4 October 1968


Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 3 5 For Your Precious Love  – Flames
2 1 8 Help Yourself  – Tom Jones
3 7 4 Sunshine Girl  – Herman’s Hermits
4 16 3 1, 2, 3 Red Light  – 1910 Fruitgum Company
5 14 3 Picking Up Pebbles  – Cornelia
6 2 10 Take Time to Know Her  – Percy Sledge
7 4 7 Hurdy Gurdy Man  – Donovan
8 5 12 Baby Come Back  – Equals
9 19 2 My Special Prayer  – Percy Sledge
10 12 3 Do it Again  – Beach Boys
11 18 4 To Love Somebody  – Bee Gees
12 6 10 Mony Mony  – Tommy James & The Shondells
13 9 6 Dream a Little Dream of Me  – Mamas and The Papas
14 8 9 Butchers and Bakers  – Staccatos
15 11 16 Sunglasses  – Hilary
16 10 8 Sailor  – Petula Clark
17 13 4 Gotta See Jane  – R. Dean Taylor
18 15 7 Crystal Chandelier  – Stu Phillips
19 New 1 Those Were the Days  – Mary Hopkin
20 New 1 Indian Lake  – Cowsills

We saw our 9th local chart topper as The Flames’ ‘For Your Precious Love’ took over the top spot from Tom Jones’ ‘Help Yourself’. The latter had spent 3 weeks at 1. Local songs had now occupied pole position for a total of 29 weeks out of the 174 weeks that the charts had being going making it 16.7% of the time we had seen this. ‘Help Yourself’ fell to number 2.

The 1910 Fruitgum Company clocked up their 3rd biggest climber award as ‘1-2-3 Red Light’ made a massive 12 place leap from 16 to 4. This was the 4th time we had seen a 12 place climb and only 2 songs to date (The Fantastic Baggys’ ‘Tell ‘Em I’m Surfin’’ (13 places) and The Monkees’ ‘I’m A Believer’ (16 places)) had had bigger climbs in a single week. Percy Sledge’s ‘My Special Prayer’ and Cornelia’s ‘Picking Up Pebbles’ climbed 10 and 9 respectively but missed out on being the biggest climber. This was, however, the first of 5 occasions we would see at least 3 songs climb 9 or more places in 1 week and the only time a local song would be involved.

Also climbing at a star rater pace were The Bee  Gees’ ‘To Love Somebody’ (up 7 to 11), Herman’s Hermits’ ‘Sunshine Girl’ (up 4 to 3) and Percy Sledges’ ‘My Special Prayer (up 6 to 9).

On the falling front 3 songs dropped 6 places to share the faller of the week award. These were Tommy James & The Shondells’ ‘Mony Mony’, The Staccatos’ ‘Butchers And Bakers’ and Petula Clark’s ‘Sailor’ which fell to 12,14 and 16 respectively. Given all these star raters and fallers, it was no surprise that this week had the highest total positions moved (i.e. add together the number of places climbed and fallen by all the songs on the top 20) as the sum of all movement on the chart came to 90 places. This smashed the previous record of 79 places which occurred on 26 August 1966.

Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’ fell 4 more places this week, but had been with us for 16 weeks and enjoyed its 3rd week as the oldest on the charts.

The bad news for Hilary was that she no longer had 2 in the charts as ‘Under My Beach Umbrella’ dropped off the top 20 after just 3 weeks. It peaked at number 16 during that time.

The other song to leave the charts was also a local one, Ben E, Madison’s ‘Groen Koringlande’ which fared better than Hilary’s hit, lasting 8 weeks and peaking at 11. The departure of these 2 songs brought the local hit count down to 4.

The first of the new entries was Mary Hopkins’ ‘Those Were The Days’. The song was the second single to be released by The Beatles newly formed Apple Record label and famously knocked the first release by the label (The Beatles ‘Hey Jude’) off the UK number 1 after the latter had been there for just 2 weeks. It then went on to occupy the top spot there for 6 weeks. It also went to number 1 in Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Holland, Norway, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (that’s 14 different countries!). In the US it narrowly missed out on topping what is usually regarded as the official US charts, Billboard Hot 100, peaking at 2 there but did get to number 1 on rival publications Cashbox and Record World’s charts as well as topping the Billboard Easy Listening charts. The song was based on an old Russian tune which was first recorded in 1925. American songwriter Gene Raskin put the English lyrics to it and it became a worldwide smash hit for Hopkins. Paul McCartney produced the track and plays guitar on it.

The Cowsills made their SA Chart debut with their hit ‘Indian Lake’ being our other new entry this week. The band were made up of 6 siblings and their mother (Bob, Susan, Paul, John, Bill, Barry and mother Barbara Cowsill) and were the inspiration for the television show The Partridge Family, the cast of which also ended up having some hits. ‘Indian Lake’ would give The Cowsills their 4th US chart hit and their second to go top 10, climbing to number 10 there. The song was written by Tony Romeo who would also write The Partridge Family’s hit ‘I Think I Love You’. Rodriguez fans may be interested to know that in 1977 Susan Cowsill recorded a cover of his song ‘I Think Of You’ (from ‘After The Fact’ aka ‘Coming From Reality’) which ended up being the b-side of her single ‘The Next Time That I See You’.

The US and UK artists continued neck and neck for number of hits with each nation having 1 of the new entries. They had both clocked up 158 hits to date. This stat can get a little complicated as there had been 1 duet hit where one of the 2 singers had been an American (Slim Whitman’s duet with local lass Virginia Lee) which I have not included in the above figures but there was also a duet where on half was Canadian and the other half American (Steve Karliski the Canadian who teamed up with American Mimi Roman) which I have included based on where the song was recorded. You can make you own adjustments as you see fit.

Petula Clark moved into tied 6th place on the weeks count list as her 68 to date equalled Four Jacks & A Jill’s total. Donovan moved 1 clear of Cliff Richard causing the latter to drop to 13 on the list while Donovan became the sole occupant of position 12. The Mamas and The Papas moved on to 48 weeks and climbed to tied 16th with Nancy Sinatra. The Bee Gees made their debut into the top 20 of the weeks count list as their 43 to date put them tied 20th with Tommy Roe. Hilary and The Staccatos who were the 2 local acts on the charts this week who were in the local weeks count top 20 were both unmoved as The Staccatos 38 weeks moved them 2 clear of 4th placed Virginia Lee and they were 1 behind Gene Rockwell who was 2nd. Hilary’s 19 weeks moved her 1 ahead of Jody Wayne and The Square Set, but was not enough to move her up a position, instead she now was in 9th place on her own.

‘For Your Precious Love’ had now clocked up 13 weeks from the 2 versions that had charted. This now equalled the total that ‘Green Tambourine’ and  ‘ll Step Aside’ had managed for songs charting in more than 1 version. These 3 songs were tied 13th for weeks by songs charting in more than 1 version.

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