25 October 1968

cornelia_picking_up_pebbles

Pos LW Weeks Song Artist
1 1 6 Picking Up Pebbles  – Cornelia
2 3 5 My Special Prayer  – Percy Sledge
3 2 6 1, 2, 3 Red Light  – 1910 Fruitgum Company
4 4 4 Those Were the Days  – Mary Hopkin
5 9 3 I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You  – Bee Gees
6 10 3 Little Arrows  – Leapy Lee
7 5 11 Help Yourself  – Tom Jones
8 11 4 Indian Lake  – Cowsills
9 6 8 For Your Precious Love  – Flames
10 8 7 Sunshine Girl  – Herman’s Hermits
11 7 6 Do it Again  – Beach Boys
12 12 7 To Love Somebody  – Bee Gees
13 13 13 Take Time to Know Her  – Percy Sledge
14 16 19 Sunglasses  – Hilary
15 New 1 Sonbrilletjies  – Al Debbo
16 20 2 Hello, I Love You  – Doors
17 New 1 Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby  – Elvis Presley
18 19 2 It’s My Time  – Everly Brothers
19 New 1 Harper Valley PTA  – Jeannie C Riley
20 New 1 The Red Balloon  – Dave Clark Five

Cornelia picked up a 3rd week at the top of the charts, seeing off the challenge from The 1910 Fruitgum Company’s ‘1-2-3 Red Light’ which had been at 2 for the previous 2 weeks, but dropped to 3 this week. The new contender to knock Cornelia off her throne was Percy Sledge’s ‘My Special Prayer’ which moved up a position to take over at 2. His previous hit, ‘Take Time To Know Her’ had stalled in second place so he would have been hoping that his new one would go 1 place better.

The biggest climb this week was a 4 places leap, making the 3 songs that managed this both the biggest climbers and the only star raters. The songs that did manage this were The Bee Gees’ ‘I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You’, Leapy Lee’s ‘Little Arrows’ and The Doors’ ‘Hello, I Love You’ which climbed to 5, 6 and 16 respectively. With their climb this week, The Bee Gees were the 7th act to reach 6 biggest climbers and shared 3rd place for most biggest climbers with 4 acts as they all trailed behind The Troggs on 7 and Tom Jones on 10. It was also a 9th star rater for The Bee Gees.

The Beach Boys’ ‘Do It Again’ became their 4th hit to be a biggest faller as it dropped 4 places from 7 to 11. Their previous 3 songs to be biggest faller had only done so once and, I’m sure, The Beach Boys hoped that this would also be the case for ‘Do It Again’, despite the title of the song.

Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’ seemed determined not to fall off the charts as it yo-yo down the bottom end of the top 20, climbing 2 to 14. Its last 5 week’s positions had been 11-15-14-16-14. It now ticked over to 19 weeks and was enjoying its 6th week as the oldest on the charts.

Stu Phillips’ ‘Crystal Chandelier’ was the first of 4 songs to leave the top 20 this week. It had enjoyed a 9 week stay with us and peaked at 11 during that time. Stu would return to our charts as would R. Dean Taylor whose ‘Gotta See Jane’ also left the top 20 this week. It had lasted 6 weeks and peaked at 13.

The Equals’ baby finally stopped listening to them as she did not come for this week’s chart. ‘Baby Come Back’ had spent 14 weeks on the charts, 3 of which were at number 1. The Equals would, however, be back and we would also see another song called ‘Baby Come Back’ on our charts, but that was an entirely different song.

The last to go was Donovan’s ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ which managed 9 weeks and peaked at 2, the best peak of his 6 songs to date.

We welcomed Al Debbo back to the charts and, as with his previous hit, ‘Baas Jack’, his new one was also a parody of a recent local number 1 hit. This time he took on Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’. Switching it to (mostly) Afrikaans, but not quite a direct translation, ‘Sonbrilletjies’ became the 7th Afrikaans song to grace our charts. (After much deliberation I have decided that to regard songs as Afrikaans even if they mix English and Afrikaans lyrics, like both Al Debbo’s hits did, or if they are instrumentals with an Afrikaans title. So far we had had 3 pure Afrikaans songs, 3 where English and Afrikaans were mixed and 1 instrumental with an Afrikaans title). Interestingly, ‘Sonbrilletjies’ sat next to ‘Sunglasses’ on the charts with the former at 15 and the latter at 14 and it was the 20th song now to chart in more than 1 version.

We had had to wait 135 weeks between Elvis’ previous hit and the one before that, but this time we did not have to wait so long as ‘You Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby’ didn’t quite stay true to its title as it was a mere 21 weeks since The King had last entertained us with ‘Just Call Me Lonesome’. His new hit would be his 102nd Hot 100 hit in the US where it would only manage to get to 72. It fared far better in the UK where it got to 22. It is currently the last song on an alphabetical list of Elvis’ hits both in the US and the UK. In another slight twist on the song title, ‘Your Time Hasn’t Come Yet, Baby’ sat next to ‘It’s My Time’ by The Everly Brothers.

Jeannie C. Riley’s ‘Harper Valley PTA’ was our 3rd new entry and with it Riley would become the first woman to top the Billboard Hot 100 and US Hot Country Singles charts with the same song. This feat would not be repeated by a woman artist until Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5’ managed it 13 years later. It would last just 1 week at the top of the US charts before The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ took over. In the UK ‘Harper Valley PTA’ would make it to number 12. The arrival of the song on our charts made it the 50th song by a solo female artists to reach the top 20. ‘PTA’ for those who may not know stands for Parent-Teacher Association.

The Dave Clark Five returned for a 3rd outing in the charts. Their new one was called ‘The Red Balloon’ and was the first of 2 songs to chart that would refer to red balloons in the title (I’m sure you can guess what the other one was). The song, a number 7 hit in the UK, returned the band to the UK top 10 for the first time since 1965’s ‘Catch Us If You Can’ which made number 5. They had 4 hits in between, none of which even made the top 20, with 2 peaking at 28, 1 at 45 and the other at 50. It failed to make the US charts despite them having a total of 23 hits there. ‘The Red Balloon’ was a cover of a song by Raymond Froggatt (who also wrote it). The Dave Clark Five’s version was arranged by Les Reed who currently stood top of our number of hits by a song writer list with 12 to his name.

The US took the lead again for number of hits as we had seen 162 by American artists on our charts as opposed to the 161 from British acts. Al Debbo’s new one was the 76th local hit.

Tom Jones was surging ahead on the weeks count list reaching the 120 week milestone. 100 weeks behind him celebrating their 20th week was The Dave Clark Five.

The Beach Boys finally closed the gap between them and 3rd placed The Troggs on the weeks count list. The Beach Boys had accumulated 87 weeks to match that of The Troggs. Herman’s Hermits moved tied 8th with The Hollies and The Seekers as they reached 66 weeks. The Bee Gees were also moving up the top 20 of the weeks count list, joining The Mamas And The Papas at 16 with 49 weeks to their name.

The Beach Boys also celebrated passing the 1,100 points mark as they moved on to 1,108. They stood 3rd on the points to date list, beating The Troggs (who, as mentioned above, they shared 3rd place with on the weeks count list) by 35 points.

‘For Your Precious Love’ moved tied 11th for weeks by a song charting in more than 1 version. Its 16 weeks so far equalled that achieved by ‘Elusive Butterfly (Bob Lind & Judy Page) and ‘This Is My Song’ (Petula Clark & Harry Secombe).  ‘Sunglasses/Sonbrilletjies’ jumped straight into the list tied 8th with ‘Love Is Blue’ with 20 weeks accumulated between the 2 versions.

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