This week 48 years ago, the world's first human heart transplant was performed; the Beatles released the album "Magical Mystery Tour"; beat poet Allen Ginsberg and famed pediatrician Benjamin Spock were arrested during a Vietnam War protest; director-writer Judd Apatow was born; biker flick "Hells Angels on Wheels" topped the American box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "An Open Letter to My Teenage Son," Victor Lundberg
Confession: This is the first time I've heard (and heard of) this song. It kind of has a "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrmann vibe, but Vietnam War-y and creepier. I have so many questions: Was this on the radio? "Glue-sniffer"?! Was this a real letter that he shared with someone who was like, "You know what? Let's record this and release it as a single. It'll go to No. 10!"
9. "I Can See For Miles," the Who
This was used in a Jiffy Lube commercial in the '90s with the lyrics, "I can drive for miles and miles"?! Pete Townshend, you have some explaining to do.
8. "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," Gladys Knight and the Pips
Gladys Knight and the Pips' version of the classic eventually hit No. 2, but a year later Marvin Gaye's take topped the charts for seven weeks. The less said about the 1980s' California Raisins version, the better.
7. "Soul Man," Sam & Dave
Isaac Hayes co-wrote "Soul Man." 1967, you were awesome.
6. "Please Love Me Forever," Bobby Vinton
Bobby Vinton has been married to the same woman since 1962, so, aww.
5. "I Say a Little Prayer," Dionne Warwick
The tempo screams poppy love song, but apparently it was conceived from the point of view of a woman thinking about her man in Vietnam. Because it was 1967 and ... Vietnam.
4. "To Sir With Love," Lulu
When I was in elementary/middle school, I watched the "To Sir, With Love" film with Sidney Poitier and I was way too young to watch a British movie about social class/race issues. True story.
3. "Incense and Peppermints," Strawberry Alarm Clock
And the award for most 1960s song title (and band name) goes to...
2. "The Rain, the Park & Other Things," the Cowsills
Wow, even the Cowsills could get (somewhat) psychedelic.
1. "Daydream Believer," the Monkees
This year was bookended by Monkees hits at No. 1 on the Hot 100 chart, beginning with a multiweek domination by "I'm a Believer" and then four weeks at top at the end of the year with "Daydream Believer." Believe it.Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun