Monday, January 26, 2015

Oh, Kentucky (1969)

Have you been wondering what Joe Namath has been up to since Super Bowl III ended?

Well, the Associated Press reports carried in Hopkinsville's Kentucky New Era in the first days after Jan. 12, 1969 say that he is contemplating retirement. But he's going to be on Ed Sullivan tonight 1969, and he doesn't mention anything about such thoughts during his interview.

Among the other highlights on tonight's Ed Sullivan is Tommy James and the Shondells' performing the No. 2 song in the nation, per Cash Box, "Crimson and Clover."

More from the Jan. 8-26 editions of Hopkinsville's Kentucky New Era:


  1. No. 100 in the Cash Box ratings for the week ending Jan. 25, 1969, is a version of "Light My Fire," by Rhetta Hughes, that I don't believe I'd ever heard.

  2. No. 74: "You Know I Love You" by The First Edition, performed here on a 1968 episode of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour. Says Wikipedia:

    In the group's rendition on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour that aired on 8 December 1968, the audience was unwittingly fooled into clapping too soon, right after the false ending but way before the real ending. The record peaked at No. 19 on the Hot 100 just under a year after "Just Dropped In" was at its Billboard summit.

    According to Mickey Jones' book "That Would Be Me", Thelma was fired from the group in late 1968 (soon after the release of "But You Know I Love You" and the aforementioned Smothers Brothers television appearance but before the record would chart on the Hot 100) after missing too many gigs and rehearsals. For her part Thelma didn't see it the same way. She has stated that while she always loved being with them in the studio, the road was too hard on her from a health and personal standpoint. Slowly growing apart from the others, Camacho began to feel restricted by the band in a number of ways. All agree that the situation couldn't continue, and she was replaced by her roommate, Mary Arnold, an Iowa born singer who beat out newcomer Karen Carpenter for the job. Thelma appears on the first three LPs, plus half of the fourth album. Mary made her debut on "Reuben James".

    By the end of the decade Rogers had long brown hair, an earring, and pink sunglasses. Known affectionately in retrospect as "Hippie Kenny", Rogers had a notably smoother vocal style at the time. In the summer of 1969 the band scored another Top Ten hit with Mel Tillis' "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town." "Ruby" was the global smash that firmly established the First Edition's longevity in the business. Mickey's drumming was part of the hook, but it was Kenny who made the song his own. At Rogers' current shows, the song is often clapped along to, or joked around with, but it was meant very seriously at the time. Telling the graphic story of a crippled veteran was admirably daring at the height of America's involvement with the war in Vietnam. It should be noted that the song lyrics were originally meant to address the Korean War, albeit in such a vague way that it could have referred to Korea, Vietnam, or even the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor. The song was picked up by some of the more attuned disc jockeys, and there was suddenly great demand to release the final track recorded for, and included on, the "First Edition '69" album. In order to release "Ruby" at the same time as the "But You Know I Love You" soundalike "Once Again She's All Alone", the group renamed themselves "Kenny Rogers and The First Edition". When "Ruby" became the hit, the name stuck.

  3. The sheer number of songs for which Bruce Springsteen can remember the lyrics is amazing. Here he is performing "May I," which was No. 64 in the Cash Box "Hot 100" for the week ending Jan. 25, 1969. The original hit was recorded by Bill Deal and the Rhondels. I'd never heard the song, and I'd never heard of the band.

  4. On January 20, 1969, Richard Nixon was inaugurated as the 37th President of the United States. He said:

    "Greatness comes in simple trappings.

    "The simple things are the ones most needed today if we are to surmount what divides us, and cement what unites us.

    "To lower our voices would be a simple thing.

    "In these difficult years, America has suffered from a fever of words; from inflated rhetoric that promises more than it can deliver; from angry rhetoric that fans discontents into hatreds; from bombastic rhetoric that postures instead of persuading.

    "We cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another—until we speak quietly enough so that our words can be heard as well as our voices."