Every Entry Into The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart- 1969- Part 197. The three singles today all entered the chart on December 13, 1969- “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”- Nina Simone, “Six White Horses”- Tommy Cash and “She Lets Her Hair Down {Early In The Morning}- Gene Pitney.

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641. “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”-Nina Simone. RCA. Soul. Written by Weldon Irvin and Nina Simone. B-side:”Save Me” Peaked at #76 7 weeks on the chart.  Nina Simone had 6 Hot  100 hits from 1959-69 her biggest hit being a #18 “I Loves You Porgy” in 1959. Grade: A


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642. “Six White Horses”- Tommy Cash. Epic. Country. Written by Larry Murray. B-side:”I Own The World To You”  Peaked at #79 6 weeks on the chart. The younger brother of Johnny Cash- this song was a tribute to JFK, MLK and RFK- it was the only Hot 100 single in Tommy Cash’s career. Grade: C


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643. “She Let’s Her Hair Down {Early In The Morning”}- Gene Pitney. Musicor. Pop. Written by Leon Carr and Paul Vance. B-side:” I Remember” Peaked at #89 5 weeks on the chart.  The Tokens also entered the charts on this week with their version of this song- it did a little better peaking at #70.  From 1961-70 Gene Pitney had 24 Hot 100 hits- his biggest just falling short of being a #1- “Only Love Can Break A Heart” #2 in 1962. I like The Tokens version more than the Pitney one. Grade: C


  1. I love Nina Simone. She is one of my favorite artists of all time. As for Tommy Cash, I was completely unaware of him–and now I see why. The Gene Pitney song, I think your being geneorus with the C. That said, I like some of Pitney’s work. Twenty four hours from Tulsa, Town Without Pity, Only Love Can Break a Heart…I like all those quite a lot.

  2. The first song sounds like an anthem and probably was used as such. I watched a 55-minute doc on Johnny Cash last night and learned he was from a family with 6 kids, dirt poor, dad was a hobo that rode the rails looking for work, later they got a federal subsidy of some kind to build a house big enough for them all. His older brother was killed as a kid in a sawmill accident. The house was great but they almost lost it when the levee broke (he wrote a song about it.) I had heard of Tommy Cash but wasn’t sure it was Johnny’s brother then. The Gene Pitney song is ok, but the video behind him singing was a little surreal up against him.

    • I think Tommy was a lot younger than Johnny was…. the death of his brother growing up haunted Johnny the rest of his life…. recommended book on Cash– the fairly recent one by Robert Hilburn which is fantastic. A complicated fellow.

    • He sure had the “it” factor and maybe that factor is substance that shines through. He was a one of a kind! BTW I finally was able to get the Ken Burns country dvds 🙂 I’ll start watching them tonight.

    • I’m up to where The Carter Family and Jimmie Rogers are recording at the town half in one state and half in another. It’s on Blu-Ray and the photos are crystal clear. Yes, I am enjoying 🙂

    • Awesome- its great to the end- they don’t get into the last 20 years or so other than Johnny’s passing- which is fine with me.

    • I dvr’d it- I have an order in for it with the library system but it hasn’t gotten to me yet- I was going to watch it again that way– it has to be more I think it was an 8 or 9 part series – it went in chronological order- and finished covering country music in the mid 90’s except for the end where they covered JR Cash’s death. I don’t think it would have fit on 2 blu-rays but I could be wrong. Each episode was around 2 hours.

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