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🎵 1987 – I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (Who Loves Me) / Whitney Houston
🎵 1977 – GONNA FLY NOW (Theme From “Rocky”) / Bill Conti
🎵 1967 – WINDY / The Association
🎵 1957 – LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND / Pat Boone
Welcome to another #1 Songs On This Date! – an early July four-pack of the best of the best from the Top 40 Rock ‘n’ Roll music era.
To date, 275 distinct number one singles from the years 1956 through 1995 have been featured – with hundreds more to follow.
They’re all part of a permanent archive that’s being built at HouseoftheHits.com 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.
Due to copyright issues, some audio song files may not play on smartphones, tablets and connected devices. Whenever possible, an alternate working audio source will be provided, but a PC, Mac or laptop may ultimately be required in some cases.
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#1 / July 3rd, 1987
I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (Who Loves Me)
Number One: 2 weeks
Replaced: HEAD TO TOE / Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
Succeeded by: ALONE / Heart
Whitney Houston‘s amazing chart ride on the Billboard Hot 100 continued on this date in 1987.
I Wanna Dance With Somebody became the fourth consecutive chart-topper, the fifth straight gold-selling single and the first to garner platinum status for the daughter of singer Cissy Houston. Houston also was a cousin of vocalists Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick.
IWDWS(WLM) was the second pole-sitter penned by the Seattle duo of George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam, who’d also scribed her 1986 number one How Will I Know.
With the latter tune, Ms. Houston’s producer, Narado Michael Walden, had requested a re-write of part of the song’s lyrics, and his propensity to alter the duo’s efforts continued with this one.
The Merrill-Rubicam demo of I Wanna Dance With Somebody bordered on being a rock song, but Walden dramatically altered its feel to a de facto calypso-style recording.
The subtitle “Who Loves Me” was added to the primary to give the song the sense of, as stated by co-writer Shannon, “More of that long term partnership that people want.”
[Trivia Bits] Houston’s fifth all-time biggest-selling single, I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me) won a Grammy for the ‘Best Pop Female Vocal’ of 1987.
Singers-songwriters Merrill and Rubicam married in 1988, the same year in which they placed a #5 single – as the duo Boy Meets Girl – at # on the Hot 100, titled Waiting For A Star To Fall.
Other #1 Singles by WHITNEY HOUSTON (11)
• 1985 / SAVING ALL MY LOVE FOR YOU
• 1986 / HOW WILL I KNOW
• 1986 / GREATEST LOVE OF ALL
• 1987 / DIDN’T WE ALMOST HAVE IT ALL
• 1988 / SO EMOTIONAL
• 1988 / WHERE DO BROKEN HEARTS GO
• 1990 / I’M YOUR BABY TONIGHT
• 1991 / ALL THE MAN THAT I NEED
• 1991 / I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU
• 1995 / EXHALE (Shoop Shoop)
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#1 / July 3rd, 1977
GONNA FLY NOW (Theme From “Rocky”)
Number One: 1 week
Replaced: GOT TO GIVE IT UP (Pt. I) / Marvin Gaye
Succeeded by: UNDERCOVER ANGEL / Alan O’Day
The highly identifiable theme song from the 1976 fictional sports motion picture ‘Rocky,’ starring then-unknown actor Sylvester Stallone, was a knockout #1 hit for a solo week on this date.
Stallone played a loan shark’s debt collector and part-time prize fighter ‘Rocky Balboa,’ who attained the American dream by shockingly capturing the world heavyweight-class championship.
American composer-conductor Bill Conti had been tapped to write the film’s score and needed a collaborator to add lyrics to his completed lead instrumental track.
That songsmith turned out to be Carol Connors and her participation with Conti and Ayn Robbins helped propel the former to her second stint at the loftiest position on the Hot 100 heap.
Nearly 19 years prior, Carol sat at #1 as lead vocalist for the L.A. doo-wop trio the Teddy Bears.
Along with songwriter, guitarist, future record company co-owner (Philles) and super producer Phil Spector, along with Marshall Leib, their ballad hit To Know Him Is To Love Him spent a trio of weeks on top.
And it was Connors who came up with the both the song’s lyrics and title, Gonna Fly Now – sub-named “Theme From Rocky” – while showering in her apartment.
Despite containing just six sets of short phrases, the lyrics proved both effective and memorable.
For the record, they were “Trying hard now,” “It’s so hard now,” “Getting strong now,” “Won’t be long now,” “Gonna fly now,” “Flying high now.”
[Trivia Bits] Bill Conti‘s one-hit wonder song Gonna Fly Now (Theme From “Rocky”) was nominated for ‘Best Original Song’ at the Oscars, an award captured by Evergreen (Love Theme from “A Star Is Born); music by Barbra Streisand with lyrics from Paul Williams.
Conti went on to score four of Rocky’s five sequels, the James Bond thriller ‘For Your Eyes Only,’ the U.S. military-space program epic ‘The Right Stuff’ – which earned him an Academy Award for ‘Best Original Score’ – and the ABC-TV prime-time drama series ‘Dynasty.’
Conti also served as musical director at the Academy Awards a record nineteen times.
To Know Him Is To Love Him by the Teddy Bears was penned by Spector; the title being the epitaph written on the gravestone of the eccentric record producer’s late father (actually worded “To Know Him Was To Love Him”).
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#1 / July 3rd, 1967
Number One: 4 weeks
Replaced: GROOVIN’ / The Young Rascals
Succeeded by: LIGHT MY FIRE / The Doors
1967’s top hit on this date was Windy by one of the more interesting ensembles of the mid-1960’s, the 6-man L.A. pop band the Association.
With its wide-ranging array of hits, the group’s sound was difficult to pigeonhole – at times complex, sometimes simple love songs (Cherish, Never My Love), ones with difficult-to-decipher lyrics (Along Comes Mary) as well as a few with eccentric song titles, such as Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies and Requiem For The Masses.
And the pure pop song Windy blew its way up the Billboard Hot 100 in just six weeks after its high debut at #52 (52-28-12-7-4-1) after which it enjoyed a quadruple-week sojourn.
The song was written by Ruthann Friedman, who was firmly entrenched in the eminent West Coast psychedelic pop-rock scene from 1966-68. And surprisingly, her tune Windy was NOT about a woman, as idealized in the Association’s hit.
According to Friedman, the song came about as she imagined “what kind of a guy I would like to be with, and that was Windy – a guy (fantasy). The song took about 20 minutes to write.”
From the Association’s third studio album called Inside Out, the guy-turned-girl song became the bands’s third of five Top 10 hits, following their debut single Along Comes Mary (1966 • #7) and their first gold #1 Cherish, also in ’66.
After their later hits Never My Love (1967 • #2) and Everything That Touches You (1968 • #10), the group’s output counted a total of 3 million-sellers.
Other #1 Singles by THE ASSOCIATION (2)
• 1966 / CHERISH
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#1 / July 3rd, 1957
LOVE LETTERS IN THE SAND
Number One: 5 weeks
Replaced: ALL SHOOK UP / Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires
Succeeded by: (Let Me Be Your) TEDDY BEAR / Elvis Presley with The Jordanaires
Crooner Pat Boone broke the ‘all Elvis all the time’ syndrome on this date in 1957. In that year alone, the Presley locomotive was stationed at the top of the Billboard Top 100 for virtually half the time – 25 weeks. And with just 4 singles – Too Much (3 weeks), Jailhouse Rock b/w Treat Me Nice (7) All Shook Up (8), and Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear (7).
Both replacing and being succeeded by the latter two chronologically, Boone was able to hold on to #1 for five weeks – a testimony to the popularity and strength of Love Letters In The Sand, which spent 34 weeks on the charts.
Signed to Dot Records, a strategic decision was made by label owner Randy Wood to initially have Boone cover salacious R&B songs first recorded by African-American artists. And in fact, this was common practice among ‘white’ record companies in rock ‘n roll’s early days.
With the originals having already been exposed by black radio to their audiences, Boone’s ‘sanitized’ remakes found great popularity with the white sector of the population – most of whom were hearing these songs for the first time.
Covers of At My Front Door (Crazy Little Mama) by the Eldorados, Little Richard‘s Long Tall Sally, Chains Of Love from Joe Turner, Ain’t That A Shame by Fats Domino, Ivory Joe Hunter with I Almost Lost My Mind and Charles Singleton‘s Don’t Forbid Me, all hit Billboard’s Top 10 for Boone, with the latter three reaching #1 in 1955, ’56 and ’57, respectively.
With Boone having established a large enough fan base by 1957, Dot Records and the crooner broke the ‘black cover’ mold in 1957 by releasing Love Letters In The Sand, a 1931 tune primarily penned by a prolific American songwriter named John Frederick Coots. Among 700+ songs, Coots co-authored the holiday classic Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.
[Trivia Bits] Billboard ranked Love Letters In The Sand as the #2 song for 1957 – sandwiched between, who else, Elvis with All Shook Up (#1) and Jailhouse Rock (#3).
In the beginning, Pat Boone regarded recording pop songs as merely “a hobby” and instead had aspirations of becoming a teacher.
As well, because of his strong religious upbringing in Tennessee, he believed his inner ‘moral’ voice would be in perpetual conflict with the prurient nature of rock ‘n roll music.
What eventually made him change his mind? Money. Lots of it. And who could blame him?
Other #1 Singles by PAT BOONE (6)
• 1955 / AIN’T THAT A SHAME
• 1956 / I ALMOST LOST MY MIND
• 1957 / DON’T FORBID ME
• 1957 / APRIL LOVE
• 1961 / MOODY RIVER
Produced & Written By: Rick Murray Hunter / HouseoftheHits.com
Songs Source: The Music Vault of HouseoftheHits Inc.
Billboard® Chart Data: Joel Whitburn’s Record Research (eBook Editions)
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Hits (5th Edition) by Fred Bronson
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Rhythm & Blues Hits by Adam White and Fred Bronson
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Adult Contemporary Hits by Wesley Hyatt
• The Billboard Book Of Number One Albums by Craig Rosen
• The Billboard’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th Edition) by Fred Bronson
• 1000 UK Chart Hits (Kindle Edition) by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh
• The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders (Revised and Expanded) by Wayne Jancik
• The Archives of RollingStone.com
Record Sleeve & Label Graphics: Courtesy of 45cat
Special thanks to the patio of Starbucks, Little Road in New Port Richey, FL 😎
Other #1 Songs on This Date Posts are HERE