It’s still June and now we’re asking questions about number one songs that happened during June of the 1970’s. ALL of these songs were # 1, so how difficult can this be? Here we go...
1. At the end of June 1974, this song was # 1 for one week. It followed “Billy Don’t Be A Hero” by Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods and was replaced the following week by the Hues Corporation hit, “Rock The Boat”. This singer/songwriter has received The Order of Canada as well as more than a dozen JUNO Awards (including the Canadian Music Hall of Fame). His first chart hit in the U.S. came at the end of 1970, although he’d charted in his native Canada since the early 1960’s. He’s also well known for his song about a ship filled with iron ore that sank in Lake Michigan in 1975. Who’s the singer/songwriter and what’s the name of his 1974 number one? HINT: Don’t think sunrise…think the opposite.
2. This singer/songwriter had four number one hits to her credit before she topped the singles chart on her own. In June of 1971, this song hit number one and stayed there for 5 weeks. Her 1971 album, “Tapestry” was number one for 15 weeks and sold more than 15 million copies. Her song writing career with her former husband is the stuff of legends, having written hits for Aretha Franklin, The Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Little Eva, The Drifters, Herman’s Hermits, The Righteous Brothers and Blood, Sweat & Tears. Can you name this rock and roll legend and her 1974 number one hit?
3. Sadly, this singer/songwriter, with four number one singles to her credit, passed away this past May. Her career really took off after her 1975/76 hit “Love To Love You Baby”. She first hit the top of the charts in 1978 with her remake of a song that had been number two in 1968 for Richard Harris. She was in the German production of “Hair” and became known as ‘The Queen of Disco’, even though she had many hits that would not be considered ‘disco’. In 1979, she had 3 number ones. The song we’re looking for was number one for 3 weeks and was hot, hot, hot. What’s the name of the song and the singer?
4. This song was the final number one for this group during the 1970’s. In fact they broke up at the start of this decade after becoming the biggest group in the world in the 1960’s during which time they charted 18 number one hits. They had two more in 1970 and this song happened during June that year. Legendary producer (and convicted murderer) Phil Spector was the producer for this song, although Paul McCartney, who wrote it, always hated what Spector added his song. Can you name the song and the group? HINT: The answer shouldn’t take too ‘long’ to figure out,
5. It was the number one song for the week of June 14, 1975 and was produced by Beatles producer George Martin, who was also behind the recording console for the album this song came from. In fact, George produced several albums for this group, who were not British. There were originally three members of his group, but one left the year after this number one hit to pursue a career as a Christian performer. This was their second number one single. Their first happened in 1972. Who is the group and their 1975 number one hit?
1. That would be Gordon Lightfoot’s song “Sundown” which was number one for the week of June 29, 1974. Lightfoot has had his songs recorded by Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, John Mellencamp and Anne Murray as well as Peter, Paul & Mary. On February 6th of this year, Lightfoot was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal by the Lieutenant-Governor Of Ontario. This month, Lightfoot was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York.
2. Carole King hit number one starting with the week of June 19th, 1971 with “It’s Too Late/I Feel The Earth Move”. She and her former husband, Gerry Goffin, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. The former Carole Klein was the subject of Neil Sedaka’s 1959 hit, “Oh! Carol”. She wrote an answer song called “Oh! Neil” that wasn’t a hit. Here first chart success as an artist came in 1962 with “It Might As Well Rain Until September”, which reached # 22 on Billboards Hot 100 chart. “It’s Too Late”/”I Feel The Earth Move” is Carole King’s only number one single...at least so far.
3. Donna Summer was the singer we were looking for. Her number one hit in June of 1979 was “Hot Stuff”. Donna kept all other songs from the number slot for 3 weeks before succumbing to The Bee Gees hit, “Love You Inside Out”. She was born LaDonna Andrea Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts in 1948. Donna Summer died of cancer on May 17, 2012.
4. “The Long And Winding Road” by The Beatles was the song and the group in question. It was a song on The Beatles “Let it Be” album. During the original recording of the song, only Paul McCartney and John Lennon played on it with Paul on piano and John on bass. Producer Phil Spector, who was asked to mix the album since no one else had any interest in doing so, later added an orchestra, complete with a string section, plus a female backing choir to “The Long And Winding Road”. Paul McCartney eventually had the entire album remixed and it was released in November of 2003 as “Let it Be (Naked).
5. For the week of June 14, 1975, the number one song was “Sister Golden Hair” from the group America. After taking “A Horse With No Name” to number one in 1972, they followed that up with two other Top Ten hits, “I Need You” and “Ventura Highway”. Enlisting the talents of producer George Martin, America recorded their “Holiday” album in England. “Sister Golden hair” was one of the songs on the album. Interestingly, many of their albums followed a specific theme...they started with the letter ‘H’. Their first album was titled simply, “America”. After that, they released “Homecoming”, “Hat Trick”, “Holiday”, Hideaway” and “Harbor”. They stopped that when they left Warner Bros. Records for Capitol Records in 1980. Originally America was Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek and Gerry Beckley. Peek left in ’76 for a Christian music career. Bunnell and Beckley continued on as America and had several minor hits, but only one more Top Ten, “You Can Do Magic” in 1982.
Next time, questions about number one songs from June during the 1980’s.