Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart- 1969-Part 78. The four entries today all entered on May 10, 1969- “Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife”- O.C. Smith, “Welcome My Love”- Brooklyn Bridge featuring Johnny Maestro, “It’s Never Too Late”-Steppenwolf and “What Is A Man”- Four Tops.

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237. “Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife”-O.C. Smith. Columbia. Soul. Written by Mac Davis. B-side: I Taught Her Everything She Knows.” O.C. Smith’s second of three Hot 100 singles in 1969- of course we know O.C. Smith for his 1968 #2 hit- “Little Green Apples.”  Mac Davis seems to have written a lot of songs back at this time- not long ago he sent Elvis up the charts with “In The Ghetto”- and there have been several other Davis written songs that have been covered. “Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife”- peaked at #47 and spent 9 weeks on the Hot 100. Grade: C+


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238. “Welcome My Love”- Brooklyn Bridge featuring Johnny Maestro. Buddah. Soul. Written by Tony Romeo. B-side to an earlier chart entry from March “Blessed Is The Rain” #45. “Welcome My Love” also came up short of the Top 40- peaking at #48 and spending 9 weeks on the chart. Grade: C


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239. “It’s Never Too Late”- Steppenwolf. Dunhill. Rock. Written by John Kay and Nick St. Nicholas. B-side “Happy Birthday.” The 2nd of 4 Top 100 entries in 1969 by the rock band Steppenwolf. “It’s Never Too Late” peaked at #51 and spent 5 weeks on the chart. Grade: B-.


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240. “What Is A Man”- Four Tops. Motown. Soul. Written by Doris McNeil and Johnny Bristol. B-side “Don’t Bring Back Memories.” The Four Tops one of the big Motown groups of the 60’s had 45 Hot 100 singles from 1964-88- 23 made the Top 40 and 2 went to #1- “I Can’t Help Myself” 1965 and the magnificent “Reach Out I’ll Be There” in 1966. By the late 1960’s the big hits were drying up for them. “What Is A Man” peaked at #53 and spent 7 weeks on the chart. Grade: C


  1. Yeah, the Four Tops entry is pretty disappointing. I’m a big fan. I love Levi Stubbs, the lead singer. He reminds me a lot of Teddy Pendergrass. I’m a sucker for an expressive baritone voice. Reach Out I’ll Be There is magnificent. The intro kills me. Bernadette is another of my favorite Four Tops songs and We’ve Got to Find You a Woman.

    • Some of those Motown groups were losing steam in the late 60’s- as others were rising to a new level- Marvin and Stevie come to mind.

    • True. I think Motown wanted to stay out of politics, for the most part. They wanted their machine to keep clicking along with out speed bumps, but it was the speed bumps that was feeding the creativity in soul music at the time. They became irrelevant by their caution.

    • Stevie and Marvin had to push against the machine- to gain artistic independence or they would have probably struggled also. The times were changing and the powers that be at Motown were struggling some with the changes- You have to be able to change with the times..they wanted it to stay 1965.

  2. The Steppenwolf song is a blast to the past, used to have that album. I remember The Pusher as being on one whole side of an album but it looks like my memory is faulty? Unless they had The Pusher on another album? “It’s Never Too Late” has some heavy lyrics, wow!

    • I have never owned a Steppenwolf album but surely know their hits from that era–saw them in concert maybe 20 years ago they were still pretty good.

    • Do remember the record clubs? My mom got a bunch of albums that way and then I started getting albums also. This may have been one through the record club. I love their music.

    • Yes! I forgot- not long after really getting into music- I joined a record company- it was like Christmas when the dozen or so albums I got for $1 or was it 1 cent- arrived at the post office! Of course after that it then became a headache when you had to buy X amount after that at full price.

    • You have to admit, it was convenient having them delivered to the house, but yes inconvenient fulfilling the obligation — and getting that response card back to them by the due date! I remember it was the same thing with the book clubs…

    • Yes the getting the card back on time was a hassle especially when you are a teenager. I never joined a book club until the internet was around so it made it a little easier just to get online and handed that stuff.. good times though.

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