Don't Bring Me Down (The Animals)

30 JUNE 1966

The Animals’ single ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ - written by Goffin/King - was at its peak UK chart position of #6. It reached #12 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming part of a series of very solid (if not spectacular) hits for the band around this time.

The single cover (below) features new drummer Barry Jenkins, to the right. He replaced drummer John Steel and stayed with the band during its various incarnations 1966-68. In fact, the Animals were now just a few months away from the wholesale personnel changes that saw them rebranded as Eric Burdon and Animals (or Eric Burdon and the New Animals).

B-side: 'Cheating'
Released: 21 May 1966 (U.K.); 17 May 1966 (U.S)
Recorded: 1966
Highest chart position: #6 (UK), #12 (US)
Length: 3:13
Label: Decca Records (UK), MGM Records (U.S.)
Producers: Tom Wilson

Don't Bring Me Down (The Animals)

When A Woman Loves A Man (Esther Phillips)

29 JUNE 1966

The Percy Sledge Classic 'When a Man Loves a Woman' had been released in March 1966 and became a massive hit around the world. It was so popular that it prompted a gender-flipping cover called 'When A Woman Loves A Man' from Percy's Atlantic Records stablemate Esther Phillips, which was released six weeks after Percy's record. Her version peaked at #73 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (and #26 on the R&B chart) during June. 

Esther had successfully applied the same trick during the previous year when she had a hit (#14 in the UK) with 'And I Love Him', a reverse take on the Beatles' 'And I Love Her'. That success was largely due to the Beatles - who liked her version - flying her to the UK for her first overseas performances. 

Prior to that, she had three #1 hits as 'Little Esther' back in 1950, when she was just 14 years old. Since that time she she had suffered with drug addiction and commercial failure before bouncing back with 'Release Me' in 1962. 

This song was competently done but not very inspired, opting for a straight cover except of course for the female voice and slightly altered lyrics. It works simply because the original was such a strong bit of music.

When A Woman Loves A Man (Esther Phillips)

'when a woman loves a man
can’t keep her mind on nothing else
she change the world for the good things she’s found
if he is bad she can’t see it
he can do no wrong
turn her back on her best friend
if she puts him down

when a woman loves a man
she’ll spend all of her time
trying to hold on to what she needs
she’ll give up all her comforts
and sleep out in the rain
if he says that’s the way it ought to be

well this woman really loves you
i gave you everything i had
try to hold on, to your unwelcome love
baby please don’t treat me bad

when a woman loves a man
deep down in her soul
he can bring her such misery
if he plays her for a fool
she’s the very last one to know
loving eyes can never see

when a woman loves a man
she’ll never, never do him wrong
any friend in this whole wide world
yes when a woman loves a man
i know exactly how i feel
cause baby, baby i’m your friend
yes when a woman loves a man
i know exactly how i feel.'

When a Man Loves a Woman (Percy Sledge)

28 JUNE 1966

The classic soul song ‘When a Man Loves a Woman’ by Percy Sledge was at its peak UK chart position of #4. Another big hit for Atlantic Records, it reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and R&B charts and continues to get a lot of airplay to this day. The song was also recorded in 1966 by both Esther Williams and the Spencer Davis Group.

This song reached #2 in the UK in 1987 when it was re-released after featuring in a jeans commercial. It is also listed at #53 in Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

If you think the horns on this sound slightly out of tune, that's because they are. After Jerry Wexler of Atlantic Records had signed a distribution deal for the song, he requested that it be re-recorded because the horns were out of tune. So they went back to the studio with new players and redid the horns, but then the tapes got mixed up and Atlantic unknowingly put out the original version anyway.

B-side: 'Love Me Like You Mean It'
Released: March 1966
Recorded: 17 February 1966, Norala Studios, Sheffield, Alabama
Highest chart position: #2 (UK), #1 (US)
Length: 2:51
Label: Atlantic
Writers: Calvin Lewis, Andrew Wright
Producers: Marlin Greene, Quin Ivy

My Little Red Book (Love)

27 JUNE 1966

The debut single from LA band Love was a take on the Bacharach/David song 'My Little Red Book'. It was the lead track on their self-titled debut album, and was lyrically interesting but maybe not the best or most musically-representative track on there.* They gave the song a rather stiff, harder-edged rhythm, and Burt Bacharach himself was not too impressed with it. 'My Little Red Book' reached a middling #52 in the Billboard Hot 100 charts during this week in 1966, the first of their numerous chart disappointments.

The song does have it fans, however, and featured over the end credits in the 2000 movie High Fidelity. And of course Love have long since earned a revered place in rock history.

* In my opinion, 'My Flash on You', 'No Matter What You Do' and 'Can't Explain' - all from the same album - might have had a better chance of commercial success as singles.

B-side: 'A Message to Pretty'
Recorded: Winter 1965, RCA Studios, Hollywood
Released: March 1966
Highest chart position: #52 (US)
Length: 2:38
Label: Elektra
Writers: Burt Bacharach, Hal David
Producer: Jac Holzman

My Little Red Book (Love)

Take This Heart Of Mine (Marvin Gaye)

26 JUNE 1966

Marvin Gaye's single 'Take This Heart Of Mine' peaked at #44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 during this week. It also went to #10 on the R&B chart. This light, upbeat number was part of a series of three singles produced for Gaye by the Miracles team and taken from his 'Moods of Marvin Gaye' album.

He had enjoyed reasonable success as a solo singer since 1962, racking up eight Top 20 Billboard hits along the way, and the end of 1966 saw him release 'It Takes Two' with Kim Weston, the first of several male-female duets that helped to cement his place as a Motown legend.

The clip above shows Marvin singing this song on his only 'Ed Sullivan Show' appearance.

B-side: 'Need Your Lovin'-Want You Back'
Recorded: 4 January, 9 February and 24 March 1966, Hitsville USA
Released: 5 May 1966
Highest chart position: #44 (US)
Label: Tamla
Producer: Smokey Robinson

Take This Heart Of Mine (Marvin Gaye)

Cloudy Summer Afternoon [Raindrops] (Barry McGuire)

25 JUNE 1966

Folk-rock singer Barry McGuire enjoyed a massive breakthrough hit in 1965 with his 'Eve of Destruction', reaching #1 in the US and #3 in the UK with that apocalyptic song. The follow-up - 'Child of Our Times' - only made it to #72, and in the summer of '66 he released something completely different - 'Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)'. This was an upbeat, music-hall-style tune that had been a minor hit for folk duo Bud and Travis in 1960. McGuire's version peaked at #62 on the Billboard chart on this day in 1966.

This was a tune of its time, very much in the vein of the Lovin' Spoonful and some of their similarly 'jaunty' ditties. 

His album 'This Precious Time' was also released this year, featuring a version of 'California Dreamin' with The Mamas & the Papas singing backing vocals (McGuire was mentioned several times in their hit 'Creeque Alley'). Frank Zappa also mentioned McGuire's name in the sleeve of his Freak Out! album as one of his musical influences. Despite having this clout in the scene, 'Cloudy Summer Afternoon (Raindrops)' proved to be his last single to crack the top 100. McGuire's career faded away and he eventually turned to Christian rock.

Cloudy Summer Afternoon [Raindrops] (Barry McGuire)

Born Free (Matt Monro)

24 JUNE 1966

The movie ‘Born Free' premiered during this week. The song from the movie, written by John Barry and Don Black and sung by Matt Monro, won that year's Academy Award for Best Original Song. However, the film producers had thought the song was so uncommercial that they cut it from the version of the movie shown at its premiere. Monro and Black lobbied for the song to be restored, and a new shortened version was recorded especially for the film.

Despite 'Born Free' becoming Monro's signature song, it had a very mixed chart history. The pianist Roger Williams released a version which peaked at #7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1966, but Monro only reached #126 there. It does not seem to have been released in the UK, but did reach #1 on some Australian charts. A strange fate for an easy listening classic sung by one of the greatest British crooners and taken from an immensely successful movie.

Born Free (Matt Monro)

Paperback Writer (Beatles)

23 JUNE 1966

The Beatles topped the UK charts for the 10th time with the fuzz-bass-driven ‘Paperback Writer’, which stayed at #1 for two weeks. It was also #1 in a lot of other countries, including the US.

I can't link the single version here, but this clip is the first take for the song and highlights the riff sounding quite Hendrix-like. Now getting quite experimental with their sounds, Lennon wanted the bass sound pushed to the front of the recording. The lyrics were also different from McCartney's usual fare as he made an effort to write a song that was not about love.

B-side: 'Rain'
Released: 30 May 1966 (US), 10 June 1966 (UK)
Recorded: 13-14 April 1966, EMI Studios, London
Highest chart position: #1 (UK and US)
Length: 2:18 (stereo version), 2:26 (mono single version)
Label: Parlophone R5452 (UK), Capitol 5651 (US)
Producer: George Martin

Paperback Writer (Beatles)

Over, Under, Sideways Down (Yardbirds)

22 JUNE 1966

The Yardbirds’ ‘Over, Under, Sideways Down’ was at its peak UK chart position of #10. It reached #13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and was rated #23 in Rolling Stone magazine's '100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time' list.

The song was supposedly based on Bill Haley's 'Rock Around the Clock', but the trippy little burst of 'When will it end, when will it end' was pure 1966, a little dab of psychedelia.

This track was from their album Yardbirds (a UK title only, as it was called Over, Under, Sideways Down in the US and, confusingly, gained the colloquial name Roger the Engineer because of the drawing on the album cover).

Album. Yardbirds
B-side. 'Jeff's Boogie' 
Released. 27 May 1966 
Highest chart position: #10 (UK), #13 (US)
Recorded. April 1966, Advision Studios, London 
Length. 2:37 
Label. Columbia
Producers. Paul Samwell-Smith, Simon Napier-Bell

Over, Under, Sideways Down (Yardbirds)

Caroline, No (Brian Wilson/The Beach Boys)

21 JUNE 1966

Brian Wilson released his first solo single in March 1966. 'Caroline, No' reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, and later appeared as the last track on the Beach Boys' album 'Pet Sounds'.

As usual he employed the Wrecking Crew as studio musicians, and brought in instruments such as harpsichord, ukulele and vibraphone. The occasional echoey percussion sounds were created with an upside-down water bottle. This simple technique adds to the overall effect of a slow, dreamy song about the loss of youthful innocence. None of the other Beach Boys appeared on this recording.

Recorded: 31 January 1966, United Western Recorders, Hollywood
Released: 7 March 1966
Highest chart position: #32 (US)
Length: 2:52
Label: Capitol
Writers: Brian Wilson, Tony Asher
Producer: Brian Wilson

Caroline, No (The Beach Boys)

And Your Bird Can Sing (Beatles)

20 JUNE 1966

The Beatles album 'Yesterday... And Today' was released in the US on this day. This was one of the series of albums that Capitol released in North America that were markedly different to what was being released on the other side of the Atlantic. 

This stemmed from Capitol being behind with releasing very early Beatles’s material in the US, and then carving up all their subsequent albums (up to 'Revolver') from 14-track British releases into 12-or-11 track US ones, taking songs from one album and placing them on another. This resulted in the US market having about nine Beatles albums from what were only six albums in the UK. 

'Yesterday and Today' featured songs that had previously been left off the US versions of 'Help' and 'Rubber Soul' ('Yesterday', 'Act Naturally', 'Nowhere Man', 'Drive My Car', 'If I Needed Someone', and 'What Goes On'), with the single tracks 'We Can Work it Out' and 'Day Tripper', and also added three Lennon songs from the upcoming UK version of 'Revolver' ('And Your Bird Can Sing', 'I'm Only Sleeping' and 'Doctor Robert'). This left the US 'Revolver' somewhat short of Lennon-penned material. 

There was some controversy over the original cover for this album, depicting the Beatles as butchers holding bloody baby (doll) parts. That cover was withdrawn, and while McCartney later claimed it was a statement on the Vietnam War, it would be easy to also see it as a statement on the treatment of Beatles material by Capitol.

The song 'And Your Bird Can Sing' (above) was used as the (overly long) intro tune for the third season of the rather bizarre cartoon TV series 'The Beatles' (1967).  

And Your Bird Can Sing (Beatles)

My Lover's Prayer (Otis Redding)

19 JUNE 1966

'My Lover's Prayer' from Otis Redding was climbing to a peak US Billboard Hot 100 chart position of #61. It also hit #10 and the R&B charts, and #37 in the UK.

While Redding is (rightly) seen as a soul legend now, his records generally only enjoyed middling success prior to his tragic death in late 1967. His biggest hit in the US had been 'I've Been Loving You Too Long', which was #21 in early 1965, while in the UK he had a #11 later that year with 'My Girl'. Most of his singles during 1965-67 charted in the 20s-60s. He didn't have a #1 in the US until 'Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay' was released after the plane crash that took his life (it reached #3 in the UK). 

'My Lover's Prayers' was a slow-burner written by Redding himself and sung with his trademark intensity and classic Stax studio backing.

Road Runner (Jr Walker & the All-Stars)

18 JUNE 1966

Jr Walker & the All-Stars single ‘Road Runner’ was at its peak position of #20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. It also peaked at #4 on the R&B charts, and #12 in the UK, which proved to be their biggest hit there. 

This was a Motown release written by Holland-Dozier-Holland, but the All-Stars' sound had a touch of the style of southern soul labels such as Stax, rather than the smooth productions of Motown. Walker's growling saxophone was a distinct feature of the band's sound. 

The group had been around for a few years before breaking through in 1965 with 'Shotgun' a single that reached #4 on the Billboard Hot 100. They continued to enjoy moderate success for several years after this, with most of their output reaching the 20s-50s in the charts.

B-side: 'Shoot Your Shot'
Released: 1966
Highest chart position: #12 (UK), #20 (US)
Length: 2:49
Label: Tamla Motown

Road Runner (Jr Walker and the All-Stars)

Save My Soul (Wimple Winch)

17 JUNE 1966

Wimple Winch released the single 'Save My Soul', which was very popular in Liverpool but failed to chart nationally.

This band had started out in the Merseybeat scene as 'Four Just Men', becoming Wimple Winch in 1966 and adopting what has since become known as the heavy Mod-Sike 'Freakbeat' sound. They never enjoyed any chart success and disbanded in 1967. 

'Save My Soul' was probably the best of their offerings, and the highly distinctive bassline was sampled extensively by Australian hip-hop act Hilltop Hoods in their big 2015 hit 'Crosby Sweater'.

Save My Soul (Wimple Winch)

Eight Miles High (The Byrds)

16 JUNE 1966

The Byrds’ psychedelic folk-rocker ‘Eight Miles High’ was at its peak UK chart position of #24. It had reached #14 on the US Billboard Hot 100 after being released there in March.

This was a fundamentally brilliant song that would probably have gone Top 5 if it hadn’t been somewhat commercially 'marred' by the experimental raga/jazz bridge and outro. In 1966, some established acts wanted to push their artistic boundaries, and the Byrds were moving away from their straightforward 'jangle' rock of 1965.

Another problem was a widespread US radio ban on this song because of alleged drug references (a fate also suffered by their '5D (Fifth Dimension)' single. Byrds' members have claimed the songs were not about drugs, but having two songs in a row receive limited airplay because of lyric choices seems like poor commercial judgement on their part.

This was the last Byrds release to feature Gene Clark, and by the time this song was brought out on their third album 'Fifth Dimension' in July they were a four-man band.

B-side: 'Why'
Released: 14 March 1966
Recorded: 24-25 January 1966, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Highest chart position: #24 (UK), #14 (US)
Length: 3:33
Label: Columbia
Producers: Allen Stanton

Come On and See Me (Tammi Terrell)

15 JUNE 1966

Tammi Terrell's 'Come On and See Me' was at its peak position of #80 on the Billboard Hot 100 during this week. It also reached #25 on the R&B charts.

Tammi had a short, tragic life (she died due to a brain tumour at just 24) but achieved solid chart success with a dozen duets with Marvin Gaye. This record came just prior to the formation of that great partnership, at a time when her greatest national chart success had been a #72 in 1965. Written by Harvey Fuqua and Johnny Bristol, 'Come On and See Me' was modest Motown fare, slightly upbeat but not A-list material, although there is no denying Tammi's talent. 

It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom (Walter Jackson)

14 JUNE 1966

Walter Jackson's soul burner 'It's an Uphill Climb to the Bottom' was having its own uphill climb to a a peak position of #88 on the Billboard Hot 100 during this month. This is, however, a much better song than the numbers suggest.

Jackson didn't have much success - this was one of his biggest hits - but he did have a great voice which was well used on lushly-produced Chicago soul ballads like this one.

5D (Fifth Dimension) (Byrds)

13 JUNE 1966

The Byrds released their single ‘5D (Fifth Dimension)' (from the album of the same name) in the US during this week. It reached #44 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart but did not make the charts in the UK.

Some US radio stations had actually banned this song, believing that it promoted drug use. It seems more like a reference to meditation, but the band were certainly getting more experimental with their material while still holding on to elements of the jangling folk-rock that had brought them so much success in 1965. However, their record sales were falling, and with their main songwriter Gene Clark having left the band they continued as a four-piece group but their career would now be marked by declining commercial fortunes, and changes in personnel and style. Despite this, they would still release two brilliant albums ('Younger Than Yesterday' and 'The Notorious Byrd Brothers') in the following two years.

B-side: 'Captain Soul'
Released: 13 June 1966
Recorded: 24-25 May 1966, Columbia Studios, Hollywood
Highest chart position: #44 (US)
Length: 2:33
Label: Columbia
Writer: Jim McGuinn
Producer: Allen Stanton

Summer Wind (Frank Sinatra)

12 JUNE 1966

The gorgeous 'Summer Wind' was a track from Frank Sinatra's high-flying album 'Strangers in the Night'. Released as a single, it peaked at #25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, and at #36 in the UK. It has an airy orchestral backing from Nelson Riddle and, typical of the middle-aged Sinatra's output around this time, reflected back on an earlier love from earlier years. 'Summer Wind' reached #1 on the US Adult Contemporary chart.

This was originally a German song from 1955 called 'Der Sommerwind', and an English version was released in 1965 by Wayne Newton.

Summer Wind (Frank Sinatra)

Girl on a Swing (Gerry and the Pacemakers)

11 JUNE 1966

Gerry and the Pacemakers, the band that the mid-60s left behind. Their early success as part of the Merseybeat explosion in 1963-64 had been huge, with a string of #1 and Top Ten hits, but then they stood still while music evolved around them. Their ‘cheeky chappy’ image, generally tinny sound, and conservative suits, hairstyles and song choices meant they lacked the sense of ‘danger’ that the best bands had, and by 1966 the hits had dried up.

Their last chart presence was the slightly pervy single ‘Girl on a Swing’ (about watching an unknown girl on a swing every day), which was released in the UK during this week in 1966 but failed to chart there, although it did reach a respectable #28 in the US. It's not too bad, but still sounded as though it could have been released in 1963.

The group disbanded in October 1966. This was a shame, as Gerry Marsden was a decent singer and songwriter, but they had already left an enduring mark on British pop history.

Girl on a Swing (Gerry and the Pacemakers)

Water (Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band)

10 JUNE 1966

Geno Washington’s single ‘Water’ was at its peak UK chart position of #39 during this week. This later became part of the Northern Soul genre.

The Ram Jam Band were a British group who recruited Washington - an American airman based in East Anglia - in 1965. They had a series of moderate hits (charting in the 30s-40s) and a big following on the Mod circuit. They released two lives albums in 1966-67, both of which reached the Top Ten in the UK. The band split up in 1969.

Geno Washington enjoyed a bit of a revival in 1980 after Dexy's Midnight Runners had a big hit with 'Geno', their tribute to him

Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.) (Edwin Starr)

9 JUNE 1966

Edwin Starr’s single ‘Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.)' was at its peak UK chart position of #35 during this week, becoming the first of his eight Top 40 hits in the UK in a run that lasted until 1979. This bit of early Northern Soul had already reached #48 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and #9 on the R&B chart.

This song became a hit again when it was re-released in 1968 after Motown absorbed his record label (Ric-Tac). This time it reached #11 in the UK, despite not charting in the US. In 1970 he had his only #1 hit with 'War', formerly an album track by the Temptations.

Stop Her on Sight (S.O.S.) (Edwin Starr)

Sorrow (The Merseys)

8 JUNE 1966

The Merseys’ single ‘Sorrow’ had a good run in the UK Top Ten, hitting its peak chart position of #4 during this week.

The band had recently formed from the remains of the Merseybeats, and this recording - their first single under the new name - was actually a cover of a B-side from a McCoys 1965 single. 'Sorrow' had a couple more moments of fame, with the line 'with your long blonde hair and eyes of blue' being used in the Beatles' song 'It's All Too Much', and more famously when David Bowie had a big hit with it in 1973.

This was the Merseys only hit and they disbanded in 1968, although this single was re-released in the wake of Bowie's hit.

B-side: 'Some Other Day'
Released: April 1966
Highest chart position: #4 (UK)
Length: 2:12
Label: Fontana 694
Writers: Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer
Producer: Kit Lambert

Sorrow (The Merseys)

One Too Many Mornings (Beau Brummels)

7 JUNE 1966

Yet another Dylan cover released as a single, this time from the San Francisco band the Beau Brummels with 'One Too Many Mornings'. This was a bit of a harder rocking version of the original, and reached its peak position of #95 in the US Billboard Hot 100 charts during this week.

much better version of this song had been released by the Association in late 1965 but that one failed to chart.

The Beau Brummels had a few US hits during 1964-65, most famously with 'Just a Little' which reached #8, but this song proved to be their last entry in the top 100. They disbanded in 1969 (although they reformed briefly in the 1970s).

Not Responsible (Tom Jones)

6 JUNE 1966

The swingin' 'Not Responsible' by Tom Jones was climbing the UK charts this week on its way to a peak position of #18. It was part of a double-A side with the rather ordinary ballad 'Once There Was a Time'.

After debuting in 1965 with a #1 (It's Not Unusual'), this record was part of a run of six singles from Tom that failed to break the UK Top 10. This one only reached #58 in the US. However, he would end 1966 back on top of the charts.

'Not Responsible' had originally been released as the B-side to Helen Shapiro's 'No Trespassing' in 1963, which did not chart in the UK but was a #1 in Australia. Tom's version is much better.

Not Responsible (Tom Jones)

Wang Dang Doodle (Ko Ko Taylor)

20 JUNE 1966

Ko Ko Taylor's rollicking blues single 'Wang Dang Doodle' was at its peak of #58 on the US Billboard 100 chart during this week. It also reached #13 on the R&B chart.

This was written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Howlin' Wolf and released by Chess Records in 1961. Dixon and Leonard Chess persuaded Koko Taylor to record it in December 1965 for Checker Records, a Chess subsidiary. 'Wang Dang Doodle' has since become a blues standard and been recorded by multiple artists.

Tar and Cement (Verdelle Smith)

4 JUNE 1966

US singer Verdelle Smith's 'Tar and Cement' reached #38 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It did not chart in the UK but made it to #1 in Australia. It was her only hit.

This is an English-language version of the Italian song 'Il ragazzo della via Gluck' (The Boy From Gluck Street), released in February 1966 by Adriano Celentano. The French version of the song was also a big hit in France for Eddy Marnay during that year, and was more famously covered there by Fran├žoise Hardy.

Wild Thing (The Troggs)

3 JUNE 1966

The Troggs’ ‘Wild Thing’ was at its peak UK chart position of #2, and it reached #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has gone down as an all-time Garage Rock classic and kick-started an 18-month burst of chart success for the Andover band.

This song was originally recorded by US band The Wild Ones in November 1965, when it failed to chart. The Troggs' version was released on two competing labels in the US because of a distribution dispute, but Billboard combined the sales for both releases as they were pressed from the same master recording, This made it the only single to simultaneously reach #1 for two companies.

B-side: 'From Home'
Released: 22 April 1966
Highest chart position: #2 (UK), #1 (US)
Length: 2:30
Label: Fontana
Writer: Chip Taylor
Producer: Larry Page

Wild Thing (The Troggs)

Strangers in the Night (Frank Sinatra)

2 JUNE 1966

Ol’ Blue Eyes was well and truly back. It had been quite a while since the legendary Frank Sinatra had scored a big-selling hit, but his ‘Strangers in the Night’ single reached #1 in the UK charts and stayed there for three weeks. It had also been #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 (and Easy Listening) charts. This was his first number one in eleven years, and following his daughter Nancy's 'These Boots Are Made For Walkin'', it was the second chart topper of the year for the Sinatra family.

This has gone down as one of the top-shelf standards of the Sinatra catalogue, but what did the man himself think of it? He hated it, calling it  'a piece of shit' and 'the worst fucking song that I have ever heard'. Millions disagreed.
Strangers in the Night (Frank Sinatra)

California Dreamin' (The Mamas and the Papas)

1 JUNE 1966

The Mamas and the Papas' single ‘California Dreamin'’ was at its peak UK chart position of #23 during this week.

This all-time great song had been written in 1963 by John Phillips and first recorded by Barry McGuire - with the Mamas and the Papas singing backup - as an album track in 1965. The legendary Wrecking Crew provided the music. The Mamas and the Papas rerecorded their own lead vocals (and a new flute solo) over the original recording and released it as a single in late 1965. It was a slow burner, and initially tanked before reaching #4 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March. The amount of time it spent in the charts made it the joint #1 best-selling US single of the year (tied with 'The Ballad of the Green Berets'). Talk about two ends of the spectrum!

The song became a classic anthem of the counterculture and the growing west-coast hippy movement.

B-side: 'Somebody Groovy'
Released: 8 December 1965
Highest chart position: #23 (UK), #4 (US) 
Recorded: 4 November 1965, Western Recorders, Hollywood, California
Length: 2:38
Producer: Lou Adler

California Dreamin' (The Mamas and the Papas)