Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart- 1969- Part 31. All three singles today entered the Hot 100 on February 22, 1969.
91. “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show”- Neil Diamond. Uni. Pop Rock. Written by Neil Diamond. B-side: A Modern Day Version Of Love. At this point in his career Neil Diamond was 28 years old and after having six Top 40 hits [the highest charting being #6 “Cherry Cherry” in 1966} in 1966-67 his 1968 saw 5 singles which all fell short of making the Top 40. I wouldn’t say his career was in crisis but he needed a hit- “Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show” would peak at #22 and spend 13 weeks in the Hot 100- it would be his next single which would put him over the top though- “Sweet Caroline” in the summer of 1969. I like the studio version of Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show- but the version that I really like is the manic live version on his The Greatest Hits 1966-92 where he seems to be going off the rails. During his career Neil has had 56 Hot 100 singles all coming during the 1966-86 period. 37 of his singles have reached the Top 40 -#1’s being “Cracklin’ Rosie” , “Song Sung Blue”, and the duet with Babs Streisand “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” WOOF! Neil’s recording career at least has been- strange- I think a lot of folk get a chuckle out of some of his lamer material but especially early on he wrote some great songs. He kind of crossed the bridge into elevator music in the late 70’s. I have liked his albums in the last 20 years or so- after the pressure of writing hits was gone because the industry had changed and he wasn’t going to have hits anymore. Grade: A.
92. “Apricot Brandy’- Rhinoceros. Elektra. Rock. Written by Danny Weis, Michael Fonfara. B-side: “When You Say You’re Sorry.” Rhinoceros was a rock band out of Los Angeles and “Apricot Brandy” was their only entry into the Hot 100- it spent 10 weeks on the chart and peaked at #46. “Apricot Brandy” is an instrumental. Grade: B-.
93. “These Are Not My People”- Johnny Rivers. Imperial. Pop Rock. Written by Joe South. B-side: “Going Back To Big Sur.” Born Johnny Ramistella in New York City and raised in Baton Rouge- he was given the name Johnny Rivers by the legendary DJ Alan Freed in 1958. He moved to Los Angeles in 1961. From 1964-77 Johnny Rivers was a consistent hit maker- with 29 Hot 100 singles- with 17 making the Top 40. He had 1 #1- 1966 “Poor Side Of Town.” “These Are Not My People” written by the great Joe South failed to crack the Top 40 peaking at #55 and spending 6 weeks in the Hot 100. I like the original verson by Joe South more than this cover-the background singing does it in. “shooby doo wah oh yea” Grade: C-.