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Hits of May 1966

It’s amazing how much data has been preserved from the past. While listening to music today, I wondered what were the most popular songs during this week in 1966. That year came to my mind because it was such an exciting time in pop music.

Simon and Garfunkel

Topping the charts in 1966 were memorable songs like Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, We Can Work It Out and Paperback Writer by the Beatles, Monday Monday by the Mamas and the Papas, Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra, Summer in the City by Lovin’ Spoonful, Sunshine Superman by Donovan, Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys, Last Train to Clarksville and I’m a Believer by the Monkees.

Paint It Black — The Rolling Stones

UK hits, end of May 1966

But what were the most popular songs during this week in 1966? And, lo and behold, I found the Official Singles Chart preserved online. It used to be called the UK Singles Chart and then as now listed the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom. Here’s the Official Singles Chart Top 50 for the week of May 26 to June 1, 1966. I am listing only the top 20.

No:SongArtistPeak
position
Total no. of
weeks on
chart
1Paint It BlackRolling Stones110
2Wild ThingTroggs212
3Strangers in the NightFrank Sinatra120
4Pretty FlamingoManfred Mann112
5Sorrow Merseys513
6Sloop John BBeach Boys215
7Shotgun Wedding Roy C611
8Monday MorningMamas & Papas313
9RainyDay Women
Nos 12 and 35
Bob Dylan78
10Hey GirlSmall Faces109
11DaydreamLovin’ Spoonful213
12PromisesKen Dodd1214
13Pied PiperCrispian
St Peters
513
14You Don’t Have to
Say You Love Me
Dusty
Springfield
113
15When a Man Loves
a Woman
Percy Sledge417
16Bang BangCher 312
17Homeward BoundSimon &
Garfunkel
912
18Hold TightDave Dee, Dozy,
Beaky, Mick
& Tich
417
19(You’re My) Soul
& Inspiration
Righteous
Brothers
1510
20I Love HerPaul & Barry
Ryan
208
You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me — Dusty Springfield

Lower down the Official Singles Chart in Britain that week were other iconic hits like California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas at No 23. Eight Miles High by the Byrds at No 31, Substitute by the Who at No 43, and Sweet Talkin’ Guy by the Chiffons at No 48. Elvis Presley was on the chart, too, at no 33. Surprisingly, there was not a single Beatles number on the chart that week.

Monday, Monday — The Mamas and the Papas

US hits, end of May 1966

The music on the airwaves was just as good on the other side of the Atlantic. These were the big hits in America that week. Here’s the top 20 from the Billboard Hot 100 for the week from May 28 to June 3, 1966.

I Am A Rock — Simon and GarfunkeI
NoSongArtistPeak
position
Total no. of
weeks on
chart
1When a Man
Loves a Woman
Percy Sledge 18
2A Groovy Kind
of Love
Mindbenders27
3Monday, MondayMamas & Papas18
4Paint It BlackRolling Stones43
5Rainy Day Women
#12 & 35
Bob Dylan 27
6I Am a RockSimon & Garfunkel64
7Did You Ever Have
To Make Up Your Mind
Lovin’ Spoonful74
8Good Lovin’Young Rascals1`12
9Love Is Like an
Itching in My Heart
Supremes95
10It’s a Man’s, Man’s,
Man’s World
James Brown &
the Famous Flames
105
11KicksPaul Revere &
The Raiders
411
12Green GrassGarry Lewis &
the Playboys
123
13The Sun Ain’t Gonna
Shine (Anymore)
Walker Brothers137
14Message to MichaelDionne Warwick89
15Sloop John BBeach Boys39
16How Does That Grab
You, Darlin’ ?
Nancy Sinatra76
17Barefootin’Robert Parker176
18Sweet Talkin’GuyChiffons184
19Cool JerkCapitals195
20GloriaShadows of
Knight
1011
The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore) — The Walker Brothers

Lower down the Billboard Hot 100 that week in America were such memorable songs as Eight Miles High by the Byrds at No 21, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra at No 27 and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield at no 49. There were also hits by Herman’s Hermits (Leaning on a Lamp Post, at no 30), the Yardbirds (Shapes of Things, at no 36). Stevie Wonder (Nothin’s Too Good for My Baby, at no 37), Trini Lopez (I’m Coming Home, Cindy, at no 39), Roy Orbison (Twinkle Toes, at no 40), the Animals (Don’t Bring Me Down, at no 47) and the Hollies (I Can’t Let Go, at no 50.

I haven’t heard all the songs listed here. I didn’t even know there were songs called Barefootin’ or Cool Jerk. But some of the songs have become classics. I love Sloop John B by the Beach Boys, Strangers in the Night by Frank Sinatra, Monday Monday and California Dreamin’ by the Mamas and the Papas, Homeward Bound and I Am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel. Also considered classics are some of the other songs listed here such as Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones, Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 by Bob Dylan, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield, Sweet Talkin’Guy by the Chiffons, When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge, Wild Thing by the Troggs, and Pretty Flamingo by Manfred Mann. The charts have always had their share of one-hit wonders and short-lived hits that slip into oblivion. But, looking back, I am thrilled by the songs that were being played at this time in 1966.

Categories: Music

Abhijit

Abhijit loves reading and writing.

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