James’ Brand New Blog

Revisiting The Big 8′s Top 300 aka the “All-Time” hits as chosen by CKLW fans c. 1967*

- October 9th, 2012

CKLW Top 300

The CKLW All-Time Top 300 . . . look closely & you can see images of the Top 10 as chosen by fan voting & station compiling.

Every night at 10 etc.

Would you pick Louie Louie by The Kingsmen on No. 2 on your all-time hit parade. The fan voters in a Top 300 compiled by Canada’s iconic radio station, Windsor’s CKLW, did so in 1967. The list has turned up in JBNBlog’s life once more in a rummage through boxes at the ancestral home & seeing all those choices from a 2012 perspective has been fun & instructive.

Satisfaction, No. 1? Okay, a consensus pick which could be made today.

Louie Louie, No. 2? Not too likely . . . but the voters showed a strong taste for the forerunners of garage rock with The Surfaris, The Standells, Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs, The Troggs and Shadows of Knight (yeah, for Gloria, but not the right version, eh?) all in the Top 40.

Cherish by The Association, No. 3? No way in heck is that the third-best song/hit/single of all-time. No way. The voters do show the love for schmaltz  to go with the Louie Louie, though. Percy Faith, Tony Bennett (great one & still making fantastic records), Acker Bilk (much admired by JBNBlog), Roger Williams (twice) and Ray Conniff are all in the Top 100.

The poll also shows a strong bias toward songs from 1963-1966 so the 1950s get short-changed. There is almost no rockabilly, v. little country & less Motown than expected (given CHRW’s connection with Dee-troy-it). Two female artists in the Top 10, not bad for the era & I will admit just reading these song titles has the music zipping around as if it were 1967.

The comment on The Beatles (No. 6, with Yesterday) certainly proved to be prophetic.

For a final quibble this time around, let’s see what just made the bottom of the list & match those songs head-to-head with three of the Top 10. I think the voters vastly overrated at least three of the Top 10 . . . but that’s their choice & grumpy as it makes me, I am singing along.

Before getting to the Top 10 in reverse, let’s go all the way down to the bottom three, all of them aces. In JBNBlog’s world, Jimmy Ruffin beats Bobby Hebb (Sunny, No.4, with the voters & a good song, too), Mr. Bonds is much better than Kicks (Revere & the Raiders, No. 9, what? it’s not even the band’s fifth best song), & Bobby Vee is a whole lot better in the pop thing than soupy Cherish by the Association (No. 3 with the voters)

Oh well. Enjoy.

No. 298: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted — Jimmy Ruffin — 1966.

No. 299: Quarter to Three — Gary U.S. Bonds — 1961.

No. 300: Take Good Care of My Baby — Bobby Vee — 1961.

So those are the good songs down in the deeps . . . thanks to the voters & CKLW for caring to put such a great list together.

Now for the Top 10 in reverse:

Number 10:

Stop in the Name of Love | Supremes

Detroit’s singing sweethearts honor the Top 300 with nine entries into the Motor City Hall of Fame. Born on stage, at a local amateur show, in the early sixties, the home town sound of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard is now famous the world over. The girls, as they are called at Motown, have an unbroken string of hits and the number ten entry on the Top 300 is one of their super samples.

Number 9:

Kicks | Paul Revere and The Raiders

Paul, Mark, Phil, Harpo and Smitty comprise one of the most powerful and exciting groups in the world. Unlike the Boston Paul Revere, who rode a horse, this one hails from Portland, Oregon, and rides herd on four zany minstrels known as the Raiders, who are the musical minutemen who have captured the hearts of a nation as stars of television’s “Where The Action Is.” Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s talented son, arranged and produced the classic you made number nine on the Top 300.

Number 8:

Downtown | Petula Clark

In 1964 English born Petula Clark was a resident of France … a young lady who had sold 20,000,000 copies of her hits in Europe alone. In 1965, composer and conductor, Tony Hatch, presented America with her record of DOWNTOWN. In 1967, Petula Clark is firmly established as the top gal in the record business. Her upbeat, big band number eight song on the Top 300 won Petula a Grammy award and was just the beginning of her conquest of U.S. charts. Short and sweet, Pet records in five languages and maintains a non-stop schedule of concerts and TV appearances.

Number 7:

My Girl | Temptations

About five years ago, five Detroiters got together to do some harmonizing. They’ve been singing together ever since thanks to the writing talent of Smokey Robinson and the guiding hand of Berry Gordy, Jr. Melvin, Eddie, Paul, Otis and David make the musical dedication of number seven from the Top 300 to MY GIRL.

Number 6:

Yesterday | The Beatles

For the hung-up minds that predicted a Beatle burn-out after their unparalleled successes of 1964, the boys, in mid-’65, served up final proof that this amazing “foursome was just getting into gear. In one of pop music’s outstanding examples of brilliant versatility, YESTERDAY became not only the Beatles’ biggest of 1965, but also the Lennon-McCartney song most recorded by other artists. The highest ranked Beatle hit on the Top 300, YESTERDAY is just one of the group’s twenty-two all timers on the list. What next from the pacesetters? Whatever, count on hearing it first on Radio 8.

Number 5:

The House of the Rising Sun | Animals

Another of the four United Kingdom products to make the tip of the Top 300, the Animals’ THE HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN is an example of how a British group’s deep appreciation of American blues can pay off with a mammoth modern smash. Reaching the top of the charts across the nation in 1964, RISING SUN was previously known only to folk freaks. The hit consistency of Eric Burden and his men guarantees the Animals’ fan much more to come . . . perhaps to challenge number five on the Motor City Top 300.

Number 4:

Sunny | Bobby Hebb

The surprise song hit of 1966 was originally released by Philips Records as a B side. The song itself was written the morning of the day after the death of President Kennedy. After being up all night in sorrow, Bobby wrote the song. It must remain as one of the greatest songs ever written and recorded. You’ve ranked SUNNY as the number four entry on the list of all time favorites.

Number 3:

Cherish | The Association

One of the most hauntingly beautiful love songs of any era, CHERISH was born in Los Angeles, late last summer. The song was written by group member, Terry Kirkman, and leaped to the top of the music heap, overnight. The number three all timer is a never-say-die smash that everyone enjoys hearing again and again.

Number 2:

Louie, Louie | The Kingsmen

1963 was the year of LOUIE LOUIE. Rhythm to move feet — a rousing musical experience that has become a theme for today’s generation. A perennial favorite, LOUIE LOUIE has sold over three million copies. And, it continues to sell, day after day. The Kingsmen “hail from the same part of Oregon as the group behind the number nine memory maker on the Top 300.

Number 1:

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction | The Rolling Stones

Above ‘em all, the Stones rule! The Number One spot in the Top 300 goes to I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION. As the record that probably captured the mood of the summer of ’65 betten than any other, SATISFACTION shot the Stones up to the exclusive cloud occupied by today’s superstars. The hit by leader/composer Mick Jagger closed the Stones’ 1965 concert at the Cobo Arena, successfully blowing the minds of the more than 12,000 in attendance and even further assuring the group and their song a permanent groove in the all time Hit Parade.

 

 

*An occasional series devoted  to the rediscovery of the Radio 8 CKLW All-Time Top 300 (dated May, 1967), apparently mailed to JBNBlog as a lad of 14 by the legendary Windsor radio station. Missing in the Reaney family attic for most of the 45 years since its arrival, the Top 300 always stayed in my mind because My Generation was No. 285. The song is one of my all-time favourites & its place on the list, while low, was at least in there, proving there were other Who fans around. Never forgot that. When the Top 300 turned up again, & JBNBlog was wondering how to type all those details in, it turned out Tom Bonner over vintage-nitro.org had put in online recently. JBNBlog is indebted to his work in putting together list in its original form. A few editing changes have been made. Thank you, Tom. Nitro nitro nitro.

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