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Max

Billboard's #1 Pop Singles

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One of the most prominent examples of the folk rock subgenre was "Mr. Tambourine Man" by The Byrds, which held the top spot for one week: the week ended 6/26/65.

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Though they certainly sounded like a British band, the Byrds hailed from Los Angeles. Their leader, Roger (Jim) McGuinn, played backup for Bobby Darin and also performed alongside folk legends such as the Chad Mitchell Trio. Watching the Beatles in 1964 inspired McGuinn to form a group that would fuse the sounds of folk and rock together; joining him were Gene Clark (tambourine), Mike Clarke (drums), David Crosby (guitars), and Chris Hillman (bass).

The Byrds' first single was a cover of Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Because producer Terry Melcher believed that the Byrds were too inexperienced, he locked all group members out of the recording studio aside from McGuinn (who sang lead vocals and also played a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar on the track) and replaced them with seasoned studio musicians such as Glen Campbell. Because of the song's success, several other Dylan tunes were given the folk rock treatment, including "It Ain't Me Babe" by the Turtles (which peaked at #8 later in 1965) and "All I Really Want to Do" (a single that the Byrds managed to only take to #40, but which Cher was able to turn into her first solo hit when it reached #15).

After "All I Really Want to Do," the Byrds returned to #1 with their signature song. As for "Mr. Tambourine Man," it is one of only three songs to twice appear on "Rolling Stone's" list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time;" the others are "Blue Suede Shoes" (versions by Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley) and "Walk This Way" (versions by Aerosmith and Run-DMC).

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I always get this song mixed up with "My Green Tambourine." The Rolling Stone info is very interesting, thanks for sharing it.

It's certainly a very nice song, although the "jingle-jangle morning" part annoys me a little.

My favorite Byrds song.

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Roger Mcguinn's vocal always annoyed me. He sounds a bit drunk or something. That, and musical snobs ADORE them. I guess it's a personal hangup or something! LOL

This is sure a cute version of the song, though!

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I always get this song mixed up with "My Green Tambourine."

That song hit #1 as well.

That, and musical snobs ADORE them.

Even though the rock elitists love the Byrds, they have never been my cup of tea.

Four weeks was the maximum amount of time any record spent at #1 in 1965. The first song (out of a total of two) to top the charts for this duration was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, which held the peak position the weeks ended 7/10/65, 7/17/65, 7/24/65, & 7/31/65.

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As everybody knows, the nucleus of the Rolling Stones consists of Mick Jagger (born as Michael Phillip Jagger on 7/26/43 in Dartford, England) and Keith Richards (born on 12/18/43, also in Dartford); the two of them first met while attending the same elementary school. In 1960, Jagger, Richards, and some other young men formed a group called Little Boy Blue & the Blue Boys. Shortly thereafter, the members of this band were introduced to another group, Blues Incorporated, which included guitarist Brian Jones and drummer Charlie Watts. The Rolling Stones--named after the Muddy Waters' song "Rollin' Stone"--were formed on July 12, 1962 and originally comprised Richards, Jones, Jagger, bassist Dick Taylor, pianist Ian Stewart, and drummer Mick Avory. More personnel changes followed: Taylor was replaced by Bill Wyman, Avory was replaced by Tony Chapman--who, in turn--was replaced by Watts, and Stewart departed and was replaced by no one. However, as confusing as this chronology is, the successful lineup of Jagger, Richards, Jones, Watts, and Wyman was in place by May 1963.

The iconic group from London scored five top 40 hits in the U.S. prior to "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," listed below:

"Tell Me (You're Coming Back)" (#24, 1964)

"It's All Over Now" (#26, 1964)

"Time Is on My Side" (#6, 1964)

"Heart of Stone" (#19, 1965)

"The Last Time" (#9, 1965)

(Obviously, the most well-known of the above songs was "Time Is on My Side," which actually is a cover of an Irma Thomas record.)

"Satisfaction" was recorded on May 11, 1965 in an 18-hour session at RCA Studios in Hollywood. Richards (who co-wrote the tune with Jagger) was very displeased with the final product, and believed that it deserved to be relegated to a B-side (though he was proud of the song's guitar riff, which was inspired by "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas). However, the Rolling Stones' producer and manager, Andrew Loog Oldham, was very satisfied (no pun intended) with the song and overruled Richards' objections. The result was that "Satisfaction" became not only the Rolling Stones' signature song, but also the first of eight chart-toppers for the group.

In another post, I touched upon the list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" that was compiled by "Rolling Stone" magazine. In their opinion, the greatest song of all-time was "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan (which also was from 1965, though it only peaked at #2). The tune that ranked second was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

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In another post, I touched upon the list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" that was compiled by "Rolling Stone" magazine. In their opinion, the greatest song of all-time was "Like a Rolling Stone" by Bob Dylan (which also was from 1965, though it only peaked at #2). The tune that ranked second was "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction."

Most overrated rock band ever. Don't care for a lot of their songs. This one is OK but just done to death.

I've never understood the popularity of either The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan. The word "overrated" almost feels inadequate.

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I've never understood the popularity of either The Rolling Stones or Bob Dylan. The word "overrated" almost feels inadequate.

I think that Bob Dylan is much more overrated than the Rolling Stones (though I don't care for them, either).

The second and final chart-topper for Herman's Hermits was the silly "I'm Henry VIII, I Am," which spent one week at number one: the week ended 8/7/65.

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As you might imagine, the roots of "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" date to before the start of the rock era. According to "The 'Billboard' Book of Number One Hits," the tune was "written in 1911 by Fred Murray and R.P. Weston and [was first] popularized by Harry Champion." Four years before Herman's Hermits had a #1 hit with it, British singer Joe Brown revived the song's popularity in his native land. (In Britain, Herman's Hermits' version of the record did not chart.)

The group remained very popular for the next eighteen months or so, before fizzling out. Below is a list of their remaining top 40 singles:

"Just a Little Bit Better" (#7, 1965)

"A Must to Avoid" (#8, 1966)

"Listen People" (#3, 1966)

"Leaning on the Lamp Post" (#9, 1966)

"This Door Swings Both Ways" (#12, 1966)

"Dandy" (#5, 1966)

"East West" (#27, 1966)

"There's a Kind of Hush" (#4, 1967)

"No Milk Today" (#35, 1967)

"Don't Go Out Into the Rain (You're Going to Melt)' (#18, 1967)

"Museum" (#39, 1967)

"I Can Take or Leave Your Loving" (#22, 1968)

In 1971, Peter Noone left the group. The split was acrimonious, and Noone tried (but failed) to legally stop the remaining group members from using the official Herman's Hermits name. (Strangely enough, Noone is still able to use the "Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone" moniker, and does so when he tours with his band.) Though Peter's solo career flopped, he has stayed in the limelight by touring and returning to acting.

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Although I don't care for novelty songs for the most part, this one is ok. It seems to suit his voice, and every once in a while, pop music needs a little levity.

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I know I posted this in the GNR thread already, but this is the 25th anniversary of the release of Appetite for Destruction, which includes their only number one hit, "Sweet Child O'Mine" (a song that was initially seen as a joke/album filler by most of the band). It actually took them over a year after AFD came out for them to really hit it big, though.

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"Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" is absolutely superb, and it is a travesty that it only peaked at #8.

I know I posted this in the GNR thread already, but this is the 25th anniversary of the release of Appetite for Destruction, which includes their only number one hit, "Sweet Child O'Mine" (a song that was initially seen as a joke/album filler by most of the band). It actually took them over a year after AFD came out for them to really hit it big, though.

MissLlanviewPA, aside from "Sweet Child O' Mine" being Guns N' Roses' only #1 hit, I was unaware of any other info in your above post. Thank you so much for sharing.

One of the most iconic songs of 1965 (though not a song I care for, because it is way too "hippy-ish" for my tastes) is "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher, which held the peak position for three weeks: the weeks ended 8/14/65, 8/21/65, & 8/28/65.

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Salvatore Phillip Bono (born 2/16/35) was one of the most respected musicians in Los Angeles, having worked for Phil Spector (among others). In November 1962, he met Cherilyn Sakisian LaPierre (born 5/20/46) at a coffee shop; though she was only sixteen at the time, she lied to Sonny about her age and claimed that she was actually eighteen. Soon, Sonny was able to use his connections to land Cher gigs at singing backup (along with him) on Spector records. In 1964, the two lovers wed. (They would divorce eleven years later.)

"I Got You Babe" was written and produced by Bono and released on Ahmet Ertegun's Atco (Atlantic) Records. Sonny absolutely loved the song, but Ertegun felt that the flip-side--"It's Gonna Rain"--was the one with hit potential. Ahmet would have gotten his way had he not been outsmarted: Sonny went to radio station KHJ and asked them to play "I Got You Babe" once every hour (in exchange for granting that station exclusive rights to that song). Because the response to "I Got You Babe" was so favorable, Atco was forced to give that song the A-side designation.

Sonny & Cher racked up more top forty hits following "I Got You Babe":

"Baby Don't Go" (#8, 1965) [This was recorded prior to "I Got You Babe," but didn't become popular until after Sonny & Cher had a #1 hit.]

"Just You" (#20, 1965)

"But You're Mine" (#15, 1965)

"What Now My Love" (#14, 1966)

"Little Man" (#21, 1966)

"The Beat Goes On" (#6, 1967)

"All I Ever Need Is You" (#7, 1971)

"A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done" (#8, 1972)

"When You Say Love" (#32, 1972)

(Also note that Sonny had one hit as a solo artist: 1965's "Laugh at Me," which reached #10. Cher, of course, would rack up many solo hits, including four chart-toppers.)

The duo of Sonny & Cher were probably just as well known for their CBS variety series as for their music. Beginning in 1971, "The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour" was a commercial smash; it ended three years later only because of the couple's marital woes (as opposed to any ratings decline). After their divorce, from 1976-77, a revival (called "The Sonny and Cher Show") was attempted. Unfortunately, many felt that this show paled in comparison to the original.

Despite their widely different political views, Sonny was originally a liberal. He became a conservative after becoming intensly frustrated over the massive amounts of red tape that he encountered while opening up a restaurant in Palm Springs. On April 13, 1988, Bono was elected mayor of that town. (By an odd coincidence, Cher had won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in "Moonstruck" one day eariler.) Sonny was in the middle of serving his second term in the U.S. House of Representatives when he was tragically killed in a skiing accident on January 5, 1998.

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I like all of Sonny and Cher's songs.... although I think "The Beat Goes On" is the best of their hits. The bridge of "I Got You Babe" is really what makes it, as far as I'm concerned. After seeing Cher at Sonny's funeral, I am convinced that he was the love of her life, and considering her relationship with him was the longest she ever sustained with any man. People may make fun of Sonny's singing voice, and true, he ain't no great singer... he only sang with Cher because she was too scared to stand onstage by herself.... but he sings every bit as good as someone like Mick Jagger and certainly better than the vastly overrated Bob Dylan.

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I love "I got you babe". It doesn't seem hippyish really, just a song imbued with the innocence of the young and the belief that all they need is love. The only hippyish reference I can think of offhand is the line about they say our hair's too long. That is a common sentiment every generation thinks, although hair may be substituted for dress. It's a really sweet, optimistic, innocent song I think.

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