Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 1969- Part 54. The three entries today were the highest debuting singles in the Hot 100 for the week of April 5, 1969- “Grazing In The Grass” by The Friends Of Distinction, “These Eyes”- The Guess Who and “Atlantis”- Donovan. All three singles ended up in the Top 15.

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161. “Grazing In The Grass”- The Friends Of Distinction. RCA-Victor. Written by Harry Elston and Philemon Hou. B-Side “I Really Hope You Do.”  The Friends Of Distinction were an R&B group from Los Angeles. They had 6 Hot 100 hits from 1969-71- with 3 making the Top 40. “Grazing In The Grass” was their biggest hit-peaking at #3 and spending 16 weeks on the chart. In 1968 Hugh Masekela had a #1 instrumental with this song- Harry Elston added words and The Friends Of Distinction came close to the top with their version. Grade: A-


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162. “These Eyes”- The Guess Who.  RCA. Rock. Written by Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings. B-side “Lightfoot.”   A rock group formed in Winnipeg in 1963- their first hit in the US was a rendition of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates “Shakin’ All Over” #22   [under the group name Chad Allan and The Expressions. Then nothing- until “These Eyes” in 1969-went to #6 and spent 14 weeks on the chart. Their greatest success would come from 1969 to 1971- they had their only #1 hit in 1970 with “American Woman”- overall they had 21 Top 100 hit singles and 13 went Top 40 in the US. The group disbanded in 1975. Randy Bachman songwriter and guitarist left the band in the early 70’s and formed Bachman- Turner Overdrive, Burton Cummings the singer went on to a solo career. Grade: A


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163. ” Atlantis” -Donovan. Epic. Folk Rock. Written by-Donovan Leitch. B-side “To Susan On The West Coast Waiting.” Donovan was big on the charts in the second half of the 60’s- he was right for the times- he had 17 Top 100 singles with 12 making the Top 40 and had 1 #1 with “Sunshine Superman” in 1966. All this was done by the age of 23. He never had another hit after 23 although his career 50 years later is still going on. The b-side “To Susan On The West Coast Waiting” was also a hit- peaking at #35. Grade: A-.


  1. Just to fill in the years, The Guess Who were big recording artists in Canada between 65 and 69, though how big at first I cannot say. I happened to live in Winnipeg, their home town. They were the biggest recording artists in town, and always topped the Winnipeg charts. In those days we didn’t get even Canadian charts, let alone Billboard. Our two rock stations, CKY and CKRC, even put out their own Top 50 lists, often quite different. I don’t remember the exact dates, but Burton Cummings started with a group called the Deverons in 1965 (sometomes spelled Devrons). Chad Allen and the Reflections (later the Expressions after a legal dispute over the name) were still number one at the time, but on their way downhill as they didn’t have the British Beat. They added Burton Cummings for his electric piano prowess in 1966. Then Chad Allen had a vocal problem (I cannot remember exactly what) and he invited Burton to take over the vocals. Chad’s drummer took the opportunity to step away from the band to deal with his daughter who had been born with Cerebral Palsey. After I think one record (Hey Ho?) Chad left the band and they became known as the Guess Who?. After a couple local hits they were hired onto a Canadian national TV show and their fame quickly spread. A number of Canadian hits followed, until they broke onto Billboard with the above song. It’s all history, but now you know the rest of the story…

    • Thank you. I could have added a lot more, but I think I already wandered on too much. They were a good band, musically. Randy Bachman played a great guitar. Burton Cummings had one of the best male voices in rock, ever. But the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland does not think they were innovative, or whatever. They still haven’t been inducted, last I heard.
      Canadians were always the poor cousins of English rock, along with Australia. I guess they still are.

    • They probably don’t know the right people to get into the HOF- they should have been buddy’s with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone- he kind of decides on who gets in.

    • I really don’t think that as of the past 20 years the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame- really matters much as far as who is in and who isn’t- its become a joke- as a museum I am sure it has some interest.

    • Thanks for filling us in- I figured they just didn’t take the 4 years off- figured they were still big in Canada/ Winnipeg.

    • Being as I was pretty close to their history, I just thought I would share it. There was always a lot going on musically in Winnipeg, from the Guess Who to Neil Young to a number of other world famous entertainers who popped up after I moved out, the 60s were a great time to be living there.

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