Saturday Single No. 101

Originally posted November 8, 2008

We have company coming for lunch today, and I am being called to kitchen duty and to mild straightening-up patrol, which is fine. But that doesn’t leave me much time to write this morning. So this will be one of those days when I pass along a single without much of a story.

As I was wandering through the music files and references Wednesday morning – in a search that eventually brought me Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” and the Impressions’ “People Get Ready” – I saw mention of a song that’s received no mention at all on this blog to this point.

It’s not a great record, being maybe a little too pretty. But it’s one of the few records by lesser-known acts that I specifically recall from the time it peaked on the charts, which was in November 1965. Why would I recall it and not, say, its neighbors on the Billboard Hot 100 of November 6, 1965? Those neighbors were “But You’re Mine” by Sonny & Cher and “Treat Her Right” by Roy Head and the Traits, at No. 16 and No. 18, respectively. (I came to know “Treat Her Right” later, but I’m not certain if I’ve ever heard the Sonny & Cher.)

I imagine that the single in question slid into my awareness because of its prettiness. As I’ve noted before, my pop-rock aesthetic was in its early development in 1965 (and for a few more years to come). I was nowhere near the time when I’d lean on Top 40 radio as a friend, but other kids did, and I heard stuff as I tagged along. And when I did, I found myself pleased more by soft mellow pop than by, say, the uncompromising approach of the Rolling Stones with “Satisfaction” or “Get Off Of My Cloud.”

Eventually, that changed, and the softer sides became only a part of what I liked to hear. Over the years, the specific pretty song I’m thinking about today was forgotten except for the rare times it popped up on oldies stations. Then, in 1996, during the years of vinyl madness, I found at a small used record shop in Minneapolis an anthology titled English Cats & Others, a two-record collection released in 1974 by London Records on the Brookville label.

I likely picked it up for $2.99 because it had Marmalade’s “Reflections Of My Life” on it, as well as a few other artifacts from 1970, still one of my favorite Top 40 years. But there was also the last track on Side Three, that pretty song that peaked at No. 17 in November of 1965.

So here – and I believe this is a rip from that vinyl set (one loses track of things sometimes) – is Jonathan King’s “Everyone’s Gone To The Moon,” today’s Saturday Single.*

“Everyone’s Gone To The Moon” by Jonathan King, Parrot 9774 [1965]

*I was unaware at the time I wrote this piece that in 2001 King was sentenced to seven years in prison for the sexual assault of five teenage boys between 1983 and 1989. Knowing that would likely have moved me to select another tune for the day; in any case, that information should have been mentioned. Note added September 26, 2011

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