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.
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.
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.
|Total no. of|
|1||Paint It Black||Rolling Stones||1||10|
|3||Strangers in the Night||Frank Sinatra||1||20|
|4||Pretty Flamingo||Manfred Mann||1||12|
|6||Sloop John B||Beach Boys||2||15|
|7||Shotgun Wedding||Roy C||6||11|
|8||Monday Morning||Mamas & Papas||3||13|
|9||RainyDay Women |
Nos 12 and 35
|10||Hey Girl||Small Faces||10||9|
|13||Pied Piper||Crispian |
|14||You Don’t Have to|
Say You Love Me
|15||When a Man Loves|
|17||Homeward Bound||Simon & |
|18||Hold Tight||Dave Dee, Dozy,|
|19||(You’re My) Soul |
|20||I Love Her||Paul & Barry|
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.
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.
|Total no. of|
|1||When a Man |
Loves a Woman
|2||A Groovy Kind |
|3||Monday, Monday||Mamas & Papas||1||8|
|4||Paint It Black||Rolling Stones||4||3|
|5||Rainy Day Women|
#12 & 35
|6||I Am a Rock||Simon & Garfunkel||6||4|
|7||Did You Ever Have|
To Make Up Your Mind
|8||Good Lovin’||Young Rascals||1||`12|
|9||Love Is Like an |
Itching in My Heart
|10||It’s a Man’s, Man’s, |
|James Brown &|
the Famous Flames
|11||Kicks||Paul Revere &|
|12||Green Grass||Garry Lewis &|
|13||The Sun Ain’t Gonna|
|14||Message to Michael||Dionne Warwick||8||9|
|15||Sloop John B||Beach Boys||3||9|
|16||How Does That Grab |
You, Darlin’ ?
|20||Gloria||Shadows of |
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.