Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart- 1969- Part 14. All three of these singles entered the Hot 100 on January 25, 1969. Before today I had not heard any of these songs- at least not these versions- I’ve heard the originals hundreds of times. In all three cases the original far outshines the remakes.

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40. “River Deep-Mountain High”- Deep Purple. Tetragrammaton. Rock- Blues. Written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich and Phil Spector. B-side “Listen, Learn and Read On.” “River Deep- Mountain High” is best remembered as the great single by Ike  & Tina Turner-which flopped on the US charts peaking at #88 and sent Phil Spector into seclusion for a couple years. George Harrison said about the Ike & Tina version “a perfect record from start to finish. You can’t improve on it” The song has been covered by many artists over the past 50 plus years and no one has improved on the original. Deep Purple covered it-releasing it as a single off of their second album The Book Of Taliesyn and it peaked at #53 spending 5 weeks in the Hot 100.  Deep Purple would overall have 9 singles in the Hot 100 with 3 reaching the Top 40- their most famous songs “Hush” written by the great Joe South- #4 in 1968 and their signature tune “Smoke On The Water” #4 in 1973. Grade: B-.



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41.”Purple Haze”- Dion. : Laurie. Pop Rock. Written by Jimi Hendrix. B-side “The Dolphins.” If you are going to take on a Jimi Hendrix classic you should do what Dion did here- if I didn’t know what I was listening to- I wouldn’t know it was Purple Haze. An acoustic version with strings. Dion’s “Purple Haze”-spent 4 weeks in the Hot 100 and peaked at #63. Jimi Hendrix original peaked at #65. In his career with Dion and The Belmont’s  and as a solo artist Dion had 33 Hot 100 singles and 21 Top 40’s. #1 “Runaround Sue” in 1961. 11 Top 10 hits. His success came for the most part 1958-63. In the early 60’s he was one of the better pop artists out there. Dion’s music seems to pop up on a lot of movie soundtracks where the movie is set in that period.  After The Beatles and the British Invasion his career on the charts went into a tailspin. After 1963 he had only one Top 40 hit- “Abraham, Martin and John” #4.  Grade: C+



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42. “The Greatest Love”- Dorsey Burnette. Liberty. Country-Rock. Written by the great Joe South [ who was mentioned above for writing “Hush” covered by Deep Purple. } b-side-Thin Little, Simple Little, Plain Little Girl.” “The Greatest Love ” spent 6 weeks in the Hot 100 and peaked at #67. Dorsey Burnette had 3 Hot 100 singles and 1 Top 40 hit- -1960’s “{There Was A } Tall Oak Tree” #23. Burnette died young of a heart attack in 1979 at age 46. Interesting family background- his brother  Johnny had 4 Top 40 hits and died in a boating accident at 30 in 1964.  Dorsey’s son Billy had a Hot 100 single in 1980 “Don’t Say No” #68.and was a member of Fleetwood Mac from 1987-83.  Rocky Burnette his nephew and son of Johnny had a hit in 1980- “Tired Of Toeing The Line #8.  Grade: C


  1. Every now and then – and certainly more often than not these days – the American music-buying public is collectively moronic. What else could explain how a monumental song like Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High” would be a flop, yet so much other shit music like “One Bad Apple” from The Osmonds would be huge hits.

    • That is crazy isn’t it? At any given time you can have some great music but the crap always seems to rise to the top. I remember reading about River Deep- Mountain High- before I heard it. I read how it wiped Spector out mentally- then I heard the song and was like no wonder this was a great great single and it went nowhere chart wise..

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