This week 50 years ago, President Lyndon Johnson, during the annual public proclamation of Memorial Day, said that the U.S. would not pull out of Vietnam until victory was achieved; Surveyor 1, the first American lunar exploration probe, was launched; actress Helena Bonham Carter was born; CBS' "The Dick Van Dyke Show" ended its series run; "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" topped the box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "It's a Man's Man's Man's World," James Brown and the Famous Flames
Oddly (or not?) co-written by a woman (Betty Jean Newsome), the legacy of "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" can partly be seen in its sampled use in many modern R&B and rap songs, notably Alicia Keys' "Fallin'" and Michael Jackson's "Bad."
9. "Love is Like an Itching in My Heart," the Supremes
One of many Holland-Dozier-Holland goodies for the Supremes, though one of the less popular collaborations. If you call only hitting the top 10 and not No. 1 as "less popular."
8. "Good Lovin'," the Young Rascals
The Young Rascals' first big hit went through a few iterations (both in lyrics and music) before it became the "Good Lovin'" we all know and love. For reference, listen to the first version, "Lemme B. Good." Then go write the Young Rascals a thank-you note.
7. "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?" the Lovin' Spoonful
I feel like references to "mousey girls" should have been banned, even in 1966.
6. "I Am a Rock," Simon and Garfunkel
The follow-up to "Homeward Bound" was actually first released by a solo Simon a year earlier. Apparently, loneliness is a popular theme in music.
5. "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35," Bob Dylan
The unconventional and simple lead track to the landmark album "Blonde on Blonde" eventually hit No. 2 on the Hot 100 chart. It has been covered (surprisingly) by Flatt and Scruggs and My Morning Jacket — and (not-so surprisingly) by Jimmy Buffett.
4. "Paint It Black," the Rolling Stones
A somewhat sad week on the Billboard chart — this one is also about loneliness and depression. But you can dance to it!
3. "Monday, Monday," the Mamas and the Papas
The band's only No. 1 hit. But if you're going to have just one No. 1, "Monday, Monday" was probably the way to go.
2. "A Groovy Kind of Love," the Mindbenders
Way to combine new slang with classical music, 1966! "A Groovy Kind of Love" is heavily based on a movement in Muzio Clementi's Sonatina in G Major, op. 36, no. 5. This detail brought to you by facts that will likely help you in bar trivia nights.
1. "When a Man Loves a Woman," Percy Sledge
No. 1 for two weeks, Sledge sang his signature song when he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — and used his wife's name in the lyrics (though at the time of its release, Sledge said he was singing about a girlfriend who left him). So whether you're in love or brokenhearted, feel free to sing "When a Man Loves a Woman."