7 thoughts on “Radio Notes: So Long, 1969

  1. I remember listening to KJR’s top 50 for 1969. At midnight on new year’s eve, Gary Shannon announced the #1 song of the year: “Hair” by The Cowsills.

  2. 1969 certainly was a weird year for Pop music. When there were great record releases by the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Credence Clearwater Revival, Blood Sweat & Tears, The Zombies, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and oh so many more … Billboard Magazine lists the #1 song of 1969 as a recording by an act that really didn’t even exist … except in the form of TV cartoon characters. Their #1 (in their list of Top 100 Songs) was “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies. The real life vocals on this “bubble gum” hit were done by singer, songwriter, record producer Ron Dante. Ron was also the lead vocalist of The Cuff Links (they had a #9 hit in ’69 ~”Tracy”) and co-produced the first 9 Barry Manilow albums.
    • The highest rated song by any British group that year was The Rolling Stones with “Honky Tonk Woman”, which came in at #4.

    1. Back then there was a short-lived Monday night program on ABC called “Music Scene,” and the BIG highlight of the show each week was that they were supposed to feature the No. 1 artist or band in the country with their top hit. But I distinctly remember watching as the host of the show, comedian David Steinberg, awkwardly tried to explain one week that they couldn’t present “The Archies” singing “Sugar Sugar” — the top song then — because, as he put it, “The Archies don’t exist!” So they had someone else do the song. The show didn’t last long, and I think this whole “Sugar Sugar” thing didn’t help it any.

      What else was unusual about the program was that it, and the drama that followed it, The New People, were extremely rare examples of U.S. network television programming designed to run for 45 minutes. Music Scene was from 7:30 to 8:15 (back when prime time began at 7:30), and The New People ran from 8:15 to 9.

      1. John ~ I’d totally forgotten about “Music Scene”. ABC’s attempt to tap in on the success of “Laugh-In” and Pop Music … starring (one of my favorite comics of that era) David Steinberg and the improv group The Committee. I felt they relied a little too much on ad-libbing and not enough on good editing … thus its short run. •• Here are a couple of the show’s early promos:
        https://youtu.be/dvXoQNakyA8

        https://youtu.be/nYMZRC59YZg

  3. Len Sampson had to be w-a-y ahead of his time in 1969, with the ad for his TV special promising “An hour of rock, rap and roll.”
    Oh, now I’m remembering that “rap” was 1960’s hipster slang for talking or having a discussion. Meanings can change over time.

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