Ask “Mr. Music”
Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: In 1964, with the British Invasion music sweeping North America, Chicago's WLS jumped on the trend more than any other station in the Midwest.

As you once reported, WLS was the first station in the country to play a Beatles record.

Since those days, I have sought one of the British hits they played that year, but it seems I am the only one who knows anything about it.

I know it refers to a guy sitting in a coffee shop, and how happy he is when in walks a pretty girl.

The group sounded like the Searchers, but I find that nothing by them matches the one I remember.

Every time I go to Starbucks, this song starts running through my mind. As the song goes: Help!
—Morris O'Keefe, Springfield, Ill.

DEAR MORRIS: Your description narrows the search down to just one possibility: “Don't It Make You Feel Good,” one of two regional hits in 1964 for the Overlanders (Hickory 1275).

The other release that year for this British band is “Yesterday's Gone,” a cover version of the Chad & Jeremy hit.

The original Overlanders are Paul Arnold; Laurie Mason; and Peter Bartholomew. Chicago is one of the regions where “Don't It Make You Feel Good” did very well, briefly residing in the Top 10 on the WLS Silver Dollar Survey.

If you would like to refresh your memory of “Don't It Make You Feel Good,” the tune is on YouTube. Use the keywords “overlanders mpg” and it will indeed make you feel good.

DEAR JERRY: My period of greatest interest, musically as well as culturally, is 1955 to 1970, and my questions pertain to those years.

I know the Beatles once had the entire Top 5 to themselves, but were any of the other five slots that week by females?

If not then, is there at least one week with an all-male Top 10?
—Kelley Morrison, Atlanta, Ga.

DEAR KELLEY: The week of April 4, 1964 is when the Beatles owned the USA's Top 5. For seven days, the ranking of their hits went like this: 1. “Can't Buy Me Love”; 2. “Twist and Shout”; 3. “She Loves You”; 4. “I Want to Hold Your Hand”; 5. “Please Please Me.”

In the next five slots, all but one of which are American artists, is one female: 6. “Suspicion” (Terry Stafford); 7. “Hello Dolly! (Louis Armstrong); 8. “The Shoop Shoop Song (It's in His Kiss)” (Betty Everett); 9. “My Heart Belongs to Only You” (Bobby Vinton); 10 “Glad All Over” (Dave Clark Five).

There are many, many weeks when the Top 10 included no solo females, no girl duos or units of any size, and no mixed-gender groups, such as Peter, Paul & Mary, and the Fifth Dimension.

One extreme example occurs right near the end of “your period.” For a full month in 1969 (September 20 - October 18), the Top 18 each week was a boys-only club.

In the first week of October, the only female voice in the entire Top 30 belonged to Gayle McCormick, the lead singer and lone lady in the group named Smith.

IZ ZAT SO? Looking at this gender-based Top 10 situation made me wonder about the flip side — a time when the women did outnumber the men.

The example that jumped out at me is the last week of January 1955, when men held only two of the Top 10 spots. At No. 4 is “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane,” by the Ames Brothers, and No. 6 is “Melody of Love,” an instrumental by Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra.

The other eight positions are locked up by the gals: 1. “Let Me Go Lover” (Joan Weber); 2. “Mr. Sandman” (Chordettes); 3. “Hearts of Stone” (Fontane Sisters); 5. “Sincerely” (McGuire Sisters); 7. “That's All I Want from You” (Jaye P. Morgan); 8. “(My Baby Don't Love Me) No More” (DeJohn Sisters); 9. “Make Yourself Comfortable” (Sarah Vaughan); 10. “Teach Me Tonight” (DeCastro Sisters).

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