Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart- 1969- Part 25.  Two more singles that entered the chart on February 8, 1969 and the third one was the highest debuting single the week of February 16th. I had previously heard all three.  “Only The Lonely”- Sonny James, “The Tra La La Song {One Banana, Two Banana} -The Banana Splits, and “Run Away Child, Running Wild”- The Temptations.

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73.  “Only The Lonely”- Sonny James. Capitol. Country. Written by Roy Orbison and Joe Melson. B-side- The Journey. Sonny James was a country music star with the nickname “The Southern Gentleman”– who had 21 #1 hits on the country music singles chart and a total of 72 singles on the country singles chart from 1952-85. The late 60’s to early 70’s was his prime as far as chart stardom- he had 16 singles in a row go to #1and this- a remake of the Roy Orbison classic was one of those. Amazing. As far as the Pop Billboard Hot 100 go -the first single he had went to #1 1956’s “Young Love” but that was an exception rather than the rule. All told he had 19 Hot 100 singles but only 3 make the Top 40. Taking on a song  that Roy Orbison sang and had a huge hit #2 in 1960- well I guess it worked out for Sonny James because he had a #1 country hit with it- but it sounds rather pedestrian compared to Roy. It didn’t have much success on the pop charts- peaking at #92 and spending 4 weeks in the Hot 100.  Grade: C-.


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74. “The Tra La La Song [One Banana, Two Banana}- The Banana Splits. Decca. Pop. Written by Mark Barkan and Richie Adams. B-side “Toy Piano Melody.” The Banana Splits were a fictional rock group of four animal characters. The Banana Splits Adventure Hour was a Hanna Barbara production that ran from September 1968 to September 1970- 31 episodes. This song was the theme song for the show- all you had to do is hear it once and you’d remember it forever. Not that that is necessarily a good thing. I was surprised to see that it only spent 1 week in the Hot 100- peaking at #96. It would be The Banana Splits only Hot 100 hit. Grade: C-.


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75. “Run Away Child, Running Wild”- The Temptations. Gordy. R&B,  Psychedelic Soul. Written by Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield. B-side-I Need Your Lovin’,”Run Away Child, Running Away”- is the first of four Top 40 hits that The Temptations had in 1969. They were in their prime years at this point. Overall they would have 55 Hot 100 hits with 37 making the Top 40 They had 4 #1’s. The #1’s being “My Girl”, “I Can’t Get Next To You”, ” Just My Imagination”, ” and ” Papa Was A Rolling Stone.”  “Run Away Child,Running Away” would peak at #6 and spend 12 weeks in the Hot 100. This is the edited version of the song- the album version from their Cloud Nine album ran at 9:36. All five Temptations -Dennis Edwards, Eddie Kendricks, Paul Williams, Melvin Franklin and Otis Williams sing on the song- with backing by the great Motown group of musicians The Funk Brothers. Grade: A.


  1. Just so happens that The Temptations, with original member Otis Williams, will be playing tonight, June 10th, at the Apollo (Spring Gala) ar 7 PM EDT.
    Sure wish I lived in the Motor City. I hope they will be recorded…
    (As an aside, the Banana Splits were a Hanna-Barbera producton, spelled with an “e”.)

  2. Sonny’s cover is close enough to be familiar for off enough to fall hard on the ears. Banana Splits??? Just no. Temptations, their voices sound great as always but this song sounds like it keeps winding up to something but never gets there.

    • I listened to the near 10 minute album version once– 10 minutes was much too long- on the Temps song.

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