Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gilded Oldies

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Gilded Oldies

Article excerpt

Want to know the best-kept secret of the Sixties?

Tell me the top rock song of 1969.

Remember, this was the official high - and I do mean high - of the Sixties. Jimi Hendrix, the Jefferson Airplane and the Who were at Woodstock.

The Beatles sang the insidious "Come Together." The Rolling Stones were steamed about "Honky Tonk Women."

And, oh wow, man, the drum solo in Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" went on for like, forever.

So which group had the top single in this age of classic rock?

The Archies. They sang "Sugar Sugar."

Yep, an embarrassing hunk of bubblegum was stuck on the charts that year.

Don't pretend you never heard it, either.

This was no one-time slip. In the age of classic rock, awful songs like O.C. Smith's "Little Green Apples" and S/Sgt. Barry Sadler's "Ballad of the Green Berets" were all too near the top of the charts.

This information comes from Joe Edwards' book, "Top 10's & Trivia of Rock & Roll and Rhythm & Blues."

The first half of Joe's book simply lists top records and albums, complied from Billboard charts. Joe admits his categories are broad. "Mary Poppins" is the top rock 'n roll album of 1965.

"I made the arbitrary decision to call the charts rock 'n roll, even though there's a lot of pop music on them," Joe said.

"Today, there are a lot more charts. People try to pigeonhole music now, so you have rock, alternative, country and other charts.

"These fragmented charts may tell you the top songs in those categories," Joe said. "But the old charts gave you a better idea what people were buying."

Joe and his wife, Linda, own Blueberry Hill, a University City restaurant and bar. A pub owner is taking a real chance with a book like this. It's guaranteed to start fights.

Take 1964. That's the year the Beatles came to America.

So the top album has to be "Meet the Beatles," right? Unless it's "Introducing the Beatles."

Wrong. …

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