5 August 1966

laras_theme_ray_conniff

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 5 Somewhere My Love  – Ray Conniff Singers
2 7 3 Lara’s Theme (From Dr Zhivago)  – Roger Williams
3 2 8 Monday Monday  – Mamas and The Papas
4 3 7 Paint it, Black  – Rolling Stones
5 5 7 Lara’s Theme  – MGM Singing Strings
6 4 9 Sloop John B  – Beach Boys
7 6 8 Wild Thing  – Troggs
8 11 4 Sixteen Candles  – Jody Wayne
9 8 5 Tchaikovsky One  – Second City Sound
10 9 12 Pretty Flamingo  – Manfred Mann
11 10 6 Paperback Writer  – Beatles
12 16 2 (I Washed My Hands In) Muddy Water  – Johnny Rivers
13 12 7 Endless Sleep  – Group 66
14 17 7 Sea of Heartbreak  – Dickie Loader
15 New 1 Shotgun Wedding  – Ad-Libs
16 New 1 Red Rubber Ball  – Cyrkle
17 19 2 Opus 17  – Four Seasons
18 13 11 Strangers in the Night  – Frank Sinatra
19 New 1 Love Minus Zero  – Dream Merchants
20 14 12 Pied Piper  – Crispian St Peters

The Ray Conniff Singer’s ‘Somewhere My Love’ enjoyed a second week at number 1, but was under pressure from the instrumental version of the same song, a version by Roger Williams which went under the title ‘Lara’s Theme (From Dr Zhivago)’. This was the first time we had 2 different versio0ns of the same song occupying the top 2 slots. Only 1 other song would manage this.

As the number 1 song had done, Williams’ version was the biggest climber 2 weeks running as it took top honours this week with its 5 place climb to 2. We had now had 4 straight weeks with a version of this track from the film ‘Dr Zhivago’ as the biggest climber.

Johnny Rivers’ ‘(I Washed My Hands In) Muddy Water’ was the only other star rater as it moved up 4 from 16 to 12. Crispian St Peters’ ‘Pied Piper’ was the faller of the week. It dropped 6 from 14 to 20.

Despite its big fall, Crispian St Peters’ hit was the oldest on the charts alongside Manfred Mann’s ‘Pretty Flamingo’ which were enjoying their 12th week in the top 20.

Three songs left the charts this week, the first of which was Pamela Dean’s version of ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ which enjoyed a 5 week run in the charts with a peak of 15. This would be her only SA chart hit.

Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich’s ‘Hold Tight’ had been on the charts for 9 weeks and peaked at 7, but was no longer with us this week. Unlike Dean, however, the band with a very long name would be back.

Last of the leavers was Petula Clark and her hit ‘Where Did We Go Wrong’ which spent 8 weeks in the top 20 and peaked at 7. She had had 3 hits so far and they had peaked at 5, 6 and now 7 in that order. Would the next peak at 8? Her departure brought about the second time we had a chart with no solo female artists on. The last time we had been without a solo woman artist on the charts it had lasted 15 week from 19 November 1965 to 25 February 1966.

The first new entry was ‘Shotgun Wedding’ by The Ad-Libs. There is scant information about this song other than it was released on Pye Records with the catalogue number 113. It is possibly by an American group that went under the name The Ad-libs. They had had a number 8 hit in the US in 1965 with ‘The Boy From New York City’ and followed this up with a number 100 hit called ‘He Ain’t No Angel’. However, none of the discographies I have found for this band include ‘Shotgun Wedding’. It is possible that this is a local band that shared the name of the American band. Anybody out there know anything? For the moment I have treated the band as American for statistical purposes.

The Cyrkle brought us our second new entry in the shape of a ‘Red Rubber Ball’. The song gave Paul Simon (yes, he of Simon & Garfunkel fame) his 4th hit as a song writer and a first for Bruce Woodley (he of The Seekers). It would go to number 2 in the US and top the Canadian charts where it would dislodge The Beatles’ ‘Paperback Writer’ from the top spot. There was a further Beatles connection to the band as they supported the Fab Four during the latter’s 1966 US tour. Neil Diamond would cover ‘Red Rubber Ball’ on his debut album, ‘The Feel Of Neil Diamond’.

Our final new entry was by local band The Dream Merchants which comprised a pair of Billys – Forrest and Andrews. Their first SA chart hit was ‘Love Minus Zero’, a cover of track that appeared on Bob Dylan’s 1965 album ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ and went under the full title of ‘Love Minus Zero/No Limit’. Turley Richards took a cover of the song to number 84 which appears to be the only charting it has made on either side of the Atlantic, presumably Dylan’s version was not released as a single. The Dream Merchants split up in 1970, but in 1990 Billy Forrest teamed up with Bobby Louw and released an album called ‘Dream On’ using the name The Dream Merchants.

Group 66 moved into tied 9th place on the local weeks count list as they clocked up their 13th week. They joined Des Lindberg on that total. Also moving up that list was Dickie Loader who climbed into tied 15th place on 7 weeks and sat alongside Tony Wells on that total.

The various versions of ‘Lara’s Theme’ from Dr Zhivago had now clocked up 15 weeks in total and the song was in 3rd place for weeks by a song charting in more than 1 version. They stood 1 behind ‘Elusive Butterfly’ which managed 16 between the Judy Page and Bob Lind versions. ‘Goodbye My Love’ which charted for Murray Campbell, Virginia Lee & Murray Campbell and Nini Rosso led the way with 29 weeks in total.

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