By John Surgenor
Irvine Beat FM Presenter
A brief journey through the music, entertainment, happenings, memories and trivia of the golden year of 1967.
I’ll start by introducing myself. I’m John Surgenor and I do a golden hour show on Irvinebeatfm 107.2 and the website Irvinebeat.com every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday between 11.00 and 12.00hrs. I was asked if I could contribute something to our webpage and I decided I’d do a little escape into our pasts like I do on my show. I usually keep between 1960 and 1989 so this time it’s 1967.
What do you remember about 1967?
What do you remember if anything about 1967? I finished with Montgomery primary school in New Street this year and moved up to Irvine Royal Academy which was a lot closer to my home in Vineburgh Avenue. I was dreading getting my head stuck down the lavvy and having the flush pulled. It was never stated whither the lavvy was cleaned before they flushed you or not. There was also the inevitability that at some time in my first weeks I’d be flung down the banking to the river. Needless to say I was totally ignored by the bigger boys and my summer holidays had been tarnished a bit worrying about nothing.
The Pop Charts
In the first half of January the last number one of 1966, Tom Jones’s “Green green grass of home” stayed at the top. The band of the year knocked Tom Jones off the number one spot. That band was the Monkees with their only number one “I’m a believer” which would kick start the career of the songs writer Neil Diamond. The Monkees would spend four weeks at the top before Petula Clark replaced them.
Petula would spend two weeks at the top with “This is my song” which like “I’m a believer” was also written by a famous personality, this time it had been Charlie Chaplin the famous silent movie star.
The next number one would be the debut in the chart for Englebert Humperdinck. His “Release me” would stay at the top for six weeks during which time it would keep the Beatles “Strawberry fields forever” off the top spot stopping them getting a sequence of ten number one releases in a row.
Frank and Nancy Sinatra
Father and daughter team Frank and Nancy Sinatra would eventually knock Englebert off the top with their duet “Something stupid”.
The Sinatras would stay at the top for two weeks only to be knocked off their perch by the Eurovision song contest winning entry from Sandie Shaw. Her winning entry “Puppet on a string” would stay number one for three weeks. This was Sandie’s third number one hit and would be her last as well.
Brian Poole and the Tremeloes
After Sandie Shaw the number one would be the Tremeloes with “Silence is Golden”. This would be the only number one by the Tremeloes in this guise. Their first number one had been under the banner of “Brian Poole and the Tremeloes”. Brian had gone but the lads had kept going. They would last up the top for three weeks.
Ex Paramounts member Gary Brooker had the next number one with his new band Procol Harum. Their “A whiter shade of pale” would top the charts for the next six weeks only to be knocked off by the Beatles.
The Beatles twelfth number one “All you need is love” managed to get the top spot away from Procol Harum. They would spend three weeks this time.
Scott McKenzie (Philip Blondheim) would have his only top hit with his debut single “San Francisco” also known as “Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair”. He would stay there for the next four weeks until Englebert’s third release would knock him off the number one spot.
Englebert’s follow up to his debut number one “Release me” was “There goes my everything” which stuck at number two unable to remove Procol Harum but his third release, again a rework of an old ballad “The last waltz” took him back to the top for his last visit there. Both his number one singles went straight to the top of the charts on release. This time he would stay top for five weeks.
The Bee Gees
Next at the top of the hit parade would be the Isle of Man born but Australia raised Bee Gees. Their first visit to the top would be with “Massachusetts” which stayed there for four weeks.
The multi-cultural band the Foundations would be the next to top the chart. The band had members from the West Indies, Sri Lanka and the UK. They would spend two weeks there with their debut hit “Baby now that I’ve found you”.
Another debut number one would follow the Foundations when Long John Baldry got to number one with his “Let the heartaches begin”. Long John stood over six and a half feet tall. This would be his only top ten hit.
Long John Baldry would at the top of the charts for two weeks before being knocked off the top by the Beatles second table topper of the year. “Hello Goodbye” would stay at the top well into 1968 with their seven week stint at the top.
Quiz Time – The 59 Second Flashback
Here are 5 x Top 10 UK hits from 1967. How many of the artists can you identify? 1 minute – 5 songs – name the artist. The answers are down at the foot of this page. Good luck with the 1967 music quiz. It’s not easy!
Although we were well into the sixties the soundtrack albums were still very dominant in the album sales chart. Only four albums hit the top spot in the album charts two of which were released by the Monkees. These are they;
Sound Of Music
The “Sound of music” had already spent many weeks at the top since 1965. It was still at the top at the start of 1967 and stayed there until the 4th February.
The Monkees would be next at the top with their debut album “Monkees”. This would spend 7 weeks at number one to only be knocked off by “Sound of music” which would stay for a further seven weeks.
Once again “Sound of music” would be knocked off by the Monkees only this time it would be their second album “More of the Monkees” which would last one week before being replaced by “Sound of music”.
The same again as “More of the Monkees” takes back the top spot for one week before again making way for the “Sound of music” to reign for one more week.
Enough of this nonsense says the Beatles as they take over for the next 24 weeks at the top with “Sgt Pepper’s lonely hearts club band” only to be knocked off after their spell by “Sound of music” which will not go away. After one week the Beatles are back but only for one week as the “Sound of music” does the same as it did with the Monkees. The soundtrack album would last for three more weeks before the “Sgt Pepper” took over for two weeks to see us into 1968. I wouldn’t bet on not seeing these two big hitters appearing again next year.
Television in 1967
Trumpton was the second series in a trilogy of such programmes it followed Camberwick green which had been going since 1966. Each show started with “Here is the clock, the Trumpton clock”. If you saw this series the thing that would stick with you would be “Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble and Grubb” who happened to be the Firemen.
The Prisoner (TV)
What became a cult series started this year it was “The Prisoner” which only ran for one series. Patrick McGoohan played “Number 6”. I didn’t really understand what it was all about. I preferred Danger Man.
Another weird sort of series that started this year was Adam Adament lives. This was about Adam (Gerald Harper) born 100 previously and resurrected in 1967. He seen present day things through a different light. I suppose Catweazle in the seventies was loosely based on this theme.
I was a young lad at the time and loved cowboys. This was the year when the High Chaparral came to our screens. Big John Cannon (Leif Ericksen) and his gorgeous wife Victoria (Linda Cristal) aided and abetted by “Blue boy”. The series lasted for four series until 1971.
Perry Mason which had run since 1957 had ended the previous year and Raymond Burr who played Perry Mason would turn up again in a wheelchair as Chief of detectives Robert Ironside in the San Francisco police Department. Ironside like Perry Mason was a hugely popular series and ran until 1975.
A popular show that had been going since the fifties was Armchair Theatre and it spawned a lot of TV series and one would be Callan. David Callan (Edward Woodward) worked for the state secret service. He was helped by his much maligned informant Lonely (Russel Hunter). The series run until 1972 and a film with both Edward and Russell appearing was made in 1974.
Wendy Craig would get her big breakthrough this year as scatty mum Jennifer in “Not in front of the children” which came from “Comedy playhouse” It was about a mum, dad and three children. There would be four series made and would still be showing in the seventies.
Never mind the quality, feel the width
Another popular sitcom starting this year was “Never mind the quality, feel the width” which had been a single play in Armchair theatre. The show revolved around two tailor’s, John Bluthal was Jewish while Joe Lynch was Irish catholic. They made a film of the series in 1973 directed and Produced by Ronnie Baxter. As well as John and Joe, legends Yootha Joyce and Bill Maynard would appear.
Do not adjust your set (DNAYS), became a very popular show although there would only be two series made. Early doors in its life it would be home to three future Monty Python stars Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. Another couple who would become household names started here, they were David Jason and Denise Coffey. David would play Captain Fantastic while Denise was Mrs Black the villain. Another regular was a band called the Bonzo Dog Doodah band who reached number five in the pop charts with “I’m an urban spaceman”. It sounds a bit chaotic and it was indeed, a precursor for Monty Python.
Bob Monkhouse, the king of game shows, would compere his first and probably his most popular, The Golden Shot. He would be compere until 1972 then brought back in 1974. A memory of mine is Bernie the bolt. Anne Aston was his co host. He would go on to host more very popular game shows.
The Forsyte saga was the mega programme of this year which could on be seen only on BBC2 which was not available to every television set until 1968. It followed the fortunes of an upper class family. Many names appeared at one time or another in the show but the biggest regular names would be Kenneth More, Susan Hampshire, Terence Alexander and Martin Jarvis.
Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons came to our screens this year. The Mysterons were bad Martians who declared war on the Earth but obviously not successful. Captain Scarlet was voiced by Francis Matthews (Paul Temple).
Blue Peter had a major turnabout when Christopher Trace who had been with the show since its inception in 1958 left to be replaced by Peter Purvis who would join John Noakes and Valerie Singleton.
And the sad news was Jukebox Jury would have its last show this year.
The 19th animated film from Walt Disney came out this year and it was another fantastic film. The Jungle Book starred little orphan Mowgli (brought up by wolves) and his friends Baloo the bear and Bagheera the panther. Not everyone was friendly, Shere Khan wanted to kill Mowgli. There were two awesome songs in the show “The bare necessities” sung by Baloo (Phil Harris) and “I want to be like you” sung by King Louie the orang-utan (Louis Prima).
The Dirty Dozen
The Dirty dozen was the top action film this year and what a line up of stars it had, Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, George Kennedy, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland and even Cheyene (Clint Walker). Beat that for name dropping.
Our very own Marie Lawrie (Lulu) in her debut acting role played a major role in one of the surprise highlights of the year “To sir, with love” starring Sidney Poitier as the teacher of a class containing the most unruly children in the area. The Song of the film gave Lulu a number one hit in America at the age of eighteen a feat she wouldn’t achieve in the UK until she was forty four.
Cool Hand Luke
Cool Hand Luke was another I fair enjoyed this year and like the dirty dozen George Kennedy played a major role for which he won an Academy award. Paul Newman was the named hero and just failed to win an award for his role in this film set in a prison.
There was two James Bond films released this year with two different Bonds. David Niven was the first one released and that was “Casino Royale” and it was followed a couple of months later by Sean Connery in “You only live twice” after which he would take a sabbatical from the role.
One of my all time favourite cowboy films was the Magnificent Seven and this year it was the Return of the Magnificent Seven which hit the screens. It was a return and still a good film but only Chris Adams (Yul Brynner) survived from the first film. Robert Fuller from “Laramie” took the role initially played by Steve McQueen.
Bonnie and Clyde
Bonnie and Clyde was another of the big films this year with Faye Dunaway playing Bonnie and Warren Beatty as Clyde with a major part for Gene Hackman as Clyde’s older brother Buck. The film had a few nominations at the academy awards ceremony. Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka) made his film debut as a hostage.
Mrs Robinson was massive at the box office this year. It starred Dustin Hoffman a student who is seduced by Mrs Robinson (Anne Bancroft) and falls in love with her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross). Mike Nichols won the Academy award as best director for this film.
Rod Steiger won the Academy award for the best actor with his role in the film “In the heat of the night” starring alongside Sidney Poitier who plays Virgil Stubbs a top homicide cop that Steiger arrests for a murder simply because he’s black. Once the situation is cleared up they have to work with one another to solve the case. The film also won the Academy award for the best picture of the year.
Sport in 1967
Roberto De Vicenzo (Argentina) won the Open at Hoylake for his only major. He was two shots ahead of Jack Nicklaus.
Foinavon (pictured) won the Aintree Grand national at 100/1. My sister, my brother and I all picked a horse for my dad to back and I had picked Foinavon. I don’t know how much he won but I was thrilled with my five bob.
Australian John Newcombe won the Wimbledon men’s single title for the first time while Billy Jean King won the women’s singles as she had done the previous year. This would be the last amateur Wimbledon.
New Zealander Denny Hulme won the formula world championship driving for Brabham.
This was an awesome year for Scottish club football with Celtic winning the European cup, Rangers runners up in the Cup Winners cup and Kilmarnock reaching the semi final of the Fair Cities cup. On top of that our other team in the Fair Cities cup, Dundee Utd were put out by Juventus but not before beating them at Tannadice.
Not so good for Scottish football was the demise of Third Lanark, a team which were founder members of Scottish football association. They played at Cathkin park.
The first all London FA cup final was played with Tottenham Hotspur beating Chelsea 2-1.
Henry Cooper won the sports personality of the year award in the year he became the first to win 3 Lonsdale belts.
1967 New Kids on the Block
As ever there were many new additions to the UK chart in 1967 but I’m keeping it to two acts.
The all time top family recording act. They were born on the Isle of Man and brought up in Australia. The band comprised of Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb. As composers they have penned hits for many acts. In 1978 they penned four consecutive US number ones. In 1967 they had three chart entries in the UK. The first was “New York mining disaster 1941” which made the top 20 reaching number 12. Their second hit this year was “To love somebody” which only made the top 50. The former hit would be the one to break into the US as well making top twenty. They would get their first of five UK number ones in October of this year with “Massachussets” staying there for four weeks. Of the three lads Barry is the only one still alive with Maurice dying in 2003 and Robin in 2012. The lads won the World Music Legends award in 1997 and the Brits Oustanding contribution to British music also in 1997.
Gladys has been one of soul music’s foremost female singers for almost forty years. She was born in Georgia in the USA. She first appeared on TV when she was eight years old. Her backing singers the Pips were four members of her family who split in 1989. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame in 1996. The first chart hit over here was “Take me in your arms and love me baby” which got into the top 20 reaching number 13. They wouldn’t reach the top ten over here while on the “Tamla Motown” label but would have four top 10 hits with “Buddah” between 1975 and 1977. The last chart hit for Gladys would be the James Bond theme tune “Licence to kill” in 1989 which would give her a fifth UK top ten entry.
Other happenings in 1967
The UK started talks with EEC to become members.
Jeremy Thorpe became leader of the Liberal party.
Winnie Ewing would win the first seat in Parliament for the SNP>
Work was started building a new town, Milton Keynes.
The SS Torrey Canyon oil spill happened this year with about 30million gallon of crude oil spilling out and contaminating waters in Britain, France, Guernsey and Spain. At the time it was the biggest spill to date.
Seemingly the first colour TV sets appeared in the UK. At the time we couldn’t even get BBC 2.
Homosexuality was decriminalised this year.
There was a major foot and mouth epidemic in the UK this year. It was contained in Shropshire and the Wales.
Donald Campbell would die this year attempting a water speed record at Coniston water in the Lake District.
The Boeing 747 made its maiden flight.
Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieau.
Muhammed Ali refused military service.
The Big Mac was introduced.
The first UK mall was opened in Cumbernauld.
Young Scouts would become known as cubs.
The Queen Mary would make its last Trans-Atlantic sailing.
Ford Anglia production ended this year and would be replaced by the Ford Escort.
Queensway furniture shops were founded.
BBC Radio 1, 2, 3, and 4 would be established this year.
For the first time you could buy a Fab (Ice lolly), Revels (Sweets), Twix (Sweet) and Mr Kipling cakes.
A handful of arrivals in 1967
Kurt Cobain (American musician) 20th February
Paul Gascoigne (Footballer) 27th May
Noel Gallagher (Musician) 29th May
Nicole Kidman (Actress) 20th June
Boris Becker (Tennis player) 22nd Nov
A handful of departures in 1967
Spencer Tracy (Actor) June 10th
Brian Epstein (Beatles manager) August 27th
Clement Atlee (Prime Minister) October 8th
Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion) December 4th
Otis Redding (Singer) December 10th
That Was 1967
That’s my subjective brief journey through 1967. I hope you enjoyed yourself. Many thanks for joining me, good health, good fortune and God bless. Bye for now.
Other Years Featured In This Series
John presents the Golden Hour on Irvine Beat FM – Wed, Thu & Fri at 11am. Here are some other years that have featured in this series:
Answers to our little 1967 music quiz (above):
1. Young Rascals – Groovin
2. Turtles – She’d Rather Be With Me
3. Move – I Can Hear The Grass Grow
4. Donovan – There Is a Mountain
5. Box Tops – The Letter