounds like something out of LeeScratchPerry‘s audio lab.
  • Peaked at #23 on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” chart on February 20, 1971.


Nothing Rhymed” by Gilbert O’Sullivan

peaked at #114 on March 6, 1971 [MAM]

  • A Top 10 hit in the UK., as reported in Billboard‘s January 16, 1971 edition.
  • #150 position in Record World‘s “Singles chart – 101 to 150” for the week of March 6, 1971.

45 — Yugoslavia


California Blues” by Redwing

peaked at #108 on April 17, 1971 [Fantasy]

  • Billboard had high hopes for this release, as indicated by its selection as a “Top 20 Pop Spotlight” in the April 3, 1971 edition — “The legendary Jimmie Rodgers classic is updated and serves as dynamite material for this powerful new group, their debut for the label.  Will hit hard and fast.”
  • University of Houson’s KUHF gave this 45 strong radio play, as reported in Billboard‘s May 29, 1971 edition.


Singing in Viet Nam Talking Blues” by Johnny Cash

peaked at #124 on June 19, 1971 [Columbia]

  • Selected by Billboard for its “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” the week of June 5, 1971 — “Cash entertained in Vietnam and wrote about it.  This moving story and performance will prove a strong entry … pop and country” [such “cross-over” disks would provoke a “title strip display debate” for jukebox programmers, as discussed in the September 4, 1971 edition of Billboard].
  • In a July 17, 1971 Billboard news item entitled “Release Jam Hurts Artists ” — “Perhaps a more dramatic example is Johnny Cash’s ‘Singing in Vietnam Talking Blues.’  [Acme One Stop’s Larry] Rugemer said:  “I believe Cash is an example of an artist in danger of being burned out by too many releases.  The jukebox programmers are just passing this one up.”
  • Reached #18 on the “Hot Country Singles” chart in Billboard‘s July 31, 1971 edition.

 Promo 45 — Germany

Tip of the hat to DC’s Karl Eiholzer for translation services:

“A new Johnny Cash song is always an event because his songs always make a strong statement [or possibly: always have a special message].  Johnny Cash’s newest song – by the way written and produced by himself – deals with one of our time’s focal points:  Vietnam.  Rhythmically and musically an impressive [or perhaps smashing, if you’re reading this in the UK] production.”


Ten and Two (Take This Woman Off the Corner)” by Gene and Jerry

peaked at #126 on July 3, 1971 [Mercury]

  •  Billboard‘s Ed Ochs as a “Soul Sauce” ‘pick and play‘ for the week of March 6, 1970.
  • Designated by Billboard as one of the Special Merit singles “deserving special attention of programmers and dealers” in the May 8, 1971 edition “Gene Chandler and Jerry Butler team up once again with a powerful rock item that should carry them straight to both the Hot 100 and Soul charts.  First rate performances.”
  • #44 position on Billboard‘s “Soul Singles” chart for the week of June 26, 1971, and #42 spot on Cash Box‘s Top 60 R&B chart for the week ending July 3, 1971.


Funky L.A.” by Paul Humphrey and His Cool-Aid Chemists

peaked at #109 on August 14, 1971 [Lizard]

  • A “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” designee for the week of June 26, 1971 — “Humphrey’s ‘Cool Aid‘ took him high on the Hot 100 and into the teens on the soul chart.  This driving discotheque winner offers that same sales potency.”
  • #45 spot on Billboard‘s Soul chart on August 28, 1971.
  • #97 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles for the week ending July 31, 1971.


1-2-3-4” by Lucky Peterson Blues Band

peaked at #102 on August 21, 1971 [Today]

  • According to 45Cat’s jukebox george — “HitBound on the chart of WOL Washington DC — July 21 1971.”
  • Peaked at #40 on Billboard‘s Soul chart and #41 on Cash Box‘s R&B chart.


Gotta Get Over the Hump” by Simtec & Wylie

peaked at #101 on September 11, 1971 [Mister Chand]

  • Walter “Simtec” Simmons + Wylie Dixon from Chicago.
  • Says one 45Cat contributor, “According to the data we have, this was the most popular release from Gene Chandler’s Mister Chand label.  It did not do particularly well.  The A-side went to #4 in Jackson, MS.; #5 in Dayton, OH.; and #10 in Chicago (WGRT) and XEPRS [AM] in Rosario, Baja California, Mexico.  It hung out a lot on [NYC’s] WWRL’s charts, but ultimately only rose to #14.”
  • “Gotta Get Over That Hump” also peaked at #29 on Billboard‘s Soul chart for the week ending August 28, 1971.
  • #36 on Cash Box‘s R&B Top 60 for the week ending August 14, 1971.


Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)” by Ruby and the Party Gang

peaked at #105 on December 25, 1971 [Law-Ton]

  • Record World‘s November 13, 1971 edition informs us that “Clarence Lawton, President of Law-Ton Records, dropped by Record World last week to discuss his label’s two latest hits, ‘Let One Hurt Do‘ by L.J. Reynolds & Chocolate Syrup and ‘Hey Ruby (Shut Your Mouth)’ by Ruby & the Party Gang.  Lawton, who started his Avco-distributed company in August, is also working closely with the label’s Stylistics, whose current hit is ‘You Are Everything.'”


That’s Alright (I Don’t Mind It)” by Alzo

peaked at #116 on February 12, 1972 [Ampex]

  • Supporting musicians include Bob Dorough (keyboards) & Eric Weissberg (banjo).
  • Part of Billboard‘s “Top 60 Pop Spotlight” for the week ending December 11, 1971 — “A cut from his debut LP, this folk rock newcomer has it to hit with impact first time out via top 40.”
  • Album review in the December 25, 1971 issue of Cash Box:  “Title [Looking for You] tells of a search which should come to a happy end once the sounds therein get out into the open to freshen the air for all of us.  Bob Dorough who is a cult in the jazz world of piano-vocalists has produced the artist in a bright and varied manner, so that each cut can take the now ragged picture of a contemporary singer/songwriter and restore it to its original brilliance.  Single of ‘That’s Alright (I Don’t Mind It)’ is the best introduction we can suggest.  Afterwards, the audience should be on a first-name only basis with him for some time to come.”
  • Album initially released on Ampex, then reissued the following year on Bell.


Love the Life You Live (Pt. 1)” by Kool and the Gang

peaked at #107 on February 26, 1972 [De-Lite]

  • #40 on Billboard‘s Soul Singles chart for the week ending February 26, 1972.



Free Your Mind” by The Politicians

peaked at #110 on April 29, 1972 [Hot Wax]

  • “Free Your Mind” written by Hot Wax label owners Holland-Dozier-Holland.
  • Funk My Soul provides the history lesson in his album review for The Polticians Featuring McKinley Jackson:   “Jackson was a long standing member of Motown’s sessions band, playing trombone on dozens (if not hundreds) of Holland-Dozier-Holland recording sessions for the label.   That would certainly explain how Jackson and company ended up releasing one of the first album’s on the trio’s post-Motown Hot Wax imprint.  Musically the album featured a collection of ten largely-original instrumentals ranging from hardcore funk (‘Psycha-Soula-Funkadelic‘ and ‘Funky Toes‘) to a radio friendly ballad (‘A Song for You’).  Technically these guys were pretty amazing, easily measuring up top Motown’s Funk brothers, Hi Records’ Hodges Brothers, or The Memphis Horns … The best track (and the sole hit for the group), ‘Free Your Mind’ stands out for its indescribably catchy guitar leit motif, a wah-wah’d lick that may well be the funkiest ever waxed.  Labelmates 8th Day used the backing track for their B-side ‘Freedom Is Instrumental.’”


It’s Too Late” by Bill Deal and the Rhondels

peaked at #108 on August 19, 1972 [Buddah]

  • Portsmouth, Virginia’s Bill Deal and the Rhondels helped fuse blue-eyed soul and “beach music” on such classic tracks as (the somewhat ska-like) “May I.”
  • “It’s Too Late” hit the #100 position on Cash Box‘s Top 100 singles for the week ending August 19, 1972.

“It’s Too Late” = final track on this 1973 EP from Thailand


I Ain’t Never Seen a White Man” by Wolfman Jack

peaked at #106 on September 23, 1972 [Wooden Nickel]

  • 45Cat’s greekgrove tells us — “Dick Monda who wrote ‘I Ain’t Never Seen A White Man’, wanted to release this as a ‘Daddy Dewdrop’ single, but head honcho of MGM/Sunflower (Mike Curb) was against it, so the song was passed to Wolfman Jack.  Meanwhile Dick Monda did finally release his original version of the song in 1973 as ‘Monda’ for Buddah Records where the song was re-titled ‘Everyman‘.”
  • 45Cat’s davie gordon adds — “Written and produced by the guys behind Daddy Dewdrop’s ‘Chick A Boom‘.”
  • #102 position in Record World‘s “Singles chart – 101 to 150” for the week of October 14, 1972.

Another sing-along = c’mon, it’s good for you


Supersonic Rocket Ship” by The Kinks

peaked at #111 on October 14, 1972 [RCA Victor]

  • 45-only track (featuring steelpan drums) when originally released.
  • Kinks first “bubbled under” in 1965 with “See My Friends” (which reached #111).


Bang!” by Washrag

peaked at #112 on October 21, 1972 [TMI]

  • Musical trio featuring [Booker T & the MGs guitarist] Steve Cropper who released one album in 1973.


Africa” by Thundermug

peaked at #110 on December 16, 1972 [Big Tree]

  • Recorded at Toronto Sound Studios.
  • Billboard‘s July 29, 1972 edition includes a news item “From the Music Capitals of the World – Toronto:   “Thundermug now breaking nationally with both ‘Thundermug’ and ‘Africa’ from the Thundermug Strikes album.  Group is on London-distributed Axe label.”
  • Billboard‘s December 9, 1972 edition, in its “From the Music Capitals of the World – Toronto” column, reports that “CKLW Windsor/Detroit has charted two new Canadian singles, ‘Daytime, Night-time’ by Keith Hampshire and Thundermug’s ‘Africa,’ both of which are now available in the US on A&M and Bell, respectively.  Both singles have done exceedingly well on Canadian charts and look set for wide action in the US market.”
  • “Africa” was a “Regional Breakout Single” in Detroit.


Trying to Live My Life Without You” by Otis Clay

peaked at #102 on January 6, 1973 [Hi]


Gimme That Beat (Pt. 1)” by Jr. Walker & the All Stars

peaked at #101 on February 24, 1973 [Soul]

  • Billboard‘s January 27, 1973 edition includes this recommendation — “A funky, strictly-for-dancing shouter with infectious drive.  Powerful new entry from long-time soul titan.”

45 — France


Loose Booty” by Funkadelic

peaked at #118 on March 17, 1973 [Westbound]

  • “Loose Booty” (from the double album America Eats Its Young (which reached #22 on R&B and #122 on the Pop charts) also reached #49 on Billboard‘s Soul singles chart.
  • Sly and the Family Stone’s 1974 album Small Talk, coincidentally or not, includes a song called “Loose Booty.”


We’ll Make Love” by Al Anderson

peaked at #101 on March 24, 1973 [Vanguard]

  • “Well Make Love,” which came extremely close to making the Hot 100 chart, is from Al Anderson’s debut album — released prior to Anderson joining NRBQ.
  • #116 on Cash Box‘s “Singles — Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending February 24, 1973.
  • #112 position in Record World‘s “Singles chart – 101 to 150” for the week of March 10, 1973.


Part of the Union” by The Strawbs

peaked at #111 on April 21, 1973 [A&M]

  • “Part of the Union” — previously celebrated by Zero to 180.
  • #106 on Record World‘s “Singles chart – 101 to 150” for the week of April 6, 1973.
  • “Part of the Union” also peaked at #5 on Australia’s pop chart, says Cash Box.


Satellite of Love” by Lou Reed

peaked at #119 on June 9, 1973

  • Composed by Lou Reed, produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, and arranged by the three of the them.
  • Record World selected “Satellite of Love” as one of its “Hits of the Week” in the May 26, 1973 edition.
  • Billboard did not designate “Satellite of Love” as one of its “Top Single Picks” for the week of May 26, 1973 — but they did tag the song as “also recommended.”
  • #118 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending June 23, 1973.
  • “Satellite of Love” was the B-side when released “overseas” in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal & New Zealand (but not Australia, apparently).

45 — Netherlands


Bra” by Cymande

peaked at #102 on June 30, 1973 [Janus]

  • Cymande paid tribute by Zero to 180 in 2013.
  • As with “Satellite of Love,” this song was not picked by Billboard as a Top Single, but rather as one of the “also recommended” for the week ending April 7, 1973.
  • “Bra” went from #113 (week ending May 26, 1973) to #93 on Cash Box‘s Too 100 Singles chart for the week ending June 9, 1973.
  • Record World‘s review of Cymande’s second album Second Time Around in the June 9, 1973 edition begins with this observation — “Rarely can a group appear on jazz, r&b, and pop charts at the same time, but these dynamic musicians made all three with their very first album.”
  • Somewhat related news item (“Schwaid Signs Independents”) in the July 7, 1973 edition of Cash Box:   “Bob Schwaid today announced that he has just signed one of the hottest new groups, the Independents, to his Thruppence Ltd. management firm.  Schwaid, who has managed such top artists as Van Morrison and Miriam Makeba, is presently personal manager for superstar vocalist Al Green, Cymande, a West Indian rock band, and comic Lonnie Shorr.  The Independents are Chuck Johnson, Maurice Jackson, Eric Thomas and Helen Curry.”


Old Betsy Goes Boing, Boing, Boing” by The Hummers

peaked at #104 on August 25, 1973 [Capitol]

  • One of Record World‘s “Single Picks” for the week of June 23, 1970 — “The ditty that’s used for the rotary engine Mazda commercials gets new lyrics for top 40 radio and should see lotsa spins everywhere.  Cutesy production will rev up plenty of action.”
  • Love Marie Ratliff’s enthusiasm in her “County Hot Line” column in Record World‘s July 14, 1973 edition — “‘Open Up Your Heart‘ is an open-and-shut case for Roger Miller!  The verdict is — it’s a hit.  So says KBUY, WCMS, WIRE, WXCL (they picked it); as well as WMC, KCKN, and WEET!  Ditto for The Hummers’ first happening, ‘Old Betsy Goes Boing, Boing, Boing.’  Popular opinion sentencing it to a long chart run!”


Halderman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell and Dean by The Creep

peaked at #116 on September 1, 1973 [Mr. G]

  • Released in the US and Canada — same recording on both sides of the 45.
  • Tagged by Record World not as “Single Picks” but rather “Spins and Sales” in the August 11, 1973 edition.


“Back in the Hills” by The Blue Ridge Rangers

peaked at #107 on October 13, 1973 [Fantasy]

  • The Blue Ridge Rangers turns out to be Creedence Clearwater’s John Fogerty playing all instruments on a handful of 45s and one full-length album released 1972-1973 — “Back in the Hills” is a non-LP B-side.

45 — Japan


Take Life a Little Easier” by Rodney Alan Rippy

peaked at #112 on October 20, 1973 [Bell]

  • Included in Billboard‘s “First Time Around Picks” (new artists deserving airplay and sales consideration) in their October 6, 1973 edition:  “Everyone by now has heard this charming child singing the Jack-in-the-Box commerical.  Here’s the commercial music version of the melody by this five-year old on the way to commercial exploitation.”
  • Burbank’s Kendum Recorders cut the masters for this Rodney Allen Rippy recording, on which Thomas “Snuff” Garrett was ostensibly involved — check out this cheeky ad from the December 15, 1973 edition of Billboard.
  • “Take Life a Little Easier” went from #103 (week ending October 6, 1973) to #76 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles chart (week ending October 27, 1973).


Your Funny Moods” by Skip McHoney and the Casuals

peaked at #113 on March 13, 1974 [DC International]


The Credit Card Song” by Dick Feller

peaked at #105 on October 23, 1974 [United Artists]

  • Top Ten hit on Billboard‘s County chart, peaking at #10 on November 23, 1974.


Pick Up the Pieces One by One” by A.A.B.B.

peaked at #108 on April 12, 1975 [I Dentify]

  • A.A.B.B. is actually, Fred Wesley and the JB’s (with James Brown on Clavinet) in playful response to Average White Band [AWB]’s big hit.
  • Dave Thompson explains in his Funk essential listening companion:  “Atlantic opted not to pull a second single from [1974’s Average White Band album], insisting instead that the band cut something else in the spirit of the hit.  They emerged with another James Brown-type jam, “Cut the Cake,” which effortlessly returned AWB to the Top Ten in April 1975.  Utterly unflattered by such tributes, Brown himself responded by remixing and overdubbing a 1971 JB’s rhythm track, “Hot Pants Road,” and releasing it (on the specially formed Identify label as “Pick Up the Pieces One by One,” under the name AABB (the Above Average Black Band).”


Right From The Shark’s Jaws (The Jaws Interview)” by Byron McNaughton & His All News Orchestra

peaked at #106 on September 13, 1975 [Jamie]


Southern Lady” by Timi Yuro

peaked at #108 on October 18, 1975 [Playboy]

  • In a brief news item with accompanying photo — “Playboy Adds Timi Yuro” — the September 6, 1975 edition of Record World reported that “Timi Yuro has been signed to an exclusive recording contract with Playboy Records, announced Tom Takayoshi, executive VP for the label.  Playboy plans to release the first single resulting from the agreement on or around September 12.”
  • “Southern Lady” was a “Pick of the Week,” as reported in the October 11, 1975 edition of Cash Box:  “This country ballad shows strong evidence of crossing over to MOR [i.e., “Middle-of-the-Road”] stations.  Fine arrangement, influenced with strings, horns, and great backup vocal tracks.  Timi really performs on this down-home tune produced by Andi Di Martino.  Go with it, MOR’s!”
  • Discogs tells us that Playboy Records was “originally distributed independently, [though] near the end of its existence it used CBS Records Distribution.”


Born to Get Down (Born to Mess Around)” by Muscle Shoals Horns

peaked at #105 on March 20, 1976 [Bang]

  • “Born to Get Down” spent a total of 16 weeks on Billboard‘s R&B chart, peaking at the #8 position.
  • #19 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 R&B singles for the week ending June 12, 1976.
  • #98 on Record World‘s Top 100 Singles chart for the week May 29, 1976.


Theme From One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” by The Jack Nitzsche Orchestra

peaked at #109 on May 15, 1976 [Fantasy]

  • Album review from Cash Box‘s January 3, 1976 edition:  “With a movie such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest it takes a highly creative soundtrack to fully capture the compendium of emotions involved.  This Jack Nitzsche does as his music seems to fit into every furrow and wrinkle of the movie’s theme.  Top listens include ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ‘Aloha Los Pescadores,’ ‘Bus Ride To Paradise’ and ‘Play The Game.’  One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest is movie music that can stand on its own.”
  • In 1976, the soundtrack album was nominated for “Album of Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a TV Special” (though Car Wash would win).



Town Cryer” by Scott Key

peaked at #110 on July 4, 1976 [Pyramid]

  • Bicentennial-themed break-in record.
  • Boston’s WBZ (unsurprisingly, perhaps) gave this 45 some radio play, as reported in Billboard.
  • #103 on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart (May 29, 1976).
  • #115 on Record World‘s “Singles chart – 101 to 150” (June 26, 1976).


Psychoticbumpschool” by Bootsy’s Rubber Band

peaked at #104 on December 25, 1976 [Warner Bros.]

  • “Psychoticbumpschool” (from Bootsy’s debut album for Warner Brothers) was written by Bootsy Collins, Phelps Collins, Bernie Worrell, and George Clinton.
  • Recommended by Billboard in its December 4, 1976 edition.
  • “Psychoticbumpschool” was one of Record World‘s “Single Picks” in their December 4, 1976 edition:  “The Parliamentfunkadelicrubberband strikes again with their left field approach to funk.  ‘Casper‘ and company offer a complete education in three minutes.”
  • When this 45 was released in the UK, according to 45Cat’s My Friend Jack — “Five weeks on the Breakers list from 30 Jul 1977, peaking in 1st place.”  By way of clarification, UK publication Record Mirror began publishing their own “Bubbling Under” list in 1966 to augment their Top 50 chart that soon became known as “The Breakers” (i.e., 10 to 15 records for the singles chart which had not made the top 50 that week, but were poised to reach the big chart the next week ranked in sales order i.e. as if they occupied positions 51 to 64).


“Bubbling Under” Trivia

According to Joel Whitburn —

American soul singer Ray Charles holds the record for having the most “bubblers” ever under a consistent artist credit, charting 14 of them from 1963 to 1993.  [source]

One quirky bit of chart synchronicity:  same song, consecutive listings

02/19/1966 | 134 | Ray Charles Singers –•– One Of Those Songs (Command 4079)
02/19/1966 | 135 | Jimmy Durante –•– One Of Those Songs (Warner 5686)


Primary source for Billboard “Bubbling Under” chart info:   Top40Weekly.com

US Hot 100 Bubbling Under

Friendly Reminder:  Zero to 180 best viewed on a big screen – not smart phone

Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976 (pt. 1)

It’s almost impossible to fathom now, but at one time in the United States, tiny “indie” labels could actually get their records played on the radio.  This period was a narrow window of time, as predictably (and inevitably), the major labels would consolidate their hold on the marketplace by effectively shutting out indies from commercial radio playlists by the early-to-mid 1970s (and sometimes, as shown below, by purchasing the masters of songs that were proving “hot”).

Billboard‘s “Bubbling Under” chart, which began in 1959 during rock ‘n’ roll’s initial wave, I have discovered to be a fairly fertile vein of offbeat and undersung recordings that once tickled the ears of a relative few for but a brief period of time.  A huge tip of the hat to Top40Weekly.com, who labored mightily to make this information readily available.

Zero to 180, as a public service, has scrutinized these less-remembered tracks to identify some of the more curious 45s worthy of rediscovery.   This extended playlist includes a few major labels, as well as a handful of “name” artists, but otherwise is a “pop underground” of 45 tracks for whom classic oldies radio, alas, has no use.  These specially-selected tracks from 1959-1976 serve as a tribute to the scrappy independent labels who had hoped to hit it big during a time in the early rock ‘n’ roll era when the radio airwaves were more of a meritocracy.  This piece is also a(n) historical reminder of how regional radio once was before programming decisions essentially became the province of some guy in the “central office.”

“Bubbling Under” — sounds like a fun concept for a radio program(me), right?

Patience:  Allow several minutes of loading time for these 100+ audio clips.

Little Bitty Johnny” by Travis & Bob 

peaked at #114 on July 13, 1959 [Sandy]

  • Follow-up to the duo’s ace debut 45 “Tell Her No” on Mobile-based label, Sandy.


Roulette” by Russ Conway

peaked at #106 on August 3, 1959 [Cub]

  • The person who uploaded this audio clip on YouTube has this to say — “Composed by Russ, the single has more POKE than the album version.  For my money, it’s Russ’ BEST up-tempo piece.  But how DID he get a piano to SOUND like this?  Many others tried, but none succeeded.”


Baghdad Rock” by The Sheiks

peaked at #111 on December 14, 1959 [MGM/Trine]


Clap Your Hands (Pt. 1)” by The Wheels with The Teddy Vann Chorus & Orchestra

peaked at #102 on January 4, 1960 [Folly]

  • “Clap Your Hands” also peaked at #79 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles the week ending February 20, 1960.
  • This 45 appears to be the entire catalog of Folly Records — ironic?


The Scandanavian Shuffle” by The Swe-Danes

peaked at #101 on February 22, 1960 [Warner Bros.]

  • According to Discogs — “The Swe-Danes were a vocalese trio that were active from 1958 until 1961, consisting of Swedish singer Alice Babs and two Danes, violinist Svend Asmussen and guitarist Ulrik Neumann.”

Denmark 45                                               Germany 45


The Wind” by The Diablos Featuring Norman Strong

peaked at #114 on June 27, 1960 [Fortune]

  • This 1954 recording (almost) back on the charts, no doubt, as a result of a cover version by The Jesters released that same year.
  • According to Discogs, most recordings for the Detroit-based Fortune label were recorded at the in-house Fortune Recording Studio.


If The World Don’t End Tomorrow (I’m Comin’ After You)” by Doug Warren and the Rays

peaked at #107 on July 11, 1960 [Image]


Itchin’” [B-side] by Jimmy Jones

peaked at #106 on October 3, 1960 [Cub]


The Jazz in You” by Gloria Lynne

peaked at #109 on January 30, 1961 [Everest]

  • “The Jazz in You” was a “Top Market Breakout” hit in the Los Angeles market, according to Billboard‘s February 6, 1961 edition.


Banned in Boston” by Merv Griffin

peaked at #101 on February 27, 1961 [Carlton]


Bounty Hunter” by The Nomads

peaked at #116 on March 23, 1961 [Rust]


Sucu Sucu” by Ping Ping with Al Verlane’s Orchestra

peaked at #103 on May 1, 1961 [Kapp]


Hey You, What Are You, Some Kind of Nut?” by Andy Cory

peaked at #121 on May 1, 1961 [Silver Bid]

  • Andy Cory’s recorded output — two singles — would include a 45 for King Records the following year, about which Discogs provides this bit of background info:  “Oddball hootenanny-style telling of historical vignettes, not in a comic vein.  Andy Cory is best known for his earlier novelty, ‘Hey, What Are You, Some Kind Of Nut?’  Totally left-field release for King.”


Abdul’s Party” by Larry Verne

peaked at #113 on May 8, 1961 [Era]

  • A “Spotlight Winner of the Week” in the March 27, 1961 edition of Billboard who described the track as “an amusing novelty number with musical background by the lad who had a hit with ‘Mister Custer‘ a while back.”


Bacardi” by Ralph Marterie

peaked at #115 on May 22, 1961 [United Artists]

  • The fluke hit of “Tequila” inspired a host of alcohol-themed instrumentals in its wake, including the more generic “Cerveza” (‘Boots Brown’ a.k.a., Shorty Rogers) as well as the brand-specific “Bacardi” and “Seagrams” (from the previous year).
  • As previously noted, 1960’s “Seagrams” by The Viceroys was issued on Bethlehem, a subsidiary label of King.  Unfortunately, the Seagrams Corporation didn’t take kindly to the appropriation of its name and threatened to sue for trademark infringement, with some stations refusing to play a song named for a commercial product without being paid for advertising time.  A sheepish notice in Billboard on March 23, 1960, said, “We Goofed!” and explained that “Seagrams” was now changed to “Seagreen.”
  • Oddly, not only did Ralph Marterie experience no blowback for trademark infringement, Billboard‘s May 8, 1961 edition awarded “Bacardi” three stars (i.e., moderate sales potential) and had only good things to say [“Latin-style instrumental, blues-derived.  Very danceable and good listening, too.  Worth strong exposure.”] in its review.


The Presidential Peace Conference (Pts. 1&2)” by The Sickniks

peaked at #105 on June 26, 1961 [Amy]


Song of the Nairobi Trio” by The Fortune Tellers

peaked at #114 on September 25, 1961 [Music Makers]


Berlin Top Ten” by Dickie Goodman

peaked at #116 on October 23, 1961 [Rori]


The Roach” by Gene and Wendell with The Sweethearts

peaked at #117 on October 30, 1961 [Ray Star]

  • “The Roach” also hit the #14 spot on Billboard‘s R&B chart on January 6, 1962.

Dance steps below — be sure to “kill that roach”


She Put the Hurt on Me” by Prince La La

peaked at #119 on October 20, 1961 [AFO]

  • Prince La La backed by the A.F.O. Studio Combo, as noted on the label.
  • Song also reached the #28 spot on Billboard‘s R&B chart on Oct. 16, 1961.
  • In the mid 1960s, Foster MacKenzie III (a.k.a. Root Boy Slim) formed a band while attending Yale University that went by the name Prince La La, Percy Uptight and the Midnight Creepers.


Colinda” by Rod Bernard

peaked at #102 on March 24, 1962 [Hallway]

  • Rod Bernard of Opelousas, Louisiana — subject of an early Zero to 180 piece about the “Cajun Interstate” (i.e., the Atchafalaya Expressway) on Interstate 10.


Na Ne No” by Troy Shondell

peaked at #107 on June 2, 1962 [LIberty]

  • Produced, arranged, and conducted by Phil Spector — one 45Cat contributor asks, “Do we know officially who the background girl singers are?  Darlene Love has to be in there somewhere.”
  • Billboard‘s June 9, 1962 edition reports “Na Ne No” as a regional breakout hit in Chicago and Detroit.
  • Billboard‘s review from the April 21, 1962 edition — “Catchy nonsense-type novelty-rocker is sung with good humor and infectious tempo by Shondell and fem chorus.  Teen appeal side.”


How’s My Ex Treating You” by Jerry Lee Lewis

peaked at #114 on September 22, 1962 [Sun]

  • Recording is notable for the baritone “fuzz” guitar intro.
  • Billboard‘s review from the July 21, 1962 edition — “This moving treatment by Jerry Lee Lewis of a country weeper, which features his exciting piano work, could turn into his best record in over a year.  It spots a mighty good vocal performance by the singer on a strong lyric and the wild pianoing is there too.”


Big Noise From Winnetka (Pt. 1)” by Cozy Cole

peaked at #121 on January 26, 1963 [Coral]

  • Billboard‘s review from the November 10, 1962 edition — “The first side here is a great reading of the oldie in up-to-date terms.  The side is reminiscent of a big one for Cole some time back, ‘Topsy [Pt. 2].’  There’s much drum beating and torrid whistling.”

1963 EP — France


Half Time” by The Routers

peaked at #115 on February 16, 1963

  • Arranged by Rene Hall — issued as B-side of “Sting Ray.”
  • One 45Cat contributor remembers, “I thought that “Half Time” was the A side of this record.  That is the side that I remember was plugged on Radio Luxembourg in 1963.”

1963 EP – France


Tore Up (Over You)” by Harmonica Fats

peaked at #103 on March 23, 1963 [Skylar]


From Me to You” by The Beatles

peaked at #116 on August 3, 1963 [Vee Jay]

  • Vee Jay, prior to Motown, was the most successful black-owned record company – and the first American company to sign The Beatles.
  • According to this NRP profile of Vee Jay Records, in one month alone in early 1964, the label sold 2.6 million Beatles singles.
  • Link to Seymour Stein King Records history piece that contains (1) bonus Beatles trivia about earliest US 45s being issued on indie labels when Capitol (EMI’s American subsidiary label) passed on The Beatles’ first four singles, and (2) the strange-but-true story behind Stein’s seed money for launching Sire Records (pssst, it has something to do with The Beatles).


The Sound of Surf” by Percy Faith Orchestra

peaked at #111 on September 21, 1963  [Columbia]

  • “The Sound of Surf” is a 45-only non-LP track that eventually appeared on CD.
  • Song picked by Billboard as a “Pop Spotlight” winner in the August 17, 1963 edition accompanied by these words of praise:  “Here’s a mighty catchy Percy Faith instrumental, with surf and wind-swept chorus, big fiddle effects and insistent surf beat.  Melodic side could catch much across-the-board play and sale.”


Hootenanny Granny” by Jim Lowe

peaked at #103 on September 21, 1963 [20th Century Fox]

  • Link to full-page promotional ad in the September 7, 1963 edition of Billboard in which Jim Lowe gives a shout out to “Music Operators:  My mother thanks you … My father thanks you … And Granny thanks you.”


Eefananny” by The Ardells

peaked at #109 on September 28, 1963 [Epic]

  • A “Pick of the Week” by Cash Box in its September 7, 1963 edition — “The eefin sound – a wacky vocal rhythm accompaniment style, some 100 years old – has entered the teen-market.  It’s a natural for novelty dates, as “Eefananny,” a joyful folkish cut, so engagingly demonstrates.  If the merry sound catches on,  and from where we sit it should, figure The Ardells to make the chart rounds with their version.”
  • Likewise a Billboard “Pop Spotlight” winner in the September 7, 1963 edition — “Here’s a novelty item that might go with the kiddies.  It’s a nutty side that might go with air play.  There’s another version of the side, but this one, at a bit slower tempo, can get play.”

eefin’ = a tutorial


Guitars, Guitars, Guitars” by Al Casey with the K-C-Ettes

peaked at #116 on October 12, 1963 [Stacy]

  • A “Pop Spotlight” pick in Billboard‘s September 21, 1963 edition — “Strong blues with the surf sound from the Chicago guitarist.  It has a solid chance with gal chorus and strong gut work.”


Gorilla” [B-side] by The Ideals

peaked at #127 on October 12, 1963 [Cortland]

  • Billboard‘s September 28, 1963 edition shows a guy in a gorilla suit cradling Chicago disk jockey Dick Kemp — 45 alleged to have “hot sales reaction” in the Midwestern markets of Pittsburgh, Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago.
  • As noted on 45Cat, this B-side ended up being the (near) hit.


The Monkey Walk” by The Flares

peaked at #133 on November 9, 1963 [Press]


Sneaky Sue” by Patty Lace and the Pettycoats

peaked at #104 on December 28, 1963 [Kapp]

  • Listed at the #11 spot on Cash Box Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending January 18, 1964.
  • Awarded four stars in the November 23, 1963 edition of Billboard, designating “new single with sufficient commercial potential in [its] respective category to merit being stocked by dealers, one-stops and rack jobbers handling that category.”


The Cow” by Bill Robinson and the Quails

peaked at #103 on January 18, 1964 [American]

  • Reached the #38 position on Cash Box Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending February 8, 1964.
  • Not everyone is a fan of this 45 — as one 45Cat contributor punned, “Can’t take this seriously.  The udder side is not a lot better.”


The La-Dee-Da Song” by The Village Stompers

peaked at #104 on February 1, 1964 [Epic]

  • A “Pop Spotlight” winner in Billboard‘s January 25, 1964 edition — “The Stompers have everything going but the kitchen sink on this hit follow-up.  There are bossa touches, banjos, plinkin’, Dixie brass and the listener can practically hear the ole Riverboat’s paddle and hoot.”
  • B-side of “Blue Grass” — except when released in Japan.


Competition Coupe” by The Astronauts

peaked at #124 on February 15, 1964 [RCA]

  • A “Pop Spotlight” pick in Billboard‘s February 8, 1964 edition — “The group here has been very successful with an album, and this single is already getting some strong play.  Watch it.”

  45 — Japan                                                    45 — Germany


I Am the Greatest” by Cassius Clay

peaked at #113 on March 21, 1964 [Columbia]


Beatle Mania Blues” by The Roaches

peaked at #117 on April 11, 1964 [Crossway]

  • Cash Box, which assigns letter grades in their 45s reviews (though no lower than a C), awarded “Beatle Mania Blues” a B (“good”) in their April 24, 1964 edition.  Notes the trade journal at the top of its reviews section — “Only those records best suited for commercial use are reviewed by Cash Box.”
  • Link to other Zero to 180 stories related to Beatles Novelty Songs.


Yo Me Pregunto (I Ask Myself)” by The Valrays

peaked at #121 on May 9, 1964 [Parkway]

  • “Latin doo wop” is how some might describe this tuneful “throw back” 45 — the second and final recording for The Valrays.
  • Despite the Spanish language lyrics, The Valrays were actually a “white” group from New York City, as noted in the White Doo-Wop Collector music blog —  WMCA’s Top Twenty-Five for the week of April 15, 1964 (NYC metro area) shows “Yo Me Pregunto” holding down the #25 spot.


New York Town” by The Dixiebelles

peaked at #119 on May 16, 1964 [Sound Stage 7]

  • A “female soul group” from Memphis, Tennessee, according to Discogs, “who changed their name [from The Tonettes] when Nashville’s Sound Stage 7 wanted a black female group to record and go out for live performances to promote a studio masterminded hit ‘(Down At) Papa Joe’s‘ that had been originally released by the white vocal group Anita Kerr Singers.”
  • A “Smith-Justis Production” — i.e., produced by “Cornbread” (Bill Justis) and “Jerry” (Jerry Smith).


Bad News” by The Trashmen

peaked at #124 on May 16, 1964 [Garrett]

45 label — note the small print

  • 45Cat contributorNaturalE” suspects something is not quite on the up and up:  “Anyone know why this song was co-identified as ‘Church Key‘ (by The Revels) when it actually sounds closer to a version of Eddie Bertrand’s “Volcanic Action” (by The Belairs), a tune which was also covered as “Tidal Wave” (by The Challengers)?”
  • Although “Bad News” was not included on The Trashmen’s 1964 debut album, 45Cat contributorporcupine” points out that the group “did a song on their Surfin’ Bird LP called ‘Bird Bath‘ that is essentially ‘Church Key/Bad News.'”

“Arty” 45 picture sleeve — Sweden


Beachcomber” by The Johnny Gibson Trio

peaked at #116 on June 13, 1964 [Laurie/Twirl]

  • 45 originally issued on Detroit label, Twirl, then released on Laurie for broader reach and distribution.
  • “Beachcomber” made CKLW‘s Top 30 for two consecutive weeks in May 1964.
  • For the week ending June 13, 1964, Cash Box listed “Beachcomber” as #36 on its “Cash Box Singles – Looking Ahead” chart (seven slots behind “Jamaica Ska” by The Ska Kings).
  • Funky 16 Corners music blog – who once had an amusing “run in” with this 45 – informs us that this 45 was a Top 20 hit in Ohio and Detroit.


Love Me Do” by The Hollyridge Strings

peaked at #134 on July 18, 1964 [Capitol]


Shrimp Boats (Jamaican Ska)” by Jerry Jackson

peaked at #134 on July 25, 1964 [Columbia]

  • Newest addition to 2014 Zero to 180’s piece — “Ska in the 1960s US Market
  • 45Cat contributor “teabiscuit” observes, “this one used to be wanted on the Popcorn scene, as it shows Ska influenced tracks of old Pop standards!”

Columbia — leading up the ska charge


New Girl” by Accents

peaked at #128 on August 15, 1964 [m-pac!]

  • Identified by Billboard as a “Breakout Single” in AtlantaChicago,and Detroit.
  • “New Girl” was pegged by Cash Box as a “best bet” (i.e., “A”) in their record reviews from the June 20, 1964 edition — “The Accents could well jump into the national spotlight with this top-notch rhythmic multi-dance teen-angled bluesy affair about a new gal in town.  Eye it closely.”


Ringo for President” by The Young World Singers

peaked at #132 on August 22, 1964  [Decca]

  • Co-written by noted synthesist, Mort Garson, who was celebrated by Zero to 180 in 2018 for his mesmerizing opening/closing themes for TV’s “Untamed World.”
  • Cash Box‘ informs us in their August 8, 1964 review of this “Newcomer Pick” — “‘Ringo for President,’ which started as a promo gimmick in Cleveland by a gang of Beatles fans, could stir up a national interest with exuberant and live-wire reading by The Young World Singers.  A choice programming item for the coming campaign period.”
  • Billboard pegged this 45 as a “Hot Pop Spotlight” in its August 8, 1964 edition with a dash of humor — “Said non-citizen Starr in reply to [the military] draft, ‘I don’t believe I will have the time.’ (And it doesn’t pay enough).  Teenage version of ‘Wintergreen For President.'”


I Could Conquer the World” by The Shevelles

peaked at #104 on September 5, 1964 [World Artists]

  • As Billboard enthused in its review of July 25, 1964 — “Conquering sound from this British group.  Great beat coupled with groovy lyrics.”
  • “If I Were to Conquer the World” was a “Breakout Hit” in Seattle, as reported by Billboard in its October 3, 1964 edition.
  • Reached the #6 spot on Cash Box‘s “Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending October 10, 1964.


I’m Too Poor to Die” by Louisiana Red

peaked at #117 on September 12, 1964 [Glover]

  • 45 produced by Henry Glover on a label named for same — song co-written by Charles Singleton, Sid Wyche, and Henry Glover.
  • Kal Rudman, in his ‘Rhythm & Blues’ column for Billboard, identified “Too Poor to Die” approvingly as a “live down-home blues record” in the August 1, 1964 edition.
  • “Too Poor to Die” reached the #15 position on Cash Box‘s “Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending August 22, 1964.


(Say I Love You) Doo Bee Dum by The Four-Evers

peaked at #119 on September 12, 1964 [Smash]

  • The Four-Evers’ best-known hit, according to Discogs, 1964’s “Be My Girl,” fooled some into believing the group was actually The Four Seasons recording under an alias.


The Dog” by Junior and the Classics

peaked at #134 on September 26, 1964 [Groove]

  • This faithful cover of the Rufus Thomas hit found its way – thanks to RCA’s distribution heft – into Germany and Greece.
  • “The Dog” was tagged by Billboard on October 10, 1964 as a “Breakout Single” in Milwaukee.



The Invasion” by Buchanan and Greenfield

peaked at #120 on October 3, 1964 [Novel]

  • This break-in record by Buchanan (and new partner) Greenfield proved to be a “Breakout Hit” in Chicago, according to Billboard in its October 3, 1964 edition.
  • “The Invasion” allegedly was reissued in 1972.


Maybe the Last Time” [B-side] by James Brown and His Orchestra

peaked at #107 on October 10, 1964 [Smash]

  • A “Spotlight Single of the Week” (in the ‘Rhythm & Blues’ category) as designated by Billboard in its July 25, 1964 edition.
  • A “Breakout Single” in New York, according to Billboard‘s October 10, 1964 issue, plus “R&B National Breakout Single” as announced in Billboard‘s previous issue.
  • Also identified as a “Breakout Single” by DJs in NorfolkNashville, and Baltimore.

Picture sleeves  =  US Vs. Germany


Gale Winds” by Egyptian Combo

peaked at #103 on October 17, 1964 [Norman]

  • Billboard‘s October 10, 1964 issue reports in the ‘News of the World – Cincinnati’ column that “Ray Hill, veteran record promoter now working out of Cincy, has just concluded a 1,200-mile jaunt that took him to Louisville, Nashville, St. Louis and environs.  He reports success with ‘Gale Winds’ by Egyptian Combo [et al].”
  • Billboard‘s October 31, 1964 edition announces “Gale Winds” as a “Breakout Single” in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

= Chart courtesy of Forgotten Hits 60s =


The Sloop Dance” [B-side] by The Vibrations

peaked at #109 on October 31, 1964 [Okeh]

Check out the purple promo


Find Another Love” by The Tams

peaked at #129 on November 7, 1964 [Arlen]

  • As reported in Billboard, “Find Another Love” was a “Record to Watch,” according to WJLB’s Ernie Durham (Detroit); WMOZ’s Ruben Hughes (Mobile); WSID’s Paul ‘Fat Daddy’ Johnson (Baltimore) & WUST’s Al Bell (Washington, DC).
  • “Find Another Love” was first issued on Philadelphia-based Arlen (1963) and then reissued by General American (1964) and King (1965).
  • In 1980, Gusto – who owns the King catalog – reissued “Find Another Love” (albeit as a B-side) with the specious claim that the recording was “originally produced by King Records” while misspelling “Cincinnatti” to boot!

Can you spot the two errors on this 45 label?


Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” by Nina Simone

peaked at #131 on December 5, 1964 [Philips]



Popping Popcorn” by Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez

peaked at #132 on January 2, 1965 [Okeh]

  • Says Billboard in their December 5, 1964 review — “Exciting driving beat combining rock and gospel.  Should be able to pop real big commercially.”
  • Cash Box‘s review in their December 5, 1964 review — “‘The Happy Organ’ man Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez joins the Okeh roster with this new outing and chances are he’ll make an impressive initial showing.  Side to watch is the exciting hand-clapping thumper, ‘Popping Popcorn,’ that sports some vocal comments along the way.  Great teen hop item.”


What a Shame” by The Rolling Stones

peaked at #124 on January 30, 1965 [London]

  • 45Cat contributor On the Flip Side asks, “So what’s the story with the very rare [picture sleeve]?  Obviously few of them printed.  Only a segment of promos, or how the hell did they determine the number of sleeves run?”
  • Sure enough, if you search Popsike, you will find that people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for an original picture sleeve, with one person forking over $810 in 2018 after a 52-bid volley.
  • Also, what’s up with the Jagger-Richard songwriting credits on the 45 label?


Terry” by Twinkle

peaked at #110 on January 23, 1965 [Tollie]

  • Tollie (the VeeJay subsidiary label that issued The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” 45 in the US and credited the A & B sides as being written by “McCartney-Lennon“) apologizes for this release on the cover of the picture sleeve.


Do-Do Do Bah-Ah” by Bert Keyes Orchestra & Chorus

peaked at #132 on January 30, 1965 [Clock]


Don’t Answer the Door (Pts. 1&2)” by Jimmy Johnson Band with Hank Alexander

peaked at #128 on February 13,1965 [Magnum]

  • “Don’t Answer the Door” – covered by B.B. King (1966) & Lonnie Brooks (1979) – was a #16 R&B hit for Jimmy Johnson, as well as a #2 R&B hit for B.B. King the following year.


Banana Juice” by The Mar-Keys

peaked at #121 on April 3, 1965 [Stax]

  • In Billboard‘s April 3, 1965 edition, the word out of Memphis was that “The Mark-Kays [sic], whose new single ‘Banana Juice’ is climbing, has a European tour a-working, says Ray Brown of National Artists Attractions.”  Cash Box reported the same news in their “Record Ramblings” section of the April 24, 1964 edition.


Tiger-A-Go-Go” by Buzz and Bucky

peaked at #107 on May 1, 1965 [Amy]

  • Jan & Dean-style surf track with the unexpected lyric, “We met a California hippy who said come along with me now.”
  • 45Cat contributors note other pre-1967 uses of the word “hippy” in popular song meaning simply a “hip” person (e.g., 1963’s “South Street” by The Orlons or even Benny Golson in his spoken-word intro to 1959’s “Killer Joe” by The Art Farmer-Benny Golson Jazztet).


The Girl From Greenwich Village” by The Trade Winds

peaked at #129 on May 1, 1965 [Red Bird]

  • Billboard had high hopes for this 45 in their Singles Reviews Spotlights, “Hot follow up to their ‘New York’s a Lonely Town’ success is a fast-paced rocker with hit written all over it.”

45 picture sleeve – Netherlands


Last Exit to Brooklyn by The Scott Bedford Four

peaked at #129 on May 8, 1965 [Joy]

  • Cash Box likewise had high hopes for this 45 in their “Newcomer Picks” review — “The Scott Bedford Four can rapidly make national names for themselves with this ultra-commercial Joy item called ‘Last Exit To Brooklyn.’  The tune is a rollicking hand-clapper all about a subway-riding Lothario with an infectious repeating rhythmic riff.”
  • Heavy question posed by the B-side: “Now I’m At The Top (How Do I Stay Here)”


It Hurts Me Too” by Elmore James

peaked at #106 on May 22, 1965 [Enjoy]

  • Wiki:  “When released in 1965, two years after James’ death, “It Hurts Me Too” spent eight weeks in the R&B chart, where it reached No. 25.  The song also appeared in the Billboard Pop chart at No. 106, which was James’ only single to do so.”


Nau Ninny Nau” by Cannibal and the Headhunters

peaked at #133 on June 26, 1965 [Rampart]

  • Billboard‘s June 12, 1965 review notes — “‘The Land of 1000 Dances‘ group is back with a stronger piece of catchy dance material.  Well produced and performed novelty.”
  • #49 on June 19, 1965’s “Cash Box Singles – Looking Ahead” chart, which I now understand to mean “a compilation, in order of strength, of up and coming records showing signs of breaking into The Cash Box Top 100.”


Happy Feet Time” by The Monclairs

peaked at #108 on July 10, 1965 [Sunburst]

1966 single – France


Unwind the Twine” by Alvin Cash & the Crawlers

peaked at #134 on July 24, 1965 [Mar-V-Lus]

  • Alvin Cash (of “Twine Time” fame) and the Crawlers breathe new life into the Twine thing.
  • KGFJ’s Al Scott in Los Angeles (one of the “Top R&B Jockeys”) pegged this song as a Pick-of-the-Week in Billboard‘s July 24, 1965 edition.


Whittier Boulevard” by Thee Midnighters

peaked at #127 on September 4, 1965 [Chattahoochee]


Sea Cruise” by The Hondells

peaked at #131 on October 16, 1965 [Mercury]


The Last Thing On My Mind” by The Vejtables

peaked at #117 on November 27, 1965 [Autumn]

  • Produced by Marty Cooper (of “Hamburger Patti” fame).
  • Says Cash Box in their review published in the November 13, 1965 edition — “The folk-rock field has been greatly enhanced by this fine group, which had a recent noise-maker, ‘I Still Love You.’  Top end here, ‘The Last Thing On My Mind,’ should put the team into deeper chart territory.  It’s infectious with a catch-on-quickly manner.”
  • “Last Thing on My Mind” was a “Breakout Single” in San Francisco, according to Billboard in their November 27, 1965 edition.

1965 French EP sold for £184 ($207) in 2016


Party People” by Ray Stevens

peaked at #130 on December 18, 1965 [Monument]

  • “Party People” is a 45-only track (that would later be issued on compact disc) on Stevens’ first single for Monument after leaving Mercury.
  • Says Billboard , who predicted the A-side to reach the Top 60, “Well-written lyric material from the pen of Joe South serves as a pop, driving production number that should spiral Stevens rapidly up the chart.”


“(You GotThe Gamma Goochee” [B-side] by The Kingsmen

peaked at #122 on December 25, 1965 [Wand]

  • Billboard‘s review confirms that “Gamma Goochie” was the flip side — and yet obviously considered the A-side when released in Europe.

German 45                                         French EP


A Beginning From an End” [B-side] by Jan and Dean

peaked at #109 on January 1, 1966 [Liberty]


Where Did She Go” by Steff

peaked at #124 on January 22, 1966 [Epic]

  • According to Discogs, Steff is a “German singer, born on December 27, 1943 in China.  Later he worked and lived in France, Germany and since the 60’s in Switzerland.  He also runs his own studio and worked as an engineer and producer in between his singing career” — link to his website.


You Bring Me Down” by The Royalettes

peaked at #116 on February 5, 1966 [MGM]

picture sleeve for the US market


Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife While The Bubbles Bounce About Above the Water” by Shirley Ellis

peaked at #135 on February 5, 1966 [Congress]


That’s Part of the Game” by The Daytrippers

peaked at #129 on February 26, 1966 [Karate]

  • Cash Box‘s review in their February 12, 1966 edition is optimistic — “The A-side is a hard-driving rhythmic teen-angled ode which advises a Live-and-Let-Live attitude in romantic situations.”


Don’t Push Me” by Hedgehoppers Anonymous

peaked at #110 on March 19, 1966 [Parrot]

  • UK beat group who, according to Discogs, “formed in November 1963 as The Trendsetters, and became The Hedgehoppers the following year.  Jonathan King took over their record production in 1965, and added “Anonymous” to their name when they said they were popular in Peterborough, and did not want to change their name completely.”


Daddy’s Baby” by Ted Taylor

peaked at #129 on March 26, 1966 [Okeh]

  • “Daddy’s Baby” was a “Regional Breakout Single” in Baltimore, as reported in Billboard‘s October 22, 1966 edition.

Cash Box review thanks to 45Cat’s davie gordon


I’m a Good Guy” by The C.O.D.’s

peaked at #128 on April 2, 1966 [Kellmac]

  • Designated as an “Up and Coming Single” in Record World‘s April 30, 1966 edition — distributed by One-Derful Records.


I Lie Awake” by The New Colony Six

peaked at #111 on April 16, 1966 [Centaur]


It Ain’t Necessary” by Mamie Galore

peaked at #132 on April 23, 1966 [St. Lawrence]


I’ve Got a Secret” by The Sharpees

peaked at #133 on May 7, 1966 [One-derful!]

  • Record World‘s review in their April 30 edition — “Ballad is in R&B groove, but a strong, strong bet for plenty of pop play.  Very sharp.”
  • Cash Box‘s review — “The Sharpees let loose with a generous portion of R&B wailing on this lid.  Spicing the side with a contagious jerk-tempo rhythm, the group could do well among teen buyers.”


Wigglin’ and Gigglin’” by Roy Head

peaked at #110 on May 21, 1966 [Back Beat]

  • “Wigglin’ and Gigglin'” made the Top 40 on Houston’s KYOK AM during the week of May 12, 1966.
  • This Billboard ad for Don Robey’s Duke and Backbeat Records playfully emphasizes the “freshness” of this latest Roy Head recording — “First fresh cut record since ‘Treat Her Right.’  All later releases on Roy Head were old ‘off the shelf.’  This is fresh from the studio.  Acclaimed by many to become a ‘Top 10’ picked before it was released …”
  • Listed at the #15 spot on Cash Box‘s “Singles – Looking Ahead” chart for the week ending July 2, 1966.


A Street That Rhymes at Six A.M.” by Norma Tanega

peaked at #129 on May 21, 1966 [New Voice]

  • Norma Tanega perhaps better known for “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” also from 1966.
  • “Street That Rhymes at Six A.M.” — arranged, produced & conducted by Herb Bernstein for Bob Crewe Productions — was released in the US, Canada, and South Africa.
  • Predicted to reach the Top 60, Billboard writes in its review — “Off-beat lyric ballad penned by Miss Tanega that swings in the same vein as ‘Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog.'”
  • Virgo issued “Walkin’ My Cat” b/w “Street That Rhymes” in 1972 (and rightly so).


What’s A Nice Kid Like You Doing In A Place Like This?” by Scatman Crothers

peaked at #129 on May 21, 1966 [HBR]

  • Released on Hanna Barbera’s own record label, primary reason being that the recording comes from the Hanna-Barbera TV special “(The New) Alice in Wonderland, or, What’s a Nice Kid Like You Doing in a Place Like This?”


I Feel Good” by The Sheep

peaked at #130 on May 28, 1966 [Boom]

  • The Sheep are a songwriting and production team — Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, and Richard Gottehrer (i.e, soon to be Seymour Stein’s Sire partner) — who had previously musically incarnated as The Strangeloves (pretending to be Australian brothers), best known for “I Want Candy.”
  • Billboard, who predicted this song to reach the Top 60, offered this critique — “Pulsating dance beat rocker aimed at the teen market should equal their initial disk click [i.e., debut 45 ‘Hide and Seek‘].”


It’s You Alone” by The Wailers

peaked at #118 on June 11, 1966 [United Artists/Etiquette]

  • YouTube clip above includes historic images of the legendary “Galloping Gertie,” the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge that met a watery doom in the fall of 1940.
  • The “It’s You Alone” 45 appears to have initially released on Etiquette and then picked up by United Artists for national distribution.
  • A-side hits Top 5 in Seattle, as reported by Billboard in its May 7, 1966 edition — also a “Regional Breakout” hit in the San Francisco area.


Sock It To ’em J.B. (Pt. 1)” by Rex Marvin and the Mighty Cravers

peaked at #110 on June 25, 1966 [Like]

  • Song title and concept works on two levels, in that “J.B.” = James Brown and James Bond.
  • Billboard was initially optimistic about this 45’s prospects in its review — “Unique, blues-tinged rocker with excellent sax backing could prove a big one.  Disk [label] is distributed by Atlantic.”
  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Pittsburgh and Atlanta, according to Billboard.


Look at Me Girl” by The Playboys of Edinburg

peaked at #108 on July 16, 1966 [Columbia]

  • Single appears to have been released on McAllen, Texas-based label, Pharaoh, then picked up by Columbia for wider distribution.
  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Houston, so says Billboard, whose review in the July 2, 1966 edition enthuses — “Exciting debut for the American group with the British sound.  High-pitched, well-blended vocal and teen dance combined for a chart-busting number.”


El Pito” by Joe Cuba Sextet

peaked at #115 on August 6, 1966 [Tico]

  • ‘El Pito’ Makes the Chart — Thanks to R&B Stations,” reports Billboard in its August 13, 1966 edition:  “The Latin American-flavored r&b record by Joe Cuba has received heavy airplay in New York on r&b and jazz radio stations.  ‘We’ve sold 70,000 in New York alone, said Red Schwartz, national promotion chief of Roulette Records and its Tico subsidiary.  George Wilson, program director of WHAT, in Philadelphia, heard it being played on a visit here.  He telephoned me from Philadephia saying he’d make it a pick of the week if I’d send him some copies to play.  I sent him a couple of copies and band, the record spread like wildfire.”

Cash Box ad from July 1966 – courtesy 45Cat


She Ain’t Lovin’ You” by The Distant Cousins

peaked at #102 on August 27, 1966 [Date]

  • Arranged & conducted by Herb Bernstein for Bob Crewe, the song’s co-composer, with The Distant Cousins — Larry Brown (from Milledgeville, Georgia) and Raymond Bloodworth (from Newark, NJ) — who met while serving with the US Army Signal Corps at training school where, Billboard informs us, they were assigned alphabetically.
  • Billboard reported on August 27, 1966 that The Distant Cousins are “on promotional tour in Pittsburgh and Cleveland where the disc is way out front!”


Love’s Gone Bad” by Chris Clark

peaked at #105 on October 1, 1966 [V.I.P.]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in St. Louis, according to Billboard, from Chris Clark, one of Motown’s lesser-known “blue-eyed” recording artists.
  • “Love’s Gone Bad,” notes Cash Box, is “making inroads in several important Canadian centres and is shaping up through exposure on CKLG, Vancouver.”
  • According to Discogs, “Clark became famous in England as the ‘white Negress’ (a nickname meant as a compliment), since she toured with fellow Motown artists.”

Someone paid €571 in 2014 for this 1967 French EP


The Willy” by The Willies

peaked at #113 on October 8, 1966 [Co & Ce]

  • This 45 appears to have been released by Hollywood indie Blue River (where it was the B-side) before getting a 2nd release in September on Pittsburgh-based Co & Ce (where it was the A-side) for East Coast distribution.
  • Just squeaked onto Cash Box‘s Top 100 chart at #95 on November 19, 1966.
  • Classic 45s declares, “Terrific bubblegum silliness on the A side.”


Love Is a Bird” by The Knickerbockers

peaked at #133 on October 22, 1966 [Challenge]

  • Beautiful effect on the guitar during the bridge the gives a sitar-like sound.
  • “You’re gonna get hurt if you try to cage it, you’ll just enrage it” (love is a bird, you know).
  • Billboard notes in its October 8, 1966 review — “Back in the groove of ‘Lies,’ the group should have no trouble shooting up the chart with this swinger.”


She Digs My Love” by The Sir Douglas Quintet

peaked at #132 on October 29, 1966 [Tribe]


Hymn #5” by The Mighty Hannibal

peaked at #115 on November 19, 1966 [Josie]

  • Originally released on Atlanta’s Shurfine (soul label founded by Wendell Parker) — single then got picked up by Josie (subsidiary of Jubilee) for national distribution.
  • Light in the Attic points out that “this commentary on the effects of the Vietnam War on servicemen” was The Mighty Hannibal’s biggest hit, despite the fact that it was “banned on radio.”


Bears” by The Fastest Group Alive

peaked at #133 on November 26, 1966

  • According to Psychedelicized.com, “There isn’t very much known about the Fastest Group Alive.  The band had a regional hit in the Northwest USA with ‘The Bears’ in 1966.  The Fastest Group Alive consisted of Jeff Thomas, Daniel Moore, Matthew Moore, and James Flemming Rasmussen.  The band recorded two singles for the Valiant label.”
  • Original 45 released on Seattle-based Teem label, before the masters were purchased by Valiant, as reported in Billboard.


I’m Your Bread Maker, Baby” by Slim Harpo

peaked at #116 on December 1, 1966 [Excello]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Milwaukee, as reported by Billboard., who predicted the song to go Top 10 R&B in their review — “This wild, wailing number is a topper for ‘Baby, Scratch My Back‘ and should meet with a fast sales impact.  Much pop potential as well.”


Smashed! Blocked!” by John’s Children

peaked at #102 on December 1, 1966 [While Whale]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Los Angeles, as reported by Billboard.

Chart courtesy of So Many Records, So Little Time


Plain Jane” by B.J. Thomas

peaked at #129 on December 17, 1966 [Scepter]


Grits ‘n’ Corn Bread” by The Soul Runners

peaked at #103 on January 14, 1967 [MoSoul]

  • “Grits ‘n’ Corn Bread” — featured in Zero to 180’s musical salute to grits.
  • The Soul Runners changed their name to The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band in 1967.

The band’s only non-US release = Netherlands



Life Is Groovy” by United States Double Quartet = The Tokens & Kirby Stone Four

peaked at #110 on January 28, 1967 [B.T. Puppy]

  • Two quartets — The Tokens and The Kirby Stone Four — for the price of one.
  • This song ranked 23rd in Billboard‘s Top 40 of the “best selling middle-of-the-road singles” for the week of February 11, 1967.


Ballad of Walter Wart” by The Thorndike Pickledish Choir

peaked at #131 on February 4, 1967 [MTA]

  • “Thorndike Pickledish” is the alter ego of Seattle disk jockey, Robert O. Smith, who says “the record was responsible for me coming to the attention of the KJR (Seattle) management and was, in part, responsible for my moving from KMBY in Monterey.”
  • “Ballad of Walter Wart” was a “Breakout Regional Single” in Seattle, as well as the Twin Cities area.

Can you spot the typo?


Rain Rain Go Away” by Lee Dorsey

peaked at #105 on February 4, 1967 [Amy]

  • 45-only track by Allan Toussaint that would be included later on Sundazed’s CD reissue of 1966’s Working in the Coalmine — Holy Cow album.
  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Baltimore, as reported by Billboard, who predicted this song to reach the Top 60 in its review — “Right in the groove of his “Holy Cow” and “Coal Mine” hits is this pulsating rhythm rocker, which should bring Dorsey back onto the Hot 100 in a hurry.”

1967 EP – France


What’s That Got to Do With Me” by Jim and Jean

peaked at #123 on March 18, 1967 [Verve]

According to Vancouver Signature Sounds” —

  • Jim & Jean were a folk duo composed of Jim Glover, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, born in 1942, and New Yorker, Jean Ray, who was born in  1941.
  • Glover, while attending Ohio State University, met Phil Ochs, who would write the liner notes for the duo’s debut album.
  • After their second album, Jim & Jean released what, at the time, was a non-album single titled “Whats’ That Got To Do With Me.”
  • “What’s That Got To Do With Me” peaked in the Top 30 in San Jose, San Francisco, San Bernardino and Seattle, while making the Top 20 in Santa Rosa (#16), San Diego (#15) and Vancouver (#11).  Its best chart run was in Madison, Wisconsin, where the song reached #7.

Update:  Sly & the Family Stone recorded a version in July 1967 during sessions for their debut album that finally saw release in 2013.


Go Go Radio Moscow” by Nikita the K And the Friends of Ed Labunski

peaked at #105 on March 25, 1967 [Warner Bros.]


California On My Mind” by The Coastliners

peaked at #115 on April 8, 1967 [D.E.A.R.]

  • Note the far-out phasing used for effect in the chorus.
  • Says Cash Box in its review — “Spirited, rhythmic melody-rocker could do good things for the Coastliners.  Chart material.”


Double Yellow Line” by The Music Machine

peaked at #111 on May 13, 1967 [Original Sound]

  • Says Billboard in its review — “Smooth rocker with groovy organ work and wailing vocal workout will have no trouble spiraling the ‘Talk Talk‘ group back up the charts.”


Four Walls (Three Windows and Two Doors)” by J.J. Jackson

peaked at #123 on July 15, 1967 [Calla]

  • “Four Walls” peaked at #17 on Billboard‘s R&B chart.
  • #82 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles for the week ending July 29, 1967.


Sally Sayin’ Somethin’” by Billy Harner

peaked at #118 on August 19, 1967 [Kama Sutra]

  • Delaware Liberal awarded this track “Song of the Day” last September and provided some historical background:  “If you didn’t live in the Philadelphia area, you might not know this Northern Soul classic, but it was all over WIBG in the summer of ’67.  It also charted in New York and LA, but failed to break out nationally.  It probably didn’t help that Harner was such a big draw at the Jersey Shore that he didn’t have to tour outside the region (he was the last headliner at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier).”


Heavy Music (Pt. 1)” by Bob Seger & the Last Heard 

peaked at #103 on September 9, 1967 [Cameo]Bu

  • #84 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles for the week ending September 16, 1967.


As Long As You’re Here” by Zalman Yanovsky

peaked at #101 on October 7, 1967 [Buddah]

  • Concluding images of this bizarro video for “As Long As You’re Here” (by the lead guitarist for The Lovin’ Spoonful) include historic footage of the legendary “Galloping Gertie,” the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge that met a watery doom in the fall of 1940.
  • Bet you won’t flinch when I inform you that the B-side is merely the A-side played backwards (a topic that has been addressed in several prior posts).
  • “As Long As You’re Here,” produced and arranged by Jack Nitzsche, is a 45-only release not found on Yanovsky’s lone solo album, Alive and Well in Argentina — except on the Japanese and UK reissues.

45 — France


Hunk of Funk” by Gene Dozier and the Brotherhood

peaked at #121 on October 7, 1967 [Minit]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in the Washington, DC area, as reported by Billboard.
  • #46 position in Billboard‘s Top Selling R&B Singles chart for the week ending October 28, 1967.


Sand” [B-side] by Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood

peaked at #107 on October 28, 1967 [Reprise]

  • Written & produced by Lee Hazlewood and arranged by Billy Strange, “Sand” — the B-side for “Lady Bird” — includes a backwards guitar break.
  • Top 10 hit in Thailand, as reported by Billboard in their December 2, 1967 edition.

Art nouveau picture sleeve – Netherlands


I Want Some More” by Jon and Robin and the In Crowd

peaked at #108 on November 4, 1967 [Abnak]

  • “Regional Breakout Single” in Nashville and Houston, as reported in Billboard.
  • Both Sides Now Publications has the back story — “Dallas, Texas-based Abnak Records was part of Abnak Music Enterprises, Inc., founded by successful Fort Worth insurance man John H. Abdnor, Sr.  His son, John Howard Abdnor, Jr., otherwise known as Jon Abnor, was a part of the duo Jon & Robin.  The elder Abdnor apparently started the label as a vehicle for his son’s musical interests, but quickly also became involved on the business end when he signed the Five Americans and he became their personal manager.”


This Thing Called Love” by The Webs

peaked at #102 on December 2, 1967 [Pop-Side]

  • #96 on Cash Box‘s Top 100 Singles for the week ending December 23, 1967.


Kites Are Fun” by The Free Design

peaked at #114 on December 23, 1967 [Project 3]

  • “Kites Are Fun” — a “Regional Breakout Single” in Buffalo — reached the #34 position on Billboard‘s “Easy Listening” Top 40 chart, as reported in the December 30, 1967 edition.
  • Uncredited as producer on “Kites Are Fun” is Enoch Light, founder and president of Project 3 Records.
  • This past February, 45Cat contributor Ort. Carlton posted this related anecdote — “One night as I was waist deep in my radio show, a stock copy of this going around on the turntable, the phone rang.  A woman was crying. “You MUST tell me who this is!  This record has enchanted me since I first heard it when I was 9 years old on WPTR in Albany, New York!”  So I told her, and informed her of the group’s website.  She messaged them, and heard back; they were deeply touched.  And so was she.  And so am I.  This record will always be very special to me because I got two widget cans of Guinness as a finder’s fee from the fine lady in question.”
  • Zero to 180 piece from 2016 — “The Free Design Have Found Love

Link to PART TWO = Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976

B-Side Breakout Hits & CKLW

Besides “Tequila” by The Champs, I know of one other instance where an A-side was roundly disregarded in favor of its B-side.  As Robert Pruter, R&B editor for Goldmine, writes in the accompanying notes to the Atlantic soul music anthology, The Golden Age of Black Music (1970-1975):

King Floyd’s “Groove Me,” from 1970, was produced by Elijah Walker and Wardell Querzerque in Jackson, Mississippi, one of the first hits of the fledgling Malaco organization.  “Groove Me” was the B-side to a song released on Malaco’s Chimneyville label, but the deejays found the funky jerk-beat of “Groove Me” irresistible and flipped the record.  The song, with Atlantic distribution, went to position 6 and lasted an outstanding 20 weeks on Billboard’s pop chart.

From poking around on the web, I’ve learned that “Beth” by Kiss is another example of a B-side successfully shoving aside its A-side.  The song, despite strong objections from Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, was included on Kiss’ 1976 album, Destroyer, at the insistence of their manager.  “Beth” had been brought to the band by Peter Criss, who had written the song with Stan Penridge, back when they were bandmates in early 70s NYC group, Chelsea.  Despite early chart success with “Shout It Out Loud,” Destroyer was a new direction for the band that was not immediately embraced by fans, and enthusiasm for the album was starting to wain – until AM radio juggernaut, CKLW, added the song to its playlist at the prompting of the daughter of program director, Rosalie Trombley (both pictured here).  The single took off, eventually going gold (500,000 sales), giving the album a massive new sales injection, thus making the album Kiss’ first to go platinum (1 million).

End of an Era for The Big 8

In his review of the 2004 documentary, Radio Revolution: The Rise and Fall of the Big 8,  Bill Harris of the Toronto Sun recounts the beginning of the end for Windsor Canada’s once mighty CKLW:

Canadian-content laws came into effect in 1971 that required stations to play at least 30% Canadian music. Given the benefit of hindsight, those laws did what they set out to do (whether they still are needed today is another debate). But 35 years ago the policy cut CKLW at the knees, since there wasn’t a lot of Canadian music that appealed to the rhythm-and-blues-loving audiences in Detroit.

CKLW somehow maintained its top-drawer status for another decade. But The Big 8’s open mocking of Can-con rules — playing the shortest Canadian songs possible, holding overnight Can-con marathons, saying “Here’s one for the CRTC” rather than even bothering to announce who the band was, etc. — hardened the government’s resolve to bring the cocky station down a notch.

Check out these jingles for CKLW – just across the river from “Motor City” — back when radio was fun: