Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)


This Day In History -- #1 on the R&B Charts

The year was 1967. It was a year of outstanding achievements and great artistry. Andy Warhol created "Marilyn Monroe in hot pink" which is one of the most recognized images of the enduring sex pot.

Also, in 1967, a monster hit was born. It is today one of the most popular and the most played of the classic oldies. The tune had been written and recorded by Otis Redding two years before. He had a respectable showing on the R&B charts but the record never made it on the pop charts.

Enter a young woman who recorded this same tune with her younger sister, Carolyn, as backup. I am not telling you the first name of the older sister, or I would give away the mystery here. After Otis heard the recording he said: "That girl done stole my song."

The song, the title and the message resonated well at a time when racial relations in the USA were difficult. This butt-kicking, explosive recording not only topped the soul charts for 8 weeks, May into July 1967, but it also was #1 on the top 40 charts for two weeks in June. Deejays at leading radio stations were playing this R&B song. Here in Washington state, I remember hearing Pat O'Day put the tune into heavy rotation on super-station KJR Seattle.

pat o'day kjr seattle, featured on bellingham home inspector blog

This is one song that has stood the test of time. It has been nominated by more than one rock critic as "the best rock song in history." Other classic records that I have seen on that short list include Satisfaction (Rolling Stones), Yesterday (Beatles) and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling (Righteous Brothers). This R&B song, the topic of today's post, is a respected piece of rock history and it flies up in the ionosphere among the best of the best.

Do you think you have this one figured out? 

You can find out for sure right now, but first, you have to turn off the Lawrence Welk Show.  Simply click on the vintage TV to change channels. Lawrence will take a time out to pop a few champagne bubbles, and you will be taken back in time to see an original performance of a legendary song by a now legendary artist.  


"This Day In History" features songs and television appearances from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's. I will write these, over the next few weeks, months or years as time permits. In the meantime, keep it groovy !


To see other features in this series, click on Elvis' gold record below



Steven L. Smith

If you enjoy nostalgia and music of yesteryear, click on Elvis' gold record to visit This Day In History. To explore The Stories Behind The Music blog posts click on the electric guitar. 







Comment balloon 10 commentsSteven L. Smith • June 29 2011 10:05AM
This Day In History -- #1 on the R&B Charts
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