So, that’s 1969 done and almost dusted. We just need to sum up the year and tell you who were the movers and shakers back then.

There were 153 songs that graced our charts in 1969, this included 19 songs whose chart run straddled the 1968 year end into 1969 and 2 that had a chart run in earlier years and then re-entered the charts in 1969. These songs were brought to us by 112 different acts (110 if you count collaborations as 1 act). The number of songs and acts charting in 1969 was a new record high, beating the previous record of 146 songs and 98 acts we saw in 1967. So far we had seen the following number of hits each year:

Year No Of Hits
1965 79
1966 136
1967 146
1968 142
1969 153

The number of local hits that graced our charts this year continued the trend of decreasing since the record to date 30 in 1966, as this year we saw just 14 songs by South African artists reach the top 20. 12 different acts brought us these 14 hits this year.


Based on a points system of 20 points for a number 1 position, 19 for number 2 etc down to 1 for position 20, the following are the top 40 chart performers for the year (Note: this does not reflect sales):

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 342
2 Sugar, Sugar Archies 272
3 Time Is Tight Booker T & The Mg’s 222
4 Don’t Forget To Remember Bee Gees 209
5 Indian Giver 1910 Fruitgum Company 203
6 Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival 194
7 La-Dee-Doo-Down-Down Archies 192
8 Suspicious Minds Elvis Presley 190
9 Crimson & Clover Tommy James & The Shondells 189
10 Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival 188
11 My Sentimental Friend Herman’s Hermits 173
11 Dizzy Tommy Roe 173
11 Put A Little Love In Your Heart Jackie Deshannon 173
14 Hair Cowsills 170
15 Only One Woman Marbles 167
16 Saved By The Bell Robin Gibb 159
17 Turn Around Ken J. Larkin 156
17 You Can Cry If You Want To Troggs 156
19 Games People Play Joe South 150
20 Time Of The Season Zombies 149
21 I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) Johnny Rivers 146
22 First Of May Bee Gees 142
22 Sorry Suzanne Hollies 142
24 Soul Deep Box Tops 139
25 What Am I Living For Percy Sledge 137
25 Theresa Dave Mills 137
27 Atlantis Donovan 136
28 The Boxer Simon & Garfunkel 131
29 Make Me An Island Joe Dolan 129
30 Little Yellow Aeroplane Leapy Lee 128
31 Bang-Shang-A-Lang Archies 127
32 I Started A Joke Bee Gees 124
33 Where Do You Go To My Lovely Peter Sarstedt 121
34 Something’s Happening Herman’s Hermits 113
35 I’M A Tiger Lulu 107
35 Eloise Barry Ryan 107
37 Conversations Cilla Black 106
38 Build Me Up Buttercup Foundations 104
39 I’ll Never Fall In Love Again Bobbie Gentry 103
39 Baby Make It Soon Marmalade 103
39 Special Delivery 1910 Fruitgum Company 103

You can compare this to the list published in Top 40 magazine in 1989 which can be found here:

Top 40 Magazine 1969 List

‘Cry To Me’ by The Staccatos was the 3rd local song to be the top hit of the year and followed the 1965 success of Murray Campbell’s ‘Goodbye My Love’ and 1968’s ‘Master Jack’ by Four Jacks & A Jill. It also held the record to date for most points in a calendar year, clocking up 342 in 1969. The next highest was Sandy Posey’s 302 with ‘Single Girl’ in 1967.

The cumulative points to date gave the following top 10:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 342
2 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
3 Sweet Pea Tommy Roe 307
4 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
5 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
6 Green Green Grass Of Home Tom Jones 289
7 California Girls Beach Boys 286
8 Sunglasses Hilary 279
9 Massachusetts Bee Gees 278
10 Sugar, Sugar Archies 272

The top songs pointswise on the local front for 1969 were as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 342
2 Turn Around Ken J. Larkin 156
3 Theresa Dave Mills 137
4 Who’s That Girl The Bats 99
5 Young Love Can Hurt Dickie Loader 65

And cumulatively from the start of the charts in 1965:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Cry To Me Staccatos 342
2 Timothy Four Jacks & A Jill 312
3 Master Jack Four Jacks & A Jill 295
4 Sunglasses Hilary 279
5 Ramblin’ Boy Des Lindberg 251


In 1968 The Bee Gees and Engelbert Humperdinck set a new record of 5 hits spending at least 1 week in the charts in a year. This year The Bee Gees repeated this feat and were joined by Percy Sledge and The Archies who also managed it.  Tom Jones, who was the leader overall for hit count at the end of 1968, still led the way, but shared top spot for this with Cliff Richard as both acts sat on 12 hits. The Hollies on 11 and Herman’s Hermits and the Bees Gees on 10 were next on the list.

On the local front it was The Staccatos, Quentin E. Klopjaeger and Ken J. Larkins who saw 2 hits each spend time in the charts. No local act managed more than 2. Four Jacks & A Jill led the way on the cumulative front, having managed 7. Virginia Lee, The Staccatos and Gene Rockwell on 6 were all next.


The Archies beat the record to date for weeks in the charts as their 47 was 4 more than the previous best which The Bee Gees had managed in 1968 (2 hits in the chart in the same week count as 2). The Bee Gees had to be satisfied with tied 2nd place for weeks this year. They clocked up 39 which Creedence Clearwater Revival also managed.  In 4th place, and the top local act, was The Staccatos with 32. Ken J. Larkin was the second highest local act with 17 (tied 12th overall) with Quentin E. Klopjaeger coming 3rd on 11 weeks (tied 26th overall). The best in a year to date for the local acts was the 38 Four Jacks & A Jill managed in 1968.

Tom Jones still led the way for cumulative weeks to date. He had accumulated 135 so far. Next highest were The Troggs on 101 followed by The Bee Gees on 87.

The Staccatos led the way for local acts with 71 to their name. They were followed by Four Jacks & A Jill on 68 then The Bats on 42.


Creedence Clearwater Revival were the only act to manage more than 1 chart topper in the year. Their hits ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’ both made it to 1 in 1969. So far we had still not seen an act have more than 2 number 1s in a year.

After last year’s record 5 local chart toppers, 1969 was a bit of a come down as it was only The Staccatos’ ‘Cry To Me’ that made the coveted number 1 spot on our charts.

Elvis Presley’s ‘Suspicious Minds’ was the song which occupied the number 1 spot for the most number of weeks this year, spending 6 weeks there in a broken run of 3 and 3 weeks. The 7 weeks that The Tremeleos’ ‘Silence Is Golden’, The Bee Gees’ ‘Massachusetts’ and Hilary’s ‘Sunglasses’ remained the record to date for weeks at 1 with Hilary’s hit obviously also being the record for a local song.

Tom Jones had the most chart toppers to date as he had seen 5 of his hits make the number 1 spot. Elvis Presley, The Troggs, The Bee Gees and The Rolling Stones were all second with 3 number 1s to their respective names while Four Jacks & A Jill were the only local group to have had more than 1 having had 2.

Tom Jones also led the way for weeks spent at 1 in total, although his 15 so far was under threat from The Bee Gees who had enjoyed 14 with just 3 chart topers. Four Jacks & A Jill and Hilary led the way for local acts with 7 each to their names.


As with the local acts, the ladies had a bad time of it in 1969 with just 8 hits by solo female artists charting (9 if you include the mother & daughter collaboration from Judy Page Ft Kimbo). This was less than half the number we saw in 1968 and nearly a third of their best performance to date of 23 in 1967. 7 acts brought us the 8 hits with Sandie Shaw being the only woman to have 2 hits chart in the year. This was half the best performance to date by a woman, the 4 hits Petula Clark managed in 1967. Jill Kirkland was the only local lady to chart with a solo hit, ‘Katrina’s Theme’ being her hit this year while the collaboration of Judy Page Ft Kimbo added to the local lady count.

Petula Clark still led the way overall for women with 9 hits to her name. This was the tied 6th highest by any act so far. Virginia Lee was the highest local woman with 6 hits to her name and she sat tied second for women with Nancy Sinatra. Judy Page with 3, was the second highest local lass.

Sandie Shaw’s 16 week in total in the charts in 1969 meant she was the highest ranked woman for the year for weeks count. Jackie De Shannon with 12 was second. Jill Kirkland’s 6 just beat Judy Page and daughter Kimbo who scored 5 weeks with their collaborative hit.

Petula Clark, who did not feature in the charts in 1969, still led the way for total weeks to date on the chart as she had 68. Sandie Shaw was second on 54 with Lucille Starr in 3rd place on 53. Virginia Lee was in 5th place overall for woman and was the highest placed local female with Carike Keuzenkamp on 22 weeks coming in second for the locals.

Despite the low turnout for hits by women, they did manage 1 chart topper in the form of Jackie DeShannon’s ‘Put A Little Love In Your Heart’. We were yet to see a woman top the chart twice as a solo artist although Nancy Sinatra had managed it once as a solo artist and once as part of a duet with her dad, Frank. Hilary’s 7 weeks at the top of the charts with ‘Sunglasses’ was still the most number of weeks a woman had spent at 1.

The top 5 hits by woman in 1969 based on the points system were:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Put A Little Love In Your Heart Jackie Deshannon 173
2 I’m A Tiger Lulu 107
3 Conversations Cilla Black 106
4 I’ll Never Fall In Love Again Bobbie Gentry 103
5 Monsieur DuPont Sandie Shaw 92

On a cumulative basis, the top 5 was unchanged from last year and read:

Pos Song Artist Points
1 Single Girl Sandy Posey 302
2 Sunglasses Hilary 279
3 Timothy Carike Keuzenkamp 236
4 Cry Softly (Liebestraum) Nancy Ames 232
5 The French Song Lucille Starr 223


Aside from artists from the UK and US (who tend to dominate most charts worldwide), and local acts the following are the top hits from other nationalities:

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 Make Me An Island Joe Dolan 129 Ireland
2 Chewy Chewy Tonics 57 Germany
3 So Good Together Andy Kim 50 Canada
4 Israelites Desmond Dekker 48 Jamaica
5 Quick Joey Small (Run Joey Run) Real McCoy 46 Ireland

There was a record to date 13 songs by artists not from The US, The UK and SA which spent at least a week in the charts this year. For a 3rd year running, the Canadians had the highest amount of hits with 6 of the 13 being by Canadian artists. It should be mentioned that in 1967, they shared top spot for hits count with the Australians. We saw 3 songs by Irish acts, 2 by Jamaican acts and 1 apiece for the German and Dutch acts. So far only 2 songs by acts from outside The UK, The US and SA had topped the charts and this number was not added to in 1969.

The Americans far outstripped the British for hits this year as they clocked up record to date of 72 for a nation compared to the Poms’ 54. The Yanks now led 3 years to 2 for taking the most in a year as they had done so in 66 and 67 with the Poms taking the honours in 65 and 68.

The cumulative best hits for ‘rest of the world’ artists was unchanged from the end of 1969 and read as follows:

Pos Song Artist Points Nationality
1 The French Song Lucille Starr 223 Canada
2 World Of Our Own Seekers 192 Australia
3 Love Is Blue Paul Mauriat Orchestra 186 France
4 The Carnival Is Over Seekers 160 Australia
5 I Love You Lucille Starr 148 Canada


This year, a record to date 18 songs would top the either The UK or US charts or both, but would not make out top 20. Of these 18, there would be 3 that would make our top 20 in 1970. The remaining 15 that would never see SA chart action was still the highest to date we had seen with the 14 in 1968 that would never make our charts being the next highest. It should also be noted that while the Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg version of ‘Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus’ would not chart in SA, we did see the instrumental version by Sounds Nice reach number 8 in 1969.

The 18 chart toppers in the US or UK or both that didn’t make our charts were as follows:

Song Artist
Wedding Bell Blues 5Th Dimension
(If Paradise Is) Half As Nice Amen Corner
Come Together/Something Beatles
Get Back Beatles
The Ballad Of John And Yoko Beatles
Albatross Fleetwood Mac
Je T’Aime… Moi Non Plus** Jane Birkin And Serge Gainsbourg
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da Marmalade
Blackberry Way Move
Leaving On A Jet Plane Peter, Paul & Mary
Two Little Boys* Rolf Harris
Honky Tonk Women Rolling Stones
Everyday People Sly & The Family Stone
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye* Steam
Someday We’ll Be Together* Supremes
I Can’t Get Next To You Temptations
Something In The Air Thunderclap Newman
In The Year 2525 Zager & Evans

* Would chart in 1970

** Sounds Nice’s instrumental version of the song charted in 1969


There were 7 acts that had spent at least 1 week in the charts in every year since the charts started in 1965 and they were Cliff Richard, Donovan, Herman’s Hermits, The Hollies, Manfred Mann, The Staccatos and Tom Jones. The 4 acts who had seen chart action every year to 1968 but failed to chart in 1969 were The Beach Boys, The Kinks, Petula Clark and The Rolling Stones. 3 of these 4 would chart in 1970.

There were 5 acts who had charted every year since 1966 and these were The Grass Roots, The Monkees, Tommy James & The Shondells, The Troggs and The Turtles while 8 acts had charted every year since 1967 (Sandie Shaw, The Bee Gees, The Box Tops, The Doors, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Foundations, Percy Sledge and The Tremeloes).


We saw 193 different song writers’ names on the hits that made the charts this year. This was the lowest total we had seen since 1966 where there were 163 song writers involved in bringing us the hits of that year. There were 3 song writers who managed 6 hits in the year and they were Jeff Barry, Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb. The other Gibb brother, Robin, had to be satisfied with the second highest amount as he clocked up 5 and was joined by Tony Macauley in that total. Les Reed led the way overall with 15 hits to date featuring his name in the song writing credits. He was followed by Barry Mason and Barry Gibb who were on 13, then came Robin Gibb on 11.

Songs written or co-written by Jeff Barry spent more weeks in the charts than those by any other song writer as he clocked up 52 weeks which was the second highest total in a year to date, beaten only by Barry Mason’s 63 in 1968.

Les Reed still led the way overall, having seen his hits spend a total of 142 weeks on the charts. Barry Gibb was second with 124 weeks to his name and another Barry, Barry Mason was in 3rd place with 123.

The 3 Gibb brothers (Barry, Maurice & Robin) were joined by Geoff Stephens and John Fogerty in seeing 2 hits they wrote top the charts.  The Causals’ ‘Jesamine’ was 1 of the 2 chart toppers for all 3 Gibb bothers while Maurice and Barry scored another one with The Bee Gees’ ‘Don’t Forget To Remember’ and Robin scored his second with his solo hit, ‘Saved By The Bell’. Geoff Stephens saw The Hollies’ ‘Sorry Suzanne’ and Herman’s Hermits’ ‘My Sentimental Friend’ make it to number 1 for him while John Fogerty took song writing credits on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 2 number 1s, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Bad Moon Rising’.

Geoff Stephens led the way for weeks at 1 during the year, his 2 hits getting him 6 weeks at the top of the charts. He was joined by Mark James who penned Elvis’ hit, ‘Suspicious Minds’ which spent 6 weeks at 1. Overall it was Barry and Maurice Gibb who led the way, having had their compositions spend a total of 15 weeks at 1 since the charts started. They were followed by their brother Robin on 14 with The Troggs’ Reg Presley being next on 10.


Finally, I would like to thank all those who have helped by noting corrections etc as we have gone through 1968. Special thanks go to Peet van Staaden and Ian McLean for supplying invaluable information.

And so on to into the 70s we go.


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