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• 1989 – WHEN I’M WITH YOU / Sheriff
• 1979 – LE FREAK / Chic
• 1969 – CRIMSON AND CLOVER / Tommy James and The Shondells
• 1959 – STAGGER LEE / Lloyd Price


Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – another four-pack of the cream of the cream from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.

62 distinct number one singles between the years 1956 and 1995 have already been presented since January – with literally hundreds more to come.

They’re all part of a permanent archive that’s being built at which will ultimately feature ALL 837 different number one singles as listed in 2,080 weekly national music charts published by Billboard® within that 40-year timeframe.

Fortunately, HouseoftheHits has every one of those charts – plus secondary data – as published in the essential Joel Whitburn’s Record Research series (CD-ROM and eBook edition formats).

Everything is stored digitally on a HouseoftheHits computer – as are all 837 number one singles (in high-quality audio) from the music vault.

With the availability of precise data and the HOTH song files – together with some amazing technology – approximately 600 – 700 of those Billboard® chart-toppers will be presented this year – with the remainder to follow in early 2017.

As the archive grows you will have continual free access to the accumulating repository, indexed by Decade, Month and Year. Plus, EVERY Title and Artist will be (blue) hyper-linked for smooth, easy navigation from song to song – with more great features to be added along the way.

Again, it will contain every #1 single in America, plus interesting commentary about each song (written by yours truly) and presented with a crystal clear High-Definition audio version of the complete original hit to instantly play as often as you wish.

The ever-expanding library is found HERE and you can bookmark this link for future instant access.


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Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on tablets,
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    #1 / February 9th, 1989


Number One: 1 week
Replaced: TWO HEARTS / Phil Collins
Succeeded by: STRAIGHT UP / Paula Abdul

When you’re in love with a woman whom you want to marry, write a love song for her – especially if you can impress her by having it heard internationally.

That was the case for Arnold Lanni, the keyboardist for Canadian pop-rock quintet Sheriff, who penned When I’m With You for his girlfriend, Valerie Brown.

Formed in Toronto in 1983, the record – although a hit in Canada that same year – barely dented the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #61.

Fast forwarding 6 years, the song started getting airplay on a Las Vegas radio station, where it received tons of requests and then built incredible upward momentum in U.S.

Sheriff’s vocalist, Freddy Curci, is one of the few from the rock genre with multi-octave singing ranges; able to hit high notes without resorting to falsetto.

And clearly, the stunning final vocal note of this song, which Curci holds (without taking a breath) for an impressive 27 seconds, is what caps off this outstanding power pop ballad.

This was the single’s lone week at #1, but it managed to became a million-seller.

[Trivia Bits] Sheriff had long disbanded prior to the ultimate success of When I’m With You. A couple of members then wanted to re-form, but the majority weren’t interested in reuniting.

But the guy got the girl. Arnold Lanni’s object of the song – Valerie Brown – married him two years later.



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    #1 / February 9th, 1979

(Single Version)

Number One: 5 weeks
Replaced: YOU DON’T BRING ME FLOWERS / Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond
Succeeded by: TOO MUCH HEAVEN / The Bee Gees

Led by members Bernard Edwards and future mega songwriter-producer Nile Rodgers, the five-person American group Chic had an unprecedented ride at or near the top of the Billboard Hot 100 with their dance hit Le Freak.

For the week ending December 19th, 1978, the record reached the top spot, ousting the superstar duo Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond with You Don’t Bring Me Flowers.

The following week, the two records swapped places on the top shelf, but Chic regained #1 seven days later, with the Bees Gees record Too Much Heaven pulling into the runner-up position.

With vocals by Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin, Le Freak became the group’s first chart-topper and sold in excess of four million copies.

[Trivia Bit] The Brothers Gibb succeeded Chic for a couple of weeks at #1, but the latter climbed back into the top position for three additional weeks – and five in all.

Other #1 Singles by CHIC (2)



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    #1 / February 9th, 1969

Tommy James and The Shondells
(Single Version)

Number One: 2 weeks
Succeeded by: EVERYDAY PEOPLE / Sly & The Family Stone

The fourth Top 10 Billboard hit for Tommy James And The Shondells marked a new and ultimately successful direction for the band.

In 1966, their first hit for Roulette Records was called Hanky Panky, which surprisingly claimed the national top spot after sitting on the reject shelf for three years since being recorded for the small independent label Snap.

More Top 10-ers followed, like I Think We’re Alone Now (1967 • #4), Mirage (1967 • #10) and Mony Mony (1968 • #3) all of which were penned by the prolific hit-producing duo of Bo Gentry and Ritchie Cordell.

Then, in 1968, at the risk of looking a gift horse in the mouth, James decided the group needed to start writing, recording and producing their own material.

Responding to the emerging “psychedelic sound” of the later 60s, the group released the song Crimson And Clover, and it sat at #1 on this date for its second week.

In regards to record producing, James seemed to be years ahead of his time with experimental and innovative recording ideas, and it’s evident here.

For Crimson And Clover, he plugged his microphone into an amplifier meant to normally receive a guitar’s input. The result was the unique “wah-wah” fluttering effect to his voice beginning at 2:26.

[Trivia Bits] Using a similar formula, more hits followed for TJ&S, including Sweet Cherry Wine (1969 • #7) and Crystal Blue Persuasion (1969 • #2). Those were later joined by solo efforts by James – Draggin’ The Line (1971 • #4) and Three Times In Love (1980 • #19).

Tommy James also wrote a song called Tighter, Tighter – which he initially intended to record himself – but instead produced for a Brooklyn band he knew named Alive And Kicking (1970 • #7).

In addition, TJ co-penned (with Cordell) the 1969 #22 record Sugar On Sunday by The Clique.

Other #1 Singles by TOMMY JAMES and THE SHONDELLS (2)



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    #1 / February 9th, 1959

Lloyd Price

Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced: SMOKE GETS IN YOUR EYES / The Platters
Succeeded by: VENUS / Frankie Avalon

Lloyd Price came from an impressive pedigree of stars produced by the legendary music scene in the city of New Orleans.

“Mr. Personality” as he became known (named after his second biggest hit, Personality) is on a list that includes ‘Big Easy’ greats like Louis Armstrong, Harry Connick, Jr., Ernie K. Doe, Fats Domino, Dr. John, Aaron and Ivan Neville, Louis Prima and Allen Toussaint.

The Billboard Hot 100 saw Price’s name on a number of big Top 5 hits which included the aforementioned Personality (1959 • #2), I’m Gonna Get Married (1959 • #3) and this one, Stagger Lee (1959 • #1).

Re-written by Price as an R&B song from a folk tune called Stack-O-Lee, it spent four weeks on top of the national chart beginning on this date.

[Trivia Bits] Stagger Lee would crack Billboard’s Top 30 two more times – by Wilson Pickett (1967 • #22) and from Tommy Roe (1971 • #25).

Another Price song, Lawdy Miss Clawdy, was parodied as Dizzy, Miss Lizzy in 1958 by early American rock ‘n’ star Larry Williams, whose original was covered by the Beatles in 1965.


Written By: Rick Murray Hunter
Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.
Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)
References: The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
The Archives of
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat

Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE