Author Topic: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s  (Read 92044 times)

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1650 on: March 20, 2020, 06:22:46 PM »
I have to say that 'All You Need Is Love' is my least favourite Beatles A-side. Just gibberish. The B-side has an interesting arrangement but the lyrics again are just LSD whimsy.


  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1651 on: March 20, 2020, 09:08:22 PM »
Good song.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1652 on: March 20, 2020, 10:28:25 PM »
'All You Need Is Love' appearing in the final episode of The Prisoner cements my love of the track.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1653 on: March 21, 2020, 12:30:56 AM »
I can admire the sentiment, but the songwriting craft that the Beatles put into their best songs is absent on this one. I think the aforementioned use in the Prisoner is the best thing about it.


  • mere rhetorical frippery
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1654 on: March 21, 2020, 01:12:28 PM »
A tremendously awful guitar solo there, wisely faded out halfway through


  • 'Absolutely Useless' say Overlanders
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1655 on: March 24, 2020, 02:00:00 PM »
The Amazing Blondheim, it's . . .

236.  Scott McKenzie - San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair)

From : 6 August – 2 September 1967
Weeks : 4
Flip side : What's The Difference
Bonus 1 : Live at Monterey
Bonus 2 : Beat Club

The Story So Far : 
Scott McKenzie was born Philip Wallach Blondheim III on 10 January 1939 in Jacksonville, Florida. His family moved to Asheville, North Carolina, when he was six months old.

He grew up in North Carolina and Virginia, where he became friends with John Phillips, the son of one of his mother's friends. In the mid-1950s, he sang briefly with Tim Rose in a high school group called The Singing Strings.

Later, with Phillips, Mike Boran, and Bill Cleary, he formed a doo wop band called The Abstracts.

In New York, The Abstracts became The Smoothies and recorded two singles with Decca Records, produced by Milt Gabler - "Joanie" (b/w "Softly") released in June 1960, and "Ride, Ride, Ride" (b/w "Lonely Boy And Pretty Girl") in October 1960.


During his time with The Smoothies, Blondheim decided to change his name for business reasons -

Scott McKenzie : "were working at one of the last great night clubs, The Elmwood Casino in Windsor, Ontario. We were part of a variety show ... three acts, dancing girls, and the entire cast took part in elaborate, choreographed stage productions ... As you might imagine, after-show parties were common. At one of these parties I complained that nobody could understand my real name ... and pointed out that this was a definite liability in a profession that benefited from instant name recognition. Everyone started trying to come up with a new name for me. It was Jackie Curtis who said he thought I looked like a Scottie dog. Phillips came up with Laura's middle name after Jackie's suggestion. I didn't like being called 'Scottie' so everybody agreed my new name could be 'Scott McKenzie.'"

In 1961, Phillips and McKenzie met Dick Weissman and formed the folk group, The Journeymen, at the height of the folk music craze.

They recorded three albums and several singles for Capitol Records - "500 Miles" (b/w "River Come Down") released in September 1961  /  "Kumbaya" (b/w "Soft Blow The Summer Winds") in December 1961  /  "Don't Turn Around" (b/w "Hush Now Sally") in April 1962  /  "Loadin' Coal" (b/w "What'll I Do") in August 1962  /  "Rag Mama" (b/w "I Never Will Marry") in March 1963  /  and "Ja-Da" in September 1963.


In 1964, following the beat bomb detonated by the The Beatles in the US, The Journeymen put the fiddle in the roof, and disbanded. McKenzie and Weissman became solo performers, while Phillips formed the group The Mamas & the Papas with Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips and moved to California. McKenzie declined an opportunity to join the group -

Scott McKenzie : "I was trying to see if I could do something by myself. And I didn't think I could take that much pressure."

Several flop singles followed, including - "There Stands The Glass" (b/w "Wipe The Tears (From Your Eyes)") in September 1965 on Capitol, and "No, No, No, No, No" (b/w "I Want To Be Alone") released in December 1966 on the Epic label. Following the flops, he left New York and signed with Lou Adler's Ode Records.

In 1967, he would finally get his big break, thanks to his old friend John Phillips who wrote and co-produced the song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" for McKenzie.


It was released as a single on 13 May 1967, and was an instant hit, reaching number 4 in the US, number 2 in Canada, and a number 1 in the UK and several other countries, selling over seven million copies globally.


In the wake of it's success, McKenzie's previous record label, Capitol, re-released his earlier flop single - "Look In Your Eyes" (b/w "All I Want Is You") - which was originally released in January 1965. But the public smelt a rat, and the single, once again, failed to trouble the charts.


McKenzie's proper follow-up was the song "Like an Old Time Movie", which Papa John Phillips also wrote, composed, and produced. Backed with "What's The Difference - Chapter II", it reached #24 in the US, but tanked at #50 in the UK in November 1967.

Both sides of the single, along with his hit Number 1 were included on his first album, The Voice of Scott McKenzie, released in December 1967.


His next single, "Holy Man" (b/w "What's The Difference - Chapter III") , was once again written by John Phillips. But, despite it's promising provenance from the prime Papa, it firmly flopped in March 1968.

His second album, Stained Glass Morning emerged in 1970. Despite featuring crack session musicians, including Ry Cooder, Rusty Young (of Poco), and Barry McGuire, the album failed to chart. One single was released off the album, "Going Home Again" (b/w "Take A Moment"), which also flopped.


Despite his own chart career going down the toilet, McKenzie had some success as a songwriter for others - writing "What About Me" that launched the career of Canadian singer Anne Murray in 1968.

With Terry Melcher, Mike Love, and John Phillips, he co-wrote "Kokomo", a 1988 US number 1 single for The Beach Boys.

By 1998, he had retired from the touring version of The Mamas and the Papas which he had joined in 1986 replacing Denny Doherty in the line up, and settled down in Los Angeles, California, until his death on 18 August 2012, at the age of 73.

The Single :
"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear [Some] Flowers in Your Hair)" was written by John Phillips, and sung by Scott McKenzie.

The song was produced and released in May 1967 by John Phillips and Lou Adler, who used it to promote their Monterey International Pop Music Festival held in June of that year. Local authorities in Monterey were starting to get cold feet over the prospect of their town being overrun by hippies, so Phillips wrote the song to "smooth things over".

John Phillips played guitar on the recording and session musicians Gary L. Coleman played orchestra bells and chimes, Joe Osborn on bass, and regular Wrecking Crew thunder-stick Hal Blaine played drums.

The song became one of the best-selling singles of the 1960s in the world - staging a month long sit-in at the number one spot in the UK charts. In Ireland, the song was number one for one week, in New Zealand the song spent five weeks at the Top, and in Germany it was six weeks at Nummer Eins.

McKenzie's version of the song has been called "the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s, including the Hippie, Anti-Vietnam War and Flower power movements."

Scott McKenzie : "My heart was in that song, and I didn’t have to change my image. I already had a pretty loose life. I was wearing flower shirts, weird flowing robes and kaftans, and we picked flowers the day we recorded the song. One girl gave me a garland of flowers and my friends were sitting in the lotus position, meditating, while I was recording it."

Other Versions includeThe Shadows (1967)  /  Tanja Berg (1967)  /  Petula Clark (1967)  /  Julie Felix (1967)  /  Vince Hill (1967)  /  Los Larks (1967)  /  Caravelli (1967)  /  "Kukka hiuksissaan" by Lasse Mårtenson (1967)  /  Johnny Hallyday (1967)  /  Bobby Solo (1967)  /  Los Mustang (1967)  /  Merrilee Rush (1968)  /  Karel Gott (1968)  /  Roger Bennett (1968)  /  Fausto Papetti (1968)  /  Big Ben Hawaiian Band (1968)  /  Hubble Bubble (1978)  /  Tanya Tucker (1979)  /  Tracy Huang (1980)  /  Ted Hawkins (1987)  /  Olsen & Olsen (1987)  /  MonaLisa Twins (2009)  /  Janet Planet (2009)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  John Spencer (2014)  /  Steve Reynolds (2015)  /  Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (2017)  /  a robot (2017)  /  heinz v.12 (2018)  /  Dave Monk (2018)

On This Day  :
9 August : Anton Walbrook, Austrian and German film actor, dies aged 70 in Feldafing, Bavaria
9 August : Joe Orton, Dramatist (Prick Up Your Ears), is murdered by his partner Kenneth Halliwell aged 34
13 August : Fleetwood Mac make their live debut, appearing at the National Jazz and Blues Festival in Windsor, Berkshire
15 August : UK's Marine Offences Bill outlawing pirate radio stations comes into effect
15 August : René Magritte, Belgian surrealist painter, dies aged 68
16 August : Ulrika Jonsson, TV personality, born Eva Ulrika Jonsson in Sollentuna, Sweden
19 August : Jason Starkey, son of Ringo Starr born somewhere in England
25 August : Jeff Tweedy, (Wilco), born Jeffrey Scot Tweedy in Belleville, Illinois,
25 August : The Beatles go to Wales to study transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
27 August : Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, dies of drug overdose at 32
1 September : Siegfried Sassoon, War poet, dies aged 80.
1 September : Steve Pemberton, (The League of Gentlemen), born Steven James Pemberton in Blackburn, Lancashire
2 September : The Principality of Sealand is established, ruled by Prince Paddy Roy Bates

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: March 24, 2020, 03:34:48 PM by daf »


  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1656 on: March 26, 2020, 06:53:20 PM »
I hate this one with a passion.

It's as if it were minted especially to be instant nostalgia. Only a bit worse than All You Need is Love: was there something in the water that year, fuelling the demand for On The Nose ballads about hippies?


  • Father of Serge
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1657 on: March 27, 2020, 11:09:36 AM »
Always hated it for the naff artificial hippy tweeness; we are all children of the sun, we love flowers etc... I am of that generation and know the true values that were being used by genuine people, this was just commercial cashing in on something that was genuinely happening in the world. Rant over,back on me head....


  • 'Absolutely Useless' say Overlanders
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1658 on: March 28, 2020, 02:00:00 PM »
Sick of the Knockers, it's . . .

237.  Engelbert Humperdink - The Last Waltz

From : 3 September – 7 October 1967
Weeks : 5
Flip side : That Promise

The Story So Far : 
Englebert's easygoing style and good looks earned him a large following, particularly among women. His hardcore female fans called themselves "Humperdinckers". The Number 1 Beatle Blocker "Release Me" was succeeded by two more hit ballads: "There Goes My Everything" which reached #2 in May 1967, and his second chart Topper "The Last Waltz" in Autumn 1967, earning him a reputation as a crooner, though he disputed the description -

Engelbert : "If you are not a crooner, it's something you don't want to be called. No crooner has the range I have. I can hit notes a bank could not cash. What I am is a contemporary singer, a stylised performer."


In 1968, following his major successes the previous year, "Am I That Easy To Forget" (b/w "Pretty Ribbon") reached #3 in January 1968, and "A Man Without Love" (b/w "Call On Me") #2 in April 1968.


Freewheeling up the chart with "Les Bicyclettes De Belsize" (b/w "Three Little Words (I Love You)"), he parked at #5 in October 1968.


In 1969, Humperdinck's singles included "The Way It Used To Be" (b/w "A Good Thing Going") - #3 in February, the Burt Bacharach and Hal David penned "I'm A Better Man (For Having Loved You)" (b/w "Cafe") reached #15 in August, and "Winter World Of Love" (b/w "Take My Heart") brought his decade to a close, frozen at the lucky #7 position in November 1969.


For six months in 1969–1970, Humperdinck fronted his own television series - the enigmatically titled The Engelbert Humperdinck Show for ATV in the United Kingdom, and ABC in the US. The series had originally been announced in 1967, but was not made at that time for unknown reasons.


In this musical variety show, the singer was joined by some of the most popular figures then active in entertainment, including Paul Anka, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, Jack Benny, Milton Berle, Ray Charles, Four Tops, Lena Horne, Liberace, Lulu, Carmen McRae, Dusty Springfield, Spud from The Brumbeats, Jack Jones, Tom Jones and Dionne Warwick.


By the start of the 1970s, Humperdinck had settled into a busy schedule of recordings. His first single of the new decade, "My Marie" (b/w "Our Song (La Paloma)") reached #31 in May 1970. A number of signature songs emerged from this period, often written by noted musicians and songwriters including "We Made It Happen" written by Paul Anka, and  "Sweetheart", written by Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb, which reached #22 in the UK charts in November 1970.

Three flops followed in 1971 : "Santa Lija (Sogno d'Amore)" (b/w "Stranger Step Into My World") in January  /  "When There's No You" (b/w "Live And Just Let Live") in April  /  and "Our Love Will Rise Again" (b/w "You're The Window Of My World") in May. In September 1971 he was back in the charts at #13 with "Another Time, Another Place" (b/w "Morning").

In 1972, he starred in another television series, for BBC 1. Titled Engelbert with The Young Generation, the show ran for thirteen weeks, and featured regular guests The Goodies and Marlene Charell, and, via Lunewyre Technology, Peter Lorenzo and the Guys Now Dancers, plus all the top-level international stars of the day.


The next single, "Too Beautiful To Last" (b/w "A Hundred Times A Day"), was a Top 14 hit in March 1972, but the wheels were starting to come off the tracks, as his next single, "In Time" (b/w "How Does It Feel") missed the charts, as did "Only Your Love" (b/w "My Summer Song") in January 1973, and "I'm Leaving You" (b/w "Time After Time") in March 1973. "Love Is All" (b/w "Lady Of The Night") proved to be his final hit of the 70's - reaching a modest #44 in October 1973.


A string of flops followed - including his concept single dedicated to Le Pétomane : "Free As The Wind" (b/w "My Friend The Wind") in March 1974  and  "Precious Love" (b/w "For Ever And Ever (And Ever)") in March 1975.

By the middle of the decade, Humperdinck concentrated on selling albums and on live performances, with his style of ballads less popular on the singles charts. He developed lavish stage productions, making him a natural for Las Vegas and similar venues. He performed regularly at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas through the early and middle years of the decade, recording a live album at the venue with the Three Degrees as backing singers.

At this point Decca threw in the towel, and he signed with EMI. Released in October 1976, "After The Lovin'", backed by "Let's Remember The Good Times" - a rather decent dip into the disco puddle - was a top 10 hit in the US, but did nothing in the UK.

The chart-dodging stinkers continued with "I Believe In Miracles" (b/w "Goodbye My Friend") in May 1977  /  "Lover's Holiday" (b/w "Look At Me") in October 1977  /  and "Loving You, Losing You" (b/w "Put A Light In Your Window") in May 1978.

"It's Not Easy To Live Together" (b/w "Royal Affair") released on Epic in January 1981 brought his flops into the new decade. In June 1984 he released "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" (b/w "Between Two Fires") - to the deafening sound of chart tumbleweed.

Now signed to RCA and sporting a hideous moustache, the duet with Gloria Gaynor - "Love Is The Reason" (b/w "You Made A Believer Out Of Me") did nothing, but the follow up - "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love For You" (b/w "Under The Man In The Moon") saw him storm back into the charts at last - for a week at the non-coveted #93 "gruel position" in March 1988.


The single "How Do I Stop Loving You" (b/w "On The Wings Of A Silver Bird"), released in July 1988, was his last for RCA.  "Someone To Love" (b/w "A World Without Love") emerged, like a rare gas, on Ariola in 1990.

In 1995 'Love Unchained', produced by Bebu Silvetti, peaked in the UK Top-20 album charts, marking a return to form in his home country. He also got a new lease of life from the tediously ironic 'Lounge Revival' in the mid-90s, recording "Lesbian Seagull" for the soundtrack of the film Beavis and Butt-head Do America in 1996, and releasing a dance album in 1998 - his 1968 song "Quando Quando Quando" was treated to several dance remixes, and shot him back into the UK charts at #40 in January 1999.

In 2012, Humperdinck represented the United Kingdom in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, staged in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 26 May with the song, "Love Will Set You Free". Humperdinck eventually finished in 25th place out of 26, coming in second to last in the voting, with 12 points.

In May 2019, Humperdinck premiered a new song, "You", an ode to motherhood written for him by British songwriters Jon Allen and Jake Fields. As a birthday gift to his wife, Patricia, Humperdinck appeared in a music video, filmed on location at the Houdini Estate.

The Single :
"The Last Waltz" was written by Barry Mason and Les Reed. It was one of Engelbert Humperdinck's biggest hits, spending five weeks at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, from September 1967 to October 1967, and has since sold over 1.17 million copies in the United Kingdom.

The title of the song is something of a double entendre as it refers to both the narrator's first and last dances with the woman [or man!!] he loves: the first dance was the "last waltz" played at the party where the two met, and the final dance signified the end of their relationship after their romance had cooled.

In Australia, "The Last Waltz" spent nine nonconsecutive weeks at number one. In the United States, "The Last Waltz" reached number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and made the top ten of the easy listening chart.

Other Versions include :   The Anita Kerr Singers (1967)  / "De geniepige loeder" by The Strangers (1967)  /  "La dernière valse" by Mireille Mathieu (1967)  /  "La dernière valse" by Lucky Blondo (1967)  /  "L'ultimo valzer" by Dalida (1967)  /  "El último vals" by José Guardiola (1967)  /  "Den sista valsen" by Claes-Göran Hederström (1967)  /  Petula Clark (1968)  /  Connie Francis (1969)  /  Korda György (1970)  /  Barry Mason (1976)  /  The Mighty Diamonds (1982)  /  The Reels (1982)  /  Renée & Renato (1985)  /  Rose Marie (1988)  /  Foster & Allen (2004)  /  Danny McEvoy (2011)  /  Matthias Reiter (2015)

On This Day  :
3 September : Sweden begins driving on the wrong (right-hand) side of road, the massive idiots!
6 September : Macy Gray, R&B singer, born Natalie Renée McIntyre in Canton, Ohio
7 September : Toby Jones (Tobias Edward Heslewood Jones), actor, first birthday (born in 1966)
8 September : Surveyor 5 launched
9 September : The pilot episode of 'Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In' shown as a "sneak preview" on NBC
10 September : Gibraltar votes 12,138 to 44 to remain British & not Spanish
10 September : Surveyor 5 makes soft landing on the Moon
11 September : The Beatles' Magical Mystery Bus driven around England
11 September : Harry Connick Jr, singer, born Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana
17 September : The Who performed "My Generation" on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. At the climax, Keith Moon's drumkit explodes and causing Pete Townshend to go deaf in one ear.
20 September : The Queen launches British liner QE2 at Clydebank Scotland
21 September : Faith Hill, country pop singer, born Audrey Faith Perry in Ridgeland, Mississippi
26 September : Dmitri Shostakovich's 2nd Violin concert premieres in Moscow
28 September : Moon Unit Zappa, (Frank Zappa - Valley Girl), born in New York
28 September : Mira Sorvino, actress, born Mira Katherine Sorvino in  Manhattan, New York
30 September : BBC launches pop music radio station 'Radio 1'
2 October : Gillian Welch, singer-songwriter, born Gillian Howard Welch in New York City
3 October : Woody Guthrie, American folk singer, dies of Huntington's disease aged 55
3 October : Sir Malcolm Sargent, English conductor, dies at 72
3 October : Pinto Colvig, Disney voice actor (Goofy), dies at 75
7 October : Toni Braxton, singer, born Toni Michele Braxton in Severn, Maryland
7 October : Luke Haines, (The Auteurs), born Luke Michael Haines in Walton-on-Thames, England

Extra! Extra!

Read all about it! :
« Last Edit: March 28, 2020, 04:37:35 PM by daf »


  • the Zone of Zero Funkativity
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1659 on: March 28, 2020, 02:17:12 PM »
A sting of flops followed - including his concept single dedicated to Le Pétomane :
Lovely, daf.

Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1660 on: March 28, 2020, 02:44:33 PM »
Nice that he did that single last year for his wife - I did read an interview with him recently where he said she's not been well due to Alzheimer's. Mind you, not sure it makes up for his chronic shagging around back in the day.

As for the song, err, I'll be polite as it's a weekend and just say it's not my thing. 


  • Not even the rudest man in the Beatles
Re: Toppermost of the Poppermost - UK Number Ones : part 2 - The 1960s
« Reply #1661 on: March 28, 2020, 03:21:45 PM »
The Last Waltz is sung by Gillingham fans at their matches. They change the words slightly (only slightly) to include a reference to 'The Gills in the Rainham End singing...",  and it ends with a couple of rounds of 'Na na na na na" to the tune of the end bit of Hey Jude.

Can only find it with backing music - but it's best when it's completely freeform, just spontaneously bellowed by 1500 drink-sodden Kentish wankers for no reason.

He is also one of the few guests on Desert Island Disks to lack the self-awareness not to pick his own record.