The Top Ten — THIS WEEK in 1970

It’s early October, 1970.  On the 4th, Janis Joplin died in Los Angeles; also on the 4th, National Educational Television ended operations, to be succeeded on October 5th by PBS as they began broadcasting.  In mid October, 1970, the Baltimore Orioles will wrap up the 1970 World Series when they take game 5 of the Fall Classic, 9-3 over the Cincinnati Reds and win their 2nd World Championship, 4 games to 1.

And….these are the tunes we were listening to….THE TOP TEN in the country, THIS WEEK in 1970.

(last week’s position in brackets)

1.    AIN’T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH/[lastfm]Diana Ross[/lastfm] (1) — spending its third and final week at number one, this is Diana’s first big hit after leaving The Supremes.  Her first release as a solo act, “Reach Out And Touch,” only peaked at #20 in the spring.  She wouldn’t reach the top ten again until the summer of 1973 with her 2nd #1 song, “Touch Me In The Morning.”

2.    LOOKING OUT MY BACK DOOR/[lastfm]Creedence Clearwater Revival[/lastfm] (3) — their 7th top ten hit.  CCR never had a #1 song.  They reached #2 FIVE TIMES.  This was their last hit to reach this high.

3.    CANDIDA/[lastfm]Dawn[/lastfm] (7) — though it didn’t mention it on the record label, Tony Orlando was the lead singer on this new group.  Tony had dropped off the charts in the early 60’s after scoring hits like “Halfway To Paradise,” “Bless You,” “Happy Times Are Here To Stay” and “Chills.”  Tony Orlando and Dawn would go on to huge success in the 70’s with many more hits and their own network TV variety show.

4.    CRACKLIN’ ROSIE/[lastfm]Neil Diamond[/lastfm] (6) — this is a song about a wine; “Cracklin’ Rosie.”  Neil got the idea for the tune from an old Indian Folk story about a tribe in Canada with more men than women.  The guys without girls on Saturday nights would get a bottle of “Cracklin’ Rosie” and that would be their girl for the weekend.  This would be Neil’s FIRST #1 song.

5.    JULIE, DO YA LOVE ME/[lastfm]Bobby Sherman[/lastfm] (5) — this is the song’s peak position on the charts.  Bobby was a huge teen sensation for a couple of years in the late 60’s and early in the 70’s, with many hits and a starring role as “Jeremy Bolt” in the TV series “Here Come The Brides.”  Today, Bobby lives in the San Fernando Valley and is with the L.A. Police Department.

6.    I’LL BE THERE/[lastfm]The Jackson 5[/lastfm] (19) — this would be their 4th number one song in a row in their debut year, 1970.  It would also be the last #1 hit for the group.  As a solo act, Michael Jackson would score his first #1 tune with “Ben” in the summer of 1972.

7.    I KNOW I’M LOSING YOU/[lastfm]Rare Earth[/lastfm] (9) — one of the first white acts signed to the Motown Label, Rare Earth was enjoying their 2nd top ten hit this year (“Get Ready” was their first).  The group would score a few more hits and then fade from the top 40 by 1972.

8.    SNOWBIRD/[lastfm]Anne Murray[/lastfm] (8) — now in its peak position, “Snowbird” was Anne’s first hit.  The Capitol Records sensation from Canada would go on to become one of the biggest female singing stars of the 70’s.  She hit the top ten many more times during the decade, but she’d score her first and last #1 hit in the summer of 1978 with “You Needed Me.”

9.    WAR/[lastfm]Edwin Starr[/lastfm] (2) — a former #1 song, this tune was one of the first Motown songs to make a political statement.  Written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, it was an anti-Vietnam War statement, though it had a broader purpose; to promote the need for harmony in our everyday lives.

10.   ALL RIGHT NOW/[lastfm]Free[/lastfm] (13) — the group’s ONLY hit.  This would peak at #4 and stay at that position for two weeks.  Written by Free’s bass player, Andy Fraser, in about ten minutes, it was the group’s first rocker in their otherwise slow to medium paced bluesy tune repertoire. They knew they had to come up with a hard rock song after experiencing rather tepid response to their mellow music by a concert audience in Durham, England.


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